User talk:Herzbube/Archive/2007-2011

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Hello, Herzbube/Archive/2007-2011, and welcome to the ISFDB Wiki! I hope you like the place and decide to stay. Here are some pages that you might find helpful:

I hope you enjoy editing here! Please sign your name on talk pages using four tildes (~~~~); this will insert your name and the date. If you need help, check out the community portal, or ask me on my talk page. Again, welcome! Ahasuerus 18:10, 24 Jun 2007 (CDT)

Welcome indeed! I think your first question shows that you are going to be a valuable asset here - you've already jumped over the 10 most common newbie errors and raised some valid comments about our methods! BLongley 18:08, 27 Jun 2007 (CDT)
Thanks Bill, but I think my second question has just annihilated any credits gained from the first :-) Well, I promise to better take care in the future.
Oh, there's been far worse than that - one bad publication is a simple fix, one bad title merge is far harder to correct, an author merge of Heinlein and Asimov would probably make Al roll back the database a few days rather than attempt to fix... I'm still fixing some of my early minor mistakes! (To anyone watching - "David Peltham" is sorted now, OK?) BLongley 16:35, 2 Jul 2007 (CDT)
As for the Gollancz question - it was born out of my ignorance about the publishing field in general, and SF publishing history in particular. It is interesting to see that an innocent newbie question can strike off a few sparks :-) but it certainly wasn't my intention to comment on ISFDB methods; I am still too much a newbie for that. Also in connection with being a newbie: At the moment ISFDB offers such a wealth of information to me that I am simply too excited and overwhelmed to give much notice to any shortcomings (such as the missing publisher/imprint recording) of the system that you, as a long-term member, may sorely feel. (OK, one shortcoming that I did notice is that I cannot cancel my own faulty submissions, but that's another story :-) For the time being, I will therefore continue to ask "innocent" newbie questions, in the hope that patient people like you are going to answer them.
I'm not actually a long-term member, I'm new this year! I'm just pretty active, a bit vocal, sociable, IT-knowledgeable and questioning. The credit for what's in the ISFDB still goes to Al mainly, although Ahasuerus seems to have been a pretty good sidekick for some time. ;-) Then there's the first round of editors that helped in the Beta stage (I know we still call this the Beta stage, I think of it as the Gamma stage myself - nobody with any sense would let me loose on a real Beta ;-) ). The major credit must still go to those that were working on the ISFDB last century, I wouldn't even have HEARD of it without them. But I do feel I can help out now, so do. I'm also a bit flighty - I'm not sure how much working here will appeal after I'm done with working over my own publications, although I'm actually quite enjoying the deviations that a new edit on something I don't know leads me to. But while I'm still enthusiastic, I might as well pass that, and the knowledge I've gained in the last few months, on! BLongley 16:35, 2 Jul 2007 (CDT)
Thanks again for the welcome. Now signing off for tonight - Herzbube 19:42, 27 Jun 2007 (CDT)
Sorry for the late reply, I forgot to add this page to my Watch List. :-/ Still lots to learn! BLongley 16:35, 2 Jul 2007 (CDT)

Spell of the Witch World

Hi Herzbube, I'll try and pick up your questions here:

1 and 2: On the copyright page it states:

"Copyright (c) 1972 by Andre Norton. ... Cover and Interior Art by Jack Gaughan. Third Printing"

I've added the artist as I missed that one when I added it.

3. The order appears as it does because the page numbers are not included. That's how it does the ordering by default. I'll search through and add them manually as there isn't a contents page.

My copy has that cover illustration but it does not have the advert inserted in it. Is the price the same?

I'm not fond of entering DAW books as they tend to be confusing/misleading :-) I know there are a few experts here though. Does yours have a number line in it as Ahaseurus mentioned? Mine doesn't. At the very least you could enter an undated new pub, and put what details you can find against it in the notes field, i.e. the presence of the advert.

--Unapersson 17:18, 3 Jul 2007 (CDT)

My copyright page states exactly the same as yours, with the exception of "Third Printing". The price is the same ($0.95), and in fact all the details of the publication record you verified also match exactly what I have here. And finally, I have no printing line.
I think the missing "Third printing" statement and the additional advertisement page indicate that I have a different publication. I will therefore follow your advice and enter a new undated publication with some notes.
Thanks for your time. Herzbube 17:58, 3 Jul 2007 (CDT)
One other thing you might want to put into notes is if the book was printed in Canada or the US. Daw had seperate printings for the two countries. On the early books there are minor differences on the later books in the 80's there are price differences. Marc is keeping track of this information.Kraang 18:16, 3 Jul 2007 (CDT)
I've just encountered that on some pubs where the US/Canada printings seem to be out of sync. :-/ It may be that the US-oriented rule "just enter the US price" is not good enough. BLongley 18:27, 3 Jul 2007 (CDT)
The prices are the same on the Canadian and the Us but in the early 80's the Canadian price on some is higher. When they went to dual pricing this issue goes away. The only question i have is if they did a Us reprint did they do one in Canada at the same time? On more popular books the 2nd Canadian reprint(small market) may have been done at the same time as the 7th US reprint(larger market). Exchange rates went fron 10% to 60% and now back to 10%. It might be usefull to know what the US/CDN price was on each copy. Only more data from the unloved later reprints might answer this question.Kraang 18:50, 3 Jul 2007 (CDT)
For the record, a final note from my side on the issue: The first row in the table on this page seems to refer to my copy of the book; the second row seems to refer to Unapersson's copy. Why? Look at the "Pr." column (which I take it means "Printing") and you will see that the rows refer to a) a book with no printing ("n.p."), and b) another book with a 3rd printing indicator. This is exactly what my and Unapersson's books state. Herzbube 19:13, 3 Jul 2007 (CDT)

Amazon Image URL

By the way, I answered your question on my talk page rather than here. Some people do respond on the other person's talk page, but I like to keep the conversation all together. BLongley 17:27, 9 Jul 2007 (CDT)

"Harry Harrison: The Man Who Walked Home"

I see that you would like to remove Barry Malzberg's "Harry Harrison: The Man Who Walked Home" from The Best of Harry Harrison. According to Contento, the US version and the UK version of the collection are slightly different. Could you please take a look at the lists as compiled by Contento and check them against your copy? Collection discrepancies are always a pain and we try to be extra careful when working with them. Thanks! Ahasuerus 18:59, 10 Jul 2007 (CDT)

And I thought it was only me being irritated by these small but significant differences...
Oh no, you are not alone, bibliographers live for these differences :) They can be quite important to collectors and readers alike since they can point you in the right direction when looking for, e.g., a particular story. Ahasuerus 04:58, 12 Jul 2007 (CDT)
Anyway, I re-checked my copy against Contento and I can confirm that the only difference is that the Malzberg essay is not in my book.
Thanks, I have approved the submission! Ahasuerus 04:58, 12 Jul 2007 (CDT)
I notice that the Contento page says "Also available in pb (Futura 1976)". My interpretation of this is that the primary source for Contento is not the paperback edition, but rather the Sidgwick & Jackson hardcover edition. I think this explains why Contento is not entirely accurate here. I may be wrong, though, since I am not familiar with the particulars of the Contento listings...
That's right, Contento typically looks for the hardcover version of the book first. We usually e-mail him any discrepancies that we find: that way there is less bad information on the Web. Let me know if you want to e-mail him directly. If not, I will add it to the next batch of corrections that I will be sending his way. Ahasuerus 04:58, 12 Jul 2007 (CDT)
Since we are already discussing this publication, I have a couple of notes of my own:
1) I have set the pub date to 1976 because there is this statement in my copy: "This selection Copyright (c) Harry Harrison 1976". Do you think this is OK? If so, I would like to add a note explaining my deduction to the pub record (as soon as the pending edit has been resolved). Btw: there is no printing line, only one other statement "First published in Great Britain in 1976 by Futura Publications Limited".
Unfortunately, copyright dates are not always the same as publication dates :( Poking around the master OCLC/WorldCat/FirstSearch catalog, I see that there was a 1976 Orbit paperback edition and a 1991 "Futura Orbit" paperback reprint (the same ISBN, 0-86007-898-1) and suggests that there may have been reprints in 1980 and 1988. Harry Harrison's official Web site has a page with more publication details and another page with additional data about the Malzberg intro and contents differences. I would document your findings exactly as you suggested, explaining where the data comes from. Ahasuerus 04:58, 12 Jul 2007 (CDT)
2) I noticed that the short story "Space Rats of the C.C.C." has a variant title "Space Rats of the CCC" (no periods). My copy of the book lists the story under the variant title, so I am going to further edit the publication.
3) Along the same lines: my copy lists the short story "Captain Honario Harpplayer, R.N." under the title "Captain Honario Harpplayer, RN" (again no periods). ISFDB currently does not have a variant title, so I am going to create one and edit the publication yet another time.
Sounds good! The main reason that we want to document these seemingly minor typographical differences is that we want our users to be able to find story titles (and their variant titles) when they search for a string/substring in the title. Ahasuerus 04:58, 12 Jul 2007 (CDT)
4) The short story "The Mothballed Spaceship" features Jason dinAlt and other characters from the Deathworld novels. Can/should I add the short story to the series, or how do I go about recording this connection?
Yes, please do add the story to the series. It will be displayed as part of the series with "[SF]" (for "short fiction") displayed next to the title. Ahasuerus 04:58, 12 Jul 2007 (CDT)
5) The short story "Roommates" has another interesting connection: The short story basically is a compressed version of the novel "Make Room! Make Room!". Do you have a suggestion how this connection can be recorded? Another series? Herzbube 16:50, 11 Jul 2007 (CDT)
At this time we don't have a programmatic way of linking a longer work with the shorter work(s) that it may be based on, although we have been thinking about it. For most fixup novels and novels/novellas based on short stories, we simply document the connection in the Notes field of the respective Title records. A few editors have organized fixups and related stories into series, e.g. see the first 3 series on A._E._van_Vogt's Summary Bibliography page.
Thanks for editing! Ahasuerus 04:58, 12 Jul 2007 (CDT)


Herzbube, I noticed your comment:

Could you please double-check whether in this pub the novel "The Mad God's Amulet" really starts at page 173. 
I have a copy here where the novel starts at page 175. Hope you can forgive me for being nit-picky. 

