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Archive of the Community Portal - June-September 2010

Sorting now works in Advanced Search

"Sort Results By" has been fixed for Author and Pub Advanced Search. It's not as full-featured as we would like it to be, but at least what's there actually works for a change. I also fixed the Python error when submitting an empty search form. Ahasuerus 02:45, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

Verification sources are now hyper-linked

Verification sources (Contento, Locus, etc) are now hyper-linked using the URLs provided in the moderator-accessible table of verification sources. The new links are available on the main Publication page, on the verification page and in the moderator-only screen which displays proposed Publication updates. In addition, you will no longer get a Python error when trying to edit a non-existing Author record; 8888-00-00/9999-00-00 dates are now displayed properly in the Bibliographic Warning section and elsewhere. (I know, small potatoes, but at the moment it's all that I can realistically tackle on weekdays.) Ahasuerus 03:26, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

I would quibble with some of the links, especially that of Miller/Contento. At least one of our editors assumed that verification of a publication using this source meant it was listed in the online directory instead of the detailed listing on the CD-ROM. It may confuse some users that some of the links go to their wiki reference page (Reginald1, Tuck, Currey), while others (Contento, Locus1) go directly to the source itself. If we linked them all to their wiki reference page, we could provide a link from there to those sources that are online instead of print. Those that are print only can have a link from their wiki reference page to their db record (not all of them currently link to the db). Mhhutchins 04:32, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
I was actually thinking the same thing as I was testing my changes, i.e. that we may want to re-point all links in the references table to our Wiki pages and link anything that is available on-line from there. Ahasuerus 14:20, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

Publication Series

One thing that I think we never finalized is the desired behavior of Publication series, e.g.:

  1. As I recall, we said that we didn't need the ability to nest them (which simplifies things a great deal), but if anyone can think of a scenario where nesting would be useful, please speak up.
  2. What about sorting pubs on the Publication series page? Do we want to sort them by year (0000-00-00 at the end), then by number/code? What happens when a book with a given number/code is reprinted a few years later?
  3. What about adding another way to view the series, sorted by ID? We could make both views available the way issue grids make both the ascending and the descending order available. But then what happens when some/all books in the publication series do not have series-specific numbers/codes?
  4. Do we want to display cover scans where available?
  5. Do we need to capture/display other publication series-specific data elements? Series editor? Web page? Wikipedia entry? (I am not sure it's worth doing since the benefit is generally marginal and it would significantly complicate the design.)

Anything else? Ahasuerus 23:49, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

Notes? --MartyD 01:31, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
The problem with adding notes is the same as the problem with adding data elements for the Web page/Wikipedia URL data elements: we would need to create a separate table instead of simply adding two fields. We can certainly do it, but it would take noticeably longer. Ahasuerus 01:39, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
I'm a little confused here. Mhhutchins 01:57, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, it's been a while since we last discussed this topic and I shouldn't have assumed that everyone still remembers the details. Ahasuerus 03:18, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
Are you talking about adding a field to the title record for publication series? Or will it be added to the publication record? If there's a choice, I support the latter. Titles can be reprinted in different series. Mhhutchins 01:57, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
That's right, we are talking about adding (at least) two new data elements to describe Publication Series: name and code/number. The name data element will have values like "Ace Double" or "SF Masterpieces". The code/number will have values like "D-345" or "234568" or "13". These data elements will be associated with Publication records rather than with Title records. Ahasuerus 03:18, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
Here is the catch, though: If we add just these two data elements, then they can be implemented as new fields in the Publication table -- similar to page numbers or ISBNs -- which will require a moderate amount of work. If, on the other hand, we decide to add more data elements describing Publication series, e.g. "Web page", "Wikipedia link", "Note", then we will need to create a separate table for Publication Series, which will take longer. If we decide that the additional data elements are important, we can do it, but we will need to absorb the cost in extra man-hours. Ahasuerus 03:18, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
I'd be inclined to go whole-hog. I'm sure we're going to want other data. I'm sure we'll someday discover a compelling need for nesting.... It will be more work up front, but will be much easier in the long run if we make it separate. --MartyD 12:32, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
Hm, yes, reminds me of the way Al originally implemented Publishers (as a field in the Publication record) and then had to migrate them to a separate table. All righty then, it looks like this weekend will be relatively hassle-free, I will see what I can do. Ahasuerus 17:17, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
I didn't know this had been discussed, but I'm excited to learn there's a possibility of having one integrated into the db, as I've stopped working on the Wiki lists of publication series.
I'm not sure that the grid display similar to the one currently being used for the magazine series would be necessary. Why not a simple chronological list, or one ordered by the number in the series? Or, as you mention, a choice of displays (by title, author, year or series number)? Cover scans would be nice, because it's the covers that distinguish a series 99% of the time. Mhhutchins 01:57, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, I was once again unclear. I was using the issue grid as an example of how we can let the user decide whether he wants to see the series sorted by date or by number. (Sorting by number can be a bit problematic when you have "F-23" and "345663" all mixed together, but we'll just have to live with the limitations.) There is no need to use a visible grid, although internally we may end up using a table to help organize cover scans in a nice gallery. Ahasuerus 03:18, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

(unindent)Progress report: On the development server, the plumbing has been upgraded to support Publication Series. I am now able to enter Pub Series information in "New Pub", view it in Publication Listing and review all related pubs in a newly developed screen. Next: Upgrade Edit/Delete/Clone Pub to support the new fields and add a Publication Series editor. With luck, it should be done next weekend, at which point I will install everything on the live server at the same time. (Disclaimer: The management is not responsible for any delays caused by acts of God, alien invasions and spilled coffee.) Ahasuerus 03:34, 14 June 2010 (UTC)

Pub Edit done. While working on it, I noticed that blanking the Publisher field in the Pub Edit form doesn't remove the publisher from the publication record. I have created Bug 3016262 and will fix it in the next patch. Ahasuerus 03:41, 15 June 2010 (UTC)
Here is a sample screen - Sample_PubSeries_screen.JPG
There are two problems that are clearly visible here. First, there were two printings of #1, The Throme of the Erril of Sherill, one in January 1984 and one in February 1984. Since the series list is currently sorted by publication date, the two printings appear in different places. Somewhat similarly, it looks like there were at least two printings of #3, The Seventh Swan, one in January 1984 and one in September 1984. We don't have the January printing on file, so the September one looks odd, coming after #5 as it does. The short term solution is to allow sorting by Series Number, but the long term fix is to add a field for printing numbers and display them in this screen.
Any other problems/issues/suggestions? Ahasuerus 03:56, 16 June 2010 (UTC)
Maybe we could do something clever along the lines of the variant title display(s): For a given TITLE with pubs in the series, list a "main" one (i.e., the oldest one), then have a "reprintings:" or some such trailer and list the other dates + titles indented underneath. That would probably look pretty good and would be consistent with our other displays. --MartyD 10:06, 16 June 2010 (UTC)
Hm, it sounds vaguely similar to Feature request 2854040 -- basically, display manipulations based on the "reference title" (i.e. the main title) in the pub. It can get tricky under certain circumstances, e.g. there are special rules for Magazine pubs and Editor titles, but it may be fairly painless in this case.
I will probably implement the basic functionality this weekend and then we can collect feedback and improve the feature based on how it is used. Ahasuerus 03:53, 18 June 2010 (UTC)

(unindent)Another thought: Some publication series (especially in France, Germany, Russia and apparently some other European countries) can include hundreds and even thousands of books. Our server can handle it, but will it be really useful to show 4,000 pubs on the same page? I guess the user can use Control-F to find what he is looking for on the page, but still... Ahasuerus 04:49, 18 June 2010 (UTC)

33 new and modified scripts later, the coding is pretty much done. I am playing with the way publication series are displayed/sorted at the moment and then I need to test the code some more, but barring unforeseen problems, it should be released some time in the middle of the week. Ahasuerus 02:32, 21 June 2010 (UTC)

Everett F. Bleiler

Everett F. Bleiler, the author of two of our verification sources, died on June 13. Locus hasn't picked this up yet, but I found a news item here. I thought folks might like to know. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 13:48, 16 June 2010 (UTC)

Bleiler did a great service in documenting some very hard to find works of great historical interest to the SF field. His writing style was lucid and concise; it saved future researchers an incredible amount of work. I do not know how one man could read so many words especially when so much of what he was reading was of such low quality. Truly a man to be admired.--swfritter 14:28, 16 June 2010 (UTC)
A long and very productive life. What else can one ask for? Ahasuerus 16:05, 16 June 2010 (UTC)

ISBNs & Amazon

Seems the search engine for Amazon has some new parameters. Have tried quite a few ISBN searches today [mostly from small presses] that resulted in a null search. Same prefixes worked up to yesterday. Tried removing the dashes and then the searches brought up the correct edition. Just an FYI. --~ Bill, Bluesman 22:31, 20 June 2010 (UTC)

I always drop the dashes, so I wouldn't have noticed the change. Thanks for the heads-up. Mhhutchins 23:32, 20 June 2010 (UTC)
Fixer works with Amazon's internal search engine all the time and never stops complaining about various inconsistencies in its behavior. He says that the only good thing about it is that if you don't like its behavior, wait a few months and it will probably change... Ahasuerus 17:56, 22 June 2010 (UTC)

Al Williamson

I just saw that Al Williamson passed away a week and a half ago. Here's his NY Times obituary. --MartyD 15:35, 22 June 2010 (UTC)

Publication Series going live

Publication Series has been finished and is ready to be deployed. Here are some sample screens using Ace Doubles as an example.

Pub series - default display:


Pub series sorted by series number -- note that it makes it easier to identify inconsistencies and likely duplicates (two Chandlers) in our data:


New Publication Series edit screen, similar to the Publisher edit screen:


Updated Publication Edit screen which lets you enter pub series information:


Please post comments/questions/feedback here. If anything major comes up, I'll incorporate it in the software before it is deployed. Minor changes will be consolidated and go in in a later patch.

Also, we will need to update Help to cover the new fields and pages. Ahasuerus 00:02, 27 June 2010 (UTC)

