ISFDB:Help desk

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Roadmap: For the original discussion of Roadmap 2017 see this archived section. For the current implementation status, see What's New#Roadmap 2017.



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Expanded archive listing

Publisher information

● I need to know if I’m doing this right. While updating the late author Gary Brandner’s page I entered this edition. I would like to know if I entered the publisher correctly. Was the publisher iUniverse, Backinprint.com, iUniverse / Backinprint.com, etc.? MLB 19:39, 1 May 2022 (EDT)

One person's not particularly educated opinion: From this archived backinprint.com page, it sounds to me like iUniverse is technically the publisher: they provided the electronic source to Backinprint.com; they paid the royalties to the authors; authors granted the publication rights to them. So I think Backinprint.com would be more like an imprint, in which case the names you used should be swapped around (our format is Imprint / Publisher) to be "Backinprint.com / iUniverse". --MartyD 09:57, 4 May 2022 (EDT)
Okay. MLB 02:53, 5 May 2022 (EDT)

Question on Printer's key

I am new here so I am not sure if this information is somewhere (searched but couldn't find) or has been answered but... Looking at 'Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone' (Publication Record # 215741), the Notes has:

30th printing. Printing line goes 35 34 33 32 31 30 9/9 0/0 01 02 Assuming that means this is from 2002.

The record has the date as 2002-00-00.

The way I read the date part of the printing line is this is a 1999 publication date.

Which should it be? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Stealth DBA (talkcontribs) . 15:31, 2 May 2022 (EDT)

The publisher, Scholastic, uses an uncommon "printer's key" system. To quote this Web page:
  • 7 8 9 0/0 . . .would indicate 1997
  • 8 9 0/0 . . .is 1998
  • 9 0/0 . . .is 1999, etc.
In other words, your hypothesis was correct and the publication year is 1999. Also see this ISFDB publication record for the printer's key of the first (1998) printing of this edition, which uses "8 9/9 0/0 01 02". Ahasuerus 10:34, 3 May 2022 (EDT)
P.S. I have updated Template:PublicationFields:PubNote to link to this resource. Ahasuerus 10:40, 3 May 2022 (EDT)
Although it's Scholastic-specific, what do you (or does everyone) think about also including this in that list? --MartyD 09:42, 4 May 2022 (EDT)
Given the growing number of links to third party Web pages, we may want to create a new Help template for "Number Line/Printer's Key". It would include a more in-depth explanation of the concept as well as a list of external links. Ahasuerus 12:46, 4 May 2022 (EDT)

The Book of the SubGenius

If I were to add it, what would it be? I want to call it nonfiction. If you don't know what it is, you can check it out here. --Rosab618 21:42, 5 May 2022 (EDT)

I would enter it as fiction. It's fictional non-fiction, which is entered as fiction. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 13:12, 6 May 2022 (EDT)

Archiving

Is there an optimum page size for talk page archives? I planned to move approximately 220,000. After seeing the warning, I cut that in half to 108,000. That seems small. I want to get the sizing correct and stay consistent as I add pages.John Scifibones 20:13, 7 May 2022 (EDT)

It is usually most convenient to go by some easy-to-understand/easy-to-remember period size, rather than worrying about page size. This MediaWiki software edition is very old, and some of its concepts of what might result in poor performance are no longer quite in tune with the state of modern hardware and browsers. Something like annual is a good place to start. If that looks way too big, then semiannual. Or if it looks very small, then biennial might be better. --MartyD 11:01, 8 May 2022 (EDT)
Thanks for the clarification, John Scifibones 12:18, 8 May 2022 (EDT)
Yeah, just ignore that warning. It's from a decade-old version of the software. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 13:02, 9 May 2022 (EDT)
The warning is somewhat valid only for very old browsers which had issues with long POSTs. As most people do not use them anymore and most edits are in a thread and not using a full page edit, the warning is really superfluous but is still there for the unlikely case when you somehow have a functioning browser which has the issue and you are doing a full edit. As long as you can see all of the moved ones into the archive, you are fine - warnings or not. Annie 13:18, 9 May 2022 (EDT)

Changing Author/artist name

Artist Libby Vanderploeg http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/ea.cgi?295299 should actually be VanderPloeg I have become convinced; the two NYTimes credits were in uppercase, and I don't know where "These Witches Don't Burn" credit came from, but https://www.isabelsterling.com/press-kit> says VanderPloeg. However when I try to change the name in the publication pages,it defaults back to saving it as Vanderploeg. I think somebody needs to change the name on the author page. Thanks. gzuckier 00:51, 10 May 2022 (EDT)

Agreed & changed (indeed, on the author page). Also added a link to her website. Thanks, --Willem 03:54, 10 May 2022 (EDT)

How do chapbooks work?

After creating a chapbook, do I turn the contents into SHORTFICTION? How do I get it to show up as both a chapbook and shortfiction, like You Better Come Home with Me by John Lawson (I)?--Rosab618 06:49, 15 May 2022 (EDT)

Think of chapbooks as collections limited to one work of fiction (shortfiction, poem, or serial). The content title record should have the same name as the chapbook container and publication title. Here is the relevant help section. Related information (length, series, reviews, awards, etc) are entered in or attached to the content title record, not the chapbook container.
A couple comments re: Derek the Dust Particle.
  • Since the short story 'Derek the Dust Particle' does not exist, enter it using edit publication.
  • The juvenile flag should be set for both the container title and the new short story title.
  • Worldcat claims this is #1 in the publication series
  • Double check the format of your price
Hope this help. John Scifibones 08:46, 15 May 2022 (EDT)
I'm still confused. I tried changing it into short fiction before, but then it didn't show up as a chapbook on the author's page. Should it show up as a chapbook, as well as short fiction? Is creating chapbooks a two-step process (creating it, then turning the contents into short fiction)?
And what do you mean about the format of the price? —Rosab618 13:06, 15 May 2022 (EDT)
I did the first two steps on the list for you. I created the content title step 1. Then I set the juvenile flags step 2a & step 2b. All could have been done in your original submission except setting the flag on the content title. It's not visible in the new pub screen. It is a two step process if you are importing an existing content title. Is it clearer after seeing what I did? John Scifibones 14:22, 15 May 2022 (EDT)
Yes. Your actions showed me, not your words. --Rosab618 15:40, 15 May 2022 (EDT)

How to add entries for short stories that are part of a magazine issue

I am completely stumped, so any help/pointers would be appreciated.

