ISFDB:Help desk/archives/archive 19

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This is an archive page for the Help Desk. Please do not edit the contents. To start a new discussion, please click here.
This archive includes discussions from April - November 2013.

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Archives of old discussions from the Help desk.

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Expanded archive listing

A restarting Publication Series

This series was 'restarted' twice during its life, with the same name and numeration beginning from 1 (they are not reprints of the first series): for a publication history, see Wikipedia (in Italian). Has something like this happened before in ISFDB? Since the publications are 9 in the second one and 2 in the third and final one, I do not think they deserve a Pub Series by themselves ("Fantasy Urania second series"). One solution could be to keep the series name as the original one but adding to the series number the information, like "1 (second series)" and explaining the printing history in the notes of the pub series record: in the series grid it would appear ok (especially when sorted by date ...). I'll wait for an opinion before starting to add publications. Thanks --Pips55 21:09, 3 April 2013 (UTC)

If you disambiguate the name (as in "Fantasy Urania second series", etc.), there will be three different series with no way to connect the three. They could not be displayed together. Unless you can think of a strong reason that they should all be displayed on one publication series page, I'd suggest doing a disambiguation. Otherwise you'd have to come up with some numbering system that would separate the three parts of the series. Adding series name to the number might be overkill, but give it a try for a few records and see how they display on the pub series list. Mhhutchins 23:02, 3 April 2013 (UTC)

Adding a discussion item to the Rules and Standards Discussion Page

I would like to initiate discussion on a new topic ("ISFDB policy on the date of novels initially printed in magazines and later in book format")in the Rules and Standards Discussion Page, but get an error message ("You do not have permission to do that, for the following reason: You do not have permission to edit pages in the Page namespace") when I click on the link "to add a new section, click here" on the R&S Discussion Page. Could you kindly advise on what I am doing wrong or on what I need to do to obtain the permission to start the discussion topic? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by RMS (talkcontribs) .

That's strange. I'm not sure how you could edit this wiki page and not the Rules & Standards page. Are you certain that was the page you tried to edit? (And not the Policy page or any other restricted page?) Also, are you certain that you were logged in at the time you made the first attempt? Mhhutchins 18:52, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
Users with a low edit count are limited to editing a restricted subset of Wiki pages to thwart spambots. Once RMS has made a few more edits, s/he will be able to edit any Wiki page. Ahasuerus 20:09, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
I wasn't aware of that feature. What is the magic number? This editor made more than 20 submissions the other day. Mhhutchins 20:20, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
This is a built-in feature of the Wiki software, so it only counts Wiki edits. RMS has made 3 Wiki edits so far, so s/he is still under the threshold, but will exceed it soon. I am not sure it would be wise to post the exact number publicly in case some spambot operator is reading this... Ahasuerus 22:07, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

Automated submissions

I would like to give it a try to automated submission; to avoid adding mis-interpretations to my difficulties of sending XML with Visual Basic, I have a couple of questions concerning the data format for new pubs. First, what should I do with the Tag optional tag? --Pips55 22:31, 15 April 2013 (UTC)

Publication tags are deprecated and should not be submitted. I have corrected the Help page -- thanks for catching it. Ahasuerus 00:20, 16 April 2013 (UTC)

Second, if I have no additional contents to add (e.g. a Novel), should an empty Content section be present? --Pips55 22:31, 15 April 2013 (UTC)

Nope, that was another misleading statement which has been removed. Ahasuerus 00:20, 16 April 2013 (UTC)

The help page cites titles undergoing change, which obviously are not present in a new pub (maybe a leftover from a copy/paste of the XML pub update page ?). --Pips55 22:31, 15 April 2013 (UTC)

Yes, it was a copy/paste artifact. Gone now. Ahasuerus 00:20, 16 April 2013 (UTC)

I think there are a few omissions in the documentation: in the Web API page, in the submission example, the IsfdbSubmission (and Content) tags are missing, while the LicenseKey is not present in the Data Submission Formats. If appropriate, I will gladly carry on the necessary additions. Thanks. --Pips55 22:31, 15 April 2013 (UTC)

I'll try to clean up the rest of the Help page, but the best way to learn how to build a NewPub submission is probably by dumping the contents of an existing one using the dumpxml.cgi script, e.g. this submission. Ahasuerus 00:20, 16 April 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, and now (sound of knuckles crackling) to coding ... --Pips55 19:59, 16 April 2013 (UTC)

By the Blood of Heroes

I have this book, and they keep changing the numberlines on me and I'm a touch confused. The numberline goes as such 12 13 14 15 16 OV/RRD 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1. As this book is copyrighted in 2012 I'm going to assume that it was printed in that year. I know I bought mine at Christmas time of that year. Hard to believe that this was such a hot seller that it went through twelve printing in one year. So does the 12 through 16 mean that this is the year printed? And is the 10 through 1 the printing history? And what does the OV/RRD mean? MLB 23:04, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

This should have been posted on the Help Desk page (this is the Help Desk talk page, for discussions about the Help Desk). I'll respond to your question and after I'm sure you've read it, I'll move it to the correct page for archiving.
Now to your question: Never use the copyright date as the date of publication (I'm sure we've gone over this before). Never assume a publication date based on the year of copyright. It should be used only when all sources have been exhausted.
In this case the number line gives you both the year of publication and the printing number. (There is no industry standard about number lines. Each publisher has their own way of doing it, and can change it before you turn around.) Your copy is the first printing of 2012. If they did the second printing today the number line would be changed to 13 14 15 16 OV/RRD 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2. If they did the third printing next week, it would be 13 14 15 16 OV/RRD 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3. If they did the fourth printing next year it would be 14 15 16 OV/RRD 10 9 8 7 6 5 4. As for the middle letters, I suspect it's the publisher's code for which press it was printed on. But I couldn't swear to that and anyway, it's not that important. Just record the line as given. Mhhutchins 23:27, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
Okay, thanks. MLB 21:51, 17 April 2013 (UTC)
Moved to the proper page. Mhhutchins 22:07, 17 April 2013 (UTC)

Pandora's Daughter

I have Pandora's Daughter, and it brings up a question. This is a book club edition. but what club? Johansen is a popular author and her works have seen multiple book club editions I'm sure. So, how does somebody know which book club has printed a book? MLB 21:57, 17 April 2013 (UTC)

What is the evidence that your copy is a book club edition? Is the price lacking from the dustjacket and is there a seven digit number printed on the back of the dustjacket? If so, it was published by Bookspan for any number of its book club divisions. I don't believe it was ever a selection of the SFBC. If you've determined it definitely is a book club edition, you should clone the current record for the trade edition, change the publisher to "St. Martin's Press / BCE", leaving the date and price fields blank. Mhhutchins 22:03, 17 April 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for your help. In answer to your questions. Is the price lacking? Yes. Is there a seven digit number printed on the book's back dust jacket? Yes. Printing date? No, just a copyright date. MLB 09:19, 19 April 2013 (UTC)

New Yorker blog

The New Yorker has published a story by Roger Ebert on their blog but not, as far as I can tell, in their magazine. Any suggestion on how to add this? Gamaliel 03:40, 23 April 2013 (UTC)

With few exceptions, web-only publications are not eligible for the database. Downloadable files and ezines (in PDF, EPUB, MOBI, etc formats), and a few webzines are eligible. If we allowed web-only (HTML) publications, we would be overwhelmed by the onslaught of submissions. Mhhutchins 04:56, 23 April 2013 (UTC)

Review format?

I've been adding new novels for a couple weeks now, and I'm starting to get the hang of it. I want to start adding reviews for the novels I add, but I don't quite understand what is supposed to be filled in for those fields, and I haven't found any help in the help documents here. Will someone please give me some guidance? Remontant 15:39, 26 April 2013 (UTC)

Well, the exact help text is to be found here, for example. Note that at its beginning this text refers to review columns. If you only have one review to add, just add it in the publication's section reserved for reviews (there are sections for general contents such as stories and essays and for interviews also in every edit screen for a publication). You'll have to enter the exact title and author of the reviewed work: provided the work is already in the ISFDB, the software will automatically link the review to the reviewed work. If you had for example a typo, it'll still be possible to link the review later. It should work quite flawless for reviews of books and shortfictions. Please ask again, if you stumble over any problems. Stonecreek 16:32, 26 April 2013 (UTC)
Unless I'm misunderstanding, I assume you want to add your own personal review of the works. If this is the case, it can only be added to the database if it has been published in an eligible publication, i.e. a speculative fiction (or related) periodical or book. It would be added as a content record in the review section of the publication record. The help page to do that is the one which Stonecreek has linked to above. Otherwise, unpublished reviews by ISFDB editors are not eligible for the database. Mhhutchins 13:48, 27 April 2013 (UTC)
On the other hand,,, and some similar sites are good places to add our personal reviews of books we've read. Different web sites have different missions. Chavey 14:49, 27 April 2013 (UTC)

The Man from Mars

I am linking The Man from Mars with the original "The Man from Mars", however, does anybody have a copy of the original unverified pulp Wonder Stories Quarterly, Summer 1931 to see if it was originally printed with quotation marks? MLB 22:23, 27 April 2013 (UTC)

I'm sure if any of the current editors had a copy they would have already verified the record. Looking at secondary sources: Miller/Contento gives the quotation marks for both the Wonder Stories Quarterly appearance and the Startling Stories reprint. Day gives it on neither. So for the time being, until a primary verifier comes along, we'll have to accept that one is a variant of the other. (BTW, this type of inquiry would better have been posted on the Verification Requests page.) Thanks. Mhhutchins 23:11, 27 April 2013 (UTC)
There's a verification requests page?!? I didn't know that. So much more to learn, I don't think I'll ever know it all. MLB 07:57, 28 April 2013 (UTC)

ISBN problem

I have the 1st Baen printing of Dickson's & Harrison'd THE LIFESHIP [1]. I problem is the current entry has the ISBN from the cover, spine & bar code, while the copyright page has a different ISBN. WorldCat has the book listed under both ISBNs. So which has priority, cover or copyright page?Don Erikson 20:42, 30 April 2013 (UTC)

I don't think it's written in stone, but I would go for the copyright page being the primary number. You can record any other number in the note field. Either way, it's not a big deal, as long as you record the different locations of the various numbers. Mhhutchins 21:28, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
You could also look up both ISBN's in Amazon, or Look Up By ISBN and see if one of the numbers goes to Lifeship and the other to a different book. Then you would know for sure that one of them was a mistake. Chavey 01:55, 1 May 2013 (UTC)


Hello. Is there a way to link an obituary to an author, like REVIEW to a title, or INTERVIEW to an author? Cheers, ForJohnScalzi 01:00, 1 May 2013 (UTC).