"Nit-picky" is probably a great asset here! It leads to more careful edits, more considerate verifications. The downside is that it CAN make people think "OK, I'm not good enough to edit here" if it comes across too negatively. I think you've done very well at balancing the Diplomacy/Accuracy requirements with Communication Skills. Ahasuerus - don't mention the black-jack yet, but keep an eye on this chap! BLongley 16:01, 17 Jul 2007 (CDT)

I try to be careful, that's true, although I sometimes wonder whether I won't lose patience - at the current pace it will take me years to enter the data for my modest collection. Ah well, when I despair the next time I will just whip out a couple of nice'n'easy Harry Potters and relax verifying those :-) Herzbube 17:16, 17 Jul 2007 (CDT)
Some publications can take a while to enter properly, especially minor pulps and some 1950s digests where every other story was published pseudonymously. I find that alternating between them and recent "nice'n'easy" novels does seem to help avoid burnout. Ahasuerus 12:43, 18 Jul 2007 (CDT)
I find that having a "Pet Project" that's long, but easy helps. When I start getting burned out from entering story after story from my anthology collection, I go do a little bit of work on my "Dragon Magazine" collection, which is all in PDF and tends to be a lot of cut and paste. CoachPaul 13:06, 18 Jul 2007 (CDT)

The Pride of Chanur

I just noticed your update to The Pride of Chanur and have a couple of questions to help update the DAW List.

  • Is the logo # 464 visible on the front cover, possibly inside the front cover, and on the copyright page?
The logo # 464 is visible on, but not inside, the front cover. The copyright page says "DAW Book Collectors No. 464".
  • Is the Catalog # UE2292 on the front cover or possibly on the spine?
UE2292 is on the spine, not on the front cover.
The spine uses the ISBN3 format.
  • It does look like a 12th printing from what you said. Does it say "Printed in USA" underneath the 12?
Yes, it does.

Finally - please don't forget to mark the book as verified. Thank you! Marc Kupper (talk) 18:47, 19 Jul 2007 (CDT)

Done. Would you like me to provide similar information in the pub notes, or on your talk page, if I am adding DAW publications in the future?
Herzbube 19:49, 19 Jul 2007 (CDT)
Thank you very much for the reply. Overall, it's probably not necessary to add the additional information or to send it to me for each book. It's something I'm collecting for the DAW List but is far above the data needs for ISFDB. I suspect for now the best thing is to do nothing. In the past if someone had many DAW books I'd mail them the DAW list in a spreadsheet and then merge the changes back into the main list. This worked but I'm seriously short of time at the moment and have a couple of revised spreadsheets still waiting to be merged. I'm hoping to convert the DAW list to a web format and also to integrate it better with ISFDB to reduce/eliminate double-data entry. Marc Kupper (talk) 02:03, 20 Jul 2007 (CDT)
It's no big deal to enter a bit of additional information, especially if it's something as clearly defined as these DAW attributes. If I don't forget, I will add a few pub notes to future DAW edits of mine, such as in this example. Herzbube 16:14, 22 Jul 2007 (CDT)

Chanur's Venture

After looking at the content of this pub that you verified, I have 2 questions:

  1. The pub content does not list the appendix "Species of the Compact". Is the appendix really not in the pub, or was it left out intentional, e.g. because the appendix can be considered part of the novel? This help page seems to take the "part-of-the-novel" stance when it talks about endnotes being "set in the fictional world of the novel". On the other hand, the Locus Index lists the appendix as a separate article.
  2. The pub content lists a map as INTERIORART. Is this a special case, or are editors generally encouraged to add maps to a publication? I'm asking this because I see that other publications (e.g. this one) do not list maps, even though I am sure that they have them.

Thanks. Herzbube 19:27, 19 Jul 2007 (CDT)

I'm not sure if you monitor watch-lists and so I moved your message back here. I personally don't like the "ping-pong" style talks where you would leave a message on my talk page and I would reply back on yours meaning someone wanting to read the thread after the fact needs to ping-pong their poor brain over two or more pages. In my case I try to keep an eye on the watch-list though am woefully behind at the moment.
I definitively agree that it's best to keep a conversation whole. I therefore do keep & monitor my watch-list, and I add every page to it that I am editing, so in the future you can just put your reply where you found the original question-or-whatever. Herzbube 16:14, 22 Jul 2007 (CDT)
Regarding the appendix. This is a public library book and so I'll need to get it tomorrow. I suspect the appendix is there but I overlooked it. I'll need to deal with this on another publication I got recently where I noticed it has an index. My personal practice is to record the appendix when I see them and often will record each appendix if there is more than one.
On the interior art - Different ISFDB editors tend to record a different levels of information. I tend to record more than most but I'm also fine with someone that choses to record the barest minimum. The only things I ask personally for are
  1. If you record or verify something that you try to do so as accurately as practical. The key word is as "accurately" as practical and not necessarily as "completely" as possible.
  2. If you add something to the ISFDB publication record that's not stated in the publication that you clearly note the source of the data. Likewise, if you are verifying a publication and the ISFDB record has data that you can't find in the publication (let's say a cover artist credit) that you add a note explaining this.
  3. I've generally found ISFDB's existing data to be accurate and so I tend to not just overwrite or delete it unless I have a strong case for that the data is wrong and even then I often document the old data and my case for what I believe is the correct data. Another reason for including notes when overwriting data is the detection and hopefully prevention of "edit wars" where it turns out there are two publications that are identical except for one key aspect. For example, an editor recently overwrote an artist credit. I happened to know that particular book had two different covers and so I have the submission on hold while we sort out if there's anything other than the cover to help distinguish that there are two different covers by different artists.
  4. It's always ok to add additional information to a publication record as long as it falls within the guidelines listed in 1 to 3.
Getting back to the interior art - I try to record credits for each of the artists involved in a publication. The use of suffixes such as (frontispiece) or (map) is optional. I tend to do it as it's very little extra time and gives someone looking at the ISFDB record a much better picture of what the roles were. For example, without the suffix someone may think that the story was illustrated. Marc Kupper (talk) 02:03, 20 Jul 2007 (CDT)
I have the book now and see why I missed the appendix as it just looked like part of the story unless I leafed through looking for the appendix and even then it was easy to miss. Good eye on your part.
I'm also wondering if I'm missing a page.
  • Page 293 ends with "We go with it," she said.

         Continued in

  • Page 294 is Appendix
    Species of the Compact
  • Page 312 is the last page of the appendix.
  • Following page 312 is two unnumbered pages of advertising.
The puzzle is page 292 where it says "Continued in" all nice and centered followed by a blank space and the following page is the appendix. Did DAW forget to put The Kif Strike Back here or was this deliberate? There is a DAW/SFBC hardcover edition that Mhhutchins verified and I know Mike Christie has a 1st printing DAW pb that we could ask be checked for the appendix and how the story ends. Marc Kupper (talk) 17:06, 20 Jul 2007 (CDT)
Thanks for the time you took for your long reply, especially in light of your time shortage (can I say that in English?). I'm grateful for these explanations because they help me get my bearings around ISFDB, what is accepted and expected etc.
Regarding page 292: I do not have the same publication as you do (I have this Mandarin edition). In my book those mysterious two words "Continued in" do not appear, although everything else that you mention seems to be exactly the same. I would guess that it is a mistake by DAW, but you will have to check with one of the other guys to find out more.
Herzbube 16:14, 22 Jul 2007 (CDT)

Revenge of the Rose

Thanks for your comment and sorry for taking so long to follow it up. The word prince was missing from the subtitle so I've corrected it in the three places it appears. --Unapersson 15:40, 7 Aug 2007 (CDT)

Thanks a lot. Herzbube 17:10, 7 Aug 2007 (CDT)
(for future reference: here is the original question)

Approving Digits and Dastards

But you should probably notify the person who verified it Blongley that you made the change.--swfritter 12:00, 16 Aug 2007 (CDT)

I have left Bill a note, but only after I submitted the edit. Thanks for approving. Herzbube 13:02, 16 Aug 2007 (CDT)
It's fine. You might want to consider signing post-verification edits though - verifiers aren't guaranteed to be there forever to check things. Not a problem here, as it's the sort of thing I'd say anyway.
I'm still debating the best way to sign additional notes: e.g. with a link to my talk page if I'm keeping the book, just my username if I'm not. But I haven't managed to part with the discard piles yet, although they've entirely taken over the sofa... :-/ BLongley 14:57, 16 Aug 2007 (CDT)

Jack Vance's Blue World

The image you submitted for this title showed the novel was titled simply "Blue World", not "The Blue World". If you have a copy of the book, how is it titled on the inside title page? Thanks. Mhhutchins 18:56, 24 Aug 2007 (CDT)

My copy is titled "The Blue World", on several inside pages, and even on the cover...
It seems as if the image I submitted wasn't such a good choice: Besides the footer line difference (which I noticed) and the title difference (glaring! how could I have missed that?), I now see that there are additional differences: 1) the colored band "Gollancz SF Gollancz" is blue on my copy (as opposed to orange in the submitted image), and 2) the painting in the upper half is slightly shifted downwards on my copy so that you can see the entire lamp panel of the Hoodwink tower (as opposed to the submitted image where the lamp panel is cut off at the top edge of the image).
I guess it's best if you remove the image, but otherwise I think you can approve the edit.
Thanks for spotting this. Herzbube 19:49, 24 Aug 2007 (CDT)
Submission approved but the image removed. Thanks. Mhhutchins 20:00, 24 Aug 2007 (CDT)

The Dying Earth

Please look at ISFDB:Community_Portal/Archive/Archive11#The_Dying_Earth if you have a chance. I want to change this work from a Novel to a Collection, nd you verified one of it's pubs. -DES Talk 15:44, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

