User talk:Marc Kupper/Archive2

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Notice - Limited time on ISFDB

March-2007 - I’ve gotten busy with a project that is not giving me a lot of free time for things like ISFDB. My time here will be sporadic/limited for at least a month or two. Marc Kupper (talk) 16:59, 17 Mar 2007 (CDT)

December-2007 - Sadly, my unavailability continues and seems to have no end in site as I stagger from one project to the next. I even missed the main library book sale this past weekend. I used to have a little more time waiting to pick up my daughter after school but most recenty traded off with some other parents and now only read in short brief snatches with the pile currently

  • The Book of Brian Aldiss - I'm having a hard time with this collection as I'm not enjoying some of the stories but suffered though them hoping they get better. The current story though started out "strange" but is turning out fine.


To reply to this just click on the "talk" that is after my name. Thank you. ~~~~

Alan_Dean_Foster {{a|Alan_Dean_Foster}} [{{{1}}} {{{1}}}]
3412 {{t|3412}} [{{{1}}} {{{1}}}]
FLVMN1983 {{p|FLVMN1983}} [{{{1}}} {{{1}}}]

isfdb items

Managing/Merging Publications

I noticed your question on "The Morphodite". Here's my take on it, in case you're still looking at this. This one has a type of "pb", and a cover artist of "Michael Whelan", both of which are correct. They agree in all the other data. So I'd just merge the two of them; the merge will preserve the additional data. It doesn't really matter which one you make the target as all the links will be preserved. Hope that's useful. Mike Christie 08:13, 5 Nov 2006 (CST)
Keep in mind that we can't merge Publications; we can only merge Titles. If you find two Publications that have identical data except that one of them has additional data element(s) -- in this case "pb" and the cover artist -- you can simply delete the one with fewer data elements. Ahasuerus 14:12, 5 Nov 2006 (CST)
  • Thank you guys - Is a “diff” mechanism available within isfdb for publications? For example there are apparent visible differences between Morphodite publications 1 and 2 but I'd want to make sure of catching the difference I may miss when eyeballing the two pages. I can download the pages and diff them.
There is nothing within the ISFDB software proper at them moment, but it's fairly easy to download the whole MySQL database (see the Backups page) and then massage it any which way you want. So far, I have created one Wiki Project page for this kind of activity and more are likely to follow.. Ahasuerus 01:55, 6 Nov 2006 (CST)
  • Second - What's the process for approving changes in the New Submissions queue? There's one dating back to May by Grendelkhan and three that I have put in. Do I approve my own edits or if not then what, if anything, should I do?
This particular submission by Grendlkhan managed to break the ISFB software (as it existed 6 months ago) in various interesting and creative way. So much so that even Al couldn't delete it. Thus it remains in the queue, frozen in time. Normally, moderators create and then approve their own submissions within seconds, that's why you don't see many entries in the queue at any given point in time. But if you check the "Recent Edits" list, you'll find hundreds of items added or modified (or deleted) in the last few days. Ahasuerus 01:55, 6 Nov 2006 (CST)
  • Third - I had wanted to verify (physical) "The Morphodite" but saw that the publication date was wrong. The correction is in the New Submissions queue and assuming it's approved could I then verify the publication? The problem is I'm then verifying my own work (the edit to the pub-date) and ideally someone else would need to verify this. I could verify that the title, author, artists, etc. matched my book but the pub-date is now "mine" meaning one set of checks-n-balances is gone.
Well, ideally we would have multiple editors cross-checking each other's work, but I don't think it's realistic at this point in time :( Ahasuerus 01:55, 6 Nov 2006 (CST)
Agreed; and I'd add that anyone trusted to be a moderator can be trusted to verify their own subs. Mike Christie 06:04, 6 Nov 2006 (CST)
In theory, the Verification Flag can serve two different purposes. The first one is to confirm that the information comes from a reasonably reliable secondary or, better yet, primary source and not from a webbot slurping in dirty data from The other purpose is to enable cross-checking and minimize the likelihood of typos, which, as we know, happen to all of us sooner or later. Given our current manpower limitations, we are using the Verification Flag primarily to address the first set of issues, but it's conceivable that at some point we may try to use it for cross-checking as well. One never knows :) Ahasuerus 11:28, 6 Nov 2006 (CST)

Publication Listing Audit Trail

This may be more of a wish-list item but I don’t see anything that states the source of a publication record and/or the fields for that record. For example, a publication added by a sysop based on a physical copy of a book should carry more weight than a record scraped together by one of the web-bots.

Hmm. Doesn't the verification flag serve this purpose? I know it doesn't indicate which fields came from where, but if there are discrepancies with a source, the publication biblio page can record it. By publication biblio page I mean e.g. this page, for this recent addition. I have used this a couple of times: here for example. These pages are linked from the "Bibliographic notes" field in the ISFDB page for the publication. Anyway, I think that's the closest we have to what you're asking for. Mike Christie 17:15, 6 Nov 2006 (CST)
I’m mainly thinking of “edit wars” where two or more people (or bots) believe they have the correct information about something. Right now when I look at a Publication Listing I can’t tell who or what created it and/or what its edits have been. I’ll often have a book, or information about a book, that does not exactly match what’s in a database. It then turns into a research project of tracking down who or what was the original source for the data and figuring out of there was an error or that I have a new/unique publication that can be added to the database. I could always put something in the notes explaining “this does not seem quite right” but that does not solve the original discrepancy. Marc Kupper 22:36, 6 Nov 2006 (CST)

Page Numbers

I seem to recall somewhere in the wiki a thing about collections and page numbers where I should not enter the page numbers unless they were stated. I can’t find that page at the moment and have a collection that has three stories but no table of contents. Marc Kupper 03:17, 6 Nov 2006 (CST)

Assuming the book is paginated, I think you're fine entering the page numbers. I haven't seen the page you mention about not entering them, but I can't see a reason not to. Mike Christie 06:04, 6 Nov 2006 (CST)
What Marc may be thinking of is the note in the Editing Guide to the effect that we shouldn't create artificial page numbers for Publications that do not have explicit page numbers. Also, tables of contents have been known to be in error, e.g. at one point I had a devil of a time finding a Frank Belknap Long story in "Unknown" because it wasn't listed in the table of contents. Ahasuerus 10:42, 6 Nov 2006 (CST)
That's correct - I had remembered something about “not creating information” wrt page numbers (or anything else). My book has page numbers but no table of contents and so will go ahead with filling in the page numbers in isfdb plus figure out where to file a comment about this in the wiki-help. Marc Kupper 16:55, 6 Nov 2006 (CST)

Moving Titles/Publications

I need to dig through the isfdb manual a bit more but spotted a couple of out-of-place records. On Isaac Asimov's page are “Isaac Asimov Presents the Great Science Fiction Stories (Vol. 6)” (1981) filed under Novels and “Isaac Asimov Presents the Great Sf Stories #20” (1990) filed under Anthologies. Both of these belong in “The Great SF Stories” Anthology Series but I did not see how to move the underlying publications so that they get linked up with the Bibliography records that are already linked up with the series. Marc Kupper 11:01, 9 Nov 2006 (CST)

Trying to understand the # of pages field

isfdb wiki related items

I'm still struggling with how to do this. In the DAW List I'd like to be able to drop in notes about various items without adding a entire column for this. For example, with DAW UQ1050 (“Strange Doings” by R.A. Lafferty) it seems DAW’s first printing states “23456789” and there are no copies that state “123456789.” Ideally the Printing column for this book will just say “2nd” and also link to a footnote that explains why the table does not list a 1st printing. Marc Kupper 15:08, 7 Nov 2006 (CST)
  • Add a page for “new authors” that explains things such as setting up a wikipedia page that does not look like self-promotion and the purpose/role of ISFDB's author-wiki pages. Marc Kupper 22:51, 29 Nov 2006 (CST)



DAW verifications

Marc, let me know if there are any DAW volumes you are particularly interested in getting physical verifications of. I have scores of them; don't know how many but it's probably around 100, mostly from 1985 or before. I'm going to be focusing on magazine verifications but would be happy to dig out any particular volumes you're looking for data on, if I have them of course. Mike Christie 09:11, 9 Nov 2006 (CST)

Thank you for the offer Mike. I did some physical verification mainly so that people looking at the table now could see some of the patterns. I still have a few more rounds of data corrections plus a at least another 50 DAW books to physically verify but once that’s out of the way I’ll be happy to take you up on your offer. Marc Kupper 10:46, 9 Nov 2006 (CST)
I have some 20,000 SF volumes (starting with the first issue of Amazing Stories) in a secure undisclosed location. Unfortunately, I am thousands of miles away from them at the moment, so it will have to wait. Also, once I get back, it will be probably faster to go through the library sequentially rather than by publisher, but I do have a lot of DAW titles from the 1970s-1990s, so eventually it will all average out. Ahasuerus 11:31, 9 Nov 2006 (CST)

Typo in DAW list

Marc, just looked at the latest updates and noticed that the Witch World box set is spelled "Wolrd" in the list. Is that your typo or DAW's? Mike Christie 15:24, 10 Nov 2006 (CST)

Thank you Mike. That looks like a typo in Don Erikson’s corrections list. I fixed it for now as Don did not state that DAW had misspelled the title on their box meaning it’s probably his typo and not DAW’s. I also e-mailed Don to confirm that was the right choice. At the moment I’m doing a physical verification pass against the remainder of my DAW collection and once that’s done I’m going to go through Don’s remaining corrections, verify each one, and apply them to the DAW list itself. Marc Kupper 15:42, 10 Nov 2006 (CST)
A follow-up on this. Don checked the box-set and the error was in the corrections list which I've already updated. I finished physical verification of the DAW List against my collection last night and will start on verifying and applying Don's corrections. Marc Kupper 19:27, 12 Nov 2006 (CST)

isfdb - Isaac's Universe

A trip to the thrift store finds two books

  • Isaac's Universe / Volume One: The Diplomacy Guild
  • Isaac's Universe / Volume Two: Phases in Chaos

I decided to see how these got filed in isfdb

ok - I click on Phases in Chaos (Isaac's Universe, Vol. 2) and see that one publication is listed and that its ISBN matches by book. I click on Phases in Chaos (Isaac's Universe, Vol. 2) and then Edit This Pub. I change the following based on my physical copy:

  • Authors - "Martin Harry Greenberg" to "Martin H. Greenberg"
This sounds like an data problem. Half the time they omit the middle initial when it's present and the other half they ever so helpfully expand it. Amateurs! :) Ahasuerus 16:56, 15 Nov 2006 (CST)
  • Year - "1991-00-00" to "1991-07-00"
  • Pages - "-" to "273"
  • Binding - "tp" to "pb" (I had to pause and think about this one wonder if perhaps there was a tp edition but decided to change it as both the ISBN and cover price match implying that the original source for this record is wrong.)
That's a Dissembler/Amazon problem. Amazon records don't always tell you whether the book is a tp or a pb, only that it's a "paperback", and Dissembler is programmed to go with tp when it can't be sure. Ahasuerus 16:56, 15 Nov 2006 (CST)
There is a fair number of dead image links in the ISDB, but I am not sure how they got there. Perhaps Al might know more about it. Ahasuerus 16:56, 15 Nov 2006 (CST)

I save/approve the record and am surprised to see that the book is not on Martin H. Greenberg's author page. It turns out there is a title record but I don't want to edit that yet until I figure out if it's better to delete the title or change it plus I also need to figure out how to create a new series. Marc Kupper 16:37, 15 Nov 2006 (CST)

It's a bit of a pain to have to edit both the Publication record and the Title record when you are editing novels, but eventually you get used to it and change both records almost automatically when you are in the Publication Edit screen. Creating new series is easy, just enter the Series name in the series field of the Title record and if the Series doesn't already exist within the ISFDB, it will get created automagically. Ahasuerus 16:56, 15 Nov 2006 (CST)
Thank you – I’ve updated the title record but not created the series yet. I’d guess needing to manually edit the title is a small “gotcha” as title records can get created automatically when the publication was added but then do not reflect edits to the publication. Marc Kupper 17:41, 15 Nov 2006 (CST)

isfdb - Science Fiction Stories by Richard M. Elam, Jr.

I found a copy of Science Fiction Stories by Richard M. Elam, Jr.

Inspection of his titles shows a very similar title Teen-Age Science Fiction Stories (1952) with the differences being

  • Original publication was hc and I have a pb.
  • The title changed a little but that’s ok.
  • The sticky wicket is that my pb is missing one story/essay, "Trail to the Stars • (1950) • essay by Capt. Burr W. Leyson" that isfdb lists for the original hc. To add to the mess a little, the first page after the cover starts out with “Lantern Pocket Books are complete and unabridged reprints of titles in the series of thematic anthologies published originally by Lantern Press.” Contendo does show this extra story and while a scan of the TOC is not provided I'll believe the essay exists in the hc as stated by Contendo as the story page numbers are all offset compared to my pb edition.

The question is - do I enter this as an entirely "new" title or as a variant/reprint of the original title?

(note to self - image at Amazon)

1950s and 1960s anthologies were a horrible mess, dropping and adding titles almost at will :( I think the standard that we developed a while back was that any addition or subtraction of introductions, afterwords and other "essays" doesn't a new anthology/collection/novel Title make, but any messing around with the fiction content does. Let me repost this question on the Community Portal and see if my understanding is consensual. Ahasuerus 19:06, 15 Nov 2006 (CST)


Hi Marc, thanks for the queries.

>Are they speculative fiction? It seems like a crime/mystery series and the only “sf” I could detect is that per the series summary “the main character has a preternatural gift of being able to infallibly determine whether any work of art or antique is genuine or not.”

Well, I probably should have said "supernatural" or "psychic" or "psionic". His talent isn't the *main* element in the books, but it's there. And is important to at least the two novels I own and have read. It's as if we had a series about a "psychic detective", which, of course do exist in fictional form. In both my books he's called a "divvie", short for diviner. In "The Sleepers of Erin" the first-person Lovejoy writes: "To antique deales a divvie is somebody almost magical. I can't even explain it myself. The nearest I can get is saying that something happens inside you when you come into the presence of a real antique. Maybe its love reaches out to touch you, that secret recognition each of us carries inside." An art forger makes a mistake with the forged paintings he's done and mixes them up with the real one. And sells the real one by mistake. "A divvie could never make the mistake Sid had, because a genuine Cozens -- a genuine *anything* -- shrieks and clangs and hums like a chime of cathedral bells. A fake just hangs there, a splatter of paint on paper rimmed by strips of wood....The odd thing is that a divvie like me quivers with these mystic emanations just by being in the same room as a genuine antique." Etc. etc. To me that's clearly speculative fiction. If, of course, one happens to actually believe in psychics, then I guess it isn't, hehe....

>I saw the author links and boilerplate series description on several of the updates you sent through. That’s already been commented on but I’m not sure if you did the new-publications or just left them in. I suspect it would be better if a series could have a notes/description field but for now I have been putting put /description in the series' bibliographic notes wiki (Series:Lovejoy).

I was putting the same description into each book's Notes because I couldn't find a single spot in the Author area where I could do it. On in the Series heading. Remember, I'm very new to this and don't know many of the tricks yet.

>I noticed the title of book #2 is Gold from Gemini in the USA and Gold By Gemini in the UK but before putting in a variant title let’s see if we should have this series in ISFDB at all. Marc Kupper 01:04, 3 Jan 2007 (CST)

Yes, I was going to put the US edition in as a Publication, once the UK edition had been set up correctly. Since I'm not a moderator, I have to wait for the first edits to be approved before I dare to make a second one -- I'm afraid that by making a second edit I would inadvertently create a second entry for the same New Book, which I did with my very first edit a week or so ago.... Best, Hayford Peirce 11:50, 3 Jan 2007 (CST)

Ignore this - I need to run and am parking this half edited stuff here for now

>I noticed the title of book #2 is Gold from Gemini in the USA and Gold By Gemini in the UK but before putting in a variant title let’s see if we should have this series in ISFDB at all. Marc Kupper 01:04, 3 Jan 2007 (CST)

Yes, I was going to put the US edition in as a Publication, once the UK edition had been set up correctly. Since I'm not a moderator, I have to wait for the first edits to be approved before I dare to make a second one -- I'm afraid that by making a second edit I would inadvertently create a second entry for the same New Book, which I did with my very first edit a week or so ago.... Best, Hayford Peirce 11:50, 3 Jan 2007 (CST)

That brings up that we need to beef up the ISFDB resources/help pages though it’s something I don’t have time for at the moment. In this case I would have added both the US and UK publications and once they are approved to go back and make one a variant of the other (in that case it’s a UK writer but I think the USA title came out first? It’s quite easy to swap the variant title relationship around in case we guess wrong so don't sweat too much on that detail.). In other words, we need to explain better how to best do some multi-step operations, how to deal with what to do if you realize immediately after hitting [submit] on something that you need to correct a detail, etc.

Edison's Conquest of Mars

I am still chasing that wascally wabbit, but there is a good chance that I will get to this submission in the next 8-12 hours. If not, it will still be there waiting for you late tonight :) Ahasuerus 06:11, 8 Jan 2007 (CST)

P.S. Also, please note that I have put submissions 180691 and 180701 on hold since the changes have to do with DAW's internal numbering scheme and I figured that you would want to review them before they go in. Ahasuerus 06:14, 8 Jan 2007 (CST)

Thank you. I need to run for a couple of hours but will take a look at the DAW items when I get back. Marc Kupper 13:59, 8 Jan 2007 (CST)
Sorry I didn't get to that reply yesterday. My ISFDB time is rather sporadic at the moment, hopefully it will improve in a few weeks. Ahasuerus 01:47, 9 Jan 2007 (CST)

The Maker of Moons and The Wall of Serpents

I think the confusion lies on what a novel was and what it is now. These two works were collected in a Lin Carter anthology "great short novels of fantasy".

Early in the twentieth century was not unusual for novels to be quite short, i.e. if you look at The Makers of Moons on Amazon it is a mere 60 pages.

Neither of these are short stories that got expanded to novels, so the title refers to one work which is why I merged them. I would treat Moorcock's Behold the Man novella and novel and two separate works as the latter was greatly expanded.

The classification, whether they should be considered novels or novellas, can easily be decided afterwards when an accurate word count is known, but they represent a single title.

--Unapersson 14:48, 10 Jan 2007 (CST)

Hero as Werwolf

Mark, I see that you rejected my edit to Gene Wolfe's "Hero as Werwolf", and that furthermore it's now been typed as a novel. I originally entered it as a chapterbook, with contents of "The Hero as Werwolf" (i.e., the short story of that name), which is the only content. When I viewed it yesterday, I noticed that the chapbook listed contents of "Hero as Werwolf -- chapterbook" AND "Hero as Werwolf -- novelette". I assumed I made some error in creating it, and tried to delete the (apparently) redundant chapterbook from the contents. I now understand that there are circumstances where listing the work itself as contents makes sense (as you said, a novel with an introduction). But I don't think it does make sense in this case, or for most chapterbooks, which only contain a single story or essay. Under the current model (as I understand it), the only options are to either not include the story as contents (which means that the chapterbook publication won't appear as a pub for the story, which is what happened with the Le Guin chapterbook [1] and the story it contains [2]) or to display fairly confusing contents in the book, which is what we have with the Wolfe book (e.g., it's extremely hard to parse just what is meant by "The Hero as Werwolf" being listed twice in the contents). So I think the bug is not that the parent shouldn't be deletable so much as the parent shouldn't necessarily be displayed.Jefe 16:04, 10 Jan 2007 (CST)

Brian Aldiss Re:Starship

Marc, i have the 1st printing should i edit the placeholder record or clone it and make a new entry?Kraang 20:44, 29 Jan 2007 (CST)

I replied to this at User_talk:Kraang#Brian_Aldiss_Re:Starship --Marc Kupper 22:35, 29 Jan 2007 (CST)

Moorcock/DAW question

Marc, can you answer a DAW question for me? I was about to enter Moorcock's "Warriors of Mars" and "Barbarians of Mars", which I have in the Compact pb editions from 1965. The title listings, here and here each show a DAW edition dated 1965. This is obviously nonsense, but I was wondering if there were any DAW editions at all that you know of. If not, I'll overwrite these with the Compact data; if so, I'll leave them and change the dates to unknown. Thanks -- Mike Christie (talk) 08:07, 30 Jan 2007 (CST)

--Marc Kupper 16:27, 30 Jan 2007 (CST)

Messiah at the End of Time

Marc, I was massaging Moorcock's Messiah at the End of Time and changed the title of the 1978 DAW edition to include the subtitle -- see is . This information comes from OCLC, so it's possible that it's incorrect and I wanted to let you know because it's a DAW edition. Thanks, Ahasuerus 13:47, 1 Feb 2007 (CST)

I replied on User_talk:Ahasuerus#Messiah_at_the_End_of_Time --Marc Kupper 14:15, 1 Feb 2007 (CST)

Rictus Two

Mark, I've responded to the other moderator, too, but quickly: Rictus Two of 1994 was a hard-copy magazine. And I accidentally sent the first submission before I was finished; then, when it was still in the "pending" file later last night, I re-did the submission so that it was complete, and sent it again. My boo-boo. I was going to wait until it got "published," (not knowing about the other complication) and then add the other items through editing, but at any rate, the longer submission is the right one. Bill 07:07, 2 Feb 2007 (CST)

I replied to this at User_talk:WmDCissna#Rictus Marc Kupper (talk) 12:57, 2 Feb 2007 (CST)

Re:The Ugly Little Boy

Marc, i went back and had a look at the title, my intention was to only change the asimov/silverberg novel which was an expansion of the 1958 shortstory by asimov. The title is now listed as a novel & all the 1958 shortstory listings have changed to the 1992 asimov/silverberg collaboration, this was definitely not my intention."sorry" Can you fix it, i'am hesitant to tinker and make things worse.Kraang 16:28, 4 Feb 2007 (CST)

I replied to this at User_talk:Kraang#The_Ugly_Little_Boy Marc Kupper (talk) 19:04, 4 Feb 2007 (CST)

One Million Tomorrows

Ah, I see! I was about to leave a question on Blongley's page about this submission, but it looks like everything is already taken care of. Thanks! :-) Ahasuerus 20:10, 4 Feb 2007 (CST)

Yes, it happens reasonably often. You see a submission and say "Hey, I have special expertise in this sub-field, I should be able to do a good job!" and then it gets approved before you get a chance to get to it :(
One word of caution, though. Just because you have read all or almost all works by a particular author doesn't necessarily mean that you have run into all the bibliographic permutations and problems that this author may present. For example, I have read almost everything by Keith Laumer, so when I came across the 1984 reprint of "Once There Was a Giant" (in a Tor collection), I nodded and set it aside. It was only by accident that I picked it up again later and when I began reading, I did a double take. It turned out that once he semi-recovered from his 1971 stroke, Laumer rewrote (and completely ruined) one of his better stories. I went back and started comparing other story versions and it turned out that a number of them were messed up in the 1980s when they were reprinted. Or, to use a Bob Shaw example, there were two versions of two of his collections -- which goes to show that the work of a genre bibliographer is never done :-) Ahasuerus 22:23, 4 Feb 2007 (CST)
According to my catalog, I own 30 Shaw books. I don't have "Dark Night in Toyland", "Galactic Tours", "Killer Planet" or his fanfiction, but the rest should be there, at the secure undisclosed location, including variant editions like "The Peace Machine"/"Ground Zero Man", the two versions of "Shadow of Heaven" and the two versions of "Who Goes Here?". Unfortunately, my catalog simply states that I own one hardcover and one paperback edition of "Cosmic Kaleidoscope", but doesn't specify which editions they are, although it does make a note of the 1976/1977 divergence. I should be able to sort it out some time around 02/17 when my geospatial coordinates briefly interstect my library's coordinates.
For now, I suggest we go with the data found in Contento, which suggests that the three stories in question are not related. Blongley has confirmed that the UK paperback reprint followed the original UK hardcover version and Contento claims that the Dell paperback reprint followed the Doubleday version. And then I'll do Verification for the editions that I own later in the month, unless somebody gets to it first. Sound like a plan? :-) Ahasuerus 00:29, 5 Feb 2007 (CST)
I'm painfully aware that we will never run out of bibliographic permutations. Three separate stories sounds fine for now and if needed we'll compare notes once you have physical access to the books. It looks like my Bob Shaw collection pretty much overlaps yours (29 books, some duplicates, missing the same stories and fan-fiction you are missing plus missing a couple more). Marc Kupper (talk) 02:15, 5 Feb 2007 (CST)
I'll go ahead and add/verify mine, too; I do have "Dark Night in Toyland", and at least one chapbook; I have less than y'all -- about 22 items -- but between us we should be able to make a good dent in his biblio. Mike Christie (talk) 06:31, 5 Feb 2007 (CST)
Sounds good. I have changed the Variant Title to "(revised, USA 1977)" for now. Ahasuerus 06:37, 5 Feb 2007 (CST)
FYI, I have now entered all my Bob Shaw, except for the chapbook which I can't lay my hands on right now. Mike Christie (talk) 22:46, 5 Feb 2007 (CST)
I've finished a first pass of verifying my Bob Shaw books and was happy to see that between Mike Christie, BLongley, and my collections that we're at 100% coverage of publications for several titles. Marc Kupper (talk) 05:28, 8 Feb 2007 (CST)
I've done the paperbacks that were filed in order, but I think I must have a few more misfiled away elsewhere, as there didn't seem to be enough. I think there's an SFBC hardcover or two to do and I used to have "Serious Scientific Talks" around as well, but that means tackling the spare bedroom and I'm still not done with the living room and dining room bookcases yet. BLongley 12:20, 16 Feb 2007 (CST)

Arrows of the Queen

Marc, unfortunately I haven't got a copy of this book. I have used the "Look Inside" in Amazon. There are some scanned pages of 18th printing. The cover art is credited to Jody Lee (I assumed that the same name variant was in a 1st printing).

BTW, I have got the DAW Books Catalog for 1996 with a monthly schedule. Could these data (especially reprints) be put into database or the Publisher:DAW list? I cannot verify that these editions really happened.

A.kesrith 04:53, 16 Feb 2007 (CST)

DAW Books

You asked if I had the following: Elric of Melnibone ( The Tides of Kregen ( Renegade of Kregen (

Sorry, I don't have the books. Info was taken from a listing in a fanzine that I was entering into the database. Mhhutchins 17:51, 2 Mar 2007 (CST)


Reminder to self to finish documenting this User_talk:Scott_Latham#Date_changes

and Editing:Merging_Authors... Marc Kupper (talk) 12:39, 8 Mar 2007 (CST)

Andromeda Gun

Hi Marc. Its mentioned on the copyright page as SBN 425-02878-X, getting tired and forgot to mention it. Also had three edits in a row rejected a new first, still thinking that over. On another note i've not entered the Daw books i sent you into the ISFDB. Except for coll. and anth. Should i bother or will they eventually turn up when you integrate the data?Kraang 23:34, 14 Apr 2007 (CDT)

Where’s José?