I noticed that Charles S. Wolfe has a number of short stories published in Electrical Experimenter (and Science and Invention) which are missing from the database, so I wanted to add them. After some digging around, it looks like the magazine issues are missing, so I think I need to start there, but how?

One specific example: Electrical Experimenter exists - check Issue from October 1920 does not - need to add it, but I cannot figure out how to do this Story "Loaded Line" by Charles S. Wolfe (and Electric Shoes by J. Mac-Richard) need to be added to that issue - again,I can't figure out how. —The preceding unsigned comment added by Kkz (talkcontribs) 22:07, 15 May 2022

EDIT: OK, further digging and I see I can "Add New Magazine", and the stories as part of that. But how do I connect it to the over-arching "Electrical Experimenter 1920" group? Or is that automatic when I do Add from that page? —The preceding unsigned comment added by Kkz (talkcontribs) 22:14, 15 May 2022

Hi, and welcome. To do that, you would enter the October 1920 issue first, using Add New Magazine as you discovered. Note that this is a non-genre magazine, so there are some special standards for how it should be entered. See Help:Entering_non-genre_periodicals for how to do that. Once that submission has been accepted, a second submission is needed to merge the October 1920 EDITOR record that will be created into the existing Electrical Experimenter - 1920 "group" (which is really just a single EDITOR record used to represent 1920). Feel free to try -- submissions are moderated, so you cannot do any harm. The moderator processing the submission will help address anything that is not as it should be. --MartyD 07:27, 16 May 2022 (EDT)

Rotating Covers

So somehow I never noticed when editing an image to be uploaded to the Wiki that you can rotate it in addition to shrinking dimensions to 600 or less. I made an initial try with a cover I added from Amazon some time ago, http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/view_submission.cgi?5321346, and while it's nice that the cover is now easy to see while still showing info on the spine it's clearly smaller. So is it common practice to add imperfect images from other sites because they're bigger, or rotate them to face forward but make them smaller and necessitate uploading to the Wiki? --Username 11:44, 19 May 2022 (EDT)

Rotating (and skewing) covers can be a pain if you don't have the right tools. I approved your change, but then fixed the perspective of the cover so it was straight on. You may have to force a refresh to see the updated cover image. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 12:35, 19 May 2022 (EDT)
http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/view_submission.cgi?5325072; I made an edit adding page #'s from FantLab and replaced the cover, but Amazon's cover, which doesn't seem to exist on current Amazon anymore except as a tiny measured photo incorrectly added to the 2017 Shadow edition, is bigger and framed better. While trying to find a bigger one to upload to head off the usual grousing about unnecessarily replacing a cover image I tried the shadowpublishing.net page but just got a Wix message, and the archived page has a broken image, although with a little searching you can get the 2017 Shadow cover, which is totally different (and not on ISFDB). I finally found what I think is the only photo online that shows the spine clearly, but the photo is badly done, as can be seen at the link above. So my question is, can you zoom it up so cover is clear while still showing the full spine? --Username 13:55, 23 May 2022 (EDT)
We generally only include the spine (and the back cover) if it includes part of the front cover image. In this case, it's just a plain color, so there's really no reason to include it. It would violate fair use. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 13:59, 23 May 2022 (EDT)
Boy, in that case I hope nobody ever notices the MANY cover images I've entered which show the spine. When this edit is finally approved I'll restore the Amazon image, although it's still weird that the only place it seems to exist now is as a tiny photo incorrectly on the 2017 edition's Amazon page. --Username 19:20, 23 May 2022 (EDT)
Well, now you know, and knowing is half the battle (as they say). In the future, unless the cover image wraps around onto the spine or the spine and the back cover, please avoid adding images with the spine. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 21:13, 23 May 2022 (EDT)
Did some work on this a while back, http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?34769, and today discovered the title, publisher and cover artist were wrong! I fixed those (cover artist as "Wayne Miller" needs to be merged after approval so it's as by M. Wayne Miller, I suppose) but this, [1], is the only online photo I can find that shows the full cover art. Too small now, but is there a way to crop out the book itself and enlarge the dustjacket so it can be uploaded? --Username 14:02, 27 May 2022 (EDT)

Foreign language serialized webnovel, published for the first time in book form as English translation?

I've been running into this situation more often with English translations of Japanese and Korean webnovels, and I'm not sure how to handle it on ISFDB.

So here's one example: the Japanese webnovel 竜の番のキノコ姫 ~運命だと婚約破棄されたら、キノコの変態がやってきました~ / Ryuu no Ban no Kinoko Hime - Unmeita Dato Konyaku Hakisaretara, Kinoko no Hentai ga Yattekimashita was first published/serialized in 2020 on the prominent free Japanese webnovel site Syosetu. The original webnovel has NOT been published/collected into book form yet in Japanese. Now in 2022, the webnovel is being translated into English and published in multi-volume book form, with the first English volume released as The Dragon's Soulmate is a Mushroom Princess! Vol.1 (unknown number of the Japanese serial chapters that are being collected in each English book).