This very late response is mostly for the records. I have reviewed the issue, and I am fine with turning the work into collection. However, I have decided against adding the collection's individual stories to the contents list of the omnibus publication that I have verified (others have done this). In my copy of the book the collection is treated as a unified work with chapters rather than individual stories, so I don't see the value of adding those individual stories with page numbers to the omnibus pub record. If one looks at the omnibus pub record in its current state, the content clearly lists "The Dying Earth" as a collection, so an interested user will know that there are individual stories that she can find by simply clicking on the collection's hyperlink. All this is my personal opinion; if someone has convincing arguments (e.g. an ISFDB policy or best practice that requires a listing of individual stories), I am certainly willing to update my verified pub. BTW, here's an example of a pub that also hasn't been updated (yet). Herzbube 00:52, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
I don't believe we have a clear policy on the issue of listing collection contents in an omnibus one way or the other. I tend to favor listing, because it means that when someone looks at the title record for the work of short fiction, the omnibus publication is displayed, and it thus makes answering the questions "In what publications did this story appear" / "Where can i find this story" easier. On the downside, it clutters the contents list of the omnibus, and may to some extent misrepresent the omnibus ToC, as you suggested. I wish we could have a way to list the collection, but with a link that would show the collection's detailed contents at a click, and in a way that would list the individual stories as being contained in the omnibus. But the software doesn't currently support such a thing.
How are you? Long time no see on here. -DES Talk 01:03, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
It's been a while, true :-) After staying away for more than 2 years I now have to relearn the whole editing business, grrr :-) I hope that this time I can keep up my involvement with ISFDB, it entirely depends on my time management... But I'm happy to be back, and it's good to see that the project is still alive and kicking! Herzbube 01:36, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
More alive than ever in some ways, and the kicking is still mostly good-natured. There's more opportunities to record more data if you want - I've gone back over my comparatively meagre collection a few times now, adding extra prices, printing numbers, etc - the latest big change is that I can upload cover scans here rather than hope that Amazon will keep them stable. BLongley 21:32, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
Anyway, a belated "Welcome Back!" from me. Hope you still enjoy it! BLongley 21:32, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
Neither my wife nor my friends understand it, but yes, I do (enjoy it) :-) Herzbube 22:08, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

Deathworld 1

In verifying my copy to your verification. I found the cover image, price and made notes. Added this to the record and submitted. If this does not match please advise. I will transient verify after acceptance. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 20:32, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

Herzbube hasn't been active in the wiki for over a year, so I think you should go ahead with the edits to name this edition and take over primary verification, if you're keeping it. One edit does confuse me - what's the final "This." in notes for? BLongley 20:57, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
I think that Harry has been using that construct to indicate that the line of notes applies to the pub in hand/on display, not to other printings/editions mentioned on the copyright page, and listed in his notes. It might be better if expanded a bit more perhaps as "(This pub)". -DES Talk 21:11, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
Cover image matches my copy. Thanks for this, and the additional info. Note to self: Investigate whether it is now common practice on ISFDB to document copyright notices and things such as "first published in". Herzbube 21:02, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
Such notes are now significantly more common then they once were, but not by any means invariable. User:Dragoondelight (Harry) tends to include more extensive notes than many other editors do. I myself do not routinely document copyright dates unless they are unusual and significant IMO, but do routinely document "first published in" if the publication is not already on file. I also routinely document the source of any data not from the publication, and where in the pub credits are found ("copyrt page", "back DJ flap", etc). Not every editor does this either. -DES Talk 21:07, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for commenting. Being a casual ISFDB editor, I often have trouble distinguishing between information that is worthless and things that are, as you put it, "unusual" or "significant". In the past, if I remember correctly, I always tended to be on the terse side, but seeing that it's also OK to be a bit more verbose I'll probably adopt the policy "if in doubt, document it" :-) Herzbube 21:27, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
We're definitely willing to accept more notes, although there are some complaints if the notes are at title level when they should be at publication level, or vice versa. And now we have multiple Primary Verifications available for the same pub (Sorry - my fault for inventing such), some notes might need to be clarified as to which verifier said what about their copy. I hope you don't find the changes too confusing, and if you do we now have actual live people that can program and others that can document help. We're beginning to look a bit organised really, although GHU only knows how we got here. ;-) BLongley 21:45, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

Cities in Flight-change in Afterword title

This. [1] . I have the eighth Avon printing and have submitted this Afterword: The Earthmanist Culture: Cities In Flight as a Spenglerian History as shown on page 597 of my copy. Though yours' is a different publisher, I noticed the afterword title simularity. This is just an advisory. --Dragoondelight 15:07, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

The afterword title in my copy is the same as your variant. I can't remember how the short title variant got into my verified pub, but I guess it was already there and I approved it without too much thinking. Although other editors have not changed their verified pub, I am going to change mine. My first edit after 2 years of abstinence - this is going to be interesting :-) Herzbube 23:00, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
I approved your edit and the following merge. Good job with the merge. -DES Talk 23:37, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
It was easy, there was a strategically placed link to a HOWTO, which then told me exactly what to do. Good user interface!!! Thanks for the approval. Herzbube 23:51, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

Witch World -- cover image

Hi. I added this image to your verified WTCHWRLDDF1963 that matches my copy of the same edition. --MartyD 03:05, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

Yes, that's the right cover. Thanks Herzbube 23:21, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

Spell of the Witch World-- added cover/notation

Morning! This. [2] . I added a cover image and profuse notation matching my copy to your ver. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 13:42, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

Yep, everything seems to be in order, except the pages on which content items appear. I'm carrying that discussion over to your talk page, though. Herzbube 00:03, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

Warlock of the Witch World-- added cover/notation

Morning again. This. [3] . I added cover image and notation after matching my copy to your ver. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 14:09, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

Both cover image and notes are ok. Thanks. Herzbube 00:31, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

Cyteen: the Betrayal - added cover/notation

Afternoon! This. [4]. I added a cover image, [5]. and notation after matching my copy to your ver. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 21:56, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

Both cover image and notes are ok. I am going to give away my copy of the book soon, so maybe you should take over primary verification? Herzbube 00:39, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

Gary Ruddell's Signature

I just uploaded Gary Ruddell.jpg from a pub which has that partial signature and confirmed cover-artist credit, does that help? BLongley 18:32, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

You can also look at this page to find other examples of his work, if you want to look at the style rather than just the signature. BLongley 19:16, 21 October 2009 (UTC)
Most helpful, yes. I wish I had more time or were more efficient so that I also might help others with their problems, even though I am not directly involved *sigh*. Thank you so much for your effort. Herzbube 06:49, 22 October 2009 (UTC)


Just an FYI that the month of publication of the Vista edition of Timescape originally came from the Locus Index. I have updated Notes and added a secondary verification. Thanks! Ahasuerus 03:02, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for pointing me in the right direction! I must admit, though, that doublechecking the Locus index is too much work for me at the moment. I will continue to add notes to my verifications to the effect that I was unable to confirm the exact pub date. I will then make another pass over all of my verifications and do the Locus lookup at a later date. I hope this is acceptable. Cheers Herzbube 03:25, 28 October 2009 (UTC)
Not a problem, incremental improvements are always welcome! :) We have a fair number of records with unattributed months of publication and it's not always clear where the data originally came from, but usually it was taken from Locus. At some point we'll need to do a full reconciliation with the Locus Index, but that will take a while. Ahasuerus 03:33, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

Projects / Goals

I noticed your update and finally noticed your goals, one of which I share: the ability to use ISFDB to generate "Books I own" lists. And I wandered over to your own Wiki and noticed you're already more advanced in Python than I am, and use MySQL already, so I wondered how far you're getting along with learning the oddities of ISFDB technically? BLongley 20:23, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

2 years ago I tried installing ISFDB on my Mac, but I had quite a bit of trouble getting it to run properly. After this initial effort, which frankly was a bit frustrating, I put the technical side on hold and concentrated on getting better as an editor. Since then I haven't had a single look at either the ISFDB sources, or the DB scheme. Even now the technical stuff has a much lower priority than doing editor stuff, because the days only have 24 hours and I am too absorbed by my other coding projects. Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 23:29, 7 November 2009 (UTC)

I posted a few notes about my initial playing about with the data here, which few people seem to have noticed. Section 5 deals with generating "I verified this!" lists which seems to be somewhere close to your goal. BLongley 20:23, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

Anyway, if you find it useful, let me know. BLongley 20:23, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

I quickly scanned the page with your notes, and yes, this is definitely going to be useful once I get around to do something technical again. Thanks for sharing your knowledge, Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 23:29, 7 November 2009 (UTC)

Pb editions of the Galaxy anthology

I accepted the changes to the title records for the two volume paperback reprints of the Galaxy anthology because you'd verified the pubs. Just to clarify: is the subtitle of the hardcover edition ("Thirty Years of Innovative Science Fiction") not included on the title page of the paperback editions? (The OCLC record gives the subtitle.) Also, can I assume that you will be changing the pub records to match the title records? If so, it's a good idea to hold off verifying a pub record until you've satisfactorily edited it into a final state for verification. Thanks. MHHutchins 04:58, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