This is a note to myself as someone entered a pub for Philip José Farmer but the é is actually two characters, an e followed by a ??? which is not a ’ (character 0146). Marc Kupper (talk) 15:58, 2 Jun 2007 (CDT)

I was able to chase down who entered the publication and looked at the XML blob. The name was entered by Dcarson as Jose&#769; which displays as José Character &#x0301; or &#769; is an acute accent that's zero width and apparently is designed to overlap on top of the previous character. There's also a grave accent character (&#x0300; or &#768;) that looks like è. Anyway, it's just one more thing to think about in terms of cleaning up the database. Marc Kupper (talk) 17:22, 2 Jun 2007 (CDT)
Please DO go research this and suggest improvements: e.g. "World of Â" and "The Hag Sèleen" have been nuisances recently. BLongley 18:56, 2 Jun 2007 (CDT)
Sorry about that. Not a major user of unicode. Ascii, hollerith, baudot, those I understand. For things like that I open the character palate and click on whatever looks right :-(. Dana Carson 00:24, 5 Jun 2007 (CDT)
No problem guys - It's been a "fascinating" and ongoing experience. Any time I start to think I understand this stuff I suddenly discover how little I know. I never used baudot but as it happens, I have a project in the queue where that will come up and used to be able to read hollerith and paper tapes though am long out of practice though had an e-mail exchange yesterday Bill Contento about the original punch-card version of his book list and if/how it was different than the current system.
Bill, could you please explain how, where, or why "World of Â" and "The Hag Sèleen" have been nuisances? The  can be entered with numeric-0194 (hold the ALT key down and enter 0194 on the numeric keypad), and è is numeric-0232. Marc Kupper (talk) 19:28, 5 Jun 2007 (CDT)
Then that's the sort of thing that we should be documenting.
1) Have a look at titles starting 'The Hag S' and see the other two methods people have used to enter this title - no notes to explain if they really are like that, but I suspect not.
2) Some of the Null-A publications use just a capital A but do have notes saying there was a bar over it, so probably 'Ā' - should we assume people CAN and SHOULD always use the correct character now? I'm not confident enough to go 'correct' a title I haven't got. On covers, I think I've seen the A with a macron, a tilde and a circumflex, and some foreign versions have slightly non-standard tildes too... I'm sure there's a mathematical convention for the correct representation, but generally I don't know how anal people are getting over variants now. :-/ And funnily enough, a simple apostrophe seems to cause the ISFDB to think you're changing a field even if you're not! BLongley 13:26, 6 Jun 2007 (CDT)
There are a number of issues.
  • While many of these characters can be entered into titles/author names without a problem there also a bunch of them that do cause problems in that they are not in the 8-bit character set. I have not installed ISFDB at home yet and so don't fully understand what is failing and am in a hurry and so can't dig up links to existing examples.
  • The title/author searches need to be improved so that it knows about the decorated letters, a search for e should match é for example. (in ISFDB it does but there are some decorations that don't match).
  • Documenting how to enter stuff. Google says there are 174,000 pages that mention how to enter the characters and so it's a popular subject. Marc Kupper (talk) 14:01, 6 Jun 2007 (CDT)
I HAVE installed the ISFDB database at home, and the number of warnings I got made me very aware that I probably didn't choose the best character-set options. :-/ Still, I won't be running searches in Cyrillic, so I doubt I've lost too much data I want.
The searches could do with some improvement, agreed.
And yes, "entering funny characters" is a popular subject, but a lot of the answers will be Windows-only, and assume certain code-pages, character sets, language settings and maybe even fonts. If we do go for "lowest common denominator" then we need to go back to ASCII and document the conventions for representing accents - oh, and annoy all us Brits that enter prices in "£" and would probably have to go back to "L". (Which would actually HELP in our linking to, I see.) I think we can raise the bar a bit higher than that, but HOW high we can raise it is the question - the oldest data here IS from ASCII-only days, but I (and I suspect many other editors) haven't installed language-support packs for everything we might encounter on the web - because it STILL wouldn't mean anything to us if the "?????? ??? ?????" was properly represented in Cantonese or Japanese or Cyrillic. For me, the happy medium might be to cover all common Western characters, but only if the search improves its matching.
There's no hurry on an answer, we'll be busy with the easy titles for ages yet: but eventually we'll have to cope with such problems or just become AN Internet Speculative Fiction Database and leave the complications to others: I see there's already a DSFDB (Deutsche Spekulative Fiktion DatenBank), and sometimes it's just easier to get someone to arrange reciprocal links. :-/ BLongley 14:55, 6 Jun 2007 (CDT)

Re: Exterminator

Hi marc. Contento lists its first appearance in 1971. This is a variant title of A Bad Day for Vermin(Galaxy Feb 1964)Re: Contento. Have also found several web sellers who list the contents of this publication & there list agrees with Contento. :-)Kraang 22:13, 4 Jun 2007 (CDT)
Replied at User_talk:Kraang#The_Exterminator Marc Kupper (talk) 22:53, 4 Jun 2007 (CDT)
No my next to edits will do that. About the dates , i've been updating Laumer with the help of Ahasuerus and we have been setting the variant titles to there 1st appearance. There are about eight more that are reversed. And your right the date were it first appears makes more sense. The other way it appears as if they they were published at the same time.Kraang 23:07, 4 Jun 2007 (CDT)


I see that you have welcomed User:EndVwc. As far as I can tell, it was yet another handle used by some bot crawling our Wiki. It always uses the "UllUll" user name pattern, where "U" is an uppercase letter and "l" is a lowercase letter. The bot seems to be pretty harmless when it's not corrupting Talk pages that contain ampersands, but it's trivial to roll them back. Which seems to suggest that we are still some years away from the Singularity :) Ahasuerus 01:07, 9 Jun 2007 (CDT)

Well behaved bots are welcome. :-) Thank you, I'll keep an eye out for this one. Marc Kupper (talk) 13:04, 9 Jun 2007 (CDT)
It looks like this bot (or its evil twin) is not as harmless as it originally appeared to be. It has been spamming commercial links for the last few days. Thankfully, it only spams a few times per day, so it doesn't take much to roll things back. I'd hate to force new editors to go through a confirmation process, but "if this goes on" (or rather getс significantly worse), we may not have much choice in the matter :( Ahasuerus 16:26, 11 Jun 2007 (CDT)
Yeah, I noticed the Van Vogt Vandalism and Vociferously Voiced Various Vitriolic Verbs... not Virtually, of course. Thanks for the Whack-a-Mole activity. BLongley 17:18, 11 Jun 2007 (CDT)
Actually, it DOES seem more active now:
# (diff) (hist) . . m ! Author:S. M. Stirling; 22:44 . . UvpJg0 (Talk | block)
# (diff) (hist) . . mN ! Talk:What's New from 2004; 22:43 . . DnvHxk (Talk | block)
# (diff) (hist) . . m ! Magazine:Fantastic Story Magazine; 22:43 . . PujJvw (Talk | block)
Tips on blocking welcome, I've not tried it yet. BLongley 18:02, 11 Jun 2007 (CDT)
User:EndVwc seems harmless with only the rather mysterious changing of a single %20 into a space but also not changing other things on the page. Maybe it was a test-bot. offers suggestions but I don't know how many of those are available in MediaWiki 1.4.5 which is what ISFDB is using. Marc Kupper (talk) 23:37, 11 Jun 2007 (CDT)
As far as I can tell, the bot first crawled and downloaded the whole Wiki. The crawler program was somewhat buggy and glitched on %20 and ampersands, but didn't affect us otherwise. BTW, the reason it crawled all links first was (presumably) to create a list of pre-existing link since many Wikis prevent newly registered users from creating new pages. Then it started spamming.
Al has suggested that our options are limited to "captchas" and moderated registration. I don't know if MediaWiki 1.4.5 supports either, though. Ahasuerus 00:21, 12 Jun 2007 (CDT)

Night Walk by Bob Shaw

When you verified this pub back in February, you removed the Cover Art credit of Frank Frazetta. The cover is definately Frank Frazetta, it's one of the prints he has for sale on his website. .jpeg CoachPaul 11:48, 12 Jun 2007 (CDT)

I didn't mean for the picture to show up on the talk page, how do I put a url on the page without it printing? I just added several spaces before the .jpeg, but there must be a way to do it and keep the url intact. CoachPaul 11:54, 12 Jun 2007 (CDT)
Do you mean the link intact but not as an image, or just as a readable URL like BLongley 12:58, 12 Jun 2007 (CDT)
Both ways are useful, thank you. CoachPaul 13:21, 12 Jun 2007 (CDT)
On the Frank Frazetta credit – thank you for spotting the cover on Frank Frazetta’s web site. I’ve updated the publication record to credit Frank Frazetta and added a citation.
My general philosophy for publication records is I try to document as objectively as possible what the publication states. If something is in an obscure spot I note where I found it. If I enter something that’s not stated or apparent then I explain my reasoning (deriving an ISBN from an SBN for example) and to cite sources when possible. In this case the “source” for the Frazetta credit was ISFDB itself and so I had noted that but as it was too self-referential I had also removed Frazetta from the main coverart credit. The goal is if someone has a copy of the publication that they should be able to agree that what’s stated in ISFDB matches their publication. If it doesn’t then either it’s a different publication, I overlooked something, or I made a data entry error.
As for images - As you noticed, ISFDB's wiki has "hotlinking" enabled where if you enter the URL of an image it pops up right there on the page. Unfortunately, I don't think there's a way to control the size of external images. You can control the size of internal images uploaded to the wiki (uploading is not enabled for ISFDB), position them, etc. As the hotlinking results are not always desirable I often wrap the URL in square backets, [URL] and we have [3] where it just shows a number like a footnote reference.
Like the plain [URL] wrap you can follow the URL with a space and text as in [URL text], and it will display the text as a link. For example, 10_spiderman.jpeg or I think it's a bug with this (old) version of mediawiki but it looks like if you have [http://URL http://URL] that it "hotlinks" the image. I get around this with [http://URL URL] where I drop the http:// for the second part of the [link]. I agree it's all rather painful and is something that I don't do often enough that I need to stop and think about how to do it again.
The last method means you enter the full URL twice which can look ugly in both the wiki-edit and when displayed and so I often use either [URL] or [URL single word]. I wonder if there's a way to get rid of that arrow thing that's to the right of the external links. Marc Kupper (talk) 17:16, 12 Jun 2007 (CDT)

(Unindent) As you may have noticed, CoachPaul, Marc does tend to add a lot more detail than many other editors or Mods. Which is fine - there's been many a time I've seen his version of a publication I own and verified, and found that he's noticed something I hadn't, so I go back and double-check mine and add some more info. MY general principle is to "always add more data" - I don't necessarily try to do it all at once though. I'm not coming at ISFDB with a "Let's start with my Douglas Adams and finish with the Roger Zelazny" - I know that I'll probably have gone through my collection four or five times before I get all my own publications recorded to the level that the best editors do (in their own ways), by which time we'll probably have added a few more criteria to squeeze out of a publication (e.g. I can foresee "Imprint" becoming a subset of "Publisher" as a subset of "Publishing Company" at some point.) The downside is that I'll probably never get rid of a book I've worked on in case someone later asks me to verify the font-changes on a title-page when we finally try and standardise what a title is, what a sub-title is, and what a series designation might be. BLongley 19:29, 12 Jun 2007 (CDT)

Anyway, back on topic: One thing I do, and it seems Marc might not always do, is that I don't remove information when I'm working on a publication, I just add notes to say what I can't verify. I seem to be particularly BAD at recognising cover-artists for instance, or even finding out where a credit might be hidden. (I'd probably done 200 pubs before I realised a particular British publisher typically put the artist credit in 6-point type right next to the spine, where it would be obscured after a few readings by sheer spine-wear.) So MY recommendation is to add even negative-sounding notes - e.g. "price clipped from my copy, don't recognise the artist and couldn't find the credit" while accentuating the postitive, e.g. "ISBN, publisher, date and price are good" - and in cases like this, making sure secondary or even tertiary sources of info are listed in the notes. I'm tempted to ask for "Verification from a later edition" to be included as an option, but then again some copyright pages I've seen are horribly unreliable and some bibliographies even worse - and artist's publications worst of all - so "Notes, notes and more notes" it is for now. BLongley 19:29, 12 Jun 2007 (CDT)

(Marc - sorry to use you as an example again, but it's as an example for the rest of us to work up to, and it's meant in a positive way, OK?) BLongley 19:29, 12 Jun 2007 (CDT)

I don't mind an example, good or bad, being made of me. :-) Bill, you have a good point but I'm still not sure what the "best" course should be. In this case I had looked for the artist credit, could not find it, and so added a note explaining that ISFDB credited Frank Frazetta but I could not verify this. It seems like what's needed is a way to flag individual fields as "unverified", "unsourced", or even "suspect". I have a feature request in mind that when a publication gets verified that all of the related title records (cover artist and things in the Contents list) also get flagged as [verified] much like the pubs are and that edits to these title records would get flagged. I had this in mind when I removed the cover art credit as I did not want the publication listing (on the title display) or Frazetta's bibliography to state "verified that he did the artwork". I guess I could have added a new artist named "Frank Frazetta (uncredited)" and made that a pseudonym of Frank Frazetta. Even now that we have a citable source for Frazetta I could make the artist name "Frank Frazetta (secondary)" as the artist credit is coming from a secondary source and not the publication itself. It seems anal but I'm trying to have the publication records be clear on what's physically stated vs. what data is "citable secondary" and "source-unknown / unable to verify."
A hack like that would work well for cover artists but a similar area where I remove information is publication dates. Amazon often lists publications with a full YYYY-MM-DD on-sale-by date where the physical publication may only note the YYYY or YYYY-MM. I usually set the ISFDB record so that it matches the publication and often add a note explaining the date that's stated vs. the ones found in the original ISFDB record, Locus, Amazon, etc. Yesterday I made an exception to this with HRMHDDXLRL2007 which is a new book that does not state the publication date but all three English Amazon sites agreed on a date. Ideally I'd want to date this publication as 0000-00-00 (stated first printing), 0000-00-00 (stated printing date), 2007-00-00 (stated copyright), 2007-05-29 (,, and, and 2007-06-12 (physical verification).
I don't know if you ever try to add or correct publication dates on Amazon, but when I did I found out they CANNOT handle vague dates like '1979-07-00' or '1978-00-00' - although they say they're planning to do so in future. So all Amazon data is suspect, IMO. Unfortunately some editors do like EXACT dates where possible - but we don't know if they're exact and accurate, or somebody just put a '1' in the day because they were forced to. I tend to leave the date alone but Note what the pub tells me. In the meantime, should we ask Dissembler to put notes in about the source of Publication date? BLongley 14:12, 13 Jun 2007 (CDT)
Usually with Dissembler the Titel is so badley speled that it's easy to tell what the source of its record is but yes, that seems like a good idea in that Dissembler should note both the date and source. I was dealing with Dissembler submissions the other day and found myself hunting down the source for nearly all of its submissions so that I could better understand what was being submitted. For example, audio-book editions would have the narrator as a co-author, pub-type as "unk", etc. and so it helped to be able to view the source record to correct the Dissembler's submission.
Yes, I noticed things like that - Saturday's submissions I presume? I'm not sure how many awkward titles were left for us (Al apologised for leaving them, but I LIKE the research it involves, it gets me away from my own library for a bit). Dissembler doesn't do well on Audio Books or RPG stuff it seems, and I've already asked why Dissembler picked up on the Third titles in Trilogies without noticing the first two. I've still got three (new-to-me) authors to check still. BLongley 16:27, 13 Jun 2007 (CDT)
I agree that Amazon's data is suspect but what I find myself doing more of these days and capturing and just documenting the data as usually there is some rational/valid reason for the data. For example, Penguin Books (which owns a million imprints) often uploads a new printing date when they change the price but the date is not stated in the publications. It's becoming a useful data-point to me in that a publication may state "First printing March 1990 / some number line" but be dated "2005-11-13" on Amazon implying that the last price change for that ISBN was in 2005 and then it's a matter if figuring out what the price was at that time.
With that in mind - I used to add/correct dates on Amazon but no longer do as ISFDB is better and also that I'm finding the original publisher-provided dates to be useful. Dates entered by eCommerce dealers (where the pub often has an ASIN and the image is on Amazon's ec1 site) though are often garbage and so treat them with extreme prejudice.
I've also gotten away from updating Amazon as I'm finding that the eCommerce dealers no longer list pubs under existing records and instead create a new record (with a new ASIN) as they can list the book at a higher price because they are no longer competing with other dealers. Amazon reacted to this by no longer returning all records in search results (they look and if something looks stale it's not included in the search results) meaning if I update an Amazon publication the odds are the record will eventually be stale and no-one will see it. I believe, but have not tested/proven that uploading images and/or reviews will lock a record in the active list. I still upload images and link to them as so far Amazon has never deleted a record. They just never reference it in search results and/or links from other pages but the raw data/images remain. Marc Kupper (talk) 15:54, 13 Jun 2007 (CDT)
Yes, the Amazon stuff is getting pretty bad: I think I'll stop uploading stuff against an ASIN and stick to ISBN linked stuff, where possible. Some of the searches I've done on a title return ASIN entries for a SET of publications being sold off, or a magazine where they've added every notable author to the title. Useless entries: but I'm not paid to correct Amazon. (OK, I'm not PAID to correct entries here either, but here I enjoy it and with Amazon I get annoyed with some of their policies.) BLongley 16:27, 13 Jun 2007 (CDT)
BTW, which British publisher typically put the artist credit in 6-point type right next to the spine? Marc Kupper (talk) 13:18, 13 Jun 2007 (CDT)
I first noticed it on 1970s Panther paperbacks by E. E. 'Doc' Smith (the Orange Spine editions). I spotted a Chris Foss credit on one of my less battered 'Skylarks' and having noticed that one went back and found three more on some of the more worn publications. It's not consistent - sometimes Chris Foss got a more normal credit at the bottom of the back-blurb, without being rotated 90 degrees anti-clockwise, shrunk, and moved to the edge: sometimes he didn't get a credit at all but I suspect it's the same artist. I check there regularly now, but on most of my publications, if there's anything in that spot it's "Printed in the USA" or "Cover printed in the USA". BLongley 14:12, 13 Jun 2007 (CDT)
I've just noticed another "try and hide the artist credit as best you can" attempt: Gerald Grace almost escaped notice as it's again small type against the spine. (Rotated 90 degrees clockwise this time though, and near the top of the spine rather than the bottom.) BLongley 16:27, 13 Jun 2007 (CDT)

I'm going to jump back in on "Night Walk" and Frazetta here, I have a very fine copy of the book, and I can clearly make out his signature on the cover. I can't make out every individual letter unless it's with a very bright light and a magnifying glass, but to someone like me who has been a fan of Frazetta for over 30 years, the signature is unmistakable. It was the signature which caused me to look on his website for further proof. CoachPaul 16:58, 13 Jun 2007 (CDT)

If your copy is cleaner than what I posted then you could e-mail me a copy and I'll replace the image on my site. I'm not familiar enough with Frazetta's signature that I could look at it under a magnifier and say it was definitely "Frazetta." That's why my original publication note had "The cover artist is not credited and the signature is impossible to distinguish. Prior to verification the ISFDB record credited Frank Frazetta. I looked throughout the book for a credit and tried to see if signature could be interpreted as "Frazetta" and decided to leave this as "uncredited" for now." I've updated the publication notes for NTWALK1967 to reflect your identification of the signature. Marc Kupper (talk) 19:37, 13 Jun 2007 (CDT)
I can never seem to remember to do this when I can, but I'll do my darnedest to do it tomorrow. CoachPaul 22:55, 24 Jun 2007 (CDT)
No hurry at all - I've got many things on the fire meaning for now I'm giving things very short units of attention and then moving on. Marc Kupper (talk) 23:10, 24 Jun 2007 (CDT)

Thought Queue

These are random notes pulled from other talk pages on things I want to pay further attention to with an eye towards towards improving the documentation and/or code so that ISFDB data does not get overwritten without sufficient research into if the orignal data was wrong.

Jurassic Park from User_talk:MA_Lloyd#Jurassic_Park

You want to update publication 164381 and to change

  • Year from 1999-00-00 to 1991-12-00
  • Price from $7.99 to $5.99
  • Note from "18th printing." to (blank)

I'm not sure why the existing publication record is not marked as "verified" but I believe it's accurate and should not be overwritten. If you have a copy of an earlier printing that is $5.99 then you should clone the existing record rather than overwriting data and to edit the clone. Since 1980 it's been common for publishers to keep the same ISBN as they reprint at a higher price meaning we will have multiple records in ISFDB for the same ISBN.

For example, 0345370775 has a Look Inside that shows a 24th printing for $7.99 and using this I cloned the publication you wanted to update and created 200157.

In general the rule is we should not need to overwrite information that's already in ISFDB though we often add data. For example, a publication my be stated in ISFDB as 1991-00-00 and your copy is 1991-12-00 in which case it's ok to "fill in the blanks." The only time I overwrite is if I can prove that the existing data is flat out wrong. Even in that case I often leave a publication note explaining what I overwrote and why so that if someone else comes along with the original source that created the incorrect data they can either chose the clone the record or update the notes.

One area that generally is safe to just overwrite is the page count as the count noted on Amazon is nearly always wrong (sometimes by hundreds of pages but usually about 10 pages too high as publishers count all of the pages including the unnumbered stuff that's before the story. Marc Kupper (talk) 23:11, 18 Jun 2007 (CDT)

Is this a uniform policy? Avoiding overwrites by adding new publications with small differences in data seems to be getting a handful of rejections on the grounds the entry is already in the database.--MA Lloyd 10:13, 25 Jun 2007 (CDT)

The goal is one publication record per printing of the book though at the moment ISFDB does not have a printing number meaning the printing # is kept in the notes field for now. The project is complicated by the fact that editors generally will not have physical access to all editions meaning they will need to make "best judgment" calls on if an ISFDB record matches their publication or if they should add a new record. The rules I listed above are to help make this "best judgment" call. There are times when you can determine with a fair degree of confidence that something in ISFDB is wrong (or is a duplicate record) and should be deleted or overwritten. Sometimes I can't prove it's wrong as it's hard to find evidence of absence, particularly on the Internet where data gets copied from one site to the next. Again it's a judgment call and I've often added bibliographic notes explaining the research I did and the results (or lack of) trying to pin something down.
One thing I want to avoid would be “edit wars” where for example, one person enters a publication with a price of $7.99, and another has a $5.99 copy of the same publication, and figures whoever first entered the record is wrong and overwrites it. The verification system helps with this but often records are entered but not verified as the data is from a secondary, though presumed reliable, source.
You had written “…getting a handful of rejections on the grounds the entry is already in the database…” That’s not a problem – when I see a cloned pub I just check that it’s syntactically correct (formatting of the yyyy-mm-dd, currency symbol in front of the price, etc.) and either approve or approve/edit to correct any syntax errors. When editors update publications, as you did with Jurassic Park, I will hold them and research if significant fields are getting changed. Filling in the blanks is ok – changing fields other than the page count results in the publication getting held so I can understand if in fact the original data was wrong and should be overwritten. Marc Kupper (talk) 23:09, 25 Jun 2007 (CDT)
I wanted to clear this off the submission queue and so went ahead rejecting the original submission and in its place cloning the original publication record to create JRSSCPRKVH1991 which has the data you wanted to edit into the original record. Marc Kupper (talk) 22:56, 2 Jul 2007 (CDT)

Split Infinity From User_talk:Don_Erikson#Split_Infinity

1) One of your edits updates the 1982 printing to create your December 1985 printing. There appears to be a 1982 edition, e.g. someone is selling one here so we want to keep that. I'll approve the edit and clone it back to the 1982 one. 2) A couple of times you've mentioned a map in notes. These can be entered as "Interiorart" entries. (The other example is Justaposition). BLongley 14:23, 30 Jun 2007 (CDT)

Yes I should have used the clone tool. I try not to change someone else's entry unless it's an obvious mistake. And often not even then. I have to tell myself "Don't assume". I mean I'm already enough of know. Don Erikson 19:57, 30 Jun 2007 (CDT)

Verification from User_talk:Animebill#Verifications

I started to write this as a reply on a user's talk thread but it was turning into a novella. It does seem like work is needed in the verification help but I want to sleep on this as I don't like it when the help pages turn into long legal texts.

I am presently using verifications in the sense of "this information matches the primary source (e.g., the book or magazine) that I am holding in my hand" no matter whether I entered the information or not. Please let me know if this is no longer why we are using verifications.Animebill 21:32, 28 Jun 2007 (CDT)

I'm unsure what you mean by "no longer using verifications." But otherwise everything you state at the beginning of your note is correct. Make sure that every field that has already been completed matches the book in hand. Then complete any missing data. Submit, and wait for moderator to accept. Then check the final version before verifying the Primary Source. Some editors verify before the final edits are approve, which throws up a red (actually yellow) flag to the moderator that changes are being made in a verified publication. That's why I personally prefer that the editor waits until his final submission is accepted. Thanks for contributing. Mhhutchins 21:38, 28 Jun 2007 (CDT)
In the discussion page on verifications there were two reasons proposed for verification. One in the sense I stated above and another in the sense of "I verify your submission". In this sense, I would not verify my own submission, but only those of others. That is what I meant. Animebill 21:49, 28 Jun 2007 (CDT)
It's ok to verify publications you have added or updated. Related to this is if you have a publication and it's already been verified by someone else it's also ok to double-check the publication. If you find a discrepancy you would contact the original verifier to sort things out. One of the items in the feature request queue is to add support for multiple verifications so that if I come along with a publication that matches one you already verified then I could also mark it was verified. It'll increase confidence that the data is accurate and increases the pool of people known to likely have a copy the publication handy in case there's a question about the contents. Marc Kupper (talk) 13:10, 3 Jul 2007 (CDT)

It's ok to verify publications you have added or updated. Related to this is if you have a publication and it's already been verified by someone else it's also ok to double-check the publication. If you find a discrepancy you would contact the original verifier to sort things out. One of the items in the feature request queue is to add support for multiple verifications so that if I come along with a publication that matches one you already verified then I could also mark it was verified. It'll increase confidence that the data is accurate and increases the pool of people known to likely have a copy the publication handy in case there's a question about the contents. Marc Kupper (talk) 12:58, 3 Jul 2007 (CDT)
Is the "discussion page on verifications" page ISFDB:Verification requests? I'm just trying to locate the exact item you are commenting on. Help:Screen:Verify has an empty talk page and so that must not be it.
In summary - If you have a copy of the book in hand you can do the primary verification regardless on if you were the one that added or updated the publication record. If someone else comes along with the publication there's nothing to stop them from double-checking what they see against what you verified. If there is a discrepancy then they will contact you and the two of you would sort out if it's a human error or misunderstanding or perhaps will discover that the other person has a slightly different publication in which case they can clone your record and, if needed, to add notes explaining the differences.
The basic assumption with verification is that if something is stated in the ISFDB record then that's exactly what's in the publication. For example, if the ISFDB record says Richard Powers did the cover then the publication should have a cover artist credit for Richard Powers. If the publication does not credit Richard Powers then you'd need to at least add a note explaining that the ISFDB record credits Richard Powers but you were unable to find evidence of this. ISFDB's data tends to be correct and so if Powers was credited it's quite likely he did the cover. You could remove the cover artist credit and add a note that the ISFDB record credited Richard Powers but you were unable to locate a credit or signature to confirm this. That way there is at least a record that it's possible/likely Powers did the cover. Someone may come along with a secondary source, such as the artist's web site, and confirm that, yes, he/she did the cover in which case you'd add a publication note explaining the secondary source(s) for the cover artist credit.
Related to the assumption that if something is stated in the ISFDB record then that's exactly what's in the publication is that sometimes people will verify partial listings. For example, the publication may be a collection but the list of stories (or perhaps just their page numbers) has not been entered. Someone can mark the publication record as "verified" if what's stated in ISFDB matches their publication though ideally they would also then add the list of stories and include that in the verification.

Nader Elhefnawy


Regarding the 'fair use' of Nader Elhefnawy's review, you're right. I'll go back and fix that immediately. Also, I obviously never wrote "Rebellion on Venus' in 1932, and have a god-awful lot more stuff out there verifiably published, particularly 'Journey to the Center of the Earth ' ( I will come back and update the bio as needed, many more projects in the works. Just wanted to touch base with you. This is an incredible thing you folks are doing and I appreciate your help. Best,

Edward Morris


For some reason, I'm not being allowed to edit the Author: Edward Morris page when I go back into it. I have a very strange version of Explorer, long story. If possible, you folks can whack that whole Nader Elhefnawy article and just put "A review by Nader Elhefnawy is available at [URL]" just like you said. This computer really needs replaced. Once more, I apologize. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Dante3000 (talkcontribs) .