So how does this need to be added/indicated/varianted on ISFDB? Are the English volumes a series or a split novel? The Help:How to connect serials to titles page seems to suggest making the serialized work a variant of the novel title, but how can that be done while also making the English novel title a variant as a translation? Can the Japanese serial novel even be added as a publication since Syosetu is a free website? And other such questions, etc. Morebooks 11:34, 21 May 2022 (EDT)

Off the top of my head, other foreign-language serial webnovels that were published in translated English book form before being published in book form in their original languages: The Werewolf Count and the Trickster Tailor, Under the Oak Tree, and Beast Blood. Under the Oak Tree is also being serialized in English translation chapters on Webnovel.com, but I've no idea if that counts as a SFWA-qualifying market for ISFDB publication purposes. Morebooks 11:56, 21 May 2022 (EDT)
As per ISFDB:Policy#Rules_of_Acquisition, online serializations do not count as "being published" for ISFDB purposes unless they have been shortlisted for a major award or published by a SFWA-eligible market.
I have repeatedly run into this issue while working on Cross Infinite World. Apparently, the way they run their business is that they contact Japanese authors of online serials which haven't been published as a book, buy translation rights and publish the work in the US.
As far as I can tell the rules-compliant way to enter these kinds of books is to do what we did with this author: Enter the translated book as we would enter any other book, then turn it into a variant title of an "8888-00-00" (i.e. unpublished) Japanese novel. Any information about online serialization can be added to the parent title record as a note.
Personally, I am not thrilled about this approach, but that's what the rules appear to require at this time. Ahasuerus 21:51, 22 May 2022 (EDT)

Currency--Iranian Rial

On this entry I couldn't enter the actual symbol for Iranian Rial--﷼--because, Persian being a right-to-left language, the software won't let it be entered before the figures. I kept getting ﷼185,000. So I used "IRs 185,000", with the English translation of the symbol, since we don't use the currency codes (in this case IRR). I explained it in the Pub Note. The Iranian Rial isn't on the List of Currency Symbols help page. Is this the way to go with it, or is there a correction? When that's sorted out, the rial can be included on that list. (I see another book on the publisher's website that I want to enter.) MOHearn 09:23, 22 May 2022 (EDT)

Curious. Let me see what I can do at the software level. Ahasuerus 21:56, 22 May 2022 (EDT)
I have tried a few things, but nothing seemed to work to get "﷼" to display to the left of the numeric value. It looks like we'll have to use "IRs" for now. We'll need to keep this in mind when implementing FR 1158, "Allow multiple prices per publication". Ahasuerus 22:21, 22 May 2022 (EDT)

Thanks for looking into it. I'll stick with "IRs," then. MOHearn 07:19, 23 May 2022 (EDT)

A Sending of Dragons

For this edition of this Jane Yolen book, secondary sources disagree about the number of pages. WorldCat and Reginald3 say 184 p.; Locus and Amazon say 256. What should be done? --Rosab618 23:35, 23 May 2022 (EDT)

It looks like it's done correctly. It has notes that explain the discrepancy. Until someone gets a copy of that specific edition, we don't have a way to check to make sure. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 15:12, 24 May 2022 (EDT)
Should it be marked "verified" by any of those sources? --Rosab618 14:50, 25 May 2022 (EDT)
As Secondary verifications: yes. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 18:27, 25 May 2022 (EDT)
And even after we have a copy, a note explaining the page numbers discrepancy should stay. It happens a lot :) Annie 15:18, 27 May 2022 (EDT)

Stories by John Wyndham, adapted for younger readers

How should "Meteor: Short Stories" be entered? It's a collection of short stories by Wyndham, adapted by Patrick Nobes for children. How should the stories be entered? As by both? --Rosab618 14:55, 25 May 2022 (EDT)

Yes, they should be entered as by both. Make sure each story has a note on it explaining it's an edited version of the original story, for children. That way, people won't mistakenly try to variant them since they are different versions (and likely different lengths) than the originals. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 18:26, 25 May 2022 (EDT)
Thank you. --Rosab618 12:06, 26 May 2022 (EDT)

Turning a novel into a collection

I'm trying to turn The Monster of the Lagoon into a collection, with a novella and a novelette. How do I do this? --Rosab618 03:55, 27 May 2022 (EDT)

Edit the publication. Change the type to collection and then add a new title record from the type collection in the contents section - this will become the reference title of the book (this title is created automatically when you create a new collection but NOT on a conversion/edit as at this point we assume the reference title is there - so you need to make it yourself). Let me know if you want me to do it so you can look at my update or if you want to try yourself. Annie 15:17, 27 May 2022 (EDT)
Thanks! I thought I tried that yesterday and it didn't work, but today it did. ----Rosab618 17:17, 27 May 2022 (EDT)
You probably forgot to change the pub type or picked chapbook by mistake or something like tat - the changes need to go together - the publication won't save otherwise. It is one of the checks that make sure that the publication looks ok. :) Annie 18:13, 27 May 2022 (EDT)
I don't think so, but you never know. --Rosab618 12:29, 28 May 2022 (EDT)

Adding a cover image

I'm trying to upload an image. It's within the size limit and it's a jpeg, but every time I try to upload it, I'm told that it's too big. Can anyone explain the problem? --Rosab618 03:16, 31 May 2022 (EDT)