The subtitle does not appear anywhere except on the front cover. On the title page there are two lines: The first line, in large letters, "Galaxy", the second line, in smaller letters, "Volume 1" and "Volume 2", respectively. On the copyright page, it says on only one line "Galaxy: Volume 1", and "Galaxy: Volume 2", respectively. Should I add a note explaining this to 1) The title records, or 2) the pub records?
Yes, I am going for the pub records today. I wanted to start with the titles to see what the moderator's reaction would be :-) About the verifying process: When I intend to make a non-trivial change, I usually add my verification marker before doing the change, to indicate to moderators that I really own the publication and am not spuriously changing things. This is born from the somewhat limited communication abilities we have on ISFDB - I mean, the wiki is very good as it allows to hold high-quality conversations that can be looked up years later, but there is no other channel (that I know of) that allows for "quick and dirty" questions such as "do you have this book". Anyway, if my idea of using verification as a means to communicate intent is not a good idea, I will try not to do this in the future. Thanks, Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 11:15, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
The submissions to change the pub records were accepted. There's really no set in stone procedures about when to verify a pub. If any changes to a pub record throws up a red flag, the moderator will question you, regardless of whether or not the pub is verified. At least until the moderator-editor relationship has grown to the point where a moderator becomes more intuitive of the editor's intentions. Your reasoning that verifying the pub will let the moderator know that you "have the book" is a logical one. That's why I asked about the title on the book's title page. Keep in mind, you were editing the title record, not the pub record. This would have effected all pubs under the title record (not important here because there is only one pub for the title record.) Also, I wasn't sure that you were aware of the standards concerning the recording of titles from the book's title page. Now I do!
Something I have learned from reading the docs, especially the EditPub help page, is that ISFDB tries to record things as they appear in publications, which is not necessarily how I would like them to be, or there might even be differences to canonical titles or names. That's why this time, after looking at the title page of my books, I was pretty sure of what I was doing.
Title vs. pub record: I was intentionally editing the title record because I figured my change would affect the yellow container item inside the pub record (which it did; I'm now pretty sure that the container item is merely a representation of a pub's parent title record).
Finally, I can confirm that I know that a title record change affects all of its child pub records. Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 20:40, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
Because I'm apt to go off on tangents, I will personally hold off verifying a pub until I've checked that all fields match my copy. (That doesn't mean I won't come back four or five times to add a cover image and more information in the notes!) As a moderator, I'm able to immediately approve my submissions, so I forget how the time lapse between submission and approval might effect the editor's decision about when to verify a pub. I'm still finding pub records that I updated as an editor that I failed to verify because I didn't go back after the submissions were approved.
Besides giving a hint to moderators, I am also pretty keen on placing my verification marker, not because I want to mark my territory :-) but because I see this as the road to my goal of producing a list of "books that I own". Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 20:40, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
Unfortunately, the wiki is currently our best means of communication. When I was a non-moderating editor, I also found it to be too slow (something I need to be reminded of now and again.) If you feel an edit might be questioned, it wouldn't hurt to place a comment on the moderator noticeboard before the submission. Hopefully, one of us will be monitoring the page so that we can respond more quickly. Thanks for contributing. Once you've become a moderator, these concerns will become irrelevant. 8-) MHHutchins 18:05, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
Has IRC ever been considered as a means of communication? I myself am not sure if IRC would be a good idea (instant messaging disrupts concentration and flow), but in certain situations it has definite advantages. Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 20:40, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
"Considered" may be too strong a term, but it has been mentioned as an option a couple of times. One advantage that a Wiki-based system has is that it lets third parties monitor ongoing exchanges (sometimes hours or days after the fact) and learn/contribute at their convenience.
One feature that we should probably implement sooner rather than later is FR 2891672 "Allow canceling submissions". Once editors can cancel their erroneous submissions, constant moderator availability/attention will be presumably less important. Ahasuerus 21:16, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
I was quite astonished when I noticed the lack of this (obvious seeming) feature for the first time. Once it is implemented it will certainly come in handy from time to time, but I at least will always be glad for quick approval of good edits. Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 22:04, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
Your wish is my command - check My Pending Edits :) Ahasuerus 04:29, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Crazy! Thanks very much, non-moderators will love you!!! I thought of testing the feature by deleting Isaac Asimov but haven't had the nerve yet :-) Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 09:02, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
And if you can think of any other obvious things that the application is missing, please do not hesitate to point them out. After a few years, you no longer see the forest for the trees. Ahasuerus 04:48, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Ah, I see, Christmas and the time for wishes is near... do you by chance like to wear red clothes and have a couple of reindeers in the backyard? Anyway, I'll let you know if something pops into my mind. Thanks again, Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 09:02, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
I know I've considered IRC, or AIM, or many other such tools that have come and gone. If we ever achieve a critical mass of moderators willing to indulge in such, it could happen, but I'd be generally reluctant to join such if it meant more apparent "responsibility to moderate". There's been a recent change where notes on an editor's talk page give them a big warning of new messages, which is a good pointer if you can spot who's moderating your edits at the time. I don't think we're at the stage where we could offer a constant 24/7 "someone will help you on IRC Channel #ISFDB" though, and even if we did, we'd probably want to keep logs of such available for public perusal. I think people have threatened to quit if there ever becomes a perception that some ISFDB decisions are taken behind closed doors: but in these days of RSS feeds and Twitter and other such wonderments, there's probably a tool that could be used. BLongley 21:24, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
The question always is: Does the tool fit the process? If the ISFDB process requires absolute traceability, then instant messaging is probably not a good tool. Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 22:04, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
I don't think we have "absolute traceability" - there's more logging of edits than can be easily seen, but reviewing such is not possible even from the public backups available. BLongley 22:43, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
The public backup file doesn't include the submission table in part due to privacy concerns, in part because it's huge (hundreds of Mb) and in part because submissions do not capture enough data to recreate a complete history of each edit. This is a known problem, which has been partially addressed by implementing a "history" table, but at this time all it supports is Author changes since Titles and Pubs are much harder to keep track of due to frequent merges/deletions/etc. Ahasuerus 04:48, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
And even if we had that, there's no surety that I didn't make you a known prolific author based on a private email exchange, for instance. We don't want to make people feel that they are being watched, checked, vetted, discussed behind their backs, or anything like that. We obviously DO check and watch edits, that's the moderator's job. But there is no (or should be no, just in case I'm being excluded from such) private messaging about rules, standards, fitness of editors to practice, et cetera. So any new medium of discussion should keep that openness: nowadays it might be perfectly possible to make sure that any other "official" ISFDB channel is recorded, though, which would allay that fear. BLongley 22:43, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
There is a mailing lists for moderators, but so far it has been used for handling server outages and similar technical issues. Ahasuerus 04:48, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

Norton's Grand Masters' Choice

Your submission adding the contents to this pub also removed the publication date, cover scan, artist credit and notes. I wasn't sure you actually intended to do this, so I accepted the submission and returned those fields to their original state. If any are wrong, please make a new submission. Thanks. MHHutchins 17:27, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

I saw it coming, but only too late, after I had made the content submission. I considered cancelling the submission (the new feature recently implemented by Ahasuerus), but it was too much work to lose. I hoped that either a moderator would catch my error and ask me about it, but if not I would have simply redone the other fields. Thanks for mind-reading my intentions :-) and correcting the mistake in mid-air! I'll try to prevent this kind of mistake in the future (e.g. I have refrained from further editing the "Stars SF Stories" pub). Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 18:02, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
Yes, it's a good idea to wait before a submission is accepted before editing the same pub record. Such things as this can happen. MHHutchins 18:18, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
More questions: does the pb credit Ingrid Zierhut as the co-editor (as does the NESFA hc edition)? Does the title of the Williamson story end with an ellipsis? Does the title of the Norton story begin with the leading article "The"? MHHutchins 17:35, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
In answer to your questions:
  1. Ingrid Zierhut. No, she is not credited anywhere. I checked the cover, back cover, title, copyright and acknowledgment pages. Did you add the NESFA edition, by the way? It hasn't been there when I started editing, has it?
  2. Williamson story: No, it does not have an ellipsis. I had noticed the title variant and explicitly added the title without the ellipsis.
  3. Norton story: No, there is no leading article "The". This is also something I double-checked. Strange, but now my paperback pub has the title with the article; I will need to correct this...
I might also note that I have added the Simak story as by "Clifford D. Simak" (notice the initial) because inside the book the initial is used. I did this despite the TOC and the acknowledgment page both using just "Clifford Simak" (without the initial). Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 18:02, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I entered the NESFA edition, prompted by the note in your pub. You did enter the Norton story without "The", but when I merged the newly created title records, I chose the more common title, but thought it better to ask. (Because it was my error, I'll make the correction, as it involves several submissions which is would be easier for a moderator.)
Good to know, I already feared I had developed double personalities - would have made editing much more troublesom :-) Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 18:24, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
Concerning the Simak story, you are also correct to follow the credits that appear on the title page of the story, not the TOC, acknowledgments or copyright page. MHHutchins 18:18, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
Too late, I see you've changed the Norton story. Thanks. MHHutchins 18:19, 13 November 2009 (UTC)


Saw your note on Marc Kupper's page about something compatible with a MAC. I use the EPSOM WORKFORCE 600. Cheap and a snap to use. The program is ideal as you can create images any way you want [other than stitching]. The screen is close to one edge so doing interiors is pretty easy as well. So far I've done about 5000+ scans/uploads and other than the odd moire effect (those irritating wavy lines) it's been exactly a WORKHORSE! Cheers! ~Bill, --Bluesman 21:27, 20 November 2009 (UTC)

I already own a printer, so a combi device such as the Epson Workforce is not exactly what I've been looking for. Thanks for the information anyway. Today I couldn't resist anymore :-) and bought a Canon flatbed scanner - we'll see how this works out. Cheers, Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 02:08, 21 November 2009 (UTC)

The Canadian Who Came Almost All the Way Back From the Stars

The change in publication date, is this the date of the 'essay'/acknowledgments or is it specifically printed as the publication date of the story? It's just unusual for it to be day specific. ~Bill, --Bluesman 22:13, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

The day specific'ness is because the story was first published in electronic form. The anthology I'm editing has a separate acknowledgment page that has nothing to do with this title (if that's what you mean). The acknowledgment page I am referring to lists for each story
  1. The copyright
  2. When and where the story was first published
  3. A statement how permission to reprint the story was obtained
These acknowledgments are very detailed, so I thought it would make sense to update those title records whose publication date is not as detailed as given on the acknowledgment page. All in all 5 title records are involved. After I submitted the change that you are holding now I have decided to change the title record note to something like this:

Acknowledgments page in "The Mammoth Book of Best New Science Fiction: 19th Annual Collection" states for this story: "First published electronically on SCI FICTION, September 28, 2005.