The Great SF Stories 8 (1946)

Did you massage my edits to this pub? None of the edits I made to either the Notes field nor the Title field seem to have taken place. CoachPaul 17:33, 27 Jun 2007 (CDT)

Never mind, that was an edit from the day before that you approved. The hiccup the db underwent earlier today must have eaten my edit as the one I made is nowhere to be found. CoachPaul 20:53, 27 Jun 2007 (CDT)
It's very surprising for the DB to loose an edit. There is a bug where the title notes field gets into a mode where edits to it are dropped into a black hole. I just got back home but will pull the update log in a bit. I to remember adding the note about "Conqueror's Isle or Conquerors' Isle." I don't remember doing the note about the hyphen. Marc Kupper (talk) 18:07, 30 Jun 2007 (CDT)
I think that it was lost when ISDB went down for about one minute at the same time as I tried to submit the edit, and I was sent to a page that said MYSQL down. It happened to me once before while I was entering a really big Anthology. It's why you will usually see me enter new anthologies/collections is several parts now instead of all at once. It's not as hard on the old bp when you lonly lost 10 minutes of entries as opposed to about 45 minutes worth. CoachPaul 18:31, 30 Jun 2007 (CDT)
A puzzle - the only recent submissions regarding THGRSTRS111982 are
  • 561089 - You added the contents, plus one note about the hyphen, and for title 58093 you set the page # to "Please Remove"
  • 561097 - I must have approved your update and here did the remove-title (normally if an editor puts something in the page # field indicating they want the title removed I do it on the spot)
  • 642253 - I added the second note about "Conqueror's Isle or Conquerors' Isle."
I did this by looking at the XML blobs - tying dates/times to these will requite more work which is a small PITA but the event chain matches my personal recollection.
I have never seen ISFDB loose an entry. If you get a red MySQL error then wait for ISFDB to come up (check on another browser window) and then hit retry on the first window. The submission should go through. Marc Kupper (talk) 19:30, 30 Jun 2007 (CDT)
The pages you link to above seem to be moderator only pages so I can't view them, at least not yet. I'll try the Refresh button next time, because if I hit the Back button, all of the work that I typed in has disappeared. CoachPaul 19:36, 30 Jun 2007 (CDT)
You might want to consider the Firefox browser. "Back" seems to keep all your precious work - I know I've used it to create the OTHER editions of the one I'm entering. BLongley 19:42, 30 Jun 2007 (CDT)
That's right, Firefox's support for JavaScript (which is what allows "Add Title" and other buttons on the submission form to function) is considerably more robust than what Internet Explorer has to offer. Firefox has other advantages, e.g. somewhat better security and better support for various protocols like SVG, as well. Ahasuerus 19:47, 30 Jun 2007 (CDT)
That's good to know about the "add title" and JavaScript as I was going to put in some front end field validation/correction that uses JavaScript and was wondering if all ISFDB users have it enabled. Marc Kupper (talk) 23:10, 2 Jul 2007 (CDT)
It's easy to test by disabling JavaScript under Tools and clicking on the "Add Author" button. As far as the assumption that all ISFDB users have JavaScript enabled, I know for a fact that some users (as opposed to editors) don't. They have posted on r.a.sf.w. to the effect that they consider ISFDB's minimalistic design (no flash, no Java, etc) a big advantage. We do have a few places in the display/search code that uses JavaScript, but there is always a fall back position. For example, if you have JavaScript enabled and search for "Zelazny", the software will find one matching Author record and redirect the search to Roger Zelazny's Summary page. If you do not have JavaScript enabled, you will be given a list consisting of one (selectable) Author record and a big "WARNING: Javascript not enabled. Unable to redirect." message. Ahasuerus 12:33, 3 Jul 2007 (CDT)
CoachPaul - I'm sorry - I did not know that non-mods could not see the XML blobs. I have a secondary non-mod ISFDB account but keep forgetting about it when I have questions about how things work for regular editors.
Yep - I love the Firefox "back" and abuse it a lot plus doing kewl things like Ctrl-Back or Shift-Back. Just last night I did a bunch of similar edits to some Wikipedia pages via the back button and resubmitting with new form names. Note with ISFDB's SQL or whatever going down I do not use "back" button but rather wait for ISFDB to get fixed and then hit retry. I may get a pop-up about resubmitting POST-DATA (which I accept) but then the submission goes through. Marc Kupper (talk) 23:10, 2 Jul 2007 (CDT)
What are the "kewl" things you're doing via Ctrl-Back or Shift-Back, in ISFDB-useful terms? I haven't even tried those yet, no idea what they do. BLongley 18:30, 3 Jul 2007 (CDT)

The Bane of the Black Sword

1. I've fixed this one. I think I just cloned the original while naively unaware of DAW's ISBN practises. I've probably got a few more I skipped at the time due to finding them a bit confusing :-) 2. I can no DAW number listed. 3. UW1421 4. The ISBN/Price is on a single line. 5. Copyright (C), 1967, 1970, 1977 By Michael Moorcock. 6. Yes, that's correct. 7. Yes 8. "The Fifth Novel of Elric of Melniboné"

Let me know if you have questions about any of the others.

--Unapersson 17:54, 3 Jul 2007 (CDT)

Ground Zero Man / Bob Shaw

Marc you have the cover artist as uncredited and on this [4] but if you look at the bottom left side of cover the signature maybe visible on your copy. It looks like the signature of Vincent Di Fate. Its very close to the edge and my copy has minor damage. A seller on Abebooks(checked after i had made up my own mind about signature) lists it as Di Fate.Kraang 20:55, 3 Jul 2007 (CDT)

I should have looked at the next seller he has a copy signed by Di Fate on title page.Kraang 21:02, 3 Jul 2007 (CDT)
LOL - Signed by by the cover artist is good enough for me as confirmation. I've updated the publication notes. I looked at my copy and yes, right at the edge in fine strokes is a "V(smudge)D. F(smudge)t(smudge)" with the (smudge) caused by edge wear. The bottom of the V is cut off, the period after D could be a period or the top of an e or i, and the F(smudge)t(smudge) falls more into "interpretation" rather than a confirmed sighting the F and t. I'm wondering if the cover signature is "V. Di Fate" which would be a new variant name because there's not a whole lot of room between the "V" and "D". I sure wish I had the kind of money (and extra book shelf space plus time to read them) to get the books on Marc Kupper (talk) 16:42, 4 Jul 2007 (CDT)
Mine is clearer and it looks like V. Di Fate to me. As you say not a lot of room between "V" and "D".Kraang 17:40, 4 Jul 2007 (CDT)
Thank you - I changed the cover art credit to V. Di Fate and added the pseudonym. I suspect there's no hard and fast rules on if we are supposed to credit as signed or if recognizing the signature is enough and we'd credit the canonical name. Marc Kupper (talk) 01:49, 5 Jul 2007 (CDT)

'Kjwalll'kje'k'koothailll'kje'k by Roger Zelazny

Marc, you Verified this pub with this story in it. I have a later printing of the same pub that shows the "i" as having two dots over it ( ï ) instead of the usual one. If you don't look closley, it can look either like a regular "i", or an "i'", both of which appear in the db. I'm going to add mine as a variant, but I wonder if they are all like that. Could you please check your pub and let me know what you find. Further examination of a pub I had previously Verified shows that the title is indeed 'Kjwalll'kje'k'koothaïlll'kje'k with the two dots (ï). I may have a few other books with this story in it too, I'll check them if I have any. CoachPaul 11:41, 8 Jul 2007 (CDT)

Great eye there, Paul. I had verified this pub of the story and missed the doubled dotted I. I've gone back and changed it, but I'll hold off creating a variant, until you've finished work on your pub. Mhhutchins 11:50, 8 Jul 2007 (CDT)
I wonder if they all don't have the double dots. I think that I need to switch to a larger font size. CoachPaul 16:20, 8 Jul 2007 (CDT)
Yep, it's a double-dotted "i" in mine too. Which I have no idea how to type, but I'll cut and paste it from someone else's if we're going that way. How far are we going with the EXACT character matches though? As my edition clearly has the apostrophes as, respectively, five closing single quotes (look like little "9"s) on the title-page but on the contents page it's an opening single quote (looks like a "6") and then five closing single quotes. There's not a single "normal" "'" character in the title on either. BLongley 16:44, 8 Jul 2007 (CDT)
Check out the ==Wonderful Characters From Edit Pages== that I put up on the Help Desk. As for my story, they all look like this " ’ " (Spaces added for ease of viewing, and it's not exact, but it's closer then " ' " which comes directly off of my keyboard.), and that is on the character set too. It's sort of like a raised comma. CoachPaul 17:33, 8 Jul 2007 (CDT)
Good eye for catching the double dotted eye )ï( CoachPaul! A little annoying as I had paid extra attention to the title to make sure I spelled it right but also a reminder to get the eyes checked again and a new prescription for the glasses though the current one is less than a year old. In the page banner it sure looks like an "i" unless I really pay attention or use the magnifier lamp.
In my copy the version in the table of contents has an "i" followed by a floating dot as in 'Kjwalll'kje'k'koothai˙lll'kje'k. This must account for the 'Kjwalll'kje'k'koothai'lll'kje'k version of the title that's in ISFDB.
I merged two title records that had the same spelling, added title-notes to both 'Kjwalll'kje'k'koothaïlll'kje'k and My Name Is Legion, set up the following variant title structure
Record Title Comments
663877 'Kjwalll'kje'k'koothaïlll'kje'k Canonical title
43954 'Kjwalll'kje'k'koothailll'kje'k variant title of record 663877
619581 'Kjwalll'kje'k'koothai'lll'kje'k variant title of record 663877
Marc Kupper (talk) 18:02, 9 Jul 2007 (CDT)

unindent to answer "How far are we going with the EXACT character matches though?" It may be impossible to get exact character matches at times meaning we'd describe things as best as practical or include a picture. Something I use for myself is if there's something that may be a source of confusion or ambiguity then I document it as best as possible. Ideally I cite the sources of a particular variant. Sometimes I'll mis-type a title or author and discover that many others have done the same. I'll document those as common misspellings or variant spellings though the variant may not be present in a physical publication.

More on topic with ISFDB is there are about 100,000 characters that can't be used reliably in author names or titles. Fortunately, these are rare and what we can do is to enter a substitute character in ISFDB and in the notes field document the actual name or title. The "illegal" characters come up because of how ISFDB stores data which essentially windows-1252 plus UTF-8. Windows-1252 is an 8-bit character set which has about 200 visible characters. Morphed on top of this is UTF-8 is a system that defines how Unicode characters can be stored/transmitted. Unicode has about 100,000 visible characters. At present ISFDB works fine with the Windows-1252 characters and we run into trouble when we try to use characters that are not included in the list of about 200 that Windows-1252 supports. To further complicate things, if you look at a database page you will see it's encoded using ISO-8859-1 which has about 30 fewer characters than windows-1252 but web browsers help with the confusion in that they quietly display the windows-1252 characters that are illegal in ISO-8859-1 exactly as though it's a windows-1252 page. This is why € and ƒ work for us even though those characters are not in ISO-8859-1. The wiki side of things is in better shape as it uses UTF-8 from end-to-end which avoids the ISO-8859-1 / Windows-1252 limitations. Marc Kupper (talk) 19:42, 9 Jul 2007 (CDT)

While the )i( and the )ï( are two different letters, the single quote things that look sort of like 9's that Bill is talking about, IMHO they are just apostrophies, and that is the way that they appear in the font used for the books. In the case of the font we use here at ISFDB, the apostrophe looks more like a short straight line. )'( I think therefore that we should leave it as it is. Any agreements, disagreements, or further discussion? CoachPaul 20:45, 9 Jul 2007 (CDT)
I see what you mean.
  • ' apostrophe
  • ` grave accent
  • ´ accute accent
  • ‘ left single quote
  • ’ right single quote
  • ‚ It's called a curved quote though it looks more like a comma.
Yes, they all should be entered into ISFDB with apostrophe (') and one of the things in the feature queue is to scan for use of the other characters and to change them to apostrophe. Marc Kupper (talk) 21:46, 9 Jul 2007 (CDT)
I'm perfectly happy to keep all apostrophes plain - I spent a stressed day at work recently trying to figure out why requests from Mr O'Donnell worked but requests from Mr O‘Donnell crashed out at the XML to PDF conversion stage. And no, they didn't look that different on screen, they looked identical, which is why it took a day to find the problem. But I'm also happy to keep all the variations of a single letter plain, or at least close enough that a search for one doesn't hide the other variations. Someone mentioned a site that discussed the "folding" of various characters for sort/search purposes? I know I've got pernickety enough to correct "Elric of Melnibone" to "Elric of Melniboné" when I see it, but those at least sort and search identically. Test the variations above: do you get to see all three variations when you search for one? BLongley 15:31, 10 Jul 2007 (CDT)
I'd have to look at the code but believe Al uses the SQL keyword "like" to do the search and that automatically does folding of some letters. It does not know about the various types of quote like characters and I regularly hit this in ISFDB searches. You are right in that O'Donnell, O‘Donnell, O`Donnell, and O’Donnell often look the same depending on the font used and its size leading to frustration. Marc Kupper (talk) 19:17, 10 Jul 2007 (CDT)


   * Erik Arthur of Fantasy Centre ( in the UK for his help with the Locus 1970 Art issue (issue #70*). This looks like a "must see" book store for those in the London area. 
Thanks for the reminder! I've been there several times before, but not for a few years. Since Murder One gave up on SF, that's probably the only store left in the country with a bigger second-hand SF collection than mine. :-(
Ted and Erik are nice people to buy from. It takes a few hours to check their current stock even when you know what you're looking for, mostly, but they're patient. I seem to recall them making me a cup of tea and giving me a seat while I was debating which books I could a) afford and b) carry home on public transport. I suspect the smoking rules have changed since I last went there, hopefully the hospitality hasn't. And this time I might go by car and try to exchange some stuff... BLongley 16:52, 13 Jul 2007 (CDT)
I know that someone sometimes posts a list of specfict stores on rec.arts.sf.written but was thinking of starting a similar list on isfdb as it seems the rec.arts.sf.written does not get updated often. Marc Kupper (talk) 01:17, 14 Jul 2007 (CDT)
You may be thinking of Evelyn Leeper's Bookstore Lists, which she posts on r.a.sf.w. and other newsgroups from time to time. Ahasuerus 01:26, 14 Jul 2007 (CDT)
I was at Fantasy Centre today, and they do indeed still have a marvelous stock and great hospitality. Strangely, I only spent about a third more than I did at Daeron's Books yesterday, which seemed to have more obscure books (hence the Fanthorpe queries last night) in a much smaller space. And I was only at Daeron's yesterday as they had been closed the day before - which wasn't too bad as the Willen Hospice book-shop in the same village actually had a very good SF collection as well. Charity shops may be all we're left with soon - "The Book Exchange" in Borehamwood has changed to a Toy Shop, which was Tuesday's disappointment: compounded by confirming on the way back that Paton's Books in St Albans has now completely closed. (Although the Oxfam Bookshop in that town is quite good for SF compared to most Charity stores.) It's probably good that my holiday has ended though, at the rate my book-purchasing has increased over the last few days I'd be spending a week's pay per day by the end of a second week. :-/ BLongley 16:43, 28 Jul 2007 (CDT)
By the way, I saw physical editions of Tuck for the first time today. 25 pounds per volume seemed a bit steep though, I think I'll be continuing to bug known owners here instead. :-) BLongley 16:43, 28 Jul 2007 (CDT)

Depression or Bust / Dawnman Planet

Not verifying this pub doesn't let you off the hook - I spotted it was you that provided the Amazon cover scan! :-) Anyway, I can understand leaving it for a bit, it wasn't an easy title what with the fix-up, serialisation, other publication in an Ace double, etc: can you have a look now and see if it makes sense? BLongley 16:08, 28 Jul 2007 (CDT)

I added that cover in December 2, 2005 when ISFDB was in hibernation and have not gotten to the letter R for ISFDB verification yet. Unfortunately, the letter R (and a few other letters) are hard to get to at the moment. I'll just go by what's in my own DB which has.
  • Publisher: Ace Books
  • Copyright: 1974
  • First printing: n.d.
  • Printing #: n.p.
  • Printing date: n.d.
  • Catalog #: SBN 441-14250-095; On Amazon at *B0006W8E28
  • Barcode: None
  • Price: 0.95
  • Binding: MM Paperback
  • Pages: 157+156
  • Type: Collection
I did not start recording the cover artist until later. My parser for the catalog # knows about SBNs but it'll also see the the "On Amazon at *" and link to Amazon using the ASIN records as that SBN converted into an ISBN does not link to a valid Amazon record.
Overall, what I have matches your verification other than
  • I'm not sure why I called it a collection - maybe it's a collection of two stories? I'd need to look at the book again.
  • I have n.d. for the printing date and you dated it 1974-00-00 implying that date is stated. Is that the case or was this derived from the copyright?
  • As ISBN 0-441-14250-8 is not on Amazon I would have just added a note that ISBN 0441142508 / 0-441-14250-8 can be derived from the SBN but but as there is no record for this ISBN the ISFDB record uses the original SBN. 0441142508 is used by some book sellers on Marc Kupper (talk) 16:47, 28 Jul 2007 (CDT)
It's described as "two novels" so Omnibus seemed more appropriate than Collection. I did remove three short-fiction titles and moved those to title details as (a) there are FOUR titles involved for the first and (b) none were given for the second. The credits in the publication itself seem more accurate than what we had before.
It's derived from copyright date, plus confirmed sightings with that date on Alibris. I've left the original note about publication date in, but have no source for that.
I usually don't translate a spine-number to an ISBN unless it turns out to be useful in a Google search - which as you see, does lead to hits on the correct title at, but also at I'm reluctant to depend on Amazon alone, but until we host our own images I do have to admit it's the best place to donate our cover-scans to. :-/ BLongley 17:12, 28 Jul 2007 (CDT)
Bill, you wrote "I did remove three short-fiction titles and moved those to title details." What are the "title details?" I looked at the bibliographic notes, title record, etc. If there were three extra shortfiction works that probably explains why I called it a collection. Maybe it's an omnibus of a collection and novel. Contento has it [5] as
Depression or Bust Mack Reynolds (Ace 14250, 1974, 95¢, pb); Bound with Dawnman Planet (Ace 1966) by Mack Reynolds.
  • • Depression or Bust [revised from Analog Aug ’67] • Mack Reynolds • nv *
  • • Expediter • Mack Reynolds • nv Analog May ’63
  • • Fad • Mack Reynolds • nv Analog Apr ’65
re: the date. If it's derived then I would add a publication note explaining the source. It's understanding that publication records should only state what's stated in the publication and any extra information, whether derived or from secondary sources, should be clearly noted. For the older Ace publications, that means all of them will have notes as they never stated the printing date. I've often added notes along the lines of "Prior to verification this ISFDB record had 'xxxxx' but this is not stated in the publication and I was unable to locate a source for it." Basically, I want to make it very clear to someone looking at an ISFDN publication record about which information did not come directly from the publication. I don't mind using Amazon as a source but will often add additional notes explaining how and why that data may be entirely wrong. Marc Kupper (talk) 14:23, 29 Jul 2007 (CDT)
Title details for the one novel they referred to: i.e. here. There were no notes about the other title. Feel free to copy them to the double edition if you think people won't search for the single novel entry. (I guess you didn't or you wouldn't have asked me, so maybe it's better to duplicate the info.) Do note that Contento misses one reference that's actually there in the publication though. BLongley 16:21, 29 Jul 2007 (CDT)
I think I missed the notes as they were just one line in the meta data. I'll think about and deal with it more when I get to the letter R. Marc Kupper (talk) 16:59, 29 Jul 2007 (CDT)
I can't really justify the date in a permanent way as it comes from transient information, i.e. the original ISFDB entry and sales listings. Given the number of new editors that want to update definite but unsourced dates to 0000-00-00 maybe one of us should add a warning though? I can't take responsibility for it as my primary source is not dated, but it was dated before I came to it... have you got any secondary sources that might help, or do we just tell people not to mess with Al's entries? ;-) BLongley 16:21, 29 Jul 2007 (CDT)
When I run across situations such as this where ISFDB already has data that is not in the publication then I add publication notes. I may chose to leave the data there, modify it, or delete it, but in any case I add notes that the data was/is part of the ISFDB record but not could not be found in the physical publication. I usually then do a search to see if I can figure out potential sources for the secondary data that can be cited. Contento/Locus tend to be pretty good but as we see here, they sometimes make mistakes too. I also cite Amazon - part of my reasoning here is that Amazon *is* transient and so I'm trying to capture/document what Amazon says today (I often date my notes or let the verification date be the date). A few years from now Amazon may well say something else. Marc Kupper (talk) 16:59, 29 Jul 2007 (CDT)
I know what you mean about Ace publications - I picked up four from Fantasy Centre yesterday that demanded an explanation about how they're smaller than usual paperback size - we worry about LARGER than usual paperback size and call it "tp", why not smaller? I just left the dates untouched though, I can't justify them nor refute them. By the way, I picked up several DAW publications there - mostly Ron Goulart. I guess you probably don't want to be bothered with every single DAW book added, but I added ten or so today I think - it might be easiest to check my Amazon Image library rather than recent verifications or integrations though. Although Jim Gardner had several entered already, as usual... :-/ BLongley 16:21, 29 Jul 2007 (CDT)
I know what you mean by the smaller than usual Ace books. I'm I have not tried to figure out if there's a pattern to them though it seems the older books are smaller (6 3/8th inches or 161mm). Avon and Pocket also made them this size. At some point everyone switched to the 7 inch (177mm) size. In the past year or two publishers are making some MM books that are the same width but seem about an inch taller. They are MM and not TP quality paper/binding and I'd classify them as pb in ISFDB. I guess this is the bloat squared and so far have never bought anything in this size. I'd need to put them on my tp/hc shelves as my MM shelves are 7 3/8th" high.
Thank you for the heads up on the DAW books but unfortunately I have too many other pressing issues and would rather focus on coding than trying to keep up on data entry. Marc Kupper (talk) 16:59, 29 Jul 2007 (CDT)

Brittiany A. Korenx

I presume the "x" is wrong? BLongley 15:48, 20 Aug 2007 (CDT)

Grumble - I wonder how I missed that one? What bugs me is that "Korenx" was in my auto-complete buffer meaning it came from my machine. Anyway - I fixed the publication and thank you. I suppose I should have scanned in a better cover image too. It was a library book that I check out to read (it was so-so as the fantasy rarely went *that* wrong) meaning I'd need to check it out again to get the cover scan. Marc Kupper (talk) 20:13, 20 Aug 2007 (CDT)

Kristen Britain

Marc, you verified the first printing of Kristen Britain's Green Rider back in May. The Title record is fine, but the "Author" field in the Publication record is set to "Kristin Britain", which I assume is a typo? Ditto the 1999 Earthlight reprint. Ahasuerus 21:29, 25 Aug 2007 (CDT)

Thank you Ahasuerus. I corrected both publications. I know with the DAW version I spotted it in the Fremont, CA Half-Price books, scribbled down notes and did not spot the Kristen/Kristin error when checking ISFDB against my scribbles. Marc Kupper (talk) 00:19, 27 Aug 2007 (CDT)
Sure thing! (also deleted spam from this morning) Ahasuerus 10:36, 27 Aug 2007 (CDT)
Thank you Ahasuerus. It's sort of interesting to see that the two spammers hitting this page do so about 2 to 4 minutes apart...
I have seen this happen to other Talk pages. My guess is that as we protect more and more spam targets, the spambots are left with fewer and fewer entries in the target pool, so a random selection of URLs is more likely to produce duplicates. On the other hand, clever spamming algorithms have been known to spam the same page multiple times hoping that some of the changes will be overlooked and stick. Ahasuerus 21:35, 27 Aug 2007 (CDT)
I heard from Al - apparently the machine with the ISFDB code is up in Illinois and it's probably another week before he can get to it over the Internet from Austin several more weeks before he can see the thing physically meaning plenty of time to collect data on spammer behavior. :( Marc Kupper (talk) 19:30, 27 Aug 2007 (CDT)
Ouch! The current mess is... well, rather messy :( Ahasuerus 21:35, 27 Aug 2007 (CDT)
When I tried to save the previous text I got the following though the text was saved.
Sorry! The wiki is experiencing some technical difficulties, and cannot contact the database server.
Unknown MySQL server host 'virt-mysql.vpr' (1)
Marc Kupper (talk) 19:32, 27 Aug 2007 (CDT)
Given TAMU's history over of the last 6 months or so, I think it's fair to say that it's not a suitable hosting solution for a project with dozens of active (or at least semi-active) editors and thousands of users. And it's not like other hosting options are expensive or hard to set up these days, so I am increasingly in favor of moving elsewhere if at all possible. Ahasuerus 21:35, 27 Aug 2007 (CDT)

Amazon Image Uploads

I (reluctantly) started using the Amazon US site as the results were available in minutes rather than "next working day" for the UK version (and the UK version only actually promised 3-5 working days!), but Amazon US have changed it seems. It's not just slow now, but it seems I can upload images and see:

Preview images & add comments and notes
Sorry, you do not have any images to preview or publish.
You may choose to continue shopping or add more images.