What I usually do is to put a link to the obituary in the Author Biography page. In a few cases, the obituary has so much information about the author that I've put that link as one of the "webpage" entries for that author. But there isn't any "special" link such as we have for reviews and interviews. (Although you could always make a Feature Request for one.) Chavey 01:51, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

Translated Author's name

In this pub, I have two authors that are presented with their translated names (Luciano di Samosata for Lucian of Samosata and Giovanni Keplero for Johannes Kepler): I am in doubt if create synonyms or use directly the names are already present in ISFDB. I'd go for the synonyms, but I am not sure a synonym can be considered an alternate name. Advice ? Thanks --Pips55 22:34, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

Following current ISFDB standards, you're pretty much obliged to record the credit exactly as given, create a pseudonym and make a variant title record. One day we might have a different author relationship other than pseudonym. There was talk of creating a "nickname" relationship (which would work better in this case), but that may be way on down the road. Mhhutchins 22:57, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

Upload cover images

I'm still new here and every time I think I'm clicking the right link it turns out to be the wrong procedure. I want to upload 'my' own cover image to a listing that doesn't have one. I went to the help file [2] and it states.. click the link labeled "Upload cover image". I see on the listing page "Upload cover scan"... Is this the same? Can this be changed to match? SpanishMill 14:38, 9 May 2013 (UTC)

Yes, it's the same thing. And I fixed the help to match. Thanks for catching the mismatch, and sorry about the confusion. --MartyD 16:14, 9 May 2013 (UTC)

Ghost writers

I'm sure I know the answer, but the brain cell responsible is refusing to divulge the information. How do we record a work credited to Author A but known via secondary sources to have been ghost-written by Author B (and never having been published under any byline other than Author A)? --MartyD 12:14, 13 May 2013 (UTC)

I'm assuming, in this case, that both authors are real persons. If there is reliable secondary evidence that Author B wrote the work, then the title record of the work is varianted to one that credits Author B. Do not make Author B into a pseudonym of Author A (the credited author) unless Author A is a housename. The varianting alone will move the title record from A's summary page to B's summary page. The drawback is that the title will not appear at all on A's summary page, so anyone looking in the database on the published author's summary page won't find the ISFDB record. They would have to do a search for the title. Here are various scenarios and how each have been handled in the db:
  • Example 1, an author writes a book solo which is credited to an entirely different author: Andrew Niederman has written 90% of the books published as by V. C. Andrews. Those titles credited to Andrews which are 100% known to have been written by Niederman are varianted to a record crediting him. Niederman has not been made into a pseudonym of Andrews. None of the titles written solely by Niederman appears on Andrews' summary page. Darrah Chavey came up with a clever way of directing users to Niederman's page.
  • Example 2, two authors co-write a work which is credited solely to only one of them: Diana L. Paxson co-wrote The Forest House with Marion Zimmer Bradley, but it was credited solely to Bradley. MZB herself made it clear that it was co-written by Paxson. So we varianted the title record crediting MZB to one which credits both.
  • Example 3, an author writes a book which is credited to her and another author who had no involvement in the actual writing of the work. Paxson wrote the last three novels of Bradley's Avalon series. The fifth one, Ancestors of Avalon, was credited to both authors (for marketing purposes, I'm sure) even though it is widely accepted as a solo effort by Paxson. So we entered the pubs as credited, but varianted the title record which credit both to one which credits Paxson alone. Mhhutchins 15:13, 13 May 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, and I do like that clever approach. I think I may just have to copy it.... --MartyD 01:24, 14 May 2013 (UTC)

Colored dye used on tops of books

Just need some information regarding the dye used on both pb and hc books, some of which I have in my own collection. I am aware of remainder marking and the speckling done with dyes. I've read that the full dye (solid color) on the tops is some kind of dust protection and/or that it may be a remainder marking. Any thoughts? Is this something that needs to be added to the notes section of a publication?

I have in my collection a 1966 printing of the BCE Foundation trilogy Trilogy_Bookwith a full red/orange dye across the top of the text block. Also, have Clarke's BCE City and Stars City_Stars_Bookwith full blue dye on the top of the text block. Including a couple of 1st/1st paperbacks with red/orange dye on the whole text block (top,bottom,side). SpanishMill 18:22, 14 May 2013 (UTC)

I've always thought it was nothing more than for aesthetic reasons. I could be wrong. (The remainder speckling/spraying has a more obvious reason than the solidly dyed ones.) Feel free to record it in the Note field of those records you have primary verified, but if there are any other PVs, discuss it with them. Their copies may have a different dye-job. Mhhutchins 18:25, 14 May 2013 (UTC)
And if that primary is no longer around such as Dragoondelight Can I then become the primary on this one? 12th planet pb SpanishMill 20:24, 14 May 2013 (UTC)
There are four other Primary verification slots. Use the first available one (which I see you already have). There is no priority in the Primary verifiers' positions. It's not a ranking, just a way of saying "I have a copy, and can verify the data given in this record is correct. If you have any questions, contact me." Of course, the active editor will always be the one picked on. :) Mhhutchins 00:48, 15 May 2013 (UTC)

The Bottle Imp #8

I'm considering indexing one issue of the Scottish arts magazine, The Bottle Imp #8. It has the ISSN 1574-1544. My hesitation comes from the fact that it's a borderline candidate in a couple of ways: 1) it's mostly a non-genre e-zine, however this issue from 2010 focussed entirely on Scottish science fiction; 2) while the magazine is not downloadable as a PDF publication in its entirety, individual articles are, e.g. see the top right corner of the articles here and here. The last bullet point of Rule of Acquisition #1 is not explicit in this case. Is there a precedent in the database for this borderline type of publication, or do other moderators consider it Out? PeteYoung 10:30, 15 May 2013 (UTC)

Exceptions have been made for web-only publications, but mostly for fiction published on websites which are recognized by the SFWA as a professional market (e.g., Strange Horizons). If you take on the responsibility as "curator" of this publication, you should make a screenshot of its content page and upload the image file to the record's Bibliographic Comments page, using the Table of Contents license tag. (You never know when websites are going to disappear, so that's the purpose of doing a screenshot to record its contents in case the website shuts down.) Let me know if you need assistance on how to do this. For an example, go to the last issue of Rudy Rucker's webzine Flurb. Mhhutchins 15:57, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
I find it rather odd that the authors of the pieces aren't credited on the contents page nor are they credited on the pages of the individual pieces. The only way to know who wrote them is to download the pdfs. You'll have to do that, save them all to your computer as a back-up reference, and do a primary verification of the ISFDB record so that you'll be able to answer questions for future users of the db. Mhhutchins 16:06, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, I just discovered they're credited only at the bottom of the last page in the web versions. I would still recommend that you save the pdfs if you're going to do a primary verification of the record. Mhhutchins 16:12, 15 May 2013 (UTC)

Worldcat verification

I usually use Worldcat to check data from other sources as ISBN, pub year, series or number and (loosely) translator and contents, citing OCLC number in notes. Do these operations qualify for a verification ? I am aware of Worldcat inaccuracies and ambiguities, but I am in doubt especially about the page numbers, which not always match those of my sources (, at the moment, which have a marked preference for even page numbers ...): should I state the difference and verify anyway ? Thanks --Pips55 22:22, 16 May 2013 (UTC)

If you use a specific OCLC record as the source for your data, it's good to give that number in the Note field (linking is optional) and checking the OCLC/Worldcat box in a verification of the record. If any of the ISFDB record's data fields do not match the linked OCLC record, the discrepancy should be noted, and the source for the data should be given. If this is the case, I personally wouldn't do an OCLC/Worldcat verification, but there's nothing in the standards that I'm aware of that prohibits this. Just let the user know that there are discrepancies between the two records. Mhhutchins 03:01, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
I think you have just about everything there, although there are a few other things you can check on: (1) The size of the book will tell you if it's pb vs. tp, although not hard vs soft cover, in case you don't already know that (Amazon sometimes tells us hard vs. soft, but not pb vs. tp); (2) Is there a summary description of the book? Only a modest fraction of records have these, but they can be useful to put into the Title Record "Synopsis" when they do; (3) On occasion, the record will list additional people under "Responsibility", e.g. an illustrator for the book, or the author of a preface/intro. If other names are listed there, they usually deserve to make it into the Pub record. If you've done the things from your list, and see if any of these 3 extras apply, then you've done a full WorldCat verification.
The one other thing that I will do, but which I suspect most verifiers do not do, is to click on the "View all editions and formats" link on line three of the main record. Some of the links in that list will not be the edition that you are verifying, but it's not uncommon to have multiple OCLC records for the same edition of a book. In those cases, I open up all of the links for the edition of the book that I'm verifying. I often find that some will have different information than others, and I can get more information than if I just take the link(s) WorldCat gives me when I search for the book. This sometimes means that you have several OCLC links that you can add to the notes. If there are more than two such links, I will select those with the most information. If there are still too many links (which happens to me more often than I would expect), on the remaining candidates I click the "Show libraries holding just this edition" link, and select those OCLC records that are held by the most libraries -- both because they're more likely to be accurate, and because I could imagine database users using that link to find a nearby library that has a copy of the book. Again, this last part is probably overkill, but you can add this step if you want to be thorough. On the issue of accuracy, for example, several times I have found one OCLC record that says the book is 260 pages while another says it's 257 pages. That usually means the longer count included extra blank pages, and the shorter count is probably the one we use. Chavey 03:21, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
Also keep in mind that the underlying library records used to construct OCLC records are often more complete. It can be a hassle to follow various links (make sure to limit the list to the right edition first!), but the results can be rewarding. Ahasuerus 03:39, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
Thank you all for the clear suggestions. I have already met (and somewhat managed) the situation with multiple OCLC links, but I think that the advice to favor the OCLC held by the most libraries is a very considerate one. --Pips55 19:53, 17 May 2013 (UTC)

Revisions and new stories

How significant does a revision have to be to be listed as a separate story? The two cases I have in mind are these:

  • Marsheila Rockwell "Auf Widershins" (1993) was, according to her webpage, "later revised and published as" "Auf Widdershins" (2006). Not familiar with the stories so I can't speak to the differences.
  • Ruben Dario "Veronica" (1896) was retitled "The Strange Death of Fray Gomez" (1913), but the textual changes otherwise amount to a few words here and there ("Kodak" for "photograph", etc.).