I have created Publication Series for Ace Doubles and Tor Doubles. Tor Double is missing a number of pubs, but they should be easy to add based on what we have in the Wiki. We can also start working on moving other lists that we have created to the database proper. Ahasuerus 04:54, 27 June 2010 (UTC)
One thing that I realized once I started working with pub series on the main server is that we need to add a "Publication Series" search to the regular search box and to the Advanced Search. Also, would it help to add a "Verification Status" column to the series listing? Ahasuerus 04:54, 27 June 2010 (UTC)
Nice feature! I did the Avon/Equinox SF Rediscovery series (to see how it works). A few remarks:
  • Sorting by series number gives 1, 10-19, 2, 20-29, 3 etc. Can this be changed to 1, 2, 3, 4 etc.? --Willem H. 09:45, 27 June 2010 (UTC)
It can be done for series like Tor Doubles that use numbers and only numbers. The problem is that some pub series, e.g. Ace Double, use a mixture of numeric and non-numeric codes. It's not easy to come up with a way to sort "D-59" and "05463" that everyone could agree on... Ahasuerus 14:44, 27 June 2010 (UTC)
I just tried "Venture SF" and worked-around by using two digits for numbers 01-09. But even then it would be nice to have Date as the secondary sort field after Series number, as it's not currently clear how it started with Hamlyn, went to Arrow and ended up with Legend... BLongley 18:55, 27 June 2010 (UTC)
I'll throw out a suggestion, though it has likely been considered already: Would it be possible to add a sort type to the series record (with the wikipedia link and description) so that it could be determined by series? It could offer at a minimum, alphabetic and numeric sorts. Ideally, roman numbered sorts would also be supported as used by the hardcover SF Masterworks, for example. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 02:47, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Reprints are shown separately. Can these be summarized?
It's not very important for short series like SF Rediscovery, but it would look better on the DAW-series and most European SF-series. --Willem H. 09:45, 27 June 2010 (UTC)
Marty suggested something similar a couple of weeks ago. Yes, it can be done, just requires additional coding. I'll add it to the list, thanks! Ahasuerus 14:44, 27 June 2010 (UTC)
It does look nice. One thing that occurs to me is that this is likely going to suffer significant abuse from people entering title series here, especially since the casual (or new) editor is not likely to find Edit Title. I don't have any bright ideas, unfortunately. --MartyD 10:10, 27 June 2010 (UTC)
Yup, it's already happened :-( Ahasuerus 14:44, 27 June 2010 (UTC)
I think it's too prominent. It is unlikely to be appropriate for use most of the time, yet it is in editors' faces in the most often used data entry points. I think it would be better if it were harder to do -- something like a separate Add Pub to Publisher Series. A la making variants or pseudonyms. --MartyD 10:59, 28 June 2010 (UTC)
How about moving the two pub series fields farther down the page so that they are no longer "in editors' faces"? Ahasuerus 15:10, 28 June 2010 (UTC)
Dunno. You could try it and see. I didn't mean "in editors' faces" in the sense that it's over-emphasized, but rather simply that it's there, asking to be filled out. And I think no matter what label you give it, it's going to be read as "blah blah blah SERIES", and we will have a steady stream of mistakes. But it's easy to gather empirical evidence, so it wouldn't hurt to see if moving them helps any. --MartyD 22:24, 28 June 2010 (UTC)
At one point we tried to come up with a better name for "Publication Series", something that would clearly distinguish it from regular series, but we couldn't think of anything. "Publisher series" was another proposed term, but it can be misleading if the series was taken over by another publisher mid-stream. Ahasuerus 14:44, 27 June 2010 (UTC)
Apologies as I have not been able to visualize this addition till I saw it in place while editing a book. It is clear for the Ace publications, but I am somewhat askant about the convolutions of Imprint versus Series. My bogle is the Hamilton & Co. (Stafford) Panther series. In this case the Panther softcovers are numbered but the hardcovers are not numbered though printed at same time. More confounding is that the hc's usually have the Panther logo on them and actually state Panther Books on title page. The hc's have been differenced by stating Hamilton & Co (in Tuck). instead of Panther Books. The hc's can also be differenced by not having price on cover art and the P lozenge logo instead of price in lozenge. It actually reads "library" over large "P" over "edition". Thus a 'library edition' is normally a hc or very rarely a true soft cover versus the digest softcover. So do I enter Panther with given number for soft covers and Panther Library Edition (LE possibly) with the not given numbering, but undoubtedly the same numbering sequencing? Sorry, but asking really how far we can "Stretch" the category. Sorry, failed to mention some books are not numbered, though they are known to have been published at a certain date. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 11:40, 27 June 2010 (UTC)
Second example that I have found is Curtis Warren (same time period). Soft covers have a 'Red Lion' often not visual but occasionally with "Lion Library" or possibly "Red Lion Library". The occasional hc identical publications are without the logo and statements. Thus the readers of the time would have known the difference, are they then Publisher Series? Forgot, apparently CW may have started the 'Badger' line at this time and this is not well or completely documented. Thus some books may be 'Badger' when they are actually cornered for documentation. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 11:40, 27 June 2010 (UTC)
True Imprints probably don't need a publication series, their Catalog numbers are usually enough. It's just for a few oddities like these where a subset of publications needs to be grouped: e.g. a series that crosses publishers, or where only a subset of the imprint needs grouping. BLongley 13:15, 27 June 2010 (UTC)
TG, off the Hook! Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 14:38, 27 June 2010 (UTC)
There's probably a few improvements that could be made to the Publisher displays to avoid people trying to use Publication Series unnecessarily. For instance, I find it annoying that the Publications are broken down by year even if it's a publisher that only publishes a few SF books a year. And for "Badger", for instance, some people might like to separate the #SN from the #SF titles... you can't do that with ISBN/Catalog search alone. (Advanced Search with publisher is still broken, I believe.) BLongley 19:05, 27 June 2010 (UTC)
Advanced Search lets you search by publisher, e.g. "Arrow", but it won't let you sort by it. Still, it should be workable and, if it isn't, let's create a bug report/FR and I'll get to it soon enough. I find that there is so much going on between Fixer, library catalogs, software fixes, and policy discussions that if a bug is not recorded, there is a 75% chance that it won't get fixed. Ahasuerus 19:34, 27 June 2010 (UTC)

(unindent) In IE, all cells in the series display are underlined and blue, which is the default display for hyperlinks. But only Title and Author values are live (and none of the titles). --MartyD 10:07, 28 June 2010 (UTC)

Oops, I should have tried it with IE :-( Ahasuerus 15:10, 28 June 2010 (UTC)

Suggestions: (a) the publisher values should be links, (b) things that are not links should not be rendered this way (probably should just be plain or bold text), and (c) you could roll the sort-by options into the appropriate titles (make the Date and Series Number headers be links that give you the indicated sort (or opposite, in the case of Date)). --MartyD 10:07, 28 June 2010 (UTC)

Good points, will do! Ahasuerus 15:10, 28 June 2010 (UTC)

I initially didn't like the additional "clutter" (sorry, don't mean that very strongly, but can't think of another word) on the title summary bibliography. Maybe it will grow on me. But I did have a small thought about that: how about parenthesizing or bracketing the publication series after the publisher's name, without the additional punctuation and "pub. series"? I.e., instead of:

  • The Marvelous Land of Oz, (Mar 2010, L. Frank Baum, publ. Forgotten Books, pub. series Classic Reprint, 978-1-4400-8254-2, $9.72, 310pp, tp)

it could be:

  • The Marvelous Land of Oz, (Mar 2010, L. Frank Baum, publ. Forgotten Books (Classic Reprint), 978-1-4400-8254-2, $9.72, 310pp, tp)

or something similar. It's a little more condensed, yet seems quite readable to me. --MartyD 10:07, 28 June 2010 (UTC)

Looks pretty good, I will give it a shot tonight if everything goes according to the plan. Ahasuerus 15:10, 28 June 2010 (UTC)
Those screen shots are most massive. As for a name - how about "Publisher Sequence"?--swfritter 23:39, 28 June 2010 (UTC)
I'm loving this new feature and am having great fun entering series data. I'd like to work on the Ballantine Adult Fantasy (BAF) series next, but it raises a few questions:
  1. The books themselves are not numbered. However, Lin Carter's Imaginary Worlds lists those books that had been published by number. Numbers for the books published after Imaginary Worlds can be extrapolated. Should we apply these numbers to the series, or leave them unnumbered? I would lean towards using the numbers.
  2. Carter also details 16 series precursors in Imaginary Worlds. Some of these were published with the BAF unicorn colophon, others never were. Yet one other, Beagle's A Fine and Private Place was not included in Carter's precursor list but was published with the words "A Ballantine Adult Fantasy" on the cover. Should those of these books that either have the colophon other indication be included in the series? I would say yes. Should all of them? How should we handle the numbering?
  3. Do we have a naming convention for series? Should the publisher name be included? In this case I would opt for "Ballantine Adult Fantasy" over "Adult Fantasy". Though I went the other way with Newcastle's Forgotten Fantasy series.
These are probably more properly Rules and Standards questions, but since this feature is still new, I thought I'd pose them here. Thanks. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 02:47, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
Edit screen is much easier to work with the series references below the pic. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 22:33, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
Comment on Ron's questions above: In the BAF example, I think anything appearing to be designated as such should be included, colophon or no. And I think including the publisher name in the series if the publisher does is the way to go by default (including the publisher name for disambiguation if necessary when publishers do not include their names in a generic series name used by multiple publishers for distinct series). --MartyD 13:33, 3 July 2010 (UTC)

ISFDB editing currently offline

I have run into some issues installing the new pub series software and had to disable editing for a bit. It should be back as soon as I get everything configured. Sorry about the hassle! Ahasuerus 03:45, 27 June 2010 (UTC)

The problem has been fixed and public editing has been re-enabled. Publication series support is now live -- please report any bugs/issues here. Thanks! Ahasuerus 04:02, 27 June 2010 (UTC)
One thing that I forgot to mention is that I also fixed Bug 3016262, "Deleting Publisher in Edit Pub doesn't work". It's not something that we need to do often, but it's better to have it working than not. Ahasuerus 18:06, 27 June 2010 (UTC)
Actually, I did think of that as Fixer has been picking up unknown publishers recently. (Anyone know who the 14352 / 97814352 prefix really belongs too?) There is a related minor bug - if you search by such an ISBN the records with no publisher show the publisher as 'n' and link to a non-existent publisher "None". BLongley 18:51, 27 June 2010 (UTC)
I get a sense that 14352 is used by Penguin for all of their imprints and only for direct sales to the school/library market. The main evidence is that some of the 14352 titles are "Penguin Classics." Amazon's Advanced Search allows you to scan an ISBN prefix by using "*" as in "14352*." FWIW - It appears they have used up this ISBN range. The last full month with titles is April 2009 and they manufactured one book in May 2009 with that prefix. An ISBN was allocated for a September 2009 book but never released. Stepping through from 143520* to 143529* the count of titles is 983, 972, 980, 776, 775, 516, 978, 990, 997, and 998. The sum is 8,965 while a search for 14352* returns 8,933 titles meaning the searches of the sub-ranges likely also under-report their results. Penguin's advanced search does not seem to be finding the books though.
It turns out my local library also allows for wild cards and so the next time I go I'll inspect the publications the search found. --Marc Kupper|talk 00:55, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
14352 seems to be almost always classified as "Paw Prints" by OCLC. Which does seem to be a Library binder of some sort. Not sure if they're owned by Penguin, or are just a sub-contractor. Still, if you can actually go check some, go for it! BLongley 00:26, 4 July 2010 (UTC)
I have added Publisher:Paw Prints based on what I saw at the library today. They are an "imprint" (the parent company calls it a "Program" rather than "imprint") of one of those relatively anonymous, but very large, companies.
It's a bit messy from a bibliographic viewpoint as the publications use the original publisher's copyright page. I don't know if they make arrangements to take one of the printing numbers.
All of the titles I saw today were in the Junior section with a few in Young Adult. The focus is on high demand titles that will get a lot of wear. I was surprised at how many of those I recognized as my daughter read them over the years. Are <1% of the books read by >99% of the people?
I believe they use 1-4352-* with other imprints but would need to go back to the library to verify this. I saw that someone had gone through ISFDB and changed all of the 1-4352-* publication records to state that the publisher is Paw Prints and so it's possible someone's done the leg work and found that all of 1-4352-* is that imprint/program. --Marc Kupper|talk 05:20, 4 July 2010 (UTC)
I went through some and adjusted to the OCLC data. I didn't find any physically verified pubs in that run, so didn't find anyone else to question. Not sure how they got here... maybe we should all visit libraries more often rather than work on our own stuff? :-/ BLongley 23:11, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

Publication Series improvements

The regular search box now lets you search on Pub Series names. Advanced Search still needs to be updated, hopefully tomorrow. Ahasuerus 04:12, 28 June 2010 (UTC)

A minor patch has been installed. The Title screen now shows Pub series data in the format that Marty proposed above. Submission screens have been changed to move the 2 new fields farther down -- we'll see how much good it will do. I will work on the Advanced Search, sorting and other outstanding issue when I have a little free time, most likely this weekend, which happens to be a 3 day weekend in the US. Ahasuerus 02:05, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
Advanced Search has been updated to allow Pub Series searches. A few minor bugs were fixed in the process; publishers are now hyper-linked. Ahasuerus 04:06, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
Erroneous underlining (when using Internet Explorer) has been fixed in the Publication Series screen. In addition, publishers are now hyper-linked and the second "Year" column has been eliminated. I have a few interesting things planned sorting-wise and will try them over the weekend. Ahasuerus 03:09, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
Publishers now display their Pub Series if they have any - e.g. Ace and Gollancz. Ahasuerus 03:58, 4 July 2010 (UTC)
"Sort by series number" now works as expected when pub series numbers are strictly numeric. "None" no longer appears if there is no pub series number. Ahasuerus 20:30, 4 July 2010 (UTC)