Which makes me worried about where my uploads are going! Have you noticed the difference? BLongley 18:47, 15 Sep 2007 (CDT)

Yes, I'm having problems too. See the saga below.
I recently went through a few weeks of not having any time for ISFDB or book related things. This past week I've had a few snatches of free time at odd hours and have also noticed odd problems with uploading Amazon images.
  • On July 29th I uploaded an image and it worked fine.
  • On August 29th I uploaded an image and it worked fine.
  • On September 13th I ran into a minor bit of trouble uploading images.
    • The upload has been updated in that it now shows a progress indicator.
    • I did the upload/confirm but the image never showed up.
    • I did the upload again and the confirmation screen had both the original and newly uploaded images.
    • I tried to delete the original image and there was an error (I forget the exact wording). I ended up deleting the new image and thought I had saved the image but in looking now I see
  • On September 14th I try to upload an image for (Vault of the Ages). Given my troubles the previous day I'm extra careful about what I click to make sure that yes, I really did click the confirm button, etc. I did not keep notes though and so this saga is from memory.
    • The page showed (and still shows) a Camelot/Avon edition. Underneath this are links for "See larger image", "See 1 customer image", and "Share your own customer images." There is no rollover with the tiny thumbnails. I had used "See larger image" to see what edition this was and as the Amazon publication record is for the Berkley (October 1, 1978) edition I went ahead with "Share your own customer images." The upload and confirm seemed to work but my image never showed up.
    • While waiting I clicked "See 1 customer image" and discovered someone had already uploaded the Berkley October-1978 cover. That cover matches my publication and so I went ahead with using it for ISFDB.
    • At this point the Berkley October-1978 cover I uploaded is not in my image gallery.
    • Just for fun - I went to and did a customer upload for a completely different image to see if perhaps the one I uploaded on the 13th would show up along with the new one. Nope, only the new one shows. I used the delete-image option rather than saving this but assume my upload of the 13th has fallen into a black hole.
  • I decided to run a test. The next book in this stack that does not have an ISBN image is The Year's Best Horror Stories: Series XIII and there's no Amazon image at
    • I scanned the image but when I clicked on "Share your own customer image" Amazon came back with an add-images screen that contains a large box that reads "We are currently experiencing technical difficulties. Please try again later." Hopefully Amazon is fixing the problems that both you and I seemed to have experienced in the past few days.
    • About 5 minutes later I hit refresh and now the box has the usual "Select images from your computer" stuff.
    • Oops - while waiting for the upload I went back to this page and added more notes. When I went back there was a screen that said something about "You have no images" Hmm, I was not sure if this is the same page/thread I was doing the upload on (I'm multi-tasking about 30 windows at the moment) and so I close that window, go back to, hit refresh, and click "Share your own customer image" again. This time I watch the upload which does its thing and the "Preview images & add comments and notes" page shows two copies. on "Preview images & add comments and notes"
    • I delete Image #2 figuring the original is good enough. The screen updates and says
Preview images & add comments and notes
Sorry, you do not have any images to preview or publish.
You may choose to continue shopping or add more images.
    • I went back to and started the upload again.
    • It shows the "We are currently experiencing technical difficulties. Please try again later."
    • I immediately close off that window and try again but this time I select a different image. Image #1 is the one I want but I know something's wrong there and image #2 is the new one. I delete image #1 and the screen updates to "Sorry, you do not have any images to preview or publish."
    • I try "Add More Images" and upload the cover I want. As expected, it's image #2 and image #1 is the wrong one that I uploaded for testing. I delete image #1 and again it says I have no images so I add my cover again.
    • Oops - I had switched to this window during the upload to add notes and on switching back the upload box is there but it says
There were some problems with your upload:
* We had a problem processing image 'the year's best horror stories - series xiii (daw books 0-88677-086-6, 1st printing, $2.95, cover art by michael whelan).jpg'. Please try again.
    • I upload again as long as the box is right there, watch the upload progress, and get taken to a confirmation screen that has
Preview images & add comments and notes
If you are happy with these images, then click the Publish button. If you want to add more images, click Share more images. You can also add comments and notes to the images.
    • The problem is that no images are shown!
I gave up for now as it's apparent something is screwed up within Amazon's system meaning that for now I'll just continue to collect notes for things I'll need to do once Amazon is fixed and ISFDB is in a state where we can start making changes (meaning Al is available again). Marc Kupper (talk) 14:28, 16 Sep 2007 (CDT)
Yes, it's well-broken. I see a couple of my uploads from the 15th are now ready for Captioning and Publishing, so I've tried that. No rapid response like before though - there's certainly no point in me adding stuff to Amazon US for "quick response" reasons when it's in this state. The UK site still accepts stuff the old way, so I'm still doing that - but that's so slow I often forget to link to it later. Still, it's there for when someone spots it. (I'm leaving some prices as "L" prefix rather than correcting to "£" on pubs so the Amazon UK link works - that should be a quick fix for Al, but I've said that before two reappearances where it wasn't fixed, so I'll not hold my breath.) Actually, it's probably time to remind him, as I can't recall where I asked for it... BLongley 16:10, 16 Sep 2007 (CDT)
I'm losing heart in the whole "we'll get things changed" thing to be honest - unless it's something I can change myself, like help-text. And I'm tempted to do that for cover-art soon, I don't want one of the ZZZZZZZZ URLs used for any pub I've verified that's still in print, and suspect such should go back to a higher level as "the latest cover for this book is...": unfortunately that's probably ISBN level, which we don't have. At the moment, I'm changing as many ZZZZZZZ URLs to the working correct image as possible, but as Amazon are adding more and more "Search Inside!" options I don't think I can win. I want somewhere where my definitive covers can go - maybe it's time to ask Unapersson about adding our images to his server for the moment? BLongley 16:10, 16 Sep 2007 (CDT)
We have the option of hosting images on ISFDB's gmail account. I agree it's discouraging though in we seem to be getting stuck in holding patterns because of the current inability to deal with changes to hosting, fixing TAMU, fixing/updating ISFDB code, and fixing Amazon's upload code. I have at least three immediate projects I need to deal with before I'd have time to deal with ISFDB. Marc Kupper (talk) 17:05, 16 Sep 2007 (CDT)
Perhaps it's time to approach Amazon with a "Look, we know more about your books than YOU do" attitude and try to get employed as Expert Bibliographical Consultants? I wouldn't mind doing this full-time if I got paid well for it... I suspect they aren't interested in paying more than peanuts though, judging by their monkeys' current abilities. :-( BLongley 17:35, 16 Sep 2007 (CDT)
I have thought about that at times. I also believe that many of the people at Amazon are just like us in that they care about the data, quality of the system, etc. Much of the garbage in the system results from sellers that are in too great a hurry (volume seems to matter when it comes to selling books over the Internet), sellers that are trying to position books to their best advantage, and many thousands of well meaning contributors. From a technical perspective Amazon seems to have worked and held up pretty well. We have no idea what the root cause of this weekend's image upload problems are. As for working at Amazon - it seems that Seattle is the place to be. I've visited Seattle a few times and it seems like a fine area though friends that live there generally seem to want to come back to California. Marc Kupper (talk) 18:42, 16 Sep 2007 (CDT)

Wayne Barlowe

Thanks for the writeup! Just last weekend I spent over 5 minutes trying to decipher the initials on the cover of the 1978 Berkley edition of Fritz Leiber's Night's Black Agents :) Ahasuerus 18:57, 16 Sep 2007 (CDT)

I probably spent more than 5 minutes as I first tried various permutations of WBO using things like
select author_canonical,author_legalname from authors where author_canonical like 'B% O%' AND author_id in (select author_id from canonical_author where title_id in (select title_id from titles where title_ttype='COVERART')) limit 20;
I then spotted a uncited reference that Wayne Barlowe had done the cover and so I e-mailed him. He would not confess at first as that cover I had is not on his personal highlight reel. :-) He's given me a list of other covers he did and so I'll update ISFDB. Marc Kupper (talk) 04:16, 18 Sep 2007 (CDT)

Baen's Universe

My last post on the Community Portal got not response and I think the general consensus is that I either do Baen's Universe or shut up. With your permission I would like to accept the submissions. Unless you have reservations about the arguments in my Community Portal post I will be happy to take this problem off of your hands.--swfritter 09:28, 23 Sep 2007 (CDT)

I finally found a moment to respond to Stephen's post on the Community Portal (so many Wiki pages, so little time...) Also, I believe Marc's availability is rather spotty at the moment, so we may have to wait a day or two for his response. Ahasuerus 17:02, 23 Sep 2007 (CDT)
Yes, my time will be very spotty for a while. I'll head over to the community portal to see what this is about. Marc Kupper (talk) 01:46, 25 Sep 2007 (CDT)
Ahh, Paula Goodlett stuff. I was waiting to see what developed on if we would allow eZines. I simply parked the submissions as Paula did put a lot of effort into adding these entries. My personal inclination is to approve them but also knew that at the time they ran against the ISFDB policy on eZines. It looks that's been figured out. swfritter - they are all yours now. Thank you.
Thanks. I am sure you a glad to have these off your hands. I will ask for one final confirmation and then approve them.--swfritter 11:55, 25 Sep 2007 (CDT)
Also, could someone please take over the two Dsorgen submissions that I have on hold? I held them because of changes to the contents and I wanted to research that. Thank you. Marc Kupper (talk) 02:02, 25 Sep 2007 (CDT)
I will also take at a look at these.--swfritter 11:55, 25 Sep 2007 (CDT)

Help Update

I've adjusted the help page on Cover-Art images to cover "AA240" as well, and removed my prior recommendation to search all the ZZZZZZ options. If I had more time I'd probably change it to a complete "Don't use the ZZZZZZZ crap!" rant but I'm always cautious on help changes. (It takes me ages to find the little sods in the first place.) I think you and I are the main new Image-providers, so any other advice is good, but it's not urgent. I'm adjusting my own pubs, obliterating the useless, but not interfering with the hopeful. BLongley 16:35, 26 Sep 2007 (CDT)

A couple of things.
  1. It seems you you replaced discussion about removing "_SS500_" with discussion about removing "_AA240_". The images are
The reason I chose the original image was that the first was a 96x160 pixel high image inside a 500 pixel square. There was lots of white space. Your example uses a 305x500 pixel image in a 240 pixel square meaning that Amazon scaled the image to 146x240 and then padded the left/right sides with 47 pixels of which to make a 240x240 pixel image. The help text is about seeing a postage size image with lots of white around it while your example image demonstrates that Amazon scales down and pads the edges with space to make a square. Actually, what got my attention was the file name you picked had a + sign in the middle which is %2B in the URL. It made for a slightly non-standard looking URL.
  1. I would not sweat this stuff too much as I'd rather put time into adding code to cache so that if Amazon changes one we will detect it and be able to then locate and swap in the correct image. Plus I might as well look at code to detect and remove image file names that contain the embedded scaling stuff. Both of these can be done "off line" and don't need Al's involvement. 21:54, 27 Sep 2007 (CDT)

City of Golden Shadow

Dgeiser13 added to this pub if you wish to check it. BLongley 15:33, 27 Sep 2007 (CDT)

Thank you for the heads up. I assume you would have held the update had the editor been overwriting data rather than adding data. I see that the XML blob has the following implying these fields were added.
I think I know what happened. I got a grocery-bag of books and did a fast first pass of verifying that the information already in ISFDB was correct but did not add any additional data or notes. The bag is still sitting here next to my desk and I never got around to doing a second pass to fill in the full details. I have a 7th printing and so decided to unverify the publication and at some point I'll clone this record and reverify it.
Something you may want to bring up with the editor is the distinction between a first and later printing date. He/she set the year to 1998-01-00 and stated "16th printing." In this case the first printing was 1998-01 and it should have been entered in ISFDB as an undated (0000-00-00) 16th printing. Or, the editor could do what I do which is I set the date to 1998-01-16 along with something like this note.
  • The printing date for this publication is unknown. Rather than using 0000-00-00 this publication in ISFDB has been dated using the YYYY-MM of the first printing and the day of the month is set to the printing number to get the publication sorted into a reasonable spot relative to other printings for this edition. Marc Kupper (talk) 22:28, 27 Sep 2007 (CDT)

Scholastic's number line

Stolen from community Portal but it's something I need to research... Marc Kupper (talk) 00:34, 29 Sep 2007 (CDT)

I am not sure I understand Scholastic's number line conventions. Could somebody with a clue take a look at this Laurence Yep Publication and clarify what the number line is trying to say? Thanks! Ahasuerus 23:52, 29 May 2007 (CDT)

The pub-notes say "No price or cover artist stated. "Book Club edition RL5 010-012". Copyright 1991. "First Scholastic printing October 1992." Number line: "12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 (spaces) 2 3 4 5 6 7/9"."
  • "RL5 010-012" -> Reading Level 5 (5th grade) or ages 10 to 12
  • "12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1" -> This is the printing # - 1st printing in this case.
  • "2 3 4 5 6 7/9" -> This is the year of printing - 1992 in this case with the "/9" signifying is 199x.
Do we have a help page somewhere with number lines? I know there was a community chat a while back where I documented various number line formats and we might as well add this to the list. Marc Kupper (talk) 14:41, 30 May 2007 (CDT)
That would be great! Ahasuerus 15:10, 30 May 2007 (CDT)
The old discussion is at ISFDB:Community_Portal/Archive/Archive06#Printing_.23_Number_Line and so I'll see if I can convert that into a help page this weekend. BTW, my most recent convention has been to just state the whatever is in the publication much like what you have at THSTRFSHRL1992 that started this thread. I'm doing this for a couple of reasons. 1) It keeps publication entry objective. 2) There may be something in the wording or number line that means something to others. Marc Kupper (talk) 20:44, 30 May 2007 (CDT)
I realized I did not understand the structure of the help pages and so have started a Site Map and once I have that filled in I'll hopefully see a good place to insert publisher help pages. Of course, like any old-house remodeling project, once I dug in I then saw that help pages were never created for the title-merge pages (Titles and Dup Candidates). Marc Kupper (talk) 03:39, 3 Jun 2007 (CDT)
A new complication: it seems there's now a LETTER-line to consider. :-(
I invite you all to go to this book, go to Copyright Page, and see the "A C E G H F D B" for yourself. Head-Desking and Weeping-in-Frustration may follow. BLongley 15:28, 23 Sep 2007 (CDT)


Welcome back, Marc! I see that you have verified Darwinia, but I wonder if Teresa Nielsen Hayden's name is missing a letter or two? Ahasuerus 19:23, 26 Oct 2007 (CDT)

I'm sorry but I'm not really back. I'm not sure what you meant. The comment I wrote is about my hardcover edition only credits Patrick Nielsen Hayden for editing. Orb later did a paperback edition [6] that credits both Patrick Nielsen Hayden and Teresa Nielsen Hayden. See the Amazon Look Inside for the paperback edition where you can see on the copyright page "Edited by Patrick and Teresa Nielsen Hayden". It's possible the error is by Orb in that they assumed both Haydens worked on it when it may only be Patrick. As for missing a letter or two, Patrick_Nielsen_Hayden and Teresa_Nielsen_Hayden both seem to link correctly.
The last line of the Note field spells TNH's name "Tersa" :) Ahasuerus 12:37, 7 Nov 2007 (CST)
Thank you for the reminder that I need new glasses... :-) Actually, I had not liked the way I worded the comment about the editors and so rewrote it. Marc Kupper (talk) 01:21, 8 Nov 2007 (CST)
I still get time to read when waiting to pick up my daughter from school but am still quite swamped in work stuff. I've pretty much lost all of my ISFDB and other personal time for the next few months. Thus I read when I can, try to write reviews, and to verify the books I'm reading on ISFDB. The review process is sadly getting behind. I've read eight books recently that are stacked here on the desk waiting for time for me to write the review. I guess I could bring a laptop and write reviews in the car when waiting at the school. Marc Kupper (talk) 01:59, 7 Nov 2007 (CST)
Sorry to hear about the work situation, but I understand the need to feed the next generation of ISFDB editors! ;-) Ahasuerus 12:37, 7 Nov 2007 (CST)

One Against Herculum / Secret of the Lost Race

I've added art to your verified pub if you'd like to check. BLongley 08:18, 28 Oct 2007 (CDT) Also here. BLongley 11:12, 28 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Thank you Bill - there was a day where I got a nice stack of books at the library sale. I did a 1st pass verify and now the books are just sitting in grocery bags here on the floor and I never got a chance to improve the ISFDB entries. The only good news is I have a few minutes per week to read with this week being Aldiss' Starship. After reading all of my books with author last names starting with "F" I'm now working on "A". :-) Marc Kupper (talk) 02:06, 7 Nov 2007 (CST)

Traitor's Sun

I really don't like the state of this [7]. Co-credit done as a separate Novel link? Jacket and book designs done as Interiorart? (And sneaking two credits into one Author entry for the book design anyway?) I hope this was an experiment that will be fixed when you get time, or that such conventions are going to be put up for discussion - or have I already missed that discussion? BLongley 16:02, 10 Nov 2007 (CST)

No hurry on this though, I've seen far weirder today. BLongley 16:02, 10 Nov 2007 (CST)

Regarding the Adrienne Martine-Barnes credit - I personally thought it was a cool way to credit her without putting her on the masthead for the publication or title. Had Martine-Barnes not been an author listed in ISFDB I would only have noted her in the notes but as she does have other works in ISFDB I included this so that people looking at her bibliography would know she had a hand in this MZB work. The book has no explanation for why Martine-Barnes' appears on the copyright page meaning we don't know what her actual role was in the book. I did revise the title note a little to hopefully make this record clearer and am thinking of changing the (sub-title) thing to say (uncredited) and people would click to learn what that means.
Jacket and book designs done as Interiorart? Yes, I've been doing that for a while. I use Interiorart records to handle credits for miscellaneous people until ISFDB adds support for user defined title types. The goal being that someone can later look up something like G-Force_Design and will know when that company was active and with a few clicks you will be able to tell what publishers they worked for. I tend to only do this for people I see a lot. The only person I normally don't credit is the photographer of the author's portrait on the back flap. My general rule is if someone's credited on the cover and title page I credit them in the meta record otherwise I add content lines. The only exception is collections which always (per ISFDB rules) get credited to just the author and not an editor, even if he/she is listed on the title page. I do add credits in the notes in this case.
"And sneaking two credits into one Author entry for the book design anyway?" - Hmm, maybe I should be clearer. That's literally how the credit is stated in the publications. It's nearly always "Stanley_S._Drate_/_Folio_Graphics,_Inc." but I don't know if Folio Graphics is a one man shop or if they have other artists. Google up "folio graphics" Drate and you will see that he's done work on things like Hardy Boys books. I don't know if is the company.
Largely though, this is an experiment as I was looking in to ways to credit the secondary players. The Drate/Folio one is messy and I personally don't like how that part is turning out. For example, for some reason I did one of them as Stanley_S._Drate,_Folio_graphics_Company,_Inc.. I'll need to dig up the publication again to see if that's the way he was credited and if I should normalize this into Stanley_S._Drate_/_Folio_Graphics,_Inc.. Even then it's messy but I can't think of a way to show that he was doing this work on behalf of Folio Graphics as he may well show up some day working on his own or for another company. Marc Kupper (talk) 02:45, 11 Nov 2007 (CST)
To quote a 7 year old post by Heather Rose Jones:
Laura Burchard <> wrote:
I thought it was pretty well-known that for years, nothing under Bradley's name, 'collaboration' or otherwise, had actually been written by her; <snip> I'm not sure about the Darkover anthologies; the first stroke was in 1989 and pretty much killed her ability to write at any length, and about half the anthologies were done after that, with a story or two under her name in each one. Perhaps early on she could still manage short stories, or at least rewrite old scraps, or perhaps they were also written by others. I'm
It is an exaggeration to say that nothing in this period that appeared under MZB's name was written by her. I have first-hand knowledge of this because I worked for her magazine for several years in the mid '90s. What is true is that pretty much anything she wrote had to be heavily edited to turn it into readable English -- in part because she couldn't be bothered to polish things up beyond a very rough first draft, and in part because she no longer had the acuity of mind to do so.
But the editorials and short stories that appeared under her name in the magazine during the time I was there were all, in major substance, MZB's writing. They were all, also, heavily edited. I know, because when I was working there, I was one of the ones doing it. Sometimes they only needed very heavy-duty copyediting; sometimes one had to deal with eliminating repetitions, turning fragments into sentences, and fishing an identifiable theme out of the prose and then making the rest of the work relate to that theme. But the result was always based on her substance.
(The only thing that occasionally got her name attached to it in the magazine that she hadn't actually written were occasional replies to letters to the editor.)
...which explains the semi-credited collaborators. Ahasuerus 02:58, 11 Nov 2007 (CST)
Thank you for that Ahasuerus. I've often wondered how much of MZB's co-authorship was because she was mentally or physically not up to it and how much was because her values included supporting other or new authors and thus she would loan her name, and perhaps a story outline, to people. In looking at the Chronological Bibliography it looks like there was not much co-authorship before 1989 implying most of the post 1989 co-authorship was either a change of heart or that she was not up to her previous level of work. Marc Kupper (talk) 18:55, 12 Nov 2007 (CST)
Well, it's certainly an interesting experiment. I must admit I have a preference for keeping the humans separate from companies, but seeing "BlackSheep", "blacksheep Design", "blacksheep Design UK" and "" in a name search shows it isn't that way for everyone. :-/ I don't particularly care about the design companies, and although I WOULD like to see lots more options for covers that's mainly for people like Robert Rankin, who SCULPTS items that get Photographed and then Designed into covers... I guess I'm a people person, and think any PERSON that deserves to be here should be credited for all the things they did for a pub entry. For instance, I'm sure that yesterday I left Haldeman with a cover-art credit for a photograph he provided, but left a note for that. Perhaps this is the way forward for now, it stops overuse of ESSAY at least: I don't think I've accused anyone of overuse of INTERIORART before though! Still, continue the experiment and put it up for discussion later: that's what I did with my "Ace Doubles" work! BLongley 14:37, 11 Nov 2007 (CST)
I've just found a perfect example of "Too Much Information". Here is a pub where I could credit "Cover design" ("" again), "Clock Photography" ("ImageState") and "Genetic Profile"(!) ("Science PhotoLibrary"). They're so useless to me that I'm not even going to add them to notes. BLongley 16:25, 11 Nov 2007 (CST)
Yes, like movies the credits list keeps bloating and I agree with in not recording to that detail. It's not specfict and hence no link but I just looked at a copyright page of a book I'm reading and the upper half was done "movie credits" style with bold/centered text, crediting translators, relettering, retouch, editor, assistant editor, consulting editor, book design, and art director and that's not even counting the author, illustrator, cover artist, publisher, etc. BTW, Is using INTERIORART for a translator abuse? (I did not do that one...) Marc Kupper (talk) 18:43, 12 Nov 2007 (CST)
Oh, definitely abuse! Ahasuerus 18:54, 12 Nov 2007 (CST)
Yes, I'd say so. (We've probably abused most available fields now, and I've no idea how we could programmatically get the data back into usable form for most of those.) I've moved several translators and illustrators out of "co-author status" and back to notes, after using such links to find similar problems.
With "translator" I can see why somebody wanted a pub_content level entry, as although "title_translator" exists, it's inaccessible via the software: and it could never work with the way we're recording foreign translations of books under one canonical title. And even if we DID have all foreign titles set up as variants, there's no guarantee that different editions don't have different translators. It might be a useful field though, I can see myself wanting to know whether an English publication of a foreign book was translated by someone that can write good English, or someone that translates hardware manuals for Far Eastern computer companies. :-/ BLongley 15:29, 13 Nov 2007 (CST)

Publication Level Series

I know you've been active in DAW books, which is obviously a (very long!) publication level series. I've come across several other examples today (due to me finding a book-shop that was offering all "outside" books for 10p each, or 12 for a pound - after a couple of trips between bookshop and car I rescued 60 SF books for a fiver (under ten US dollars?) - but I digress).

Can you think of a good way to categorise book series, rather than title series, under current ISFDB constraints? E.g. "The Corgi SF Collector's Library", or the "Venture SF" series, or even the infamous "Science Fiction Special" omnibuses? I'm thinking the Wiki way is the only way to go, but that gets ignored in backups and so is comparatively vulnerable... BLongley 15:31, 11 Nov 2007 (CST)

Oh no, the Wiki (including all revisions) is backed up nightly, which is why our backup file is over 1Gb. Even the publicly available backup file contains the current version of all Wiki tables. Ahasuerus 16:22, 11 Nov 2007 (CST)
Please give me some pointers then? "mw_cur" has data, "mw_user" doesn't. Is that all there are? BLongley 16:37, 11 Nov 2007 (CST)
That's right, "mw_cur" has the current contents of the Wiki, including Marc's DAW tables. "mw_user" has user settings that get expunged when the "raw" backup file is converted to the publicly posted backup file. Ahasuerus 16:45, 11 Nov 2007 (CST)
Yeesh! Sorting out "mw_cur" data into something like our Wiki pages from the backup alone looks nigh on impossible. Particularly as "cur_text" insists it's Swedish. BLongley 17:19, 11 Nov 2007 (CST)
Cool! A new backup! I also thought the backup is missing some mw_* tables. I know I was not able to reconstruct things earlier when I looked into this. I'm downloading the new backup but won't have time to explorer it right away. I just looked at old notes and earlier backups did not include mw_cur but it sounds like that's been fixed. Marc Kupper (talk) 19:28, 12 Nov 2007 (CST)
Yes, mw_cur is now a part of the publicly available backup. I am working on a new version now and, with luck, should be able to post them weekly. Ahasuerus 20:11, 12 Nov 2007 (CST)
Getting back to the original questions
1 "due to me finding a book-shop that was offering all "outside" books for 10p each" - I love it when I see those. I even have a grocery bag full of 35 cent era Ace books that set me back by about $5 but is still awaiting processing. Marc Kupper (talk) 19:28, 12 Nov 2007 (CST)
Best find of the year - it's the second time I've seen a shop with ridiculously low prices, but this was a) cheaper and b) had looked after the books better. I could probably sell two and have covered the cost of the other 58! BLongley 14:54, 13 Nov 2007 (CST)
2 "Can you think of a good way to categorise book series" - I have used the Wiki in a number of places including the DAW list thing. I also like this approach as it allows me to write introduction/explanation text. Solving this in the ISFDB database will not be easy. Marc Kupper (talk) 19:28, 12 Nov 2007 (CST)
The downside with the Wiki (apart from our current link problem) is that it sounds as if it's going to be tricky to upgrade, which we'll need to get a decent search going. I still can't search the Wiki one tenth as well as I can ISFDB, and that's with all the broken ISFDB searches I have to turn to SQL for! BLongley 14:54, 13 Nov 2007 (CST)

King of Argent

I've just acquired what seems to be the first Daw edition. It's got a confusing/interesting printing number paragraph rather than number-line, if you're interested. (And find time - no hurry, I'm keeping it.) BLongley 16:09, 12 Nov 2007 (CST)

Good find! DAW did that for a very brief time. Here's a time line.
  • April 1972 - Book #1, Spell of the Witch World by Andre Norton - DAW did not have any printing indication at all.
  • September 1972, Book #22, The Return of the Time Machine by Egon Friedell - DAW started saying "First Printing, 1972" and there was no number line.
  • December 1972, Book #33, Transit to Scorpio by Alan Burt Akers - DAW added the month and it says "First Printing, December 1972" but there was still no number line.
  • January 1973, Book #40, Planet Probability by Brian N. Ball - The last of the books with the month/year but no number line.
  • February 1973, Book #41, Changeling Earth by Fred Saberhagen - DAW added a "number paragraph" spelled out in English as you noted.
  • March 1973, Book #46, King of Argent by John T. Phillifent - You just added a new data point on how far the "number paragraph" system extends.
  • April 1973, Book #52, The Light That Never Was by Lloyd Biggle, Jr. - First confirmed sighting of the number line format that DAW has continued to use to this day.
Between #46 and #52 there's
  • March 1973, Book #47, Time Story by Stuart Gordon - no one has a copy of this
I only have the UK version, no information about the US printings in it. BLongley 14:03, 13 Nov 2007 (CST)
I can't check at the moment, but I am pretty sure that my edition was published by DAW. I'll add it to my list of things to check on November 29. Ahasuerus 15:48, 13 Nov 2007 (CST)
Better a month late than never! Turns out that I do have the first printing of this edition and it uses the "number paragraph" system. I have verified the pub and added a note about the way printing numbers are recorded in the book. Ahasuerus 23:34, 29 Dec 2007 (CST)
I only have the UK version, no information about the US printings in it. BLongley 14:03, 13 Nov 2007 (CST)
I am afraid Don ran into rather serious health problems a couple of months ago -- see his Talk page -- and may not be in a position to do much checking in the foreseeable future. I am pretty sure that my copy was published by DAW and will check on November 29. Ahasuerus 15:48, 13 Nov 2007 (CST)
  • April 1973, Book #49, The Suns of Scorpio by Alan Burt Akers - Don Erikson has a copy of the 1st printing.
  • April 1973, Book #50, Strange Doings by R. A. Lafferty - No one has a 1st printing. I have a 2nd with a standard # line.
  • April 1973, Book #51, Where Were You Last Pluterday? by Paul van Herck - No one has a 1st printing. I have a 2nd with a standard # line.
DAW seems to change their stuff between months meaning it's most likely that the transition from "number paragraph" to "number line" is from book #48 to #49 meaning Don Erikson should be able to confirm this. Marc Kupper (talk) 18:28, 12 Nov 2007 (CST)
Bill one other thing you might note is if its a Canadian or US printing. The printings are usually identical, but sometimes there are differences between the two.Kraang 18:48, 12 Nov 2007 (CST)
Printed in USA, no Canadian price. BLongley 14:03, 13 Nov 2007 (CST)
Marc I'm just about finished finding all my other Daw books, so I'll spend a bit of time updating the Daw list and will sent it to you. May take a couple of weeks but it will arrive.Kraang 18:48, 12 Nov 2007 (CST)
I don't organise my Daw books in any sort of order, but I've only verified 36 or so it seems. Assuming I've been beaten to verification on several, I doubt I have more than 50-60. BLongley 14:03, 13 Nov 2007 (CST)
My copy of The Other Log of Phileas Fogg has the number paragraph. Dana Carson 02:18, 14 Nov 2007 (CST)
Excellent as that fits in with the theory that the switch was done between March 1973 and April 1973. Marc Kupper (talk) 02:14, 13 Dec 2007 (CST)

