User talk:Mhhutchins/Archive/2007

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

I hope you enjoy editing here! Please sign your name on talk pages using four tildes (~~~~); this will automatically produce your name and the date. If you need help, check out the community portal, or ask me on my talk page. Again, welcome! Ahasuerus 16:46, 23 Feb 2007 (CST)

Best SF Novellas of the Year 1

I see you're trying to delete one of these two duplicates, but the one you're trying to delete has Award data associated with it.

Is the longer title with "Science Fiction" written out in full and "#1" what actually appears on the title page of the book? --Unapersson 15:22, 25 Feb 2007 (CST)

"On the Street of Serpents"

Along similar lines, you have proposed merging "On the Street of Serpents or, The Assassination of Chairman Mao, as Effected by the Author in Seville, Spain, in the Spring of 1992, a Year of No Certain Historicity" from "Science Fiction Emphasis #1", ed. David Gerrold, 1974 with "On the Street of the Serpents" in "Blooded on Arachne", 1983. According to Contento, these two publications used two different titles. If Contento's data is correct, then we will want to make the latter into a Variant Title of the former. Would that work for you or would you happen to know that Contento is in error? Thanks! Ahasuerus 19:40, 26 Feb 2007 (CST)

The book ("Blooded on Arachne") has the shortened title on the contents page, but the longer (and author-preferred) title is on the first page of the story. I personally would not consider this a variant title, just the publisher (Arkham House) wanting to present a "cleaner" looking TOC. I also just noticed that the title should be "On the Street of the Serpents ...etc." (adding a "the" before "Serpents"). Can you make this correction? Mhhutchins 21:32, 26 Feb 2007 (CST)
Ah, I see! This is actually not uncommon, especially when it comes to the pulps where the table of contents is often just an approximation of the title given on the first page of the story. As our Help pages state, "For short stories, essays and poems, take the title from the heading on the page where the work begins, rather than from the table of contents, if there is one", although there are some caveats (see the link). Typically, we document any discrepancies between the text of the story and its entry in the table of contents (and/or magazine cover) in the "Note" field. That way later editors won't be tempted to make changes based on the table of contents alone. I will approve the submission and add a Note to the "Blooded on Arachne" Publication record. Thanks! Ahasuerus 23:26, 26 Feb 2007 (CST)

"A Lingering Incandescence"

Looking at the two Title records for "A Lingering Incandescence", one in The New York Review of Science Fiction, April 2003 and one in Brighten to Incandescence, I am not entirely sure they are the same essay. Would you happen to have both texts to compare? And how confident are we that the title used in the NYRSF was different from the title used in the collection? If we are certain that the texts are the same and the titles are different, then I think we may want to make one into a Variant Title of the other. Ahasuerus 21:03, 26 Feb 2007 (CST)

Both publications are the same essay. Hartwell pre-published Bishop's afterword to his upcoming story collection. The book adds the subtitle "Notes About the Stories". I don't have a copy of that issue of NYRSF, but it's makes sense if the subtitle was not used. Mhhutchins 21:35, 26 Feb 2007 (CST)
Sounds reasonable. I have made it into a Variant Title and rejected the original submission. Ahasuerus 23:40, 26 Feb 2007 (CST)

"World's Best SF: Series Three"

You have submitted a change to the first paperback reprint of Wollheim/Saha's "World's Best SF: Series Three" aka "The 1974 Annual World's Best SF". It looks like the edition that you have is a 1979 reptrint of the 1975 edition, so I used Clone Publication to add this edition instead of overwriting first printing data. Could you please take a look at the result and see if it makes sense? Thanks! Ahasuerus 21:20, 26 Feb 2007 (CST)

This title was not published as such. The original paperback was titled "The 1974 Annual World's Best SF" (published in 1974) and the second printing was published in 1979 as "Wollheim's World's Best SF: Series Three". Hope this clears it up. Mhhutchins 21:39, 26 Feb 2007 (CST)
Oh, so "World's Best SF: Series Three" wasn't used until 1979 when DAW decided to reprint the series? OK, that makes perfect sense, I only have the SFBC handcovers of this series and donn't recall when the paperback versions were renamed. I have deleted the incorrectly titled 1974 Publication record, so hopefully we are OK now. Please take a look at the result to make sure we are all on the same page. Thanks! Ahasuerus 23:49, 26 Feb 2007 (CST)
This is the case with all of the paperback reprints of Wollheim's World's Best SF series. I can only assume that DAW was hesitant about reprinting an anthology of the year's best stories with the year so prominent in the title (especially four or five years down the road.) Mhhutchins 15:59, 27 Feb 2007 (CST)

Catacomb Years

I am hesistant to delete the second Berkley Publication record since it may be a later printing of the paperback edition -- vide the $2.50 vs. $2.25 discrepancy. I have merged the two Titles and cleaned the data up a bit so that now all three Publications are listed under the same Title. Hopefully it looks better now, although an independent confirmation of the price change would be even better :) Ahasuerus 00:09, 27 Feb 2007 (CST)

Updating the Contents of a publication

Your publication update for Final Stage was perfect except for one thing which is that in the contents you tried to change the title Space Rats of the C.C.C. into Space Rats of the CCC. If I approved your update then it would also change how the title is listed in six other publications. As everything else about this large seems correct I went ahead with

  • Approved your submission
  • Edited pace Rats of the CCC and changed the title back to Space Rats of the C.C.C..
  • Edited Final Stage and added a new title Space Rats of the CCC (merge) on page 186.
  • Back on Final Stage I did "remove-titles" of Space Rats of the C.C.C..
  • Approved submission
  • Advanced search for Space Rats of the CCC and merge in the extra title I had created with the regular record.
  • Approved submission

See Help:Screen:EditPub#General_contents for more information about this. Marc Kupper (talk) 02:10, 4 Mar 2007 (CST)

The Worlds of Fritz Leiber

You had verified The Worlds of Fritz Leiber which used to be typed as a collection containing an anthology which contained a collection which had the stories of the collection. This arrangement confused some people (who tried to delete what looked like a duplicate publication as it was showing up in two places). I have cloned the Ace collection and I believe I made it identical to the publication you verified. Could you please verify the new clone against your copy, filling in the page numbers, and also edit it to remove the comment I added to the title? Once that's done we will delete the original version you had verified. Thank you. Marc Kupper (talk) 17:45, 5 Mar 2007 (CST)

Done! Mhhutchins 19:48, 5 Mar 2007 (CST)

The Book of Fritz Leiber

Your submission looked fine except for the Contents change that attempted to transmogrify Scream Wolf into After Such Knowledge. This is a common problem when editing collections and anthologies -- please see Marc Kupper's recent explanation of how to change Contents items. I ended up creating a separate submission with all the other changes and rejecting the original submission. I also removed Scream Wolf from this Publication. Please take a look at the results when you get a chance and let me know if everything looks all right. Thanks! Ahasuerus 17:45, 6 Mar 2007 (CST)

I've made the changes based on the instructions that you provided. A question: does this apply only when the titles need to be removed or changed? How would I change the date of one or more of the content items? Mhhutchins 19:06, 6 Mar 2007 (CST)
There are really just two things to keep in mind when changing a Title in the Contents area of a Publication. The first one is simple: you can't delete a Title from a Publication by overwriting its data with another Title's data. That will just change the first Title. You will want to use "Remove Title from Publication" option instead.
The second thing to keep in mind is that ANY change in the Contents area will be applied to the underlying Title (story, essay, etc) being changed. This includes the year of publication, the spelling of the title, SHORTFICTION length, etc. The only field in the Contents area that is specific to the Publication is the page number :) So if you change, say, the spelling of "Nightfall" to "Night Fall" because that's how it's spelled in the publication that you are verifying, the change will affect the underlying Title record for the story and from that point on it will appear in all Publications as "Night Fall". If that's not what you want to accomplish, then you will want to remove "Nightfall" first (see above), then add "Night Fall". Finally, you will want to check to see if "Night Fall" already exists. If it doesn't, then you can make it into a Variant Title of "Nightfall". If it does exist, then you can merge the new Title with the pre-existing "Night Fall" Title and make sure that the Variant Title relationship is set up. Does this help or did I manage to miss the point of the question? :) Ahasuerus 21:26, 6 Mar 2007 (CST)

The Anthology of Speculative Poetry #3

I have approved The Anthology of Speculative Poetry #3, but I had a few questions. First, is Peregrinations (Editorial) really a SHORTFICTION piece and not an ESSAY? It looks wrong, but stranger things have been known to happen :)

Second, is there a specific indication that "The moon is filled with women" and "Sun and chimes dropping" should be in lower case?

And finally, are the two Bishop pieces marked as SHORTFICTION and Salmonson's "The Three Wisewomen and a Fool" really prose works and not poems? Thanks! Ahasuerus 22:20, 6 Mar 2007 (CST)

Peregrinations should be ESSAY. Please change it. Both Bishop pieces are definitely prose (TASP #3 was a special Michael Bishop issue, including the interview, short fiction and poetry.) The Salmonson is relatively short, a vignette, but more prose than poetry. So personally I would classify all three as SHORTFICTION. Mhhutchins 20:20, 8 Mar 2007 (CST)
Thanks for checking! I have corrected Peregrinations and the prose pieces look fine "as is", so the only outstanding question is #2 above. Ahasuerus 21:55, 8 Mar 2007 (CST)
Sorry, I missed that question! Both poems are untitled, so if I'm remembering correctly from a poetry class more decades ago than I care to admit, the poems are identified by the first line. That's why they're in lower case. Mhhutchins 22:23, 8 Mar 2007 (CST)
Oh, I see! I don't think we have considered this approach since we have mostly concentrated on prose-specific bibliographic conventions so far. It's an interesting point, do you want to post about it on the Community Portal? Thanks for editing! :) Ahasuerus 22:49, 8 Mar 2007 (CST)

Held edit to Lupoff's Space War Blues

Just wanted to let you know that I put your edit on hold because I plan to delete this "collection". See also discussion on my user talk page User talk:Scott Latham#Space War Blues. (Scott Latham 15:35, 7 Mar 2007 (CST))

I noticed a mispelling ("Mardi Grass") and was trying to correct it. Please go ahead and reject my edit. Thanks. Mhhutchins 18:51, 7 Mar 2007 (CST)

Michael Bishop, Brighten to Incandescence - title removal

I put a hold on this because as it happens, I had entered the content for this publication, so I wanted to get home to check my copy. "The Unexpected Visit of a Reanimated Englishwoman" does in fact appear on pp. 19-31. Was it the typo that you were trying to correct? Or the date? I see from the copyright page that the original publication was in August, 1996 as "Mary Shelley's Stories and The Unexpected Visit of a Reanimated Englishwoman," but that this version is revised and copyright 2002. Let me know what you have in mind. (Scott Latham 20:16, 7 Mar 2007 (CST))

I was trying to correct the typo in "Unexepected", and thought the best way was to delete the item first. And since the book is dedicated to me, I thought the least I could do was to make sure there were no errors! :) Mhhutchins 21:05, 7 Mar 2007 (CST)
Probably the best way to do that is to use the Titles screen to see whether it appears in multiple publications. If it doesn't, you can just correct it. If it does, and they're all incorrect, I guess you could do a mass update, but it's considered prudent to just Unmerge the one you are sure is wrong, correct it, and update the others as and when you get to them (which, judging from the speed and frequency of your edits, will be next week). And congratulations on your dedicatee-hood, Michael! (Scott Latham 21:20, 7 Mar 2007 (CST))
Since this was the only publication (with that title) of the piece, I just made a correction to the publication. Please reject the original title remove edit. Thanks. Mhhutchins 21:43, 7 Mar 2007 (CST)

The Collected Stories of A. E. Coppard

Re: The Collected Stories of A. E. Coppard, could you please check if the title used on the 1976 edition used the word "stories" as opposed to "tales", which is what OCLC Fiction Finder and the Library of Congress Online Catalog suggest? Re: The Anthology of Speculative Poetry #3, have you had a chance to look up the things that I asked about above? Thanks! Ahasuerus 18:27, 8 Mar 2007 (CST)

Sorry. It should have been Collected Tales. Could you please correct that for me? Thanks. Mhhutchins 20:23, 8 Mar 2007 (CST)
Done! Ahasuerus 21:48, 8 Mar 2007 (CST)

A Mirror for Observers

Re: the 1966 Penguin edition of A Mirror for Observers, you entered the artist(s) as "Stokes/Common". Is that supposed to represent two people (Stokes and Common), a person with an unusual last name or a naming convention from a parallel universe? :) Ahasuerus 17:38, 13 Mar 2007 (CDT)

The cover credit on the back of the pb is "Cover photograph by Stokes/Common". Perhaps the photography studio's name? Mhhutchins 18:22, 13 Mar 2007 (CDT)
Ah, I see! Yes, that may well be the case. Oh well, not much we can do about it, so it goes in "as is". Thanks for the clarification! Ahasuerus 18:45, 13 Mar 2007 (CDT)

The Judgement of Eve

Re: The Judgement of Eve, the proposed Variant Title of The Judgment of Eve, do we know if the "judgement" version exists? I can't seem to find it at OCLC or in other usual suspects' catalogs. Ahasuerus 17:45, 13 Mar 2007 (CDT)

Yes, I've seen cover scans of the UK paperback published by Penguin. It's the only edition I know of that uses that variant spelling. Even the UK hardcover used the original spelling. Here's a link to the cover for the Penguin edition on my Pangborn bibliography website Mhhutchins 18:01, 13 Mar 2007 (CDT)
Based on the information above, I ran an exhaustive scan against 1,633 catalogs and found this edition in one (!) Scottish library. I have approved your Variant Title submission, added Publication details and linked your image, so we should be in good shape now :) Ahasuerus 18:49, 13 Mar 2007 (CDT)

Permission to link to covers

Michael, would you and Michael Bishop allow us to link to the excellent cover images on the web site you manage for him? We so rarely get to link images of hardcover jackets, except for new books at Amazon. (Scott Latham 17:01, 14 Mar 2007 (CDT))

Yes, please feel free to link to the images. My one concern is that there may be a change in the site's webhost in the future. Would it be too much of a challenge to change the links if that should happen? I also maintain a bibliography of Edgar Pangborn's work at one of the free sites (Geocities) with cover images for most of his books. The trouble there is the limitations placed on the number of hits the site is allowed. I have plenty of space on another site (and an extremely large bandwith allowance) for composer Stephen Sondheim, so if you'll give me a few days I can duplicate all of the Bishop and Pangborn images for use on the ISFDB. Mhhutchins 17:18, 14 Mar 2007 (CDT)
Oops, I should have realized that Geocities would have bandwidth limitations! Sorry about that, hopefully a single Pangborn reprint buried two levels deep won't cause too much trouble until we can change the pointer to a more permanent location. On a completely unrelated note, I think I read all of Bishop's articles in Thrust/Quantum, but, unlike many other Quantum pieces (Gallun, Wolfe, Ellison, etc), they didn't register. Perhaps it's time for a reread... Ahasuerus 17:36, 14 Mar 2007 (CDT)
Or you could get your hands on a copy of A Reverie for Mister Ray, which reprints the best of those Thrust articles (along with 60 more pieces of Bishop's nonfiction.)
I'll be transferring those images onto my other site soon, and let you know when they're ready to link. Mhhutchins 18:00, 14 Mar 2007 (CDT)
Thanks! Ahasuerus 19:28, 14 Mar 2007 (CDT)

Good Neighbors

The submission as it currently exists attempts to make record 445441 ("Good Neighbors" by Pangborn) into a variant title of a new title, also "Good Neighbors". I assume that you wanted to link Good Neighbors and The Good Neighbors instead, but I am not sure which way the link was supposed to go. Do you want to create a new submission using the ID of the destination Title? Thanks for editing! Ahasuerus 01:17, 15 Mar 2007 (CDT)

The original title (in Galaxy) was "The Good Neighbors". In both editions of the collection (I have the paperback edition), the title of the story is "Good Neighbors". My edit was intended to create "Good Neighbors" as a variant title of the original title. I'll try again, this time by adding a variant to the original title, instead of making the second a variant. Let me know if it works. Mhhutchins 15:29, 15 Mar 2007 (CDT)

Ten Tomorrows

You recently verified Ten Tomorrows. Could you please double check the story In a Crooked Year to see if it's by Gardner Dozois or Gardner R. Dozois? There was a bit of a screwup and the names got confused. Right not it's in ISFDB as Gardner R. Dozois but that's based on a guess. Thank you! Marc Kupper (talk) 01:59, 15 Mar 2007 (CDT)

Credited to Gardner R. Dozois on both contents and title pages. Mhhutchins 15:31, 15 Mar 2007 (CDT)

Changing Titles within Publications

Just a quick FYI: when you change Titles in the Contents section of a Publication record, the changes affect the Title records directly, so you don't have to change them again. Come to think of it, this behavior may not be easy to figure out when you can't approve your own submissions, so we may want to document it better in the Help pages... Ahasuerus 22:27, 21 Mar 2007 (CDT)

This came up when I first starting submitting edits. I've consciously tried to avoid changing titles in the contents section, so if I've done it inadvertently, please forgive. Mhhutchins 15:58, 22 Mar 2007 (CDT)

We're All in This Alone

I approved the make variant for 470781 but am not sure what you are up to as it looks like all that's changing is one title has an apostrophe and the other a right single quote between the "We" and "r"? See Philip_Lawson as there was already a variant and it looks like ISFDB converts the apostrophe into a right single quote. I suspect all three titles should be merged and no variant is needed at all. Marc Kupper (talk) 03:00, 24 Mar 2007 (CDT)

The ISFDB software tries to convert apostrophes and right single quotes dynamically. Generally, it works OK. Well, most of the time. In other words, Marc is right and there is no functional difference between the two characters within the application. Ahasuerus 11:39, 24 Mar 2007 (CDT)
I wasn't tryng to change the apostrophes. Just showing the story published in Interzone (as by "Philip Lawson") is the same story published in Bishop's collection Brighten to Incandescence as by Bishop and Di Filippo. At the moment there's a loop between the Philip Lawson titles, and no connection to the Michael Bishop title, and I don't know how to fix it. Mhhutchins 09:18, 25 Mar 2007 (CDT)
From the Bishop and Di Filippo version of the title click on "Make This Title a Variant Title or Pseudonymous Work" and set the parent record # to 478801 which is the Philip Lawson version of the story.
It looks like you can merge the three Philip Lawson titles - from Philip_Lawson click on "Titles" under Editing Tools and merge them. Ideally you could use dup-candidates for this but that function does not see the variant titles. But... there is something confusing here.
  • The merge will be of
  • As expected, the title merge says "WARNING: records 101440 and 478801 both appear in the publication Interzone, November/December 2002."
  • The head scratcher is that INTZNOVDEC02 only seems to show one copy of "We're All in This Alone" and links to the 101440 record. Remove-titles and edit-title shows the same and just offer up one copy of "We're All in This Alone".
  • The complication is that 478801 is a variant title of 101440 and so ISFDB will display this as "We're All in This Alone" linked to one title with an aka that's for the other title but does not show it as it's the same title and would not link to it were it different. The fix is to first remove the variant title relationship - I might as well do it.
  • From 478801 "Make This Title a Variant Title or Pseudonymous Work" - set the parent # to 0 (zero).
  • I'm still puzzled as now INTZNOVDEC02 does not show a link to 478801 at all. I'll need to think about this more because the pub was linked to the parent title and should not have cared that a vt existed.
  • From Philip_Lawson "Titles" and now I can just merge the three titles.
  • I'll need to experiment with this because ISFDB acted link INTZNOVDEC02 was linked to 478801 which was the variant title but the strange thing is that when I disconnected the VT that INTZNOVDEC02 ended up linked to 101440. When a pub is linked to a variant it shows the parent's title and author names and then does "as by" and the variant title and name. If the title is the same though it's not displayed nor linked to meaning people never see the link to the variant title. Marc Kupper (talk) 12:36, 28 Mar 2007 (CDT)
It's a small matter to have to go to so much trouble, but I appreciate your trying to fix it. Mhhutchins 16:09, 28 Mar 2007 (CDT)

Amazing Stories, September 1972

You want to change 56698 Amazing Stories, September 1972 into Amazing Science Fiction, September 1972. Are these the same magazine? Internet searches for Amazing Stories, September 1972 seem to find that it exists though I did not see a cover and if it may also be interpreted as Amazing Science Fiction, September 1972. If these are the same magazine but the title could be interpreted either way I suspect it would be helpful to have a variant title so that people using Google will find the record. Marc Kupper (talk) 12:42, 28 Mar 2007 (CDT)

Sometime after Ted White took over the editorship of Amazing Stories (circa 1969), he changed the title to Amazing Science Fiction. It would return to Amazing Stories later (probably around the time that Spielberg used the title for his TV anthology series.) For the year 1972 all issues should be Amazing Science Fiction (see this listing for 1972) Of course, the title could be interpreted any number of ways, but I would not suggest adding a variant. In this particular issue (September 1972), the cover and spine says "Amazing Science Fiction", on the contents page it states "Amazing Science Fiction Stories", in the fine print of the publishing info it states "Amazing Stories" and at the bottom of every even numbered page is printed only "Amazing". At this point in its history, it's pretty safe to say that when anyone referred to "Amazing" they were talking about this magazine, regardless of what was printed in the magazine itself. Hope this helps to clarify the edit (I actually was only wanting to change the error in spelling for the Benford serial in the November issue, when my eye caught this.) Mhhutchins 16:02, 28 Mar 2007 (CDT)
Thank you - I approved the original update. Marc Kupper (talk) 17:21, 28 Mar 2007 (CDT)

Moderator Nomination

Michael, would you be willing to be nominated to be a moderator? If so, let me know (here or on my talk page) and I'll post a note at the Community Portal for discussion of the nomination. Two pages you might want to look at are Moderator Qualifications and Help:Screen:Moderator If nothing more, you'll remove the load you create for the other moderators by approving your own submissions. (Scott Latham 16:53, 1 Apr 2007 (CDT))

I'd support the nomination. It is getting a bit busy for the Mods quite often now - I don't think I've actually picked up a physical book since I became one, but I'm new to it and maybe weekends are atypical. :-/ But you're highly regarded as an editor, respond well, and I think you'd share the "Wow, I'm a Mod now! Better be extra-careful!" attitude I'm currently feeling. BLongley 18:36, 1 Apr 2007 (CDT)
Scott, although I'm still learning how the database works, and there's areas in which I'm somewhat uncertain, I'm willing to give it a try. And I suppose being a Mod will help relieve others of checking my edits. 90% of the edits I make are from the books themselves, so in that regard, I'm rather comfortable. When it comes to approving other editors' submissions, I'll have to be more cautious. So, given time, perhaps I'll become more comfortable doing that as well. Thanks for the nomination. Mhhutchins 19:14, 1 Apr 2007 (CDT)

The Book of the Dun Cow

A minor heads up - I approved your 3-way title merge but had it on hold for a bit because the authors were Walter Wangerin, Walter Wangerin, Jr., and Walter Wangerin, Jr. Normally we would not merge if the author names were different but in this case Walter Wangerin had a single publication by Walter Wangerin but Amazon showed that it was by Walter Wangerin, Jr. I'm not sure if you were expecting the title merge to change the publication record - it doesn't unless it's a title listed in the Contents section of a publication. It will not change the author name as listed in the upper part of the publication page. I went ahead with changing that publication so that it's by Walter Wangerin, Jr. I believe the relationship between titles and publications is one of the most confusing aspects to ISFDB. I regularly see editors submit a title update followed by a publication update where they are redundantly changing the title or author in the Contents section, or in this case where you would have needed to change the publication meta-data manually. Marc Kupper (talk) 00:15, 2 Apr 2007 (CDT)

ps: Another heads-up - On your pub update 36397 The Book of the Dun Cow you changed the price from $12.95 to $6.95. Since about 1980 (when publishers started putting ISBN barcodes on books) it's been a common practice to keep the ISBN the same when raising the price. This means it is possible that both $6.95 and $12.95 are valid prices though a quick check did not find evidence either way for either price. Per 0060263466 it's out of print at the moment. There is a Look Inside but that's for the paperback edition 0062509373 at $14 (!). ISFDB has a publication BKTG19243 record for this ISBN at $8.95 and so I cloned it and created record $14.00. Marc Kupper (talk) 00:36, 2 Apr 2007 (CDT)

My copy (dust cover priced at $6.95) is a first edition, and because the date from the original ISFDB listing corresponded with my copy's year of publication, I assumed that the price shown was incorrect. But, you're right, the original listing may have been a later printing with a raised price. If so, then the date given was incorrect. I suppose it's possible that a later printing would not necessarily provide the year of the new printing, and that the original poster provided a copyright date. Thanks! Mhhutchins 15:25, 2 Apr 2007 (CDT)
It's pretty common for people to enter later printings with the first-printing date. I've wished for separate ISFDB fields at times for this so that people could enter the first printing, printing #, and printing date. People want to enter *something* and so if they were given those choices I suspect they would end up doing the "right thing" unless it's a book club edition where people will derive a first printing date from the copyright date (I guess that's a case for asking for the copyright date too but too many publications list copyright renewal dates, etc. meaning people would then need to figure out which date to enter. Marc Kupper (talk) 17:51, 3 Apr 2007 (CDT)

Pub delete for Callaban's Hour

I rejected your pub-delete of 5956 Callaban's Hour with the note "The first edition of this title (CLBNSHR1995) wasn't published until December 1994, so it's highly unlikely that this 1993 edition actually exists." 0712650695 gives a May 9, 1993 publication date but they also have B000M66ZQ0 published in 1963(?).