Thoughs? Gamaliel 16:28, 18 May 2013 (UTC)

Well, if we don't know about the amount of changes, it seems difficult to impossible to judge. So, I'd think it'd be best to leave it as is.
In the second case a note added to the title would be sufficient (just as you formulated it). These changes really don't amount to a separate story in my opinion. Stonecreek 18:19, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
Variants are based solely on a change in either the title or author credit. So you can use that function in both cases you cite (the spelling of the titles changed). If the titles and author credits are identical, changes in text can not be used to create a variant title record. As Christian said above, a revision in text can only be noted in the title record, even though I've seen attempts by other editors to create a disambiguated title record. For example: here and here. This last approach is discouraged, because there's no way to know the extent of the revision, and it creates two separate records that has no connection to each other. The user of the database has no way of knowing there are two different records for essentially the same story. There was talk of creating a new function which connects titles based on textual relationships, but there doesn't seem to be any movement in that direction. This is probably due to the small number of software writers and prioritization of necessary, required, and/or previously requested software updates.
BTW, expansion of a short story into a novel length work which keeps the same title (e.g. here and here) is a different matter. Because these are typed differently, there's no need to disambiguate (even though I've seen attempts in the db to do this.) But it would be nice to have the proposed relationship function in cases like this as well. It could also be used for fix-up novels, adaptations (by other hands), abridgments, and excerpts. Maybe one day... Mhhutchins 19:34, 18 May 2013 (UTC)

Clearing XML Parse Error from Submission Queue

I've generated three entries showing an "XML Parse Error" in the submission queue. Would appreciate help in clearing these.--Rkihara 17:21, 29 May 2013 (UTC)

As per the "Rejecting Bad Submissions" section of the Help:Screen:Moderator page:
  • If a submission is so badly malformed that it doesn't display correctly and can't be rejected using the regular Approve/Hold/Reject options, it can be rejected using an undocumented script. The script, "hardreject.cgi", is not available in the navbar, but if you give it a submission number, e.g., it will force submission number 123456 into the rejected state.
What's interesting in this case is that the submissions are properly formed (I just checked using a third party validator), so it looks like something is wrong with the "New Submissions" page. Alternative, they may include invisible characters that are messing things up, but that seems unlikely since they are supposed to be stripped at submission time. Anyway, I will reject these submissions and do more analysis on the development server later. Ahasuerus 18:17, 29 May 2013 (UTC)
Thanks!--Rkihara 01:19, 30 May 2013 (UTC)

Cartoon book help

I have book of SF cartoons, U. F. O. HO-HO by Joseph Farris, who has many cartoons entered here under Interior Art. Is this a candidate for inclusion? And if so under which category?Don Erikson 18:37, 11 June 2013 (UTC)

Well, I'd say it belongs most certainly, same as - for example - this one, and it would be also entered as NONFICTION. Stonecreek 18:56, 11 June 2013 (UTC)

Bloch book conundrum

I have a copy of Bloch's collection FEAR TODAY- GONE TOMORROW published by Award Books. The problem is this; it is the 1971 1st printing [3] with a large sticker across the top of the cover with catalog number and price of the second printing [4] and saying "From the best-selling author of "Psycho". So the question is; does this deserve a separate entry or is it just variation that should be noted in one of the 2 entries? And if so which one? Also, if it matters, I bought this from a dealer in Australia. Could it be an Australian variant?Don Erikson 22:17, 16 June 2013 (UTC)

Probably not. It was probably found hidden in the corner of their warehouse after the second printing, and was stickered to give the current price and catalog number. I would suggest making a note in the record for the first printing that stickered copies exist. (Without the sticker it would just be another copy of the first printing.) Since this is definitely not the second printing, there's no need to note it in the second printing. Mhhutchins 02:13, 17 June 2013 (UTC)

Adding translation

Even after reading Help desk's archives and this, I am still confused about this subject. So not to overburden mods with fixing my potential mess, I would like to some explanation (step-by-step guide would be more than welcome) as to how adding foreign language translations works. Ilneval 19:19, 17 June 2013 (UTC)

There are several ways and the specific steps can vary depending on the publication type. Assuming that you are talking about a novel, I recommend:
  • On the applicable title record (example A Dream of Flying), click "Add a Variant Title or Pseudonymous Work to This Title" on the left hand menu. Enter the foreign language title information. Add a note to the moderator that you will add a publication record once the variant is accepted.
  • Once a moderator accepts the variant, go to the new title record and click "Add Publication to This Title" on the left hand menu. Enter the publication information including the source of your information.
If the author's name is different in the foreign language version than the canonical listing, you may have to create a pseudonym if one doesn't already exist.
Hope this helps. Please ask additional questions if not clear. -- JLaTondre (talk) 21:42, 18 June 2013 (UTC)
As an alternate method, and I think one that most moderators would prefer because it leads to less potential problems, I suggest this one:
  • First do a search for the title to see if it's already in the database. The title, author, and language fields must match exactly before you use the "Add Publication to This Title" function.
  • If the title doesn't exist in the database use the proper function under the "Add New Data" menu which appears on the main page of the database. Make sure that you set the correct language when creating the publication record.
  • After the submission is accepted, go to the work's parent title record, copy its record number (it's in the upper right hand corner of the title record display page). Then go to the new publication record, click on the Title Reference link (this leads to the new title record), click on the link "Make This Title a Variant Title or Pseudonymous Work". On the next page, enter the number of the parent title record (the one you copied) into the Parent # field, and click the box "Link to Existing Parent".
This method avoids the creation of orphan title records and the need to merge duplicate title records. I've known users to go through an author's bibliography, making variant title records for various translations, then forgetting about them, which creates orphan records (titles without pubs). And then later entering publication records using the "Add" function, which creates duplicate titles. Also, some users have set their preferences to hide certain languages, and then create new title records that already exist. You also avoid the problem of adding variant titles to a series, which happens more often when a user is adding variant titles. Varianting a translated title to an existing title automatically transfers series data to the translated title. Yet another reason to create the pubs before the title records is that the system creates a title record that matches exactly the title, author and language fields of the created pub. You increase the chances of mismatching those fields when a title is added first, because a user may "correct" the fields during the publication entry process. I'm sure there are other reasons why creating the pub record first is the better method, especially for new editors. As the editor becomes more proficient, they learn how to avoid the problems that could occur when a variant title record is created without a publication. Mhhutchins 23:09, 18 June 2013 (UTC)
The help is greatly appreciated. I have another question that is somewhat connected to all this. I have a few translation that do not have originals in the database. In one case, author himself is not in the db yet. What to do in this situation? Ilneval 08:57, 19 June 2013 (UTC)
Well, the first step would be to enter the publication, the system generates automatically the title and the author (and his or her summary page). But before you do this, please be sure that the works are eligible for ISFDB: the works should be speculative fiction or nonfiction related to the field. When in doubt, please ask.
The second step is to variant the titles to their originals, which also is done via the link "Make This Title a Variant Title or Pseudonymous Work". Just scroll down and you reach the second half where you can generate parent titles that aren't in the database. The data is preset to the title you'd like to variant. Most likely you only have to change to the original title, the year or date of original publication (if known) and the original language. Hope this is of some help. Stonecreek 09:21, 19 June 2013 (UTC)

Will Solvit novels

We have 12 Will Solvit novels by "Zed Storm" on file. According to Eleanor Hawken's Web site, a few years ago she "came up with the idea for a book about a ten-year-old boy who time travelled and solved mysteries, his name was Will Solvit. I wrote seven books in the Will Solvit series, and devised the storylines and worked as a series consultant on the other five." Worldcat helped identify the authors of the first 4 books, but books 5 through 12 remain a mystery. Would anyone happen to have any ideas as to who wrote what in this series? Ahasuerus 18:33, 19 June 2013 (UTC)

Price decimal separator character

Did we ever standardize on using period as the decimal separator in prices, even if comma is used for that purpose in the native price's representation? I could swear there was a discussion, but I can't find it, and I certainly don't remember its conclusion. Thanks. --MartyD 12:08, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

I also was unable to find an official policy on this. The recent discussion you might be thinking of was in the last "unindent" in this discussion of Italian prices. But here the question was whether "one thousand" should consistently be entered as "1,000", as opposed to the European "1.000". (The conclusion was yes.) Since the use of comma/period as a thousands separator really has to complement a use of period/comma as a decimal separator, I would assume we have an implicit policy of using the period as a decimal separator, but I don't think it's been formalized. It should be. Chavey 14:27, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
I agree that a period should be used as a decimal separator, so that it won't be misunderstood as a thousands separator. Mhhutchins 14:39, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
I also agree. You may refer to this earlier discussion. Stonecreek 14:44, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
How embarassing. Seeing as consensus here and now is the same as concensus there and then, I will go update the help. Thanks. --MartyD 16:36, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
That's happened so often, I've stopped keeping count. There's a long drawn-out discussion where a) no definite conclusion is made and the help documentation remains unchanged, or b) there is a consensus and the help documentation remains unchanged! Months or years later the issue arises again, I give the results of the last discussion, and am met with resistance because the help documentation contradicts the previous consensus. You just can't win. The problem is no one wants to unilaterally change the help documentation, when there were only three or four editors involved in the discussion. That's why I'm afraid to change the current documentation even when it contradicts the de facto standards. Mhhutchins 17:17, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

Uploading author images

I uploaded an author image for Michelle Murrain, following the directions (as best as I could) from the Help on Uploading Images'. Step #10 says:

10. If you are using one of the license tags that specifies an artist, and you specified an artist 
name, scroll down to the bottom of the wiki page. Look for the line that starts "Categories",  
and in it, the link that is labeled "Artist:" followed by the artist name specifed.

I am using one of those license tags. I did specify an artist name. The line for "Categories" does not include a link labeled "Artist". Are those instructions incorrect, or am I unable to follow the stated instructions? Chavey 21:45, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

Those instructions only apply to cover art. Author photographs should be uploaded using the "Upload file" link on the wiki pages, and adding the Author Image Data license. Copy and paste this template into the summary box

{{Author Image Data
|Name=<Name of author> (person shown in picture)
|Photographer=<Person who took the picture>
|Source=<where did we get the image from>
|Publication=<Where and when was this image published>
|Portion=<How much of the image was used, if not the whole>
|Replaceable=<Why this image can not be replaced by a freely licensed image> (example: "The person is dead.")