Advanced Search and multiple authors

I don't know if this is related but I did an advanced search for Burned AND Cast (author). The result is

QUERY: select titles.* from titles,authors,canonical_author USE INDEX(authors) where ((titles.title_title like '%Burned%') AND (authors.author_canonical like '%Cast%' and canonical_author.ca_status=1)) and authors.author_id=canonical_author.author_id and titles.title_id=canonical_author.title_id order by titles.title_title limit 100
Merge Year Type Variant Title Authors
2010 NOVEL Burned P. C. Cast Kristin Cast
2010 NOVEL Burned P. C. Cast Kristin Cast

The links for both lines go to title 1099633. --Marc Kupper|talk 06:00, 4 July 2010 (UTC)

The record appears only once if you search on "n Cast", so it looks like the problem is with two authors sharing the same substring. I am seeing the same results when using "OR" for two co-authors, e.g. "Title contains Paul" AND "Author contains Herbert" OR "Author contains Anderson". Ahasuerus
Thank you - I should have thought of that. :-) I'd seen the two authors and so figured I'd hit both birds in one cast. --Marc Kupper|talk 06:54, 4 July 2010 (UTC)

"New Publication" screen changed

"Synopsis" and "Wikipedia link" have been added to the "New Publication" screen as per Feature Request 2800715. The FR also asks to add "Series" and "Series Number", but I am concerned that having both regular and Publication series in the same data entry screen may confuse new editors. Ideas? Ahasuerus 22:53, 5 July 2010 (UTC)

Also, we have FR 2861143, which asks to "Add a new field for Title level Notes in the New Publication forms, but only display it when it's checked in User Preferences." We also have a related FR 2799002. It's fairly easy to implement now that I have sorted out various problems with Synopsis -- would it be useful? Ahasuerus 23:21, 5 July 2010 (UTC)

I really haven't tested such, but "Synopsis" is something I've almost never used. As it seems to make the "Notes" field shorter (which I use as a scratchpad when entering lots of data from another source) I'm not keen on it. BLongley 22:40, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

New fields in the Publication record?

Now that Publication Series have been implemented, we should be able to add more fields to the Publication table fairly easily. (The Title table is a different story.) How about adding the following fields:

  • Printing number. Typically, the value will be "1", "2", "3", etc, but editors should be able to enter "3rd stated, but at least 5th" to account for the likes of Ace
  • Catalog ID, to be split from the ISBN field and made into a separate field. This will allow us to enter both the catalog ID and the ISBN for books that have both, e.g. SFBC, DAW, etc.

Good? Bad? Ugly? Ahasuerus 23:39, 5 July 2010 (UTC)

Surely someone else has an opinion? :-) Ahasuerus 19:04, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
Yes!! to both. And how about OCLC and LCCN links? --Willem H. 20:09, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
It would be nice to have fields for things regularly captured via notes today. On the other hand, the form is going to become overwhelming with so many fields. We've now got pub form fields for title-level things (wikipedia, synopsis), fields for perhaps rarely-applicable data (pub series, pub series number), along with all of the "traditional" stuff. It may be worth trying to figure out a way to have sort of a basic form and an advanced form. Perhaps the same trick used to add more fields for authors, contents, and so on could be used to achieve that. I don't know, I just worry about data entry overload and daunting the casual or new editor.... --MartyD 22:08, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
I think I'd like the basic entry screen to remain simple, and maybe we can offer a simple click to an advanced one where we can enter Translator, Editor of a Collection, Narrator of an audio version, etc. Which does diverge into how Editors, Narrators, Translators, etc are credited - I've many times wanted to be able to cut down an "Author" search by whether they're actually writing or illustrating or Translating or Editing. Many of our "Authors" are actually NOT. BLongley 22:54, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
It looks like the increasing data entry complexity is becoming more of an issue. Hm, I guess it's one of those things that you don't think about until you experience it.
The "Basic" vs. "Advanced" approach with the ability to go from one to the other may not be all that difficult to implement. We could also make it a User Preference so that experienced editors could decide which data entry form they want to use by default. However, there may be an easier way to accomplish the same goal, e.g. create a new section in the New Pub screen called "Other fields" (or some such to indicate that they are relatively rarely used) and move the recently added fields to the new section. Ahasuerus 01:51, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
Definitely Yes to both Printing Number and a second Catalog(ue) ID. Not so keen on OCLC and LCCN links as those mostly only work for US pubs. (Which I have a lot of, but try and find the British equivalents more often.) BLongley 22:47, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
OCLCs and LCCNs present two sets of challenges. WorldCat sometimes has multiple records for the same publication, so we would need to have a way to capture them. It's not all that difficult, but it would require extra work. LCCNs can often be found in the book itself, which makes them a prime candidate for inclusion. However, we probably want to implement LCCNs in a way that could be easily extended to add other national libraries and/or other agencies that assign identifiers. Ideally, we would have a section with two repeating fields, one for "Identifier Type" and one for "Identifier". "Identifier Type" would contain a drop down box with a list of all identifier that we support, e.g. OCLC, LCCN, British Library number, COPAC,, etc. The "Identifier" field would be a simple data entry field with no restrictions on data entry. That way you could enter two LCCNs or four OCLCs if needed. (Multiple ISBNs present a somewhat different challenge.) Ahasuerus 02:03, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
Separate field for catalog numbers would be great and a field for printings helps as well. But I don't understand why we have a synopsis and wikipedia link on the pub entry page. Aren't they title level fields? If you enter from the pub form will it automatically be transferred to the title record? Mhhutchins 23:56, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
Exactly! When you use the New Novel/Collection/etc form, the submission approval process creates both a Title record and a Publication record from the submission data. If anything was entered in the Synopsis and Wikipedia fields, it will go into the Title record. Ahasuerus 01:30, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
What happens if a title already has a wikipedia link and synopsis? Thanks. Mhhutchins 23:56, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
These two fields are only available in the New Pub form. All other data entry forms remain the same. Ahasuerus 01:30, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

(unindent) For an experienced editor the a few extra fields are a non-issue. For example, I'm sure many of us visually slide over the Tag field. However, now we have the tag, pub series, and apparently more on the way. I'd like to add a button, "Show Extra fields", that when clicked exposes the fields and changes the button text to "hide extra fields." In JavaScript that can be done setting a field's .style.display to "inline" or "none."

I'd be interested in two new publication fields, First Printing date, and Printing number with the latter also allowing for letters as a few publications use abcd... number lines. --Marc Kupper|talk 03:28, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

It looks like there is consensus that we want to add a Printing field and a Catalog ID field to the Pubs table. I am not entirely sure what a "First Printing" field would be used for, could you please clarify?
Re: hiding infrequently used fields, we can do it with JavaScript, but it would require tweaking the current JavaScript generator, which is somewhat fragile. Exiling the offenders to an "Other Fields" section may be a quick and dirty way to get the same result in the short run. Ahasuerus 02:38, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
Just wanted to cast another vote for moving Pub Series info off of the default screen. It seems like "every" new editor is getting it wrong, which is quite understandable. And it's a negative experience to enter data only to have some moderator tell you you did it wrong. It seems to me we don't want that to be the editor's first experience.... By "other fields section", do you mean a different screen or leaving all of the fields on the same screen and just trying to group them somehow? --MartyD 09:52, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
I was thinking about grouping them in a separate part of the same screen, but if it's that bad, we can create a User Preference that you would have to activate explicitly before these fields appear on your New Pub screens. Ahasuerus 13:38, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

Front page changes

It occurs to me that we could combine the "Authors Born On This Day" and the "Authors Who Died On This Day" sections. How about listing them as two columns of the same section? Ahasuerus 19:04, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

Two columns sounds good to me. The current situation leaves "Selected Upcoming Books" almost off the bottom of my screen. Still, I'd actually like to NOT be reminded that most of my favourite authors are dead, so maybe the section should be moved down anyway? BLongley 23:02, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
Should we add "Hide Dates of Death" to User Preferences? Ahasuerus 02:06, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
You could, but it's not a priority. I only visit the home-page for occasional clean-up runs, my bookmarks are actually for the submission list. A Text-Only option might be more useful to more people, but I don't know how many people have problems with the image-heavy pages. BLongley 17:58, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
The two column version of the "born/died" section is now live. I am also thinking that we may want to move the link to "All Forthcoming Books for This Month" to the top of the screen. It looks lonely down there at the very bottom. Ahasuerus 04:02, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

(unindent)The following changes have been implemented:

  • Copied the link to "More Forthcoming Books" to the top of the main page.
  • Eliminated multiple reprints of the same title in the "Selected Upcoming Books" section.
  • Made the Forthcoming Page logic automatically display all Atheneum, Stone Arch, Greewillow, Aladdin, Yearling, David Fickling and Lerner books in the "Young Adult" section. Ditto for HQN, Harlequin, Luna, Mira and M&B books and the Romance section.
  • Added a "Type" column on the Forthcoming Page.
  • Minor display rearrangements of "Authors Born/Who Died on This Day" on the main page.

Ahasuerus 18:32, 17 July 2010 (UTC)

I definitely like the de-duplication. It does mean more work on making the upcoming titles more accurate though - e.g. who knows the contents of Dark and Stormy Knights? BLongley 22:46, 17 July 2010 (UTC)
Amazon Look Inside does :-) Finding which series these stories belong to was harder, I only got 4 so far. Ahasuerus 00:08, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

(unindent)I would like to suggest that we also add "Authors Who Have Died in the Past Twelve Months."--Rkihara 05:04, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

It's easy to do, but we have recorded 31 deaths this year and 66 last year, so it looks like we are averaging 60+ in any given 12 month period. Adding 60+ records to the front page would make it unwieldy, so we have to come up with a workaround. A few thoughts come to mind:
(a) Display the most recent 12 deaths
(b) Display the most recent 12 of deaths of "marque" authors, i.e. authors whose page view count is in the top 2%
(c) Implement option a or b above and add a link to a new page where all authors who have died since the beginning of the last year are shown
I am thinking that option (b) is a reasonable compromise. Here is what it would have displayed on Friday night:
| James P. Hogan          | 2010-07-12       |
| F. Gwynplaine MacIntyre | 2010-06-25       |
| Everett F. Bleiler      | 2010-06-13       |
| Frank Frazetta          | 2010-05-10       |
| George H. Scithers      | 2010-04-19       |
| John Schoenherr         | 2010-04-08       |
| William Tenn            | 2010-02-07       |
| Kage Baker              | 2010-01-31       |
| Christopher Anvil       | 2009-11-30       |
| Robert Holdstock        | 2009-11-29       |
Would that work? Ahasuerus 22:23, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
Definitely too morbid for me to want on the front page. Hide it away somewhere else. And I think Ernesto Vegetti would deserve a mention. BLongley 23:21, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
It's hard to come up with an algorithm that would display just the "right" people -- for various values of "right". For example, I'd like to "privilege" Frank K. Kelly, one of the very few pulp pioneers from the early 1930s who made it into the 21st century, but I can't think of an objective criterion to use. Ahasuerus 00:26, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
Probably no more morbid than listing authors who died on this day. I would prefer option c, combined with either a or b.--Rkihara 23:27, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
For what it's worth, at one point Locus posted obituaries in an inconspicuous area, but then they started displaying them front and center. My guess is that they figured that they are a "newszine" and obituaries are definitely important news, especially when major writers die. It felt a little awkward at first, but then I got used to it. Ahasuerus 00:12, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
I like (a) + (c) -- a "Recent Passings" with the n most recent, plus a link to a longer list (YTD or past 12 months or whatever). 16 or so would cover the last quarter, 10-12 the last two months. I wouldn't try to qualify by the importance, fame, or popularity of the individual. --MartyD 01:46, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
I don't have a strong opinion one way or the other, but I'll just mention in passing that the "marque" mechanism is already well established. That's how the "Selected Upcoming Books" list is currently generated -- by looking at the top 2% of the most frequently viewed authors. We won't need to use it if we have a separate page for all recently deceased authors, but if we are limited to 10-12 slots, then it may be useful. Ahasuerus 02:46, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