In the past year or so Amazon has gotten pretty aggressive at locating invalid books and deleting them. As they have a record for 0712650695 with three copies for sale then that ISBN probably exists. When I'm uncertain I check and as they are representing people selling physical copies. Bookfinder has 18 records with various descriptions. I pay attention to the descriptions because many sellers post the book on multiple sites leading to similar descriptions and many sellers also use systems that pull data from Amazon using the ISBN leading to books that contain obviously wrong data. With 18 records I would assume the book with this ISBN exists. I have no idea why Amazon has a record for 1963 - Per the Abebooks listings the copyright is 1994 (one seller says 1991 but I assume that's an error as it's only one out of 247 records. FWIW - Amazon normally shows the publisher's on-sale-by date meaning it's usually a date a month before the date you see in the book. It's possible this book was announced in 1993 and that's why Amazon shows 1993 dates. Marc Kupper (talk) 01:10, 2 Apr 2007 (CDT)

I'm still wary of depending solely on Amazon's information. I usually double-check myself using the seller listings at It's possible that the book was announced for May, 1993, but I'd put money on it not being published until 12/94 (as stated in my first edition copy.) The ISBN provided for the title "Callaban's Hour" (misspelled as well, it should be "Caliban's Hour") actually is the series (0-7126) assigned to Legend, a UK publisher. Warner Books' ISBNs began with 0-446 in the early 90s. When I googled that ISBN (0-7126-5069-5) there were exactly two hits, the one here on ISFDB and on the UK's Fantastic Fiction website. Without the dashes, Google returned only Amazon's listings. On there were two listings, contradicting each other about the book's bindings. Mhhutchins 15:43, 2 Apr 2007 (CDT)
Just checked the Locus listing, which indicates Legend UK published the true first in Oct. 1994 followed shortly by HarperPrism publishing the first American edition. Mhhutchins 16:15, 2 Apr 2007 (CDT)
Would you rather delete publication record 5956 now and if someone later shows up with a copy they can re-add it or just leave the record in place? We could edit it to change the date to unknown and add a note explaining Amazon lists the book with a May 1993 date but that a) the book may be vaporware and b) that date is probably wrong. I'd look in local bookstores but as it's a UK publication the odds are low that I'd see this one. Marc Kupper (talk) 23:09, 2 Apr 2007 (CDT)

I like your suggestion of changing the date to an unknown with a note explaining the May 1993 date. I'll go ahead and make that edit now. Thanks. Mhhutchins 15:35, 3 Apr 2007 (CDT)

Bibliographic sources

Michael, I see that you have added a number of pointers to online and offline sources of bibliographic data to your user page. Before you put even more effort into the project, I wanted to make sure that you have seen our Sources of Bibliographic Information page :) Ahasuerus 20:23, 3 Apr 2007 (CDT)

Wow! I never thought to look, had not even assumed that there possibly was a list already on the site. And it's a pretty good set of links. Thanks for the heads up. Mhhutchins 22:24, 3 Apr 2007 (CDT)
There's a LOT of useful info in the Wiki, but it's far harder to find than in the ISFDB itself. :-( I know I'm struggling to find some guidance pages I read when I started: and I'm not the only one: so recording your own useful links is probably a good idea for when you have to point people at why we do something such a way, or why you did something. I've already discovered that the Wiki needs multiple changes that have no obvious links between them if you even want to correct a single SPACE. :-/ Take my own talk page as an example: I keep an (edited) version of the first message I ever recall receiving as a reminder of one rule, and should probably replace or add to that that with a link to the CURRENT version. If we all do that, maybe we'll get the Wiki as clear as the main database. When the expert cat-herders arrive and get us to arrange the Wiki as well as the rest of it. ;-) BLongley 16:57, 5 Apr 2007 (CDT)

Steven Millhauser's In the Penny Arcade

The modified ISBN for this publication has a bad checksum and OCLC suggests that it should be 0394546601 instead. Do you happen to have the publication handy, by any chance? Ahasuerus 21:38, 3 Apr 2007 (CDT)

Never mind, I see that you fixed it in the very next submission :) Ahasuerus 21:40, 3 Apr 2007 (CDT)

Bishop's self-interview

That's an interesting point about self-interviews being really Essays in disguise. I can think of at least two more (by Wolfe and Lem) and in all cases they are just cleverly organized articles. We may want to update our Help files accordingly. Ahasuerus 16:41, 6 Apr 2007 (CDT)

There's another Michael Bishop self-interview which is a more serious affair. Michael prepared the questions to be asked by the "interviewer", which was first delivered as a lecture at Georgia State University (and a couple of times since, in one instance I was the "interviewer".) It was subsequently published on his website and first in hard-print by the New York Review of Science Fiction and later in his nonfiction collection A Reverie for Mister Ray. Here it is classified as an essay, which I feel is closer to its true nature. I've thought more than once of moving the title classified as an interview, but have decided that someone searching for one might not find the other, so having it in both would be better. What do you think?
Hm, yes, I can see the problem. Thinking back to some other interviews that I have seen I wonder if the Essay/Interview dichotomy is really more of a continuum. For example, when Charles Platt "interviewed" L. Ron Hubbard in the 1980s, the "interview" consisted of a list of printed questions that Platt had mailed in and Hubbard's "answers", which sometimes had precious little to do with the original questions. Was it still an interview or was it an article by Hubbard loosely based on Platt's questions? Moreover, the way Platt got many introverted SF writers to talk was by promising them complete control over the final text. In some cases the interviewees took advantage of this promise to pretty much rewrite the text of the inteview after the fact, which Platt noted in at least Jack Vance's (IIRC) case. Were the resulting texts still "interviews" or were they really articles based on interviews?
I guess at some point the only sane thing to do is to toss a coin and then explain the circumstances surrounding each "problem case" in the Notes field. Ahasuerus 00:43, 7 Apr 2007 (CDT)
By the way, my subsequent submission (Science Fiction Review, Spring 1990) "escaped" from my keyboard before I was less than a third finished with it. I'll go back later and fill in the missing contents. You'll see I classified it as a magazine instead of a fanzine, though it was semi-professional at best. I wanted to distinguish it from the same-titled fanzine by Richard E. Geis. Mhhutchins 17:28, 6 Apr 2007 (CDT)
Goodness gracious, that must have been a lot of typing! If you ever run out of things to enter, feel free to borrow my 1986-1990 annual review collections :) Ahasuerus 00:43, 7 Apr 2007 (CDT)
I'm not even going to count - have a Gold Star for the 100+ entries in one pub club! ;-) BLongley 19:57, 7 Apr 2007 (CDT)

You're a moderator

Congratulations; you're a moderator. Mike Christie (talk) 15:04, 7 Apr 2007 (CDT)

And I add my congratulations, as well! (Scott Latham 18:01, 7 Apr 2007 (CDT))
And I add my congratulations (and commiserations!) too. Don't press too many of the shiny new buttons too soon, they make you FIX your mistakes now. :-/ BLongley 19:51, 7 Apr 2007 (CDT)
Don't let them scare you, Michael, it's not as bad as it looks! The handcuffs are teflon-coated and the whips are very rarely used.
By the way, there is one thing I should have mentioned a while back when you changed the 1995 version of I am Legend to a collection. You added the missing stories to the pre-existing novel and changed the Publication type from Novel to Collection, which was fine. However, there was one more thng that needed to be done, adding a new Collection Title to the Contents section, which I did after approving the submission. Without it, the collection wouldn't have appeared in Matheson's bibliography and would have been invisible to the casual browser. This is a common problem when changing novels to collection, collections to anthologies, etc and I always have to stop for a second to think it through. Ahasuerus 22:21, 7 Apr 2007 (CDT)
Thanks to all (and especially that advice about changing title categories.) I may be super cautious in the beginning, but I hope that it won't be long before I'm running along with the pack. Mhhutchins 15:21, 9 Apr 2007 (CDT)

Re: Fantasy Magazine.

Sheckley name for 'The Demons' was mispelled when I first entered it. I entered it a second time with the intention of deleting the mispelled entry after update. Knew that O'Donnevan was a psuedonym but looks like I may have tried to apply it to the wrong story. --Swfritter 17:28, 9 Apr 2007 (CDT)

Sorry, I see it now. I'll go ahead and make the changes in the Sheckley entry. Thanks! Mhhutchins 17:36, 9 Apr 2007 (CDT)

Ashley History Vol 3

Are you referring to the recently released (in the UK) "Gateways to Forever: The Story of the Science-Fiction Magazines, 1970-1980" or one of the earlier books by Ashley? "Gateways" is not yet available new on US Amazon.

I'm referring to this 1976 publication which covered the years 1946-1955. I believe that Ashley is updating the whole series. Mhhutchins 19:21, 9 Apr 2007 (CDT)

Vernor Vinge, Across Realtime

Hi, Michael, when you get a spare moment and have access to your cache of SFBC announcements, could you look up the publication date for this publication? I'd guess 1997, but could be 1996. Thanks much! (Scott Latham 21:04, 9 Apr 2007 (CDT))

Belay that! Of course, I've only been using the Locus Index to look this sort of stuff up for years now. Don't know why this particular brain cramp occurred... (Scott Latham 10:42, 10 Apr 2007 (CDT))

Title: Mortal Engines, Authors: Stanislaw Lem

You verified this book about a month ago, if you can still get your hands on the copy, I have a few questions about the following story. 55 • The Tale of the Computer that Fought a Dragon • shortstory by Stanislaw Lem The hc edition of "Other Worlds, Other Seas", published in 1970 lists this story as being published seven years before the date indicated for the story on it's bibliography page. My pb copy of "Other Worlds..." gives the name of the story as "The Computer that Fought a Dragon". I'd like to see if we can verify that these are the same story, and then get the date correct. Can you help? CoachPaul 23:19, 10 Apr 2007 (CDT)

According to this Lem bibliography, "The first eleven stories are from the third edition (1972) of Cyberiada in a section called Bajki robotów (Fables for Robots)", which would include the story in question. When you review what the author of the bibliography says about the origins of these Lem collections, it becomes highly likely that the two stories are the same since they come from overlapping Polish collections, so we will presumably want to create a Variant Title. Sadly, it's been about 30 years since I read the story and I don't remember any details :(
As far as the date goes, Fairytales for Robots was first published by Wydawnictwo Literackie in Kraków, Poland, as Bajki robotów (239p, interior art by Szymon Kobyliński) in 1964 (confirmed with Melvyl and a few other online catalogs). I can't find an online table of contents for it, though. Ahasuerus 23:49, 10 Apr 2007 (CDT)
Check out this link to Lem's web site.

The "All English editions TOC" gives a nice doc of his works. From the doc, this is the appropriate section.

1970 The Twenty-fourth Journey of Ijon Tichy, The Computer that Fought a Dragon, The Patrol and The Thirteenth Journey of Ijon Tichy in: Darko Suvin (ed.) Other Worlds, Other Seas: SF Stories from Socialist Countries NY: Random House, 1970 pp. 5-76 Notes: 1. The Twenty-fourth Journey of Ijon Tichy was transl. by Jane Andelman from "Podróz dwudziesta czwarta" of Dzienniki gwiazdowe (1957); also transl. by Joel Stern & Maria Swiecicka-Ziemianek in Memoirs of Space Traveller (1982). 2. The Computer that Fought a Dragon was transl. by Krzysztof Klinger from "Bajka o maszynie cyfrowej co ze smokiem walczyla" of Bajki robotów (1964); also transl. by M. Kandel as "Tale of the Computer That Fought a Dragon" in Mortal Engines (1977).

This gives the pub date, in Polish of 1964, the date of "Tale of the Computer That Fought a Dragon", first English translation as 1970, and "Tale of the Computer That Fought a Dragon" will have the date of 1977. That would make "Computer..." the parent title, and "Tale..." as the variant. If you have no objections, I will change the title in the hb of "Other Worlds..." to "Computer...", and make "Computer..." the parent of "Tale...". CoachPaul 00:20, 11 Apr 2007 (CDT)

While I was sleeping the situation may have resolved itself, but I'm here now to confirm the title in this edition that I verified. In the TOC and on the title page the story is "Tale of the Computer That Fought a Dragon" (no initial "The") and the header on pages 57, 59 and 61 is "THE COMPUTER THAT FOUGHT A DRAGON" (all capitals). There is a note on the copyright page that this story was part of the collection "Bajiki robotow" (Fables for Robots) in Cyberiada, 3rd edition, 1972. No other reference to an earlier publication in either Polish or English. Mhhutchins 10:15, 11 Apr 2007 (CDT)
The passage I put in above, also confirms that the name of the story in Mortal Engines was indeed "Tale of the Computer That Fought a Dragon", and that it is indeed the same story as "TheComputer That Fought a Dragon", but with a different translator, and that the original Polish publication was from "Bajki robotów", which was first published in 1964. This is all from Lem's web page. CoachPaul 12:05, 11 Apr 2007 (CDT)
Things seem easier when there is more then one person working to find a solution! Thanks for the help. CoachPaul 12:24, 11 Apr 2007 (CDT)


If we're not going to merge them, can we then approve my Variant Title edit? CoachPaul 12:18, 11 Apr 2007 (CDT)

I'll go ahead and approve the variant, and we can straighten out the rest later. Thanks for reminding me. Mhhutchins

Rocket Stories Sept 53 editorship

Both the sources you and I mention should be considered a single source since Mike Ashley is the author in both cases. The book I refer to is part of the new series you refer to. Published in 2005. Internal evidence supports Harrison editorship - probably the reason he printed his short story under a psuedonym. But one can only surmise whether some of the stories were accepted by del Rey.--Swfritter 15:02, 11 Apr 2007 (CDT)

I forgot to mention that there is also a reference on that he edited this issue of Rocket Stories. But you're right, the Ashley sources should be considered as one. Mhhutchins 18:11, 11 Apr 2007 (CDT)

Robert E. Howard's the Black Stranger

The 'Black Stranger' is already listed as a variant title of 'The Treasure of Tranicos' but the 'Black Stranger' that I added does not show up as a dupe candidate so it cannot be merged with the variant title listing. Don't know if there is a way do this. If there isn't then the current 'Stranger' variant title could be deleted since it has no publication information. Then the 'Stranger' title that I entered could be made a variant title of 'Treasure'. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Swfritter (talkcontribs) .

There are three ways to merge Title records. The first and easiest one is to use the "Dup Candidates" option. The second one is to use the "Titles" option in the author's bibliography. The third one is to use Advanced Search, which lets you add complex AND/OR/NOT conditions, and merge from there.
The likely reason why the default "Exact Title Mode" in Dup Candidates doesn't show "The Black Stranger" is that one of the records is entered as Howard alone while the other is by de Camp and Howard together. You can get "The Black Stranger" to display if you select "Similar Title Mode" at the top of the page.
As a general rule of thumb, one wants to be very careful with Howard's bibliography since so many fo his stories have been expanded, rewritten, expurgated, restored, etc by his editors starting with the "Weird Tales" crew and continuing with de Camp, Carter, et al. Ahasuerus 12:11, 13 Apr 2007 (CDT)

Travellers in Magic

Can you verify the spelling of Lisa Goldstein's story in Travellers in Magic? It's definitely spelled normally ("Breadcrumbs...") in Snow White, Blood Red; I assume that "Breadcrums..." (no "b") is an error, but I'd like to be sure... —The preceding unsigned comment was added by WimLewis (talkcontribs) .

Yes, it's definitely "Breadcrumbs and Stones" in her collection as well. Mhhutchins 21:02, 13 Apr 2007 (CDT)
Thanks, I've merged the two entries. --WimLewis 21:15, 13 Apr 2007 (CDT)

Publisher specific pages

After reading the description of the planned "major project" on your user page, I wasn't sure if you were familiar with our ISFDB Publishers page or the pages that it leads to, including the old Print Series page, the Publisher:Gnome Press page and the Publisher:Fantasy Press page? All highly imperfect, of course, but they may be a start. Ahasuerus 01:25, 15 Apr 2007 (CDT)

Thanks to the links to those pages. I was unable to find them from the front page of the site. I've learned that's loads of neat stuff on the IFSDB that are just waiting to be discovered. Only problem is they're so damn hard to find, either through links on the main page or the search function. Mhhutchins 10:45, 15 Apr 2007 (CDT)
True, the Wiki is not well indexed at this point, although in this particular case the main page does have a link to "Publishers". It's the 6th one on the left.
P.S. Just checked the latest links re: Jamie Bishop and it looks like it's true :( Ahasuerus 11:17, 17 Apr 2007 (CDT)

Changes to Contents

Oops - it's after 2am for me and I just realized Ahasuerus has aready sent you a message about this. I won't be on line much Sunday but will leave the comment below in for now. Marc Kupper (talk) 04:12, 15 Apr 2007 (CDT)

Michael, I was commenting to Kraang about one if his edits and he said there were three rejects today in a row which was a new thing for him. I was surprised as I was used to pretty much approving his submissions and took a look at what he had submitted. They look ok to me and are:

It looks like his publications stated both the first printing date for the first edition publisher and then a later printing date for the copies Kraang has in hand. He used that to update both the title date (to be the date of the first edition) and the publication date (to match his copy).

My general rule is I pretty much automatically approve changes in the Contents to the date, type, length, and page # as the fields are pretty unambiguous (meaning pretty much every editor/moderator should be on the same page as to what they mean) and also that they are "about" the title meaning any changes probably should get reflected to all publications that reference the title. The things in this area I watch out for are.

  • Changing shortfiction to/from novel. That should never happen and gets research to see why. Things like changing novel to collection or shortfiction to serial are fine.
  • Changes to the year - normally I'd expect the year to get changed to an earlier date or that the month is getting changed from 00 to something. Anything else may make me pause for a moment but I'll only hold/research if it's a brand new author otherwise I approve.

Obviously any changes to the title and/or author get held to research.

I try to use the reject option as rarely as possible because

  1. there no way to clear rejects off an editor's queue.
  2. there no way to resubmit them.
  3. the editor can't see what they submitted meaning they can't manually resubmit either.

Thus my default action is to put the submissions on hold and to write a note. I'll reject when both the editor and I agree that's the best course. Marc Kupper (talk) 04:08, 15 Apr 2007 (CDT)

Thanks for all of the information. My rejections were based on warnings that I received when I first started editing, especially about making changes in the contents section. I'm still unsure about how changes in that area affect the database, so I'll simply bypass any submissions until I am more sure. Again, thanks for the help. I'll apologize to Kraang about the rejections. Mhhutchins 10:14, 15 Apr 2007 (CDT)
I seem to be keeping the Mods busy lately. In any case no worries about the rejects, i'll just resubmit them. If you have any future concerns drop me a note and i'll get back to you ASAP. :-)Kraang 12:23, 15 Apr 2007 (CDT)
A while back I started to write a thing that explained my decision making process as a reviewer/moderator so that editors would know what sorts of things raise flags. I wrote up a bunch of stuff but parked it somewhere. I should find the thing and post it. For example, I just approved the current batch of pending submissions with only one record getting put on hold that was changing an author name in the Contents section. Once I was done approving the batch I went back to the held item, looked at the title record where the author was being changed (it was a minor change and was something like Frederic Brown to Fredric Brown), saw that the publication being updated was the only one for this title, and approved it. Marc Kupper (talk) 03:18, 16 Apr 2007 (CDT)

So Sorry

Michael, I assume you know the news and I just wanted to say that my thoughts are with you and Michael & Jeri. (Scott Latham 10:57, 17 Apr 2007 (CDT))

Thank you, Scott. The last few days have been rough, and I'm still having trouble trying to wrap my head around what's happened. Michael and family are doing as well as can be expected under such horrible circumstances. I just wanted to check in to say that I'll be back soon. To everyone here, please keep Michael Bishop and his family in your thoughts and prayers. Mhhutchins 19:10, 18 Apr 2007 (CDT)
Michael, let me add my condolences. I am so sorry to hear this. Mike Christie (talk) 21:02, 18 Apr 2007 (CDT)


Just a reminder that for edits like this, you have to change the date back afterwards, as it gets reset to 0000-00-00 if it's not in the right format. BLongley 12:57, 28 Apr 2007 (CDT)

Worlds of Fantasy, Win 1970-1971

Would be easier to do artwork than reviews so reject mine. I know there isn't a set policy for year/month on quarterlies but I was planning to use the date 1970-12-00 since winter begins in December and it's clear by sequencing of issues that this means Winter of 1970 althought the issue probably went on sale as early as September. Hope there aren't too many more orphan issues.--Swfritter 20:09, 30 Apr 2007 (CDT)

Walter M. Miller

I noticed a swathe of updates from you, so I verified my own in case that helps. I think I redid one of your variants and can't remember which way round you had it, so sorry if I've reversed things. Let me know if anything else seems wrong - I've left a load of notes in the stuff I verified though. BLongley 15:18, 9 May 2007 (CDT)

I checked it out and noticed only a slight change: the page number was dropped from the story (Anybody Else Like Me?) that I made into a variant. (Strangely, the verification that I made was missing as well.) I noticed that you found an earlier reprinting of the variant title. When I first created the variant I mistakenly made "Command Performance" a variant of itself. (Clicked the bottom submit instead of the top one.) Thus, all of those edits (unmerging titles, deleting the variant, etc.) It took some time but I finally straightened it out. Mhhutchins 18:28, 9 May 2007 (CDT)
Hey, if our edit counts go UP, we look nicely productive! ;-) Even if half my edits are correcting my own mistakes... :-(
I'm just glad my "too terrified, so not verified" attitude means I haven't had to correct too much, just expand on it. By the time I do the third or fourth pass of my collection I might finally pass muster... BLongley 15:44, 10 May 2007 (CDT)

Men Like Us

I thought I'd held the submission successfully, but it seems you beat me to it with an approval. I asked Rudam a question here about the story-length - no biggie though, we just seem to be treading on each other's toes a bit. BLongley 15:37, 10 May 2007 (CDT)

I wouldn't touch a submission that's already indicated as on "hold". It must have been a case in which there were mere seconds between both of us pulling up the submission. There's been several times where I've placed an edit on hold, doing research to verify (usually on new pubs), only to return to find that the submission had already been accepted by another moderator. And never once did I think that the moderator had "tread on my toes." Please feel free to moderate as many submissions as you like for the next few hours. I'm taking a break. In any case, my research shows that Locus calls the story a novelette. Mhhutchins 16:40, 10 May 2007 (CDT)
It's not a complaint, honestly! I know these collisions will happen, it was just a heads-up that Rudam may wonder why one mod is asking questions and another is approving without question, and one or both of us may get asked about it. It's interesting that we both ended up with a Locus reference though: but mine was purely existing ISFDB record-based, so I may be perpetuating a past erroneous import. It might be worth looking at later to see why, but as I say, it's not a big issue at all over the collision. If it sounded like a criticism or an objection or a complaint, I apologise sincerely. BLongley
I think that's what Bill meant by "treading on each other's toes" -- an unintentional collision.
Unfortunately, if a moderator spends X seconds examining a submission before putting it on hold, there is currently no way to inform other moderators about it. This leads to incidents when two moderators are looking at the same submission at the same time, one of them eventually putting it on hold and the other approving it. The way the software works, neither one may realize what happened until later. I have run into at least half a dozen occurrences of this type of collision since January.
There may be a way to beef up our Hold mechanism by adding an extra check at approval time in cases when the approver and the "holder" have different User IDs. Sounds like a feature request to me! Ahasuerus 17:10, 10 May 2007 (CDT)
There's lots that could be done: so long as we don't end up taking Roster duties as "Approver of the hour" or suchlike (that's far too formal for me). Knowing when a "Hold" worked would be fine. Although I have to admit I've over-ridden one today, when Marc held an approval for something I'd verified, and I left messages before approving the correction to my verification that he'd held... we might need an etiquette guide for Mods at some point, but hopefully I'm not offending too many people? If I am, suggestions for improvement are welcome. BLongley 18:08, 10 May 2007 (CDT)


Based upon the Locus database, most of the stories were by Otto only. Locus designates which stories were colloborations and which were by Otto alone.--Swfritter 18:44, 14 May 2007 (CDT) From Locus DB

BINDER, EANDO; pseudonym of Earl Binder & Otto Binder, stories are by Otto alone unless otherwise noted. 