Replace the bracketed parameters with the applicable data, and remove the parenthetical description for each one. An example using the Michelle Murrain photograph:

{{Author Image Data
|Name=Michelle Murrain

Of course, you may know more about this photo than I know, so you'd be able to fill in more of the data. Mhhutchins 22:59, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
BTW, the current license that's attached to the photo applies only if the work has been copyrighted (usually by the photographer) and we've received permission from the copyright holder to host the file on our server. Mhhutchins 23:01, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
The section of "Uploading Images" I was linking to begins by saying "Only use this method if you're uploading an image file other than that of a publication cover", so I was trying to use the appropriate instructions. I see that looking later in this help section is a sub-section on "Licensing: Author Photos", which gives the template that you list. However, there is no forward reference to that section in the instructions I linked to above. The instructions do keep referring to "License Tags", but that appears to be referring to the link Category:Image License Tags, from which I could detect that I should be using the Template: By Permission. But it seems that there are two different "tags" required here, and using only one of them did not successfully allow the "Categories" to be updated. I still can't figure out how I was supposed to have figured that out from the "Direct Upload" instructions. Or even if I've filled in the tags for Michelle's picture correctly. Chavey 17:46, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
As with most documentation, this may have presumed a greater knowledge of certain terms and processes than the newcomer should be expected to know. I agree that there should be a link to the individual license tags in the body of the step-by-step instructions. But if you re-read section 10 (the one you quote above), it states "If you are using one of the license tags that specifies an artist...". So you should have skipped this step as neither of the tags you use have an artist parameter ("author" in these tags does not mean "artist" as we conflate the terms in the database.) This step is to place the image (cover art) into a wiki category created for the artist's work. Mhhutchins 18:48, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
Michelle claims to hold the copyright (presumably as a "work for hire"), and she released it to us for these purposes. So I believe that's the correct license to use. I will ask her for the name of the photographer, though. Chavey 17:46, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
Still, I don't believe both tags are necessary in this case. But if the photograph is really copyrighted, it doesn't hurt to have both attached to the image file. Mhhutchins 18:48, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
I've updated the help to add a link from the instructions to the list of various licenses that appear at the bottom of the page. Mhhutchins 18:53, 21 June 2013 (UTC)

How do I edit my existing database entry

Hi, I just discovered the isfdb and found that I have an entry! Which is great except that some of the details are inaccurate. How do I go about fixing my entry's data so that the right titles are listed and the titles I'm not associated with aren't listed? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by JimJohnson (talkcontribs) .

Hello! It's great that you found us! I would like to offer you a choice: if you like to stay it would be best to try a change by editing the data. Start with the first and we could go through the needed changes one by one. The other possibilty would be that you state your problems and we'll try to do our best to implement the changes for you. In every case, please take a look at your talk page: maybe the introductory text with its mentioning of help pages can give some leads. Stonecreek 19:05, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
Jim, If we have entries that don't belong to you, then that probably means that there are two different authors with the same name. In this case, we need to "disambiguate" the two names (a process I'm sure you've seen on Wikipedia a few times). That's a slightly challenging task, and is probably best to do with the help of an experienced editor here, e.g. by giving us the list of titles that seem to belong to a "different" Jim Johnson. If we are missing some of your existing publications, then the solution is to add the publication -- i.e. it's not by a direct editing of your author's page. Stonecreek suggests how you can begin the process on your own, although you could also ask for help on that part. (Aside: A common issue is that we do not index web publications. Items listed here must exist either in printed form or else as ebooks.) Chavey 14:36, 26 June 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for the info! It does look like there needs to be some disabiguation. The Port Nowhere anthology and the following five stories are all a different Jim Johnson:

--Simikus Giff (2004) --Endurance (2004) --Catch of the Day (2004) --Manifest Destiny (2004) --Waking Up with Sha'zreen (2004)

I'll add my other titles per the regular rules.

Also, how do I update my user information to reflect birthday, etc.? Thanks so much!

JimJohnson 16:11, 27 June 2013 (UTC)

Hi, I have edited the title and publication of the anthology crediting an unknown 'Jim Johnson (II)'. It was a simple thing to do, since the stories were only published in the anthology and could be edited in one go together with this publication (note that the contents of one given publication are the titles).
You may edit your personal data by using the 'Edit Author Data' button on the left tool bar of your summary page. Stonecreek 16:55, 27 June 2013 (UTC)

How to add a joined digest?

I have a digest book, which consists of a single title page and then added these 3:

Including their covers, advertising, all ...

How do I enter this? I entered the three individual parts, but have no idea how to add the joined work. Can I make a "publication omnibus"?

Posted by Stoecker.--Rkihara 22:34, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
Libraries often send out magazines to have them bound up between hard covers. This sounds like what you have. In that case it is not a publication and entering the three digests within is as far as you should go. Please sign your notes by typing four tildes at the end which will attach the date and your name to the end of your post.--Rkihara 22:34, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
No it is an own publication. A "Sammelband", number 6 of a series. But unlike others the contents consists of 3 unmodified magazines. Only front, back are added and a new price. If have another omnibus in book form, where the contents page numbers restart for each novel, but this one here is much more obscure... --Stoecker 11:04, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
I don't know if there is any precedent for this. Amazing Stories similarly bound up unsold issues in the 1940's and 1950's and sold them as "quarterlies." The earlier Amazing Stories quarterlies I believe used mostly original material. Significantly we show no listings for the quarterlies beyond 1934 when the earlier series ended. If you do enter the pub, it should be entered as an "anthology," since an "omnibus" is a collection of novels--Rkihara 16:24, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

Linking a magazine serial to the novel record

Not a clue how to accomplish this. Entered the five magazines [all non-genre] with the five part serial for The Nine Unknown by [Talbot Mundy]. I won't even begin to describe what [for me] an arduous task that was [our HELP totally sucks when it comes to magazines - excessive verbiage with no diagrams = glazed eyes]. However, now that the series is there, how does one get it to display with the [Novel] record? And if anyone just points to a HELP section I'll track 'em down and strangle 'em!!! [gently, of course .............. nah, probably with a vengeance ;-))]. FWIW I don't know why anyone would ever enter a magazine, the effort just isn't worth it. --~ Bill, Bluesman 02:44, 20 July 2013 (UTC)

The individual parts should have been typed as SERIAL instead of SHORTFICTION. Either way, the next step is to variant them to the NOVEL record. If one didn't exist, you could create one by changing the type at the bottom section of the "Make This Title a Variant Title or Pseudonymous Work" form. Because a NOVEL record exists, use the top section of the form, putting "21221" in the Parent # field. You'd repeat this until all of the parts have been varianted to the NOVEL record. Mhhutchins 03:09, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
Will do. Cheers! --~ Bill, Bluesman 03:37, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
The Help documentation is here. This page is linked on the How to... page as "How to connect serials to titles". Please don't strangle me. I linked this just in case a new editor is reading this post. Mhhutchins 03:13, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
No worries, my arms don't reach to Georgia!! Though I'm sure that when giving my "purpose of travel" at any airport as "gunning for a magazine serialist", they'd understand fully!!!! ;-))) --~ Bill, Bluesman 03:37, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
If you think entering a magazine with one content record is hard, you should never get near an average magazine which has more than a dozen content records, or in the case of Locus, 4 or 5 dozen records each month, many of which will have to be entered into column series, or are reviews which have to be linked to the pub records. Mhhutchins 03:17, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
But you are used to it. And if you had to start from scratch using only our HELP [that's the hard part], even a fine Southern gentleman such as yourself would be heard cursing even North of the Mason-Dixon ... and I'd bet on that!! :-)) --~ Bill, Bluesman 03:37, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
The only reason I'm used to it is because I started early by acquainting myself with the entry of all types of publications, learning by trial and error, and with the assistance of the moderators who tolerated my fumbling approach toward understanding. In fact, I don't ever recall actually reading any of the help documentation when it came to magazine entry. (If I did, the six intervening years have wiped the trauma from my memory.) One of these days I might have the time to go through the documentation to see if I can make it more understandable. Mhhutchins 03:42, 20 July 2013 (UTC)

John Shamus O'Donnel / Flann O'Brien

I have just added a biblio comment page for author John Shamus O'Donnell, who has one short fiction entry 'Naval Control' and, it is now believed, was yet another pseudonym for Brian O'Nolan, aka, Flann O'Brien. The assertion is made in the appendix to a recent Flann O'Brien collection – see the above comment for details and a link to an article that reveals this assertion. Is this sufficient evidence to go ahead and make O'Donnel a pseudonym? At the moment, I suspect otherwise. Mods? PeteYoung 16:39, 21 July 2013 (UTC)

I personally don't think the linked article supplies sufficient evidence to prove the relationship. Now if the story had been reprinted in the new collection, that would be different. The reviewer never actually states the position of the collection's editors or why and how the Amazing story is listed in the book's appendix. The statement "O’Nolan later used the names Jams O’Donnell and John James Doe elsewhere, so this new pseudonym fits the pattern exactly." Huh? How does this pseudonym "fit the pattern exactly"? I see no pattern at all. Perhaps he's seeing things I'm not seeing or taking a leap of faith. For the time being, the link should be enough. But that's me. Others may disagree. Mhhutchins 17:48, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
I'm definitely inclined to leave it as is for now, and I'm interested enough in O'Brien to get hold of the book as well, not just to check on the appendix. but I'd also like to know how the editors of the book came by this knowledge. I think the pattern he's referring to is simply the similarity of names based around "Jams O'Donnell" (a character in The Poor Mouth) and doesn't really warrant the word "exactly". Nothing is simple in the world of O’Nolan bibliography. PeteYoung 02:09, 22 July 2013 (UTC)
I now have a copy of The Short Fiction of Flann O'Brien, and yes, the whole story 'Naval Control' is reprinted in an Appendix to the collection, with a long introduction examining why there's a compelling case to believe it's by O'Brien, while also stating "To date, no archival material has been found to verify the story's provenance." But as the story now appears in an O'Brien collection I do think it's now right to make O'Donnell a pseudonym, given that this belief is the basis for its inclusion in the collection. I'll also adjust the bibliographic note covering these details. PeteYoung 17:17, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
I must continue to disagree for the same reason I gave above, and nothing in the new data makes a difference. In fact, it makes my stand even more compelling. If the editors of that collection can't "verify the story's provenance", it's not up to the ISFDB to do so either. Once something's on the Internet, there's no way to remove it completely. Why should we create a pseudonym based on information from someone who can't confirm their own data? Create a content record for the story and merge it with the one already in the db, add a note to the title record about the possible author's identity, but I still think creating a pseudonym is not the way to go. Mhhutchins 17:52, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

Advice requested on how to update ISFDB from copy in hand

I have a copy of Dark Futures: Tales of Dystopian SF except the title on the title page is simply "Dark Futures" with no subtitle. The editor, publisher, isbn, price, and binding match.

The page numbers and date are different. My page numbers entry would be [8]+268. At the bottom of the last page is CPSIA data which includes this code: LVOW081436181212. According to this page that code means my copy was printed in Lavergne, TN on December 18, 2012.