DAW's 2nd printings

Does anyone know the approximate date that DAW discontinued the practice of counting the first Canadian printing as the overall second printing? I've assumed up to a certain point that if the number line starts with "2" that it's a Canadian edition which was simultaneous with the US first edition. If that's the case would not this record be a Canadian printing and have the same date as the US edition (May 1983). Or had DAW stopped doing this in 1983? The only book dealer on Abebooks with a second printing of this title is in Canada, which would bear out my hypothesis. Thanks. Mhhutchins 02:43, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

Note the difference in price 3.95(CDN) and the other 3.50(US)Kraang 04:27, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
This is the last "2" Canadian printing I own "Chanur's Home-Coming" #695 Jan 1987 . The next book I own returns to using "1" for the Canadian printings "Life Force" #757 Sept 1988. Soon after this book Canadian printings disappeared.Kraang 04:17, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
Added my Canadian 2nd printing of "Chanur's Home-coming".Kraang 02:37, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
If this is a Canadian printing, wouldn't the Canadian price go into the price field? Mhhutchins 03:52, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
There's insufficient data to answer the question. The trouble is there are plenty of early stated Canadian 1st printings. For example WHRWRLSTPB1973, CRSTLGRP1973, THHWKSFRCB1974, THBKFFRTZB1974, and FLWMTRSTHB1975. The Canada – United States Free Trade Agreement was in 1988 and so we are looking at a window some some around 1975 to 1988 where it seems DAW's first Canadian stated a 2nd printing per the number line. Initially DAW books were manufactured by NAL and that company changed hands many times. --Marc Kupper|talk 08:29, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
From the last few months of edits, I think I've managed to figure out that the practice of a Canadian first printing starting with the number '2' in the number line started in Feb.'81 and was pretty consistent until the late '80s [haven't narrowed that down yet]. There have been only a couple of exceptions, but DAW had plenty of those in more areas than the number line. I see tons of Canadian DAWs and check them all the time when on the hunt. Thing is , how can we ever be sure a practice stopped?? --~ Bill, Bluesman 23:00, 16 August 2010 (UTC)
We can never be absolutely sure that something stopped or started unless there's an announcement but can always say "As of this time here's the first or last recorded instance of the practice." In this case the 2nd printings being the Canadian ones either transitioned into us seeing 1sts from Canada or that they stopped printing in Canada entirely. While it's not DAW I had to stare at BKTG03499 and MDFLNXFQBW1996 for a while wondering why it was two separate publication records before I spotted that one is a Canadian 1st Del Rey / Ballantine and the other is a USA 1st Del Rey / Ballantine. Both are $5.99/C$6.99, etc. Yesterday I verified a pub that said "Printed in the USA" and realized that the comment "Published simultaneously in Canada" meant there would likely be a nearly identical publication out there. I have not settled down on how I want to record this. For the moment I'm going top-down on the copyright page and noting the stated 1st printing date, number line, country of printing, and any "published simultaneously" statement. This can sometimes look messy but seems more accurate than reordering things to a consistent, "first printing", "number line", "country of printing", and if needed the "published simultaneously." --Marc Kupper|talk 20:22, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

(unindented)The last "1" CDN known to me is #406 Nov 1980 and the first "2" is this book #411 Nov 1980 which I have both(US & CDN).Kraang 02:30, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

I have this #418 which still has the '1' in the number line. It's the last one I've found. --~ Bill, Bluesman 21:03, 23 August 2010 (UTC)
That #406 you linked to is not recorded in ISFDB as a Canadian edition. Long ago Mike Christie reported it to me as a USA and I spotted a copy in a book store and am pretty sure it was USA. I'd want to get a copy in hand before updating ISFDB though. Recently I have started adding the country of printing as part of the note regarding what's stated for a publication's printing history. --Marc Kupper|talk 18:41, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
I'll add my CDN edition in, if the price is different, if not then I'll just mention the two printings which in my experience are always identical. I think it might be safe to say that every US printing from #1 - #406(aprox) will have a corresponding CDN print. I'd have to check but most of what I own are CDN printings.Kraang 01:05, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
I believe it's better to create a separate publication record as 1) People can verify that they have the USA or Canadian printing. 2) The price would be $1.95 on one and C$1.95 on the other. --Marc Kupper|talk 04:25, 18 August 2010 (UTC)

Pub 325878 / THNGSTRNTS1986 restore

Would someone that has a recent backup of the database handy please take a look at THNGSTRNTS1986? I started to edit that record and then realized that I was updating the wrong record (it's one of those books where it's not clear which is the the series name and which is the title). I know I changed the page count and possibly notes. Usually I can recover via the Google cache that that one's not in Google's index. Thanks! --Marc Kupper|talk 08:36, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

I tried the 2010-07-17 back-up, and it's not in that. Sorry. --MartyD 11:02, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Based on the pub ID, 325878, and the list of "Recent Integrations", Marc added this pub at 00:51 server time. Unfortunately, it gets murky after that because we don't capture the details of each edit. A search on "0-671-60267-5" finds 2 pubs with this ISBN. According to Reginald-3, the Locus Index and Worldcat, the rightful owner is "Max on Fire", book 3 in the "Out of This World" series by Marilyn Kaye, and I see edits to both books taking place over the following two hours. FWIW, the "The Young Astronauts" books began appearing in 1990. Ahasuerus 14:22, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Thank you for the research - that one was a messed up cycle. I've deleted THNGSTRNTS1986. I had both "Max on Fire" and "Space Pioneers" on my desk. They had the titles formatted as "Out of this World / #3 Max on Fire" and "The Young Astronauts / #5 Space Pioneers." Initially I has the series name and title backwards for both in my DB and while sorting that out in the middle of publication entry I accidentally swapped the publication info meaning the data for "Max" got added to a new record for The Young Astronauts before I realized that one's title was Space Pioneers... --Marc Kupper|talk 08:04, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

NYRSF editors

I have several years worth of issues of The New York Review of Science Fiction, but have been pushing them to the back burner for several reasons. The major one being there's so many other projects that take precedence. But another one is the problem of how to handle the editorship of the magazine. I think the problem arose because all of the editors were listed on the masthead in alphabetical order, which led some editors to assume that all have equal importance. Looking at a random copy we have the following credit:

Kathryn Cramer, Contributing Editor; L. W. Currey, Contributing Editor; Samuel R. Delany, Contributing Editor; David G. Hartwell, Reviews Editor; Donald G. Keller, Managing Editor; Robert K. J. Killheffer, Managing Editor; Gordon Van Gelder, Features Editor.

It's obvious that Cramer, Currey and Delany should not be credited at all, but I see they have been (e.g. here). There was a discussion here several years back about the Managing Editor situation when the editorship of several pulp titles was debated. Ashley often gives the Managing Editor full credit when there have been conflicts about who actually did the editing of the magazine. I see no problem in crediting the reviews editor as this is a review magazine. (I credited the reviews editor when I entered issues of Fantasy Review.) So are they any ideas about who should be credited as editor of the NYRSF? Mhhutchins 14:32, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

Looking at my nearest issue (#26) Cramer is the Features Editor and Gelder is Managing Editor. But it does look like "Contributing Editor" is really just "Contributor" and not an Editor in our terms. A similar situation exists for Vector - there I've credited Managing Editor and Reviews Editors - and as there were often separate Hardcover, Paperback and Magazine Review Editors there can be several co-editors. BLongley 15:12, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
I agree that the "contributing editors" shouldn't be listed. The rest look OK. Ahasuerus 03:03, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

Flying Crosses

Hi, People -- sorry I haven't contributed much lately but I ran out of stuff in my library to generate (I think) new info. But I'm slowly working my way through all of the Richard Condon novels and there *may* be another one or two of his that can added -- I think I've already put two of his in here. A question: years ago, back around the time that Astounding became Analog, or thereabouts, there was either a Campbell editorial or a "fact" article about so-called "flying crosses". The thrust of the article was that just as people today were seeing "flying saucers", people in the 1890s might have reported seeing "flying crosses". And there were illustrations. But I can't remember now if the article was saying that people in the 1890s actually *were* reporting flying crosses, or if that's what you'd report seeing IF modern airplanes were to have occasionally flown across their skies. Probably the later, but with Campbell, who knows? Can anyone here pin down this particularly issue for me? Thanks! (I think I've read in more reliable sources that there was a spate of enormous *airship* and dirigible sightings around the world, particularly in Europe, during the 1890s, just as the air age was getting underway but no actual aircraft of the size of the reported sightings actually existed.) Hayford Peirce 00:05, 31 July 2010 (UTC)

I just looked at the Richard Condon page and there are only two entries. There are, off the top of my head, at least two more novels that have enough fantastic elements to qualify. I'll stick them in tomorrow if I can remember how to do the processing. Hayford Peirce 00:09, 31 July 2010 (UTC)
Good to see you again, Hayford! I don't recall the editorial that you mentioned, but the approach does sound latter-day Campbellian. As far as Condon goes, feel free to post the data here if you have trouble with the interface; it will be dutifully sliced, diced and stuffed into the database ;-) Ahasuerus 06:15, 31 July 2010 (UTC)
Righto! I'll take a look at my Condon stuff later today and see what I find. Hayford Peirce 15:30, 31 July 2010 (UTC)

(unindent) I think this is the editorial you are looking for. Skimming through the article, it seems that Campbell was trying to show that the bad reporting and fuzzy pictures of UFO's were due to circumstances surrounding the event. He then goes on to speculate about how fleeting glimpses of modern aircraft (flying crosses) would be reported in the 1890's, along with fuzzy photos of modern aircraft. From the article, "The mysterious flying crosses that have been reported by many people, we'll say and consider we're investigating the problem about 1893 instead of 1963."--Rkihara 21:00, 31 July 2010 (UTC)

Yes, that's the one -- many thanks! As I said above, I couldn't remember if Campbell was saying that there actually *had* been reports of flying crosses or if he was just creating an analogy.... Hayford Peirce 17:21, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

Server stability

Our server has had all kinds of problems over the last 24-48 hours, including 4 outages and numerous periods of extreme slowness. I tried bouncing the Web server, but, unfortunately, the problem appears to be at a level which I have no control over. Usually these problems go away after a day or two, but if they continue, I will ask Al to check with the provider. Ahasuerus 05:27, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

And I thought it was my ISP! Mhhutchins 23:02, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
I've found it to be pretty unresponsive between 16:45 and 17:00 my time for a few days now - there might be something scheduled around then that's disrupting us? Or maybe that IS my ISP. BLongley 08:08, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

Book in or out? (The Three Incestuous Sisters)

I have a fixer submisison on hold for The Three Incestuous Sisters by Audrey Niffenegger (who is also the author of The Time Traveler's Wife. The various online reviews make me think this is Speculative fiction, more surrealist than anything else I suspect, but they also describe it as a "Graphic novel", an "Illustrated novel", or a "novel-in-pictures" and more specifically as having one to two sentences per page, along with one picture per page. This sounds to me as if it falls into our exclusion for graphic novels/comics, but perhaps it should be included as some Gaiman books are. Any advice? -DES Talk 21:09, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

Some online reviews are here one is here, and more are here. -DES Talk 21:13, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

It was reviewed by Charles de Lint in F&SF, so if you decide it's more graphic novel than novel, the review should be deleted and an essay record created in its place. Mhhutchins 23:01, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