Galactic Gamble, (ss) Science Fiction Stories Mar 1957 If I used Earl I actually met Otto.--Swfritter 19:07, 14 May 2007 (CDT)

Locus database I refer to is Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Weird Fiction Magazine Index: 1890-2003 which is not online but only available as CD version which actually costs money. The above is copy and paste from the CD.--Swfritter 19:44, 14 May 2007 (CDT)

Book review dates

Hi, I'm confused about the book review dates. The Help:Screen:EditPub seems to clearly instruct one to enter the date of the publication of the work being reviewed in the date field, not the date that the review is being published. -- Alibrarian May 20, 2007

I can understand your confusion. I'm there with you. In the meantime, just leave the dates blank and the system will automatically put in the correct dates. I'm pretty sure that the date of the review should be the date that the review is published and not the date of the publication under review. Any other way just doesn't make sense. Mhhutchins 21:10, 20 May 2007 (CDT)
I saw your request for clarification earlier today, but I was hesitant to respond since I am not 100% sure that I remember the timeline correctly. Mike Christie created the original Help Page that you were looking at, so perhaps his would be a less muddled recollection, but FWIW here is what I think happened.
The original intent was to distinguish between three separate dates: the date of the book's first edition, the date of the reprint under review, and the publication date of the review itself. We figured that the date of the first edition would be too imprecise: a review of, say, a Ballantine/Lin Carter reprint of one of Cabell's books should really reflect the Ballantine Publication date and not the original publication date 50 years earlier.
The other two dates, i.e. the Publication date and the Review date, were something of a toss-up. On the one hand, the Review date is usually the same as the magazine date that it appears in, so one could argue that capturing it would be redundant. on the other hand, there have also been reprint collections of reviews by Clute and others, so the capturing original review dates can be useful on rare occasions.

I disagree on this point. How useful would be the listing of reviews on a reviewer/author's summary page which are dated by the book's publication date? It should be obvious which edition of a book is being reviewed, as it's usually within the same year (roughly) of the book's publication. As for using the first edition date, forget about it. Mhhutchins 20:02, 21 May 2007 (CDT)

Conversely, capturing the Publication date of the edition can be useful since reviews are currently linked lexically and it helps disambiguate between different editions. On the gripping hand, Al has plans to change the software so that review records would be explicitly pointed to the Publication records that they review, at which point there will be no need for disambiguations. Moreover, identifying the publication date of the book being reviewed is not always a trivial proposition since reviewers don't always bother to mention it even when they know it.
IIRC the wording in the original Help page was meant to indicate that we should be using the book's publication date, but as far as I can tell, it has been widely interpreted as "use the review date". I was slightly puzzled by this development, but didn't say anything at the time and the notion has been apparently internalized by most editors and moderators by now. At this point going back and changing the dates on hundreds of review records would be arguably too much work, especially if Al implements the long awaited support for review linkage in the next few months.

I've yet to personally run across a review which is dated by the book's publication date. And if I did, I probably would have changed it, since I was told within a few days of joining here that the date of the review is, ahem, the date of the review. :) Mhhutchins 20:02, 21 May 2007 (CDT)

I suggest we ask Mike Christie about it, then post the whole sordid saga on the Standard page and then, if we have consensus, change/clarify the Help page to reflect the current usage. Sound like a plan? :) Ahasuerus 19:03, 21 May 2007 (CDT)
I just happened to come across this while searching for something else. What is the status? Help is totally unambiguous - it's the date of the edition being reviewed and that's the date I have been entering. --swfritter 06:36, 26 Jun 2007 (CDT)

Delap's F&SF Review - Where's Jaffer?

I believe you have a copy and so could you please check the Delap's F & SF Review, March 1977 DFSFRMAR1977 to see if and where the review of Jagger, the Dog from Elsewhere was stated as Jaffer, the Dog from Elsewhere? I see that there's a variant title already but was looking for the source of Jaffer. Thank you. Marc Kupper (talk) 18:05, 24 May 2007 (CDT)

I reconstructed this issue's contents from the "Index to Volume 3" which was printed in the March/April 1978 issue of the fanzine. It was probably a misprint for "Jagger", since it's not likely that the book was reprinted so soon after its first edition with a different name. I'll change the listing in the March 1977 issue of Delap's to "Jagger". The variant was for the reviewer (Frederick Patten=Fred Patten). Mhhutchins 18:30, 24 May 2007 (CDT)
Just noticed that the title had already been changed to "Jagger" and that the variant was for "Jaffer". I'll correct that as well. Thanks. Mhhutchins 18:33, 24 May 2007 (CDT)
It seems from what you wrote that the Vol3 index says "Jaffer". If that's the case then that should be documented - probably in the publication notes for the publication it appeared in. BTW - I don't see anything about a vol 3. index in the table of contents for DFSFRMAR1978. Was this a separate publication? Marc Kupper (talk) 18:48, 24 May 2007 (CDT)
Ah, yes, I remember approving the "Jaffer"/"Jagger" change (submission 604361) without researching it. I think I did it because the submitter was User:Frederick Patten. Sorry about the confusion! Ahasuerus 18:59, 24 May 2007 (CDT)
The index was four pages (two double-page spreads) which were bound into the center of the issue, between pages 22 and 23. It was separately paginated (1-4). I'll go back and add it to the issue's contents. And I'll document the misprint of "Jaffer" in the notes. Mhhutchins 19:57, 24 May 2007 (CDT)
Well I just learned that you can't place notes on reviews, so I'll place the note in the issue where the misprint was made. Hmmph! Mhhutchins 20:08, 24 May 2007 (CDT)
Yes, the no-notes-on-reviews thing is a pain at time though I suspect having it in the publication notes is better anyway as you are reporting on an error in the index that appeared in the publication and not with the title or review itself. Also, I see that you added the contents for the December 1976 issue. Was this also included in the vol 3 index or do you have it? The reason I ask is the December issues usually had had the annual index. The vol. 3 index did not appear until the March/April issue which you have. Finally, was that March/April issue numbered Vol 4. no. 2? Marc Kupper (talk) 20:12, 24 May 2007 (CDT)
I have the December 1976 issue, which does include the Index to Volume 2, but again I failed include it in the contents. Seems I was so wrapped up in getting all the reviews in, that once I reached the page with the listing of upcoming releases, I stopped. I'll update the contents for that issue to include the Index. I also verified the volume numbers of the final two issues (Feb 1978 and Mar/Apr 1978). Mhhutchins 20:23, 24 May 2007 (CDT)

Also, I just noticed that a note had been placed on several issues that the contents came from the Index. Actually on most of those I have the issue in hand. I'll verify each one that I personally have. I'd forgotten about the Volume 2 index in the December 1976 issue. When I get the time I'll go back and recreate the contents of the issues that I don't have (and make a note that they come from the index.) Mhhutchins 20:29, 24 May 2007 (CDT)

1,000 Plus Club

As the official guy-who-pays-attention-to-these-things, let me welcome you to the small but doughty band of brothers/sisters who have verified more than one thousand publications. It seems a small thing, but the level of confidence rises with each one, and that makes ISFDB more valuable and attractive. (Scott Latham 10:55, 25 May 2007 (CDT))

Thanks for the congrats, Scott. Funny thing is, on multiple occasions when I've pulled a book out to verify it against the ISFDB, you've already done it! I'm about a quarter way through the hardcovers, which leaves me a couple of thousand paperbacks, and at least that many magazines. So let's say, I'll be finished sometime before the end of the decade! Mhhutchins 16:38, 25 May 2007 (CDT)
Congratulations from me too! I knew you were coming up! BLongley 18:00, 25 May 2007 (CDT)
I don't seem to overlap with you two too much, that's more ChrisJ and Unapersson and Marc Kupper... but get those verifications done fast if you want them counted! (Or support the "multiple verifiers" proposal I saw somewhere.) BLongley 18:00, 25 May 2007 (CDT)
I'm leery of the multiple verifier approach. A single verification should cover the case, and I don't see how having more than one verification will improve either accuracy or confidence. So far, I've not seen any verified publications that were just wrong, although not all (especially mine, it seems) are error-free. And Michael - funny you should mention our frequent overlaps, which I too have been noticing: I put it down to similar good taste. (Scott Latham 18:09, 25 May 2007 (CDT))
I've received (and made) a few requests for a double-check from a verifier over (for instance) punctuation or spelling of a content title, or a cover-artist, or a price. We usually end up agreed, but I find my confidence level goes up after that - but that doesn't get recorded except in the relevant talk-pages. I'm glad it's only a few requests though - probably less than 1% of the verification collisions, but the difference between 99% accurate and 100% accurate is important to some people. For instance, if my diary was only 99% accurate I'd lose three and a half days a year. (Which I do, but I'm not proud of it!) BLongley 18:58, 25 May 2007 (CDT)
I posted a "What are we actually verifying?" query a while ago that was never really satisfactorily answered. Yes, if the pub in your hand matches title, author, date, publisher, catalog number, page-count, it's probably worth verifying: but should that then freeze the publication from other edits? If I add a derived ISBN, or a cover artist, or an "introduction" content entry, or cover-art URL, or page-numbers, does that invalidate the previous verification? As it will still look as if somebody has verified ALL of that. Wearing my software-designer hat, I'd say we should have verification against every field of a pub, not the pub itself, with a load of checkboxes defaulted as ticked when we verify to state what we're verifying at the time we do it: I know I've verified pubs where I CAN'T confirm a cover-artist as I don't know how it was determined, but have to trust previous editors to some extent. Still, that's a major coding change and I haven't even yet begun to look at the code we currently have! BLongley 18:58, 25 May 2007 (CDT)
Since the point has arose, here's what it means when I verify a publication: Every field has been checked against the actual book itself. If a field is blank it's because that info is not printed in the book (or periodical.) For instance, pre-ISBN books of course have a blank field, unless it's a paperback which will include the catalog number in the ISBN field. I used to place the Library of Congress catalog number for these pre-ISBN books in that field, but lately I've reconsidered that decision, and in the future will place that number in the notes field. If there are contents that are paginated, I will fill in the page numbers. If the cover artist is unidentified I leave it blank. Personally I dislike the "unidentified" or "unknown" field data, and feel it should be placed in the notes field. In this regard, I'm not sure what the standard is here on the ISFDB. The search function is almost useless when I try to look up info on the help pages, so after a few minutes of looking I usually give up and post a query on one of the discussion pages. If there is no month of publication on the copyright page or on the dustjacket, I will use the Locus1 listings. (I will NOT use the publication dates if they're not available on Locus1.) For SFBC publications from 1984-2004, I use Locus1 for the price and date (they're not printed on the book itself.) For pre-1984 SFBC, I use the announcements that I received from the club when I was a member. (I kept the announcements for the books that I purchased inside the books themselves. Truly anal.) I've yet to start verifying my paperbacks which may present a sticky situation, because some publishers do not print the publication dates in the book.
As for what will happen after I verify a book, well that's out of my hands. In fact, when you come to think about, unless a moderator is vigilant against changes in a verified publication, there's really nothing you can personally do about it. I don't have the time to go back to see whether someone has submitted additional info or edited existing info, or to verify whether the info is accurate. If there's ever consideration of creating a "freeze" state for a publication, I'd definitely be in favor of it. Mhhutchins 20:16, 25 May 2007 (CDT)

(unindent) Re: "I put it down to similar good taste". Careful, folks, or else we will never get our editors to admit that they own (much less write a Synopsis for) books like Glen Cook's first novel or Lin Carter's Tara of the Twilight ;-)

As far as the proposal to allow multiple Verifiers per publication, I think it is worth considering. I have approved a number of updates to "Verified" publications which had no Contents data, price and/or other obvious data elements, so we do have a problem in this area. One way to alleviate it would be to write a couple of SQL scripts to search for the most obvious offenders after the fact, but multiple Verifications would help increase our users' confidence level that "Verified" records can be relied on. Ahasuerus 23:44, 25 May 2007 (CDT)

I like the idea of multiple verifiers, if only to cover the possiblity of the original verifier deciding to "get away from it all" (in more than just the fannish sense, if you know what I mean). Mhhutchins 12:46, 26 May 2007 (CDT)
Well, I have no intention of leaving any time soon, but I'm quite happy if other verifiers become visible - for one thing, some of the books I verify are going onto a "discard" pile and I won't be able to add anything more when they're gone - so I will eventually love it if people questioned a later verifier instead of me (or we can add a "Don't own this anymore" flag to our verifications). Having said that, I haven't actually discarded any books yet. Discovering how fast my scanner (my tenth anniversary "long-service" present from my employers) is means there's still a little bit of data to be squeezed from them yet... but I really SHOULD get them out of my house at some point. BLongley 18:13, 26 May 2007 (CDT)

Re: Mission to Moulokin

Hi, I believe from the info that is present in this publication it probably was a CDN. edition that was entered but not recognized as such at the time. The 1st US was priced at $1.95 in 1979 and the CDN editions were $2.50. In this case I'm just updating the publication to what it should be(from my CDN copy):-)Kraang 20:24, 26 May 2007 (CDT)

Every time i entered Del Rey in the past it got changed to del Rey so thats how i enter it now. As for the Ballantine its not on the spine. The Ballantine imprint seems to be used for there fiction titles now. Regarding the book, the 1979 date is to early for a US$2.50 book, either way you look at it the info is wrong.
If any other moderators are reading this, is there a reason why anyone would change the publisher "Del Rey" to "del Rey", or is this one of those system bugs? Mhhutchins 21:34, 26 May 2007 (CDT)
Internally, the ISFDB database has a special table for "Publishers". When an editor enters a Publication, the software creates a pointer to the Publishers table. If the Publisher doesn't exist, then a new entry in the Publishers table is created. If the Publisher already exists in the table, then the Publication is pointed to that Publisher entry. My guess is that the publisher lookup process ignores case and that the entry for "Del Rey" is currently set up as "del Rey". I can double check, but it would take some time on this computer. If I am right, then this can be easily fixed by Al, who has just responded on his Talk page. I will leave him a note shortly. Ahasuerus 21:40, 26 May 2007 (CDT)
Just noticed this again, and I can confirm that it's "del Rey" in the publishers table: there's a few variants where you CAN have uppercase, e.g. just put a 'Books' suffix on.
| publisher_name                          |
| del Rey                                 |
| Del Rey Books                           |
| Del Rey/Ballantine/Random House/SFBC    |
| Del Rey / Ballantine                    |
| Del Rey, Ballantine Books               |
| Del Rey, an imprint of Ballantine Books |
| del Rey/SFBC                            |
| del Rey(Canada)                         |
| Del Rey/Ballantine                      |
| Del Rey Ballantine                      |
| Del Rey Ballentine                      |
When Al fixes the Publisher search, I might do a bit of a clean-up. Depends how bad it's got by then. :-/ BLongley 14:56, 3 Jun 2007 (CDT)

The Dying Man

Hi, i'm also changing the date for the above to 1967 when it first appears in the Doubleday collection(1967).I see Chalker's Twilight is hungup? I was thinking about the Foster novel and if i make and submit a clone of the 1979 $2.50 novel than you can submit my edit. The errant publication can than be deleted in the future.Kraang 10:53, 27 May 2007 (CDT)

Sounds like a good idea. Proceed as you suggest, and then I'll approve the original submission. BTW, I also just released the Chalker. It was being held for the same reason, but I saw the only changes was adding the Canadian identifiers. Thanks. Mhhutchins
It was one of my original submissions and at the time i did not know how to handle the CDN editions :)Kraang 15:08, 27 May 2007 (CDT)
Have submitted the clone of Mission to Moulokin and Bill approved it.Kraang 20:08, 27 May 2007 (CDT)

"In the Lilliputian Asylum: A Story in Eight Poems & an Interrogation"

Michael, I have verified Orbit 15 and corrected the title of the Michael Bishop piece -- see the appropriate section of the Verification board for details. Ahasuerus 15:52, 27 May 2007 (CDT)

Thanks for the verification. I created a record of the (slightly different) variant spelling. Mhhutchins 15:44, 29 May 2007 (CDT)

P.S. Would you happen to know whether Jamie Bishop's Cover: A Reverie for Mister Ray and Cover: A Reverie for Mister Ray are the same? Ahasuerus 16:21, 27 May 2007 (CDT)

Yes, the same cover. I'll merge the two. Thanks. Mhhutchins 15:44, 29 May 2007 (CDT)

Van Vogt Omnibus 2

I see you've verified this pub, can you confirm whether it has this cover, which another site suggests may be by Buscema? If you're really keen, knowing whether it's the 1951 version of Slan or the 1946 or 1940 version would be good - but reading multiple versions even if you have them is probably a bit too much to ask! ;-) BLongley 14:46, 3 Jun 2007 (CDT)

The cover is the same as your link, but there is no artist credit. Also, I don't have the original magazine version, or I'd be glad to compare the two. The copyright states "First published in Great Britain by Weidenfeld & Nicholson Ltd 1953". There is no magazine credit for Slan (The Winged Man credits Street & Smith with a 1944 copyright). The three novels are separately paginated which would indicate that they're photo offset reprints. If there's any particular section or chapter to differentiate between the versions, just ask and I'll check it out. Mhhutchins 21:13, 3 Jun 2007 (CDT)
Thank you. It seems there's at least FOUR versions - a 1968 one as well. If there's some references to the Atomic Bomb, it's not the first. There's apparently some versions with 16 chapters and some with 18. And as it's supposed to be reprinted this month, to coincide with the authorised sequel, there might be yet another version along soon... aw, forget it, my brain hurts! It's one of the less controversial titles he's done, I'm going to concentrate on the fix-ups - if those can be sorted out, we should never fear another collection/novel mismatch again! BLongley 15:30, 4 Jun 2007 (CDT)
If I recall correctly, the magazine version included a side trip to Mars, which was dropped in subsequent publications, but this is something that we probably want to ask on rec.arts.sf.written or some other van Vogt-knowledgeable forum. Ahasuerus 16:16, 4 Jun 2007 (CDT)
If "we" means "you", feel free! I keep finding sites that make my van Vogt work here feel insignificant. :-/ I've emailed one English-speaker at Icshi, and a suspected English-speaker in Japan: I might have to try and recall my six years of French lessons (Ok, 3 years, repeated at the next school) for the third site, but that does seem to be pretty specifically for the French-speaking. Maybe I could impersonate a Canadian for that one? (The ".uk" address usually gives me away though.) BLongley 16:34, 4 Jun 2007 (CDT)
This probably isn't the place to continue the discussion, but it's late and I'm not going to move it until I'm more awake. Positive responses from Icshi and Japan have led to two more cover-art site permissions and maybe a new editor here, and I've just emailed the Icelander too. This may be a new tactic - find somebody better at particular bibliographies than we currently are, praise them, ask for help, then set the metaphorical albatross free and go on to a new subject! (I don't recall actually starting a van Vogt project, I just asked for help and got it from outside in the end...) Sorry about misusing your talk-page, Mike! :-/ BLongley 17:38, 5 Jun 2007 (CDT)

Amazing Stories Date Fields

I notice that the month portion of the date fields for the individual magazines that you have been working on are set to "00". In other words the Jan 1933 issues date is 1933-00-00 instead of 1933-01-00. Is this a new policy? CoachPaul 07:14, 6 Jun 2007 (CDT)

The dates weren't reset to "OO". That's the way the were first entered, and I just left them alone. I've notice that some editors have been going back and adding the months to some magazine issues. Alibrarian has been updating issues of F&SF with the new dates. Ideally, when you update the month issue, you should also update the contents to the same date. I think the database which was integrated into the ISFDB to create the magazine records didn't have the months. They also didn't have EDITOR records associated with them. That's why we're having such a fun time! Mhhutchins 08:45, 6 Jun 2007 (CDT)

Valerius: The Reanimated Roman ?

Did the victorians find the foot stool Shapur I made out of him and put all the working parts back in? :-)Kraang 22:22, 7 Jun 2007 (CDT)

Yes, under the tutelage of Herbert West. Mhhutchins 22:46, 7 Jun 2007 (CDT)

Changing Author Names

I'm sorry that I've been slow on the learning curve. And also in checking my messages.

I think I've got it right now. If I want to change the author box, I'll first add a new title entry with the information as it appears in the magazine. (And I guess a temporary note would be of use) After this is accepted by a moderator, I can then remove the title as it originally appeared.

Do I follow the same steps when I want to correct the title (which has happened)?

I'm working my way backward through the messages.

Thanks for you help. I'm pretty new to this. User: Alibrarian

Yes, the same thing applies to changing the title, especially important in that a variant title might exist, but by changing the title of one record, you'll change the titles of all records. It might seem counter-intuitive. Why would the system give you the opportunity to change a field, but in doing so, might screw up other records? It's part and parcel with the ability to make wholesale changes without having to go through all the trouble of making changes one at a time. It's a balancing act that the programmer has to deal with. The fact that he's still on the highwire is enough for now. Thanks for responding and please continue to submit. Mhhutchins 14:03, 9 Jun 2007 (CDT)

Galaxy Magazine Problem

Somehow in the past half an hour, we seem to have come up with two Editor Records for this magazine series. and Any idea how to merge them, or delete one? I'm going to hold off of doing any more edits, I have to go out anyway, until we get this straightened out. CoachPaul 17:15, 11 Jun 2007 (CDT)

I have no idea how this happened. I recall your changing the original series from "Galaxy" to "Galaxy Science Fiction", but I can't believe that would have created two copies of the same series. Maybe another mod will have some idea about deleting one or merging them. Mhhutchins 17:38, 11 Jun 2007 (CDT)
Most likely, we had two series, Galaxy and Galaxy Science Fiction. When CoachPaul changed Galaxy to Galaxy Science Fiction, the result was two Series records with the same title. This is a known problem, which confuses our poor software and makes it display records from both series in a bizarre fashion. I have temporarily renamed one Galaxy Science Fiction series to Galaxy Science Fiction - test, which made the two series display correctly. Now we just need to pull up every EDITOR record that belongs to the Galaxy Science Fiction - test series and change the Series field to Galaxy Science Fiction. There are only 8 records affected, which isn't nearly as bad as some series that we had to unscramble in the past :) Ahasuerus 19:04, 11 Jun 2007 (CDT)
Thanks, Ahasuerus. I'll change those records soon. Mhhutchins 19:16, 11 Jun 2007 (CDT)

Fantastic Universe Problems

Would you please go to Leo Margulies and try to merge "Fantastic Universe" May through November issues. I can't figure out what the Warnings are telling me. CoachPaul 20:34, 11 Jun 2007 (CDT)

They'd all already been merged under the May 1954 date. And there were two EDITOR records for each pub. So I changed the EDITOR record that had not already been merged into an ESSAY record, then removed it from the pub, then deleted the TITLE record. I went ahead and finished the 1955 and 1956 issues as well. Some of the EDITOR records had already been merged (not all), but the titles had not been changed. It all appears to be correct now. Mhhutchins 20:59, 11 Jun 2007 (CDT)
Thanks, it was a new problem to me as I couldn't figure out what the problem was. Any advice as to what magazine to work on next? CoachPaul 21:57, 11 Jun 2007 (CDT)
There's a large gap in Fantastic (1957-1969), and if you're up to it, there's post 1991 Amazing Stories. Mhhutchins 13:36, 12 Jun 2007 (CDT)
Should we be creating records for all of the issues that aren't in the db yet? We might not be able to provide contents, but we can sure fill in a fair amount of metadata, then all of the issues woud be in the db, and later anybody with those issues could fill in the contents and the remaining metadata. CoachPaul 15:28, 12 Jun 2007 (CDT)
Actually, we do have the contents of most of the 1960s Fantastic issues entered, we just don't have them properly set up with EDITOR and Series information -- see the Fantastic Wiki page.
As far as entering Magazine "stubs" goes, as long as the Publication records are clearly marked as "Contents to be added" or something similar, I don't think it will be a problem. The only concern that I have is that if we update our magazine Wiki pages with their "stub URLs", it will be no longer possible to tell missing issues from existing ones by simply looking at the Wiki page, which may make our editors' life more difficult. Ahasuerus 15:40, 12 Jun 2007 (CDT)
Personally, I'd rather not create stubs, for the reason Ahasuerus states above. I could fill in the missing issues using secondary sources (Strauss and NESFA), but it's not a high priority now. Swfritter probably has the primary sources for most, so we might want to wait until he's filled in the issues of other runs of magazines that he's been working on. Mhhutchins 16:17, 12 Jun 2007 (CDT)
I have a complete run of Fantastic as well, so it's just a question of time until all lacunae get filled. Of course, with Swfritter working on digests, I should probably concentrate on my pulps. The good news is that it looks increasingly likely that I will get to spend a few months with my collection later this year, which should help with magazine verification/gaps. Ahasuerus 16:41, 12 Jun 2007 (CDT)
While Fred Patten was entering the Magazine:Delap's_F_&_SF_Review I dealt with this by first creating stubs for all of the issues and on the wiki page the issues with contents were in bold and the stubbed issues were in italics [1]. As issues got entered I just changed the '' into ''' and once all of the issues were entered I removed the text styling altogether. There was also just above the table explaining that it was a partial index and what the bold/italic styling meant.
I've thought at times about a similar coding, either with cell background colors or with text-styles, to note which issues of a magazine have been verified though that implies some consistency on what a "verified publication" means. Marc Kupper (talk) 18:34, 17 Jun 2007 (CDT)
Just ran across this while looking for some of my old posts. I have a complete run of Fantastic and have only a decade or so left to enter. The late 60's issues are tedious because there are not only a lot of reprinted stories but a lot of reprinted pieces of artwork which have to be updated or entered with the original dates of appearance. But at least I got to do what are probably the first merges of cartoons. I also now have a complete run of Fantastic Universe - after buying a batch of 10 issues I already owned to get the one I didn't.--swfritter 11:32, 22 Sep 2007 (CDT)

Update to verified pub - Delap's F & SF Review, August 1976

My apologies as I did an update to a magazine you had verified and then realized “whoops!” First a little background which is that Fred Patten was updating the publication record for a copy of The Chalk Giants by Keith_Roberts and saw that it had been reviewed twice by Delap's F & SF Review. He knew that was not right and realized that they did a full review in September 1975 and when a paperback reprint came out there was a “Summary mini-review” in the August 1976 issue which you had verified. I thought about this and decided to deal with it by deleting the August 1976 review and adding a publication note to DFSFRAUG1976 explaining this and it's in the middle of this that I realized you had verified the publication.