Serial in The Collected Short Fiction of C. J. Cherryh

I am kind of wondering about the 7 part serial in this verified pub. I have been working on applying the date of pub to serials contained in a pub and I can't figure this one out.--swfritter 19:56, 12 Nov 2007 (CST)

I've been thinking about it myself. Would a "short fiction series" be a better solution? Ahasuerus 20:09, 12 Nov 2007 (CST)
Unfortunately, I had not written up notes on why I picked SERIAL other than I had numbered the segments much like a serial. I agree that they are technically not a "serialized" story in the sense of being published in two or more magazines or other publications.
I just changed it to shortfiction in a series. Apparently Al took out the display logic for shortfiction series as they are down at the bottom of the shortfiction section of C._J._Cherryh (being sorted down there as the display logic prioritizes series stuff over dates).
Short fiction Titles are only grouped together at the beginning of the Summary page if there is at least one book length Title in the series. For example, G. C. Edmondson's Mad Friend series is grouped together because the stories (well, the first 7 stories, to be precise) were collected in Stranger Than You Think. OTOH, Kuttner/Moore's "Hogben" stories are not displayed together because there hasn't been a book length version. (Which reminds me that we are missing "The Old Army Game", the very first Hogben story which has only been reprinted in Kuttner Times Three.) Anyway, I have asked Al to change the software's behavior so that series data would be grouped together even if the stories haven't been collected in book form. Ahasuerus 16:51, 15 Dec 2007 (CST)
I'll leave it this way for now so others can see the results but in looking at the Shortfiction list for Cherryh I see that in 1987, 1989, 1990, and 1991 she must have done similar things in other publications and so once everyone's had a gander I'll change the titles from Untitled: Visible Light (part 1 of 7) to Untitled: Visible Light (#7) and also get rid of the series plus series number from each title. That'll display the Untitled: Visible Light stories in a way that consistent with the other stories. Marc Kupper (talk) 02:33, 13 Dec 2007 (CST)
That looks better. It might be a good idea to place a note in the pub to indicate the purpose of the 7 entries. I am assuming that they somehow serve as bridges between the stories?--swfritter 18:06, 15 Dec 2007 (CST)
There is a pub note but maybe it should be clearer as, more specifically, there's a rather long pub note at Publication:CLLCTDSHRT2004. It's like a story with an introduction and seven parts but it also relates closely to the story that it's interleaved with. Story number 1 is about an author writing about where authors get ideas to write about and story #2 is the story the author wrote with the stories weaving together as the author gets her ideas from the local environment which is also ends up being the environment of story #2... Marc Kupper (talk) 02:57, 20 Dec 2007 (CST)
Hey, that's a great note; exactly the way I would like to use the Bibliographic Comments. Make the pubs notes pithy and expand upon them with Bibliographic Comments. My only concern about them is that they are not true database records - and if somebody changes a tag they become orphans.--swfritter 11:58, 20 Dec 2007 (CST)
Yes, I have been thinking about it lately. Putting supplemental data in the Wiki seemed like a good idea at the time, but it makes it more likely that important information may be missed by our users, most of whom have no idea that the Wiki even exists. For now, we probably need to run periodic scans for orphaned Bibliographic Comments. I'll add it to my ever growing list of scripts to write... Ahasuerus 12:26, 20 Dec 2007 (CST)
And maybe eventually a bibliographic notes table with a more secure link? And a widget on the pub screen to indicate that there is a record attached? And caviar on the side - and I don't mean the collection by Sturgeon - unless it's a rare first edition.--swfritter 12:35, 20 Dec 2007 (CST)
The widget already exists. If you look at the publication you will see that the link for Bibliographic Comments: is in blue or purple because the comments exist. Go to a publication that does not have wiki-comments and you will see that the link is in red. The ISFDB display logic checks to see if a wiki-page exists and displays the link in blue or red depending on the results. Marc Kupper (talk) 02:48, 25 Dec 2007 (CST)
Very helpful although I would also wish there were some kind of graphic symbol that appears only when there are bibliographic notes attached. It might be more obvious to the casual user and people as unobservant as I am.--swfritter 15:21, 26 Dec 2007 (CST)
How about if you develop the graphic and send it to Al as part of a feature request? The code is already there to change the link color and so I'd imagine adding a graphic would be very little extra work. Marc Kupper (talk) 03:50, 27 Dec 2007 (CST)

Review of Poul Anderson's Vault of the Ages

I have just stumbled upon Vault of the Ages and it looks like the Synopsis consists of a review of the book written by one Marc Kupper :)

The first (long) paragraph looks fine, but the second one seems to be more of an assessment of the book than a plot outline. Do you think that's the direction we want to take our Synopsis data in? After all, "enjoyable", "believable", "well paced", etc are very subjective and could lead to numerous reverts as each new editor looks at it. It would make it hard to follow the current Help dictum re: "This is not a place for criticism or reviews, and should maintain a neutral point of view", wouldn't you say? Ahasuerus 22:23, 24 Nov 2007 (CST)

It does state "Book review" at the beginning. :-) What happened is that I started to put a review on Amazon but next to the submit button was a readme link that says anything submitted becomes the property of Amazon to do with as they see fit, etc. and so I put it on ISFDB under Synopsis for lack of a better place. I agree that it does not fit within the definition of "Synopsis." Maybe I should start blogging but in the mean time will move the reviews to
Another reason for moving them is a while back someone wrote complaining that the tags were "spoilers" and so I had been holding off on writing synopsises until we figured out a way to have a "hide spoilers" flag though many of my reviews have a synopsis. Marc Kupper (talk) 00:40, 13 Dec 2007 (CST)

Galactic Cluster by Blish

I added the cover art to your verified edition of this collection. As I have the very same edition, I can safely assume it matches yours as well. Mhhutchins 19:46, 4 Dec 2007 (CST)

I don't remember that cover but my copy is stored in a hard to get at spot and so it'll need to wait until I get to it. A little annoying as I read the thing in January and yet I don't remember the cover? Marc Kupper (talk) 00:16, 13 Dec 2007 (CST)

Bow Down to Nul / The Dark Destroyers

Marc I added a cover image to your verified copy [8] and made some changes to the note section. :-)Kraang 20:12, 5 Dec 2007 (CST)

Thank you Sean. I've added a note to re-check this once I find the book again in the piles... I'm reading Places to Be, People to Kill[9] at the moment - Many I'll get inspired. Marc Kupper (talk) 01:32, 13 Dec 2007 (CST)

DAW (and Ace) MZBs

I picked up quite a number of Marion Zimmer Bradley books today (I guess "Geoff Roynon" doesn't need them anymore, judging by the previous owner's name scrawled in most of them), and as Eight were DAW editions and Five were Ace I've been merrily interfering with other unverified editions here, sorting out some covers and putting suspected printing numbers on. The one that worried me most though was that your Keeper's Price is quite dissimilar to mine, as if you'd cloned somebody else's edition that had been entered from the Contents list, carelessly: as I cloned yours to create mine, I've some doubts about mine still as I can't see where the 1978 dates come from. If you get a moment, can you please check that one again? BLongley 18:52, 15 Dec 2007 (CST)

I'm really surprised I marked that as verified. The record does did have my "signature" notes. I think what I should do is to go through that entire bag of books this book was in and and unverify everything in it.
I compared your record against mine and agreed with most of your changes. I also added publication title notes as many of the discrepancies were between the table of contents and the body of the book.
  • Title - I corrected this plus added a pub-note.
  • Editor - I have "Marion Zimmer Bradley" and you have "The Friends of Darkover , Marion Zimmer Bradley." If you look at the title page it says
Keeper's Price
And Other Stories
Marion Zimmer Bradley
and the
Friends of Darkover
Edited by
Marion Zimmer Bradley
I'd interpret that to mean that the stories were written by MZB and others but that the editor credit is just MZB meaning that's all we'd credit in the metadata.
  • The Tale of Durraman's Donkey - Title corrected.
  • Circle of Light - Author name corrected.
  • The Keeper's Price - - Author name corrected plus made Lisa Waters a pseudonym of Elisabeth Waters.
  • A Simple Dream - Author name corrected.
  • A View from the Reconstruction: or, Happy Times on Modern Darkover - Title corrected.
  • I could not see any basis for the 1978 dates and so changed them to 1980-02-00
Could you mark TKPRSPRC1980 as verified by you? Then we could delete THKPRSPRCB1980. Thank you. Marc Kupper (talk) 05:13, 18 Dec 2007 (CST)
OK, both done. BLongley 13:34, 18 Dec 2007 (CST)

On the plus side, we've got some more primary DAW info, and I think some more evidence for giving early 1970s Ace books some printing numbers, if not yet dates. By 1979/1980 Ace seem to have been a bit more helpful. BLongley 18:52, 15 Dec 2007 (CST)

Andre Norton's "The Gate of the Cat"

I was verifying a stack of my Nortons and ran into your Verified paperback edition of The Gate of the Cat. The Notes field read, in part, "While sites like ISFDB and Fantastics Fiction have this title as part of the Estcarp series the publication says it's part of the Witch World series." There is no discrepancy here since the Estcarp series is a part of the Witch World super-series -- take a look at the series chronology at this Norton site. I have removed the above comment for now, but we can always put it back in if the circumstances require, although probably at the Title level rather than the Publication level. Thanks! Ahasuerus 19:25, 31 Dec 2007 (CST)

Something I've been doing with my personal book database is documenting the exact series indicator(s) in a publication. It looks like one of my series notes made it into ISFDB. People regularly group titles into series and what I had been working on was tracking down citable sources for a series name, numbering, and/or order. The goal is at some point people can better understand which series names are "official", or perhaps "canonical," and which may have been invented in the field to better explain or organize a set of books.
In this case I believe "Estcarp" was created in the field to help divide up a very large series while the publisher just calls them "Witch World" books. I agree that my publication note should have been clearer. Taking the note out for now is fine or maybe changing it to just state the exact wording of the series indicator will suffice.
Overall, I'm thinking of dropping the series project as I'm finding that with many publications the series indicator is buried in the flyleaf or back cover text. Or you will see it clearly noted on the front cover but if you removed the jacket then you'd discover there's zero mention of the series within the publication itself. Thus the series indicator could be subjective unless I want to get into defining rules such as "it only counts if it's on the front cover or there's a page that clearly names the series and lists it's titles." I've also carefully avoided the shelf that has Star Trek books as some of them have so many nested layers of series that I've stared at them at length wondering what the story title is.
Another reason for dropping is it seems the only time a citable reference is needed is if there's an edit war over what a series name, membership, or order should be. Fortunately, the wars are rare if one happens then people can usually find and research the publications to see if they provide clues. Marc Kupper (talk) 00:37, 4 Jan 2008 (CST)

Bob Shaw's The Two-Timers

I added cover art to your verified pub of this title. Mhhutchins 14:56, 2 Jan 2008 (CST)

Thank you - With my copy someone had written "50" with a black grease pen or black pen in the upper left corner and so it's not as clean as the one you found. Marc Kupper (talk) 23:59, 3 Jan 2008 (CST)

Bob Shaw's Nightwalk

I think you might want to unmerge this edition of Shaw's novel and create a variant. The title on the cover, spine and title page is Nightwalk. Thanks. Mhhutchins 15:04, 2 Jan 2008 (CST)

Good catch - I also added a publication note about Nightwalk vs. Night Walk. Marc Kupper (talk) 23:56, 3 Jan 2008 (CST)

Where Were You Last Pluterday?

The cover image link for your verified pub was broken, so I replaced it. Did I get the correct one? BLongley 07:59, 6 Jan 2008 (CST)

My copy is in a hard to get at location at present but I suspect it's correct as my DB references as the record that best matches this publication and that's the same record as the image you are using. Marc Kupper (talk) 21:31, 6 Jan 2008 (CST)

The Four Forges

Marc, shouldn't the extraneous material included in this novel be considered ESSAYs rather than SHORTFICTIONs? I'm trying to clear the pub from the Short Fiction/Novel Inconsistencies page. Thanks. Mhhutchins 01:21, 16 Jan 2008 (CST)

You are right - that looks odd and I should have included a publication note explaining why they are listed as short stories. This was from a public library copy. I'll check the book out again so I can write more detailed notes.
Help:Screen:EditPub seems to define "ESSAY" as being for non-fiction material but is silent on how to classify stuff on the blurry boundary. In this case it's a publication that has supporting material about/for an entirely fictional universe. They are not "essays" but also are not short stories either. I'm surprised I used shortfiction/shortstory here as I normally use shortstory/- so that it shows as "shortfiction" but does not define its length.
Has there been a discussion about how to enter these in publications? Marc Kupper (talk) 01:34, 17 Jan 2008 (CST)
On a related note, about a year ago I was entering my Dynamic issues from the late 1930s and they contained a few (thinly) fictionalized essays. We considered creating a new "type" for them, but decided that it was a slippery slope, so I just classified them as Short Stories and added Notes. Ahasuerus 22:44, 19 Jan 2008 (CST)
That's what we need, a title type called "Slippery Slope - Logarithmic Function Applied." :-)
I am on the slope at the moment dealing with The Four Forges of this thread and also Prince of Dogs which I entered today. Both of these contain supporting material such as glossaries, lists of characters, etc.
I'm leaning towards adding a publication note saying "The story ends on page 612 and is followed by six pages of supporting material that have not been included in the Contents section of this ISFDB publication record." I'd follow that with a bulleted list of the supporting material sections along with their page page numbers. That'll keep the material out of the author bibliographies. Marc Kupper (talk) 02:09, 20 Jan 2008 (CST)

The Long Afternoon of Earth

Marc, we've been cleaning up Short Fiction/Novel Mismatches and your verified edition of this title is on the list. We've been removing the short fiction pieces from fixups like this one and placing them in the title record notes. Would you prefer to remove the shortfiction contents from this pub or just let it stand as is? Thanks. Mhhutchins 14:08, 16 Jan 2008 (CST)

I recall thinking long and hard about if I should include these as stories within the contents. I decided to include them as stories with the logic being that so that if someone was ever looking for the material, Nomansland for example, that they could see that it's in the publication. My publication note seems clear enough that the reader will not find a section in the book titled Nomansland and that as it's fix-up material it's possible that the magazine version of Nomansland is entirely different.
If you have agreed on a policy for dealing with this stuff then that's fine, delete away. I agree that fewer exceptions on your lists would be better and personally would lean towards deleting in this case as the stories are not named within the publication. Maybe something that would work would be to add a title note to each of the short stories explaining that it was involved in a fixup and pointing to the title records for the stories that include the fixup. That would allow for the cross referencing and for someone to locate versions of the stories.
In reading my publication note again I realize something I should have done is to read though the story and attempt to match up the chapters with the the stories. Aldiss books tend to have well defined transitions and so the process of assigning which pages are which story should be reliable. Marc Kupper (talk) 02:01, 17 Jan 2008 (CST)
I thought about this a bit more and 1) Added title notes to each of the short stories and 2) Removed the Contents links to those stories from the The Long Afternoon of Earth I had verified. BTW, there's no "publication verified" warning when you do remove-title.
A feature request that I'll think about is to add the title types "Supporting Role" and "Supporting Material" that would allow for linking in the contents to things that don't fit into strict short-fiction, interior-art, or essay categories. Supporting role would be used to credit a person that is not a headliner (on the title page) but was credited somewhere in the publication, a translator for example. Supporting material would be used when the main author includes things that are not part of the story itself such as a time-line or a foreword that reads nearly like a short story. I believe this will work well in the bibliographic displays too. Marc Kupper (talk) 03:30, 17 Jan 2008 (CST)
I believe there are outstanding requests for "translators", "narrators", "editors of Novels/Collections", etc. The MARC21 standard had a whole list/table of what they call "roles" and the list keeps getting longer. As far as fix-ups go, there have been discussions of a new relationship type for "based on", which, if/when implemented, would help a great deal. Ahasuerus 10:37, 17 Jan 2008 (CST)

The Alton Gift

Your verified edition of this novel contains content entries for both the prologue and the epilogue. Aren't both, in fact, part of the novel? Are we setting a precedent in which thousands of other records will have to be changed to allow for this rather common literary practice? I'm only asking because the record shows up on the short fiction/novel inconsistencies listing. Thanks. Mhhutchins 19:29, 18 Jan 2008 (CST)

Please see Talk:Data_Consistency/Short_Fiction-Novel_Mismatches#Prologue_and_Epilogues. Marc Kupper (talk) 16:12, 19 Jan 2008 (CST)

HTML in notes

I really like the way the HTML looks in the notes and I got to thinking that we might be able to use a simple parser to create the HTML text. It would require writing a program with a notepad screen. Perhaps a simple one character notation could be used to format the lines with the appropriate HTML markup. The formatted text could be sent to the clipboard for pasting into the notes. It might not be that hard a program to write. If you like the idea I can suggest it on the Community Portal.--swfritter 20:23, 19 Jan 2008 (CST)

I'm so-so with that idea. The reason is, that there are plenty of fine HTML editors already available and so there's no use in creating another. I normally use notepad but just realized I probably could use an HTML editor and be a bit more productive as right now I need to manually take care of keeping the tags balanced, etc.
I had been thinking about what it would take to use the wiki as a storage mechanism for notes as that would get is a language syntax (wikitext) that's a little less prone to errors than HTML and also would have the edit history available.
Now, if you want to write the editor in JavaScript and have it be part of ISFDB then that would be cool. :-) Marc Kupper (talk) 22:18, 19 Jan 2008 (CST)
Something like this? My concern is that we need some improvements in the Submission checking - it's possible to completely break a submission with as little as a misplaced paragraph tag. Although I consider myself lucky to be able to use HTML at all - most sites are too scared of cross-site scripting vulnerabilities to enable it. BLongley 08:54, 20 Jan 2008 (CST)
It occurred to me that it would be more reliable if we could hide the HTML from end-users. The editor would be WYSIWYG meaning that the main security validation would be of the URL contents. Marc Kupper (talk) 18:53, 20 Jan 2008 (CST)
It's always going to be a bit tricky protecting the site from HTML submissions created in Javascript - we really need as much validation at the back-end as we do at the front-end. (For instance, I'm fixing a bug at work where somebody could get something for free by abusing instant Javascript screen-updates versus Submitted database-based screen-updates.) And how we protect Moderators from a new Pub preview including a Goatse or Tubgirl image I don't know... (If you haven't been caught out by links to those before, please do NOT go search for them! They are truly nauseating.) BLongley 19:36, 20 Jan 2008 (CST)
After further thinking about this issue I am beginning to wonder if we should even be putting HTML in notes.
  • Using HTML in notes may make it difficult for a non-HTML savvy editor to add important data to the notes that are in HTML format.
  • The ISFDb has a Creative Common license which means people are encouraged to use the data in other environments - environments that may not support HTML display. That will require special coding either to format the text or eliminate the tags.
  • Tweaking systems is a headache for programmers. Also, The fact that a "solution" has been found to implement a feature may delay the implementation of a more acceptable solution.
I really like the way the notes look with HTML but I'm not sure if their value is greater than the potential issues.--swfritter 18:26, 21 Jan 2008 (CST)
Can you rephrase the good points you made without using markup? :-) I'd agree with you and the most important point to me would be that not everyone can read HTML (nor can some people deal with wikitext) meaning we either go with no formatting, build an editor, or support a simple subset of wikitext. I just upped the ante with an HTML table to a publication note. It is an awkward issue in that there seems to be a need to express complicated thoughts and that we would either need to refer people to the publication notes in wiki (titles don't have wiki notes) or to live with zero formatting. Wiki notes also means that someone using the ISFDB DB would also need to deal with the Wiki DB. Marc Kupper (talk) 20:17, 21 Jan 2008 (CST)
Just had a look at the new updated notes for Earthman, Come Home[10] and it looks real good! One or two problems though, the title Okie does not link and it looks all right to me in the HTML, the other thing is two of the Avon(3rd 7 5th printing) pubs are still listed as collections? I thought I had changed them all.Kraang 21:32, 21 Jan 2008 (CST)
Thank you for the title shuffle you did. I had been debating creating a new title for the "Novel" and leaving the unverified pubs under the collection but suspect what you did will result in far fewer errors in the future.
I fixed the Okie link - I had auto-wrapped the text and the URL got wrapped at a - which broke it. I also fixed the last two collections. I thought you had fixed them all too and wondered why you had not changed the pub that triggered the discussion. :-) Marc Kupper (talk) 23:56, 21 Jan 2008 (CST)

(unindent)HTML is nice, but please keep in mind that Title and Publication IDs can change at any time, so any hardcoded links to them may become broken at any time. Ahasuerus 10:12, 22 Jan 2008 (CST)

Yes, but hopefully people will put enough meaning in the alternate text that even if the hyperlink breaks the meaning is still clear. (I.e. no "Contents previously published as [1][2][3]"...)
Can we push for the "This title based on...." relationships to be bumped up the coding request list? We're almost coming to agreement on fix-ups at last - if we had automatically maintained links to the constituent titles of a fix-up it would dissuade people from trying to do this with contents entries. Of course, where sections/chapters of a fix-up match one-to-one with shortfiction I'd still like them represented as such, or variants at worst: I do need to know whether I've got most of a publication already or not. BLongley 15:41, 22 Jan 2008 (CST)
"This title based on...." would be useful for recording novellas expanded to novels, too. --Roglo 16:07, 22 Jan 2008 (CST)
And maybe novels rewritten or expanded later too... there, we currently don't get the title-length differences to persuade people not to merge them anyway, and have to work with clumsy "(rev 19xx)" suffixes. (Which often have the wrong versions recorded under them anyway.) BLongley 16:18, 22 Jan 2008 (CST)
This has been discussed before and has been added to the Feature Request List. Mhhutchins 17:48, 22 Jan 2008 (CST)

(unindent)Perhaps we can come up with a defined set of tags that we are limited to using. It's annoying to me that not even embedded Carriage Return/Line Feeds are not reflected in the Note display. And remember - if there is ever an update to incorporate the fixup information databasecally then there will have to be some cleanup work.--swfritter 15:03, 23 Jan 2008 (CST)

Limiting it to CRLF is fine with me though the reason I started using HTML bullet lists rather than <br> was because they are more compact and readable than CRLF/CRLF pairs to create blank lines. With the pubs I edit I have tried to always use the same exact wording and have a boilerplate file of phrases that I drop in with the idea that the notes can be machine scanned if needed. Marc Kupper (talk) 16:47, 23 Jan 2008 (CST)
Don't tell anybody about this. Click on the note. I will probably take it off before long although the webmaster at Harry Harrison's site told me it is probably not a problem since it has been reprinted in a million places.--swfritter 16:59, 23 Jan 2008 (CST)
Feature creep sets in and now we need URL/links too. :-) Maybe instead of linking to the image you could describe it."Two panels showing 41 authors arrayed about the club." Marc Kupper (talk) 19:30, 23 Jan 2008 (CST)
What would really be nice is if we knew that interior artwork is out of copyright so that we could actually scan and display it when the user clicks on an art title. Maybe in a 100 years.--swfritter 17:51, 24 Jan 2008 (CST)

Data Consistency

I see that you have created a new Data Consistency page. Have you seen the ISFDB:Data Consistency page, which seems to list the same pointers? Ahasuerus 10:04, 22 Jan 2008 (CST)

I was wondering why I knew there was root page for the Data Consistency project but yet it was not in the "obvious" place. :-) I've changed the page I added into a redirect though did not check to see if all of the pages under /Data Consistency/... are linked up. Marc Kupper (talk) 16:55, 22 Jan 2008 (CST)

Marune: Alastor 933

Marc can you have a second look at your Canadian version of this title Marune: Alastor 933 DAW#416 [11] and check the number line for me. The last known to me that starts with a "1" is book #406 and the first known Canadian printing that starts with a "2" is #411. All the CDN printing I've seen after that start with a "2". Thanks. :-)Kraang 08:08, 24 Jan 2008 (CST)

Both of my books say "No. 419" and not #416.
Both the USA and Canadian editions say "1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9". With the Canadian edition the Canada stuff seems like it was added later.
  • On the bottom of the title page where it says "DAW Books, Inc. etc. the Canadian copy has this section shifted up about 1/2 inch and in a different type face, and also slightly crooked, is "Published by / The New American Library / of Canada Limited."
  • On the bottom of the copyright page the neatly printed "Printed in U.S.A." is replaced by what looks like typewriter type that says "Printed in Canada / Cover Printed in U.S.A." This addition is also slightly crooked compared to the text immediately above it.
That is interesting about the Canadian editions tending to start with two. The reason it's interesting is that it's quite rare to find a 2nd DAW printing. Here's a distribution of verified printings from the DAW list. Of the ten 2nd printings, one is Canada, five are USA, and of the remaining four, one is a hardcover.
Are they really that rare? I come across them all the time on my hunting expeditions... and, of course being Canadian, the majority are CDN editions.--Bluesman 18:47, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
I'll let the numbers speak for themselves in terms of how common a 2nd printing is. I very rarely run across them and of the hundreds of DAW books I own there are three pb and one hc 2nd printing. Two of them are UQ1050 and UQ1051 implying there was a small window window around 1973 where they used USA 2nd before we jump to 2006 and the third pb. I know 2nds are much more common in Canada. Marc Kupper (talk) 18:40, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
Num Printing
799 1st
10 2nd
115 3rd
62 4th
53 5th
27 6th
14 7th
8 8th
9 9th
8 10th
8 11th
3 12th
2 13th
5 14th
4 15th
2 16th
3 17th
3 18th
1 19th
1 20th
Marc Kupper (talk) 23:50, 24 Jan 2008 (CST)
It looks like the transition from one printing style to another was not a clean one. Did you receive the update to the DAW spread sheet? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Kraang (talkcontribs) .
Yes I got your e-mail - thank you. I've been busy with a project and letting my in-box fill up. Maybe what we should do is to copy/paste your e-mail to Publisher_talk:DAW as you brought up some interesting issues. I'll see if I can read the e-mail and think about it over the weekend. Marc Kupper (talk) 03:01, 26 Jan 2008 (CST)

Indirect/sneaky methods to check for customer images

I agree the final URL for the image is not immediately derivable, but the EXISTENCE of such should just be a quick link to see if there's anything at the gp/product/customer-images/ISBN sub-directory? Or even gp/product/customer-images/ASIN if you're not being purist about ISBNs? BLongley 15:00, 25 Jan 2008 (CST)

It's more painful than that. Amazon almost never does a 404 and instead serves up a page or an image (sometimes a 1x1). If you go to the customer-images page for a publication that has no images you get pretty much the full page about that pub and buried on it, in rather small type, is "Sorry, there are no customer images to display at this time." The indirect methods involve asking for the page and parsing the HTML. I believe from the main page I should be able to figure out the URLS for publisher, book seller, and/or customer provided images though if there's more than four images they are not all on the main page. The rollover thing only supports up to four image meaning I may also need to check the count of customer images and then go to the .../customer-images/... page too.
It's more painful than that in that I wanted to do this in client side Javascript. If I could do server side code with GooglePages it'd be easier for me as Javascript is not my first language and I'm not even sure if it can issue an HTTP request to another site and get the results back as either text or a parsable graph. Amazon's HTML is not quite XHTML which also adds to the parsing difficulty.
Maybe I will do a server side thing on another server as something I find myself doing is given a book title and publisher to search Amazon for records with either publisher, bookseller, or customer images and looking to see if any of those images match my publication. The first search would be with AWS and then I'd need to pull the pages using HTTP to take a look at the HTML. Marc Kupper (talk) 02:52, 26 Jan 2008 (CST)