E. F. Benson over the threshold?

E. F. Benson was an early 20th c author of many ghost stories. We have some 11 novels and 17 story collections by him in the db. However he is perhaps best known for the "Mapp and Lucia" series of 6 novels, which is as far as I know NOT SF in any sense. Now Fixer has submitted an entry for Miss Mapp the 2nd in this series. Should it be accepted as non-genre, on the grounds that Benson is over the "threshold" or rejected as not SF? -DES Talk 22:39, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

I believe he's over the threshold, so his non-genre works should be included and labeled as such. Mhhutchins 23:04, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
I was able to identify three titles as non-genre: Dodo and the first and last novels in the David Blaize series (oddly, the middle novel is a fantasy). The remaining titles are all included in John Clute's Encyclopedia of Fantasy. Mhhutchins 23:18, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
Anyone else care to give an opinion? -DES Talk 23:53, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
I've added his books to my queue of things to look at as my local library has a dozen books. Off hand, it seems his specfict was in short stories with the novel length works being comedy/humor and non-fiction biographies. --Marc Kupper|talk 00:34, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
Not true. Every title now in the db is listed in Clute's encyclopedia. Mhhutchins 02:18, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
In the case of the "Mapp and Lucia" series I think there is no serious suggestion that they are SF in any sense, the question is whether to include them as non-genre, IMO. -DES Talk 00:55, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
Personally, I would reject them. It doesn't make sense to include every edition of every non-genre title. Maybe the first edition, but I wouldn't waste time adding reprints. This defies comprehension in a database of speculative fiction. Mhhutchins 02:11, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
I agree that is absolutely excessive. Indeed there is a case for deleting all pubs of Treasure Island -- RLS was not primarily an author of specFic, though he did write some, as did many if not most authors of his day. For Benson, ghost stories formed a significant part of his output, as I understand it. That makes his non-genre work a closer call IMO, but even if it is in, we don't need every edition. A first, and perhaps a recent, in-print ed, would do. -DES Talk 02:21, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
I'd love to see all but the first edition deleted as well, but wouldn't waste my time doing it. For the life of me I can't see a human being adding these pubs, or the moderator who would have approved them. Had to be done by a non-flesh sentient being. Mhhutchins 03:16, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
I suspect that some of them, perhaps most, come from the ISFDB1 when various individual's collection records were bulk-added. I'm deleting some as I can do it mechanically while workign on some other stuff in other tabs. -DES Talk 03:43, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
It was a direct import from online library catalogs (ca. 1998) and the main reason why the idea was abandoned. Ahasuerus 03:45, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
By the way, one reason to include the Mapp/Lucia books is that Tom Holt, who is definitely "over the threshold", has written a couple of belated sequels. Ahasuerus 03:45, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

SF Site "Magazine"

I just happened across this which appears to treat the reveiws that publishes as issues of a "magazine". As the online SFsite (which is a very good site) does seem to have a concept of Issue, but much of its content is as often reached via a general database-like structure which ignores "issues" as such. Is this a site we want to treat as a webzine? and if we so, do we want to have links to the issues from the pub records? or from a wiki page (which doesn't seem to exist at present)? -DES Talk 17:31, 4 August 2010 (UTC)

If I'd been around when these were created, there would have been a greater discussion about how they would be handled. Many of the issues don't even have editor records (this was before the system automatically created editor records when a magazine issue is created.) There's a lot of good stuff here, but it's very unorganized. If we decide to keep them (and I believe we should), they will have to be placed into series. We shouldn't bother with creating a wiki page as I see all of the information on those will gradually migrate to the database proper (some will disagree with this approach). It will also have to be handled like other webzines with links to issues. Fortunately, SF Site is quite stable and all the past issues have dedicated pages. I have too much on my plate to proceed with organizing and updating it, but will help in between other projects. Mhhutchins 17:42, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
Another thing: only the reviews have been entered, even though there were may feature articles that are easily accessed, and are dated by issue. These should be added to the ISFDB records. Also, I take back what I said about series and editor records. It appears that someone has already created one here, but it only includes September 1997 through February 1999. (The website has issues starting in June 1997.) Ever who added those missing editor records was not aware of this project, because the issues remain on the missing editor list. Mhhutchins 17:58, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
At one point SF Site was hosting ISFDB-1, which may account for the presence of this data. Ahasuerus 19:48, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
BTW, Ahasuerus, can you create a new missing editors page? Many have been fixed since the most recent list. Thanks. Mhhutchins 18:20, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
I'll create a new list tomorrow night once I download the backup with your latest changes. Thank you for all the work on these -- we are getting close to being able to remove EDITOR from the last drop-down box! Ahasuerus 19:48, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
I created the Editor records and added the series for the existing SF Site pubs. I created hundreds (maybe thousands) of Editor records before there was a project so I wasn't aware a project page existed. It is definitely a huge project for somebody to do the rest of SF Site. I would like to hope there is a plan for deprecating the magazine wiki pages. It seems a bit redundant to maintain them when the computer can generate them. I have already started providing links from wiki pages to the system-generated grids for minor magazines. Is there any way that the system generated grids can be embedded in the wiki pages so they display dynamically when a magazine wiki page is loaded?--swfritter 19:50, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
The magazine wiki pages, in addition to the issue grids, include brief histories of the magazines, lists of editors with dates, editorial addresses, checklists of tasks, and conventions such as which running features of a magazine use series and exactly how the series should be implemented, and other such notes. They also form a useful directory of magazines. None of that is AFAIK implemented in the db proper, and until it is I would be sorry to have the magazine wiki pages "deprecated". The new issue grids are good, and if they can't be embedded in the wiki pages (and i suspect they can't be easily at least) It should be easy to create a template that links to the db issue grid, and replace the wiki page grid with a template call. But until/unless the other things for which we use the magazine wiki pages are incorporated into the db, I would oppose deprecating them, or failing to create new wiki pages properly as new magazines are indexed. -DES Talk 20:18, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
I am well aware of the data available on the magazine wiki pages. Of course, you don't get rid of them until there is another methodology for implementing them.--swfritter 20:26, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
I was responding partly to the comment "We shouldn't bother with creating a wiki page as I see all of the information on those will gradually migrate to the database proper" made by Mhhutchins above. He notes that some will disagree. I do, at least until such a migration is an accomplished fact, which i suspect will be awhile yet. Your comment "I would like to hope there is a plan for deprecating the magazine wiki pages. It seems a bit redundant to maintain them when the computer can generate them." seems to suggest that we can auto-generate all the info now maintined on such pages. Apparently that isn't what you meant to say. -DES Talk 20:54, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
It would seem to me that you could just put the non-grid wiki information into a blob and display that. If there was some way to know which wiki page went with which magazine series it seems like it might be possible to dynamically display the wiki page. Perhaps if the wiki page had a name that was based on the series id? Such a methodology would not require modifications to the database.--swfritter 22:06, 4 August 2010 (UTC)

(unindent) There is an outstanding request to add a Note field to the Series record. It's possible, but a little tricky since the Series Edit logic is rather complex at the moment. Once we do that, do you think we could simply move the non-grid data currently hosted in the Wiki to this field? Or is there more structure to it that we would like to preserve? Ahasuerus 00:33, 5 August 2010 (UTC)

Many magazine wiki pages have tabular structured checklists of common tasks, with notes on which issues these have been performed for. This doesn't seem to me to fit a free-form not field well. A number now have multiple sections in the wiki text. Yhis could be handled in notes by an HTML construct I suppose, but it seems a bit tricky. -DES Talk 00:54, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
For one example, see Magazine:Whispers. The issue grid can be replaced with the new db issue grid, but the anthology grid and the bibliographic tasks table are not just text, and there are a number of links. For a second example, see Magazine:Asimov's Science Fiction. The "Editors" and "Publisher" sections have both structure and content, and the "Entry Standards and Series" has a lot of content and many links. Then too there is Magazine talk:Asimov's Science Fiction where there is threaded discussion of how to handle these issues. I don't think this one will readily fit into a simple note field. Magazine:Fantastic Novels Magazine could almost work as a note field, but we'd lose the links under "Artists" and the structure would be a bit tricky to reproduce. Magazine:Galaxy Science Fiction wouldn't be too bad, since it is complete, but I think we'd lose the links. Something like Magazine:Shroud where entry is far from complete uses the Bibliographic tasks checklist. In short I think that a simple note field attached to the series type is not sufficient. we could perhaps add enough structure to the db to hold all this sort of thing, but I suspect that would be a non-trivial task. -DES Talk 05:27, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
Now if the wiki info could be edited on the wiki, but displayed (or even linked to) from the magazine series page, that might be useful. Standardized wiki page names, or a translation table, or even just a field for the name of the wiki page (from which the url can be built) would be enough, perhaps. -DES Talk 05:27, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
Adding a link from the Series page to the associated Wiki page, e.g. from A. Merritt's Fantasy Magazine - Series Bibliography to Magazine:A. Merritt's Fantasy Magazine, should be easy. We just need to make sure that the Wiki page uses the same form of the magazine title as what we have in the database. We already have a way to distinguish between Magazine Series and other types of Series (except for super-series), so we won't be displaying this link for non-Magazine Series.
In the medium run, we will want to add a Notes field to the Series record, which will be useful regardless of Series type. Once we start using it, we'll see how much data we can migrate from the Wiki to this field and what kind of data will remain on the Wiki side. That may help determine how we can best handle the "residue". Ahasuerus 15:13, 7 August 2010 (UTC)
Eventually, it may be worth adding a "rich text editor" to ISFDB; there are some free ones. My guess is that it may be time consuming, though. Ahasuerus 15:13, 7 August 2010 (UTC)
Fair enough, sounds like a tentative plan. I don't know whether even a rich-text editor supports tables. -DES Talk 15:55, 7 August 2010 (UTC)
FR 3041367 created. FR 2827430 already existed. -DES Talk 03:43, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
To get back to the original subject matter. I would not spend any time on SF Site unless this feature request was implemented, reviewed graphic stories are in, and reviewed movies and television series are in. The latter two would probably best be implemented with new title types.--swfritter 17:09, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

Rhys Davies

I recently added interior art (a map) by "Rhys Davies" to A Young Man Without Magic only to find that we already had 3 works of shortfiction by Rhys Davies, who may or may not be this Rhys Davies. I gather that the name is not an uncommon one in Wales. I suspect that we have at least two different people here, and possibly three, with shortfiction dates of 1932, 1960, & 1974.