Ideally there would be a way to include this item in the table of contents but so far I have not seen a clean way to say “This is not a full review” though one option would be to put the review back as it was (the reviewer was given as “uncredited”) and to have the publication note explain it’s not a full review and the assumption is that if someone is really seeking the review that they’d hopefully see the publication note and know they should try to get a copy of the September 1975 issue and not the one published in August 1976. Marc Kupper (talk) 19:04, 17 Jun 2007 (CDT)

Haldeman's All My Sins Remembered

Michael in this publication you verified [2] did the novelette length stories have titles like EPISODE: To Fit the Crime in the ToC and the chapter titles? My Avon edition lists them this way. Thanks. :-)Kraang 22:19, 23 Jun 2007 (CDT)

Yes, that's how they're in my edition as well. Trouble is, this is another one of those fix-ups of previously published stories, adding new material, with revisions, etc. I personally wouldn't consider it a COLLECTION but a NOVEL. The copyright page states that the various parts are reprinted either in "different form" or are a "different version". Someday fix-ups will be easily handled here on the ISFDB. Until then... Mhhutchins 23:25, 23 Jun 2007 (CDT)
They're like that in mine as well. I suppose we could make the "EPISODE:" prefixed-titles variants of the non-prefixed ones, but I'm not a great fan of variants that add nothing - I'd rather remove anything that's really NOT part of a title, I see so many pubs here with, e.g. an ":A Novel" suffix, or the series name included: i.e. data we're recording in Pub-type or Series position anyway. The opposite side is that many common entries like "Introduction" HAVE no other distinguishing marks so need them adding to look sensible. The middle ground is where a title is still separated, but isn't quite the same thing as the previous publications. And as it takes reading BOTH to know the difference it takes someone very fanatical to own enough copies to distinguish them. BLongley 17:01, 26 Jun 2007 (CDT)
Do you have an idea that would help make fixups easy to document? It's one the things I've thought about at times but so far have not hit on a great idea. Marc Kupper (talk) 01:12, 24 Jun 2007 (CDT)
There is a great variety of different types of fixups -- from almost pure collections to almost pure novels -- which makes it hard to shoehorn them into a separate "title type" or even multiple title types :( Ahasuerus 02:23, 24 Jun 2007 (CDT)
Well, we could at least start using the "Fix up" Tag, but I think Tags are seriously broken - they're not even presented in order. My guideline (feel free to adopt or suggest it as a convention or even a help entry) is that when a publication CAN easily be broken up into other entries here, even if you have to add the interstitial material, do so: if it can't, just use notes. So Hothouse needs notes although it was famously awarded a shorfiction Hugo for a SET of short stories. Voyage of the Space Beagle can apparently be divided up, but nobody here at ISFDB has. The Spirit of Dorsai was sold as a novel but can be considered a collection. Famous novels like Foundation actually aren't. I'm quite happy to list fix-up novels as novels, if the separable contents are still linked rather than merely noted, but unless the stories have been severely reworked I prefer the links to be there. It's a fairly clear separation for me now - if the Chapter matches a Short Story entry here, link it. If not - Note it. If you can't tell - Note it. Whether the book should be a Collection or a Novel based on whether it has got multiple contents - well, that's up for debate, but people aren't debating. :-( BLongley 17:01, 26 Jun 2007 (CDT)
Well, there is only so much time in the day, so you have to pick and choose which rules and standards you want to comment on in addition to regular data entry/moderation tasks. Besides, fixup research can be quite time consuming -- I had to consult half a dozen encyclopedias and e-mail Bill Contento to sort out a single Nelson S. Bond fixup earlier this year. Which reminds me that I need to update the ISFDB records with the results... Ahasuerus 17:57, 26 Jun 2007 (CDT)

McMullan Books

Three of us editing these books all on the computer at the seme exact time is too confusing for my brain this close to midnight, I'll leave it to the two of you for tonight, then add whatever you two don't get to tonight tomorrow. CoachPaul 22:34, 23 Jun 2007 (CDT)

I'm right behind you, buddy. :) Mhhutchins 23:26, 23 Jun 2007 (CDT)

Fantastic Stories 1965

If you worked on this, can you please tell me how you got all of the Cele G. Lalli entries to merge with the Editor Record of Cele Goldsmith without a bunch of Variant Title/Psuedonym entries showing up so I can do it too. CoachPaul 23:01, 25 Jun 2007 (CDT)

The only work on Fantastic that I did was supplying the contents of the October 1964 issue in which you commented about the lack of content info. I haven't worked on the Fantastic editor series, just the Amazing one, so I can only speculate on how it was done. Variants on the EDITOR records were never made. Even though "Lalli" was attributed as the editor of the issues, the EDITOR record was created as by "Goldsmith" and then the "Lalli" records were merged into that one. I could be wrong, of course. Mhhutchins 15:47, 26 Jun 2007 (CDT)
I just noticed that the records for the Amazing 1965 issues show the same situation. Perhaps Ahasuerus can provide more info on how this was accomplished. I'd like to learn the trick myself! Mhhutchins 15:52, 26 Jun 2007 (CDT)
Thanks, I knew that October 1964 Issue looked a little bare. I guess that was the edit I had seen your name on, so I asked you. I'll wait for Ahasuerus to shed some possible light before continuing on with the 1966 Fantastics. CoachPaul 15:57, 26 Jun 2007 (CDT)
The key thing to remember is that EDITOR title records are separate from the data in the "Editors" field of Publication records. When entering a new magazine, the software automatically creates an EDITOR record with the same data that you entered in the "Editors" field. However, if you are updating an old magazine record that doesn't have an EDITOR title record (most issues entered pre-2007 don't), you can put anything you want in the newly created EDITOR title. Thus, even though an issue may have "Cele G. Lalli" listed as the editor, you can enter "Cele Goldsmith" in the EDITOR title record.
However, I wouldn't recommend letting these two records get out of sync for the same reason that we don't want to omit pseudonym information in books. For example, suppose an ISFDB user comes across a Startling Stories issue edited by "Sergeant Saturn" and searches ISFDB for "Saturn". He won't find anything in the database if every "Sergeant Saturn" issue has an EDITOR record under the editor's real name (Oscar J. Friend or Sam Merwin, Jr., as the case may be). If, on the other hand, we set up each issue in the standard way, with an EDITOR record for "Sergeant Saturn", which then becomes a VT for another EDITOR record under the editor's canonical name (plus an author Pseudonym link), our hypothetical user's search will be much more successful.
Does this make sense? If it does, we probably need to update our Help files to make it clear, admittedly a never ending process :) Ahasuerus 17:22, 26 Jun 2007 (CDT)

Your Approving of My Edits

Becausing of the way you were approving my edits today I sat at exactly 2000 Edits from "2007-06-26 15:53:08 658801 - PubUpdate CoachPaul Mhhutchins The Dragon Magazine, September 1978 - Is " until "2007-06-26 16:18:26 658813 - TitleUpdate CoachPaul Mhhutchins The Dragon Magazine - 1978 - Issues # 12". That's 15 minutes and 18 seconds!

Yeah, every once in awhile, it's good to walk away from the computer. But wasn't it pleasing to look at that nice whole number and savor the moment (918 of them!) Mhhutchins 13:20, 27 Jun 2007 (CDT)

Children of the Wind

I simply missed the identification of the work as "Novel". After that was corrected by another editor (thank you), I added the content info again. It did seem odd to see data in the first entry when I went to the edit. Live and learn.

--Dsorgen 23:07, 28 Jun 2007 (CDT)

First edition of '"Retief to the Rescue"

Michael, just a quick note to the effect that I was going through my Laumers and added a Note ("First printing according to the number line. "Designed by Daniel Chiel".") to the first edition that you verified last month. Ahasuerus 02:09, 30 Jun 2007 (CDT)

Slow down a little please?

I'm impressed with your rapid work, but I found that after I'd talked to a new editor that his/her next edit was already approved and I suspect there may have been some issues with that one too. I know long submission queues are annoying, but we don't want TOO much bad data introduced - one example that you're going to watch and help the editor through is fine, I think, but too many and the teacher will lose track. BLongley 17:39, 1 Jul 2007 (CDT)

And I see you've caught the second edit... Yeesh, I'm beginning to think we have too MANY Mods! Can I retire when I've done my own Primary verifications? :-) BLongley 17:45, 1 Jul 2007 (CDT)
Please see the note that I placed on Lmiller867 page. If you check the Recent Integrations page you'll find "2007-07-01 17:22:58 | 669101 - NewPub | Lmiller867 | Mhhutchins | The Cyberiad: Fables for the Cybernetic" This was a new submission, which may have been the same publication but not the same submission that you were questioning him about. There's no way that I can know you were working on a previous one. I opened up the Moderator page, saw a new submission, saw that he had made several errors, went ahead and made the corrections. Then I went to his page to let him know what he had done wrong. At that point, I saw your note to him. My "rapid work" had nothing to do with what occurred. Mhhutchins 17:50, 1 Jul 2007 (CDT)
Yes, I saw your edit on Lmiller867's page, hence my second post here. I approved one edit, welcomed him/her, then went back to list all the errors and possible improvements... which seems to have overlapped with your approval of ANOTHER edit and then your comments along the same lines as me. I don't think either of us are doing anything WRONG, but us mods are not working that well together at times. Should we have an "Approvals Mod" rota or suchlike? Or can we fix this with a procedure for what order we approve, hold, comment, welcome, edit, etc in? BLongley 18:15, 1 Jul 2007 (CDT)
Actually, this should probably be on the Mods page for general discussion, but let's agree on what the problem was this time and use it as an example. I like the "rota" idea so long as I can stay OFF it. ;-) BLongley 18:15, 1 Jul 2007 (CDT)
Again, it WAS NOT ANOTHER EDIT. It was a NEW SUBMISSION. How can I have known you were working on a previous submission? Mhhutchins 18:22, 1 Jul 2007 (CDT)
Chill out, please! I'm not criticising YOU, just the way we're expected to work together - there's no rules or even guidelines on that yet, and I think we need some. The difference between an edit or a new submission is immaterial to me - they're both "Recent Integrations" in the short term, and "forgotten" in the long term. I don't want to stomp all over your activity, and I'm sure you don't want to stomp all over mine. I guess a feature request for "hold all edits by same editor" might help, but until we get programmer activity-time again that's not going to happen. So we have to talk amongst ourselves and do it by self-imposed conventions and such-like. BLongley 19:03, 1 Jul 2007 (CDT)
Unfortunately, a certain amount of confusion over what is happening to the submission queue is inevitable given the way we currently function :-( For example, more than once I would be working my way through some inexperienced editor's submissions and compiling a list of systemic issues to post about on his Talk page when another moderator comes along and merrily approves a bunch of edits. Since he presumably doesn't know the new editor's submission pattern (which sometimes becomes clear only after a dozen+ submissions), there is a significant potential for error. Perhaps something like what Bill describes above would help (we talked about it last December, I believe), but for now we do what we can and hope for new and wonderful programmatic things to help us out once Al has finished moving to Austin.
Another thing to keep in mind is that we all have different backgrounds and temperaments. The size/thickness of our fuses/skins differ a great deal as well. My skin, for example, is certifiably thick - I once managed to catch a stampeding bookcase with a biceps and it wasn't even punctured :) Ahasuerus 23:31, 1 Jul 2007 (CDT)

I, Robot

Just a heads-up that Don changed the page number for Little Lost Robot in your verified edition from 10 to 100. It looked a safe enough edit so I approved it, but feel free to double check it. BLongley 14:41, 4 Jul 2007 (CDT)

He's right. It should have been 100. Thanks for approving it. Mhhutchins 17:25, 4 Jul 2007 (CDT)

The Lady of Situations / collection by Stephen Dedman

Michael, i just went looking for this publication and nothings listed under this title [3]? I've had one case before when i delete what looked to be a duplicate title it deleted both.Kraang 22:09, 6 Jul 2007 (CDT)

I've come across several books that are listed twice, but turned out to be the same record. Check out the first two listings of Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451. If someone came along thinking that the second was a duplicate and tried to delete it, both would disappear. That's what I think may have happened with the book you're referring to. The worse thing is, a moderator would have no idea that he's accepting the deletion of a good record and not a duplicate one. Someone (Al von Ruff?) may be able to go back and restore the lost record. If not, it will have to be reconstructed from scratch. Mhhutchins 22:18, 6 Jul 2007 (CDT)
There's a complete listing with contents on Locus1, if you want to reconstruct the record. If not, I can do it tomorrow. It's getting late now and I'm ready to call it a night. Mhhutchins 22:20, 6 Jul 2007 (CDT)
No problem I had a look at it as you approved it and all I did was us my back button and was able to copy the original data.:-)Kraang 22:33, 6 Jul 2007 (CDT)
This occasionally happens when a previous Merge has gone wrong. Remember those yellow messages when trying to merge Titles that are referenced in the same Publication? Well, if someone ignores that warning, then the affected Publication record will end up with two pointers to the same (newly merged) Title. Once this corruption has been introduced, the affected Publication record will be displayed twice under that Title. You can tell that it is the same Publication record because the URL displayed at the bottom of the Web page will not change when you move the cursor from one to the other. The right way to fix this problem is to Remove the corrupted Title record from the Publication (which will delete both pointers), then re-enter it and merge the newly created title with the pre-existing one. Ahasuerus 22:39, 6 Jul 2007 (CDT)
Thanks for restoring the original pub, Kraang. Next time I get a submission to delete a duplicate I'll use Ahasuerus' idea about moving the cursor over the URL of BOTH records to verify that they're actually two different records. And if they're the same I'll use his method of fixing the problem. Thanks again to you both. Mhhutchins 13:39, 7 Jul 2007 (CDT)

Last Call for the Sons of Shock by David J. Schow

You Verified two pubs in which stories by this name are found. Pub #1, and Pub #2. I'm wondering if they are the same story or a rewrite. They both show as 14 pages long. Here is a link to the author's biblio page too. CoachPaul 22:42, 7 Jul 2007 (CDT)

I found his website, and it shows them as the same story. I don't want to change pubs you verified withing checking with you first. May I merge the two entries for the story? CoachPaul 22:48, 7 Jul 2007 (CDT)
They're the same story. The latter date arose from its reprint in the 1994 Mammoth Book of Frankenstein. I'll merge the two. Thanks. Mhhutchins 23:33, 7 Jul 2007 (CDT)
I'm glad to see that I'm not the only "nutcase" up at midnight Saturday Night editing! CoachPaul 23:38, 7 Jul 2007 (CDT)
Yeah, this nutcase is minutes away from shutting down for the night. See you tomorrow. Mhhutchins 23:40, 7 Jul 2007 (CDT)


I see you beat me to the 1500 verifications mark on the Top Verifier list - well done! BLongley 09:56, 8 Jul 2007 (CDT)

Thanks, Bill. What put me over was realizing that I had not verified the early stuff that I entered into the database, such as fanzines and other obscure material. Mhhutchins 11:41, 8 Jul 2007 (CDT)
Yes, I'm going over my early edits again myself: mainly to add cover-art, but I've found a lot of them are from before I was confident enough to verify anything but the simplest pub. I think I'll have to go check my "BillLongley" verifications at some point, those are from my early days too and might be a little incomplete, though hopefully not suspect. BLongley 11:52, 8 Jul 2007 (CDT)
I didnt' know that the database can create a list of all pubs that you've verified. How do you go about asking for it? Mhhutchins 11:55, 8 Jul 2007 (CDT)
I don't know of any way to do it on the web, but as I have a local backup then I use this SQL to find a summary of verifications (by Author) from my two IDs:
select a.author_legalname, count(*)
from pubs p, verification v, pub_authors pa, authors a
where v.pub_id = p.pub_id
and pa.pub_id = p.pub_id
and pa.author_id = a.author_id
and v.reference_id = 1
and v.user_id IN (2781, 4121)
group by a.author_legalname;
You'd have to substitute your own ID(s) which you can find from Preferences: see the "Your internal ID number is" near the top. If you don't have a local backup, just give me your ID and I'll do it for you. It's only as good as the last backup though, which is getting a bit out of date I feel. :-/ I can also provide the SQL or give you a complete list by Publication if you want - SQL is probably my main skill in Real Life. BLongley 13:39, 8 Jul 2007 (CDT)
I have no experience in SQL, and my best skill (in this Virtual Life) is writing the HTML for my websites (alas). Since I've done so much verifying in the last couple of weeks, let's wait until a new backup is available. Then I'll get back with you about getting the list. Thanks. Mhhutchins 15:05, 8 Jul 2007 (CDT)
This seems like a reasonable thing for a feature request though I'd probably dump the full list of verified pubs rather than just the author/count summary as the SQL above does. Marc Kupper (talk) 00:53, 17 Jul 2007 (CDT)

Mary E. Wilkins-Freeman

Can you please double check this pub to see if the hyphen is there? Most, though not all of her entries here don't have it but we haven't got a variant set-up yet. BLongley 12:39, 15 Jul 2007 (CDT)

The hyphen is used in both the TOC and the title page. Mhhutchins 19:03, 15 Jul 2007 (CDT)
OK, variants done - thanks! BLongley 13:16, 16 Jul 2007 (CDT)

Naomi Mitchinson vs. Naomi Mitchison

Michael, could you please double check whether Naomi Mitchison's name is really misspelled in Worlds of Fantasy, Win 1970? Thanks! Ahasuerus 14:27, 16 Jul 2007 (CDT)

It was "Mitchinson" on the TOC page, but "Mitchison" on the story's title page. So I've changed it to the latter. Thanks for catching it. Mhhutchins 16:13, 16 Jul 2007 (CDT)
Excellent! At some point we'll probably want to run a Soundex-like program against our "Authors" file. That should (hopefully) catch 80%+ of these cases. Ahasuerus 16:30, 16 Jul 2007 (CDT)
It was a scan like that that made me question "Mary E. Wilkins-Freeman" in the post above. Sometimes you catch a new variant, sometimes you spot a typo. Although as Mike's new variant made me go fix several other titles, I'm not sure I want to hunt them TOO often... :-/ Still, I also rounded up a few Manga authors ready for the "Big Delete" (or "Honorable passing of data to the JSFDB") so it's all good in the end. BLongley 17:27, 16 Jul 2007 (CDT)
Also think I'll add a note to the publication page that the author's name is misspelled in the TOC. Mhhutchins 19:53, 16 Jul 2007 (CDT)

ISFDB Moderator e-mail

Michael - I don't have your e-mail handy but am setting up an e-mail account so that people can contact the moderators as a group to help with things such as wiki-blocks. Can you please contact me via and I'll forward the e-mail to you that I've already sent to those moderators for who I know their e-mail address? Thank you. Marc Kupper (talk) 16:25, 19 Jul 2007 (CDT)

Michael Bishop Reviews

I'm currently hoarding a huge pile of Fanzines and Magazines (The Brian Stableford collection) which will eventually be passed to a Danish Fannish library, I'm wondering if there is anything of specific interest to you before they get passed on, as there could be a ten-year backlog otherwise! An obvious example in front of me is a review of Unicorn Mountain by Martha Soukup in the IAFA newsletter Summer 1988 - are reviews of interest? Or only interviews/articles/previously unknown publications etc? BLongley 22:23, 23 Jul 2007 (CDT)

Yes, I'd be extremely interested in any info you can provide for these more obscure reviews of Bishop's works. Basically, I'd need the following:
  1. Work being reviewed
  2. Name of reviewer
  3. Publication name
  4. Date of publication (or volume/issue no.)
  5. Pages of reference
The same would apply to any non-review articles about Bishop or his work, including interviews. I don't believe I've missed any works written by Bishop himself (unless there are letters of comment in the fanzines that you feel might deserve special attention.) Thanks for offering to scour these pubs for what might be called ephemera by some. Me, I'm a hopeless completist. Mhhutchins 15:42, 24 Jul 2007 (CDT)
No problem, I'm cherry-picking to a certain extent already (otherwise it'll take ME 10 years, and I'd rather have the Danish students wear _their_ fingers out), it's no trouble to look out for a few other editor's favourites.
I doubt I'd spot an LoC unless it was listed in contents or I was reading a whole zine for other reasons, but in this case the contents were on the front cover. I'm sure I'll spot Bishop's name often enough though. Do you want me to give you a heads-up here when I find them, or will you just extract them from the ISFSB later? BLongley 16:30, 24 Jul 2007 (CDT)
Here's the first anyway. I've discovered that there's TWO copies of that issue here, so if you're interested in owning a physical copy I can post one to you, or scan the article if you're interested in content. BLongley 17:24, 24 Jul 2007 (CDT)
Oh, and guess what? The very next publication I pick up has a letter from Michael Bishop apologising to Richard Delap for voting for a change in the Nebula Award rules that stopped Richard for voting for Nominees he'd helped create. (SFWA Forum, Number 46, June 1976, page 18.) I'm not sure if SFWA Forum should be included in the ISFDB, it's a rather closed-circulation thing and contains a lot of dirty laundry that they probably wouldn't want documented: which is why it's so fun to READ. ;-) BLongley 17:24, 24 Jul 2007 (CDT)
If you're going to enter them into the ISFDB then I could pick them up from here. If you find something that you're not likely to put into the db then you can just pass along the info. And the letter you reference would only be of lasting importance to a SFWA member (or a dirt-digger like yourself :-) ). If you find a Bishop LoC that references his work then I'd be very interested. As for the Soukup review, a scan would be better (and cheaper than a posting from the UK to the US!) Thanks. Mhhutchins 18:10, 24 Jul 2007 (CDT)
It's no trouble to scan things - I've often got one title under edit while scanning the previous edit's cover, for instance. Occasionally I lose track of WHY I scanned something, or forget which Amazon I've uploaded it to, but I'm fairly multi-tasking. What resolution would you like and what Email address should I send them to?
I've also skimmed a few "Fantasy Reviews" and decided I want a break from entering magazines. :-/ There's a few Bishop reviews I can mention quickly:
"One Winter in Eden" reviewed in Issue 68, p24, by Paul O. Williams  
"Who Made Stevie Crye" reviewed in Issue 74, p22, by Joe Sanders
"Light years and Dark" reviewed in Issue 78, p16, by Paul O. Williams
The first two are from an index to the reviews, the last is from the magazine itself. But they're going back onto a shelf soon, I want to find something with some actual FICTION in! BLongley 18:29, 24 Jul 2007 (CDT)
I actually have almost all of the Fantasy Review issues, including the early ones when it was call Fantasy Newsletter. I'd planned to upload them to the ISFDB, but it was low on my list of priorities. The resolution for the scan doesn't have to be great, just enough to read it reasonably well, maybe 600. Send it to me at the address [email address removed] Thanks. Mhhutchins 23:33, 24 Jul 2007 (CDT)
OK, scan(s) sent.
I've entered some Fantasy Newsletters and ONE Fantasy Review but if you have them already I won't enter the rest of mine, unless you can tell me which you are missing and I'll check if I have them. (I don't know all the ones I have yet, I don't have room to sort everything in one go.) BLongley 06:28, 25 Jul 2007 (CDT)

[unindent] Scans received. All very readable. Thanks. When I pulled out my box of Fantasy Newsletters/Reviews, it appeared I have less than my faltering memory allowed. I have the following issues: 20,22-27,30-38, and 66-103 (the last issue). If you can provide any of the missing issues, I'll upload all of these. Mhhutchins 08:22, 25 Jul 2007 (CDT)

Apart from 28 and 29, already entered, you have all mine covered. I guess I'll have to verify those two myself, unless you want me to send you those two to fill in your gap and get a second pair of eyes involved? BLongley 16:30, 25 Jul 2007 (CDT)
No, that's not necessary. Go ahead and verify those two, then when I get a chance I'll start entering the remaining issues. Notice I've not said when I'll start doing it? :) Mhhutchins 20:43, 25 Jul 2007 (CDT)
I noticed: at work, if I specify a day I don't say which week: if I specify a day of the month I avoid stating which month: if I have to give a month, I avoid saying which year. I used to joke about which century too, but after all the Y2K work that got a bit old. :-( BLongley 19:17, 27 Jul 2007 (CDT)

You have a Tuck and I don't, SO...