On the image page I get "BLNKCRDJML1977.jpg‎ (file size: 90 KB, MIME type: image/jp2)" at the top, followed by a warning "This file may contain malicious code, by executing it your system may be compromised".
Even though the extension is .jpg, the file seems to be .jp2 I guess the software can't handle this. --Willem 06:10, 31 May 2022 (EDT)
There were definitely some errors in the file. I've fixed them and uploaded the fixed version: here. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 11:05, 31 May 2022 (EDT)
Thank you, but that's not the image I was trying to upload. I have a much bigger, clearer one. I can't figure it out. --Rosab618 00:07, 1 June 2022 (EDT)
There are two size limits:
  1. Diminsions - 600px max is an ISFDB convention and is not enforced by the software.
  2. File Size - there is also a maximum file size, this is enforced by the software.
It sounds like you are hitting the second one. You will need to edit the picture to reduce the resolution. Images should be only of sufficient resolution to identify the cover. They should not be high-res or otherwise allow a nice printing to made of them. ISFDB uses cover images under US copyright's "fair use" doctrine and anything too large violates that. -- JLaTondre (talk) 07:39, 1 June 2022 (EDT)
It's not too large—361 x 598 pixels. How do I reduce the resolution/file size? --Rosab618 10:16, 1 June 2022 (EDT)
As I said, there are two sizes. You are over the second. How to reduce it depends on your image editing software. You will need to check the help or Google instructions for whatever program you use. -- JLaTondre (talk) 11:13, 1 June 2022 (EDT)
Where did you get the image? If you can point me to it, I'll be happy to make it the right size (file and dimensions) and upload it. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 12:35, 1 June 2022 (EDT)
Thank you! I think it's this one, but I had cropped it nicely. Oh well. Thanks for your help! --Rosab618 20:21, 4 June 2022 (EDT)
It looks like that's the same as the one I added, but cropped slightly. You can see the same scuffing and reflections on it. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 13:35, 7 June 2022 (EDT)
Thank you!--Rosab618 22:00, 11 June 2022 (EDT)

Hardwired: The Sourcebook

Can I add this book, by Walter Jon Williams? It's a supplement to a role-playing game, apparently. --Rosab618 22:27, 6 June 2022 (EDT)

Despite what the cover says, it's likely not written by Williams. There's likely a team of people who wrote the content in the book. Unless it has short fiction parts in it (like this one, for example), it shouldn't be added. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 13:38, 7 June 2022 (EDT)
I found a downloadable PDF of this sourcebook. Credits page state the author is Walter Jon Williams "with supplimental material by Mike Pondsmith" and "Netrunning suppliment by Pati Nagle" the copyright to R. Talsorian Games, Inc. is dated 1989. --Mavmaramis 02:04, 19 June 2022 (EDT)
What does it say on the title page? ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 15:38, 20 June 2022 (EDT)
There is no title page - the copyright page is basically the title page, copyright and credits rolled into one - it's the first page after the cover and states "by Walter John Williams" --Mavmaramis 14:54, 21 June 2022 (EDT)

Strike Fighters, by Tom Willard

Yea or nay: do you think this series belongs on the db? It's in Reginald3.--Rosab618 23:06, 11 June 2022 (EDT)

Does anyone have an opinion? --Rosab618 16:58, 15 June 2022 (EDT)
The ninth book in the series, Death Squad, apparently has at least one airship in it, which would possibly make it science fiction. Not sure about any of the others. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 17:23, 15 June 2022 (EDT)
"It is not a balloon! It is an air ship! Balloons are for kiddiewinks!"
But what is the difference between an airship and a zeppelin?--Rosab618 21:08, 15 June 2022 (EDT)
Depends on how it's defined in the book. A zeppelin is a type of airship. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 12:38, 16 June 2022 (EDT)

Adding Open Library cover

I'm trying to add the cover here to the book's page, but how do I do it? --Rosab618 04:43, 12 June 2022 (EDT)

I'd do it by (right-)clicking on the image, save it somewhere and then upload it. Christian Stonecreek 08:52, 12 June 2022 (EDT)
But there's a way to just use the url. It has to be the right url, though. Which? --Rosab618 12:00, 12 June 2022 (EDT)
Not for this OL record. OL is linking to an image from archive.org which is not on our permitted list. -- JLaTondre (talk) 12:10, 12 June 2022 (EDT)

Page count rules: The Autumn Castle

While PVing The Autumn Castle I came across notes that seem to imply the rules for entering the page count is different than how I read the rules. The book has numbered pages up to 552, and does indeed include an excerpt. Has this changed over time? Should I submit an edit? (I haven't had much luck getting responses from Chavey recently). --Glenn 01:29, 13 June 2022 (EDT)

If I remember correctly the rules were just interpreted differently: in 2010 it was not usual to include excerpts (but allowed), today excerpts are included almost every time. Christian Stonecreek 02:07, 13 June 2022 (EDT)
The last numbered page should be used. See the first row in the table here. As a nice compromise to capture the spirit of what the other PVer wanted, if you add the excerpt as content, with the page number where it starts, the page count for the novel will be implied quite clearly. --MartyD 10:45, 13 June 2022 (EDT)

Alternate versions - forking series

Tamara Siler Jones (http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/ea.cgi?28698) published three novels in a series.

Years later, as Tambo Jones, she published versions of the same books, but broken into installments and forked. The first two books were broken into a total of 11 installments - one common installment to launch the series, and then five more installments in each branch of the series. The 'Red' Series is the original first two novels broken into installments. The 'Blue' series is a new, alternate branch. The Blue series continues into a third book (three more installments), while the Red series forks again, for two versions of the original third book (a Red version and an Orange version). A graphic that's much easier to follow is here: http://www.tambojones.com/2020/12/19/publishing-update/

The original novels are in ISFDB. The branched installments are not. My question: how should they be entered? 1. I've see an FAQ that for a novel broken into pieces, each piece should be entered as a novel. 2. I've seen info on how to handle alternate author names or book titles. 3. I have not see how to handle fully alternate versions (not just minor changes, but a new branch entirely). This is somewhat similar to Orson Scott Card's Ender/Bean (Shadow) split, but there the split storylines are consistent. Here, I believe they are mutually exclusive. Jones has provided different series names, but there's still the problem that, for example, the first installment is part one of two different series (three, if you count in the second fork).