This not only states the source for the exact date of first publication, it also provides information about the medium of first publication, which is interesting because ISFDB does not record electronical publications. What do you think, does this make sense? Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 22:35, 24 November 2009 (UTC)
We do record e-books with ISBNs -- see "Rules of Acquisition' in ISFDB:Policy -- and even "downloadable e-zines (periodicals in electronic format) which have been assigned an industry standard registration identifier (ISSN or ISBN) or have a history of containing reliably stable contents". Ahasuerus 00:17, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
Absolutely! maybe in time all those trailing zeroes on publication dates will disappear! Thanks. ~Bill, --Bluesman 23:03, 24 November 2009 (UTC)
We can still hope, but somehow I have my doubts - unless, of course, we can get our hands on a time machine :-) Thanks for approving, Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 23:13, 24 November 2009 (UTC)
Good note addition! ~Bill,

Publication date

The date for [this] probably came from Locus1, [here]. Amazon.UK [here] also agrees. Locus is VERY accurate, and Amazon.UK (NOT .com, they suck) is about 90% accurate with dates, but only use the month. FYI Cheers! ~bill, --Bluesman 01:49, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the information, I didn't know that there was any difference between and very strange, I mean they are one company with one common database backend, aren't they? Anyway, one of my TODOs is to make a second pass over my collection and to a bit of additional verification using the Locus Index and other sources. For now, though, I simply look at the book and if the date on the pub record can't be derived from the printed publication I add a note to the pub. BTW: Thanks for your diligent approving of my edits, I'm soon going to bed so you have a bit more quiet :-) Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 02:05, 25 November 2009 (UTC)
The difference between UK and .com is wider than the Atlantic!!! The databases are quite different (unlike AbeBooks which seems to be just the one) especially when the publication was before 1980. As for Locus, that's the source of probably 80% or more of the stub records we have so the dates commonly come from there (again, for anything pre 2000, after that much is pre-release data from Amazon), though of course Locus is up to 2006 online and preferable to either of the Amazon sites. ~Bill, --Bluesman 04:12, 25 November 2009 (UTC)
As far as I can tell, at one point Amazon UK had access to publisher catalogs or perhaps to a database extracted from publisher catalogs, so some of their 1960s/1970s data is surprisingly accurate. Starting in the late 1990s, the quality of their data deteriorated as they began to rely on Amazon-standard dope-smoking penguins for their data entry needs, although, compared to, they may have hired better trained penguins. Ahasuerus 00:14, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
I suspect "Littlehampton Book Services" are involved. They get credited for an awful lot of books they never actually published, but distributed. We should probably try and find the upper limit on the Amazon UK reliability at some point - their proof of existence of a publication is good, Publisher credit is often poor as imprints exchanged ownership. But 70s and 80s data is good, 60s too if you note that they derive (I)SBNs from Publisher Catalogue numbers. Most British publishers just fitted their existing Catalogue numbers into the SBN system. BLongley 00:44, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

The Man Who Used the Universe

I have added the following text to your verified Wildside Press edition of The Man Who Used the Universe:

1999-12-01 taken from, which may not be reliable since it lists Borgo Press as the publisher. Borgo Press went out of business around that time and some of its books were picked up by Wildside Press, which may account for some of the confusion.

Also, I wonder if the price ($17.00) is stated in the book or whether it comes from the record? Thanks! Ahasuerus 00:23, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the note addition. As for the price: It is on the back cover. I can understand why one wonders if it is accurate - after having read the novel I now ask myself why on Earth I paid so much money for it :-) I guess after abstaining of Alan Dean Foster for a long time I just wanted to have another whiff of this author, but unfortunately I didn't pick quite the right book... Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 00:34, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for checking! As far as ADF goes, it's been my experience that in many of his novels the underpinning ideas and the first chapter or two are promising, but then things rapidly go downhill as he races to the finish line. Oh well, not everyone can live up to the lofty standards set by the likes of R. L. Fanthorpe :-) Ahasuerus 00:41, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
If I ever meet Lionel again, I should check how he feels about our work on him. Since I acquired the Stableford collection, I have the opportunity to catalogue such things as his round-robin Christmas cards from his family to fellow SF authors... too much detail? BLongley 00:53, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
Hm, I don't think Christmas cards are considered "published SF", are they? Ahasuerus 01:15, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
Fanthorphe? Never heard of him... I see he has been quite prolific, but from reading his Wikipedia bio I would have guessed that I didn't miss much. But I can be wrong, of course :-) Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 00:58, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
Let's just say that he set the standards for bad professionally published SF that remain unsurpassed in a number of areas :) Ahasuerus 01:15, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
As for ADF, I very fondly remember his Homanx Commonwealth (I still love it when star systems have names like "Calm Nursery" instead of "Arglbargl IV") and Spellsinger books, but I was probably a lot younger when I first read them. Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 00:58, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
Much of his work was/is competently written YA fare, so if you first encountered those books at the right age, you may well remember them fondly. Re-visiting your childhood favorites is always "fraught with peril", as they used to say in cheap historicals :) Ahasuerus 01:15, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

Foreword (The Lord of the Rings)

Just wondering if the newly entered "Foreword (The Lord of the Rings)" (1966) may be the same as the pre-existing "Foreword (The Lord of the Rings)" (1968)? Ahasuerus 03:53, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

Yes it probably is. In my copy of the book it's the foreword where Tolkien famously states his dislike of allegory. The question is: Which date is correct? According to Wikipedia's Tolkien bibliography the foreword was first published in 1966. The date 1968 on the pre-existing title record that you mention is probably there because the title record appears for the first time in a 1968 publication of LotR, therefore I would say we can disregard it - as long as we trust Wikipedia's bibliography. Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 04:25, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
1966 sounds good. Ahasuerus 06:31, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
Some general remarks on LotR: I was surprised to see that our database has only 4 publications with primary verifications. I would have expected to enter a territory thoroughly charted, but it appears that there are still some blank spots in our database. Do you know if there is a Tolkien expert among us that I could annoy with my questions? And: Have there been discussions about LotR and Tolkien's work in general in the past on this wiki? If not I will probably raise a few questions myself - but not right now, it's 5am here and I really need to go to bed now :-) Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 04:25, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
Yes, we have occasionally discussed whether we want to enter it as an Omnibus or as a three part novel. Unfortunately, our support for novels published in multiple parts leaves much to be desired, so Omnibus seemed to be the better way to go. Ahasuerus 06:31, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
One more thing: The edit you have approved is only the beginning of a series of edits. I know that I am not yet finished and that I still have to do at least some merges and updates to title notes. I'm not sure, though, how soon I can come back to clean up the mess I have started - it will probably not be tomorrow, and it might even have to wait until the beginning of next week. OK, and now to bed... Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 04:25, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
No worries, LotR is not going anywhere! :) Ahasuerus 06:31, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

The Road to Middle-Earth: Revised and Expanded Edition

It looks like the two The Road to Middle-Earth: Revised and Expanded Edition Titles by Tom Shippey are identical, but one is dated 2003 and the other one 2005. We could merge them, but I wonder if the date should be 2003 or 2005? The publication record says 2005, but I wanted to run it by you before merging. Thanks! Ahasuerus 15:53, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

I made some sort of mistake today when I entered this pub. My original intention was to create a variant title to this one (the canonical title). The variant would have been almost exactly the same as this other one, the difference being the author "Tom Shippey" vs. "T. A. Shippey". Thanks to your link to the author biblio page I now noticed that the canonical title does not even appear on the author biblio page - gross! Have to fix this immediately, then I am going to do the merge you suggest (using 2003 as the date). This will fix my own error. Finally, do the variant thing... Watch me :-) Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 20:55, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
I must admit defeat! I just noticed that there is no function "Add new title" that I could use to add a canonical title "The Road to Middle-Earth" to the canonical author "Tom Shippey". Do you have a suggestion how else to achieve this? To recap: At the moment there exists this title record which has the correct canonical title, but the wrong author (T. A. Shippey which is a pseudonym of Tom Shippey). Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 21:30, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
Assuming that all Publications associated with this Title are indeed attributed to "T. A. Shippey" -- and I am not sure about this pub based on the cover scan, but we can handle it later -- then all we have to do is make this Title into a Variant Title (aka "VT") under "Tom Shippey". Just click on the "Make This Title a Variant Title or Pseudonymous Work" link on this page and change the value of "Author1" from "T. A. Shippey" to "Tom Shippey". Once the submission is approved, you will see a new Title on Tom Shippey's Summary page, at which point you can merge any duplicates :) Ahasuerus 00:53, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
As usual the solution is obvious once someone points it out. I knew about the "Make into VT" tool, but up until now I had been using it only by specifying an existing parent title, so it never crossed my mind to use it the way you suggested. -- Herzbube Talk 08:45, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
The "Make variant" page contains two separate HTML forms. The one at the top of the page is used to link to existing titles and the one at the bottom of the page is used to create new VTs. I suppose we could split them into two separate Web pages, but I am not sure it would make things any less confusing. Ahasuerus 16:45, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
It's ok, don't change anything... I was not so much confused by the HTML form, but having utilized it consistently in one way, I had simply forgotten that there was a second alternative how to use it. Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 17:59, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
Anyway, it's done now. This makes the other edit you are holding obsolete, you can reject it (curious question: could I cancel the submission myself even though you are holding it?) I would then delete the title entirely (there's no need to merge as there are no publications attached to it). Thanks for your help! Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 08:45, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
It's funny, but I had to check the note that I posted when I implemented this feature to confirm that "at this time you can cancel a pending edit even if it is on hold by a moderator". As they say, memory is the second thing to go... Ahasuerus 16:45, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
Alright, I have cancelled the submission (it worked). Now for the delete... Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 17:59, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
MartyD kindly has already approved the "make VT" edit. I now notice an interesting effect: It seems that ISFDB does not allow "chains" of variant titles, i.e. it's not possible to have A as a variant of B, which in turn is a variant of C. It appears that the ISFDB software automatically makes corrections when such a situation is about to occur: If A is a variant of B, and I then make B a variant of C, the software automatically makes A a variant of C. I feel a bit like in a Hal Clement story: Observing the environment and deducing "natural" laws :-) Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 12:32, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
That's right, the software automatically re-points any would-be "grandchildren" records to the new "parent" record. The code originally allowed "grandchildren" and it wasn't pretty. By the way, the code is open source and can be downloaded and examined by anyone. It's not always pretty, but it works. Well, most of the time :) Ahasuerus 16:45, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
Understanding the source code and maybe helping a bit with coding was one of my main goals when I started working for ISFDB, but then I became distracted and left ISFDB for 2 years. At the moment I confine myself to editing and the user/observer role. Maybe when I have finished adding my collection... if I continue at the current pace I should be finished about 1 month before the heat death of the universe... Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 17:59, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

cover images


I'll approve your additions to the Mammoth Book of Modern SF Short Novels in a minute, but just to let you know that the form of URL from Amazon is deprecated. This is because a new printing (same ISBN) might have a different cover so, down the track, the first printing record might suddenly show the wrong cover.