As you have a Tuck, and know how to use it (based on "Asteroid Man" and "The Mind Makers" at least): can you check/date these for me too please? Satellite Doomed World Twilight Zone

Some idea about what the "M.B.I.S." in "R. Lionel Fanthorpe M.B.I.S." means too would be good, but I can only get as far as "Member of the British Institute of Something". Which I don't think exists, but I'm tempted to create it for those of the hard-of-remembering, like me. ;-) BLongley 19:17, 27 Jul 2007 (CDT)

No mention of the M.B.I.S. in Tuck, but he does say that Fanthorpe attained "Distinctions in Advanced Main Theology in English and Merit". All of the above have been dated and verified through Tuck. While googling M.B.I.S. I came upon this page for Doomed World. Further into the site is a cover-lover's wet dream. Take a look. Mhhutchins 20:21, 27 Jul 2007 (CDT)
Just noticed that their logo is plastered over every graphic. Oh, well.... Mhhutchins 20:26, 27 Jul 2007 (CDT)
The easiest way to crack the mystery of "M.B.I.S" may be to e-mail Lionel, who has a Web site, at :) Ahasuerus 23:19, 27 Jul 2007 (CDT)
Aw, that would be too easy! And given his sense of humour I'm not sure we'd get a reliable answer...
Nice find on the Westcity site though, I'll be returning there I'm sure. BLongley 16:48, 28 Jul 2007 (CDT)
Well, there is also Debbie Cross's Down the Badger Hole: R. Lionel Fanthorpe: The Badger Years. Of course, Fanthorpe was one of her sources, so that may not be 100% reliable either :) Ahasuerus 20:54, 28 Jul 2007 (CDT)
And speaking of cover art treasure troves, have you seen the archives? Ahasuerus 13:03, 29 Jul 2007 (CDT)

Contents of Another Kind

Sorry to be fumbling around here. I completely overlooked the clone function. Then spaced on the contents. I assume I now have to enter the items directly and that there isn't any function to copy the set after the fact. TFRANK 19:24, 28 Jul 2007 (CDT)

No need to apologize at all. It won't be long before you're whizzing around here like a pro! Instead of adding the new contents, try out the clone function. The best way to learn is to just do it, and if you mess up, we won't be too hard on you (at least the first couple of times!) Then when a mod accepts the new pub (with contents) you can go back and delete the record without contents. It'll be a lot easier than typing in all those stories again. Just be sure to verify every field before submitting. Let's say this edition omits a story from the hardback one (which happens rarely but it does happen.) In the cloning operation, you can't omit the titles, but after the new pub has been accepted you can go back and use the "Remove Titles from This Pub" function. You'll have these multi-step submissions down in no time. Again, we hope you enjoy working with us here on the ISFDB. The more the merrier! Mhhutchins 20:07, 28 Jul 2007 (CDT)

I went ahead and keyed in the items, with the page numbers (I didn't twig to what Kraang was telling me on another entry until I worked through this one.) I see that the order I have in this volume is different from that in the original entry. The order I have matches the one I copied out of Tuck. I'm not sure what that is telling me.

This WIKI stuff can be puzzling at times, even for an old software guy like me.TFRANK 20:24, 28 Jul 2007 (CDT)

I've accepted your update of the original submission. It looks good. Something now to keep in mind is that when you added those stories you simultaneously created new TITLE RECORDS for each story. Because these titles are already in the database, you must now merge those titles to create one record for each story. Go to the summary page for Chad Oliver and scroll down to the short fiction listing. You'll notice that the stories are now listed twice. A quick way to merge titles is click on "Dup Candidates" in the menu. It will bring up a page containing all exact duplicate titles. (CAVEAT: The two titles must be of the same TYPE or you'll create a problem that will take quite awhile to repair.) To merge two records (of the same title) check the boxes of the two titles and click "Merge Selected Records". This brings up a confirmation page which may (but not always) show conflicts in the two records that must be reconciled before the merger can go forward. Click "Complete Merger" and voila! The rest is up to the moderator. By the way, if you clone two pubs you don't have to merge titles. They're automatically merged. Another reason to use the clone function. Thanks. Mhhutchins 20:33, 28 Jul 2007 (CDT)

Adding a Publication

Looks like I went of in a wrong direction again. I was adding the page numbers to the stories in the Best of Wilson Tucker and noted a reference to a publication for one of the stories that isn't recorded. I thought I should add this reference but now I think I was starting at the wrong point. I'm guessing that I needed to add the item where the story appeared rather than what I attempted. I'm thinking this item should be rejected and I should go study the Help pages some more. TFRANK 21:14, 28 Jul 2007 (CDT)

Odd John - add variant title to pub

I am trying to make this pub contain the variant title "Odd John: A Story Between Jest and Earnest". I intended to do this in 2 edits: first add the variant title to the pub, second remove the canonical title "Odd John" from the pub. You rejected my first edit, but I don't understand your explanation in the reject log. You said "[...] your edit would affect every edition of this title" - I thought that by adding a title to a publication I would merely create a link between the pub and the title. Obviously I am wrong. Could you please give an additional hint or two about what effects my edit would have had, so that I better understand what I am doing in the future. Thanks, Herzbube 11:46, 29 Jul 2007 (CDT)

Your submission attempted to change the title record for the publication that you had previously entered. A title record (in this case Odd John contains all of the publications of that title. You can't change the title record of one publication without changing the title record for all publications that have been entered under this title. In order to get your new pub listed under the variant title that already exists you must unmerge it from the title it was entered under.
  1. Go to the title record for Odd John
  2. Choose "Unmerge Titles" from the menu (It should read "unmerge pubs" because that's what you're doing!)
  3. All pubs will appear on the next page. Check only those pubs which you wish to remove from the title. In this case I see there are two pubs with the same title. Check both. Submit.
  4. After your submission is accepted, go back to Stapledon's summary page.
  5. Choose "Titles" from the menu.
  6. Check those titles ("Odd John: A Story Between Jest and Earnest") that you wish to merge. There may be a conflict that must resolved before the merge. Make sure to choose record 539 as the parent record. Submit.
Hope this helps. If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to ask. Thanks. Mhhutchins 12:12, 29 Jul 2007 (CDT)

Science Fiction Review

I see you've added "Add records and contents for all issues of Science Fiction Review (Richard E. Geis fanzine) in my collection." to your projects. Can you tell me roughly which issues you have, as we probably have an overlap here too? I've got quite a few from number 6 into the 50s... I just don't know which end to start! BLongley 12:34, 1 Aug 2007 (CDT)

I have Issues #30 - #61 except for issues #48 and #57 which have somehow gone missing. I've already added first four issues. Mhhutchins 15:40, 1 Aug 2007 (CDT)
Thanks muchly - I'll probably start at 12, where "The Alien Critic" first acquired the subtitle that later became the title, then move backwards and forewards as my mood takes me. Eventually - magazine entry doesn't thrill me, but until the next backup I don't know how many books I have left to verify. :-/ BLongley 16:12, 1 Aug 2007 (CDT)
One of my concerns was how the pubs should be titled, whether to use the date or issue number. I went with date, but note that only issue numbers were used on the cover (at least until #37). Before we get too far, I think we need to decide one or the other. I don't have a convincing argument for either way. Do you?
BTW, when I continued your inputting of Fantasy Newsletter, I continued your use of the issue number in the title. When I start entering Fantasy Review I'll do the same, and looking at them, they all appear to have issue numbers almost exclusively on the covers. I REALLY look forward to entering the all-reviews issues (100+ reviews in a single issue.) Mhhutchins 17:20, 1 Aug 2007 (CDT)

"The Horse of Air" by Gardner Dozois

Both my pb's of "The Best of Orbit" and Orbit 8 list the story's author as Gardner R. Dozois. You Verified { this} hc edition of Best of Orbit with the author not having a middle initial back in march. Could you please double check to see if it was there. Also, in the notes section of the pub you list the Title as being "Best Stories from Orbit, Volumes 1-10" on the Title Page, shouldn't that then be the title of the book? CoachPaul 09:03, 3 Aug 2007 (CDT)

You're correct on both counts. Back in March (God, it was only 5 months ago, but it seems so much longer), I was still a newbie, not yet a moderator, and so wasn't very familiar with most of the ISFDB standards. I'm going to change the author attribution of "Horse of Air" to "Gardner R. Dozois" and also change the title of the pub. Thanks. Mhhutchins 17:29, 3 Aug 2007 (CDT)
Forget being a newbie or 5 months ago, any verification of mine that I come across that's over 3 months old, I re-verify. I find all kinds of mistakes that I made, and I still make a few from time to time. CoachPaul 18:45, 3 Aug 2007 (CDT)
Nothing to worry about, folks. I have been involved with the ISFDB, on and off, for 12 years and I still get confused :-) Ahasuerus 19:30, 3 Aug 2007 (CDT)
Sometimes I wonder whether I should try out the "Moderator DE-Nomination process" for myself after a few stupid edits/approvals: but as I'd have to create such, I just leave it and recognise we're not all perfect. I've even dared to ask Al to double-check stuff: and even though he's a Bureaucrat he acknowledges mistakes. So will I: I'll also be the obnoxious twit that questions things occasionally, as if I don't get some things changed I'll just keep going back to the same old pubs I own and make sure they have whatever the latest standard requires. After a few months as Mod though I'd like to actually get rid of the duplicates and unreadables before getting called back to do a fine-scan on the cover-artist signature or something... Moderating becomes a severe fire-hazard otherwise. :-/
"Improve the data!" is all I ask, I guess. And if that means me redoing my meagre collection several times over, that's fine. BLongley 17:14, 9 Aug 2007 (CDT)

Science Fiction Review 32

"Michel" Moorcock letter? BLongley 15:59, 7 Aug 2007 (CDT)

I suppose he was going through a French phase. :) Thanks for the heads-up. Mhhutchins 16:14, 7 Aug 2007 (CDT)
I think he must have been through one - weren't the Hawkmoon and/or Count Brass books set in the Camargue? :-)
I've only met him once (when people surprised him by recalling it was his 50th Birthday even if he was only at the event to help bail out the '87 Worldcon) and he didn't SEEM very French then. Maybe he got better? ;-)
Although that was the one time I met John Brunner as well, and he didn't get better. :-( Damn, I'm in a maudlin mood tonight... time for a long bath with a good book and a good night's sleep. Preferably having got OUT of the bath before the sleeping. Hmmm... just got to choose a pub I can spare to soothing bath fumes and possible immersion, and yet still entertaining if not too stimulating... why isn't there a "Good Book for Baths" Tag here yet? ;-) BLongley 16:59, 7 Aug 2007 (CDT)

One Against the Legion

While sorting out the recursive "Novel contains Collection which contains the Novel which contains the Collection..." from Kraang, I lost track of whether the COLLECTION "One Against the Legion" is third in the "Legion of Space" series, or just the Novel. The Sphere Book isn't clear on that count, although it does indicate "Nowhere Near" is a Legion story too. Seeing your Three From the Legion makes me think they might have counted the collection as one book to get the "Three" count? What do you think? BLongley 13:18, 9 Aug 2007 (CDT)

Yes, I believe that it was called "Three..." because it is an OMNIBUS of three books, one of which happens to be a collection (One Against the Legion) which includes the same-titled 1939 novel plus the related novella "Nowhere Near" first published in the 1967 Pyramid paperback. I think there should be two records for this title (One Against the Legion). The first for the 1939 novel, and the second for the 1967 collection. Currently the TITLE REFERENCE for the novel inside the collection links back to the collection (the recursiveness you refer to.) It should link back to the novel title which would hold the serial as well. Hope this makes sense. It's given me a slight headache to sort it out. :) Mhhutchins 15:59, 9 Aug 2007 (CDT)
I think I got us back to two title records, one Novel, one Collection, but might have slightly broken Kraang's verification so I stopped before I messed up yours as well. Hopefully the three of us can fix these three pubs (or six? involved overall) before we all quit and blame it on Al. ;-) BLongley 16:45, 9 Aug 2007 (CDT)

I've protected your user page

As your user page is a spam target for IyzSfe I've protected it. As you are a sysop you can still edit it though there will be a message at the top about that you are editing a protected page. Marc Kupper (talk) 23:22, 19 Aug 2007 (CDT)

40,000 in Gehenna

I've let Amphi add cover-art to your verified pub here, but as he's new it's definitely worth checking please? (Especially as it includes sales-talk.) I'd probably confirm or deny the art accordingly if it was my copy, but remove that image on principle, but I'm in a "nice to newbies" mode at the moment. BLongley 14:47, 30 Aug 2007 (CDT)

That's the correct cover art, but I'm not sure if the server hosting the file is one that we're allowed to pull from. And I'm not particularly fond of the advertising. Otherwise, it's OK. Mhhutchins 15:27, 30 Aug 2007 (CDT)
If that server isn't allowed, we've got 1,415 problem pubs already and rising... :-/ We've been using it for months with no complaints yet, as far as I know. Many of my cover-scans end up on but I don't add anything to the cover. (OK, I've occasionally cropped or fixed a scuff-mark or rip that spoiled an image but I'm not Photo-Shopping something new in.) Anyway, I'll leave it up to you whether you want the image to remain. I'd scan a proper version and upload it and replace it, but I don't have it so it's not my problem. It might be an ice-breaker with the newcomer though. BLongley 16:57, 30 Aug 2007 (CDT)
Actually, I think I'd better check my Cherryh books - I know I've enjoyed some, but I haven't read one for years, they might be ready to start the "Sorry, but SOME of you books will have to come off the shelves and go into storage for a while" category. BLongley 16:57, 30 Aug 2007 (CDT)

Here's a cross-verification first, maybe?

You Tuck-verified The End of Eternity, and Tuck got something WRONG! What do we do in these cases? BLongley 16:39, 30 Aug 2007 (CDT)

And it's so old I can't find an Amazon entry to contribute the cover-art to either. :-( BLongley 17:01, 30 Aug 2007 (CDT)
Just checked Tuck again, and it appears that he was right. He agrees that the page count is 191. In this case, Hutchins is wrong. (Or at least, wrong in verifying the incorrect page count!) Thanks. Mhhutchins 20:46, 30 Aug 2007 (CDT)
OK, I've removed my comment on Tuck. We'll find SOMETHING he got wrong eventually! ;-) BLongley 14:27, 31 Aug 2007 (CDT)
I've discovered a couple of omissions, a few paperback editions, for instance. They weren't included in the authors' listings (Volumes 1 & 2), but some made it into the paperback listings in Volume 3. Since there were several years between the volumes' publication, I suppose he had a chance to add them to the last volume. He's also not so good about Canadian editions (but aren't we all really, even in the 21st century?) But he readily admits in his intro about his incompleteness when it comes to Canada. Another thing that's off-putting (especially since we're so picky here on the ISFDB about variations in author credits) is his tendency to initialize the first name(s) of some authors, e.g. "C. Dickens", or "J. S. Le Fanu". He also omits titles written by some lesser known fantasy and horror authors with the statement "see Bleiler Checklist for other novels". I don't have E. F. Bleiler's Checklist of Fantastic Literature, so I can't "see" it. But, all in all, considering the man lived in Tasmania, his work is a monumental achievement, and it's taking many of us here on the ISFDB, in the Age of Information, to do with computers and the Internet, what he did with file cards. Mhhutchins 15:53, 31 Aug 2007 (CDT)

The Alien Upstairs

I have added the publication month of the hardcover edition of The Alien Upstairs based on the copyright page of Bantam's 1985 paperback edition. (Sometimes this project reminds me of Sisyphus' current assignment...) Ahasuerus 14:55, 8 Sep 2007 (CDT)

It's more like The Fifth Labour of Heracles at times. :-/ BLongley 16:19, 8 Sep 2007 (CDT)
Has anyone ever estimated the number of SF publications and the percent of which the ISFDB has records? It seems possible that some intrepid soul could determine the total based on such data as the Locus year-end count, and come up with a ballpark figure. Mhhutchins 17:34, 8 Sep 2007 (CDT)
I did the math in 1995, back when we were starting, and the totals (<100,000 English language books?) are somewhere in the design documentation. I can't run MySQL queries for another 24 hours or so (or rather it's more productive for me to spend my "collection time" on verifications rather than on configuring MySQL here), but the basic stats that are available from the front page suggest that we are in the ballpark. Not that my original numbers are guaranteed to be accurate, of course :) At some point we will need to have some kind of completeness matrix, I assume. Ahasuerus 21:18, 8 Sep 2007 (CDT)
My feeling so far, based on my submissions, is that we have 99% of the pub titles for US adult definitely-SF books: I rarely add an unknown one. Maybe 97-98% for British titles. We're a lot weaker at the fringes of the Rules of Acquisition, where some children's books and novelisations of TV shows can be entirely missing. At the title/publisher level there's a lot more missing: I often add the first British entry for a title with only US or Canadian entries so far. And for the individual editions, we've often less than 5% of the popular titles' printings. Partly as I for one don't create inferred entries when there's a lot of them, e.g. I left notes here rather than add 28 stubs from the edition I had. (I suppose one could argue that the data IS here then, just not in the relational database format.) BLongley 05:50, 9 Sep 2007 (CDT)
Maybe I was over-optimistic. Today I've added one entirely new pub-title, and it's a Del Rey that I would have assumed would be here already. I've added a pub to a title that had no editions. This is still uncommon, but I've recently rarely had the chance to select books from a good collection rather than just "acquire SF books cheaply". Still, 1 out of 40 (i.e. 2.5% variance) for each makes me think we're still 97% (US titles) or 95% (UK titles) covered. But I haven't started today's acquisitions yet, where I deliberately chose authors I'd never heard of. Usually this means I've been ignorant, but we'll see. BLongley 18:06, 9 Sep 2007 (CDT)
Established US authors, especially 20th century ones, tend to be better covered at the Title level for obvious reasons, but even their bibliographies have occasional lacunae, e.g. I added a brand new Michael Kurland Title about a month ago. On the other hand, non-US, recent (21st century) and obscure authors can be very poorly represented. I have been doing a lot of OCLC reconciliation the last few months and in some cases more than 50% of Titles were missing :( Ahasuerus 01:05, 10 Sep 2007 (CDT)

The Green Millenium / Night Monsters

I was verifying my Leibers and made a couple of additions to the Notes section of this Ace Double which you Verified back in March, shortly after you started. I also changed I'm Looking for "Jeff" to its variant title I'm Looking for Jeff as per my copy. One thing that I wasn't sure about was the origin of the "Published 3/69" comment. Was it already there when you Verified the record? Or did you find the month in a reference book? Thanks! Ahasuerus 20:21, 8 Sep 2007 (CDT)

P.S. I also have a copy of this Ace edition of The Green Millennium and I can't find anything resembling a publication date in it. Do you happen to remember where 1976 (a plausible year) comes from? Did you inherit it from a pre-existing record? Ahasuerus 21:08, 8 Sep 2007 (CDT)

In the first pub, I kept the comment about the month of publication when I verified the pub, and can't verify its veracity (verily). I've come across a few others since and wondered why the month was entered in the note field and not the date field. Is the month of publication a relatively new feature to the db? Mhhutchins 21:21, 8 Sep 2007 (CDT)
That's right, originally we only recorded the year of publication, but then we realized that a popular book can have three separate editions and half a dozen printings in the first year of its existence. Keeping track of these permutations without capturing the month (and sometimes even the date) of publication was just too hard, especially when it came to identifying first editions. Until then, the month of publication was sometimes entered in the Notes field, but it was inconsistent, unsourced and therefore often unreliable. Ahasuerus 21:44, 8 Sep 2007 (CDT)
The 1976 date of the second pub came from the Delap's F&SF Review, December 1976 with a second reference in Issue 189 (May 30, 1976) of Locus. Mhhutchins 21:21, 8 Sep 2007 (CDT)
Thanks, added :) Ahasuerus 21:44, 8 Sep 2007 (CDT)


I left this submission unapproved as I suddenly realised I hadn't made as much effort on my first Destinies entry. (If you have a first printing of that, please add it - mine is second printing. One good reason to leave it as "Anthology" rather than "Magazine", whatever the pub actually claims to be.) So if you don't want to raise the standard for Destinies, feel free to reject my submission, or accept it and edit the pub to what you actually want there for a verified pub. (I don't know why I added Interiorart entries, I guess one looked notable, but I can't recall which.) BLongley 16:21, 9 Sep 2007 (CDT)

I accepted your update, but am not in a hurry to raise the standards for Destinies by going back and adding interior art (just adding all the Spider Robinson reviews was enough for me.) At the moment I've got so much on my plate, and I'm constantly rearranging the entrees so that I don't get bored or burnt out (or fed up, to extend the metaphor.) When the database is complete (ha!) as far as fiction is concerned, I might consider adding artwork. Mhhutchins 17:56, 9 Sep 2007 (CDT)
"Raising the standards" is probably good overall for the ISFDB, in the long run, but I now find I prefer to go out and find new SIMPLE publications to add/check, rather than deal with the huge amount of magazines in the dining room... re-checking publications at home is good for my book-buying budget, and my fuel bills, but probably not my mental or physical health. At least when I get out I meet Women - but so far, the Trekkies and Tolkien Quiz-Mistresses haven't appealed, and the rest are "I don't know why you buy that rubbish, but thanks for supporting our charity." :-( BLongley 18:25, 9 Sep 2007 (CDT)
Some months ago I noticed that Destines and New Destinies were in rather poor shape, so I pulled out my stacks ... and they have been waiting for their turn ever since. There must be some kind of geas preventing all of us from thoroughly Verifying them : ) Ahasuerus 00:52, 10 Sep 2007 (CDT)
Just more interesting or simpler or more useful things to do, I think. I like to switch activities when I get bored, and so long as I add to the quality I don't mind if I add reviews to a pub one day, Interior-art another, double-check for pseudonyms and alternate titles a third: or go off and fix a series or a set of Magazine editor records or research an unfamiliar author or suchlike if I don't want to see that pub again for a bit. If we demanded the whole pub gets done in one go I'd be off in a flash. But seeing the bar keep being raised is OK - it gives me another thing to do later, if I want to. I can already see "Country of Printing" becoming necessary at some point, in which case I'd have to pull them all out again anyway, so I'm not going to be completist at the moment if it makes this stop being fun. BLongley 14:16, 10 Sep 2007 (CDT)


Added cover art and Author's Note to Anno-Dracula, please check.