A quick Google search reveals no useful info on anyone who might be the artist (except for one commercial artist who doesn't mention book covers in his resume), and (aside from the wikipedia article) none on anyone who might be the author. Any suggestions on further info and how we split these credits up, or do we await better info? -DES Talk 14:41, 7 August 2010 (UTC)

Just await. We're not supposed to be psychic about this stuff - if you want to chase it up, contact the potential authors and artists you can find. BLongley 23:53, 7 August 2010 (UTC)
I'd leave as one person for now and to document your findings in the author notes. As more FUTON gets added the answer may show up.
You may want to track down ISBN 0715377566 The Best of Rhys Davies: A Personal Collection of Short Stories. This is for an author who lived from 1901 to 1978 and contains The chosen one.--The old Adam.--Fear.--I will keep her company.--A visit to Eggeswick castle.--Nightgown.--Gents only.--A human condition.--Boy with a trumpet.--All through the night.--Canute.--The dilemma of Catherine Fuchsias. My local library system has ten copies.
The public library catalog also shows:
  • 40 titles by Davies Rhys 1901 1978.
  • 9 titles by Davies Rhys 1903. Several of the titles are similar/same as the 1901-1978 and others don't match. It's likely they are the same person.
Your 2009 Rhys Davies as an illustrator is probably a different person. I would contact Lawrence Watt-Evans and ask him about the illustrator for A Young Man Without Magic. He'll likely know or will know who at Tor knows. --Marc Kupper|talk 19:53, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
Good thought, I have exchanged Email with LWE before. Will do. -DES Talk 23:01, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

Books reviewed in genre magazines added to Rules of Acquisition

As per recent discussion, Rules of Acquisition have been updated to reflect our current practice of entering otherwise ineligible books reviewed in SF magazines. Ahasuerus 05:24, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

Hopefully this will also lead to the policy of including Graphic Novels that are nominated in the Hugo Graphic Story category or reviewed in SF magazines. Fairy tales for infants now have a higher priority than Hugo nominated works intended for adults.--swfritter 12:00, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
Hugo awards also cover movies and TV shows, which we do not catalog, so I don't think that Hugo eligibility alone is a convincing argument for inclusion. However, I am concerned about the proliferation of "e-fiction", sometimes award-nominated e-fiction, which we may be missing because it only appears in webzines. Ahasuerus 19:38, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
Which is why I, and one other, lobbied so vigorously for the inclusion of webzines. The method devised of saving screen shots of the online contents as documentation is workable. As Mhhutchins‎ found out when he took over from someone who dropped the ball on Subterranean the issues sometimes accumulate during the month but stay consistent after that. A promising note is that that many of the webzines are starting to also be distributed in ebook versions. That has happened with Clarkesworld which was my test case for webzine entry. The most exciting new magazine is Lightspeed which also has free online content and and ebook version. Both Clarkesworld and Lightspeed also have podcasts. With the introduction of Nook and Kindle the distribution of ebooks is accelerating and hopefully this will be more common.--swfritter 22:15, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
While I'm not an e-book or webzine enthusiast, I recognise that "first publication" is often in such and we should record that somehow. And now that we've started including Non-Genre magazines for first publication purposes I don't think we can stop that, or exclude the newer formats. BLongley 22:47, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
Movies and TV shows should be in the database but only as minimal title stubs that link to the imdb and most commonly entered if they are reviewed in SF publications. We really need to think about ways of making ourselves more relevant to the SF community.--swfritter 22:15, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
Ooh, another slippery slope! I think I'd draw the line around here though. Movies will presumably have one IMDB entry and reviews would be of such an entry. But TV shows are rarely reviewed as single episodes. I know I've broken some rules by linking Magazine Reviews to merged Editor records, rather than convert them to essays. And I could convert "Barbed Wire Kisses" or "Upon the Rack in Print" columns to reviews rather than essays if desired. Reviews of things we DO record are more attractive to me than reviews of things we currently don't. BLongley 22:47, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
IMDB does have entries for series, season. and episode.--swfritter 16:36, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
Well, I was thinking of things like monthly reviews of a weekly TV show, so we'd have to split the review up and link to Episodes, or just link to a Season or Series and clarify which episodes were involved. at the review level. I have a similar problem with Magazines as it is anyway. But how to enter an Author for a TV show? BLongley 20:13, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
I wonder if there may be a way to link Essays to IMDB records without doing too much violence to the database <he said pensively and wandered off>... Ahasuerus 22:56, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
This request is better than HTML. As far as the author if reviews are used: The studio could be used. Doing so would also isolate the title data on a studio bibliography page. The auteur theory of film-making suggests that the director is the primary author so that would be another option. Since our purpose would be to create stub reviews that link to IMDB movie data the Author data would best be deposited in the bit bucket or some other out of the way place if at all possible. The review option would be preferable to me because of the indentation and appendage of "Review:" to the title.--swfritter 01:04, 12 August 2010 (UTC)
Re-reading what I wrote above I see that it may have come across as sarcasm. Sorry about that, it was meant to be taken at face value. I do think that a new field to link both regular titles and reviews to IMDB would be a good thing, I am just not sure how we could best do it. For regular titles, a "repeating field" seems reasonable since the same Title may have been turned into multiple movies/TV episodes. For reviews, though, I am thinking that there may be a better way, we just haven't found it yet. Ahasuerus 03:34, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

(unindent) Upon reflections, there is even more to it. We have at least the following:

  • books that have been turned into one or more movies and/or TV shows, e.g. Topper
  • movies that that have been turned into books
  • reviews of movies/TV shows/episodes/etc

We may want to review all permutations and decide what data we want to capture for each one. Ahasuerus 05:27, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

Using the methodology I suggest in the above enhancement request the web address data is linked to the title record and is essentially a part of the virtual title record. Not only could that link be viewed with the title record, it could also be displayed on the author summary bibliography page or from withing a pub. If the site name stored with the record is "IMDB" you could end up with a listing like this: "Alien [IMDB}". Clicking on the title part could bring you to the review while clicking on "IMDB" would take you directly to the entry in the IMDB. Irrespective of whether we ever do movies this methodology could provide a one-click method for accessing web data. For instance, you could have this entry on A. Merrit's Summary Bibliography Page "The Metal Monster (1946) [Project Gutenberg]". Clicking on the "The Metal Monster" would take you to the title page while clicking on "Project Gutenberg" would take you to the actual catalog entry at Project Gutenberg. The downside is that the summary page could get too busy. But it would certainly be nice to have some way of knowing that there is online content associated with a title. Perhaps an icon of some sort displayed with the title. If the user saw this icon they could then access the title record with the knowledge that they will find some web links there.--swfritter 13:14, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
Another alternative for documenting the existence of online content is through the use of tags. This enhancement would probably be very easy to implement and might well serve the purpose, at least on an interim basis. The implementation of title level links would complement this. Please note that the request for title level links discusses the testability and exportability of the link data which makes the methodology preferable to HTML notes.--swfritter 13:43, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
The FR to improve the way tags are displayed looks good; I recall vaguely wishing for similar functionality at one point. Ahasuerus 03:20, 14 August 2010 (UTC)
Books into movies, etc. Sounds like variant title processing to me. Everything can always gets more complicated. But considering that the IMDB already does so much work for us it might be worth pursuing since the amount of data we have to enter would be minimal. It is certainly data of interest to the SF community and might well result in attracting more users to the iSFDB.--swfritter 13:14, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

Create publication series?

Should this set of pamphlets be a publication series?

and if so, under what name? "Stellar's Science Fiction Series" perhaps?

I encountered them (or some of them) while working on the chapterbook cleanup project. -DES Talk 15:16, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

It does seem to be a bona fide publication series. Naming-wise, there has been some experimentation with appending the publisher's name in parenthesis, e.g. Classic Reprint (Forgotten Books). Ahasuerus 00:48, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
I notice that we have Classic Reprint and Classic Reprint (Forgotten Books) Should these two be merged. And do we really think of Plato's Republic as a work of Specfict? -DES Talk 01:58, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
Anyway, I'll create the pub series. -DES Talk 02:02, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
Science Fiction Series (Stellar) created. and note the new template: {{PubSeries}}. -DES Talk 02:23, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
Gee, didn't even know the Wiki page existed.... Somewhere I was talking about series naming with someone, but I can't find it. I think we ought to have a standard, and I think it would be easiest if we treated it something like author names: Use the name you see (e.g., "Classic Reprint" or "Ballantine Adult Fantasy"), appending the publisher's name parenthetically to differentiate otherwise identically named, but different, series. Since the series name most often appears in conjunction with the publisher's name, including the publisher parenthetically by default doesn't seem to be a good idea (see this and if we wanted that, we could make the software figure it out and display it). The only other issue is what if a name includes a publisher/imprint but changes (or is used under multiple imprints -- only thanks to Fixer, I'm thinking "Harlequin Nocturne" and "Silhouette Nocturne"). Maybe for that situation we should omit the stated publisher/imprint (e.g., just use "Nocturne")? --MartyD 10:18, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
It seemed to me that "Science Fiction Series" was just a bit too generic, and no one seeing it on its own would have any idea what it referred to. But the series name can always be changed if people prefer. -DES Talk 14:36, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
I discussed this problem with user Hauck a few weeks ago here. It seems logical to me to add the publisher when there is a generic name like "Science Fiction Series" or (even worse] "SF". I would like to have a standard like Marty suggested. --Willem H. 19:08, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
One of the reasons it's Publication Series rather than Publisher Series is because the Publisher (well, probably the imprint rather than the publishing company) can change over time yet the series continues. Hence "Millennium / Gollancz SF Masterworks" rather than "Millennium SF Masterworks" and "Gollancz SF Masterworks". It's uncommon, but not unknown - Venture SF went from Hamlyn to Arrow to Legend for instance, which is why I considered making it an imprint of its own before we got this option. BLongley 20:08, 11 August 2010 (UTC).
At present Help:Screen:PublicationSeries does not define well what a "publication series" is and Help:Screen:EditPub does not mention the field at all. Is this field something that's only visible to moderators? --Marc Kupper|talk 20:43, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
Oh no, it should be visible to everyone. Ahasuerus 21:38, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
There have been a couple of times when I thought about using the "Pub. Series" field was was not sure what the intent of this field is. One is those publications that say "Doubleday Science Fiction". Is that a "publication series?" The other is that for ~20 years the spine of DAW publications indicate the genre. Are "DAW Fantasy" and "DAW Science Fiction" publisher series? --Marc Kupper|talk 20:43, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
Help:Screen:PublicationSeries was put together very quickly and I am sure it could be improved. The other help pages haven't been written yet, but we certainly need them. Ahasuerus 21:38, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
If a publication goes into multiple printings do we put all of them in the publication series or is the intent to to capture the first printing so that it appears more like a title series? --Marc Kupper|talk 20:43, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
When the question came up during the design phase, the consensus was to enter Pub series information for all printings. Ahasuerus 21:40, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I haven't found a need to do too many editions. With NEL there were hc and pb versions of the edition, and with Corgi SF Library there were a handful of reprints of the popular editions - not too burdensome. With DAW, I'd have been happy to have different imprints for the SF and Fantasy if that's the way they're shown, but I guess we've over-consolidated publishers too much for that. And the Collector's numbers don't separate them do they? BLongley 19:26, 12 August 2010 (UTC)
The problem for DAW is that the genre indication is subtle. They had it on the front cover for many years when they used the two line format to show the catalog # and price but now it's part of a logo on the spine only for pb editions (hc editions always say "DAW" without the genre). Maybe we should make it a "rule" that a series is only a series if the publisher at times lists the publications in the series. For example, DAW has never issued a "Fantasy list." --Marc Kupper|talk 10:30, 15 August 2010 (UTC)
I think that rule would exclude too many valid series. For example Cemetery Dance Novellas I don't know that the publisher has ever issued a "list" of them -DES Talk 12:43, 15 August 2010 (UTC)
They have. See [1]. BLongley 22:47, 16 August 2010 (UTC)
but each volume AIUI lists the series and its number in the series, whereas DAW never shows a "DAW Fantasy #". I'm not sure we can define a single bright-line criterion. But a "Publication series" that includes every genre book by a publisher, and thus every book we index by that publisher, does rather duplicate the Publisher search function. -DES Talk 12:43, 15 August 2010 (UTC)
It does seem too restrictive. As far as DAW goes, I am not sure there is value to creating huge publication series, but if there are volunteers, we could certainly experiment with them and see what happens. Ahasuerus 02:48, 16 August 2010 (UTC)
I was more trying to understand when the pub-series stuff should be used and how. I threw out DAW to see if that would stick to the wall. I like bright-line criterion. --Marc Kupper|talk 06:02, 16 August 2010 (UTC)
The big experiment seems to be this. Is that working for people? (Must fix the rival series at some point if we're happy.) BLongley 23:25, 16 August 2010 (UTC)
I'm not familiar with J’ai Lu. Are they numbering their science fiction titles? It looks like it could end up being a huge list. I suspect a list that would be more useful to collectors would have one line per title rather than one per printing. --Marc Kupper|talk 18:51, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
The continental Europe "publication series" is a horse of a different color. They're very similar to the DAW Collectors number. If someone wants to go to the trouble of placing these into a series, more power to them. Mhhutchins 04:10, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
The DAW book Collectors numbers just track the # of titles published to date without regard to genre. --Marc Kupper|talk 10:30, 15 August 2010 (UTC)
Is "publisher series" part of primary verification? --Marc Kupper|talk 20:43, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
I don't think it should be. Many people aren't even familiar with what a "publication series" is. And until we write it into the standards (which I don't believe we have yet), I don't think we can demand editors place pubs into a series. Mhhutchins 04:10, 18 August 2010 (UTC)

Who is DWE?