A better URL for this cover is

The way I obtained this (I use Firefox), was to right click on the image on Amazon, then select "Copy Image Location" from the drop down menu. Paste (e.g. into the address line on a new tab). I got

Now get rid of all the stuff between the 2 dots, plus one of the dots. Press enter to check that it gives the image, then copy into the ISFDB form. Note that the amount of stuff to remove depends where you are in Amazon when you copy the image location. Also, if it's got a "Look Inside", there's lots extra to remove. Note 2: Occasionally, there is a .L. after the "random" characters of the file name. If so, you generally need to keep that. ... clarkmci/--j_clark 01:51, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

I was living under the impression that Amazon images are unstable in general, but I must admit that on Help:Screen:EditPub I haven't read the part about Amazon images very thoroughly. Thanks for your information, I am going to use URLs from now on. Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 02:12, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

Book of Lost Tales

Take a look at [this] pub and see if the contents match the 1992 one you submitted an update on. Much easier to import the contents than to have to manually merge them all later. Even if a couple are different, many less steps! On hold for your perusal. Thanks! ~Bill, --Bluesman 22:51, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

The pub you mention has been in fact a template for mine. But there are some differences, which is the reason why I decided against making a clone. I am aware that my strategy may not be a real time-saver :-) but I thought it would be OK since there is no harm to ISFDB, except that the title record database key might get increased a couple of times more than had I chosen cloning. BTW, I plan to discuss the differences with Rtrace (verifier of the other pub), but I can provide details now if you would like to hear them before you approve. Cheers, Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 15:23, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
Not necessary. Just checking first. Shall approve. :-) ~Bill, --Bluesman 17:03, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
OK, thanks. Going on a merge frenzy now :-) Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 17:12, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

Farmer Giles/Tom Bombadil

Approved the changes/additions to [this]. Now you need to get rid of a duplicate interior art credit and re-work the pagination a little. Obviously there is a title page for each of the novellas, then a preface/foreword and then the text. The page number for the story should be the page it actually starts on. The title page number is irrelevant. Especially here with preface/foreword showing as starting after the story.... "We take a short break now to give the background/foreground and plug the upcoming movie".... and now back to the story!! Sorry, couldn't help myself. :-) Also, it's been many years since I read the Bombadil 'collection' and I seem to remember the poems just kind of interspersed? That the tales fill between or the other way around? Just curious. ~Bill, --Bluesman 01:13, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

Interior art "Farmer Giles": I am going to make the new interior art title (by "Pauline Diana Baynes") a variant. There is a submission in the queue that removes the duplicate entry from the publication.
Pagination: Yes, there are indeed title pages. For "Farmer Giles" the new starting page is no problem. But for the "Adventures of TB" it's a different situation, I must explain: "The Adventures of TB" is actually a collection, not a novella, and it consists entirely of poems - there are no interspersing tales of any kind. There is already a submision in the queue that merges the (wrong) novella title with the (correct) collection title. I think you just approved this edit while I am writing this :-). The problem therefore is: How do I specify a page number for the virtual collection title if I can't use the number of the title page?
Again, thanks for your patience in working this through with me, Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 01:28, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Ah, it was Kraang who approved the submission... Anyway, another thought that crossed my mind was to leave out the "Adventures of TB" title entirely - but somehow this seemed inappropriate - after all the pub is a collection of two major works, so the two works should appear in the content list, should they not? The problem in this case is that one of the two major works is another collection, and the pieces of that should appear as well. Has this situation been encountered and discussed before? What is the take of ISFDB on things like "collections of collections" (or "anthologies of anthologies" etc.)? Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 01:37, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
There has been a discussion of something along these lines, and I believe that the resulting publication became an Omnibus, rather than a collection. The situation was very similar. I'll have to look around and see if I can find it. At the very least the designation of the title "Adventures of TB" should be a collection. ~Bill, --Bluesman 01:40, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
I don't care much whether the pub is a collection or an omnibus, but I do care about what appears in the content. To recapitulate the options:
  1. "Collapsed" content: Exactly two items, one for "Farmer Giles" and one for "Adventures of TB" (collection title)
  2. "Expanded" content: "Farmer Giles" item, 2 foreword items, 2 interior art items, multiple poem items, but no "Adventures of TB" collection item
  3. Ditto, but with "Adventures of TB" item (actually, the current state)
I favor 3, but 2 would also be acceptable to me. I don't like 1 very much, but if this is the current practice on ISFDB I will of course do it like this. Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 02:06, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
No content would need to be 'lost'. I've searched now for 45 minutes and read some very interesting stuff but not what I'm looking for. Might have been on an individual talk page and that could mean hours of 'surfing'. For now the publication can stay as a collection, but obviously the Bombadil entry as a novella isn't correct. Changing that alone would let the pub sit as is (with the Giles story starting after its preface). Since there are a lot of Tolkien omnibuses/collections of shorter material, it might be worth asking on the Help Desk for some clarity on the situation. ~Bill, --Bluesman 02:24, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
OK, I am going to ask on the help desk, thanks very much for taking the time to research!!! Concerning the novella issue: Right now, the title has become a collection, which is good. But for some reason the title no longer appears in the pub... If I edit the pub record, I see that the title has become a yellow container item. Very strange... should I try to remove the container, re-add the title, then merge? Thanks, Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 02:37, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
As a collection is should be a "container", with the poems as the contents. Can't have it both ways, and if the collection stood alone (and it may) then "The Adventures" would merely be the title, would it not? Being part of a pub with other content doesn't change that. I see an edit to turn it back into a novella just so the title isn't a container, but I think that's what it needs to be (though the yellow is hideous, isn't it!!). ~Bill, --Bluesman 03:01, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

unindent. No way do we go back to the novella, this was plain wrong :-) So if I understand correctly, I don't have a choice here: The software automatically makes the collection into a container item. Well, so be it. From a pure user viewpoint this corresponds to option 2 from above (the user can't see the collection item). From a database point of view, though - and this is good - there is a link between "The Adventures" title record and the publication record. I am satisfied and will leave it at that, there are now merely a couple of cleanup edits left... Cheers, Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 03:22, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

notes in Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-Earth

Hi. I approved your changes to Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-Earth, but the change to the notes to remove all of the redundant content specification lost capturing the fact that Christopher Tolkien is the editor. I'm thinking that instead of removing "Edited with Introduction, commentary, index and maps by Christopher Tolkien." entirely, it's more appropriate to change it to "Edited by Christopher Tolkien." and leave that part included. Just my opinion, on which you're welcome to act or not as you see fit. Thanks. --MartyD 12:07, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

I have been thinking about adding Christopher Tolkien as an author since his role as the editor of "Unfinished Tales" is important and he adds substantial material to the book. I was going to ask on the help desk page whether this is appropriate. If Christopher does not become an author, I will re-add the "Edited by" note you suggested. BTW: I deleted the original note that you quote because it was carried over to "my" pub when I cloned it. The note is actually a quote directly from the book's title page. Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 13:18, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

Collection containing a collection

I accepted your submission which removed the poem "The Adventures of Tom Bombadill" and added the collection of the same title. As you can see by the current state of the pub record, the collection title record you added is not visible. Because a collection's title record remains invisible in the contents section of a collection, there are two ways of handling it: 1.) change the pub record to an omnibus or 2.) add all title records for all of the poems which constitute the collection and remove the collection title record, keeping the pub as a collection. If you choose 1.) you'll have to deal with all other publications of this combined edition, and you still enter all the poems in the collection. Neither way is completely satisfying, but the first is nearer the mark, though very work-intensive as there are four other pubs which will have to be made consistent. I see you've chosen the second option for your verified pub of this title. It might be easier to clone your pub and delete the others. MHHutchins 18:07, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

For 2) you say: "[...] and remove the collection title record [...]" Do you mean this title record (which is now an omnibus if my submission has been approved)? Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 11:38, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
Regarding my verified pub: I have not consciously chosen 2), when I started working on the pub it already was a collection and it never occurred to me to change the record type to omnibus. If I find a record is already present in the database for one of my books, I usually assume that whoever entered the data knew what he was doing (except maybe for the content details), so the record type is usually sacrosanct for me. I'll try to be more flexible in the future, and with your encouragement that in this case an omnibus makes sense, I am happy to go forward and make the necessary changes to all the 4 pubs. Thanks, Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 11:38, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
OK, I started with changing my own verified pub to an omnibus. In addition, I also changed the pub's title record from collection to omnibus. If this is correct, I will start working on the other pub records. Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 12:00, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
Question on the side: Are there cases where it makes sense that a publication's type is different from its title record's type? Hopefully this question has a simple answer, I don't want to complicate matters any further :-) Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 12:00, 22 December 2009 (UTC)

"Soldier Ask Not" v. "Soldier, Ask Not"

The single publication which contains the non-comma title has not been verified. In fact, it seems to be a reprint of this pub except that this one contains the title with the comma. Do you have a copy of the Carroll & Graf edition which contains the non-comma title? If so, I'll accept your submission to make the titles into variants. If not, I'm inclined to believe the non-comma title should be merged with the comma title. Thanks. MHHutchins 23:37, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

Yes, I do own the Carrol & Graf pub with the non-comma title. I know that I'm carrying your suggestion (from 2 months ago) to hold off verifying a publication until I am finished with it too far :-). Cheers, Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 14:49, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
Submission accepted. I wonder if the Robinson edition which this one reprints has the non-comma title as well. Thanks. MHHutchins 23:24, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for accepting the submission. I have been wondering about the Robinson edition s well, but since I don't know for sure... Unless someone else more experienced tells me it's OK, I generally avoid touching ISFDB data for which I don't have the book, or for which I don't have a secondary source that indicates a change is in order. So, if you think that it's safe to assume that the Robinson edition has the non-comma title as well, I can do the edit. Cheers, Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 06:30, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

The Year's Best Science Fiction, No. 6 - added cover artist/notation

Morning! This. [6]. I added cover artist Bruce Pennington after matching cover art from "Ultraterranium", unfortunately the only cover I found was a thumbnail at ABE, so I did not convert and use it. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 12:44, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for the addition. I will add a cover scan when I do the next pass over my books - which at the current pace should take only about 15 more years :-( Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 23:32, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

Tiger Tiger

Uploaded cover of your verified here. Hauck 17:59, 6 March 2010 (UTC)

Yes, that's the right cover, thanks. Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 23:32, 27 April 2011 (UTC)