Yes that's the right cover for that edition. I added the novel's title after the Author's Note to distinguish it from similar titles. Thanks. Mhhutchins 14:26, 16 Sep 2007 (CDT)

Father to the Stars

Could you please double check if the cover art on Father to the Stars is attributed to "Janny Wurtz" as opposed to "Janny Wurts"? Also, this Janny Wurts' cover art record is dated 1969, which is somewhat unlikely given the perpetrator's age at the time (16). Should we change it to 1983, the year the SFBC edition appeared? Thanks! Ahasuerus 02:10, 19 Sep 2007 (CDT)

Checked the books and the art credit for Father to the Stars is "Janny Wurtz". For Bug Jack Barron, the original record showed the year of publication was 1969 (the first edition). The SFBC edition wasn't published until 1983, so when I updated the record to that date, I failed to notice the date of the cover artist credit. I assumed (incorrectly it seems) that it would change along with the pub date. In fact, it never occurred to me that I would have to change that date as well, meaning there might be several dozen records in which I did the same (or did not do, as the case may be.) Mhhutchins 16:23, 19 Sep 2007 (CDT)
I changed the Bug Jack Barron cover art record, but haven't touched the Father to the Stars record. If it were up to me, I'd change the credit to the correct spelling and make a note in the pub's note field. This business about calling something a variant when it's only a misspelling has become somewhat anal. :) Mhhutchins 16:57, 19 Sep 2007 (CDT)
Well, the original idea behind capturing data "as is", warts and all, was that we wanted to be able to accommodate a "naive" user, someone who knows nothing about the book that he is holding in his hands and wants to learn more about it. The only data a "naive" user would have is what's stated in the book itself, so if we don't create a record for "Janny Wurtz", he may never find out that she is responsible for other works of art, not to mention a book or two :) Ahasuerus 22:55, 19 Sep 2007 (CDT)

Hal Clement's "Science: Science for Fiction #7"

I have changed Hal Clement's "Science: Science for Fiction #7" in Unearth, Summer 1978 from EDITOR to ESSAY. The issue has another EDITOR title, which matches the names of the editors, and Clement's Title had a page number associated with it, so I figured the second EDITOR title was more than likely an error. Also, could you please check if Unearth printed Poul Anderson's "Tomorrow's Children" as by "Poul Anderson" or as by "Poul Anderson and F. N. Waldrop"? Thanks! Ahasuerus 16:26, 21 Sep 2007 (CDT)

Yes, that EDITOR type was incorrect. Thanks for catching it. Poul Anderson gets sole credit in the TOC and the title page. In his introduction to the story, he explains how the story developed from conversations with Waldrop (a childhood friend). Even though Anderson wrote every word of the story, I suppose he felt indebted to Waldrop and gave him co-writer credit when it was first published. Mhhutchins 19:58, 21 Sep 2007 (CDT)
Ah, yes, I think I remember "the story behind the story" now, it's been a while :) Ahasuerus 21:10, 21 Sep 2007 (CDT)

Recent Rkihara posts

I think Rkihara is probably getting sophisticated enough to know when he can and cannot overwrite entries in magazines. He is nearly at the level that he should be considered as a moderator. I know there are differing opinions about the methods for dealing with such magazine entries and he may be getting confused about about the disparate advice he is getting. The major problem with removing an entry that has only a single instance in the database is, of course, that the orphan record does not always get removed. Hobson's choice!

To my mind this is the most significant bug in the system. It leads to data corruption, potential contention between editors and moderators, and possibly even retention of editors. I think I noted a post somewhere suggesting that Al might be available sometime in the near future. Do you think it might be a good to super-prioritize a solution?--swfritter 11:51, 22 Sep 2007 (CDT)

I'm not as familiar with Rkihara's submissions as you probably are, but I tend to err on the side of caution. Even as a moderator and at my highly sophisticated level of familiarity with the database (ha!), I never overwrite content records. But I'll swallow what little pride I have and let the whole matter slide. :) Thanks for bringing another point of view. Mhhutchins 12:07, 22 Sep 2007 (CDT)
I have been watching Ron's submissions over the last few days and every time he changed a Title in a magazine directly, it turned out that it was the only appearance of that Title in the database. Conversely, whenever he used the "add and remove" method, it turned out that there were other Publications with this Title, so I think Steven is right and he has a pretty solid understanding of this pesky issue. Admittedly, changing a Title from Author X to Author Y makes me rather nervous and it's probably better to stay away from such major changes just to be on the safe side.
BTW, I have been thinking about various ways to address the underlying problem with our design. A simple checkbox to indicate whether the proposed Title change should be applied to all Publications is likely to be sufficient to alert the software whether it needs to clone the Title or change it outright.
Finally, Al does have internet access now, but he is still waiting for furniture to arrive, which makes things somewhat difficult... Ahasuerus 12:19, 22 Sep 2007 (CDT)
This issue sure created a storm. Two edits posted before I could save mine. As I was saying, No pride to be swallowed. I consider you to be one of the most trustworthy editor/moderators. You were a great mentor for me. This is one of those issues that can be dealt with in two inefficient methods and no matter which which method is used data is often affected adversely. I have gone as far as to make print screens of entries that I will think will be affected by such edits. The more important question is whether or not we should make a concerted effort to bring this issue to the forefront. And it now appears to be at the forefront. And we probably should not chew up Mhhutchins talk page with technical details.--swfritter 12:36, 22 Sep 2007 (CDT)

Galaxy story length holds

You may want to read my post Amazing aug-sep 1933 / Galaxy Held submissions to Rikhara.--swfritter 13:44, 30 Sep 2007 (CDT)


This review looks wrong - reviewer should be Doug Fratz maybe? BLongley 05:59, 2 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Yep, that's definitely wrong. I'll check it out when I get home tonight. Thanks for catching it. Mhhutchins 13:07, 2 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Another pseudonym in a Collection

One you verified: Scott Nichols in a Thomas N. Scortia collection? I believe DGeiser13 has just cloned it too. BLongley 11:36, 3 Oct 2007 (CDT)

I've corrected both pubs. The story first appeared in Analog with the pseudonym and its record was somehow merged with this one. Thanks for catching it. I'm sure there's hundreds of similar situations. Mhhutchins 14:22, 3 Oct 2007 (CDT)
I'm sure there are - hopefully just from the Contento Import problems mostly though, and Ahasuerus is promising a script for that. I'm not overly bothered with them if the text is the same, but we should try and fix sooner rather than later. (Random thought - if anything happens to Al, does his will include who he leaves the passwords to? Given activity levels recently I'd hate to have to go back to June backups...) BLongley 15:17, 3 Oct 2007 (CDT)
Well, August backups, but the point is well taken. The issue (including the IP aspect) was discussed some years ago and then again last year, but nothing definite was agreed upon. I agree that it's more important to have everything sorted out now that we have so many people working on the project.
P.S. I am still sick, but getting better, so may get a chance to work on scripts today or Thursday. I will be visiting my collection over the weekend and I will spend that time on verifications, but should be back on the road by Monday. Ahasuerus 15:26, 3 Oct 2007 (CDT)
"IP aspect" meaning "Intellectual Property"? If so, I thought that was covered. But losing easy access to current data would be a major problem. Still, the important thing is - get well soon! BLongley 15:46, 3 Oct 2007 (CDT)


Congratulations on 20,000 submissions (including some major ones like those Thrust issues) in just over 7 months! ) Ahasuerus 19:46, 4 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Congratulations from me too!
I deliberately paused for a day at 10,000 and nobody congratulated me. :-/ Oh well, maybe when I overtake Al... BLongley 15:03, 5 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Diomede is George Alec Effinger

Your verified pub Haunt of Horror June 1973. "The First Step" by Diomede. Both Contento and Roger Robinson in Who's Hugh list him as a pseudonym for Effinger. Our entry also has him listed as a pseudonym.--swfritter 17:01, 9 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Thanks for the info. I'll make a variant of this title under the Effinger credit. Mhhutchins 17:28, 9 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Dann story may be a variant title

You verified this title with Dann's "Fragmentary Blue". It appeared in this magazine but Contento/Locus lists it's first appearance as being in this pub as "There Are No Banisters". It would be great if you had a copy of New Worlds Quarterly #5 - I have one through four (aargh1). If not I will throw New Worlds Quarterly #5 there on the verifications page. Even if now one owns it I will probably go ahead and make the first appearance the variant title since it appears more commonly as "Fragmentary Blue" - with your permission, of course. It's going to be interesting when we have four or five different instances of a story being verified by different people.--swfritter 18:43, 12 Oct 2007 (CDT)

One script I might well yet write (given fresh backups) is to find which story I own most copies of. Tonight I've already been reminded I own three copies of one van Vogt story (although I can't find the third now, which is very annoying) but I suspect I have at least ten of some others. The real trick will be finding which Anthologies and Collections I can finally swap as I have ALL the stories in another form already. BLongley 18:54, 12 Oct 2007 (CDT)
Just checked my copy of the story in Future Pastimes. The copyright notice states the story originally appeared in NWQ #5 as "There Are No Banisters". Go ahead and make "Banisters" the parent and "Fragmentary Blue" the variant. Mhhutchins 19:28, 12 Oct 2007 (CDT)
Thanks.--swfritter 19:33, 12 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Nin[a] Kiriki Hoffman in The Ultimate Werewolf

The author credit for "Unleashed" in this collection looks like a typo for Nina Kiriki Hoffman, but I want to make sure before I merge the author records. WimLewis 00:09, 15 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Thanks for catching that. It should be "Nina". I'll make the correction. Mhhutchins 16:05, 15 Oct 2007 (CDT)

New Destinies VII, Spring 1989 pub date

While cleaning up serials I modified "Briar Patch (Part 1 of 2)" in New Destinies then noticed that the pub was verified by you. Now I am not sure whether the month part of the pub date or the story dates are wrong.--swfritter 15:47, 15 Oct 2007 (CDT)

The only difference I noticed is that the pub is titled (on front and the title page) New Destinies, Volume VII/Spring 1989, and it's now incorrectly titled New Destinies VII/Spring 1989. The pub date (1989-04-00) is correct. The story date, of course, should be the same since this is its first publication. Didn't moderators use to have the ability to go back to check submissions? I tried going back to submission 831177, and it was blank. Mhhutchins 16:03, 15 Oct 2007 (CDT)
Hm, it looks like Al has disabled the ability to view all approved submissions except Author Updates. I wonder if it was an accident or if there was a problem with Publication Views? I'll leave him a note, thanks for noticing! Ahasuerus 18:00, 15 Oct 2007 (CDT)
To avoid any confusion about the editing history, I changed only the date of the serial to be the date of the pub. It was not until I approved the pub that I realized it was verified and notified you for clarification.--swfritter 18:23, 15 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Mr. Glutton for Punishment

And I thought I enjoyed scut work. I have been working on adding editor records and correcting serial dates but would like to help with this although I am wondering if we should wait until we resolve the page-number-to-the-bit-bucket problem. I noticed there are a lot of anthologies on the list. I own all the Merril anthologies and I am fairly certain that many of the stories are listed under pseudonyms, probably because the original publication date was fairly close to the anthology date and the authors were still concealing their names.--swfritter 18:17, 16 Oct 2007 (CDT)

I've come to the same conclusion about the use of pseudonyms in anthologies. Especially in the magazine reprint anthologies such as those from F&SF, Analog and Galaxy. If you're up to it, feel free to jump in. As I said on the Data Consistency talk page, I'm pretty much sticking to the single-author collections, and the occasional reprint anthology that is affected by my changes in a collection. I can only hope that the changes that I'm making won't be reverted by some over-eager editor merging titles and a frazzled moderator making only a cursory glance at the submissions. Mhhutchins 19:15, 16 Oct 2007 (CDT)
I am having way to much fun with editor records but I may look at some of the anthology titles that I own so I can get an idea whether they are screwed up or not. Maybe we can use the Tom Sawyer fence painting routine and convince some people to pay us if we allow them to do some of this work.--swfritter 19:21, 16 Oct 2007 (CDT)
The problem is that the people we need to sucker have almost certainly read Tom Sawyer. Dana Carson 01:46, 17 Oct 2007 (CDT)
"Do you read SF, but have never read Tom Sawyer? Sign up now at ISFDB.ORG for lessons in Data Quality Management! Our experienced Moderators and Mentors can ensure a well-rounded set of courses in all aspects of Data Quality, at only $9.99 per course - your first two sessions half-price! Select from a variety of courses that will enable you to become a Specialist Undergraduate Concerning Knowledge Extraction & Revision, or spend longer and become a recognised Fellow Of Online Librarianship!" ;-) BLongley 13:14, 17 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Error in Analog contents June 1967

The listing for Analog, June 1967 shows in the contents: Special Feature: The Next Century of Science Fiction, essay by Jack Williamson. This is not in that issue (I have a copy & checked). (It is in the listing for February 1978, which is consistent with results of a web search for this title - but I don't have that issue myself.) I'm going to delete that entry, but you (or some other moderator) will have to approve this, & I thought I'd explain here. Let me know if I should be doing something different instead. And thanks for your welcome; I'm still learning how to get around in this web site. My Analog collection runs (with one missing issue) from January 1962 through June 1976, with 6 earlier issues, so I hope to be able to add data over time.

Dave 11:30, 18 Oct 2007 (CDT)

This seems to have been resolved while I was away from the computer. The title has been removed from the pub. But one thing to remember: even when a title is removed from a pub, the title itself has not been deleted. Here's the stray title meaning it doesn't have a pub associated with it. (Another similar title record appears in the February 1978 Analog, as you mentioned.) Please feel free to delete the stray title, and I'll approve it. Mhhutchins 15:36, 18 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Query on deleting contents from magazine

Ack! **Is** there a way to delete an entry from a magazine's contents, short of deleting & then re-adding the entire issue? I don't think I want to do that, but I don't see how else to do this. (And the help page listed at the top of the publication editor screen, Help:Screen:EditPub ( gets a page-not-found error.) Please advise me.

Thanks. Dave 11:29, 18 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Never mind - I found it over at the side. Sorry. Dave 11:33, 18 Oct 2007 (CDT)

A New Magazine Editor

Hooray! I noticed there wasn't much response to my mentoring entry on the Community Portal and I am curious what you think about my ideas since you were the first to greet Davecat.--swfritter 14:04, 18 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Since he is a new editor I have put four of his entries on hold. If they are OK, and they seem to be, I will approve them but if I find a problem I will let you know so that we can speak with a single voice.--swfritter 14:10, 18 Oct 2007 (CDT)

There are as a matter of fact minor issues. The title remove is valid but a new editor will have no way of knowing that they will create an orphan that needs to be deleted. The other updates are fine with the exception that the page count for the magazines should be 164 (160 pages inside + 4 pages for covers). I have approved them but lift links to the orphan and the October issue. November, December, January. These submissions are technically OK because they add valid data and do not damage other data.--swfritter 14:38, 18 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Sounds great. I'd gladly take him "under my wing." I just hope he's able to work around the Wiki problem and be able to respond to my inquiries. Mhhutchins 15:26, 18 Oct 2007 (CDT)
Many thanks to both of you!! I will go delete the orphan, then, & hope to figure out how to find an orphan (or remember to ask!) if this comes up again. --Dave 09:08, 19 Oct 2007 (CDT)
Um. On reading a bit more closely, I note that you took issue with the page count. I think that must have already been there, unless I really slipped up & stuck a number where I didn't mean to - that isn't something I've been bothering to look at. Page numbers of items in the TOC list, yes, total pages in the issues never. (But it's certainly possible that I did slip up in that way, confusing one field for another; & this isn't intended as a complaint but a mere clarification.)
--Dave 17:04, 19 Oct 2007 (CDT)
I can't recall whether the page counts had been changed in your update either. They may have had the incorrect page count before you touched them. No big deal, either way. I think Swfritter was pointing out that some magazines count the cover as pages 1 and 2. If they do, then the back cover should also be included in the page count. Then again, some mags don't count covers at all. Just something to look out for. As for finding orphans: if you remove a content from a pub, the title record still remains. Just do a title search and it should show up. If it's an orphan, there shouldn't be any pubs associated with it. Then delete the title. If there are pubs associated with it, it's not an orphan, so just leave it alone. You couldn't delete it if you tried! Mhhutchins 17:20, 19 Oct 2007 (CDT)

pseudonyms & variant forms of author names

A couple more questions, somewhat related:

1. A lot of the Analog issues show editorials, so as I've been entering other information (mostly page numbers) I've been adding these to the ones that don't have them. (Which is all of the issues I've been dealing with.) The author names on the ones other people had entered say "John W. Campbell, Jr.", so I'd been following that even though the attribution in the magazine was simply "John W. Campbell". Now that you've told me how to get to the help pages, I see that it says:
The name should be entered exactly as it actually appeared in the publication. This includes pseudonyms, abbreviated names ("I. Asimov" instead of "Isaac Asimov", "Robert Heinlein" instead of "Robert A. Heinlein"), etc.
I presume that I should start doing it that way? And is there a way to make it show "as by", or does that happen automatically, or do I not worry about that?
Yes, do not worry about that now. Enter the title and author exactly as they appear on the piece's title page of (and not the publication's table of contents; if there's a discrepancy between the two, the title page trumps the TOC.) If the word "Editorial" or "Science Fact" is not used in the title of the piece, don't use it. You can always create a series in order to organize these later (if one doesn't already exist.) Mhhutchins 15:53, 19 Oct 2007 (CDT)

2. Similarly, I see one author listed whom I know is a pseudonym for another author (& one quite common in Analog stories): the Wikipedia article on Mack Reynolds confirms that, yes, Guy McCord was a pseudonym for Mack Reynolds. From seeing plenty of other examples (Winston P. Sanders & Michael Karageorge as pseudonyms for Poul Anderson, for example), I know that these stories should show up as being by Reynolds with an "as by Guy McCord", but I don't know how to accomplish this. Doubtless there's a help file explaining how to do it, but I haven't tracked it down yet (& I did look, some). I suspect this one is very easy - a matter of changing something once in one or two places.
In order to show these "as by" on the real author's summary page (and in the publication's contents listing) you must create a variant. After your submission has been accepted (with credits exactly as shown in the publication) go to the title record of that piece (NOT the pub record in which it appears.) Choose "Make This Title a Variant Title or Pseudonymous Work" from the left side menu. Be careful with the next step. You will see two options on one screen. If you're creating a variant record under the author's real name go to the BOTTOM half of the submission page. Change the Author1 field to the author's real name, and press the BOTTOM "Submit Data" button. Mhhutchins 15:53, 19 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Again, thanks! And my apologies for bugging you with so many questions.

-- Dave 12:27, 19 Oct 2007 (CDT)

No need to apologize. The best way to learn how to do something correctly is to ask first. I'm just happy to find an editor who cares enough to ask. Mhhutchins 15:53, 19 Oct 2007 (CDT)

DaveCat Submissions

DaveCat will probably be reading this. I suggested to him that he not take these conversations as final answers. You may want to post summary answers on his page. A number of the entries are of the form "Editorial: <subject matter>". The word Editorial does not generally appear on the editorial page. Most of the Analog editorials have been done that way. We have projects in place on other magazines to put the editorials in series and take out the qualifiers. I can see now we need to start documenting these projects on the magazine pages. So the short answer is - the submissions are OK because they are consistent with current data but they may at some time be modified.

"Facts to Fit the Theory" by Anvil. The proposal is to change from novelette to short story. This is one of the few issues of 60's Analog that I don't have. Although it may be classified as a short story in the magazine, the magazine classification for length is not always according to our definition which is that a short story be less than 7500 words. This one looks to be right on the borderline. Also, the story appears in a collection verified by Dcarson and he may have gone to some effort to determine the actual word length. You will probably want to contact Dcarson on DaveCat's behalf.--swfritter 13:01, 19 Oct 2007 (CDT)

If a story already has a length and it doesn't look obviously wrong I use that. So don't count my entry as verifying anything. Dana Carson 17:27, 19 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Everything else looks terrific, even to the point of assigning uncredited to an essay that someone assumed was written by Campbell.--swfritter 13:01, 19 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Yes, I'm reading this.
Regarding the Anvil story, I didn't realize that there were local standards in use, rather than just what it said in the magazine. Presumably I'll eventually encounter whatever page those are on. Certainly if the story fits into a locally-defined category, use that; & that story is in a (fairly recent) collection of Anvil's works, as well (maybe) as anthologies somewhere. I don't have any easy way to check word counts. Otherwise (except (I think maybe) for a fairly obvious error or two), as far as I've gotten in checking, the story types have followed the TOC-page listings - except that Analog sometimes has a category "short novel" which seems to be subsumed under novella (maybe also novelette) here.
I've rejected the submission to change the novelette to a short story, but only because it would have changed a record in a verified publication. Otherwise, like you, I would have entered the length based on the magazine's designation. When it's a toss-up, like this case, it's better to err against changing a verified publication (which could very well be incorrect.) As for local standards, they're the same as most award committees' standards. They're listed on this page in the contents length section. Mhhutchins 16:21, 19 Oct 2007 (CDT)
I've noticed at least two other uncredited "science fact" articles that got credited to Campbell here; one of them at least implies an author, IIRC. I'll expect to change them when I get to those points in the notes I've been keeping.
I accepted your submission changing the author to "uncredited" but must point out a very important "feature" (some would call it a flaw) of the database. When you change any part of a pub's content record, you will change EVERY pub record in which that title appeared. Fortunately, this is the one and only appearance of this title in the database, so it was easy to change it within the content records of this pub. If there had been other appearances of this title you'd have to follow a multi-step process described here. I'm sure you'll understand when to use either procedure shortly. Mhhutchins 16:21, 19 Oct 2007 (CDT)
I didn't think to check for other pub records in this case (Analog sci-fact article), but will try to remember this in the future. (Ack, I already changed another such, but again I kind of doubt there's a problem. And it wasn't to "uncredited" in that case, either). I think I'd probably have thought of it for a story, having seen the warnings already, but I'll work hard to keep this in mind. Thank you! -- Dave davecat 21:12, 19 Oct 2007 (CDT)
If there is a series for editorials, & if I can figure out how to set a series when I add a title when editing the contents of an issue, I'll happily stop typing "Editorial: " and start using it. I did notice that there was a content type "EDITOR" in the list, but using it seemed to result in the type coming out as "essay" (like all the other editorials), possibly requiring someone else to change it in the approval process, so I've gone back to just using "ESSAY".
Don't worry about adding the "Editorial" to the content's title. (See my response to the above inquiry.) The EDITOR type is used in magazines that were entered before the database included an editor field when entering data. All newly created magazine records will automatically create an EDITOR record for each pub. Only use this when updating a magazine which doesn't have a EDITOR record associated with it. Mhhutchins 16:21, 19 Oct 2007 (CDT)
And I figured out about series. Except that I need two tabs open, one to find the proper series name & one to make changes. -- Dave davecat 21:12, 19 Oct 2007 (CDT)
I appreciate all you folks for taking the time to explain what I'm doing wrong; correction (in contrast to verbal abuse, which I have not seen here) is helpful to me, & I don't resent it. Thank you all, once again.
-- Dave 14:35, 19 Oct 2007 (CDT)
You're very welcome, and we should be thanking you as well. There's no rational reason to berate and belittle someone who is volunteering his time and effort (along with the rest of us!) Mhhutchins 16:26, 19 Oct 2007 (CDT)
Just to be on the safe side, I have put a bunch of new submissions on hold for you to process when you get a chance. Ahasuerus 08:33, 22 Oct 2007 (CDT)
Thanks for putting them on hold until I could get a chance to get back to them. Every once in awhile a person has to go back to the "real world"! Mhhutchins 16:43, 22 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Changes made to your verified pubs, Galaxy, October-November 1970

I've modified your verified pub, Galaxy, October-November 1970. Page count modified to include covers, replaced abbreviations for months with full spellings, and interior art added.--Rkihara 00:12, 20 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Modified your verified pub, Galaxy, Feb. 1975. Changed title to conform to TOC, added covers to page count, titled cover, and added two departments.--Rkihara 00:35, 11 Nov 2007 (CST)

Modified your verified pub, Galaxy, May 1977. Changed title to conform to TOC, added cover title, artwork, and missing letters column.--Rkihara 01:34, 15 Nov 2007 (CST)

The Legacy of Heorot

Added cover art to The Legacy of Heorot. Dana Carson 22:07, 21 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Yes, that's the cover, but the scan is not very good. Mhhutchins 22:09, 21 Oct 2007 (CDT)
Yeah, one of these days I need to get a scanner setup and start scanning my own copies. If I find a better version I'll replace it. OTOH my copy of that book is exlibris and has a plastic cover protector so it would probably scan poorly as well. Dana Carson 22:24, 21 Oct 2007 (CDT)

series: "In Times To Come (Analog, May 2007)"

I noticed this series, "In Times To Come (Analog, May 2007)" which does (& logically could) have only one title under it. I've submitted a change in series (to "In Times To Come (Analog)") for that title. Obviously I couldn't delete the series until that change is approved, but I happened to notice that there's no series-deletion tool there for me. So I'm suggesting that you delete it at some appropriate time. --Dave davecat 10:11, 22 Oct 2007 (CDT)

A series once created can't be deleted (as of this moment). It appears that the record for that issue's column has made part of another series In Times to Come (Analog) which should be subsumed by the correct series title, simply In Times to Come. This last series was probably just created by Swfritter who has established a standard for Analog series. Take a look at this to get an idea of how the series should be titled. Mhhutchins 16:29, 22 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Analog Essay series links

Analog. What do you think of this initial attempt to document the series and identify the correct format for data entry? You might find some answers here.--swfritter 15:07, 22 Oct 2007 (CDT)

I like it alot. I've recommended that Davecat take a look at it so that his Analog updates will follow the standards for series that you've established here. Good work! Mhhutchins 16:30, 22 Oct 2007 (CDT)
Forgot to ask. Shouldn't there be a series for the Analytical Laboratory as well? Davecat has suggested that the title format be "The Analytical Library / [date of issue polled] (Analog, [date of publication])". What do you think? Mhhutchins 16:41, 22 Oct 2007 (CDT)
(Just to toss in a comment: That is the format given at the top of the department each month, at least in the mid-to-late 1960s issues I've been dealing with, mostly. Spot checks of a couple of 1962 issues show the date-of-issue-polled as a subheading.) --Dave davecat 20:56, 22 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Analog, June 1963: "The Trouble With Tel[e]star"

I just happened on this one, looking for something else. The June 1963 issue of Analog Analog, June 1963 - which is marked as verified (by 2 different people; I don't yet understand the different categories for verification) includes a story (first published there) by John Berryman called "The Trouble With Telestar". I was sure it should be "Telstar", & went & checked my copy, & it should be. It's included in a couple of other pubs, too The Trouble With Telestar; any chance that one of them actually (mis)spelled it that way? (The satellite was Telstar, of course.) The illustration's title spells it correctly.) What, if anything, do I do here? Thanks -- Dave davecat 15:14, 22 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Ordinarily I would suggest that you change only the pub which you can physically verify. But in this case, since all reprints were edited by John W. Campbell, I'm 99.9999 percent sure that the spelling should be "Telstar". An edit of the the title record will change all publications. Go ahead and submit that edit with the corrected spelling and I'll approve it. Mhhutchins 16:34, 22 Oct 2007 (CDT)
OK, I've submitted the change. And duh, I also have one of the other two pubs (A World By the Tale), which gives the other collection (Analog 3) as "Original Title" on its title page. (At a guess, the name change happened when they published the paperback, but that is just a guess.) And yes, it's "Telstar" in the one I have, at least in TOC. Thanks. --Dave davecat 16:56, 22 Oct 2007 (CDT)
That's right, the Analog anthologies were originally published in hardcover as Analog 1, Analog 2, etc, but some paperback reprints had less boring titles -- see Campbell's bibliography. Ahasuerus 20:43, 22 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Verified pub The Anthology of Speculative Poetry #3

Steve Rasnic is a pseudonym for Steve Rasnic Tem (according to Locus/Contento and the obvious similarity in names). He used Steve Rasnic for his first few publications. I have changed the other non-verified pubs. your pub--swfritter 18:47, 22 Oct 2007 (CDT)

I've submitted the variant title. Thanks. Mhhutchins 22:22, 22 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Variant Titles

In the hopes that you'll be the one approving stuff I have pending & that you see this first: looking at my pending list I see two entries to make variants. I'm reasonably sure I didn't mean to make any variants, so please reject them. (If there's some way I can unsubmit my own changes before they're approved, I'd sure like to know.)