I'm not sure I'm the person to enter all this, but I thought I'd get the ball rolling, since I think the writing in the books (original novels, at least) is excellent. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Evil Overlord (talkcontribs) . 09:21, 19 June 2022 (EDT)

Apologies for the delay in getting you feedback. The problem is complicated, and any organization attempt is going to be hampered by ISFDB's current limitations. Titles cannot be in more than one series, so you ultimately have to pick one (or none) and note the others. Series, however, can have sub-series. So one idea I have for you is that you could have the shared first installment in a higher-level/parent series, and then the subsequent installments could be in branch-specific sub-series. For the jumping-off point, you might need to invent a series. For example, using her terminology and organization, you might have something like:
Series: Dubric Multi-Timeline
1 Title: Weight of the Castellan's Curse
2a Series: Winter of Ghosts
2 Title: Protection of the Holy Knights
3 Title: The Seer of Truth
...
6 Title: A Film of Blindness
7 Series: The Stone Spies (1)
1 Title: The Well Diggers Son
...
2b Series: Ghosts in the Snow
2 Title: The Lord's Apparent Razor
3 Title: The Linen Maid's Choice
4: Series: Threads of Malice (1)
1 Title: Rabbits & Wasps
...
4 Series: The Valley (2)
1 Title: A Tale of Two Boys
2a Series: Pieces of the Valley
2 Title: The Secret of Cyprus Farms
...
2b Series: Valley of the Soul
2 Title: What the Camera Sees
...
(1) I can't tell from the diagram how these second series on the blue/red paths relate to the prior series on the same path. If they are not sub-series, then I think the best thing to do would be to make up parent series for the blue path and the red path, and then put the relevant series into them, in order. So something like:
Series: Dubric Multi-Timeline
1 Title: Weight of the Castellan's Curse
2a Series: Blue Path (but with a better name)
1 Series: Winter of Ghosts
<titles 2 - 6>
2 Series: The Stone Spies
<titles 1 - 3>
2b Series: Red Path (but with a better name)
1 Series Ghosts in the Snow
<titles 2 - 3>
2 Series: Thread of Malice
<titles 1 - 3>
3 Series: The Valley (2)
1 Title: A Tale of Two Boys
2a Series: Pieces of the Valley
<titles 2 - 4>
2b Series: Valley of the Soul
<titles 2 - 3>
(2) Here you would make up a name/series to hold that first title plus the sub-series. In my first example, the number on that made-up series is a proxy for that first title's position in the ongoing series, while the number on the title shows us it's the first at the branch point.
I hope that helps a little. Others may have some better ideas for you. --MartyD 12:52, 26 June 2022 (EDT)

Illustrator name misspelled

The author record for illustrator Emanuel Schongut has his last name misspelled as "Shongut". Could a moderator please correct the spelling to the correct "Schongut"? I noticed this while doing a pub update for The Exile of Ellendon. The Flickr link in the The Shepherd Is My Lord record confirms this spelling as well. Thanks! Phil 22:27, 20 June 2022 (EDT)

In the future, you can change these by editing the cover art title page and correcting the spelling. I've done these two. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 14:33, 21 June 2022 (EDT)
Thank you. I had the impression that author name changes required mod powers. Now I know. Phil 17:37, 21 June 2022 (EDT)
Changing the name on an author record requires a moderator. Changing the name of an author on a title record or publication record can be done by anyone. In this case, there was already a correct entry for Emanuel Schongut. The two wrong titles just needed to be edited to change them to the correct spelling. The only time an author record is changed is if 1) all titles under that author record need to be changed and 2) there isn't already a correct entry for the author. That is not the typical case. -- JLaTondre (talk) 18:37, 21 June 2022 (EDT)

Varianting/organizing translated collections of The Murderbot Diaries series

Hi! I want to revive this discussion about organizing collections of the Murderbot Diaries, because it's gotten more complicated since then. Please let me know if I should've just replied to the original section instead of creating a new thread like this. Anyway, The Murderbot Diaries series currently has eight "main" titles in it: five novellas (1, 2, 3, 4, 6); two short stories (0, 4.1); and one novel (5). Because they're short fiction, international publishers translating the series often choose to publish the novellas and short stories collected together in various combinations. This blank title has collections containing 1-2 but that's it. It would be helpful to organize the collections together somehow by content so the series page isn't so confusingly cluttered. The current recommendation on the thread is to variant the novella/short story collections to this English collection with 1-4 (Title Record 2764245). That's not going to work forever as the series adds new novellas/short stories that are published in new collection combinations. Unless the plan is to make Title 2764245 the grab-all title for "everything in the Murderbot Diaries except for the full novels." Examples: the most expansive English collection under 2764245 right now is 829116 (1-4, 4.1). There have been translated collections that go beyond 829116, like 897039 (0-4, 4.1) and 891486 (0, 4.1, 6). If we variant those collections to 2764245, when Tor/Subterranean inevitably publish future new collection(s) containing 0 & 6+ of the ongoing series, we're going to have to move the variants to the new collection, or make the new collection a variant of 2764245, or give up and unvariant everything, etc. It feels like a ship of Theseus problem in terms of collection contents. Morebooks 14:58, 25 June 2022 (EDT)