Can you please double-check Transcience in this pub please? Someone merged the variants and I know the "Transience" variant should still exist, I'm not sure which you had though. BLongley 14:13, 7 Feb 2008 (CST)

Yet another feature request - a way to flag a name or title as "pay extra attention" and for this one a note about Transcience vs. Transience as that's something most people would miss. In this case the verified pub was/is correct and it's Transience.
Contento lists Transcience in
  • Transcience, (ss) Startling Stories Jul 1949
    • Looking Forward, ed. Milton Lesser (Beechhurst Press, 1953, $4.95, 400pp, hc)
    • The Other Side of the Sky, Harcourt Brace World 1958
    • From the Ocean, from the Stars (Harcourt Brace World, 1961, hc)
    • The Nine Billion Names of God (Harcourt Brace World, 1967, hc)
I have From the Ocean, From the Stars (Harcourt Brace World, 1961, hc) (printed November 1961 per the gutter code) and that uses Transience on the copyright page, TOC, and in the body of the publication. From the Ocean, From the Stars is an omnibus that contains The Other Side of the Sky meaning I probably have exactly what's in the Harcourt Brace World 1958 edition of The Other Side of the Sky.
It sounds like the merge was correct and if Transcience exists it's a publisher's typo. Do you want to e-mail Bill Contento with the correction? Marc Kupper (talk) 18:56, 7 Feb 2008 (CST)
I think it would be better coming from you as I have none of the editions he lists. Mine's the 1974 Corgi SF Collector's Library version of The Other Side of the Sky, containing "Transience" but listing "Transcience" in TOC. (It was this discrepancy that made me notice the merge.) BLongley 13:06, 8 Feb 2008 (CST)
I've e-mailed Bill - Good eye on spotting the Transcience of Transience. :-) Marc Kupper (talk) 15:16, 8 Feb 2008 (CST)
Bill checked his U.S. publication of the July 1949 "Startling Stories" and will be updating his database to use Transience. Marc Kupper (talk) 14:57, 9 Feb 2008 (CST)
It looks like the July 1949 Startling Stories will be a hard one to track down for cheap as it has an L. Ron Hubbard story in it. Maybe you can e-mail a bookseller that claims "Transcience" and they will take a peek for you. Marc Kupper (talk) 19:04, 7 Feb 2008 (CST)
I have all issues of Startling Stories in my collection and most of them are readily accessible, so with luck I should be able to check on February 16. Ahasuerus 14:32, 8 Feb 2008 (CST)
Thank you - I e-mailed a seller of the Canadian edition of the July 1949 Startling Stories who mentioned "Transcience" and he replied back that it actually stated "Transience" and will correct his listing.
FWIW - I just read the story and Transience fits well meaning we're just looking for the exceptions where Transcience was used. Marc Kupper (talk) 15:16, 8 Feb 2008 (CST)

The Overlords of War by Klein

I updated your verified copy of this title with the month of publication and adjusted the notes accordingly. I noticed something strange though. There's an interiorart record attributed to John Brunner, who was the translator. Mhhutchins 21:51, 12 Feb 2008 (CST)

Thank you - That publication happens to be on the stack that's about to be verified or re-checked next though it's on the very bottom of the stack which recently has been growing rather than shrinking the way well behaved stacks do. :-)
The Brunner interiorart was an experiment to see how it looks (and the reason this book is still in the to-verify stack). I agree, it does look strange and but I'm also trying to figure out a way to do these credits - particularly this one as it's on the title page. ISFDB used to have a translator field but something was broken about it and the edit field was removed. I looked over the list of the currently available title types and none of them are good. In looking at other records I see
Thus it looks like the precedence is to not add a title record but rather to use (trans: /name/) in the main title. The downside with that is it does not show up in the translator's bibliography. Maybe what I should do is to change it to shortfiction but also to add a title note explaining why the record exists.. Marc Kupper (talk) 23:50, 12 Feb 2008 (CST)

Andre Norton - The Crossroads of Time

I think I have the same copy, but one difference. My price is $1.25 and you list the price as $1.95. Your comments make it seem like it should be $1.25. Can you check your copy? Thanks -- Holmesd 21:34, 18 Feb 2008 (CST)

It does look rather suspicious - the "125" at the end of the spine number should match the price, in my experience. And $1.95 is high for an early seventies printing according to my cribsheet.
I'm also a little suspicious of the printing numbers: while I know you can usually order Ace printings of a book by the #XXXXn serial number, morphing into #441-XXXXn-zzz serial numbers, morphing into 0-441-XXXXn-C ISBNs (where XXXX is the title number, n is the printing number, zzz the price, and C the check digit for an ISBN), I don't think they always counted the Lettered serial numbers as prior printings - and I'm especially unsure when there's an Ace Double involved. E.g we currently have:
  • The Crossroads of Time / Mankind on the Run, (1956 , Andre Norton, Gordon R. Dickson, Ace Double, #D-164, $0.35, 169+151pp, dos, omni)
  • The Crossroads of Time, (1962 , Andre Norton, Ace, #D-546, $0.35, 169pp, pb)
  • The Crossroads of Time, (1966 , Andre Norton, Ace, #F-391, $0.40, 169pp, pb)
  • The Crossroads of Time, (1969 , Andre Norton, Ace, #12311, $0.60, 190pp, pb)
  • The Crossroads of Time, (1972 , Andre Norton, Ace, #441-12312-125, $1.95, 190pp, pb) - [VERIFIED]
  • The Crossroads of Time, (1978 , Andre Norton, Ace, 0-441-12313-9, pb)
  • The Crossroads of Time, (Feb 1980 , Andre Norton, Ace, 0-441-12314-7, $1.95, 242pp, pb) Cover: Dean Ellis - [VERIFIED]
  • The Crossroads of Time, (1981 , Andre Norton, Ace, 0-441-12315-5, $2.25, pb) Cover: Dean Ellis
  • The Crossroads of Time, (1985 , Andre Norton, Ace, 0-441-12316-3, $2.50, 242pp, pb)
Mine is the seventh on the list, but claims to be the Fifth printing, and the "12314" supports the Fifth printing of the edition starting 12310 - we have 12311, 12312, 12313 as well. 12315 is obviously suspect when we haven't got the author! BLongley 15:06, 19 Feb 2008 (CST)
An interesting puzzle, and one of the reasons why concentrating on Publishers for a bit might reveal some useful tips. BLongley 15:06, 19 Feb 2008 (CST)
The $1.95 was my mistake. It's $1.25. As for the printing #. Ace doubles were not counted but they did count the lettered singles. That said, something is amiss here as there were two lettered singles. It looks like Ace either does not count the second lettered printing or forgot when they did the first printing with a 5-digit code. I corrected the record for 0-441-12315-5 based on AbeBooks seller listings. Marc Kupper (talk) 17:22, 19 Feb 2008 (CST)

missing publisher pages

Creation of publisher pages to replace any of the temporarily missing (due to the new namespaces) pages will cause problems reclaiming the old pages. Please be careful not to create pages for publishers unless you are sure that there was not a page existi,g by the same name as of yeasterday. See ISFDB:Community Portal#Namespace problem for more detail. -DES Talk 17:05, 1 Mar 2008 (CST)

Thank you for the heads up David. I'm not sure in this case and will check out the Namespace thread. Marc Kupper (talk) 17:07, 1 Mar 2008 (CST)

Perry Rhodan

I have moved this thread to Series:Perry Rhodan. Marc Kupper (talk) 14:48, 19 Mar 2008 (CDT)

Approved your submission

Sorry, I was too fast on the mouse trigger and approved your creation of the Ackerman pseudonym. No one had been around for the last hour or so, and I was automatically approving the last sub. It made me realize that I should slow down and actually look at the submissions. :-) MHHutchins 14:55, 19 Mar 2008 (CDT)

Ahh - thank you! I was a little puzzled as I thought I had added that, did not see it in the queue, and then saw that Ackerman already had a pseudonym set up. Shrug - brain's fried but everyone knows that already. :-) Marc Kupper (talk) 15:02, 19 Mar 2008 (CDT)
Oh, fried brains, yummy! Ahasuerus 15:14, 19 Mar 2008 (CDT)

PW changes

I have found some info on how to change wiki passwords, see my comments at ISFDB talk:Community Portal#Wikiadmins and password changes. -DES Talk 10:57, 20 Mar 2008 (CDT)

Orbitsville Departure

Your verified pub has had the Cover-art link go bad. Any idea why? BLongley 21:18, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

Thank you - One possibility is that uploaders to Amazon have the right to delete any or all of their images. For the past few months when I link to an Amazon image that's filed under an ASIN I've been adding a note about which record the image is filed under. Unfortunately, Orbitsville Departure is an older verification and the pub is currently in a hard to get at spot. When it surfaces I'll scan in the cover and upload it.
Not too long ago Ahasuerus said he was going to download all of the current covers into a local cache on his machine. Maybe he has this cover. Marc Kupper (talk) 08:53, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
I am afraid I have been so busy with travel and ISFDB migration issues lately that I haven't done anything about images yet. Hopefully, things will be a little calmer now... Ahasuerus 14:10, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
I've got 1400 cover files totalling 380 Megabytes so far locally - but those are originals rather than resized Amazon ones so little use for comparison/spotting-changes purposes. They're not recorded in such a way that we could automatically reattach them to the pub I linked to Amazon from though. And I've linked to other user's covers as often, I think - mostly Jim Gardner's but there have been other users that seem to be pretty reliable. Ah well, it's an encouragement for me to scan more, and gives me something to do when I run out of simple things to do here. The Publisher changes mean I can do a lot anyway without more primary references arriving - add ISBNs where publisher is known, or correct pubs where the ISBN is obviously wrong - I might reduce my 20-new-books-a-week habit yet. BLongley 22:17, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

SFBC edition of Clarke's From the Ocean, From the Stars

I've updated info for your verified copy of the SFBC edition of Clarke's omnibus (and adjusted the first bullet point in the notes accordingly). Month and price taken from Tuck. Thanks. MHHutchins 20:15, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

Publisher pages

(Moving some of the talk here as otherwise we're discussing generalities on specific but possibly-transient pages.)

Thanks for your help so far, but I'd suggest that you DON'T try to PERFECT anything I'm posting on these just YET. Your publication details are something that I think we could all aspire to, and I'd be glad if you started work on what you think SHOULD be recorded on Publisher pages in the long run. I know my iterative "it's better data than before" approach doesn't match with your "squeeze every bit of data out of a book before you put it down", but on months-long projects over many publications, titles, publishers, imprints, et cetera, I don't think we want to rework all the intermediate stuff too often. BLongley 00:37, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

Feel free to rearrange ANYTHING I'm posting - so long as I can find it again I'm not too worried. But please don't spend too much time on linking: e.g. your work on Futura means that after another three clicks on the last entry people can read "Notes: "A Quantum Science Fiction Novel", "An Orbit Book", "Futura Publications" - by "Imprints to make your brain hurt" maybe? Apparent first printing." I think you can guess that that's NOT going to be a stable link much longer... ;-) BLongley 00:37, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

Organizing my "Chaotic Good" entries too soon is just going to mean more work in the long run, but I appreciate guidelines in the meantime - for instance, I've been working on adding ISBNs that were missing but easily findable: is "common/usual ISBN ranges" something that could be added to publisher pages even if you don't have the data, just to prompt someone to add such if they do know? "Earliest Date" that makes sense for a Publisher? Owners of the imprint/publisher in certain years? Where to find the registered trademarks? I'm looking to you as someone that can suggest what we should be aiming for rather than someone that can organize my works-in-progress. But as my works-in-progress will take months to finalize otherwise, and I don't want to hold back on what I've found in the meantime, I'm afraid I'm going to stay a BIT messy for a while. BLongley 00:37, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

Your work on Publishers is much appreciated, Bill, and I'd love to help out, but the last few weeks have been very hectic. We have been juggling three hosts and copying data, setting up backups, scripts, accounts, passwords, ssh, etc has been a pain, especially considering that Al is doing it from Texas and I have been bouncing between the US coasts in addition to everything else. Hopefully, things will settle down, we'll catch up on a few dozen hours of sleep (thanks, Marc, that was great advice!) and re-join the battle against entropy with renewed vigor! :) Ahasuerus 00:53, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
Sleep is good - I seem to waste half my weekend on catching up on it though. :-/ Still, that stops me from travelling too far to good bookshops, and I have to settle for the small trickle of books through the post (I'm down to about 2 or 3 a day now). An ISFDB interface suitable for mobile phones, late-night openings at bookshops, and a good data plan might get me out a bit more often eventually though. BLongley 21:49, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
And I understand the pressures: I'm currently without my Team Leader and Business Analyst (gone for good, unlikely to be replaced) and my Delivery Manager (just on holiday for a week), am short on support (I now have one, new, junior developer, but he needs me to train him), long on commitments (total rewrite of the front-end system to go live in 13 days, along with an upgrade of the RDBMS and a quadruple-version upgrade of the development tool used - closely followed by rearchitecture of the web-server pool and a system security upgrade that takes away control of such) and with more work interrupting (sudden PCI-DSS audit) and people clamouring for some extra help (Test team don't understand the system, live users can't articulate their Change Requests, Systems we link to are informing me of changes they're making next month that will need me to change our end of the link). I come to ISFDB to RELAX now - 275,000 titles look a simpler challenge! BLongley 21:49, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
I see from recent-changes that several people are handling the publisher pages like talk pages for now and so I won't worry about it. Today I went to a library book sale/store and someone had constructed a very large ball out of rubber bands. Obviously they had free time! I bring it up as it's sort of like a hairball that bounces well which is exactly how I feel about publishers in that they are a hairball that'll bounce away as soon as you try to pin something down. Oddly, both of the specfict books I got were new titles to ISFDB. I thought we had 100% coverage by now! Marc Kupper (talk) 08:01, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
My now-departed Team Leader actually had a rubber-band ball like that. Mostly constructed sub-consciously as he stared at a screen of emails wondering "HTF do I deal with THAT?". In fact, his departure now means I have too many rubber-bands - the Royal Mail have been very active in delivering me several that bound together various small packets, before they had to separate them to push through my letter-box. BLongley 20:15, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
Careful there Bill - you are headed for a trip to the rubber room! :) Marc Kupper (talk) 20:32, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
If I ever feel the need to construct such a ball, I at least have an assistant to do it... ;-) BLongley 21:02, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
Unfortunately, there are huge gaps in our coverage in a number of areas. We are missing a lot of recent "paranormal romances" (aka "vampire shaggers" and less complimentary names), YA fantasy, etc because Dissembler wasn't catching them for a while. We are also missing many older US (and especially UK) Titles, even something as basic as Avalon :(
I can do without the Vampire-Shaggers until we have editors that want to work on such. :-/ I do like to go find missing SF titles from an under-represented author, or an incomplete series, or a specialist SF publisher, or even just UK/US editions where the balance is one-sided so far. But those disrupt the Entropy Stats... I can't win! BLongley 20:15, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
I have been slurping in library records that are cataloged under "SF subjects" like "Fantastic Fiction" and "Life on Other Planets -- Fiction" -- see the Library section on my User page -- and have accumulated something on the order of a gigabyte of raw data so far. Once I finish importing this data into a temporary database, I'll try to match it against what the ISFDB has and post the differences here. It's proving to be a more time consuming project than I expected, but then what else is new? :) Ahasuerus 18:01, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
Just don't post them all at once! BLongley 20:15, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

Changes to your verified pub

Marc, I've put this submission on hold The Glass of Dyskornis[12], its one of your verified pubs. Based on the new note you may want to rewrite yours.Kraang 22:45, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

Thanks - I suspect Don was flummoxed by the HTML formatting and just deleted whatever was there but I wonder why he did not change the cover artist credit. I decided the cleanest fix was to open the publication up in the editor, copy/paste in the new artist credit info, approve Don's submission, and then to save the publication record overwritting Don's edit leaving me with 19999 moderator approvals. :-) Marc Kupper (talk) 07:40, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
Congratulations on joining the 20K Club, Marc! Now you've overcome that hurdle, perhaps you'll join me in the 25k club and keep pushing Al - I'm sure he only does Dissembler runs now to keep ahead of me... ;-) BLongley 22:42, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
But then again, if we counted the number of lines of codes (written and rewritten), Al would be uncatchable :) Ahasuerus 03:47, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
Thanks - I was hoping to stay at 19999 edits for a while but a strange compulsion kicked in. :-) Maybe I'll stop at 29999. Marc Kupper (talk) 08:53, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

The Search for Kä

I've updated your verified pub The Search for Kä. Changed from The Search for Ka to The Search for Kä. Probably need to add a alias for the map work. In that book the name is Robert A. Sabuda. In the others I've been verifying it is Robert J. Sabuda, he also has one other map under that name. So thats probably enough to make the A. initial a alias, possibly a publisher typo. Dana Carson 03:09, 10 May 2008 (UTC)

That's bizarre - I wonder why I used "Ka" when it's pretty clear it's Kä? I know I finally gave up and went in for an optometry appt. a week later but did not realize I was not seeing spots... The 2008 glasses experience was painful (actually the saga continues) with three redos of the prescription (it can be really disorienting when a prescription is wrong!).
As for Robert _ Sabuda - there's a Wikipedia article for Robert Sabuda that makes a claim for Robert Clarke Sabuda. But, the talk page for that article reveals that perhaps the middle name is James... Anyway, the article credits him with the interior-art for The Gandalara Cycle I and I'd have to imagine he did the work for Gandalara Cycle V which is The Search for Kä His web site,, does not shed light. Maybe the best course would be to e-mail him via his web site to see if A, Clarke, James, and blank are all the same person and if he'd prefer just Robert Sabuda as that's what his web site uses and we'd make that the canonical name. Hopefully he can explain why the publisher sometimes credits him with "A." and other times with "J." Marc Kupper (talk) 06:03, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
I emailed him and got a response.

There is indeed one book in the series that incorrectly has my middle initial as A. My middle initial is J.
This was a series of sci-fi books that I illustrated maps when I was still in high school!
Take Care
Robert Sabuda

Dana, that's great though that you tracked this down. I see that you already set up the variant title. I tracked down the probable source for Robert Clarke Sabuda and have added Author:Robert J. Sabuda with notes plus updated Wikipedia. Marc Kupper (talk) 17:05, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

Locus 2008 ?

Do you mind if I enter issues of Locus from this year? Alvonruff 12:38, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

No problem. Thanks! Marc Kupper (talk) 14:49, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

Ultimate Weapon by Campbell

The publication date of your verified edition of this title is stated to be May, 1976 in Locus #189. Just thought this would help update your verification. MHHutchins 19:40, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

Thank you - I updated the publication record. Marc Kupper (talk) 01:39, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

Your Locus project

Marc, I've started entering my copies of Locus, beginning circa 1975 (with some gaps here and there). I saw that you have a project of indexing Locus, so I've gone back and changed the tags to match those that you've set up (format: LOCUSmmmddyyyy). Yesterday I received a copy of the Gregg Press two-volume reprint of issues 1-207 through an Interlibrary Loan, which means I have about three weeks to enter as much info as I can before I have to return it. So far, I've entered 1974, 1975 and most of 1976. I've stopped entering those issues that I have on hand so that I can do as much work as I can using the Gregg Press reprints. If you like, I can update and add issues that are missing from the early years of your table of issues. Just let me know. Thanks. MHHutchins 04:03, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

I should move that project back to the main Magazine:Locus page. I have the magazines right here but other projects keep popping up and I have not gotten to the Locus project in a while. Yes, filling in the missing pieces would be great. Thank you. Marc Kupper (talk) 04:15, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
I have a large (and quite heavy) box full of 1980s Locuses somewhere, but it's relatively low on the list of priorities. If everything goes according to the plan, I'll take a break from my wanderings at the end of the month, in which case I should be able to review the Locus situation some time in July, possibly taking care of a few lacunae. As we have all learned by now, variety is a good thing if one values one's sanity :) Ahasuerus 05:49, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

Don't Bite the Sun

Just a quick FYI that Michael has identified the publication date of the third printing of this DAW book. Ahasuerus 22:50, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

Thank you Ahasuerus. Does your copy have a yellow spine? One of my lists says "yes" and another doesn't list it. Marc Kupper (talk) 23:30, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
Oh yes, the spine is deliciously yellow! :) Ahasuerus 23:38, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

The Door Through Space

I edited your verified pub to change the cover image URL from

which seems not to be working at this time, to I hope this change is consistant with your copy. -DES Talk 19:15, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

Grumble - why do people ask about the hard to find books? I have the 1972 edition too and found that no problem and believe the F-117 copy is within arm's reach but the arm does not bend in enough ways to get to it... Marc Kupper (talk) 03:13, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
Mind you, I'm pretty confident about thsi one, since the image has the catalog # F-117 visible. Source is the PG edition, which was trascribed from the F-117 edition. -DES Talk 14:57, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
I believe you but I normally remember all of my book covers and I could not remember that one... It motivated me to look again and of course F-117 was at the very bottom of a stack next to The Door Through Space as a standalone book. I did remember the flip side cover for F-117 and so at some point I'll scan that and we'll have both sides available on the ISFDB image. Marc Kupper (talk) 03:21, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

John Brunner and The Overlords of War

I have noticed that there is an INTERIORART record for The Overlords of War (translator) and that one of your verified publications includes this Title. I seem to recall that we discussed this issue a while back, but I don't remember what, if anything, we decided to do about it. Would you happen to have a better recollection of the discussion? Thanks! Ahasuerus 03:12, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

I'm hoping support for secondary credits will be added at some point and then I'll hunt down the INTERIORART records. I suppose a quick fix would be to add a CONTRIBUTOR type and it would follow the same display rules as INTERIORART. Marc Kupper (talk) 03:24, 19 July 2008 (UTC)
Translator is Number 3 on Al's To Do list. When he reaches numbers 6 & 7, Publishers should improve too. BLongley 20:29, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

Bio:Sasha Meret

FYI the standard header (generated by Template:BioHeader includes a link back to teh db author biblio page. it was already on this page. -DES Talk 20:02, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

Thanks - I missed it with that lovely green on green. Marc Kupper (talk) 20:50, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
The color is an experiment, if anyone has a better idea I will change it in a flash. Any sugestions? -DES Talk 21:00, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
I'd been thinking along the lines of a wording change as I missed the link. I see Wikipedia is using #F8EABA for the mbox but the green on tan does not look good. Wikipedia also uses a very light tan and this is what the green looks like but if we used that they the border becomes important..
I'm wondering if this template should go on the talk page though I believe it's a good idea it's smack on the main article as then the person who added the text is more likely to notice. Marc Kupper (talk) 08:11, 26 July 2008 (UTC)
I like the light tan, so I have changed to it for the moment. I do not thiunk the header should go on the talk pages. Even on Wikipedia many users never visit talk pages, and here such a notice might almost never bee seen. -DES Talk 01:35, 27 July 2008 (UTC)

query re a story in Collected Short Fiction of C. J. Cherryh

Hi Marc, This publication record that you verified [[13]], lists a story titled "Wings", with publication date 2004. I am entering the contents of an anthology "Carmen Miranda's Ghost is Haunting Space Station Three" (1990) which also has a story titled "Wings" by Cherryh, of about the same length (6 and a half pages of a pb size book). I wonder if it is the same story? In Carmen Miranda ..., the story starts "At 13:05, on September 3, 2152, two ..." and ends "... the world, the station, and all." Thanks --j_clark 02:18, 25 July 2008 (UTC)

I should be able to track this down Saturday. Thank you for the heads up. Marc Kupper (talk) 08:14, 26 July 2008 (UTC)
Yes, the Wings I have is the same as yours. It turns out that the title page for each story in my collection also has a first publication date and so I verified this for each of the stories. Wings is reported with an 1989 date which fits with your publication's printing date. I decided that 1989 was in error and so used 1990 date as 1989 was probably a magazine publication date or when Cherryh wrote the story while we use the first book publication date. Marc Kupper (talk) 20:45, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

Sword and Sorceress II

When you get a moment, can you look at your verified copy again? It looks as though it has some of the same errors in ToC as my version - but mine seems to have even more. The last story in particular may be significantly different. BLongley 22:38, 9 August 2008 (UTC)

Thank you - I rescanned and it seems both my ToC and body match yours exactly meaning the list of errors is the same. I ended up adding three more items to the error list including the bit about the last story's title. Marc Kupper (talk) 04:50, 10 August 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. I think my volume 1 had a couple more pagination errors than yours too. Volume 3 (I know you don't have it) looks correct though. I'll probably have another check later with fresher eyes, but too much sword and sorcery at once makes my brain melt. BLongley 16:03, 10 August 2008 (UTC)
Actually, I have III along with the original "I" before they started numbering, "I" (with numbering), II, III, IV, VI, IX, and XV. What I don't have is time and it seems many times when I start verifying a publication it turns into a saga... At present I've verified about 25% of the collection. Marc Kupper (talk) 01:58, 11 August 2008 (UTC)

Andre Norton's "The Crossroads of Time"

According to Locus #162 (July 20, 1974) your verified edition of this title was printed in June 1974. The catalog number, page count and price all matches the Locus listing. MHHutchins 01:01, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

ISBN 13s

On User talk:Patrisha, you wrote "we are still using the old 10-digit ISBNs. I think this is incorrect. Help:Screen:EditPub says "Some books printed around 2007 specified both the 10 digit and the 13 digit version of the ISBN. The ISFDB software supports both formats, so if two forms of ISBN are present, you can enter either one." My experience supports this. If I am correct, either an ISBN-10 or an ISBN-13, can be entered in the ISBN field of a pub, and if the number is valid, the page will display both (but show only the one originally entered when in edit mode. If this is correct, there is no need to convert ISBN-13s to the 10-digit form (although no harm in doing so). -DES Talk 20:44, 13 August 2008 (UTC)


Marc, I noticed you're advising the used of ISBN-10's still, but I believe ISBN-13s have worked for some time now. If they're not in some cases, please let Al and the rest of us know when they don't. BLongley 20:47, 13 August 2008 (UTC)

Ah, I see DES beat me to it. BLongley 20:49, 13 August 2008 (UTC)
(from User talk:Patrisha) DES - we crossed up approvals and notes. I need to run - can you please finish up with this? Her web site is, the book has a site,, and the author page is Thanks! Marc Kupper (talk) 20:03, 13 August 2008 (UTC)
Will do. Sorry, thought I put a hold on. -DES Talk 20:05, 13 August 2008 (UTC)
Done. The author page is here, the title record display is here and the publication record is here. Please check that all informnation is correct. -DES Talk 20:23, 13 August 2008 (UTC)
Thanks - I had put a hold on it too - the software must not warn you if the state is not NEW when applying the hold. No problem there and thanks for the heads up on the ISBN-13.
THMLLRSGSV2008 looks good. I suspect we should find out what the publication states as far as the publisher goes. I'm pretty sure it'll be Lulu Press but another issue is the stated ISBN as because the author provided us with ISBN 0-9559773-0-4 / 978-0-9559773-0-5 which does not exist yet per Google and it's on from Lulu Press at 1-84799-557-8 / 978-1-84799-557-5. Too bad there's no way to look up an ISBN prefix to see who 0-9559773 is registered to. I suspect there have been two "publications" as the Lulu edition is $25.50 while the Books From the Village edition is $10.95. Lulu has three books
That explains the two ISBNs and adds the mystery of if "second edition" means "revised text" or a second release or printing. Marc Kupper (talk) 22:34, 13 August 2008 (UTC)

Copyright issues

One other comment is that we should not be copy/pasting text from web sites and then onto ISFDB. Bio:Patrisha_Reece-Davies is largely taken from (or which is copyright material and 911732 is from which is also copyright material. As the text-content of ISFDB must be creative commons we should get written consent from the copyright holder, Patrisha Reece-Davies. Marc Kupper (talk) 22:34, 13 August 2008 (UTC)