What transactions should I use to enter data from my copy? Should I add my title as a variant of the existing title? Should I edit the existing title to remove the subtitle, then edit the pub using my date, page numbers, and content entries? Should I add a new anthology?

Please advise on the transaction screens I should fill out in order. Thanks.

Jmaloney 19:31, 21 July 2013 (UTC)

I found the book's page on the publisher's web site Dark Quest. The image of the book's cover on that page does not bear the quotation from Jeff Carlson that's at the bottom of the cover on my copy.

Jmaloney 23:32, 21 July 2013 (UTC)

On the publication record page, there is a link "Clone This Pub" under the Editing Tools menu. Click on that and on the next page make all changes based on your copy. Use both internal evidence and secondary sources to build the data. Be sure to note the secondary sources in the submission's "Note" field. If you are able, scan the front cover of your copy and upload the image to the IFSDB server using the "Upload cover scan" link of the newly created pub record. (This is a second submission and must wait until the first has been moderated and the record has been created.) If you have any further questions, ask them here. Thanks. Mhhutchins 00:36, 22 July 2013 (UTC)
I've updated the record with further data from OCLC, and linked the image connected to the Amazon listing. If the image matches yours, keep Amazon's URL in the cloned record. The only difference now appears to be that your copy is a later printing, based on the printing code. That should be given as the source for the new date in the cloned record. Mhhutchins 00:47, 22 July 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. I have submitted a cloned publication containing my updates. Jmaloney 20:44, 22 July 2013 (UTC)

The Martian Chronicles

I've been searching around for info about the Bantam paperbacks and their cover art. Once of the things that prompted me to do so is that I bought a book from Amazon, expecting a 1984 printing with Michael Whelan art and the words "Grand Master Edition" on the cover. Instead I got a Perma-Bound copy with the art-deco Bradbury logo and an unknown artist. (I don't like Perma-Bound, it gives you not the better qualities of hardcover and paperback but the worse.) The copyright page says "71 printings through May 1990" and credits Ian Miller with the cover. It's not a bad cover, whoever that artist is, but I prefer the Whelan over it. I learned that any copy with Whelan has to date from 1990 on to be accurate. Some Amazon listings have the wrong date or the wrong artist. I am curious. That mystery artist who's not quite but almost as good as Whelan, who is it? How long did Whelan stay on the cover, 1990 until 2000, or 2010, or when Bantam Spectra had its last printing? And if I want to get other Ray Bradbury books in the Spectra "Grand Master Edition", how do I make sure of it? RR 19:44, 24 July 2013 (UTC)

Last question first: Only buy books from dealers who can answer direct queries. If a book dealer can't answer your questions about the book they're selling, you should keep looking.
About the cover artist of the book you got: never trust the interior art credit for a "Perma-Bound" book. The company strips the original covers (along with its art, of course) and rebinds the interior sheets between stiff boards. The covers may match the interior credit, but more than likely not. Look through the ISFDB records for earlier editions and see if any matches your copy. If the record has been Primary Verified, you've got a good chance of knowing who is credited as the artist. Or it may be that Perma-Bound commissioned new art. Is there any cover art credit on the back board? Mhhutchins 19:56, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
No art credit on the back, but it does have a blurb and a small picture of Bradbury, both may have been on the back of the art-deco paperback cover. I'm sure the artwork was not commissioned for Perma-Bound, it's present on mid-to-late 1980s covers. RR 00:23, 25 July 2013 (UTC)

The Bantam printing for June 1975, Record # 219601, has this note: "37th printing. The color part of the cover art uncredited but is in my (DWE) opinion by Dean Ellis. The Bradbury portrait is uncredited." If it's one of the series with matching logo and Bradbury ink-line portrait, then it has artwork from the 1969 edition, and I also think it's Dean Ellis. RR 00:35, 25 July 2013 (UTC)

Okay, I now have proof it's Dean Ellis:


Okay? RR 00:55, 25 July 2013 (UTC)

There are a several Martian Chronicles covers there. Do you mean this one? I'm not really sure if a posting on a website (regardless of its credentials) should be used as a source for the credit, unless it's the artist's website. You can always note your suspicions in the record's Note field. If you look at the users' comments near the bottom of page, you'll find a posting by me which questions their crediting Dean Ellis with the art for The Illustrated Man. Another user responds, but it's still not definitive proof, or good enough for ISFDB credit. Mhhutchins 02:35, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
The Spectrum website, of Cathy and Arnie Fenner, states that this illustration is Ellis. They've got to be right. "" A Google picture search also turned up several matches to book covers. RR 03:21, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I would believe the Fenners more than a website which gives no verifiable evidence. You can update the records, crediting Ellis, and give them as the source for your data. If any of the pub records have been Primary Verified, please leave a note on the editors' talk pages. Mhhutchins 04:04, 26 July 2013 (UTC)

Publications without ISBN's.

I have a case where a Subterranean Press chapterbook has been printed in 2 editions. A limited edition with wraps that has an ISBN and a signed and lettered 26 copy hc that was issued without an ISBN (I have confirmed this fact by contacting Sub Press directly). I know entering a record without an ISBN is not desirable but the hc is still a separate edition and I feel it should have an entry (explaining the lack of ISBN) rather than just a note in the limited edition mentioning it. Could somebody please confirm that this would be acceptable? Thanks Andrewk 01:24, 27 July 2013 (UTC)

It's OK to make a submission for a separate publication, even if that publication was only available with the purchase of another publication. Leave the price and ISBN fields blank if they are not stated in the publication. You can add a note about its availability. Mhhutchins 01:38, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
BTW, the reason why we mention another state of an edition in the Note field of one state is because we've been unable to determine if the publication actually exists. This happens often with such limited editions. If you have confirmed with the publisher that the work was published, it's OK to create a new record. If not, it's best just to note that the second state "was announced", which implies that no copy has been seen. Mhhutchins 01:42, 27 July 2013 (UTC)

ebook publications: multiple records for multiple sources

If an ebook is available for purchase via Amazon/Kindle with an ISBN, but also as free downloads from the publishers in multiple formats (under Creative Commons), should this be entered as one publication for the ISBN version noting the free downloads, or should a separate pub record be created for the free downloads? Thanks Andrewk 10:21, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

It would depend on several factors, but the situation has never been discussed thoroughly as far as I know. You'd have to distinguish the fact that each of the files are not identical, and that each one was actually "published". ISBN is not a factor at all, since most ebooks don't have a stated or even an embedded ISBN. I know this doesn't do much to answer your question, but unless you can provide more details on a specific situation, it may come down to a case-by-case determination. For example, if the publisher sells the Kindle format ebook, but gives away the PDF, then I'd think two records would be OK. But if both are Kindle format, then only one is required, even if it could be obtained at no cost from someone other than Amazon. This could be noted in the Note field. Mhhutchins 16:46, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

In this particular case in concerns the ebook of Kelly Links 'Stranger Things Happen'. It has a ISBN for a Kindle edition for sale on Amazon, but on the publishers website they have called for the general public to provide any conversions they have done for inclusion on their download page. This includes anything from a kindle (non Amazon) conversion Ereader, ISilo, Palm OS, Plucker Mobipocket, pdf, html, plain text etc. So we are not talking about 'official' publisher editions in this case. Thanks Andrewk 08:28, 29 July 2013 (UTC)

New Not-Yet-Published Novel

Just found out on IMDb that a major movie studio plans to make a movie from a new SF novel: "" The title is Tomorrow and Tomorrow, by Thomas Sweterlitsch. Who is this author? Google turned up only this: ""

RT Book Reviews


Science Fiction - Tom Sweterlitsch's first novel, Tomorrow and Tomorrow, is set ten years after the destruction of Pittsburgh and follows one survivor who’s involved in creating a digital reproduction of the area, and in doing so discovers a scandalous cover-up that explains the city’s demise. Release date TBA.

This author's debut novel appears to be still waiting for a publisher, but it was picked up by Sony Pictures without much delay. RR 23:03, 30 July 2013 (UTC)

There's nothing in this story for the ISFDB to be concerned about. Once the actual book has been published (or a publisher announcement for the date of publication), only then can a record be created. Mhhutchins 03:06, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

Uncorrected Book Proofs and Advanced Reader copies

Are these of interest for entry into the ISFDB? Thanks Andrewk 01:19, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

Only published books are eligible for the database. Exceptions have been made for famous (or infamous) unpublished books. You may find proofs and ARCs in the db, but as a rule, they shouldn't be. Mhhutchins 03:03, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

Different stories with the same name by the same Author

What is the correct procedure if in a collection of short stories 238077 the author has decided to call two or more different stories with exactly the same title? There is no additional information I can find to differentiate them (such copyright date etc.). I have temporarily subtitled them with the first few words of the story. Thanks Andrewk 08:50, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

There is no official standard for this case, but we have precedents for using parenthetical information to disambiguate among other types of titles and for using the first line or first few words plus an elipsis, parenthetically, to disambiguate among identically titled poems and letters. We're not consistent about whether the excerpted words should be enclosed in double quotes, but quoting seems best to me. --MartyD 16:23, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

Cover artist v cover designer.

If the cover of a book has a cover designer rather than artist, so for example it is composed of a famous painting surrounded by other design features such as text, colour blocks etc. Is the designer treated the same as a cover artist and entered into the "Artist1" field? Thanks Andrewk 13:17, 9 August 2013 (UTC)

In your example, the artist of the famous painting would be credited in the "Artist1" field, and the cover designer can be credited in the "Note" field. If the cover has no representational artwork, and is totally designed, i.e. photo collages or text/design, then the cover designer would be credited in the "Artist1" field. Sometimes it comes down to making a judgement about who contributed most to the cover. In that case, make sure the contributions are clearly noted in the "Note" field. Mhhutchins 16:52, 9 August 2013 (UTC)

"Bibliographic Comments" area - when to use

Under what circumstances, if any, would I use the "Bibliographic Comments" area for a publication, rather than the "Notes" area? Couldn't find anything in help files, though perhaps I didn't look hard enough. Thanks. BungalowBarbara 22:32, 13 August 2013 (UTC)