The original discussion got moved to here.
The practice of making the pieces of a multi-part publication variants of the complete title is used for novels (I suppose it could be applied to other single works of shorter length) that are re-published as "split" publications in multiple volumes. It is somewhat akin to making serial installments variants of a single "complete novel" title. As far as I know, we do not apply that treatment to any sort of publication of collected works ("container" types: ANTHOLOGY, COLLECTION, OMNIBUS). The sort of cross-product examples you provide illustrate why: Any sort of compilation is not an atomic entity, but rather is a composite of other entities, and another compiler may choose to make another compilation using an orthogonal set of entities. I suppose an exception might be if the partial compilations were explicitly assembled/packaged as subsets of some complete compilation, with the content of those subsets combining to be the complete compilation. What you have here is not that case, however. We also do abuse anthology/collection variants a bit, where we make re-issues with slightly different contents (e.g., a story or two added or removed) variants of the original. It's usually done to try to indicate it's an alteration of the original compilation, as opposed to a newly-assembled compilation. --MartyD 08:48, 1 July 2022 (EDT)
Others will probably not like this idea (to put it mildly), but one thought I have is that OMNIBUS might work a little better here than COLLECTION. The benefit would be that each OMNIBUS record could indicate which pieces of the series it includes. Technically, an OMNIBUS should always contain at least one novel-length work previously published separately. Using it here would be a small abuse, since although the works were published as standalone, most of them are shortfiction and you will have compilations that do not include the novel-length ones. --MartyD 08:48, 1 July 2022 (EDT)
There are a lot of series like that - especially amongst the juvenile series but lately with novellas for adults as well. Awhile back we discussed allowing collections and anthologies to have the Contents field allowed to accommodate these cases (where we cannot use omnibus because there are only shorter forms). It did not get much support but that’s exactly where that would have come useful. If we allow this one to be omnibus, all the rest can be as well - and that opens the floodgates. If that’s what everyone wants, sure, let’s change the rules. But I am against breaking the rules for just one series - DB inconsistencies make the DB search harder to use as you will never know what to look for (and in which section on an author page). :) Annie 00:47, 4 August 2022 (EDT)
I would stick to using the dummy title in order to tie together the non-English publications, even if there doesn't exist an English original. That would mean there would have to be created a new dummy English title to collect, say, the first three novellas, and for any other combination that non-English publishers will publish - that way of working doesn't seem to be against the rules as far as I can tell (after all, it says 'only published as'). Yes, that would result in several collection titles, but that seems to be preferrable than trying to link all combinations to a single top-level English collection. To clean up the clutter, I suggest to create a title subseries like 'Murderbot Collections' or some such. Regards, MagicUnk 08:58, 4 August 2022 (EDT)
AND for this situation it would be REALLY GOOD (TM) if we could enter Content in the title record - to discriminate, we could retitle to 'The Murderbot Diaries (1,2)' or something similar... MagicUnk 09:05, 4 August 2022 (EDT)

The National Pastime: The Future According to Baseball

● I recently added The National Pastime: The Future According to Baseball to the books reviewed by Peter Heck in the July/August issue of Asimov’s. Should I list this publication on this site as a periodical, as an anthology, or should I just list the review as an essay, and not put this issue on the site at all? MLB 03:29, 9 July 2022 (EDT)

The latter. A book being reviewed in one of our magazines does not make it eligible to be added to the DB if it is not genre on its own. So you add the review in the magazine as an essay and not as a review. Annie 12:25, 4 August 2022 (EDT)

Consolidate or create?

I was hoping to verify an Ace edition of This Immortal by Roger Zelazny. There are two matches, based on ISBN and price. My copy has no date and a printer's key of simply "0". One edition is dated 1982-11-00 and the notes have Stated "Tenth Ace printing: November 1982" . The other edition is dated 1982-03 with no additional notes. The only primary verifier involved is no longer active. All edits are 10+ years old. Ace was not in a habit of re-using ISBNs, but it did happen. The previous edition (by ISBN) has the same publisher key of "0", but states "This Ace printing: October 1981". The next earlier (by ISBN) notes "This Ace printing: September 1980" Eighth printing by number line 8 0 9 but should only be the seventh by catalog # progression. The subsequent edition (by ISBN) simply notes 11th edition. Should I a) choose the earlier 1982-03-00 edition and add my notes or b) create another entry (undated) and note it as a variation of the 10th edition? ../Doug H 14:23, 9 July 2022 (EDT)

Capitol Cat & Watch Dog Unite Lady Freedoms

● I just added Capitol Cat & Watch Dog Unite Lady Freedoms to the databank, but, I don’t know if it is a chapterbook, or a picture book. Does anybody know before I add the rest, there are four of them, of them. Oh, and this is a different Janice Law than the mystery author. MLB 03:02, 14 July 2022 (EDT)

"Story by" author credits

The tp and ebook of Alien: Inferno's Fall were released yesterday, and I've just checked the Amazon preview to see if I can tidy up the title note w.r.t. author(s).

The title page of the ebook states "A novel by Philippa Ballantine / Story by Philippa Ballantine and Clara Carija". As such, I suspect this title and pubs should stay with Ballantine as the sole author entry (but with the notes updated appropriately) but I don't see this sort of thing explicitly referenced in Template:PublicationFields:Author. That page does mention cases like "Author A with Author B", saying that both should be credited, but I don't think that covers this particular case where story credits are separate from authorship.

(I imagine there are similar issues for novelizations that have a "Based on a screenplay by ..." credit?)

Thoughts? ErsatzCulture 13:38, 27 July 2022 (EDT)

I would treat it the same way we treat novelizations and book adaptations of other material. E.g., we credit the adaptation of the original Star Trek installments exclusively to James Blish, without regard for who came up with the actual stories. So your idea of sole Ballentine credit + recording Carija's contribution in the notes seems both appropriate and consistent with what we have done before. --MartyD 14:32, 27 July 2022 (EDT)
(after edit conflict) Novelizations frequently mention the authors/creators of the novelized work. When they do, the wording that they use is typically "Based on a story by X and Y" or simply "Story by X and Y". Sometimes it's more involved, e.g. the cover of the 1990 Avon edition of Piers Anthony's novelization of the movie Total Recall says "Based on a Screenplay by Ronald Shusett & Dan O'Bannon and Gary Goldman" and then "Screen Story by Ronald Shusett & Dan O'Bannon and Jon Povill". On the other hand, the William Morrow edition doesn't mention these people on the cover, but the title page says "Inspired by the works of Philip K. Dick and Ronald Shusett, Dan O'Bannon, Steven Pressfield" -- note that the credited people are different.
Sometimes we record this information in Notes, but we don't credit them in the "Author" field. Ahasuerus 14:40, 27 July 2022 (EDT)
Thanks both; I've updated the title and pub notes accordingly. I was going to update the help page I linked to earlier in this item as well, but it seems to be (mostly) composed of template strings, which I've not used before, so I've left as-is. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by ErsatzCulture (talkcontribs) 15:15 27 July 2022.
Templates are just text/code inserted into the pages embedding the template. A good spot to add it might be in the bullet about "with other writers" here. --MartyD 15:15, 28 July 2022 (EDT)

Artist records for Heffernan/David Heffernan -- same individual?