"Written consent" sounds a bit extreme. Who is keeping all that paperwork? Who would people justifying their entries send it to? Not me, nor anyone else involved in ISFDB, I suspect. If we get bogged-down in Lawyer-speak then we'll just give up and die. "Publish and Be Damned": we're a useful service and if anybody wants to sue us out of existence then it's the world's loss. If someone complains about their entry, just fix or delete that bit. We don't have the Scientologists after us yet, do we? BLongley 23:42, 13 August 2008 (UTC)
It's Al's butt on the line and so any relaxing of the standards would need to be done by him. At present the system is configured so that right below the edit box it says DO NOT SUBMIT COPYRIGHTED WORK WITHOUT PERMISSION! and so I'll assume that's the standard Al is looking for. I agree though that your questions are valid and so far we avoid the need for figuring out where to send paperwork, etc. by asking that people don't submit copyright work and if we see it showing up then we ask for clearance to use it (and will need to figure out at the time how to implement this clearance) or remove/the added text so that ISFDB does not infringe. Marc Kupper (talk) 00:31, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
That bio was near the line, but given that it was released by the subject as a publicity piece (which normally inplies permission to reprint) I thought that I was within the permissible limnits of fair use and/or re-use of a publicity piece/p[ress release. (I would not have hesitated to submit it to Wikipedia, if the person were notable enough, but then there would be multiple sources to use.) i will re-write it further so that it is far enough from the original not to be a copyright violation. Publiser's and author's blurbs, when being used to describe the work in question, are i think clearly within fair use, they are published precisely with the intent of being reprinted in reviews, ads, and descriptions of books. -DES Talk 17:37, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
Rewrite of bio page done. Remembering that facts are not subject to copyright, and that "obvious" ways of arranging them are also not copyrightable, I think this is far enough from the source not to be actionable even if the author objected, which is IMO highly unlikely. -DES Talk 17:51, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
Thanks - I agree it sucks in that an author or publisher will write a promotional piece but then fail to clearly release it to PD or a GDFL/CCL that we or the Wikipedia can use. It seems obvious that they would like to get the word out but without the release it's copyright material. Probably in this case it would be easier to explain the issue to the author and to ask her to write the blurbs. She can plagiarize herself all she wants.
As it is, earlier this week I was reading on a rather complicated case where someone had posted something under GNU free license, someone else made extensive edits and released it under creative commons, and now we had a mixed license work where some words were GFDL, others were CC, and there were sections where people were not sure because it was sections of the original text only slightly edited meaning the original author's "artistic expression" was still apparent but not the words. Marc Kupper (talk) 06:47, 15 August 2008 (UTC)
My point is that when an author writes and distributes a promotional piece, that author has implicitly agreed to its reproduction, and so is not a violation of copyright. Even the quite strict Wikipedia standards explicitly permit use of such promotional or "press kit" works, on the theory that the author has granted permission by distributing it for such a purpose. In the case of blurbs, i think they are pretty clearly fair use, as well as coming under the "promotional piece" rule. In short, i don't think explicit permission is required for either category. I agree that the kind of odd mixed licensing you mention above is tricky, or would be if anyone actually tried to enforce the licenses as they are written, but since the commercial value of such works is probably zero, any copyright suit to enforce the licenses would probably be thrown out as frivolous. -DES Talk 15:44, 15 August 2008 (UTC)
Even the quite strict Wikipedia standards - Can you cite these standards? Google finds things like wikipedia:User talk:Janice.hally where an editor disallowed material from a press kit though failed to cite standards.
I agree that if someone releases something as a "press kit" then it's understood that material can and will be widely distributed. However, most author bios, book blurbs, etc. are not distributed this way. They are copyright material found on web sites or books. Some authors may not want their material taken and copied to another site, particularly something like ISFDB where the material is presented as Creative Commons free-license. Thus we can't assume that stuff found on someone's web site is "free for the taking."
Al apparently does allow for some data to be copied into ISFDB ISFDB:General disclaimer#Copyright includes "Occasional text is quoted from blurbs, publisher's press releases, and similar sources. Such text is normally copyrighted by the original writer or publisher, and is used here under fair use." I need to be up early for and so don't have time to read over wikipedia:Fair Use to see if copying an entire blurb would qualify as "fair use." I suspect ISFDB should develop/use fair-use templates and that they would be used every time copyright text is added to ISFDB. That way if someone wants to create a "free" version of the site they can remove the non-free sections. Marc Kupper (talk) 07:09, 17 August 2008 (UTC)
The argument for publisher blurbs is pretty clear. First of all, they can reasonably be considered part of the book as a whole, (at least when published with the book, on the back cover, front flap, or the like) and so would not be a "substantial" part of "the whole work", and be quite plausible covered by fair sue (as they also in no way harm the market for the book). In addition publisher blurbs are normally distribvuted to various vendors and reviwers with the intent that they shall be quoted and reproduced, thus creating an implicit licence.
Author-written blurbs, found on an author's web site, are not quite as clear. They probably can't be considered as part of a book (although when an author self-publishes, that may not be true). Thay might be consideresd as only poart of the website about the book, and thus less "substantial" for a fair use analysis. Obviously such quotation does not harm the market for the book, and there normally is no "market" for an author's personal website, as it genrally takes in little or no revenue, except by encouragign book sales. As a blurb is supposed to be a more or less factual description of a work, the "nature of the work" test would include towards fair use, as factual works generaly have reduced weight here, because of the underlying principle that the facts themselves cannot be copyrighted. It can be argued that in seting up a site intended to promote a book or books, and publishing descriptions (blurbs) of thsowe books on the internet, the author intends that they be widely copied. That would be an implied license, and would also argue in favor of fair use. But the conclusion is not so clear as with a publisher's blurb.
On the wikipedia standards, they seem to have changed a bit since I was active in sauch matters there. The Tempaltes "Promotional" and "PromoPhoto" used to recognize both a claim of implied license and a claim of fair use for "publicity photos", "Press relases" and other content "intended for promotional purposes" but it seems that the standrds used have been tightened there.
On the question of fair use templates, templates can't be used in the db records, such as the synopsis field of a title record, where a blurb would most natuarally go. (An acknowledgemet could be inserted there, but that would have to be done manually.) On wiki pages such as "Bio" pages, a template could be used, and templates (such as Template:Cover Image Data, and other templates in Category:Image License Tags have already been created, and some editors are using them. But we currently have no policy requiring their use, and some editors object to Template:Cover Image Data in particular as requiring too much work. Unfortunately there is no way at present for a wiki page to automatically extract and displsy data from a specified db record on a wiki page, so that the data in Template:Cover Image Data could be filled in automatically. Also, currently the image displayed in a DB pub record, if clicked on, does not display the image description page when the image is hosted on our wiki, but rather the raw image page. -DES Talk 16:12, 17 August 2008 (UTC)
I simplify the decision process - if it's copyright work I don't add it to ISFDB. Blurbs and things on people's web sites are copyright works. Fair use exists so that you can quote portions of a work for scholarship, review, criticism, teaching, etc. If I copy a single sentence out of a book or from a web site or any other media then it's a copyright violation. It does not matter if that sentence is part of a literary work, promotional material, or something found on the wall of a bathroom stall. It's all copyright material. If I were to write an article about that sentence then I'm reproducing it under fair use.
If someone intends that their work by reproduced by others then they should release it with an appropriate license. Marc Kupper (talk) 07:13, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
I think you take too narrow a view of fair use. In the "etc" is "...scholarship, or research" (see USC 17 Sec 107). Creation and publication of the ISFDB is IMO both scholarship and research, and is also a tool for research by others. That brings it squarely within fair use, provided that the balance of the four factors is right. Note also that the list of purposes is introduced by "...for purposes such as..." meaning that the listed purposes are not exclusive. Copying a single sentance (with attribution) from a a book-length work is unlikely not to be fair use regardless of the purpose, although all the factors must be considered in each case. In the case of blurbs, though, I think the implied license is pretty clear, and trumps any fair sue issues. Courts have upheld implied licenses in such cases. I see no reason not to quote publisher's blurbs, from backs of books or publisher advertising, or as reused by vendor sites (when clearly publisher-provided blurbs) in the synopsis field, if identified as publisher blurbs. -DES Talk 15:34, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
I agree with you that creation of the ISFDB database requires scholarship and/or research and that it can be used for scholarship or research. However, as the database has existed for over 10 years without blurbs and it can be reasonably shown that this database is not about blurbs. If we are to add blurbs under "fair use" we'd need to be doing scholarship and/or research on the blurbs themselves and even there could run afoul of "the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole" section.
I am quite sure that this is way too narrow an interpretation of fair use. If reproducing a blurb is an aid to research or scholarship, whether about the blurb, or about anything to which it is reasoanbly related (such as the book for which it is a blurb), then it can be a valid fair use provided that the four factors are weighed properly. In the case of a blurb actually printed on or in a book, at least, the nature of the use (both noncommercial and transformative) and the efect on the market for the oprigianl work (the book), which is either effectivly nil (in many cases) or slightly positive (in some cases), would clearly tilt towards the ISFDB. The "substantiality" factor would probably also tilt our way -- a blurb is a tiny part of a book. The "nature of the original work" doesn't seem to tilt strongly in either direction in such a case. For a blurb published only on a web site the facors would weigh out a bit differently, but the absence of any cognizable market harm, lost profits, or possible secondary market (there would not, i think be a market for a commercial competitor to the ISFDB -- even teh IMDB survivives only on ads and subsidies from the major movie distributors) would probably lead to any such suit being dismissed as frivolous. -DES Talk 01:38, 20 August 2008 (UTC)
There is no implied license to reproduce blurbs and in fact it's quite the opposite. For example, Penguin Group is very clear that they don't want material from their web site copied without written permission. My point is, we need to seek permission to reproduce copyright work on ISFDB and that we'd also need to abide by any terms or conditions a copyright holder may impose as part of the permission to reproduce. Let's take a random blurb and I see that it's been copied, though truncated, to Amazon and B&N. Assuming both of those sites have permission it seems the conditions for using the blurbs are reasonable in terms of how they are formatted on the screen, etc.
Explict licenses or restrictions trump implied licenses, but do not mean that implied licenses don't exist in the absence of such explicit restrictions. in some cases, actions can create implied licenses even in the face of explicit terms to the contrary. In the case of the usual publsierh, who places a blurb on the back cover or jacket flap of a book, and also distributes the bluirb as part of "press kits" to reviewers, bookstores, distributors, and various other outlets, there is a pretty clear implied license to reproduce the bluirb in connection with any listing of the book. I think you will find that in the case of other promotional matieriel simialrly distributed without cost and as widely as the crator can, there is caselaw supporting an implied license. -DES Talk 01:38, 20 August 2008 (UTC)
I might add that the PGI terms of use you link to above are a typical, overbroad, and unenforcable piece of corporate boilerplate. In particular the phrase "By accessing or using this site, you agree to be bound by and comply with these Terms of Use." is an attempt to impose a contract of adhesion, and would not be given legal effect by a US court. The terms as written would bar any fair sue, which makes them automatically a violation of public policy and unenforcable agaisnt anyone unless there is an individually negociated contract, and even then might be struck down as "copyright abuse". -DES Talk 01:47, 20 August 2008 (UTC)
A secondary issue is coming up with a standard method for allowing copyright text that gets added to ISFDB to be identified so that versions of ISFDB can be released that are 100% Creative Commons License. I'm trying to prevent the ISFDB CC license from bleeding over onto any material that has other licenses. That'll also make it easier to obtain permission to use author or book blurbs as we can show we have the framework in place to protect the rights of their works. Marc Kupper (talk) 00:07, 20 August 2008 (UTC)
Frankly neither the creative commons license nor the GFDL licesne is very well suited to an open wiki, and in practice neither is enforcable for a project like the ISFDB. Even Wikipedia finds it pretty much imposible or at least impractical to go after even open pirates of their text, much less technical violations of their license. Indeed arguably all od wikipedia is regualrly in violation of its own license, as it is not clar that the history tab meets the GDFL standards for author attribution. Since blurbs and the like ar normally wanted in the DB proper, not on a wiki page, no template mechanism can be used. We could develoip a standard attribution note to place at the end of such text, but people would have to know about it and insert it. For content on the wiki license tags can be used, and i've already creates some (mostly for iamges), but we still would need to get people to use them. -DES Talk 01:38, 20 August 2008 (UTC)
Anyway, in future I'll ask for explicit permisison for blurbs from author sites, and for bios will either ask permisison or rewrite to the point where it isn't a copyvio issue. I don't see any reson not to reuse publisher blurbs in the normal case, however. -DES Talk 01:38, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

Nowlan's Armageddon 2419 A.D.

Locus #166 (October 23, 1974) confirms your approximation for the date of this edition. Its books received listing gives the publication date as August, 1974. Hope this helps. MHHutchins 22:53, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

Thank you - I'm happy that you are doing the books received project. Marc Kupper (talk) 06:30, 17 August 2008 (UTC)
You're welcome. Now if I only had the time to work on the other projects: verifying from Tuck, the SFBC listings, the IASFM and Locus magazine projects, etc, etc, etc. MHHutchins 14:03, 17 August 2008 (UTC)

They Shall Have Stars -- change to verified pub

I changed your verifed pub from publisher "Avon (5th printing)" to "Avon". -DES Talk 23:53, 18 August 2008 (UTC)

I am about to make the same change to Earthman, Come Home. -DES Talk 23:55, 18 August 2008 (UTC)

No problem. I usually do the (# printing) when a title has many similar publications that would be difficult to distinguish when looking at the title record. With those two there were other publications with the same catalog #/price but the printing date is different. I think at the time I verified those the printing # field was "just around the corner" and so the (# printing) was essentially populating that field. I keep getting pulled into too many directions - maybe I should just drop the book related stuff for a while and focus on coding. Marc Kupper (talk) 04:28, 19 August 2008 (UTC)
Ah I see. But now it looks as if publisher regualrization is comming sooner than the printing number field. I have never overloaded the publisher field this way, but I can see why you chose to do so. -DES Talk 15:09, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

Assignment . . . . . The Cairo Dancers

Marc you have the publisher listed as "Gold Medal" but the cover image[14] would suggest that it should be "Fawcett Gold Medal". Thanks!Kraang 02:16, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

I don't think there's an ISFDB standard as to where to get the publisher name from. I tend to use what's stated on the title page. In this case we have
  • The front cover has "A Fawcett Gold Metal Book"
  • The spine has "A Gold Metal Book"
  • The back cover has "Fawcett World Library"
  • The page before the title page has "Other Gold Metal Novels in the "Assignment" Series by Edward S. Aarons.
  • The title page has "Gold Metal Books / Fawcett Publications, Inc., Greenwich, Conn."
  • The copyright page has "Copyright © by Fawcett Publications, Inc."
Up to 1965 Fawcett consistently used "Gold Metal Books" on the title page. From 1967 on out Fawcett consistently uses "A Fawcett Gold Metal Book" on the title page. I'd need to do some digging to bracket this a bit tighter. In terms of numbering d1583 is "Gold Metal" and d1823 is "Fawcett Gold Metal."
FWIW - I've been thinking of deleting the entire "Assignment" / Sam Durell series from ISFDB though did create Series:Sam Durell about it. The author did not intent to write specfict. Some of the stories have elements that border on specfict which is why I included them at all. Marc Kupper (talk) 05:15, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
It looks like they didn't know what publishers name to use so they put a different one on every page. I agree when in doubt it's best to go with the title page. Thanks for the info. Now all we have to do is fix all the other Fawcett / Gold Medal books.Kraang 00:01, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Editing the contents of publications

I think you forgot that communication is a two way process. If one person replies the other needs to reply back. When giving instructions you need to check that they are clear to the person that receives them. If they have points you need to address them. This is only fair. Every person is a trainee at some point, and as such one must take the position that sometimes we fail to communicate.
A good rule is do one thing at time. Making rulings on two books one on hold and one accepted with commentary can confuse the trainee. Notice to all, I am self taught, what is clear to those in computerese may totally befoul the situation as I see it.
Making reference to three other publications calling a 'Preface' by me an introduction by them and putting that on hold, but accepting another where I changed the title to the printed title and referencing four other sources saying that theirs was otherwise totally throws me. This is a way of mixing the message for the trainee.
Integrity is the key note of doing anything at this db. Questioning it is all right. Telling me it has to be otherwise because you have an established work-around due to the computer program that the db is based on is another. Telling me a Preface that has a date published with it needs to be changed to the published date is questionable. If a story has a published date of the anthology you use it. When a publisher gives the dating on a preface or anything else it is a statement that he has made noticeable. Making a note to that effect, but not changing the date of the publication is a clear null redaction. It is a statement that you see it but do NOT believe it. It is the same as another advisory I received to the effect that bp means 'before pagination' to be used to indicate that the page number was not printed. A blank space says the same thing, yet spares the individual doing research to finding out what bp is. The noting of a date and then using a different date on a separate item in a book is the creation of an ENIGMA for the user of the reference. It also brings into question the totality of the effort.
If the research db program can NOT tolerate entries in this manner, then a note would have to state something like this. DUE TO THE DB INABILITY THIS DATE WAS INCORRECTLY ENTERED INTO THE DB FIELDS. Is this acceptable? Is this what you would like to see when researching a topic?
'Editing' books is like finger painting by numbers. All too often I see differences that bring questions. If I fear to make changes to an entry, even though I have a source in front of me then I will alter the db product to a state where it is invalid
My apologies, Please accept this with good humor. I am frustrated and you will be frustrated reading this. That is life. Thanks, Harry --Dragoondelight 13:15, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

No problem - part of the problem for me is limited time while also trying to contribute via moderator activities. I was at work all day Sunday and too wiped out to check with ISFDB when I got home. Marc Kupper (talk) 03:42, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
Sorry about the single note that covered two publications at the same time. Initially, both of them had the same problem and so I used the more generic "Editing the contents of publications" subject.
Note that with 200-million years while I approved your update I ended up undoing it and then splitting it out so that the other three publications were unaffected. I very rarely reject submissions because there's no way for the editors (or moderators) to remove rejections from the record. I need to think of a different wording than "I approved your submission" because it implies I accepted it as-is. Often times if I can figure out what an editor is trying to do I'll approve the submission and then clean things up so that it matches ISFDB standards.
On the date. ISFDB has two date fields. In ISFDB title records the date is the date of the first publication of a story or essay. In the original design this was the copyright date and in the code the field is still called title_copyright. However, at some point (before my time) the definition of this field was changed to the first publication date. From a bibliographic viewpoint we are interested in publication dates. Sometimes we know that a story was written months or even years before the first publication and we'll add comments about this in the notes section - ideally with citations listing the sources used.
The second date field is the publication record's date which is the date that publication was printed which all too often is not stated meaning we need to either use 0000-00-00 or to derive a date.
I don't think it's necessary to use "DUE TO THE DB INABILITY THIS DATE WAS INCORRECTLY ENTERED INTO THE DB FIELDS." The definitions of what to enter into various DB fields is in the help at Help:Screen:EditTitle#Date and Help:Screen:EditPub#Year. The DB is not capable of handling some dates, specifically, books published before 1 A.D., but fortunately, there are not many specfiction publications from that time period.
You wrote "'Editing' books is like finger painting by numbers. All too often I see differences that bring questions. If I fear to make changes to an entry, even though I have a source in front of me then I will alter the db product to a state where it is invalid." I agree - part of what happened is my fault in that I did not see your moderator note. The moderators are also stymied in that we don't know if a particular editor is noting what's stated in a publication or is adding/changing information based on their own expertise or other sources. Thus when it comes to making changes to title records we tend to be more cautious about accepting changes. Marc Kupper (talk) 06:05, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
I appreciate the moderator's checking what I do. Everyone needs to know that they are making sense to others. The major problem as I see it is 'putting on Hold' leaves the originator questioning how to handle the 'Hold'. 'Moderator needs time to review submission in hold' would help tell the originator he has to wait and xdays would reduce the tension. I hate that would push the moderator, but even 10 days which would seem long to the originator gives the originator a cue to set back and the moderator will be back with them. My personal tension is not knowing what to do next. To be fair, I imagine moderators see originators dropping the whole issue into the moderators lap.
The originators need to know what was done to clarify the submission and need a 'push notice' to do it. That frustrates the originator, but hopefully promotes greater understanding of what is going on.
Rejections do little to promote understanding of all the factors. If I understand correctly the hold does not allow the the moderator to release the 'edit' back for correction by the originator. This has lead to two problems on the moderator level. The moderators are fixing most problems and the originators are not experiencing what they need to do physically to make a better edit. The second problem is the moderator allows the change and the originator can be unaware that more needs to be done.
'Of Other Worlds'. I knew the 'Preface' would cause problems, but ignoring it was not an option. I am leaning toward leaving moderator notes to warn the moderator like I did. The dating of the Preface I will leave to the publication date, with a note to the effect of what actually is printed for the date written and that it is presumed that the subject (preface,intro, etc) was written for that publication. Read, My suggestion if holds can not be turned back for correction. Reject it, since I now know why, and I will change it to Preface changed to match this publication as printed, but may me named differently in other publications and printings. Preface dated 0000 but shown as the date of the first publication. If that works for you.
'200 Million A. D.' and .the Book of Ptath'. I noticed lots of problems and figured there would be problems between the Ace editions and this. ::I am glad you saw them also. Thanks for the fixes.
I will check back and sorry for the irritation, but I usually need to screw up to figure out what is right. I am being interrupted and loosing my train of thought. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 14:36, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
About "putting on hold". I, and i think other moderators, do it for at least two quite different reasons. In one case, more time is needed to do research and/or to determine how to handle a tricky or complex situation, or perhaps just to do multiple required follow-up edits. In the other case, the situation is not clear and a response is needed from the submitter to determine what the situation actually is. After this, there may still be further research or planning needed. For case one, it is often hard to promise just when the mod will get the research done, figure out the problem, and get the submission dealt with. Real life often intervenes. Still, most mods do seem to deal with most cases of this kind within a few days. For case two, generally nothing can be done until the submitter responds, which of course the mod has no control over. After that, a further response may be needed, or it may become a case one. In any case, it is hard or impossible to give a reliable promise of when a hold will be cleared.
I am more willing than Marc to reject submissions, because I don't see anything shameful in having rejections in one's record. They are mistakes, nothing more. We all make mistakes, particularly in learning a complex system such as the ISFDB. Please try not to get overly upset or frustrated when there is a delay. I, and I am sure all the other mods, will deal with tricky subs as quickly as we can manage. -DES Talk 15:56, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
Well, the result of this hold definitely pleased me. I think it gives the 'user' what they need. I will try to not let holds bother me. In fact, I will note it in my personal db to check later. Rejections are all right when I understand the cause. Though I have one, that I have to try make sure the moderator understands the full implication of his stated reasoning. Once assured he has the whole picture, then it's on his shoulders. Sorry, for the pushiness, it originates more with thinking I had to deal with the hold and was not sure of how to do it.

Thanks to all, Harry. --Dragoondelight 11:44, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Feature list

When and where was it decided that the ISFDB Feature List had been deprecated and the active list moved to sourceforge. I understand that this had been done with the bug list some time ago, but the feature list remained apparently active. ISFDB:Community Portal/Archive/Archive09#Prioritizing Al's time in December says "Please note that we have an "official" bug list at SourceForge (and a deprecated one at ISFDB Bug List) and an "official" feature request list at ISFDB Feature List. Ahasuerus 15:58, 9 Dec 2007 (CST)" I find no other relevant mention of moving the feature request list to sourceforge, and i would significantly prefer to have it here. -DES Talk 22:36, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

I rolled back the addition - I was not aware that the feature request page was still the official method. Marc Kupper (talk) 22:56, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

The Risen Empire

I may have sandbagged you on this. I put a notice on the moderator board. This is the complete novel not book 1 of the succession series. Also there is at least one other that may be the complete novel. It is also not an omnibus. I just checked my copy of the The Killing of Worlds, book two of the Succession and found that it has an introduction and the word Prologue on the first chapter, both of these are not in my copy of The Risen Empire. My copy is therefore continuous and therefore a novel and therefore not part of a series. Sorry for the headache. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 00:05, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

No problem - I usually just check that submissions are structurally correct and do not appear to be damaging existing information. I'll reply on the moderator page. Marc Kupper (talk) 04:06, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
No one could expect more than that, but I could see the problems and leaving everything as is only would compound it later. The data was correct, the choice of placement was difficult for me. The rest on moderator page. Thanks, Harry.


Discussion content moved to Category talk:Publishers#Rambling discussion 1

Category sorting

When you are adding pages to a category, it is wise to supply a "sort key", otherwise the pages will be listed under the wiki-mame of the page, generally including the namespace prefix, if any. This would mean that all Publisher pages would be listed under P, for example.

The way a sort key is provided is to list it after a pipe symbol (|) in the categopry link that puts the page in a category. For example, if I wanted to put this page in a (nonexistant) category "Moderator talk" I might do so with the wiki code:

[[Category:Moderator talk|Kupper, Marc]]

which would make the page sort under K rather than M. If you want the page to sort under the page name, but without the namespace prefix, the "magic word" {{PAGENAME}} can be used. This leads to a link such as:

[[Category:Category Name|{{PAGENAME}}]]

I have added the {{PAGENAME}} sort key to the instructions for Category:Publishing Groups‎ and Category:Imprints.

As an example, the {{PAGENAME}} magic word, used on this page, gives:

Marc Kupper/Archive2

Note that {{PAGENAME}} automatically adjusts if the page should happen to be moved. See Help:Category for more on all this. I hope it is hlepful. -DES Talk 19:01, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

Thank you very much - I just saw the edits to add the sort stuff and was going to ask you what it meant. What's the significance of a space between the "Category" and its name as in [[Category: Publishers|{{PAGENAME}}]]?
I just copied your Publisher templates to create versions for imprints. I thought about creating a shared template with parameters but the wording for the imprint version's going to be quite different and so it seemed simpler to just copy it. Marc Kupper (talk) 19:22, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

(note to self to read Wikipedia:Help:Variable and/or MediaWiki:Help:Variable)

  • {{NAMESPACE}} User talk
  • {{NAMESPACEE}} User_talk
  • {{PAGENAME}} Marc Kupper/Archive2
  • {{PAGENAMEE}} Marc_Kupper/Archive2
  • {{CURRENTYEAR}} 2023
No particular significance, a space there is, I belive, ignored. I agree that s different tempalte, starting as a copy, is better. If this wiki included the ParserFunctions extension that supports :IF and related constructs, it might be worth building these into a shared template, but not as things stand. -DES Talk 00:35, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

Fred Hoyle's Element 79

According to Tuck this edition was the October 1967 selection of the SFBC. Also, the original price was $1.70. Does your printing have a gutter code of "37I"? (This is the first printing's code.) And if you get a chance could you add the " / SFBC" appendix to the publisher? Thanks. MHHutchins 20:41, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

Thank you and yes, it's a 37I book. Marc Kupper (talk) 08:03, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

SFBC edition of Wollheim's World's Best 1970

When you get a chance can you record the gutter code for this printing. I'm filling in the gaps in the gutter codes on the SFBC listing. Thanks. MHHutchins 02:55, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

31L Marc Kupper (talk) 06:27, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
Thanks! MHHutchins 17:52, 13 September 2008 (UTC)


The versuion of Template:Ref you have created uses the #IF parser function. The ParserFuntions extension is not currently installed on the ISFDB wiki, and until/unless it is #IF will be treated as an undefdefined template. I'm not sure just what #IF is being used for in Ref, but we will either have to rework Ref not to use #IF; find the older, deprecated, nested-template-based version of IF used on wikipedia before #IF was availalbe (most of the arguments afaisnt uit don't really apply to a smaller wiki like the ISFDB); or get Al to install the ParserFunctions extension. There are some things I could do with some of the license and linking templates more cleanly if we had a version of IF available, but it hasn't seemed important enough to pester Al. I don't have time to look into this more thoughtly right now -- possibly this evening. -DES Talk 18:09, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

Yeah - I just caught that and am stripping the templates down... Marc Kupper (talk) 18:10, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

Verified publishers

On the Publisher:Verified publishers page, you say:

To help support this project an easy thing ISFDB editors can do when entering and verifying publications is to make sure that the publication record's publisher name field accurately reflects what's stated on the title page. For example, rather than just "Ace" you would use the full imprint or publisher name as stated on the title page such as "Ace Books", "Ace Books, Inc.", or "Ace Science Fiction Books".