If the information you want to add is specific to one edition then it should be added to that record's Note field. I admit to only using the Bibliographics Comments page to add screen shots of webzines' TOC pages in order to preserve the contents in case the website disappears. I've seen it used so rarely that its original purpose has become arcane knowledge! (At least to me.) A while back some editors were using it to record separate printings for certain titles (e.g. Bantam printings of Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles) and to add notes about differences in printings. Other than that, I don't know how other editors use the function. Can anyone else suggest why the Bibliographic Comments should be used instead of the Note field? Mhhutchins 02:34, 14 August 2013 (UTC)
I often use the Bibliographic Notes, and have used them for the following purposes:
  1. To list titles by the author that should NOT be included, i.e. non-genre works for authors under the threshold (e.g. Beatrix Potter or Fiona Richmond, the later being documentation on a disagreement between us and SFE);
  2. To list some works by an author that might be genre, but for which we do not know enough about the contents (e.g. Dorothy Daniels and Daniel Cohen);
  3. For a listing of a graphic novel set in the same universe as a title series of the author, but which should not be listed in our bibliography (i.e. Jim Butcher);
  4. To discuss whether certain works by an author should be listed as fiction or non-fiction (e.g. Cicely Mary Barker);
  5. To list reference works or links that are pertinent to the bibliography of the author (e.g. Edgar Allan Poe);
  6. For discussion and reasons behind the choice of the canonical name for the author (e.g. Stephanie Shaver);
  7. To discuss the details of the ghost-written books under an author's name after they died (i.e. V. C. Andrews);
  8. To discuss issues of identification of an author among various people of that name, (e.g. Tremlett Carter, Martin Waddell or Slater La Master).
The final category could possibly go in the "Biographical Notes", but there seems value in maintaining information about why we think this "John Doe" author is actually this "John Doe" person, and that's not quite the same as "Biographical" information. Except for this final category, these uses are essentially all information about the "full bibliography" of the author, including books that shouldn't get their own title listings, and rarely information about specific titles, which belong in either Title Notes or Publication Notes. Chavey 13:26, 14 August 2013 (UTC)
The poster was inquiring about the Bibliographic Comments link on publication records, not the one on author pages which lead to wiki pages for comments about the author. That's an entirely different function. (Author category as opposed to Publication category in the wiki pages.) Mhhutchins 13:56, 14 August 2013 (UTC)
I did find a good example of someone using a publication bibliographic comments page: here. He created a list of direct links from the contents of the book to the actual publication in which the artwork was used as a cover. Although, it would have also been good to list the title record contents in the publication record as well. Mhhutchins 14:07, 14 August 2013 (UTC)
And here is a good example of how not to use the function. It was used to add a concern about the record which should have been posted on a community page. Mhhutchins 14:09, 14 August 2013 (UTC)
Here is one which I consider overkill, but it's a another usage for the function. Mhhutchins 14:22, 14 August 2013 (UTC)
Here is another improper usage. The data should have been entered in the title record, because it is not publication specific. Mhhutchins 14:25, 14 August 2013 (UTC)
Thanks! This helps. The specific case I had in mind is that I have two different printings of Dark Legend. They don't have a number line on the copyright page -- the information that makes me think they are different printings are the bar codes & prices on back cover and the ads in the back. My thought was to clone the publication as usual for a later printing, then put "believed later printing per prices, code on back and ads in back -- see Bibliographic notes" and then use the Bibiliographic notes to give more information, including a link to a picture or scan of the codes on the back cover. (It may be a not-very-good picture, my options are the camera in my laptop, the camera in my cell phone, and my digital camera which is great but doesn't do closeups all that well.) Does that sound reasonable? BungalowBarbara 22:32, 14 August 2013 (UTC)
Yes, it does. Mhhutchins 22:51, 14 August 2013 (UTC)

Problems uploading cover images

I am a newbie who thought that because I had many of a certain group of magazines I could contribute the cover scans to the website. Also I am an old person and none of this is intuitive for me. I am trying to upload scans but keep getting this message: Error creating thumbnail: /var/www/html/wiki//bin/ line 4: /usr/local/bin/convert: No such file or directory

Do not know what to do. Just forget it? Carolyn

First, welcome to the ISFDB. Now, a couple of questions:
  1. Are you uploading the images using the "Upload cover scan" link on the publication record?
  2. Are the image files within the required ISFDB standards: the file is no larger than 150kb, and the height of the image is no more than 600 pixels?
If you've answered yes to both of these questions, go to your preferences link ("My Preference") and click on the "Files" tab. Reset each of the selections to the highest numbers ("10000x10000px" and "300px"). The system should now display any image file which you upload (but please don't upload any larger than the above limits.) Now, go to the publication for which you wish to upload the cover scan. Click on the "Upload cover scan" link and follow the directions. Once your image is on the ISFDB server, click on it and copy the file's URL (in your browser's address window). Then go back to the publication record and click on "Edit This Pub" under the Editing Tools menu. On the next page, paste the URL you just copied of the file into the "Image URL" field. Then click "Submit" and a moderator will look at the submission to determine if it's OK, and either accept it or reject it. (Or place the submission on hold if they have any questions for you, which will be posted on your user page.) BTW, you should end each of your posts on the wiki with four tildes (~~~~) which automatically signs and dates your message. If you are having more problems uploading image files, please respond again to this posting. Thanks. Mhhutchins 00:49, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
I see what the problem is, and it's what I suspected. Your image file is on the server, but is too large (605 × 818 pixels) which was why the system was unable to create a thumbnail to display it. If you'll change the preferences as explained above, you will be able to see it. Now all you have to do is link it to the publication record as explained above. I'll resize it to ISFDB standards, but keep those standards in mind when uploading future files. Thanks for contributing. Mhhutchins 00:55, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
A couple of the images you uploaded were not only too large, but were uploaded directly to the server without going through the database publication record. This is a common error for new editors so it's understandable when it happens. Not using the link from the publication record prevents the system from doing several "behind the scenes" functions. Direct uploads of cover images using the wiki upload link require an editor to make several "fixes" before they can be linked to the publication record. I will copy those files, re-size them, and then re-upload them to the server using the correct upload method. If you like I could link them to the records, or you can take a hand at it yourself to get the practice. Your choice. Thanks. Mhhutchins 01:31, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
I see that you corrected the problems with one of the uploads by using the link from the pub record (the September 1964 issue). Its URL will have to be added to the pub record. Here is the link to the one for the November 1963 issue. You'll have to click on the image to get its URL. And then add that URL to the proper field when updating the pub record. Let me know if you need some help to do that. Mhhutchins 01:44, 20 August 2013 (UTC)

Removed a title from a publication.

I submitted to remove a title from a publication only because it was greyed out and the name of the author is shown differently in the actual magazine. I just didn't know where to show an explanation why so I'm using the help desk. Magazine of Horror, March 1969 Seniorlady 17:15, 22 August 2013 (UTC)

Submission accepted. Software people, it would be nice to have a "Note to Moderator" field in the submission for this function, so that the editor can explain why they're removing a content. Mhhutchins 20:11, 22 August 2013 (UTC)

Serling book lost in a twilight zone

The title to the anthology ROD SERLING'S DEVILS AND DEMONS, edited by Serling, does not appear on the author's page. Only the introduction listed under Essays is listed. And it links to here [8] which shows three printings. Even though the author's name links back to his page the title isn't there. I've noticed the same happens with Alfred Hitchcock, I have a stack of books that I've putting off because they can only be found by searching for the title and don't appear on the author's page. So the question is "am I missing something?". (wouldn't be the first time).Don Erikson 22:34, 28 August 2013 (UTC)

That anthology was ghost-edited by Gordon R. Dickson, so it appears on his summary page, not Serling's. Do an advance search by title and editor and you'll find the correct title records. Make sure to add pubs under the title record that has the editor credit that matches the actual book. So if you're entering a book titled Rod Serling's Devils and Demons, edited by Rod Serling, use this title record. Mhhutchins 01:04, 29 August 2013 (UTC)

Should I Enter Media Reviews, or Just Fiction/Nonfiction?

I am helping to get all issues of SFRA Review caught up on ISFDB. In addition to reviews of fiction and nonfiction, this publication includes media reviews. Should I make entries for these media reviews? I see that past contributors have not, and movie reviews (and the like) do not seem appropriate for this database. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Arch (talkcontribs) .

Yes, media reviews should be entered into the record, but do not use the REVIEW section of the entry form to create the content record. Enter them under the CONTENT section, using the ESSAY type. If the review isn't titled (only gives the name of the work), the title should be entered as "Review of <type of work> <"Title of Work">". So the review of the movie in issue 304 is titled "Review of the film "Skyfall"". The review of the album in issue 301 should be titled "Review of music album "The Industrialist" by Fear Factory". You can add more information as necessary in the title, but use roughly the same format. I've already created a record for these essays. BTW, do not forget to end postings on the wiki by adding four tildes (~~~~). This will sign and date the message. Thanks. Mhhutchins 22:15, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
And you should also enter essays other than reviews in the CONTENT section of the entry form. Look at this record and see how I updated it from your original entry which only included reviews. Thanks for contributing. Mhhutchins 22:15, 29 August 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for the guidance. I missed the tilde thing--obviously, I have not done this before. N00b! Arch 20:30, 30 August 2013 (UTC)

US edition of UK magazine

I have an US edition of the UK magazine SCIENCE FICTION ADVENTURES Sept./Oct. 1960 $0.40, Number 16, Volume 3. It is the same as the UK version except for the 2 month date and the price. Also it's printed in the UK. The question is where does it go? Into the SFA UK grid or does it get it's own grid?Don Erikson 19:41, 4 September 2013 (UTC)

Create a new record using the "ADD NEW MAGAZINE" function, completing ONLY the metadata section, leaving the Content section blank. Once this is accepted, go to the equivalent UK edition's publication record, and write down (or CTRL+C) the publication record number in the upper right of the record. Go back to the record for the US edition (the record you just created) and click on "Import Content" link. On the next page paste the record number of the UK edition, leaving the box checked if the contents appear on the same page. All of the contents of the UK edition will appear on the next page. You can add contents but you can't take anything away at this time. After that submission is accepted, go back and reconcile any differences by using either/both the "Remove Titles" function and the "Edit This Pub" function. The placement of an issue on a magazine grid is controlled solely by the EDITOR record. It should be placed into the proper magazine series, by either updating the record to enter it into the proper series, or by merging it with an existing EDITOR record which is for the same annual period and is already in the magazine series. If you need further assistance, just ask. Mhhutchins 23:09, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
Just checked and saw that there is no series yet for the US reprint of this title, so a new one will have to be created. So as I explained above, once the submission for the US edition is accepted into the database, go to its EDITOR record (the link on the pub record is labeled "Title Reference"). Click on the "Edit Title Data" link, and enter "Science Fiction Adventures (US)" into the series field. Mhhutchins 23:21, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
Strange. I could find no mention in either Tymn/Ashley or Miller/Contento of a US reprint of this British magazine (which, ironically, started as a reprint of a US magazine.) Both are usually pretty good about recording derivative publications. Galactic Central says that there was a Canadian reprint of the British issues starting with number 15, so I'm putting money that is what you have. It makes more sense that the British publisher would print and then import copies to a fellow Commonwealth nation than to the US where the parent magazine had already failed. Mhhutchins 23:28, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
Your probably right that this is Canadian. At first I thought it might be Australian but they didn't go decimal until 1964. According to the contents page their agents for North America is a Canadian company. They also offer a North American subscription for 6 issues at $2.50 and was printed in the UK. Maybe this was a subscription only line.Don Erikson 19:12, 5 September 2013 (UTC)

Family Tradition

I have put the following question under a new heading; it was added to the previous item by user Dev, first (better to use the '+' in the heading to add a new question):

How do I change incorrect categorization of titles? Family Tradition by Dev Jarrett is listed as a "Novel" but it's only 21,000 words. Novella would be more accurate.