It appears that Heffernan is an alternate record for David Heffernan. (It appears that he signed his work as "Heffernan" (no first name), so books without an explicit artist credit, such as Dark of the Moon, are credited simply to "Heffernan", while books with a stated artist credit, such as Caught in Crystal had his first & last name listed. The block-lettering Heffernan signatures are very consistent between the two artist records; and the cover art for Yngwie Malmsteen's album Trilogy (front back) has a signature on the front that matches Dark of the Moon even more closely, and has an explicit David Heffernan credit on the back.

Assuming this is correct, what would be the best way to create some kind of link between the two artist records?

Thanks!

Joe H. 10:35, 28 July 2022 (EDT)

I made Heffernan an alternate name of David Heffernan. Thanks for finding this. -- JLaTondre (talk) 09:18, 31 July 2022 (EDT)
Thank you! Joe H. 13:50, 3 August 2022 (EDT)

Math input question

(This is really meta for the real question I need to ask)

Are the <math></math> tags for LaTex as produced by the sqrt(n) button in the comment editor suppose to work? I'm having problems with their use just generating literal output.

--Glenn 18:36, 30 July 2022 (EDT)

No, it does not work. The ISFDB uses a really old version of Wikipedia and it also doesn't have all the necessary dependencies installed. I doubt anyone was expected to need the match function. -- JLaTondre (talk) 09:14, 31 July 2022 (EDT)

Savage Realms Monthly

● Well, I did something wrong. Why can’t I get the May issue of Savage Realms Monthly to get into this series? MLB 00:30, 31 July 2022 (EDT)

Just merge the two titles. Two additional points; Magazines are dated by the cover date, not the date they become available. Always include the ASIN when publications have a '979' ISBN. John Scifibones 08:08, 31 July 2022 (EDT)

Boxed set format

When you're entering a boxed set as an omnibus, what should the format be? --Rosab618 13:51, 31 July 2022 (EDT)

Whatever is the format of the books inside of the boxed set. So a boxes set of 3 mass market paperbacks will be mass market paperback; a boxed set of hardcovers will be hardcover and so on. In case of a mix and match (2 hardcovers, 2 paperbacks for example), use "other" and add a note explaining the situation. :) Annie 14:22, 1 August 2022 (EDT)
Thanks, Annie! --Rosab618 17:21, 3 August 2022 (EDT)

{Now + n, Now - n} title formatting

The title of this story in Beyond the Safe Zone is given as "{NOW + n, NOW - n}" in the TOC, but on the actual story page it's rendered as (here's where <math> would have been handy):

"{" (two lines tall), "NOW + n" (on line 1), "NOW - n" (on line 2, directly below NOW + n), and finally "}" (two lines tall).

Is this different enough to drive an edit? If so, how should it be formatted. Or just note it (which I'm having troubles coming up with clear short description). --Glenn 22:50, 31 July 2022 (EDT)

Just add a note. We do not support html and other scripting in titles and you will need it to show something like that. You can note it exactly as you did here if you prefer. Annie 14:20, 1 August 2022 (EDT)

Two-part Cover term

Can someone please tell me what is the correct term for a two-part paperback cover where the top cover is about 85-90% the width of a full page and the inner cover is full sized? My Google-fu has failed me. Thanks! Phil 07:37, 8 August 2022 (EDT)

It's a stepback cover, and I don't know if that originated as a publishers' term or a collectors'/booksellers' one. I was only able to find the term stepback online because I dimly recalled it; at first I was recalling it as a gatefold, but I see that that's a cover folded back like a dust-cover flap, used on some upscale trade paperbacks (also a two-part LP cover/sleeve opening like a book). MOHearn 17:09, 10 August 2022 (EDT)
Thanks! Now that I know the term, I have been able to search out more info about it. It turns out that there is also a variation called a keyhole stepback cover where there is a die-cut/keyhole opening in the outer cover displaying a portion of the inner artwork. Overall, the stepback cover seems to be most heavily used for Romance novels. Here's a link to an interesting discussion of the history of the stepback cover. Phil 06:59, 11 August 2022 (EDT)

Deleting a bad cover upload

I messed up and uploaded a cover for the wrong publication. Here is the entry for the bad cover. How do I delete this incorrect upload? It isn't used anywhere. Phil 07:50, 8 August 2022 (EDT)

It's a moderator only function, I deleted it for you. John Scifibones 09:37, 8 August 2022 (EDT)
I guessed that would be the case! Thanks! Phil 15:26, 8 August 2022 (EDT)

Isaac Asimov's OPUS books.

The current entries for Asimov's Opus books (Opus 100, Opus 200 and Opus 300) all list them as COLLECTIONS. Each book is a set of selections and excerpts from 100 of his books, most of which are non-fiction and, in many cases non-genre. According to the HELP entry for NONFICTION - "A publication that contains both non-fiction and fiction should be typed by that which is predominant." The entry does not say whether this is by number of entries or by pages, but I believe it qualifies under both. I plan to convert these but would like to offer a chance for differing opinions before doing so. ../Doug H 12:57, 10 August 2022 (EDT)

Sounds like a good plan. Ahasuerus 14:30, 11 August 2022 (EDT)

Secondarily, there is one publication Opus: A Selection from the First 200 Books which is an omnibus of the first two titles. The definition indicates this is correct, whether these be COLLECTIONs or NONFICTIONs. However, the contents include not only the two COLLECTIONs, but also repeats their contents. I believe that this is incorrect and the latter should be removed. Again - any concerns? ../Doug H 12:57, 10 August 2022 (EDT)