Added an image to [this] ~Bill, --Bluesman 14:47, 25 March 2010 (UTC)

Yes, that's the right cover, thanks. Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 23:32, 27 April 2011 (UTC)


Added cover, artist and other prices to Strangers. Artist is credited, on top right of back cover, running vertically. BLongley 17:46, 28 March 2010 (UTC)

Cover image is ok, added credit note to publication. Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 23:32, 27 April 2011 (UTC)


Added a new image [broken link] and month [Locus1] to [this] ~Bill, --Bluesman 00:19, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

Yes, that's the right cover, thanks. Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 23:32, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

Rise of Endymion

Added the month to [this] from Locus1. ~Bill, --Bluesman 22:46, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

Thanks, Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 23:32, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

Showboat World

Uploaded and added cover to Showboat World. Added more notes. --Marc Kupper|talk 06:01, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

Yes, that's the right cover, thanks. Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 23:32, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

Night Lamp

I added some notes to this verified pub. Thanks, --Willem H. 11:26, 27 June 2010 (UTC)

Thanks, Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 23:32, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

The Space Merchants

I added pub series data to your verified pub. Thanks. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 20:19, 27 June 2010 (UTC)

Thanks, Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 23:32, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

Five Gold Bands

Added a very nice scan and the month to [this] --~ Bill, Bluesman 00:41, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

Yes, that's the right cover, thanks. Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 23:32, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

The New Adam

Added a scan and notes to your verified here. Hauck 17:25, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

Yes, that's the right cover, thanks. Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 23:32, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

Chanur's Endgame

Scan/upload cover image, added more notes, and added an interiorart title record for the map to Chanur's Endgame. --Marc Kupper|talk 09:15, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

Yes, that's the right cover, thanks. Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 23:32, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

DUMMY - Farmer Giles of Ham / The Adventures of Tom Bombadil

Your dummy publication has been around for quite awhile. Are you done and can this be deleted? --JLaTondre 14:19, 23 October 2010 (UTC)

I guess this one has been answered for me :-) Thanks for cleaning up my mess. Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 23:32, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

The Brave Free Men

Found artist for your verified here. Hauck 18:01, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

Thanks, Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 23:32, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

War of the Worlds

Accepted the submission adding notes to [this], but you note the cover as signed without adding the artist?¿? --~ Bill, Bluesman 01:39, 29 April 2011 (UTC)

I haven't taken the time yet to identify the artist from the signature. Next thing I need to do is to make a good cover scan and/or look at the cover in daylight. If I can't identify the artist myself, I will ask for help on the helpdesk page. Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 21:35, 29 April 2011 (UTC)

List of Primary Verifications

I don't know if you've noticed the new feature: ISFDB:Community_Portal#List_of_primary_verifications_is_now_available. I'd appreciate your comments, as you seem to be a supporter. BLongley 17:01, 29 April 2011 (UTC)

Also, I notice that your current list of Primary Verifications links by Publication Tag, and you've noted "Unknown publication date. This is a warning that the publication's URL will change and render the link on this page useless" - this isn't quite true. While we have had to adjust some Publication Tags recently as there were a couple of bugs that generated duplicates, and a Publication ID is likely to be more stable, the URLs shouldn't break just because someone corrects the year. The system won't update the Tag, and most editors won't touch them manually unless necessary. BLongley 17:11, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
Sure, I wrote something on the Community Portal. Thanks also for the information about publication tags - I didn't know that the system won't touch them if the pub date changes. If I find the time I will look into changing my links to use pub IDs - as it is I simply copied a number of Mediawiki templates from the ISFDB wiki into my own wiki, and at that time the pub template was set up to use tags instead of IDs. Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 22:11, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
We could make the system update Publication tags, but Uzume has already started on Bug 3153982 "Change <pub_tag>s to <pub_id>s" which should mean they're less important. I don't think they can be made totally obsolete without some major rework and annoying some other sites that have used them. BLongley 23:46, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
How are your coding experiments going? I see you have "learn Python" in your "Projects / Goals" still, any hope that you can join me in fixing the easy stuff soon? There's no hurry, the bottleneck is more on the testing side at the moment, but if you can code I can help test, or vice versa. BLongley 23:46, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
Maybe I should remove that entry... I haven't done much Python coding in the last 2 years, and at the moment my programming efforts go into a new pet project for the iPhone (a Go game app). Unfortunately my time is limited, so I would have to decide between coding or entering data for the ISFDB... Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 00:03, 30 April 2011 (UTC)
I have to make a similar decision about splitting my coding, data entry, and moderating time on ISFDB, but I really need to go back to some paying work myself. :-( BLongley 00:10, 30 April 2011 (UTC)


Hi, I've added a coverscan for Dreamsnake by Vonda N. McIntyre (PAN, 1979).--Dirk P Broer 11:31, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

My copy of the book does not have the large notice "Hugo Award Winner 1979" in the lower-right corner. Is this some sort of sticker glued onto the cover of your copy? If it's not then we must have a different printing. Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 11:09, 8 May 2011 (UTC)

The Starchild Trilogy

Hi, I've added a coverscan for The Starchild Trilogy by Pohl and Williamson (Penguin, 1980).--Dirk P Broer 20:30, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

Yep, that's it exactly, thank you very much! Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 11:05, 8 May 2011 (UTC)

Dod Grile and Ambrose Bierce

Something appears to be amiss with The Complete Short Stories of Ambrose Bierce which you verified earlier today. A few stories are entered as by "Dod Grile" and "B". I realize that some of them may have been published that way originally, but surely this book attributes them to "Ambrose Bierce"? If it does, then we'll want to attribute these titles to Bierce; the original pseudonymous titles will have to be entered separately as part of the publications that they appeared in.

I have put a couple of Title changes on hold until we sort everything out. Thanks! Ahasuerus 06:34, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

Yes, all stories are attributed to Bierce in the physical book I have. I have added all titles in the pub record under Bierce, then proceeded to use the tool "Make This Title a Variant Title or Pseudonymous Work" to generate the main titles as they were published originally. This title for instance is now listed in the collection like this: "shortstory by Dod Grile [as by Ambrose Bierce ]". I was under the impression that when it says "as by" that this is the actual attribution - in this case "as by Ambrose Bierce" would be correct, wouldn't it? Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 22:32, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
Instead of "Make This Title a Variant Title..." you should have chosen "Add a Variant Title..." Mhhutchins 23:20, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
Now that I think about it, maybe I should have made the "Dod Grile" title the pseudonymous work? Herzbube Talk 22:32, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
Yep. Pseudonymous stories become variants of the parent (canonical) author record, even if they were published first. Do you know how to reverse a variant? Mhhutchins 23:16, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
Now I do... found it on Help:Screen:MakeVariant. Thanks to the help screen writer(s) for providing such good and detailed information. I see that the reasoning behind choosing the parent (canonical) title record is also there, in the first section of the screen - sometimes I am just a little bit too sure of what I am doing and should instead re-read some help texts... I'm going to do the editing tonight. Thanks for all the support. Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 05:57, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
Sounds like a plan! I have moved the two held submissions to the "Rejected" queue and will wait for the new batch. Unless I fall asleep first, that is :-) Ahasuerus 06:00, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
I was going to make the Dod Grile author record a pseudonym for Ambrose Bierce, but maybe this is the wrong approach? Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 22:32, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
Dod Grile is already a pseudonym for Bierce. Mhhutchins 23:20, 9 May 2011 (UTC)


I'm holding the submissions that want to change to author of two title records from "B" to "B (Ambrose Bierce)". If we change the record, then that means the stories were actually published as "B (Ambrose Bierce)". If they were only published as "B", they should remain as is, and we make "B" into a pseudonym for Ambrose Bierce. Mhhutchins 17:23, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

The problem is that "B" already has two titles that are clearly not by Bierce (see author record 20822). I thought it would make sense to create a separate author record instead of mixing stories from different authors under the same pseudonym. I didn't know what to choose for the new author, so I just added the real author name as a suffix. This is similar in vein to what was discussed for "Peter_Phillips" on the Help Desk page. Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 17:38, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
The difference here is that Peter Phillips was a real name, not a pseudonym. If it were it would be easy to assign it to the canonical author, and variant the pubs. In this case, "B" is a pseudonym used by any number other authors. Once we know which stories are by Bierce, the next step is to make "B" into a pseudonym and varianting the stories that are his. All of the other stories will remain on "B"'s author's page, until someone determines the true author who wrote those. This is similar to the "house name" once used by magazine publishers. Check out Ivar Jorgensen. We have identified five different people who used this pseudonym. All stories have been made into variants (those stories by unidentified authors were varianted as "unknown"). We didn't change the stories author credit to "Ivar Jorgensen (Harlan Ellison)" or "Ivar Jorgensen (Robert Silverberg)". Look at how two of Silverberg's pseudonymous stories are displayed in this magazine issue. Mhhutchins 19:02, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
Thank you for the explanation, that makes sense. I cancelled my submissions; since the two title records are already variants there is nothing left to do. Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 00:00, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
... nothing except making the author record of "B" into a pseudonym for Ambrose Bierce. Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 00:07, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
That did it. The pub looks fine, too. BTW, will you be updating the title records to give the original publications of the various stories? (Many of them already contain the data.) Mhhutchins 00:11, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
I guess I should do that. Since my pub doesn't have this information, I will use the data from
A different question while I have your attention: Is it generally OK to use the same date both for the canonical and the variant title? Help:Screen:EditTitle says that "variant titles do not have their own dates" - I'm not entirely sure how I should interpret this. Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 00:38, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
What it means is that variant records should not be dated for their first usage and should match the date of the parent record. This is especially true for short fiction because it is usually a content record. For example, if "This Is a Story" was first published in 1954, and then was retitled "That's Some Story" in 1960 in an anthology, unless you dated it 1954, it would appear in the anthology as a 1960 story. We are less strict about the dating of novel title records. Personally I prefer that variant titles of novels retain the date of their first publication under that title. Other editors may disagree, but it's never been discussed to any great length. Mhhutchins 02:30, 11 May 2011 (UTC)


I've put a hold on your clone submission. I think yours is the first edition. Please have a look at [this] discussion. I'm sure you and Chavey can figure out what's the right designation for the two editions. Thanks! --~ Bill, Bluesman 22:36, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