Can someone please tell me who is the "DWE" who initaled this pub record? -DES Talk 13:37, 12 August 2010 (UTC)

I believe that is Don Erikson. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 14:32, 12 August 2010 (UTC)
Thank you. -DES Talk 14:39, 12 August 2010 (UTC)
Yes, it's Don. This was early in his editing. He now gives his full user name when noting the possible artist. Mhhutchins 17:02, 12 August 2010 (UTC)

Anthology editor David Hartwell is a friend of bibliographers

See "David Hartwell caught me in the halls at one convention and told me that my name was important, and I should choose one and stick with it (because, among other things, it made bibliographer's lives hell)." --Marc Kupper|talk 04:06, 16 August 2010 (UTC)

Is that the David Hartwell we have as Dave Hartwell, David G. Hartwell, David G. Hartwell, Ph.D. and David Hartwell? :-/ BLongley 23:07, 16 August 2010 (UTC)

Here is another post on the same blog that I found fascinating in that customers are making assumptions that some books are self-published (and thus likely low quality) based on the cover. --Marc Kupper|talk 04:45, 16 August 2010 (UTC)

I'm more in the "I don't like that format and often don't buy books in it because they don't fit on my shelves very well" category. But it's an interesting comment - I wonder how many people are bypassing Gollancz SF just because it's plain yellow and no cover-art? I used to positively seek those out! BLongley 23:16, 16 August 2010 (UTC)

New linking templates

{{PubSeries}} is now available for linking to a publication series db display page from a wiki page, by publication series number (record number). And {{IssueGrid‎}} is now available for linking to a db issue grid given the magazine series number (record number). I hope these are useful. I could create {{PS}} and {{IG}} as aliases if people want such shorthands. -DES Talk 21:41, 19 August 2010 (UTC)

I'd appreciate the abbreviated versions when you have some free time. Thanks. Mhhutchins 22:07, 19 August 2010 (UTC)
Short versions created and documented, this really takes little time and effort. -DES Talk 01:26, 20 August 2010 (UTC)
While I'm at it, would anyone like {{S}} as a shorthand for {{Series}}?

Richard Condon novel info

Hi again. It's been so long since I made an entry that I think I had better let someone else do it for me.

There's a 1971 Richard Condon novel called "The Vertical Smile", originally published by The Dial Press with ISBN 0-8-37-9613-7/978-0-8037-9613-3 (info from a UK book site); I own a Dell paperback 9301, apparently the first Dell printing of August, 1972, for $1.25.

To describe the book in Notes is difficult, but you might try this:

Richard Condon wrote fast-paced, complexly plotted, semi-humorous novels that, to varying degrees, can be called satiric, political fables, political thrillers, secret histories, or conspiracy novels; all of them revolve around power and money. "The Vertical Smile" has all of the above elements plus a great deal of heavy-handed satire about the sexual revolution and the youth revolution of the late 1960s and early 1970s, all set in a semi-dysfunctional New York City in which armed gangs control the streets and a church of Christ, Computer is an important part of society. With all these elements, it is probably borderline speculative fiction.

One of Condon's last novels, "The Venerable Bead" (not Bede) may well be borderline also. As I recall, the Bead itself has either magical powers, or a curse associated with it, enough to qualify the book as hovering on the edge of fantasy. I'll leaf through it and see if I can determine whether it should go in here or not. Hayford Peirce 18:00, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

I have entered The Vertical Smile with 4 publications based on your comments above and OCLC data. Your dell edition I don't have a page count for, and there is no cover art (or artist) for any of them. Please enter any details you have available, and verify the edition you own. -DES Talk 19:04, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
Hi, thanks for putting in the info. Sorry, but I'm feeling stoopid and I can't figure out how to put in the other info you want. My Dell edition (the August, 1972 one) has 366 pages and no information at all about the cover illustration. Hayford Peirce 04:16, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
To enter this info, follow these steps:
  1. You go to the page for the novel, by doing a "Name" search on "Richard Condon" or by doing a "Fiction Titles" search on "The Vertical Smile", or, in this case, by following the link in green just above.
  2. On that page, there are four links, one for each of the publications. Click the link for the "(Aug 1972, Richard Condon, publ. Dell, #9301, $1.25, pb)" pub, which in this case is the 3rd in the list of 4.
  3. That will take you to the publication page for that printing of The Vertical Smile. Click "Edit this pub" in the left-hand navbar, under "Editing Tools".
  4. That will take you to the Publication Editor screen which has entry boxes for lots of fields.
  5. Find the "Pages" field, and enter the page count.
  6. Find the "Note" field, and enter something like "No information about the cover artist found in the book". If you have info for any of the other blank fields, enter it.
  7. Then click the "Submit Data" button at the bottom.
  8. After a moderator approves the change (as one will probably fairly promptly), go back to the publication display page. Check that all info you have has been entered correctly.
  9. If it has, click "Verify this Pub" (last in the editing tools section), and the "Verify Publication" screen appears.
  10. On this screen click the middle choice ("Verified") in the first row ("Primary"). By doing so you are stating that you have checked the entry against a physical copy of the book, and confirmed that it is correct.
  11. Click "Submit Data" and you have verified the pub record.
I could do the first part, based on your statement here. (I can't verify since I can't compare the record against the physical book.) But if you want to enter other info here, this is as good a way to get started as any. It is easy, it is fairly typical, and it is helpful. Please give it a try. -DES Talk 05:22, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the detailed checklist -- I'll print it up and keep it handy. And will also do the Condon info. I was really pretty good at all this stuff a couple of years ago when I was making a lot of entries but a lot of it really isn't very intuitive and unless one keeps doing it one quickly forgets the exact mechanics.... Hayford Peirce 18:02, 1 September 2010 (UTC)

Display of pubs for short fiction titles -- a sugestion

When a work of short fiction has variant titles due to different author and/or title credits, the titel display page does not help find how the variants were used. For example, consider this bibliography. The canonical title is "The Haunted and the Haunters; or, The House and the Brain" by Edward Bulwer-Lytton. No less than 7 variants are recorded, with 4 forms of the author's name, and 4 versions of the title. But in the list of 32 publications, there is no indication of which of the 7 variants is present.

I suggest that instead of an item in the list looking like:

  • Famous Ghost Stories, (1956, ed. Bennett Cerf, publ. Modern Library, #P21, $0.95, 361pp, tp, anth)

It might look like:

  • Famous Ghost Stories, (1956, ed. Bennett Cerf, publ. Modern Library, #P21, $0.95, 361pp, tp, anth) [as "The Haunted and the Haunters"]

and instead of

  • Great Short Stories of Detection, Mystery and Horror, Second Series, (Feb 1949, ed. Dorothy L. Sayers, publ. Gollancz, 1147pp, hc, anth) - [VERIFIED]

we might show:

  • Great Short Stories of Detection, Mystery and Horror, Second Series, (Feb 1949, ed. Dorothy L. Sayers, publ. Gollancz, 1147pp, hc, anth) [as "The Haunted and the Haunters"] [as by Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Lord Lytton ] - [VERIFIED]

When the title and author credits are canonical, there would be no change. (Background and bolding only to make the examples stand out here, not part of the suggestion.)

Does anyone else think this would be a desirable change? -DES Talk 16:28, 3 September 2010 (UTC)

I'm mildly in favour, but don't find it very important. The example of "The Haunted and the Haunters [abridged by Aiden Chambers]" is interesting though - I don't think that should exist. BLongley 19:13, 3 September 2010 (UTC)
To clarify - it's not just that "Aiden Chambers" is wrong (should be "Aidan" Aidan Chambers, I don't think abridgements should be recorded in the title name. At worst, as a co-author: but probably just in notes. BLongley 19:20, 3 September 2010 (UTC)
I like David's suggestion also, with the hope it doesn't clutter up the page too much. The page for the title you've chosen would probably be the extreme example, but there are plenty of others where the display would be more straight-forward. Perhaps even separating the pubs according to the variant would work as well, although you'd lose the chronological order. Good idea though. Mhhutchins 03:52, 4 September 2010 (UTC)
Yes, this is an extreme case, but it is the case that made me think of this idea. Most cases need it less, but then in most cases such a change will be less obtrusive. And it is handy on a page with lots of pubs, where only a few are under variants, to see where they fall in the list. I would not change the chronological order, unless this is made an option, like the alphabetic biblio display. -DES Talk 05:28, 4 September 2010 (UTC)
I think we toyed with this idea some time in 2006, but decided that it may cause too much line wrapping for certain long titles, effectively doubling the length of the page. The issue was partially addressed a few years later when all VTs were linked from the canonical title's page.
Having said that, if the ability to group pubs by VT is desirable (and I agree that there are cases when it is desirable), then perhaps we could start by adding an option to "View grouped by title" next to the word "Publications"? We could also make it a User Option. Ahasuerus 02:38, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

"Upload cover scan" now works for titles with embedded quotes

Bug 3030307, aka "Quotes in title breaks upload-image", has been fixed. Ahasuerus 02:28, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

Review display changed

As per Bug 3041365, Review records no longer refer to "Books" or "Book Authors" since we allow reviews of other types of Titles as well. The change turned out to be more involved than expected, so please be on the lookout for newly introduced bugs. Ahasuerus 06:01, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

Help adjusted to match. -DES Talk 12:30, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

Dave Sorgen aka User:Dsorgen

I recently sent the following email to Dave Sorgen's gmail address:

Three of yout recent submissions to the ISFDB are on hold, with detailed reasons posted to Please read and respond so that i will know what to do about them. Also, one of your submissions has been rejected.

-David E Siegel

I received the following response this morning:

Do what you want with them.

I don't use the wiki stuff. It's a matter of personal choice.

Once I've made a submission, I don't care if it's used or not.

-Dave Sorgen

This distresses me. but I can't very well force him, or anyone, to read or respond to the wiki. (I note he does use the wiki for image uploads.) However, it still leaves some concerns in my mind. a) Should I add a notice to the top of User Talk:Dsorgen that the named user doesn't read or respond to wiki msgs? It might save some wasted effort. b) Does anyone think there is a point in raising any of the concerns recently raised on User Talk:Dsorgen by email, in view of his "I don't care" above?