Help:Screen:NewPub says:
  • When recording an omnibus publication, please record all of its contents. If it contains one or more collections, please record both the collection titles and the individual short fiction or essay titles as part of the omnibus's contents.
so we should keep the individual stories. Note that this is done for two reasons:
  • It lets users looking at a SHORTFICTON work's Title page see the omnibus publications which include the story.
  • It lets us capture minor differences between the OMNIBUS pub and the COLLECTION pubs whose contents it reprints, e.g. added/removed ESSAYs.
Ahasuerus 14:30, 11 August 2022 (EDT)
Sorry, failed to look past the TYPE to CONTENTS. ../Doug H 23:57, 11 August 2022 (EDT)

Amaranth, magazine

Amaranth was supposed to be the first of a magazine series, but folded after one issue... shouldn't it still be a MAGAZINE, and not an ANTHOLOGY? Susan O'Fearna 00:54, 20 August 2022 (EDT)

If it was an issue of a magazine, then, yes. In a situation like this, if you have a source of information (be it the publication or something else) that documents this was an issue of a magazine, I encourage you to capture that information in the pub or title (or series) notes, just to help avoid future confusion. --MartyD 16:45, 24 August 2022 (EDT)

Battlestations / Battle Stations

Battlestations is how the cover, title and copyright page of my e-book copy has this book... can it be corrected? Susan O'Fearna 02:37, 20 August 2022 (EDT)

You are the only primary verifier, so if your copy has it as one word and you're verifying that, change it. It looks most likely to be a typo/spell-o vs. another form. If someone ever comes up with a copy having it as two words, that person can make a variant. --MartyD 16:41, 24 August 2022 (EDT)

Info about submitting info for a magazine series.

Hello. I am co-editor of a Brazilian magazine that pays homage to pulp magazines ("Histórias Extraordinárias" - [2] ). It publishes previously unreleased short stories in the Science Fiction, Supernatural and Cosmic Horror genres.

I have some questions that could be obvious for more experienced isfdb editors, but please bear with me :)

I want to submit the info about this magazine (5 issues published so far). Other than the short stories, it contains regular sections as:

(1) "Science Department" - essays about real-world scientific matters (actual robots, Mars probes, etc.). Should I include info about this section even if it "not speculative" in essence?

As it is in a genre magazine, EVERYTHING is eligible. So yes. This is similar to the science articles in Analog for example. Annie 11:51, 25 August 2022 (EDT)

(2) "Interviews" - interviews with people whose work may be related to the subject of one of the stories or with the author of one of the stories or someone who's in some way related to speculative fiction. Should I include this info when the interviewed person is not directly involved in speculative fiction? For example, in issue #1 a short story dealt with HAM radio, and the "Interview" section featured an experienced HAM radio user. It seems to me that this interview should not be included, but I could be wrong. Please advise.

See above :) You can add it just as a note in the notes of the publication but... technically it is eligible. Annie 11:51, 25 August 2022 (EDT)

(3) "HE Recommends" - Reviews and recommendations about speculative fiction in books, movies or TV series. Should I include the info about this section if they are not about literature (e.g. TV series or movies)? For example, In one issue we had a review about the works of Ted Chiang, in another about the "Severance" TV series. While the Ted Chiang one is a no-brainer, what about the later?

Genre Books reviews get added as reviews. Non-book and non-genre books get added as essays. See the help page and especially what is a review (aka books just being mentioned is NOT a review) and naming reviews as essays. Annie 11:51, 25 August 2022 (EDT)

I have the cover arts for all issues; is it possible to insert the cover art along with the data submission?

Not at the start unless it is in one of the places we can link to. Once the publication is approved , there will be a button to allow you to upload the cover to our DB and link it there (always a second step when adding books/magazines). Annie 11:51, 25 August 2022 (EDT)

Thank you for your help. --Pugno 11:41, 25 August 2022 (EDT)

Answers inline :) Let me know if any other clarifications are needed. Welcome to ISFDB! Annie 11:51, 25 August 2022 (EDT)
Thanks for your patience and help! I have one more question: In one case, the magazine index indicates that a short story is at page 20; however, page 20 is a full-page artwork (related to the story) and the text effectively starts at page 21. Should I indicate page 20 for both or 20 and 21 respectively? Pugno 17:03, 25 August 2022 (EDT)
It will be 20|20.1 for the art and 20|20.2 for the story (so they stay in order). Help page: "If a magazine presents artwork for a story or essay preceding the piece's title page, and it is apparent that the art accompanies the text, the starting page of the story or essay should be the page number of the artwork which illustrates it. If you're creating content records for both the work and its illustration, they would have the same starting page.". See also the whole sorting section in that same link - it explains the usage of the | I used above. If you want, you can add a note in the publication note explaining where the text actually starts but it is not mandatory.
When you start adding the first issue, click on these question marks next to each field - these help pages have a lot of small tips like this one and will help you figure out how to do some things. Magazines are... complicated in the DB so if you need any more assistance, just ask :) Annie 17:56, 25 August 2022 (EDT)

Stack dump show verification timestamps

In case you haven't seen these yet...


/var/www/cgi-bin/SQLparsing.py in GetLastWiki(user_id=14492L)
3083                         minutes = timestamp[10:12]
3084                         seconds = timestamp[12:14]
3085                         wiki_utc = datetime.strptime('%s-%s-%s %s:%s:%s' % (year, month, day, hours, minutes, seconds), '%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S')
3086                         timestamp = timegm(wiki_utc.timetuple())
3087                         last_wiki = datetime.fromtimestamp(timestamp)

wiki_utc undefined, datetime undefined, year = '2022', month = '08', day = '02', hours = '14', minutes = '19', seconds = '40' <type 'exceptions.NameError'>: global name 'datetime' is not defined

when showing the verifiers on a publication page. --Glenn 16:10, 31 August 2022 (EDT)