Strange Dreams publication date

Hi. I saw your note in Strange Dreams about the publication month. Looks like that comes from Locus1. I will update the note to reflect that source and add a Locus verification. --MartyD 16:11, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

Thank you, then I won't have to do it myself when I go over my books in a future pass. Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 16:24, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand

Added an image, and month from Locus, to [this] --~ Bill, Bluesman 19:50, 31 May 2011 (UTC)

Thanks, one less cover for me to scan. In your image there is a white patch in the upper right corner of the cover - my book doesn't have this patch. Is this some sort of label or price tag glued on to your copy of the book? Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 19:59, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
Not my copy, just an image I found on AbeBooks. Only way to upload is from my computer as we have no permission to link to them [and I wouldn't anyway as those images disappear as soon as the book is sold]. Also I think that little patch obscures something, maybe an original price? I'm sure your scan would be better. [hint, hint....] ;-) --~ Bill, Bluesman 20:18, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
Hint taken :-) I will do the scan later on, together with a number of other books of mine that still lack a cover image. I hope it's ok if, for the moment, I just add a note to the pub record that mentions the strange patch. Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 20:23, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
Upon closer inspection it looks like a seller sticker as it has a number and SF. Up to you. --~ Bill, Bluesman 20:38, 31 May 2011 (UTC)

Image permissions

The image you used for [The Machineries of Joy] is hosted by a site we do not have permission to directly link to. The current list of sites we do have permission for is [here]. I downloaded the image to my computer and uploaded it to the record, so not lost. An FYI --~ Bill, Bluesman 21:07, 31 May 2011 (UTC)

Thanks; I inherited the image by cloning from this publication, so I'm going to edit that publication as well. Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 21:12, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
Any image that is from a permitted site will have a link under it on the pub record page. Since uploading is not a Moderated task [though the submission of the record update is] it's easy sometimes for these to slip through. I think all the current Mods are more likely to catch these, but there are certainly a few kicking around that need to be dealt with [images, that is.... ;-)]. Cheers! --~ Bill, Bluesman 21:29, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
I'm not totally sure we have all permitted sites with automated links yet, but if not we're working on it. (It will mean more work for Mods that have to add approved sites.) The advanced "Publication Search Form" does now allow people to clear up some of the worst offenders if needed, but I'm not sure people have even noticed the comparatively new "Image URL" search option. :-( BLongley 23:20, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
I'm not sure how it even works. You'd have to know what you'll looking for before you do a search, wouldn't you? I suppose once you've found a record with an offending URL, you can search for others. Right? Mhhutchins 00:29, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
Yes. We could ask Ahasuerus to refresh ISFDB:Data_Consistency/Disallowed_URLs if we want some pointers. BLongley 14:01, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

The October Country

I added "(UK)" to the publisher field of this book to disambiguate it from the Australian and US publisher with the same name. Mhhutchins 19:11, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

Thank you. Faced with the multitudes of names that some publishers appear under (HarperCollins is notorious), I must admit that I have become quite sloppy with publisher names :-( Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 20:43, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
Not to worry. The best you can do is enter the publisher as stated on the title page. Because there's no such thing as canonical titles for publishers (even though there was an attempt several years ago to do that), we all muddle through the best we can. In most cases there's no problem, but occasionally we have to make adjustments. Thanks. Mhhutchins 22:06, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

Beasts of Eld

Accepted the update for [this]. The month would be from Locus1, probably the record was copied from there originally. Almost any UK edition with a month attached to the record likely got that from Locus. Some verifiers note secondary sources, unfortunately not all, but Locus is one of the most used secondary sources and a good place to double-check if some datum is not in a pub but exists in the record. FYI Cheers! --~ Bill, Bluesman 21:59, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

Dating contents

A follow-up to the Moderator's note for your submission of Lord of Light: you're correct, the contents are almost always dated the same date as the pub itself. The only exception is when a new book reprints previously published pieces. It's safe to assume these two works are newly written and appear here for the first time (regardless of the date that sometimes appear at the end of such pieces). I do have a question though: "publication month from Amazon UK as of 2009-11-00" should probably be simply "publication month from Amazon UK" and the date will be assumed to be the same as the verification date (assuming you're going to verify the record, of course.) If you're not going to verify it, put today's date as "publication month from Amazon UK as of 2011-06-02". Thanks. Mhhutchins 23:33, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

I just checked and it dates the books as "29 Mar 2010". Where did the February 2010 date come from? Mhhutchins 23:33, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
When I started editing the pub record, it had the publication date 2010-02-00 together with a note that said something like "data taken from Amazon UK as of 2009-11-00". So I guess what happened is that in November 2009 someone saw pre-publication data for the book on Amazon UK and added the pub record to ISFDB, together with a note to explain where the data came from. When I edited the pub record, I changed the note to indicate that the book itself has only sufficient information to determine the year, and that the month must come from Amazon. I left the "as of" clause in because when I edit existing notes I usually try to retain as much information as possible. Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 22:12, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
You should remove or update any "as of" information, especially for Amazon sourced records, and ESPECIALLY if it doesn't match a book in hand. Mhhutchins 17:34, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
Well, the publication year did match, so the Amazon information wasn't really contradictory to what my book said. But for the future I will keep in mind that Amazon is unreliable and its information should not be trusted. In the case we are discussing here (Lord of Light), I removed the publication month from the ISFDB record. Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 18:58, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

The Thing on the Doorstep and Other Weird Stories

I've added a cover image, from Amazon, for your verified edition of this book. Chavey 15:20, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

The image matches perfectly, thank you very much. Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 19:00, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

Watchtower date

Looks like the date on Watchtower comes from Locus1. I'll add a note and a Locus1 verification. --MartyD 00:27, 14 June 2011 (UTC)

Thank you for the edit. Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 21:06, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

Warlock of the Witch World

Amended the artist for [this]. Some months ago a reliable source identified the initials [actually JHB, that little joining dash between the J & B is the horizontal line of an H] as being J. H. Breslow. Cheers! --~ Bill, Bluesman 02:25, 15 June 2011 (UTC)

Thank you for the information. Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 21:06, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

Analog 3

I have started a mini project at Author:Randall Garrett#Johnathan vs. Jonathan and MacKenzie vs. Mac Kenzie. You have a verified Analog 3 that's involved. --Marc Kupper|talk 01:48, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

See my response on Marc's talk page. Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 21:06, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

The Year's Best Science Fiction No. 6

Added scan for your verified Here, I also changed the title of Roberts' story from 'Weihnachtabend' to 'Weinachtabend' as per title page and TOC. Hauck 14:58, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

Thanks, the image matches perfectly, and the story title as well (I can't remember why I left the title with the "h"). Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 21:06, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

The Year's Best Science Fiction No. 7

Replaced the FF scan for your verified The Year's Best Science Fiction No. 7. Hauck 17:12, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

Thanks, the image matches perfectly. Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 21:06, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

1984 (publication date)

Hi, You verified 1984 with 0000-00-00, even though you state in the note "reprinted in this edition 1990" and the OCLC record for this ISBN also gives a publication date 1990. identifies your cover as the 1990 edition as well. I think you are justified by making it 1990-00-00.--Dirk P Broer 21:31, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

My own 1983 edition states that it is the 31st Penguin printing, and the 2nd 1983 reprint in that particular edition.--Dirk P Broer 10:09, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
Thank you for the hint, the publication date is fixed (edit pending approval). Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 21:06, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
A caution on this dating: Dirk's 1983 is already a 31st printing [of an earlier edition] and yours is a 30th [of a later edition - probably the 1990 one]. The kicker is the price. £5.99 is much too high for 1990. I did a quick check of about 20 pages of Locus and the norm is between £3.99 and £4.50 with a few lower and the odd one at £4.99. Lots at £5.99 starting around 1996-7. Penguin reprinted many times with same ISBNs and covers, and not just this one title. I have the submission on hold. --~ Bill, Bluesman 23:42, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
I am fine with leaving the publication date 0000-00-00, so I have cancelled the submission. Usually I am wary of specifying a publication date, except if the copyright page has a very clear indication that the date is for this printing (not this edition), but this time I let Dirk convince me. Thanks for the catch. Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 22:18, 2 April 2012 (UTC)

The Asutra

Cover of The Asutra forms the right part of one continous piece of cover art together with The Anome (left part) and The Brave Free Men (center), the last already credited to Jim Burns.--Dirk P Broer 19:11, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

Price for 2nd edition of The Brave Free Men is now confirmed. --Dirk P Broer 19:23, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
Thank you for the edits. Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 21:06, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul

Hi, I replaced the amazon scan for The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul (Pan, 1989) with my own scan. --Dirk P Broer 11:29, 12 August 2011 (UTC)

Hi! Could you check p.239 of The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul (Pan, 1989) near the top? I have 2 extra paragraphs between "back in control of myself!" and "What jet fighter?" which I believe were inserted between the 1st and 2nd printings. Cheers. Jcameron 10:23, 27 August 2011 (UTC)

Added the OCLC number for the first edition and checked the (extra?) paragraphs. I could find the line "back in control of myself!" (top of page) but not the line "What jet fighter?" --Dirk P Broer 20:38, 13 October 2011 (UTC)
Yes, sorry, I meant that "What jet fighter?" is the start of the first inserted paragraph. In the hardback, "back in control of myself!" is followed on the next line by "My table lamp"--I take it this is the case for the first paperback printing, then? The additional paragraphs in the second printing give a little bit of extra exposition about the jet fighter. Jcameron 21:39, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
See my response on Jcameron's talk page. Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 21:06, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

The Astounding-Analog Reader, Book 2

Added artist for your verified here. Hauck 15:08, 14 August 2011 (UTC)

Thank you for the edit. Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 21:06, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

Quarantine World

Hi, I've found the cover artist for our verified publication of Quarantine World (Carroll & Graf, 1992): It is Peter Goodfellow. Same cover art as The Penultimate Truth (Triad Granada 1984), where Peter Goodfellow is credited. Now we are just left with Locus1 claiming it to be $3.95, while our edition is $4.50 and states "first edition" ...--Dirk P Broer 15:40, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for spotting this, I would have never found out by myself. Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 21:06, 1 April 2012 (UTC)