I changed the publication to CHAPTERBOOK, which is our standard for publications containing one SHORTFICTION and added the novella. Are you able to add some more information to the book, such as page count, ISBN and price? Stonecreek 17:32, 5 September 2013 (UTC)

Can't edit my own User Page

Sorry if I'm being dim, but when I try to edit my (currently blank) User Page I get a message saying I don't have permission to edit pages in the User namespace? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Prof beard (talkcontribs) .

Is this page the one you'd like to edit? This may be the result of some changes to the wiki to prevent spam attacks. You may have to do a few database edits before you can edit the user page. Did you register with an email address, and respond to the email to validate your account?
I've left a message on your user talk page concerning your recent file uploads. See if you're able to edit that page by responding to the message. Mhhutchins 15:20, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
Looks like your idea about having to have done some edits was right. I can edit both pages now. Thanks —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Prof beard (talkcontribs) .
Good. (Don't forget to end your wiki postings with four tildes.) Thanks. Mhhutchins 15:36, 15 September 2013 (UTC)

ImageMagick missing on server?

When I follow this link to the wiki page of an ISFDB cover scan, I don't see an image but a dark gray box that contains this error message: "Error creating thumbnail: /var/www/html/wiki//bin/ line 4: /usr/local/bin/convert: No such file or directory". The convert command line utility is part of the ImageMagick tool suite, so I guess a server admin should see to it that the package is re-installed. Cheers, Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 17:48, 16 September 2013 (UTC)

That's not the problem. The image is too large for your preference settings. If you reset your file preference to the max you'll see any size image. But are you aware that there is an ISFDB standard that asks that you not upload images which are more than 600 pixels to a side? I'll resize your image, and reload it. Even if you don't reset your file preference, you should be able to see it. Keep the standard in mind for future cover image uploads. Thanks. Mhhutchins 19:02, 16 September 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, I see now that you weren't the editor who uploaded the image. I've resized it to the standard and you should be able to see it. If not, go to the "My Preferences" link on any wiki page ("Preferences" on some skins), and click the "Files" tab, change both settings to their highest number, and then save it. Let me know if that doesn't work. Mhhutchins 19:09, 16 September 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the resize, I now see the image all right. Also thanks for the hint about my preferences, I didn't know about that setting. Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 20:58, 17 September 2013 (UTC)

Adding interior illustrations that were once covers.

I am listing some interior artwork from a heavily illustrated reference book that were once book covers. I initially listed the these as "Book Title" and left it at that, however I have seen some people list such things as "Book Title (cover)", or, "(cover) Book Title". Before I continue with this entry, could I be informed as to the proper way to list these? MLB 09:22, 17 September 2013 (UTC)

I asked a similar question a few years ago and based on that response and the example publication record, I have since used the form "Book Title (cover)", though I don't think we have a formal policy. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 15:28, 17 September 2013 (UTC)
As much as I've been able to determine, most editors don't use the parenthetical disambiguation. We give the title of the interiorart piece as it is credited in the artbook. In most cases, that title is the title of the book which used the art as the cover. I personally feel it's unnecessary and somewhat ambiguous to add "(cover)" to the title of an INTERIORART record. Regardless, Ron is correct in that there is no documented standard as far as I know. I would suggest that you look at a number of art collections to see how it's done. This one for example which gives the titles of the art as given in the book. Some were reprints of covers, some of which retained the same title as the book, and some which didn't. Mhhutchins 02:22, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
I think Michael has it right with his example. I'd hate to lose an official title just because the book it illustrates got its name changed. Good covers get reused an awful lot in different languages - sometimes legally! BLongley 11:13, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
I had been adding "(cover)" to the INTERIORART records mostly because that is how the example I was given was. I'm happy to change if folks feel we should. However, the one thing that may be useful in disambiguating reprints of cover artwork in this manner is that is will make it clear when one INTERIORART record is for the cover reprint and another is for interior illustrations that which are done by the same artist. If we name them both with the title of the work, I worry that someone will try to merge the records. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 02:12, 19 September 2013 (UTC)
That's always been a problem and probably always will be. That's why moderators should be diligent when it comes to merging. I doubt any moderator would allow "Cover: Ringworld" (a COVERART typed record) to be merged with either "Ringworld" or "Ringworld (cover)" (an INTERIORART typed record). But that same moderator would allow two pieces by the same artist titled "Cover: Ringworld" to be merged, even if they're not the same art. I see that happen quite frequently, and have to unmerge them and write warning notes to prevent it from happening again. If a moderator mistakenly accepts a merger of two INTERIORART records that are identical in title and artist, but are not the same piece of art, another editor, usually a primary verifier, will come along and clear it up. I see no problem with you continuing to use your method. There is a strong rationale behind it. Mhhutchins 20:14, 19 September 2013 (UTC)
WELL!!! That cleared that up!!! MLB 08:31, 19 September 2013 (UTC)
Welcome to the Wonderful World of the ISFDB! When standards aren't documented or are ambiguous, there's going to be disagreement about how it should be done. That's why I left it up to you to decide without DEMANDING THAT YOU DO IT MY WAY! :) Mhhutchins 20:14, 19 September 2013 (UTC)
And I never demand that you do it MY WAY either. :-) Michael's way is usually fine by me. When it isn't, we start a Rules and Standards discussion which usually results in a 'Who Cares?' settlement. :-/ BLongley 12:05, 20 September 2013 (UTC)

British Editions of Magazines

How do I add (or do I add) British Editions of magazines, and particularly where content varies from the US (eg) version? As an example I have a Thrilling Wonder Stories No 104 which has the same cover as: (the US Spring 1954 issue), however it has only 66 pages (plus covers) and the content is a subset of the US version, plus a UlK originated non-fiction article. It is not dated. Do I enter this as a new magazine? If not how?

I have a fair number of old magazines and would like to record/verify them... Prof beard 17:54, 18 September 2013 (UTC)

Here is the advice I gave recently to someone who was doing the opposite (creating a US edition of a UK magazine). But before you make any submission to create a new publication record for a magazine issue be sure to thoroughly search the database to determine if a record is necessary. (I see from this grid that two issues are in the database.)
Create a new record using the "ADD NEW MAGAZINE" function, completing ONLY the metadata section, leaving the Content section blank. Once this is accepted, go to the equivalent US edition's publication record, and write down (or CTRL+C) the publication record number in the upper right of the record. Go back to the record for the UK edition (the record you just created) and click on "Import Content" link. On the next page paste the record number of the US edition, leaving the box checked if the contents appear on the same page. All of the contents of the UK edition will appear on the next page. You can add contents but you can't take anything away at this time. After that submission is accepted, go back and reconcile any differences by using either/both the "Remove Titles" function and the "Edit This Pub" function. If you need further assistance, just ask. Mhhutchins 18:20, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, that all makes sense and sounds perfectly do-able Prof beard 18:54, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
one question- Some UK magazines don't appear to have dates, just numbers - eg the TWS UK edition I referred to above just says No 104. How do I handle such issues? Prof beard 19:09, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
Leave it blank if there is no date whatsoever. If there is a copyright year you can use that, but note that. Or if you have access to a reliable secondary source you can use their dates, but credit them as the source in the Note field. TWS UK #104 was published in July 1954, according to both Visco and Galactic Central. You can use that date (in the date field, not the title field), but don't forget to credit the source. Mhhutchins 20:01, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
Thanks - I knew about GC but had forgotten I did, Visco is new to me - I'll learn! Prof beard 14:49, 19 September 2013 (UTC)
Visco has been a wonderful resource but hasn't been updated for some time. I hope the site owner is just busy rather than too unwell to maintain it. I asked him some questions about cover art attributions - appparently a lot of mags had their covers REDONE by other unnamed artists. Never got a reply. :-/ BLongley 12:16, 20 September 2013 (UTC)

Steampunk: An Illustrated History of Fantastical Fiction, Fanciful Film and Other Victorian Visions

I am entering the magazine and book covers that are reprinted in this publication to this site, and while doing so, I have found that on the aknowledgements page Brian J. Robb has declared that two of the chapters in this book, there are nine of them, have been written by two other authors. Should I then consider this book an anthology?, or just add these two authors to the author field. If this is an anthology, then shouldn't Robb be considered an editor, and should this book go from non-fiction to anthology? MLB 12:11, 20 September 2013 (UTC)

No. The ANTHOLOGY type is for a publication which brings together fiction by more than one author. The NONFICTION type is for a publication which is either one nonfiction work by one author, or multiple nonfiction works by several different authors. Mhhutchins 13:52, 20 September 2013 (UTC)

Unlisted (in ISFDB) book by unlisted (in ISFDB) pseudonym of listed author?