I am not in the least convinced that this is desirable. I think it merely leads to further fragmentation in the publisher names, an impedes the movement toward regularization. Special questions of a few verifiers on a few targeted publications are one thing, but attempting to do this in general is quite another. For example, if a books as "Baen Books" I will pretty much invariably enter it as simply "Baen", "Tor Books" I always enter as simply "Tor" and I think this is a good thing, a positive virtue. Those publishers are IMO already verified, we don't need more data to know their canonical names, we should simply be using the canonical names. The same applies, I think to Ace, at least outside the "specials". Furthermore, i think that outside sources are FAR more useful than publication references in verifying a publisher's name or names over time, and should be emphasized at this stage.

I urge more discussiuon of what a "verified publsiehr" is and means, and how we will get and use the verification data, before proceeding with this project. -DES Talk 03:51, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

I agree but at the moment there's no way to regularize publisher names within the DB, no support software, and there are no rules regarding publisher names. At present I'm unaware of any reliable outside sources other than one publication whose name escapes me a the moment but where the author/editor spent a few years documenting physical publications, writing letters to publishers, and phoning them. The results are copyright and could not be used in ISFDB. This project has similar goals to that book but will be available under creative commons.Marc Kupper (talk) 04:36, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
The factual contents of a reference work are not and cannot be protected by copyright. We could not copy, in general, specific text from such a work. But if such a work states that publisher "James & Co." became "James & Johns" in 1945, "James, Johns, & Smith" in 1967, and part of ""JJ Communications inc" in 1995, we can report those facts and cite that publication as a source, adn we should do so. The Fiest vs Rural decison very specifically said that soemone who published a directlry could not prevent others from copying information from that directory and using or indeed republishing it, even in a competing directory. Facts are not copyrightable under US law. -DES Talk 15:16, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
I certainly intend to enter what I find from the "Dictionary of Trade Name Origins", where it covers an imprint or publisher. It certainly clarifies why Corgi and Transworld exist, for instance. BLongley 15:33, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
Extracting and/or rearranging facts is fine but there's a slippery slope into copyvio. It's less of an issue when the source is data in tabular form. If the data is presented in English sentences then the work is copyright though obviously the facts can still be extracted. "Joe was born in 1951" is copyright but it's ok to document that Joe's birth falls in 1951. Obviously for copying "Joe was born in 1951" literally you would be looking at the portion of the work and the more subjective "is this an original expression?" Anyway, the slope is there and FWIW, I'm fine with existing projects such as Don Erikson's adding/updating publication records based on a source reference as he's only filling in database metadata and citing the source for that data. Marc Kupper (talk) 19:01, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
Note also that "obvious and natural" expressions of facts are generaly not protected either: "Joe was born in 1951", would, if factual, not be protected, as it is a very obvious and natural way of expressing that fact. The more creative and individual the expression, the more it is likely to be protected. But for straight facts, any significant paraphrasing is enough to avoid any copyright issue, and surely extracting facts from a set of sentances and putting them into tabular form or bulletted list form would be perfectly ok. Above you implied that the contents of reference works could not be used in this effort "The results are copyright and could not be used in ISFDB" you siad. That is incorrect, the results of any such project can indeed be used, but the words expressing those results may need to be changed. -DES Talk 15:55, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
It's not my intent not my intent to create any new rules regarding publication entry. As noted earlier, the entire thing is an experiment. I'm going to try it for a while and see if it implodes the way the existing ISFDB publisher names and to a lesser extent, the publisher namespace already have. I agree with you that the publisher/imprint names are fragmented and perhaps all we'll find out from the project is verification that the names are fragmented to the point that efforts to document them need another approach. Marc Kupper (talk) 04:36, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
There's a big assumption in there too, that the title page HAS the information we want. Just picking up a few of my "to do" pile suggests otherwise: e.g.
  1. "Scholastic" is all that's on the title page, "Scholastic Children's books, an imprint of Scholastic Ltd" is on the copyright page. It goes on to state the book is published by "Scholastic UK Ltd" and that "SCHOLASTIC is a trademark of Scholastic Inc". We'd record a trademark and lose the stated imprint?
  2. "Ace Books, Inc" on title page, "An Ace book" on copyright page, "Ace Book" on spine, whereas "ace first in gothics" on cover suggests (to me at least) that separating Ace Gothics from Ace Science Fiction might be something useful.
  3. "Ace Books, New York" on title page, references to "Ace" and "Ace Books" on copyright page, but "Ace Science Fiction" on spine looks more useful.
  4. Just a logo on title page and spine, from which you can pick out a single letter "G". Copyright page tells you it's Gollancz, from the time it was an imprint of Orion.
  5. "Fontana/Collins" on title page (one of the very few times I've seen a '/' truly used in a publisher name), "Fontana Science Fiction" on front cover.
I think you have to search the book a bit harder to discern imprint, publisher and publishing groups: and I think capturing all those in the wiki might help (despite the search problems we'll still have with Ace, Tor, NEL, NAL, etc) but what you're suggesting for the publisher field goes contrary to what's actually been happening for months now. Can we keep this experiment to the wiki for the moment please? BLongley 11:55, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
By the way, I would suggest moving Publisher:Verified publishers to ISFDB:Verified publishers project or just ISFDB:Verified publishers, as that is the proper namespace for a project page.-DES Talk 15:18, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
I thought about that when creating the project but the existing projects all seemed to be data consistency cleanup related and this is about documenting the names in the wiki and not a database cleanup. If there is a "Publisher Names Cleanup" project then it could be patterned after the existing Project:Author Names Cleanup. In any case, I don't have strong feelings for where the project's home page should go and if it should be in the root or ISFDB namespace for example. Technically it's not an ISFDB database project meaning I'd lean towards the root namespace.
Before someone moves the article - is "Verified publishers" an agreeable project name? I could not think of a single word that would apply to publishing groups, publishers, and imprints. Calling it "Verified publishing group, publisher, and imprint names" seems like a mouthful. While the present output of the project is three categories it's possible more could get added.
Something I thought of this morning when falling asleep is to not bother with setting up verified pages but rather all we care about are verified names meaning the existing ref/note/etc. templates would be used on the standard publisher pages to flag "this is an actual name/address spotted in a publication." The big advantage of pages is that categories can be constructed from them. I don't think the Wiki offers a mechanism where on a page you can say "Include the name 'xyzzy' to the Verified Imprint category/list." Marc Kupper (talk) 18:40, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

(unindent) Based on the feedback so far I did an edit to Publisher:Verified publishers to

  • Remove the advice concerning what to put in the ISFDB publisher field.
  • Reword things to make it clearer that it's to document the names in a verifiable fashion on the wiki.

I'd like feedback on this. I need to take a break but I'll also tone down the wording about "don't make additions unless they are sourced" though ideally people would get in the habit of doing that automatically. As DES noted, very few use the <ref> tag and on Wikipedia one constant battle for their moderators is encouraging people to use and cite reliable sources (I suppose I should cite that. <g>). Marc Kupper (talk) 18:40, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

"Verified Publishing Names" seems general enough for the project to cover groups, companies, subsidiaries, divisions, imprints, sub-imprints, etc. You could even start deriving "printers" from some stuff I've added. Maybe even publisher series, which are a bit lost at the moment - e.g. the "Corgi SF Collector's Library" fits fairly nicely on the Corgi page, but "Venture SF" moved from Hamlyn to Arrow. You seem to have a goal in mind already, which lacks some of those levels. We can probably bodge a few of them together to fit, but some idea of how to link up or down (or even when we SHOULD link - should we link verified to unverified or vice versa?) would be good. It's the lack of links I find particularly missing. It's obvious there are hierarchies involved, which currently cannot be represented in the database, but should be eventually: demonstrating those in the wiki would give a good guideline as to what people want. BLongley 21:00, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
Verified Publishing Names is a good name and will allow for adding subsidiaries, divisions, publisher series, etc. I've moved the page. The links between articles will be added as the names get developed. I don't think you will find a hierarchy except at specific instants in time.
I suspect what will happen is that some of the smaller articles will end up as redirects to sections of larger or canonical articles. For example the Yearling imprint may end up as a section on Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc. and the Yearling page will be a redirect that also includes {{Verified Imprint}} so that it gets included in the Imprints category. People would still reference Publisher:Yearling and the redirect will take them to the section about Yearling.
As for verified vs. unverified. Here's a thought - Right now we are linking to names directly, such as Publisher:Yearling. If a name is verified we can change these links to instead use {{verified name|Yearling}} (or {{vn|Yearling}} and that will color code the links much like the existing {{a}} and {{p}} link-templates do. We may even be able to add hover-text so that when the mouse hits it there's a "Verified Name" hover box.
I will be toning down the "do not edit this stuff" wording in the headers and may even eliminate the headers entirely though at present they serve to help me remember where the home page and categories are...
As for "You seem to have a goal in mind already" - yes - the goal is documenting when and where names were used as I've often run into a name and wondered where and when that name was used. ISFDB's publication field often contains too much noise though it's been helpful to at least point me in a direction. Marc Kupper (talk) 22:23, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
Yes, but you've only defined three types of name you want: I can already see up to eight possibilities. By defining just three it makes it look already decided that that's all we need. And sure, a sub-imprint like Publisher:Corgi Yearling can mostly be treated the same way as the parent imprint Publisher:Corgi, and "Divisions" and "Groups" might be equally treated. "Printers" might be discardable but as they are sometimes the only distinguishing text characteristic between two books they might occasionally be worthwhile checking. And some Publishers like Collins were also Printers for other publishers. BLongley 18:58, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
One of my major concerns is that you're often going to clash the working publisher pages with the verified publisher pages. (And similar for imprints.) I definitely don't want the pages for useful notes on future database entries suddenly becoming rule-bound pages that people are afraid to edit because it's too much trouble - we already have people too afraid of the ISFDB interface to use it, make that the case for the Wiki too and we'll lose another set of possible editors, and the data they would have provided. Maybe some guidelines on how to split a page into unverified and verified bits would help? BLongley 21:00, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
I agree but also don't want to "encourage" that people just add stuff and so I'm trying to raise awareness and use of references/citations. Right now when people add what looks like unsupported material to ISFDB the moderators hold it up and ask "what does the publication really say?" I'd like to see the same mindset applied to wiki articles. Unfortunately, it's a lot of work. It's more fun to just write down when you know and spot via a causual scan of the Internet rather than plowing through 30 year old copies of Locus. My desk is a disaster of stuff to finish before the end of the day meaning I don't have a lot of time to edit the wording at the moment. Marc Kupper (talk) 22:23, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
I've worked through a few publishers now, which I do recommend people trying, but I doubt I'll do a lot of it for the stated project reasons. I'd like you to look at what I have entered under the new guidelines: I have identified some "publishers" and "publishing groups" and confirmed some imprints along the way. But where I've found "Verification Sources" to be useful, it hasn't been for ANY of those: it's been for addresses, logos, and artist signatures. I'd particularly like to know if what I've entered for Corgi, Carousel, Hamlyn, Bantam etc is data that would lead you to a DIFFERENT conclusion from mine as to what constitutes an imprint, or a publisher, or a publishing group. I think for a start we definitely need some regularization rules: why are your first examples "Inc." for instance, rather than "Inc" or "Incorporated"? Should mine be "Hamlyn Publishing Group Ltd." with a full-stop that wasn't present in the source? Or "Limited" to give it the official name? BLongley 21:00, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
Overall though, I still think the basic expressed desires of what data we WANT recorded is still too loose. I've messed up the Corgi page with all the logo data I found - it would be GREAT if Corgi was an imprint where publication dates were often missing, and a logo change would put a date-range to such a publication. But actually Corgi books are pretty good at recording that stuff, and such might be better used for Macfadden or Lancer, for instance. BLongley 21:00, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
I tried to use the names/addresses exactly as stated. Of course, I spot a copyright page that says "New York, NY" at the top and "New York, New York" at the bottom for the same street address but at least the top was the address of the imprint and the bottom was the publisher group. I'll need to think about what you added for Publisher:Hamlyn Publishing Group Ltd. There certainly do seem to be a bunch of names and I'm wondering if an "undefined" category needs to be added. For example STRHNTCKCK1985 mentions "First published in Great Britain 1985 by Hamlyn Paperbacks." What is "Hamlyn Paperbacks"? Obviously we can add it to the name list but where?
From Duncton Wood evidence, it appears to be a "Division"', which is why I suggested you might not have defined all the levels we will require. Doubleday became a "Division" too - see Carpe Jugulum, but in that case "Doubleday" is also the imprint, whereas I would say "Hamlyn Paperbacks" printed books under the "Hamlyn" imprint. BLongley 18:58, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
It's possible we will change the page titles to use normalized names such as "Hamlyn Publishing Group" and under that verify sources for various suffixes rather than cluttering a category with variant names. I need to run. Marc Kupper (talk) 22:37, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
I'm done with ISFDB for the weekend. I started with Publication:STRHNTCKCK1985, tagged names with {{vn}}, and then started clicking on red links copy/pasting in pages. I'll clean this up some more when I get a chance as it looks to add a stub publisher, etc. page could be reduced to a copy/paste with the tricky part being to remember to change the publication reference. Marc Kupper (talk) 03:36, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

(unindent) Different corporate families will use different numbers of levels, and use different names for them. The levels and their names will also change at different times within the same corporate entity or related group of entities. I suggest that we use only three levels.

A consistent name or line used in the marketing of books which is clearly part of a larger business entity. May or may not have its own editing staff and policies. Generally does not act as a separate business entity, and does not have separate legal existence.
A separate business entity. The publisher's name is usually but not always used in some form on the publications, possibly in addition to an imprint name. Normally has its own editing staff and policies, and its own acquisition policies and budget. May control multiple imprints. In some cases, an entity that was formerly a publisher may become an imprint, often as part of a business merger or acquisition.
Publishing group
A business entity that owns or controls one or more publishers or publishing groups, but does not itself act as a publisher.

The organizational structure of publishing is different enough in different firms, and has changed enough at different times, that no absolute rules can be made to separate these levels: assigning any particular entity to one of them is going to be something of a judgment call. But then, our goal is not to record all the twists and turns of corporate organization, but merely to record what the names printed on books mean; what you can tell about a book from those names, including using such names a clues to dating; what groups of books were produced by sufficiently similar editorial teams to be meaningfully compared; and to be able to match up physical publications, ISFDB records, and other bibliographic sources, many of which use some concept of "publisher" as one of their key fields. I think that the above three levels will suffice for those goals, and that trying to document not only every level in every corporate structure, but every name used for every level, will be counterproductive. What one corporate cluster calls a "Division" another may call a "group" or a "line". -DES Talk 20:11, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

I can live with three levels - maybe even two. I'm personally interested in imprints, which often tell me what to expect from a book: so I'd personally like Ace divided into SF, Fantasy, Horror, Gothic and Other, for instance. Doubles are a separate problem but I'm not sure how often a Double mixes those categories. If the consensus is to combine all Ace Speculative Fiction under one imprint I can live with that, but I'd prefer we separate the imprints (whatever they are) and have a vague level of "Ace" that combines them all for people less fussy than me. If that's a "Publisher" that's fine by me too, I don't really care: if we haven't separated the Imprints then I'll search for the Publisher. BLongley 23:14, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
Publishing GROUPS are very vague but might help me find the SF imprints used in various other countries: e.g. if an American was looking for the equivalent of "Bantam" 1960s/1970s books in the UK, he should be directed toward "Corgi". "Bantam" was also OK in the UK in the 1980s though. I don't actually see any harm in humouring Marc's experiment unless it starts interfering with our lazier, "unverified" Publishers - at worst any "publishing name" used will be a wiki page that nobody links to. And A verified source for something doesn't look like a bad idea - but as stated elsewhere, what I'd use it to verify is not necessarily what was planned. For instance, I found it useful for Cover Signature/Artist Credit cross-references - I can point people at a publication that confirms such. BLongley 23:14, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
I can't say I like your proposed definitions beyond "Imprint: A consistent name or line used in the marketing of books" and "an entity that was formerly a publisher may become an imprint". We COULD divert into registered Trademarks and official Company registrations, but I'm reluctant to do so right now - let's figure out what we each want from this, EXPLAIN IT, and maybe we'll start moving towards an agreement. BLongley 23:14, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

By the way, perhaps some or all of this discussion should be moved or copied to Talk:Verified Publishing Names? -DES Talk 20:11, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

Probably, but we're not very good at finding discussions. :-( Copy for now, and Marc can kick this out of his talk page when we find somewhere when we can remind people that there ARE discussions going on outside the main Community Portal areas? BLongley 23:14, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
Copied and refactored into multiple sections. . See Talk:Verified Publishing Names. -DES Talk 23:37, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

Zybahn's submission for Third Fontana Book of Great Horror Stories

I placed this submission on hold knowing you were working on a previous submission of this pub. Handle it as you see fit, but I would question removing the price, and placing a note to state that the verifier's copy wasn't priced. It's possible that he has an exported copy. Thanks. MHHutchins 18:11, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

Thanks - that one turned into a mini project. AbeBook seller listings showed copies of the second book in the series (Zybahn has the third) with apparent price stickers for either the UK or US market meaning it's quite likely Zybahn's copy had its sticker removed. I've added a page at Series:The Fontana Book of Great Horror Stories about this. Marc Kupper (talk) 21:06, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
... which I've promptly argued with. :-/ Hopefully constructively, but I'm never sure totally about how my comments are perceived. I'll respond to your responses for the section above tomorrow evening, but I really have to go now, people are depending on me to be awake tomorrow morning. Well, THIS morning: I think I can still get 5 hours sleep though. Good Night! BLongley 00:50, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
Your "arguing" was very subtle and it looks fine. I messed up in that I set up the VT, told the guy about it, but missed that it was still floating in the queue. Marc Kupper (talk) 01:54, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

Messages Found in an Oxygen Bottle

I was reviewing Bob Shaw's bibliography and noticed that we have two Titles records for "Ad Astra?" and "The Man in the Grey Flannel Toga", one listed as an Essay and one as Short Fiction, with different publication dates. Since you have verified the 1986 Messages Found in an Oxygen Bottle collection, could you pease check if they are actually stories or essays? Thanks! Ahasuerus 22:56, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

Both of them are essays. For some reason I did not like these essays when I first read them but this time around I found them quite enjoyable. I need to re-check the rest of the collection as it's likely there are other essays misclassified as shortfiction. Marc Kupper (talk) 05:00, 16 September 2008 (UTC)


The documentation on Template:Refp is IMO unclear. Does "publication key" mean the TAG or the pub record number, or either? The required value should be explicit (and IMO tags should be discouraged in favor of record numbers).

Also, this template now displays as a superscripted bracket listing the date of the publication. On looking at a wiki page, it is not at all clear what is being linked to. I suggest that the title or title & date parameters be used to formulate the link text. i also suggest that Template:Linkcolor or else Template:VerifiedLinkColor be sued to give this link the same background as our other template based links. See Template:A for an example of how to use the linkcolor template. -DES Talk 21:08, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

Sorry - I should have checked a publication - the name should be "publication tag" and not "key". I need to deal with some other projects and will correct this later. (reminder to self)
Record numbers would be better but when you are on an ISFDB publication, SHLDTFBFWF1978 for example, and click on the "Bibliographic Comments" link you get taken to a wiki page in the Publication namespace with the publication tag being used for the pagename. I started using the publication tags to link from Publisher articles to the source publications as that's what the DB side uses though as Category:Publisher verification sources looks so sucky I'm really temped to have the source pub articles filed by either name/author or author/name.
The goals for {{refp}} are
  • No "thinking" to use one. With {{ref}} people needed to manage the link numbers manually, and also to be keeping the notes section at the bottom of the articles in sync which discourages its use. In line with "no thinking" I also added the full refp text to to use on the target publication articles meaning adding a new reference to that publication is an easy copy/paste.
  • That the links be as small and discreet as possible. Ideally they would be just 1, 2, 3, 4 but the date is sort of cool while also being small and semi-unique. See Cox & Wyman where the refp links show the dates for Corgi and W. H. Allen. Small and discreet was also so that refp can be used on canonical articles such as Corgi.
  • That when we get true <ref> that we only need to adjust the refp template to use <ref> and to add a <references/> at the bottom of every page that links to {{refp}}.
I saw the linkcolor stuff earlier - that was cool and I almost used it for {{vn}}. BTW - Thank you for the edits to vn. I did one more edit after yours to remove the line break. 99% of the time the extra break does not matter but it shows up when vn is used in a bullet-list.
Anyway - I've off ISFDB for a few hours, and maybe the rest of the day, but will think about how to improve this. Marc Kupper (talk) 22:05, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

The Quincunx of Time

I think your The Quincunx of Time cover artist is Chris Foss. Would you concur? BLongley 13:00, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

Perfect plus it's the same style as what's shown on wikipedia:Chris Foss. I did a scan of the glyph at 1200 DPI and dropped it at on my web site. You can use it if you want. It's a little less blurry than the scan you made but also has a brown blob in the upper/left corner. I then found the original painting on a fan site[15].
Marc Kupper (talk) 17:17, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
Glad it helped. I've been concentrating on artist signatures today, preferably ones from books where there's a signature AND a credit. I'd call those Verified Signatures, whereas there's some others (like Joe Petagno) where I've not yet found both on the same book and so there MAY be another Petagno out there. BLongley 18:42, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
That sounds like a fun project assuming you find matches. Can you take a guess at what initials/letters are in ISFDB:Verification requests#Initials Help please? Marc Kupper (talk) 18:54, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
I'm finding some nice matches - not many as useful as PE in a box = Peter Elson, or F in a box = Chris Foss, (and A in a circle for Chris Achilleos still looks a bit dangerous but I know I can dig out some Doctor Who titles for more data there), but matches nonetheless. I guess the real test is whether OTHER people find such useful, but that won't happen till people start using the Sig Library: and I suspect they won't do that till it contains some useful data.. BLongley 21:17, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
I have looked at the image you posted but it's unintelligible to me too. If I spot anything similar I'll let you know, but I'm concentrating on cover artists today. Maybe interior artists later - I don't worry about those as much though, they're often just for "Maps" that I'd rather NOT know about. BLongley 21:17, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

The Best of Leigh Brackett

Here is my conversation with Bill Longley.

In checking my copy against your verification this. [16] . You have page 420 Map Margaret Howes. I am confused by this. The Addendum establishes the reality of the author of the essay and the maps starting on page 422. My thinking, and I fully admit I could/am completely wrong is this. Mars: By the Survey Commission Office, Kahora, Mars is a very short short story (fiction). The Maps would be separate as something like Mars (Maps) interiorart. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 14:07, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

I really don't remember doing that. Maybe I bailed over the question of "Margaret Howes" from the factual addendum as opposed to "Margaret M. Howes" from the fictional essay, with a fictional title? Or dithered over whether "Central Terran Administration" is part of the title? Either way, I don't care about Maps so adjust it whichever way you like. BLongley 17:47, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
You also a verified copy of this. It also used 'Map'. If you are willing, will you let me edit the title to the above and make a separate Map entry in the version Bill and I share. If not, no problem. If you have any other solution I am willing to go with that also. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 23:10, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
I responded on User talk:BLongley#The Best of Leigh Bracket. to keep the thread in one place. Marc Kupper (talk) 18:39, 7 October 2008 (UTC)


Added $C price to your verified pub record.--Bluesman 22:24, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Thank you - I assume you updated NGNCTY2004. Do you know about Primary (Transient) verification? We are using this for both transient verification and as a secondary verification for publications someone has already verified. Marc Kupper (talk) 01:10, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
Dragoondelight (Harry) mentioned the same thing and from now on I will use that. I'm going to have to go back to "A" and start all over again.......... sigh... !--Bluesman 18:12, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

Lewis Carroll

Just a note that I have converted Preface (The Hunting of the Snark: An Agony in Eight Fits) from EDITOR to ESSAY. The idea that we may have a Carroll-edited magazine on file had me puzzled and excited for a second :) Ahasuerus 01:35, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

Good catch and you got a Snark without too much agony! I was a hurry, hit "E" and forgot to look to see that the box landed on "Essay." Marc Kupper (talk) 02:15, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
One E always lands on editor, IME. I hit E twice for essay. -DES Talk 02:18, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

Hell-Bound Train: The or That

Please take a look at ISFDB:Verification requests#"That Hell-Bound Train" when you have a chance. You verified The Hugo Winners, vols 1&2, one of the titles that included the story in quewstion. TYour input would be helpful. Thank you. -DES Talk 17:45, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

Destiny's Road

Added $C price to DSTNYRD1998 .--Bluesman 18:09, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

Citations missing template

I urge that {{Citations missing}} be either deleted, or drastically revised. At prsent it tris to use the Wikipedia tempalte documatation mechanism, which we don't need on the ISFDB, More seriously, it urges compliance with the Wikipedia polices Wikipedia:Wikipedia:citations and Wikipedia:Wikipedia:inline citations, which are not policy on this wiki, and which i would object to. It attempts to create a catagory scheme copied from wikipedia which i think would be ill-advised here. In fact, i am not convinced of the need for "editorial" templates like this here at all, but if we do want this one, it ought to be rewitten to fit into the ISFDB in a much better way. I urge moving it to User:Marc Kupper/Citations missing until/unless it is ready for deployment. -DES Talk 21:38, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

Done on the delete - I started to set that up as articles were being set up that were 100% unsourced and also appearing to be largely speculation but the lack of support for MediaWiki extensions Wikipedia assumes was turning that into a PITA and so I dropped it and instead deal with the offending editors directly. Marc Kupper (talk) 01:18, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. -DES Talk 03:38, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
I personally would like to move in the direction of adopting Wikipedia policy as far as encouraging citations, copyright free material, etc. The only difference would be ISFDB's notability standard would be "anything related to specfict" rather than the in-print recognition by uninvolved parties that Wikipedia tries to use though I personally disagree with that one as it means pages about entertainers and sports figures, and politicians are pretty much automatically "in" while everyone else, companies, products, are all "out" unless they commit mass murder or otherwise become "newsworthy." Marc Kupper (talk) 01:18, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
While having some standards on citations would be a good thing, I would strongly object to simply taking over wikipedia standards as written. On cition their standars are becoming overly burdensome even for the kinds of things thy do (and are enforced very unevenly) and wopuld be IMO quite inappropriate for the kinds of things we do. On "copyright free material" I disagree in principle with their excessive restrictiosn on fair use. Retaining and using the right to fair use is IMO an important bastion against overreaching by corporate copyright owners. And there are othe aspects of wikipedia policy that are proper for their particualr mission, their status as a site that deals with many diverse and highly controversial topics, and as a very large and popular site that attracts much vandalism and spin, which are simply not needed or appropriate here. -DES Talk 03:38, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

Star Guard

(copied from Ahasuerus' page as reminder to to track the pub down and add some notes)

Does your verified Star Guard have a Lin Carter essay? See my G-599 edition of Star Guard for notes about this. Marc Kupper (talk) 03:47, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

Nope, no Lin Carter anywhere in site, although "Introduction: The Mercenaries" is preserved. Ahasuerus 04:30, 20 July 2008 (UTC)