Advice is welcome. -DES Talk 15:47, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

Don't take Dsorgen's response personally, the terseness, and seeming indifference to your input may be due to a lack of time on his part. A look in Dsorgen's archive shows that he was at one time a lot more verbose and responsive to Wiki input. I would take him at his word and do as you see fit, i.e. treat his input as if it were submitted by Fixer. If you leave a note on his page, I would say no more than at this time he has said that he will not be able to respond to feedback, and to use your best judgment with regard to his submissions.--Rkihara 20:40, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
I'm not taking it personally, merely trying to figure out the best way to deal with the matter. I gather that he grew to dislike the wiki test system in particular, I don't know why, but people have different tastes.
One thing, in several recent submissions he added a publication series to pubs that were already in a regular series, with the "pub series" name identical to the existing regular series. Obviously this is a misunderstanding of the new pub series feature. I am inclined to email him on this specific point. -DES Talk 22:10, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
Unfortunately, I can't think of any way to lure reluctant editors to the Wiki side, so Ron's suggestion seems to be our best bet. BTW, this reminded me that Scott Latham hasn't posted since mid-2007, so I have removed his moderator flag. Ahasuerus 04:50, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
So what do we do with Dsorgen's submissions which change pubs verified by other editors? ISFDB standards require (?) that the verifiers be notified. Frankly, I don't have the time or inclination to do this, which means I will be leaving all such submissions by Dsorgen in the queue. Treat his submissions like Fixer? Sorry, Fixer doesn't change verified pubs. Notify him by email? Don't make me laugh. Mhhutchins 23:36, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
Is failure to notify the primary verifier sufficient reason to reject a proposed edit, if a moderator is so inclined? While it would be a shame to lose any contributions, I suppose there's some small hope that a sufficiently large number of rejections would get him to do the notifying. It doesn't seem fair to have an editor "expecting" the moderators to do the work. --MartyD 00:18, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
So far the only submissions he has made affecting verified pubs which I have seen have been adding cover images, either adding an ISFDB image to replace an obviously identical amazon image, or adding an ISFDB image to a pub with no image, where the image is clearly of the correct title and looks correct for the pub supplied. Some regular editors have even asked not to be notified of such changes. I haven't seen any edit of his that adds non-image data to a verified pub, much less deletes or changes such data. As long as it is limited to that, I am willing to notify verifiers when i approve such an edit. -DES Talk 03:19, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
I redid the hat notice on User Talk:Dsorgen to be a little more friendly given his only "crime" is that he apparently does not use the wiki-talk system. --Marc Kupper|talk 23:40, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
I didn't intend the previous note to be in any way unfriendly, and i didn't think it was. I do think your modified note is less accurate. Your note says "This user apparently does not respond...", omitting the fact that he has explicitly said that he does not intend to read or respond in the email quoted above. There is, to my mind, a significant difference. -DES Talk 14:16, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
I had looked at his e-mail reply to you (posted above) and it seems ambiguous on if he reads his talk page, particularly as the assertion "I don't use the wiki stuff" is disproved by regular, and recent, traffic per Special:Contributions/Dsorgen. Ideally, he'll update the notice himself so that it accurately reflects his views or plans. --Marc Kupper|talk 16:12, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
He only uses the wiki to upload images. The last message he posted on a wiki page was in May 2009. Doesn't seem ambiguous to me. He's chosen to use only one function of the wiki. BTW there's a typo in your replacement message, Marc. (Sorry, that's the editor in me coming out.) Mhhutchins 17:18, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

Server problem?

The site seems to be very slow today, often timing out. -DES Talk 16:07, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

Same here, it's been ongoing for about twelve hours.--Rkihara 16:15, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
Very, very slow, all day. --Willem H. 18:28, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
Seems a bit better now, but not yet normal. -DES Talk 22:52, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
Been pretty awful for me too, so I went down the pub instead. BLongley 23:14, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
On Sunday, the server went down 6 times in less than 24 hours :-( Ahasuerus 15:54, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

Librivox titles - Go get 'em

This page contains links to spec fiction downloads at Librivox. The data is generated from the database via a Delphi pascal program.--swfritter 00:40, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

Project Gutenberg titles

are here. No links to the PG download area - the web addresses for Librivox are parsed from notes data and Project Gutenberg titles generally do not have that data in the notes.--swfritter 13:28, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

There doesn't seem to be any indication of whether the works involved have been indexed here or not. Is it your idea that we should remove items from the list as thy are indexed? Or how do you think the list should be used?
Also, some classic ghost and horror stories seem to be omitted. For example only one work by J Sheridan le Fanu is listed. -DES Talk 17:34, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
Also perhaps the lsiot should be moved to a sub-page, perhaps Publisher:Project Gutenberg/List of Speculative Fiction by Author? and perhaps a link to our PG listings should be added? -DES Talk 17:40, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
As with the Librivox, the data is generated (and will be periodically regenerated) from ISFDB system data. Selection of title data is based upon the "pg%" tags. So if there are titles missing all you have to do is slam a tag on the title (Hooray for collaborative editing). Good idea for a separate page; figured the publisher page to be temporary until there was a better idea; perhaps at some time even a dynamic page. The PG pub listings entered into the ISFDB reflect only a very small amount of the available spec fic data at Project Gutenberg. And, if we ever have a way of storing the web addresses at the title level, it will be easy use those addresses to link the summary page titles to PG.--swfritter 18:45, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
Most of le Fanu's work is listed under Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu.--swfritter 19:02, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
I see. I had thought these were generated from the PG catalog, for use in finding works on PG not yet entered here.
Since all PG titles list "Project Gutenberg" as the publisher (I think) how hard would it be to traverse the publications instead, where the links are already established, and for the matter of that, the catalog number field gives all the info needed to build the links? Ah well what you have generated should be of use in any case, perhaps if I want more the answer is to do it myself. Could I get your script for an example? With your permission i will move the list to a sub page as above. -DES Talk 21:47, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
Like your modifications to the listing page. I will incorporate those changes, and some others, so that they will be generated automatically. Using the pub records would be the ideal method especially since this request has been implemented (Thank You! programmers). The major problem is maintainability - making sure all the current and future pubs are in the database; editors have been known to bail on projects. Adding the tags takes me only a few minutes a week. Also it is a little more complicated to go through pubs to do listings because the pub content of anthologies and collections is a little harder to generate; it would seem to make sense to list the individual content of such pubs. I think it is also important to have links at the title level since the user may not notice the Project Gutenberg pub although it might be enough just to make a comment that the user can access the Project Gutenberg file from the PG pub. As stated, it would be ideal to generate the list automatically and would be even better if there were a link on Project Gutenberg pub listings which would allow the user access the full PG listing from the Other Pages menu. It would be nice to think of my project as a prototype that could lead to something even better.--swfritter 18:32, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
Continued discussion.--swfritter 14:38, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

Google Chrome and the ISFDB

I recently switched from Firefox to Google Chrome as my primary browser, and discovered a few display anomalies when it comes to the ISFDB. Within the space of just a few screens, the font size jumps from very large to very small. For example, the submission queue is quite large, so large in fact that the browser is forced to wrap the text in certain columns. The proposed submission display is the same size. The submission acceptance screen goes back to normal size. All throughout this, the left side menu remains a constant size. The font in the yellow warning banner on the proposed submission page is tiny when compared with the updated info and verification tables. Is the problem with Chrome or does the html/css need to be updated for newer browsers? Thanks. Mhhutchins 17:32, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

Hm, that's a good question. It's not an area I know much about, but I'll see if I can download Chrome and see what's going on. Thanks for the heads up! (Another 10 days and hopefully my availability will improve significantly.) Ahasuerus 04:29, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
It could be "broken" (illformed) HTML or style sheets. Different browsers handle deviations from the specification in different ways, often masking errors (Netscape/Mozilla/Firefox and IE have been around so long, they have a much greater tendency to "do the right thing" -- produce a page that looks ok -- across a broader range of errors). Noting which things look wrong is most helpful in hunting down the root cause. --MartyD 10:16, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
I'm going to check in a change to the style sheet that should work around what looks like a Chrome bug. The Submission table is losing the underlying style, at least with regard to the fonts. I don't immediately see anything wrong in the HTML or style sheet, so I think it is a Chrome bug. For those who are interested, the relevant portion of the page is:
 <div id="main2">
  <div id="HelpBox">
   <b>Help on moderating: </b>
   <a href="">Help:Screen:Moderator</a><p>
  <table cellpadding=0 BGCOLOR="#FFFFFF">
Where neither div#main2 nor div#HelpBox styles address fonts. Adding "font-size:50%" to the div#main2 style causes the help on moderating part to come out in tiny text, while the font in the table is still huge. Explicitly setting the font size for the table, i.e.:
 <table style="font-size:100%; cell-padding:0; background:#FFFFFF;">
makes the display look the way it should. I will log this as a bug and check in a change to the stylesheet that makes the default font size for all tables be 100%. This seems to fix the individual submission display, too. --MartyD 11:12, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, Marty, I'll try to test it under different browsers over the weekend. Ahasuerus 13:51, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
I tried it in IE8 and Firefox (Minefield 3.7a1pre) and the latest Chrome. It's completely non-functional, just affects default table appearance. And you can swap the css file without having to change/deploy anything else (easy to roll back). --MartyD 02:02, 24 September 2010 (UTC)
I only had 10 minutes for testing tonight, but everything looked OK, so I deployed the fix. As you said, it's just a visual thing, so even if some screen looks strange, it shouldn't affect the functionality. Thanks! Ahasuerus 03:45, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. Michael, let me know if you see anything else looking unusually odd in Chrome. --MartyD 09:52, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
Everything is looking fine, the font is remaining the same size throughout the submission/moderation process. Thanks for all your efforts. I'm having fun with Chrome and think it might give Firefox a run for its money. Unfortunately, it's not as forgiving as Firefox. If I accidentally hit the backspace outside of an entry field, I'm taken to the previous screen. When I return every field that I've changed is now blank. Firefox was able to keep all my entries when I went to the previous screen by mistake. I've lost two whole issues of Locus with more then fifty entries each, and have had to re-enter them. If another Chrome user knows how to remedy this, I'd sure like to know. I've resorted to making about 20 entries, submitting, then continuing to edit the record. Thanks. Mhhutchins 15:35, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

(unindent) Not sure if this is related, but as of yesterday [that's when I noticed it but then I haven't been editing for a few days] the font in all of the active fields has been reduced by about 30-40% [does not affect function] while the static font has remained as it was. Queue page width has been reduced by the same. The smaller font is much harder to read. Don't know if this is my browser reacting to the above change or not [Safari]. --~ Bill, Bluesman 16:28, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

Seems likely to be related. I don't have access to a Mac or Safari, but when I get a chance, I'll send you a couple of pages to try out to see if we can isolate it. Is it tolerable enough to live with for a week or two, or should we try to do something quickly? --MartyD 18:46, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
I can live with it, especially as my time here is going to be quite limited for a couple of months. So no hurry! :-) --~ Bill, Bluesman 00:22, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

K. P. Bath

I approved a new URL for K. P. Bath, "", and then wondered if this is something that we want to list. Our Help currently states:

  • If the author has an offical Web site, enter it here. The full URL should be listed, including "http://", e.g.:
  • If there is more than one official site -- including author-authorized sites, publishers' pages for the author, etc -- enter the one with the most comprehensive bibliographic and biographical data. If the author is deceased and has no official or authorized sites then alternate web sites with significant bibliographical and biographical data may be entered. Note that this field is a repeating field and it's possible to add more URLs later on.

so news articles about authors seem to be "out". Granted, the link helps explain why no new books have come out lately, so perhaps we could move it to the Bibliographic Comments page? Ahasuerus 05:57, 27 September 2010 (UTC)

I'd say that link is "out" as it's not an official web site nor an attempt an a biography. An option is to point to which qualifies as "alternate web sites with significant bibliographical and biographical data." The other option would be to put a bio together but that could take a couple hours effort to do it right via citing reliable sources, etc. I noticed Fantastic Fiction took this photo and converted it into this sepia image.
One minor adjustment to the help would be to change "If the author is deceased and has no official or authorized sites…" to "If the author is deceased or has no official or authorized sites…" --Marc Kupper|talk 05:03, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
Or perhaps just "If the author has no official or authorized sites" Deceased or not, if there are authorized sites, we want to use them, and if not, we'll use the best we can find. How does that sound? -DES Talk 06:29, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
Agreed as a deceased person's estate may well be operating an official site. Some authors even continue to write books! --Marc Kupper|talk 08:14, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
I agree that the link should be removed, if it hasn't already. It doesn't supply "significant bibliographical and biographical data" unless you work for TMZ. Mhhutchins 16:18, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
IMO, this URL should move to Bibliographic Comments. It is significant biographical data (if accurate). No need to hero-worship people just because they qualify as a Spec-Fic author. There are more famous authors with accusations of paedophilia against them. BLongley 00:33, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
My stand is not "hero-worship". It's an attempt to create a standard by which we link "websites" devoted to the specified author. A news article is not a website even though it's listed as such on the author's summary page. I would not object to it being placed on the author's bio page. Mhhutchins 19:41, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
I don't think it'll be easy to create a bright-line standard. I went ahead with moving the news link into the author's bio wiki page. --Marc Kupper|talk 22:10, 5 October 2010 (UTC)