I have just received (as part of my John Brunner collecting) a book he wrote (non-genre erotica) under the name Ellis Quick. (this is generally noted in sources and mentioned on p84 of Jad Smith's recent book on Brunner). My question is - what's the correct process and order of process to record this? Prof beard 14:07, 21 September 2013 (UTC)

1) Create a publication record for it, recording all data as it appears exactly in the publication. Change the type from NOVEL to NONGENRE in the drop-down menu under Pub Type. 2) Once that is accepted, you can create a variant of the title record. 3) Next, make the author into a pseudonym for Brunner. This the order you should take. Mhhutchins 21:51, 21 September 2013 (UTC)

Tom Easton titles

Is there an easier way to variant the title records of Tom Easton to Thomas A. Easton without doing each one individually? Mhhutchins 23:15, 4 October 2013 (UTC)

Not at this time, I am afraid. We have a feature request to "Enable mass variant title creation for Authors", but no work has been done yet. We'll need to figure out how to handle titles that are already set up as VTs, multi-author situations and so on. Ahasuerus 00:44, 5 October 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps I'm misremembering, but I recall something about a script that could create variant records (maybe Bill Longley wrote it?) Of course, moderating the submissions would have to be handled manually, (that's the easy part), but creating the variant record submissions is the hard part. In the case of Easton, there are several hundred, perhaps even more than a thousand records, including reviews, that have to be varianted to the canonical author's name. Mhhutchins 18:31, 5 October 2013 (UTC)
3,159 records to be varianted. I have some scripts to semi-automate such things, but this would still be a full day's work even for me. Chavey 22:48, 5 October 2013 (UTC)
Well, let's think about it. What would be the desired behavior of a "Mass Variant" option? The currently existing "Make Variant Title" option lets you choose the following fields for the new parent title:
Author1 (and Author2, Author3, etc if desired)
Title Type
Now, if we are going to create a new "mass variant" option, it will by definition affect multiple titles, so the "Title" field of each new record will have to be the same as the title of the original record. Ditto the Year, Title Type and Language fields. Which leaves us with just one field which we will be able to change manually, Author. It will be a (potentially) multiply occurring field: suppose you want to turn all of Ilona Andrews titles into Ilona Gordon/Andrew Gordon titles.
So far so good. The next issue is which titles the newly minted option will turn into variants. I don't think we want it to affect any title records that are already set up as VTs because it could break any number of things. However, we also need to decide what to do about records that have multiple authors associated with them. Suppose you discover that A is a collective pseudonym used by X and Y. Among A's titles there is one currently attributed to A, B and C. The "mass variant" option will presumably need to create a title record for X, Y, B and C.
Other than that it doesn't seem too bad. Any other things that we need to consider? Ahasuerus 02:26, 6 October 2013 (UTC)
That appears to cover most of the circumstances. Its use should be restricted to the records of single authors for which the pseudonym is indisputed, and to block the creation of variants for records that have already been varianted. I can't think of any other factor. Mhhutchins 03:14, 6 October 2013 (UTC)

Those awkward authors who collaborate with their pseudonyms

I have a vague memory of seeing some discussion on this subject before and have searched the Help archives to no avail. At the moment we have the author B. F. Ruby who, according to the Wikipedia page for Fletcher Pratt's Invaders from Rigel, is considered by Everett F. Bleiler in Science-Fiction: The Gernsback Years to be a pseudonym of Pratt – Benjamin Franklin Ruby is a character in that novel, and Pratt later used "B. F. Ruby" as a pseudonym. However, there is also a collaboration between the two: The Thing in the Woods. So: a) can anyone point to where such a discussion may have been held before, and b) does making such a pseudonymous relationship create 'circular' software problems, or am I misremembering here? Just playing safe, y'understand. PeteYoung 08:19, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

Shouldn't be any problem at all to make B. F. Ruby into a pseudonym of Pratt, and then varianting the two records giving only Pratt as the canonical author of each. Mhhutchins 16:02, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

Changing my username

Hello. I signed up recently and foolishly used an old nickname as my username. I've since decided that it would be much friendlier and appropriate if I used my real first name instead. Is it possible to change my username now? I don't seem to be able to do this myself.

No worries if it's a bother, I'll stick with Hegg. Just thought I'd ask.

Thanks for your time. Hegg 21:02, 8 October 2013 (UTC)

It's possible to change user names in later versions of the Wiki software, but I don't think our version supports this capability. The easiest way to handle this issue would be to create a new user account using your real name. We could then copy the contents of your current Talk page to your new Talk page. Ahasuerus 21:52, 8 October 2013 (UTC)

Swapping the canonical names.

Hi, all! Currently some obscure long-dead teutonic aria-writer proudly uses disambiguated name of "Richard Wagner" while prolific and very much alive genre artist is reduced to "Richard Wagner (artist)". I am so tired of adding (artist) to his name for many "Interzone" contributions:) Is there a way to swap the canonical names and have Richard Wagner the artist as "Richard Wagner" and Richard Wagner the composer as Richard Wagner (something). Thank you, ForJohnScalzi 00:41, 18 October 2013 (UTC).

Yes, first edit the author data of "Richard Wagner", changing the "Canonical Author" field to "Richard Wagner (composer)". Then do the same for "Richard Wagner (artist)", changing it to "Richard Wagner". Make sure to do it in that order, waiting for the first submission to be accepted, before making the second one. Then you need to check the summary page for the artist every so often to insure that Herr Wagner's works are not being added to the artist's page (which I assure you will happen, because everyone will enter the records as published, as they should, and not based on current ISFDB practice.) Mhhutchins 01:25, 18 October 2013 (UTC)
Thanks! Will work on it. ForJohnScalzi 02:25, 18 October 2013 (UTC).
I failed to notice this. You'll have to redirect the wiki Author page for the composer to the correct link. (I have no idea how to do that.) Or you can copy it, delete it, and re-create it on a new page linked to his author summary page. Mhhutchins 03:44, 18 October 2013 (UTC)

Amazing Stories British Reprint Editions

I have a couple of 1953/54 British Reprint editions of Amazing Stories (v1#1 and v1#5). I've checked these on Visco and Galactic Central. I can find no Amazing Stories (UK) entry on ISFDB - can I check I've not missed it? Assuming I'm right I think I can go ahead and enter them based on the two other discussions (one with Don E and one with me) earlier on this help page? Prof beard 12:26, 21 October 2013 (UTC)

Peter Pan series

Am I correct in thinking that the Peter Pan short fiction titles currently listed separately in J. M. Barrie's Bibliography should be listed as belonging to the "Peter Pan" series, but that chapter books by the same name should not be? Chavey 03:50, 24 October 2013 (UTC)

That's right, Chapterbooks generally do not belong in series. There is a moderator-only cleanup script which facilitates finding and terminating the offenders. Ahasuerus 04:02, 24 October 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. I moved the 8 short stories and excerpts into the title series (leaving the chapterbooks behind). Chavey 17:08, 24 October 2013 (UTC)

Entering Unofficial Publication Dates

Is there a procedure to cover the situation where a book has an official publication date as per the publisher or Amazon etc., but you know it was published at an earlier date (the previous month for example) by the simple fact that you purchased it and had it in your possession, but you cannot locate any other verifiable source to confirm this? Thanks Andrewk 15:06, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

It is a common phenomena to have a book available for sale before its official publication date -- either the Amazon date or the stated date on the copyright page. However, those official publication dates are what we want in the regular fields. The "available at bookstores" date can, however, be added to the Notes for the publication. Chavey 04:11, 27 October 2013 (UTC)

Californian "Crossroads" (?) - what to do?

I dont really know what this is - it is Vol 1 No 12 July 1970 of a publication called Crossroads published by Al Snider and the Brown University SF Union. The contents are non-fiction and mostly articles/opinion pieces about the SF convention and writing world plus some reviews. The contributors include Greg Benford and David Gerrold and letters from such as John Brunner. Do I just enter it as a magazine with non-fiction content? Prof beard 12:36, 27 October 2013 (UTC)

"Crossroads" was a fanzine published out of Brown Univ., and should be entered as a fanzine, containing essay entries. We did not have this fanzine in our Fanzine listing, because we initially only entered those fanzines that had won awards. I have now added a basic template of information about that fanzine, which you can find through that fanzine page, or directly here. If you enter this as a fanzine, I invite you to either link to it from this fanzine page, or follow the directions at this help page for setting up the title for this fanzine, the same as you would for a standard magazine. If you let me know (on my discussion page) when you have done this, I can add in records (with blank contents) for the other issues. (Or, if you wish, you can enter those yourself.) Chavey 20:51, 27 October 2013 (UTC)
Thanks - I'll do what I can myself and contact you as necessaryProf beard 17:31, 29 October 2013 (UTC)

Ad Astra

Having searched, I can find no records for this magazine and the entry in the Wiki shows no series page on the database. I have three Ad Astra issues and will enter them as new record unless someone tells me I've missed something? Help? Prof beard 12:35, 27 October 2013 (UTC)

Ad Astra was also a fanzine, which ran from 1939 to 1940. If that is consistent with the dates you have, this would be a very welcome addition to our database, since these early fanzines are something we would like to have better indexed than we do. I will try to add a template for this fanzine, as I did with Crossroads, in the next day or so. As with Crossroads, these should be entered as "Fanzines", but otherwise treated much like magazines. Chavey 20:55, 27 October 2013 (UTC)
Checking a little further, I see that there were two other fanzines by the same name published in the 1960's, and it's more likely you have those. One published by Ed Bryant, around 1962, and the other published by Paul Crawford, 1965-67. Can you tell me which of these three fanzines you have? Chavey 21:02, 27 October 2013 (UTC)
If the Prof is referring to the UK magazine edited by James Manning, it's at SFE here and Galactic Central here. I used to have a complete run of this magazine, now long lost. I can't find any records for it either, so I'd say go right ahead and add them! PeteYoung 08:37, 28 October 2013 (UTC)
yes it's the James Manning ones I'm referring to - glad there really aren't here - I find finding some stuff quite tricky! I'll enter them thenProf beard 17:31, 29 October 2013 (UTC)

Excerpt Titles

The collections Opus 100 and Opus 200 by Isaac Asimov contain many excerpts. They have titles like

from ‘The Callistan Menace’ (1940)

I wonder how such a title should be entered:

  1. from 'The Callistan Menace' (1940)
  2. from 'The Callistan Menace' (1940) (excerpt)
  3. from 'The Callistan Menace' (excerpt)
  4. The Callistan Menace (excerpt)
  5. Excerpt from "The Callistan Menace"

The help says "The title should appear exactly as published ... If the excerpt has a title that makes it clear that it is only an excerpt, use that title. Otherwise, use the title given, but add " (excerpt)" to the end". Strictly speaking, this would mean to include both "from" and the year in the title, because that's what's printed in the book. For Opus 100, option 5 was used, which does not conform with the help at all. Darkday 21:57, 31 October 2013 (UTC)

I've seen it done in all of the ways you show here and even more. It's best to follow the help page and enter the title that appears on the title page, and only disambiguate it with "(excerpt)" if the title of the excerpt is the same as the title of the work from which it is excerpted. When the piece is titled "from..." then it's obviously an excerpt which makes the disambiguation unnecessary. Use quotation marks if they're given on the title page. As for including the date, if all of the stories (or essays) in a collection gives the original publication date on the title page, then it would be unnecessary to include them in the title field when entering because this is not really a part of the title. There is nothing in the standards that I'm aware of concerning adding the publication date to the title field if given that way in the publication, but it's only logical that the date is not part of the title. (While occasionally such dates are part of the title and not the publication date, such as some printings of The Martian Chronicles.) Do not use HTML in the title field to italicize or bold certain words even if they're presented that way in the publication. Standards request that HTML not be used in title fields at all. As for how the contents in Opus 100 were entered, that's up to you and the primary verifiers to discuss. Mhhutchins 03:17, 1 November 2013 (UTC)