I think I've finally figured out that it's impossible to just change the author in a title - it just creates a variant title. I don't see why this should be the case, but I expect that there's a reason in the underlying data structure. But anyway, I'll see if I can remember not to do it again. I think I've probably got a bunch out there now, & I'll work on tracking them down, but it'll be a bit slow. --Dave davecat 09:50, 23 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Just in case some later newby is reading this: I was confused about the sequence of events, & what I said here should be ignored. We got it all straightened out on my own talk page. -- davecat 15:01, 24 Oct 2007 (CDT)

In Times to Come Series

Since there is a possibility that this semi-generic column title might be used in another publication I think the one that is qualified with the magazine title should be used. I should have put Analog on the magazine page listing. It was my intent that the example would show the correct usage. In the trying to keep the documentation one step ahead I actually fell one step behind. My apologies to DaveCat.--swfritter 12:21, 23 Oct 2007 (CDT)

DaveCat Submissions 10/23/2007

Have put them on hold for your analysis:

  • 843953, 843957 - Should be rejected because of my screw-up in documentation.
  • 843961, 843981 843985 843989 843993 844001 844005 - Orphans
  • 843977 - Dropping Editorial with pseudonym issue. May require closer attention.
  • 843997 - Notes and series data. Looks OK.
  • 844009 - Makes Campbell, Jr. a variant of Campbell. Looks OK but way want to check.
  • 844013 - Looks like a duplicate entry - same as 844009?
  • 844017 - Title Delete - but I think the variant title will still exist.
  • 844025 844033 844041- Title remove which I assume will be followed by addition of new title.
  • 844029 - Essay added with John W. Campbell, Jr. The byline is usually just John W. Campbell. One of the few issues from this time that I don't own.
  • 844037 - I own this issue. John W. Campbell without the Jr. is credited.
  • 844045 - Getting rid of bogus editor record.
  • 844049 - This appears to be a duplicate of 844045.
  • 844053 - Fixing Analytical Library with canonical name and adding series data. Looks OK. There are a bunch of them that look like this 'The Analytical Laboratory/February 1966 (Analog, May 1966)' where February 1966 is the month where the stories being rated appear. I would prefer using a ': ' instead of a '/'. That is the way I have normally seen such data is formatted and we should probably set a standard now. I we decide to use my method I will make the fixes. And I need to make a series entry on the magazine page. Good Idea putting the information in the title.--swfritter 13:27, 23 Oct 2007 (CDT)
Also, in looking through some issues - 'The Analytical Library' is normally credited to 'The Editor' and should be entered as such. This is a series issue with most of the previous data being entered with Campbell's name.--swfritter 14:18, 23 Oct 2007 (CDT)
Do we really want an author called "The Editor"? I'd assumed that this should be translated to the name of the editor of record (John W. Campbell, Jr., at this period). (That's not a "we-can't-do-it-that-way" but an "are-you-sure" query. If that's what you really want, I'm game. And I can see one big reason in favor of doing it as you suggest: quite possibly this was actually done by Kay Tarrant or even some mere secretary.) So please confirm one more time if this is how you want it done. Thanks!
BTW, I'm assuming that this would apply also to the In Times To Come dept.; at least in some I've looked at recently, those also are signed "The Editor". --Dave davecat 17:09, 23 Oct 2007 (CDT)
I'm gonna let you magazine guys fight this one out. If I were entering a new magazine that credits an article as by "The Editor", I would put the name of the person who's given the title in the magazine's masthead. I suppose the problem would arise when the editor credit in the magazine's masthead is not REALLY the person who edits the magazine, as in the case of Sol Cohen in the late 60s Amazing/Fantastic issues. What do you say, Swfritter? Mhhutchins 17:23, 23 Oct 2007 (CDT)
From Help - Anonymous or uncredited works. If a work is credited to "Anonymous", then put "Anonymous" in the author field. The same applies for any obviously similar pseudonym, such as "Noname". If the work is not credited at all, use "uncredited", with a lower case "u". This applies to editorship of anthologies that are not credited. Omnibuses, including dos-a-dos publications such as Ace Doubles, should be given an author of "N/A". If a work is attributed to a role, e.g. "Editor" or "Publisher", then use that name as the author, even if it you have clear evidence as to who the author really is. For example, editorials in magazines were frequently uncredited, or credited to "The Editor"; these should be entered with the Author field set to "The Editor". The intent is that the record made from the publication should reflect what can be found in the publication. If there is external evidence (such as a collection of editorials from a magazine, making it clear who the author was) that identifies the author, then you can add a variant title to that item, using the real name. This will attach the work to the true author's bibliography, without giving incorrect data about what is actually in the source publication.--swfritter 18:10, 23 Oct 2007 (CDT)
I just usually leave such items as "The Editor" since all of my letters to John W. Campbell, Ray Palmer, Doc Lowndes, etc. have gone unanswered and I am not ready go to wherever it is I could talk to them in person. It would be a good time to resolve this issue before too much data is entered.--swfritter 18:10, 23 Oct 2007 (CDT)
IIRC, the Cohen situation as well as various cases when assistant editors wrote editorials and answered letters were the main reason why we decided to use "Editor". ISTR that it was Al's idea, so we may want to run it by him before changing anything. Ahasuerus 18:34, 23 Oct 2007 (CDT)
It is a good indicator of the ambiguity of authorship. Does this make sense Dave? I can fix the existing data quickly.--swfritter 18:43, 23 Oct 2007 (CDT)
It sounds good to me. My apologies - I had read that passage (starting with the stuff about Anonymous & Noname) several times, only a few days ago, but was focusing on other issues; I wouldn't have questioned if I'd paid proper attention (not to mention that I'd have followed it in the ones I entered). I would very much appreciate your using your access to fix it all quickly. Thank you very much. --Dave davecat 18:53, 23 Oct 2007 (CDT)
It's on my plate. There's a lot of information to process. Don't fret about any errors you may have made. The magazine data is likely to go through several more validation iterations.--swfritter 19:07, 23 Oct 2007 (CDT)
OK, now I've got questions about how to make it work. In the September 1969 issue of Analog, there's a Science Fact article credited to The Editor (credit at end, p. 75). This was previously credited to JWCJr. (see this link). I noticed it in adding page #s & missing departments in that issue. I was going to change it (would need to remove/add, as it apparently was anthologized), but then I thought I'd check what The Editor says. Look at it here: this link. Among other things, it says "Used As Alternate Name By: Larry T. Shaw". How should I handle this, please? (Really, I'm not trying to cause trouble!) Thank you! -- Dave davecat 14:07, 24 Oct 2007 (CDT)
BTW: I'll hold off not only on changing that item, but on adding any AnLabs, Brass Tackses, & In Times to Comeses for the moment. While I'd like to get this stuff entered, this is by no means a pressing issue. I appreciate the time you all have put in on straightening me out in the last few days. -- davecat 14:30, 24 Oct 2007 (CDT)
I'm going to move this part of the discussion over to your talk page. Mhhutchins 19:12, 24 Oct 2007 (CDT)
From Help - If there is external evidence (such as a collection of editorials from a magazine, making it clear who the author was) that identifies the author, then you can add a variant title to that item, using the real name. Larry T. Shaw is only one of the people who used this "pseudonym". Campbell could be added to the list. The current submissions look fine. Don't worry about us. As newbies we all went through this process. In helping you, I feel like I am paying back a debt to the people who helped me.--swfritter 14:53, 24 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Hand DaveCat off to me?

Since I own nearly all of the magazines he is working on it might be easier for me to start working with Dave directly. I am going to do all the obvious submissions right now.--swfritter 11:49, 25 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Most of the submissions were fix-ups and series. I left the variant title submission out there because you have been explaining those. Great step-by-step logic, by the way. Good enough to be part of a tutorial. The other one I left is a series submission that I have communicated to Dave about.--swfritter 13:13, 25 Oct 2007 (CDT)

He's coming along rather well. I'm working with him now on all the vagaries of variants. Please feel free to approve (or disapprove) any of his pending submissions. If you place any on hold from now on, I'll know that they're on hold for reasons of your own and not just for me to look at it. Thanks. Mhhutchins 13:37, 25 Oct 2007 (CDT)
Um. Thanks. I wanted to toss in that I agree that the step-by-step explanation on variants was great, & probably should be more readily found than it is buried in my talk page. Some of the steps I already knew & was doing, but having the detailed list will be very good as I go along. When I have a bit more time I'm going to have to ask more about merging (& unmerging) titles. I see some other things in the dup finder on the JWCJr page; for now I'm leaving them because I don't know whether they indicate something needing merging or something needing deleting, & part of the problem is that I don't really understand (from a database programmer's POV) what merging does. -- davecat 06:45, 26 Oct 2007 (CDT)
If you are familiar with databases (some of us are to various extents), then you may find the ISFDB Design Documentation page useful, although it's somewhat out of date. If you can install MySQL locally, then the best thing to do would be to download the ISFDB backup file and review the tables that it comprises. Having said that, there are quite a few ISFDB editors and moderators who haven't seen an SQL query in their lives, which hasn't prevented them from being very productive on the project, so it's not a sine qua non. Ahasuerus 11:17, 26 Oct 2007 (CDT)
And one of those moderators is me. I couldn't tell MySQL from YourSQL if my life depended on it! Mhhutchins 13:14, 26 Oct 2007 (CDT)
I've played with MySQL & postgresql (& Open Office Base)some, but my professional experience in this area was mostly with an in-house-developed database dating back to the days of character-mode terminals serially connected to the server. The programmer had to do a lot more (but it had some serious advantages, too). I understand the design of databases pretty well, but to do serious work with SQL would require lots of checking a manual & muttering under my breath.

Um. If it's easy: where would one find the ISFDB backup file & how big is it? --Dave davecat 16:45, 26 Oct 2007 (CDT)
The ISFDB backup file can be found on the ISFDB Downloads page linked from the main Wiki page. Please let me know if you run into problems using the attached MySQL installation instructions since I'd like to make them as easy to follow as possible. Ahasuerus 16:49, 26 Oct 2007 (CDT)
Thanks. It may be a while. davecat 20:17, 26 Oct 2007 (CDT)

A Cross-Verification Second

I've now got TWO (maybe THREE, but can't find the third) Panther Earth is Room Enough editions and strangely, the Contents page got WORSE in the later one. Tuck seems to have got the pagination right, but replicated one of the Contents page errors: can you please double-check what he said about:

149 [The|An] Immortal Bard 


161 [The|An] Author's Ordeal

I've added month of the 1960 publication from the edition itself, that might be worth a look too. Thanks! BLongley 14:56, 25 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Tuck doesn't provide pagination for collections/anthologies, only a list of contents, usually in the order that they appear in the publication. The format for a standard Tuck entry:
'Book Title' (Publisher, Catalog # [if pb], Year, page count, pa [if pb] price) brief description, content titles (if anthology, he adds author after story title).
If a collection/anthology is reprinted with a change in contents, he only specifies which stories were dropped or added. When I record that the pub is "Tuck Verified", I'm basically stating that all of the information that Tuck provides matches the ISFDB record, not that everything in the ISFDB record matches Tuck. The ISFDB records the month of publication, pagination and various notes which may not be in Tuck. In the case above, someone may have cloned another edition carrying over the pagination incorrectly. Mhhutchins 16:44, 25 Oct 2007 (CDT)
The pagination is fine, no worries if it doesn't come from Tuck. It's the "An" versus "The" I'm asking about. "Author's Ordeal" has definitely got two "An" versions now, after I checked especially closely, "Immortal Bard" remains "The" but Panther changed it from a correct content entry to an INCORRECT one later. Sorry, I was using techie shorthand for either/or situations. The longer version is that I'm asking whether Tuck states "The Immortal Bard" or "An Immortal Bard" (first question), and whether he states "The Author's Ordeal" or "An Author's Ordeal" (second question). BLongley 17:06, 25 Oct 2007 (CDT)
The first story is "The Immortal Bard", and the second is, unbelievably (but believe me), "The Author's Last Ordeal" which I hope is an error on Tuck's part. Mhhutchins 18:07, 25 Oct 2007 (CDT)
Yay! We found one at last! The question is, what do we do now we know? BLongley 13:32, 26 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Who Goes There?

Since you are doing such a good job of explaining pseudonyms and variant titles. If you will look on Campbell's Page. I can't remember what pub DaveCat's submission was in but there is a little extra work that could be done to bring the title together.--swfritter 16:16, 25 Oct 2007 (CDT)

I could have sworn that I left him a note that he needs to merge the two titles, but it must have somehow got lost on one of the four or five tabs for the ISFDB that I usually have open at the same time! I leave him another note, and make sure that it's posted this time. Thanks. Mhhutchins 16:55, 25 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Following what is

Note this from the record a pseudonym Help about assigning pseudonyms at the author page level - "Note that this should only be done when you are sure that the pseudonym is not used by multiple people, e.g. it's not a "house name" like "Victor Appleton"." I would imagine this would probably include "The Editor". Assigning pseudonyms to house names has unfortunately been a longstanding practice and I, like many others, have replicated the error. It will be a fairly easy cleanup when we actually have the capability to delete these records.--swfritter 16:32, 25 Oct 2007 (CDT)

I don't see what difference it would make if a pseudonym is a house name or a personal pseudonym. In either case, if you know the actual author, what's to keep you from creating a variant record to attribute the story so that it appears on his summary page. For instance look at S. M. Tenneshaw. We see that all of the ISFDB records have been attributed to six different authors and "unknown" (about 20 of the 30 Tenneshaw stories.) Can you think of any particular reason that the writer of the help page frowns upon attributing house names? Is he still around to explain his statement? If you read further down on the pseudonym help page, you'll see the following "If you click on Anson MacDonald's name, and then on "Short works" you'll see the story listed there." WRONG! Obviously, the database format has changed since this help page was written. Mhhutchins 17:19, 25 Oct 2007 (CDT)
I agree. I think it is valuable information to know which authors used a house name even if it is not known which particular stories they wrote. In a number of cases (Silverberg and many others, for instance) there is documentation for the authors of individual stories. It was a nightmare entering all those third tier magazines from the late 50's (Super Science Fiction, etc.). I know of one story that was published under a name that only Milton Lesser is documented to have used - except for one story that was ghost-written for the Lesser pseudonym by John Jakes. This would be and interesting listing on Lesser's page: "Blizzard-Brain ((as by Darius John Granger) ghost-written by John Jakes)". "Blizzard-Brain" is the story of an sf fan who participates in project which involves entering data on a bibliography site on the internet and in the span of less than a year is reduced to mumbling fool. Perhaps the Wandering King of Persia will chime in.--swfritter 18:09, 25 Oct 2007 (CDT)
The real author's name should definitely appear with the house name if any single author has a documented instance where the house name was used for a specific story. I am probably the one that put most of those pseudonyms in your example so I am definitely liking the idea more and more.--swfritter 18:18, 25 Oct 2007 (CDT)
Well, if you check the history of that Help page, you will see that the paragraph was created by yours truly with the following note appended: "Hastily updated with new pseudonym editor instructions; needs cleanup". I think the section about not creating pseudonyms for house names was added because the software originally didn't support multiple Authors per pseudonym, which I believe Al fixed later. Since the software now fully supports house name, I agree that we should take that sentence out.
As far as the "Wandering King of Persia" sobriquet goes, I can assure you that the protagonist (well, one could also say "antagonist") of the Wandering Jew legend never worked as the CEO of that particular country. The name was originally Persian and a couple of Persian kings used it, but it had become popular with the Jews by the beginning of the first millennium. The Wandering Jew of the last 500-800 years was a commoner, not a nobleman, and his involvement with a certain carpenter from Nazareth was purely accidental. Or at least that's my story and I'm sticking to it!Ahasuerus 20:53, 25 Oct 2007 (CDT)
I was questioning the line about " on...Short Works". Were those instructions from an earlier version of the database? Looks like it was written by Mike Christie. Mhhutchins 21:31, 25 Oct 2007 (CDT)
Oh, I see! Yes, that paragraph predates my rewrite of the first section and can be found in Mike's last version from November 2006. Ahasuerus 21:37, 25 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Davecat 10/27/2007

I approved the trivial ones - mostly publisher and binding updates but left the series and variant submissions. We should come to a decision about the series with non-unique data as soon as possible. "In Times to Come" and "Brass Tacks" seem like definite outs to me. I hate to think what other kind of useless series data is out there. At least it is not critical data but when there is existing non-essential series data it is very easy to assume that it should be added to. I am thinking about adding guideline pages for each title that can be accessed from the magazine grid page. I should have been a little bit more critical about the value of existing series data when I inserted the links to the series data.--swfritter 15:54, 27 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Series Data

I think we have a definitive answer in Rules and Standards. It seems to me that all the series are valid.--swfritter 09:23, 28 Oct 2007 (CDT)

The Communipaths / The Noblest Experiment in the Galaxy

Right Covers? BLongley 11:46, 28 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Yep, that's the one. Mhhutchins 11:49, 28 Oct 2007 (CDT)

"An Aplogy for the Madman, or the Death and Further Adventures of Jehovah"

Could you please double check if there is an extra "o" in "An Aplogy for the Madman, or the Death and Further Adventures of Jehovah" in your verified Para•doxa, Volume 5, Number 12, 1999? TIA! Ahasuerus 19:44, 28 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Incorrectly entered. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. Mhhutchins 21:55, 28 Oct 2007 (CDT)

my screwup of the day

... or at least it would be nice if it were to be the only one.

I realized after entering them that in doing the departments for the May 1970 Analog (possibly June as well) that I failed to put in the (Analog, May 1970) things in the titles. Unless there are other problems, I'd appreciate your approving them anyway (if you read this in time, & if you're the one dealing with them); easier to fix existing entries than to start over. No big deal either way. Thanks. -- Dave davecat 10:20, 29 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Sure, no problem. It is easier to correct these after the submission has been accepted, especially if the submission contained a whole load of additions. One thing I just noticed on your most recent submissions. The price in US dollars should include a leading 0 if it is under one dollar, e.g. $0.60. I'll start correcting some of the previous submissions when I get some extra time. Thanks. Mhhutchins 11:40, 29 Oct 2007 (CDT)
Thanks. And OK, I'll start changing the prices as I go, though this is another one that it will be easy to just forget to look at when I'm thinking of contents rather than metadata. davecat 12:12, 29 Oct 2007 (CDT)
(Did you correct those missing (Analog, ...) titles for me, or am I losing what little mind I had left? I was pretty sure I had forgotten on that one whole issue.) davecat 13:49, 29 Oct 2007 (CDT)
Yes, I did. Mhhutchins 17:59, 29 Oct 2007 (CDT)
Thank you. davecat 08:54, 30 Oct 2007 (CDT)

The Editor thing

From Help - "If there is external evidence (such as a collection of editorials from a magazine, making it clear who the author was) that identifies the author, then you can add a variant title." The Campbell name should not be made a pseudonym unless the essay appears elsewhere under his name. What's the point of having standards if we don't adhere to them? As far as the series thing goes, I agree. It is way down on my priority list but doing a little bit of analysis on them made me realize that a lot of the data is entered in an inconsistent manner. I can guarantee you that nobody who has ever known me would have described me as anal or probably even detail oriented but I would really like the people who use this site to think that it approaches a professional level.--swfritter 13:57, 29 Oct 2007 (CDT)

As I said at the end of my comments I'll let you magazine guys sort it out. I will defer to your expertise. And I apologize if you felt that I was accusing you personally of being anal, when it was the practice itself that was the target. Nevertheless, I continue to believe that the time and attention spent on details that 99.99% of the people who use this site would never notice is an inefficient use of precious resources. I will inform Davecat to stop making variants of those pieces in Analog credited to the Editor, and I will correct those that he's already changed. Mhhutchins 18:20, 29 Oct 2007 (CDT)
I communicated with him also just to make sure he didn't do anymore. I never taking anything personally. I would probably have been gone months ago if I had only been interested in getting my own personal data into the system. The great thing about the system is that editors need only enter the data they want to enter. As moderators our primary concern is that it be accurate. I think we all are a little guilty at times of expecting more detail.--swfritter 18:43, 29 Oct 2007 (CDT)
Er? How can one be accused of being anal? That's a good thing, isn't it? :-) Ahasuerus 20:05, 29 Oct 2007 (CDT)
<grin> I certainly think that, on this kind of project, a commitment to getting things consistent is a good thing. I'm very, very glad to have you folks looking over my shoulder. I will stop making variants for The Editor (& I'll be quite glad not to have to do it), pausing only once more to point out that a casual user, going to The Editor's summary bibliography page from a publication, may be confused as to whether these things are all by the same person when we know they're not. This is a very minor problem, though.
Speaking for myself as an editor (since this came into the discussion): I'm here because of a personal interest in getting the data on stories in issues in my own collection without having to enter it all myself. I probably will eventually work on getting other contents for those issues, & I'm also quite interested in trying to get the metadata right (& standardized in format) as I go along. I'm a bit more hesitant about trying to clean up things in issues I can't personally check, so not sure what would come next if I ever were to finish all that. --Dave davecat 09:15, 30 Oct 2007 (CDT)
No, I'll add a bit more. There are a lot of different users for a database like this, with lots of different needs & wishes. I personally have no interest in easy access to what books P. Schuyler Miller reviewed in which issues of Analog; but I can easily imagine being a PhD candidate wanting to find all reviews of books by (say) Heinlein or Norton or many others; it would be very nice to have that available. So, in the long run, I'm not going to mind going through entering those. (It might be good to be able to distinguish the mere one- or two-sentence notices from real reviews, though, I add without enthusiasm for the possible task of adding to the entry & cleanup tasks.) I agree that most of the letters to the editor aren't worth indexing but that some definitely are. (And I'm desperately hoping that no one has suggested indexing all the advertisements.) -- davecat 09:29, 30 Oct 2007 (CDT)
I hope not. But the array of ads in the old pulps are kind of fascinating. The June 1939 issue of Amazing has ads for gambling punch boards, false teeth, rupture trusses, medicine for Piles, guns, mail-order tires, soft porn, Listerene dandruff medication, and whiskey - a mix you will not see in the current edition of Analog. Found this one on flickr. --swfritter 14:36, 30 Oct 2007 (CDT)
Many pulp ads were indeed fascinating and I wish I had spent a few pennies more so that all of my pulps would have ботх covers. Oh well. Naturally, we don't want to include regular ads, but we may want to consider listing some "important sf-related" ones, e.g. the two Vietnam ads paid for by the pro- and anti-war folks in 1968. I am not sure how we would credit them, though, since each one was signed by dozens of writers/editors :( Ahasuerus 22:37, 30 Oct 2007 (CDT)
I noted the Vietnam ads in the notes when I ran across them. Interesting editorial by Pohl on the subject.--Rkihara 00:27, 31 Oct 2007 (CDT)
I believe the ads were published twice, first in F&SF in March and then in Galaxy in June as we discussed on r.a.sf.w last year. We will probably want to cross-reference them in some way. Ahasuerus 00:55, 31 Oct 2007 (CDT)
I just made it up to the March '68 issue of F&SF today and entered the ads into the notes. Pohl in an editorial published in If commenting on the ads, also published there (June 1968, p.4,5), thought the ads were divisive and asked readers to send in their solutions to war, which he was going to publish later. I'm going to have to re-check Galaxy, since I didn't make a note of it there. I remember reading an article by Isaac Asimov talking about the meeting that led to the ad and Heinlein's objection to Arthur C. Clarke being there, since it was a American issue, and he was British.--Rkihara 13:01, 31 Oct 2007 (CDT)
Another possibility is to enter it as a title with the author name being "various", something I have done with letter columns with no editor replies. Perhaps even better would be to use a more unique author name like "Vietnam Petitioners". That way all of the adds could be merged. Hopefully at some time we will have a bio/biblio table that would allow us to link authors who are mentioned in essays to the essays. The fields that would be most useful are author name, significance of reference (minor, moderate, major?) and a notes field. A nice little item for the wish list and likely something that has already been suggested.--swfritter 14:00, 31 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Still I Persist in Wondering

Just an FYI that I have added the following comment: "Stated first printing. Cover art not credited and there is no identifiable signature on the cover." to your verified copy of Still I Persist in Wondering. There was only one printing, right? (Although apparently there was a German translation, let me add it real quick...) Ahasuerus 21:45, 3 Nov 2007 (CDT)

Only one printing, correct. And the cover is not credited. In addition to the German translation, there was also an Italian version (as Davy, e oltre) which adds "Mam Sola's House" (which rightly belonged in the first edition, but was omitted for some reason.) Inexplicably, the Italian edition drops IMHO the three best stories: "Harper Conan and Singer David," "My Brother Leopold," and "The Night Wind." All of this, and more, is in my Edgar Pangborn Bibliography which I have woefully neglected for more than a year. Mhhutchins 10:01, 4 Nov 2007 (CST)

Escape from Kathmandu

Your verified pub is showing up twice, I believe because it actually has two COLLECTION records in it. Do you know how to fix that, or would you like me to have a go for you? BLongley 13:15, 4 Nov 2007 (CST)

I've seen these a few times and assumed it was a bug. If you know how to fix it, please let me know so that I can fix it when I see the same thing pop again. Also, how did it happen in the first place? Thanks. Mhhutchins 13:25, 4 Nov 2007 (CST)
OK, I think it's fixed now - please check. What I do is:
Change the PUB type to NOVEL. This allows both collections to show up in "Remove titles from this Pub". Try and remove ONE of them: You will get the big yellow warning:
WARNING: Unable to locate the title reference for this publication.
Removing titles while in this state is dangerous. Check to make sure the publication type is correct (collection, novel, anthology,
etc.). Then come back and remove the title in question.
When approving the submission, check whether ONE or TWO entries are being dropped. Ideally only one will, but often both go. Approve it anyway.
Go back to the publication: if only one entry was dropped, then the "Title" hyperlink will show there and you can just change the Pub type back to COLLECTION. (Or ANTHOLOGY if that's what it was, as those can have the same problems.)
In this case, both went, so we have to change the pub type back to Collection AND add a COLLECTION record that matches the Pub title, date and author(s). This will appear as a new COLLECTION so finally you check to see if there are any other copies around: in this case there were, so you merge the two Collection titles together again.
(Actually, if only one entry DID get deleted, this indicates that there's still a merge to be done.) BLongley 14:22, 4 Nov 2007 (CST)
Is that clear enough? BLongley 13:55, 4 Nov 2007 (CST)
Yes, that's clear. Now I can't wait to come across a similar situation and give your method a try. Thanks. Mhhutchins 14:37, 4 Nov 2007 (CST)
This one needs fixing. Notice how if you "Diff Publications" on the first two titles (the Gnome Press ones), it invites you to Delete or Edit 29182 on BOTH sides? That's a clear giveaway. BLongley 15:10, 4 Nov 2007 (CST)
Or try this one if you're happier with one that doesn't have contents that could be destroyed. The questionable authors might lead to some insight into HOW this happens. BLongley 15:14, 4 Nov 2007 (CST)
As to HOW it happens, I think some people must have ignored a Big Yellow warning on a merge previously. But I'm not sure if there's other ways to cause it. BLongley 13:55, 4 Nov 2007 (CST)
The firsttook more steps than I first thought (both titles disappeared), but I was able to get everything back in the right shape. [The second one was harder because it didn't have contents, so I forgot to do the "Drop Titles" step. Then the pub disappeared and I could not find it anywhere, so I had to reconstruct it from the OCLC record. Thanks for the instructions. I just have to remember to follow each step exactly as you gave them. Mhhutchins 19:14, 4 Nov 2007 (CST)
Bill is quite right about the origin of these mutated Publication records as well as about the easiest way to fix them. Creating a script that finds all Novel/Collection pubs with multiple Novel/Collection Title records has been on my list of things to do for some time. This week, probably... Ahasuerus 23:41, 4 Nov 2007 (CST)
I should probably have taken more notes as I went through them all (and possibly saved some more for people to work on, but only you and Dave Sorgen had verified ones and seemed active). But basically they came down to 1) Gone (probably because somebody deleted one and so destroyed the other) 2) fixed (possibly because of the other clean-up activities), 3) unmerged titles both appearing in the same pub - this is where only one gets deleted at the Remove Titles from this Pub stage or 4) same title appearing twice in the same pub - where both go at the Remove Titles from this Pub stage. It's always worth a check for a final merge, which hopefully will NOT get a Big Yellow Warning if the previous steps are done right. BLongley 14:05, 5 Nov 2007 (CST)
Ahasuerus - do you know how to create variations 3 and 4? This is ALMOST clear enough for a "How To" help entry, but it would be useful to know how to create examples for each situation for further training purposes. BLongley 14:05, 5 Nov 2007 (CST)
The only two ways to create these "doubled up" Publication records -- that I know of -- is to merge two Titles that either (a) have a Variant Title relationship or (b) can be found in the same Publication. You get the same warning in both cases, but perhaps the Title merge logic processes these cases differently?
So merging an Anthology/Collection with a Variant Anthology/Collection, or merging the ANTHOLOGY or COLLECTION records within a pub when it's already slightly messed up? That could explain things. I know I've (temporarily) messed up a publication by adding a COLLECTION or ANTHOLOGY record that was already there, thinking it was missing as it wasn't being shown at the time. (Those "helpful" display restrictions.) That may be a third option, but hopefully a rare one as I for one double or triple-check all such edits now - I can't guarantee there aren't any early examples left here from my past mistakes though. (I should have caught many by working from the last backup and not letting the Display Logic interfere.) I think some testing is in order. BLongley 15:25, 6 Nov 2007 (CST)
Re: fixing problem records, I prefer to change the Publication's type to Novel first. That way I can clearly see the offending Titles. Keep in mind that sometimes the same Collection (or Omnibus/Anthology) Title is listed 3 or even 4 times, so it seems safer to take a good look at them "undisguised" before doing anything about it. Ahasuerus 22:18, 5 Nov 2007 (CST)
Yes, agreed it's always wise to look before you leap. I've bolded "Change the PUB type to NOVEL" in my previous guidelines. (I think I learnt that from you anyway, maybe just didn't make it clear how useful it is here.) BLongley 15:25, 6 Nov 2007 (CST)
A solution that has worked for me when I find these identical records is to clone one of them. The new record has a new ID and there is only one created. You can then delete the original record that has the duplicate.Kraang 18:20, 5 Nov 2007 (CST)
That is too freaking simple. What do you want to do, Kraang? Make things easy around here? Next thing we know you'll be pushing us to switch the ISFDB into a format compatible with Microsoft Works Database! (Let me get this straight. 1.) Clone. 2.) Delete. 3.) Relax. Got it!) Mhhutchins 20:15, 5 Nov 2007 (CST)
It's worked well for novels and collections, as for mixed publication were an anthology is listed in its self or a collection than you would have to edit the publication back into a proper state first. How these duplicate ID's are created in the first place, improper merging or something else I don't know. I could create some bogus records, do some merging and see what happens.Kraang 21:48, 5 Nov 2007 (CST)
"Proper state first" seems like a BIG catch though. :-/ Still, if Cloning a duff pub doesn't clone duplicate entries, that should be a BIG help for some categories! Thanks! BLongley 15:25, 6 Nov 2007 (CST)

(Unindent) Another to fix here, Mike. In this case, make a note of the page number too! BLongley 12:53, 9 Nov 2007 (CST)

Thanks. Fixed now. Mhhutchins 16:31, 11 Nov 2007 (CST)

Serpents Reach

I've added Rules for Sej to your verified Serpents Reach. Dana Carson 21:46, 9 Nov 2007 (CST)

Thanks. I wouldn't have thought to add it. Mhhutchins 16:21, 11 Nov 2007 (CST)
Damn, now I've got to go do that to MINE... except that it isn't mine, it's MA. Lloyd's and I'm already feeling guilty for interfering with a verified pub... BLongley 16:47, 11 Nov 2007 (CST)

The Duplicated Man

Sorry to see your ISFDB time plummet, but I hope it's because of the holidays and related fun things!

I have changed the currently verified Airmont edition of Blish/Lowndes' The Duplicated Man to reflect Don Erickson's report that "our" $0.60 printing was not the first printing. Apparently, there was an earlier $0.40 printing. Don is not available at the moment due to health problems, so I entered the $0.40 printing based on online sources. Could you please double check that your Tuck verification applies to the $0.60 printing and not the $0.40 one? TIA! Ahasuerus 17:12, 16 Nov 2007 (CST)

Tuck shows the original printing had a price of $0.40. I also have an edition of this novel and about a dozen others published by Airmont that are not dated and all priced at $1.50. I estimate their publication sometime in the 70s. When I get around to verifying my paperbacks I add these new editions. Mhhutchins 13:30, 27 Nov 2007 (CST)
Thanks! I have removed the Tuck verification from the $0.60 printing and marked the $0.40 one as "Tuck-verified". BTW, I seem to recall that Zebra and Airmont occasionally printed the publication month at the bottom of the last page in the mid-1970s. Do any of you Airmont paperbacks have little marks that use the "76-10" format at the bottom of the last numbered page, by any chance? Ahasuerus 14:18, 27 Nov 2007 (CST)
I'm away from my collection currently, but will check those pages when I get a chance. I also remember that Lancer did the same dating thing in the last few years of their existence. Mhhutchins 13:13, 29 Nov 2007 (CST)
No hurry, take your time! :) Ahasuerus 13:24, 29 Nov 2007 (CST)
My 70s era edition of The Duplicated Man doesn't have the date on the last page. Neither did any of the four or five Airmont editions I checked. Mhhutchins 16:22, 3 Dec 2007 (CST)
Oh well, we tried :) Thanks for checking! Ahasuerus 22:15, 3 Dec 2007 (CST)

Science Fiction : The Illustrated Encyc. (Clute)

Just to let you know I've changed this verified pub from type NOVEL to NONFICTION. (Note: Fantastic Fiction has an image of the US Edn which I discovered while researching my Canadian edn.) --j_clark 16:34, 23 Nov 2007 (CST)

Thanks for catching that. I updated the original entry and failed to notice the type. Mhhutchins 13:32, 27 Nov 2007 (CST)

Changes to Verified Pub F&SF

Your verified pub, F&SF, Sept. 1971 was modified for pagination, addition of book review column and reviews, and titling of the cover illustration. Date on cartoon was replaced with "no caption."--Rkihara 11:22, 29 Nov 2007 (CST)

Your verified pub, F&SF, July 1973 was modified for pagination, addition of book review column and reviews, and titling of the cover illustrations. Date on cartoon was replaced with a caption.--Rkihara 18:46, 6 Dec 2007 (CST)

Elgin's "At the Seventh Level"

FYI, I have added Elgin's "For the Sake of Grace" to your verified DAW edition of At the Seventh Level. It was originally (1969) a standalone story that Elgin made into a prologue (of sorts) to this novel. Since the story has been anthologized elsewhere, I figured that we want to list it separately in this publication. I also added a Note about a typo in the TOC. Hope this matches your edition! :) Ahasuerus 23:20, 1 Dec 2007 (CST)

I suppose until we come up with a way to deal with fixups and the like, this will have to do. I don't particularly like this because it gives the false impression that the novelette is not part of the novel. If we give the novelette this individual identification, what would keep us from adding the titles of the other parts? In fact, the section titled ABBA is labeled as a novel! So it goes... Mhhutchins 16:20, 3 Dec 2007 (CST)
I can't say I like it either: not enough notes, no pagination? BLongley 17:30, 3 Dec 2007 (CST)
The reason that there are no page numbers is that the original pub record contained only the novel title, so Michael didn't specify the page number, and I forgot to add the page numbers when I added the story on Saturday since I was in a hurry. However, now that I have had some sleep and given it additional thought, I agree that it's really a fixup of sorts, so we are probably better off documenting the relationship in Notes. Let me change the pub (and the omnibus edition that I handled similarly over the weekend) and see if it looks any better. Ahasuerus 22:19, 3 Dec 2007 (CST)

Top of the world :)

Congratulations, Michael, you have made it to the top of the list of contributors -- and in less than a year too! I don't think we have prizes (yet), but if we decide to do custom "ISFDB" coffee mugs, you will be the first recipient! :-) Ahasuerus 13:29, 11 Dec 2007 (CST)

Which world? This guy can't be human, but sure is better than our bot Dissembler... ;-)
Congrats from me too, Michael. If we do eventually get the coffee mugs sorted, I suggest you demand ALL the ISFDB banners wrapped around it: it'll take a very LARGE mug, but they're nice art and you must be running on HUGE amounts of caffeine anyway. BLongley 15:38, 11 Dec 2007 (CST)
Yeah, I took a couple of weeks off, hoping you guys would catch up with me. Either I have too much free time, or have an addiction to the ISFDB stronger than any I'd get with caffeine. Can't seem to find the cure though. Anyone know of a good rehab facility? I can imagine the response: No! No! No! (Sung to the Amy Winehouse song.) Thanks for the congrats. Mhhutchins 16:02, 11 Dec 2007 (CST)
From next weekend, all my time is my own for the rest of the year - except I have to catch up with dentist, doctor, cleaner, landlord, etc... and I really should decide if I'm going to enter/verify the Stableford collection myself or send it to Denmark. It would be worse if I did Christmas, but I think I've solved that now. Catch you up in that time though? No chance. (Well, not in quality data anyway - if we were trying for scores I'm sure I could script something and let it run while I stay in bed.) BLongley 16:37, 11 Dec 2007 (CST)

Michel Whelan

Michael going through another French phase? BLongley 09:00, 22 Dec 2007 (CST)

Along with the rest of us Michaels. Thanks. Mhhutchins 12:51, 23 Dec 2007 (CST)


Can I assume this really contains Sea-Reverie by Steve Eng, rather than vice versa? BLongley 08:29, 23 Dec 2007 (CST)

Yes, in this case. But I've read a few stories by Sea-Reverie and think a Nebula is in his future. Mhhutchins 12:53, 23 Dec 2007 (CST)

Thrust, Fall 1978

There was a Blank reviewer in your verified pub, made visible now I've redefined blank to literally 'Blank'. Can you supply the correct name please? BLongley 12:21, 25 Dec 2007 (CST)

Fixed. Thanks. Mhhutchins 17:48, 26 Dec 2007 (CST)
Cheers! We seem to have sorted "Blank" for the moment. When you get a chance, can you fill in the gaps in this little project as well, please? ;-) BLongley 18:06, 26 Dec 2007 (CST)
I added the Quantum issues (it was essentially the same magazine, even continued the numbering from Thrust.) Also added to the listing the first seven issues, which I don't have copies of. I was able to find a little info on issue #7 and created a placeholder record for it. Trouble with ordering the issues arose because Fratz occasionally published the Winter issues at the beginning of the year, so I rearranged the listing to follow with the issue number. Mhhutchins 18:55, 26 Dec 2007 (CST)
I have most of the issues as well, but I think I am missing the first few. I'll see if I can add anything on Saturday when I get back to my base. Ahasuerus 20:12, 26 Dec 2007 (CST)
No dice, my collection goes back to #8 and stops there :( Ahasuerus 19:00, 29 Dec 2007 (CST)
I started reading 'Thrust circa issue #15, even then issue #8 was the oldest available back issue. The earlier ones were limited to the campus of the University of Maryland (which I believe co-sponsored/published the 'zine.) Mhhutchins 19:38, 29 Dec 2007 (CST)
Wasn't it the SF club at the university that sponsored the fanzine as opposed to the school itself? Oh well, not that it matters, the unfortunate thing is that we don't have the data for ##1-7 :( Ahasuerus 19:51, 29 Dec 2007 (CST)
I think I'm done with Thrust 11-15 now, and shall use them as a sample of me actually being able to let go of pubs. Before they go in the post, does anyone want to check if THEIR #11 is noticeably taller than the others, and #12 is narrower? Should I scan the covers for our future ISFDB Cover-art library? BLongley 20:54, 29 Dec 2007 (CST)

(unindent) Numbers 10 and 11 are about a half inch taller than 9 and 13; 12 is slightly taller than 13 but less than 11, and it's at least a half inch narrower than any other issue. (I call any periodical "quarto" that's roughly 8 1/2 X 11, but I don't know if there's an official designation.) Mhhutchins 21:44, 29 Dec 2007 (CST)

...and there are minor changes in the magazine's dimensions later in the run as well. If you take issues 8-42 and try to line them up, you will see a jagged line. Ahasuerus 22:15, 29 Dec 2007 (CST)

Quantum 42

A couple of problem reviews: first, they review a book that doesn't exist although they show a picture of the correct book (The Pixilated PEERESS): and the second shows they review an author-variant title we don't have yet - but might want? BLongley 15:17, 27 Dec 2007 (CST)

  1. 34 • The Pixilated Princess • L. Sprague de Camp and Catherine Crook de Camp • book review by Steven Sawicki
  2. 35 • Harmony • Marjorie Bradley Kellogg • book review by Michael Carr
I'm going to change the title of the first one and make a note in the pub record that the wrong title was printed at the head of the review (the title is not mentioned at all in the review.) We have a record for the second title but under different authorship. The cover graphic in Quantum 42 clearly reads "Marjorie Bradley Kellogg", but who's to say what author is credited on the title page (other than someone with an actual copy of the novel.) The OCLC record credits "M. Bradley Kellogg". A search on gives three permutations of the name! Mhhutchins 15:36, 27 Dec 2007 (CST)
What we really need is the ability to link Review records to Title (or, better yet, Publication) record instead of relying on the current lexical match logic. This issues and the similar Serial linking issue have been on Al's list of things to do for a long time. One of these days... Ahasuerus 16:28, 27 Dec 2007 (CST)
I agree totally about the current review to pub linking. I've entered many reviews from fanzines and the present system almost doubles the time it takes to enter them, trying to make sure the titles match exactly. And what's to stop another editor from coming along and changing the titles of the pubs, losing all the reviews in the process? Mhhutchins 19:17, 27 Dec 2007 (CST)

The Science Fiction Encyclopedia

Correct Cover? And while we're on the subject, is the book totally superceded by Clute/Nicholls or is there value in having this book too? BLongley

Right cover. And no, it is no longer essential. Clute/Nicholls is basically an update of this 1979 publication. Mhhutchins 15:33, 28 Dec 2007 (CST)
The 1979 version lists some fantasy stuff that Clute/Nicholls dropped for space reasons (this is explained somewhere in the introductions). However, the 1997 Encyclopedia of Fantasy done by Clute and John Grant more than made up for that, so if you have the two Clutes (plus about a thousand and one corrections that are posted on Dave Langford's site), you are all set. Ahasuerus 00:30, 29 Dec 2007 (CST)
Yes, I have both although I use the Fantasy one very little in comparison. I don't have many other paper references - McGhan seems totally superceded by online resources like a.k.a , and the Weinberg Dictionary of SF & Fantasy artists sometimes has less information than we already have. Still, I've only cross-checked A and B so far and eventually it might help with some partly undecipherable initials on a book or magazine. BLongley 08:07, 29 Dec 2007 (CST)


Glad to see you're spotting the stubs and fixing them - does it help when I create the templates with linked issues, or could you have done the links easily anyway? I usually get more encouraged to fix/add to things already there but incomplete, but I don't know how others feel. I know when I got bored with that I went off and entered some "Alien Critic"s - I looked at your #8 and based #6 on it, but got carried away with Letters from famous people. :-/ Oh, and I interfered with a few Thrusts to get the reviews to link - but if you have any idea on how to get "Zarsthor's Bane" to link, please let me know - the apostrophe problems are driving me crazy! BLongley 19:40, 28 Dec 2007 (CST)

Yes, your templates helped quite a bit. Like you, I tend toward completing the incomplete and correcting the incorrect, but every once in awhile, just to keep from burning out on the same thing, I'll add something new. The past couple of days I've been adding some of Geis' SFRs (see this bugger of a record). I also want to get the reviews to link to the pubs, so that gets me off on tangents when I'm entering these SFRs, so it usually takes longer than it looks. I'm thinking about letting these links slide, in case Al gets around to creating links that are non-lexical. For instance, when I added this review of Tiptree's collection, I noticed a review that you entered that isn't linked because ONE LETTER ("from" instead of "From"). I thought about changing either the title or the review, but would have to change the other reviews. So I just let it slide. Has Ahasuerus created a script that will list reviews that are not linked to titles? Maybe Al can fix that apostrophe problem as well. Mhhutchins 20:22, 28 Dec 2007 (CST)
I have to keep changing what I do, or I get bored - I prefer entering/verifying books I own, but I've just spent two days trying to explain to my cleaner how I want them organised and even after getting her to start with the power-tools and adding shelves to existing bookcases it's clear I can't get many more in. I'm going to have to de-clutter a bit. :-( BLongley 20:49, 28 Dec 2007 (CST)
Still, linking stuff here can be fun - finding totally missing entries is even better. I started on the stray Authors for a bit after the new Author directory appeared, but 3 days of typing "audio CD/Cassette" and moving "Co-Authors" to notes as Narrator/Translator/Illustrator/Cartographer/Embroiderer (no, I'm not kidding on the last two) got boring - the Authors that only appear as they've been reviewed seem more interesting. It's a very strict match on those though - normally most searches are at least case-insensitive. I don't think Ahasuerus has done a script, but I probably can. Only Al can fix the Apostrophes, I think, but that probably needs to wait till the January upgrade and we can see how it helps/hinders. (I've got a similar project at work to look forward to next year as well - maybe I'll learn something handy from that.) BLongley 20:49, 28 Dec 2007 (CST)
I haven't done much scripting lately due to too much overnight work, illness and such. I'll be working on verifications next week, but once I am back on the road on 2008-01-07, I should be able to engage in some creative scriptography. If Bill beats me to it, more power to him! :) Ahasuerus 00:40, 29 Dec 2007 (CST)
Another trouble with adding the SFRs: I spend more time reading them than entering them. It's crazy how much they stand up after 30 years. In the last two issues there's been a feud going on between Barry Malzberg and Darrell Schweitzer, some juicy stuff there. Mhhutchins 20:26, 28 Dec 2007 (CST)
I know what you mean. So far, not one single article from the Stableford collection has left this house. I must start sending some off soon just to make sure Knud Lam's address works, before I get so engrossed I start learning Swedish or suchlike... BLongley 20:49, 28 Dec 2007 (CST)
Schweitzer seemed to be embroiled in some kind of feud more often than not. Which reminds me that we need to create a VT and a pseudonym record for Amos Salmonson/Jessica Amanda Salmonson. Ahasuerus 00:40, 29 Dec 2007 (CST)

No Return

Kabakov or Kababob? BLongley 10:19, 29 Dec 2007 (CST)

Corrected. Thanks. Mhhutchins 15:51, 29 Dec 2007 (CST)

Stephanie Hoppe

Is it Stephanie R. Hoppe or Stephanie T. Hoppe in the review here? BLongley 09:20, 31 Dec 2007 (CST)

Should have been "T". I've corrected the pub and removed "R" from the "S". Thanks. Mhhutchins 09:54, 31 Dec 2007 (CST)