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This archive includes discussions from January - May 2015.

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Expanded archive listing

Inconsistencies with various editions of The Silmarillion?

While perusing the database I've noticed that "The Silmarillion" is variously treated as a pub_ctype of COLLECTION and NOVEL (possibly correctly, if some of the NOVEL editions lack any of the ancillary materials), but I'm confused by the editions listed as "COLLECTION" without any contents; a good example is pub_id 67403. Can anybody fill me in? Agt 17:03, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

I'm not sure how it happened, but you're correct. The title has been inconsistently handled. Let's disregard all of the appendices, etc, for this discussion. Some users entered it as COLLECTION because they consider "Ainulindalë", "Valaquenta", Quenta Silmarillion (a novel-length work), and "Akallabêth" to be separate works. Other users entered it as a NOVEL because they consider all four to be part of a whole work titled The Silmarillion. In fact, there are some identical editions entered by different users under each type! (I have reconciled some of those.) I can see the logic that each side would bring to the discussion. Those who entered it as NOVEL would ask the others if any of the pieces were ever published separately (they haven't been as far as I know.) Those who entered it as a COLLECTION can point out that each section is separately titled, and can be read as an individual work.
The majority of the publications currently in the database have been entered as COLLECTION. Strangely, all of the publications under the NOVEL record are of British editions. It's quite possible that when users came to the database to add new editions, they simply stopped when they found the first title and added their pub to that title (or cloned an existing record).
I personally consider it a COLLECTION, and hope that those editors who have primary verified their copies as NOVEL would bring their view to this discussion. BTW, the record you reference as not having contents is a non-verified publication with data from an uncredited secondary source. If a user who has that edition updates the record, they would be expected to add the contents (although nothing actually requires them to do so. You'll find many COLLECTION records for which the contents have as yet been entered.) Thanks. Mhhutchins 20:25, 12 January 2015 (UTC)
I found this earlier discussion concerning the same situation. Mhhutchins 20:33, 12 January 2015 (UTC)
I suppose my view is obvious, since I entered my copy as a COLLECTION, with contents listed. I do not find the argument that the stories were not published separately convincing; the author didn't publish this volume either. Bob 20:41, 12 January 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I was trying to play the devil's advocate, since I believe all records of the title should be entered as COLLECTION. Mhhutchins 20:53, 12 January 2015 (UTC)
I still agree with myself. Both my editions are entered as collections. --Willem 20:47, 12 January 2015 (UTC)
In the foreword, Christopher Tolkien writes that he intended to make the Silmarillion a consistent single story but admits that it was impossible to make all the parts consistent. Moreover, he writes that his father considered it to be a COLLECTION as well. Other sources like Wikipedia (I checked EN and DE) or also state that it's a COLLECTION. So far I haven't seen any criterion which would make it a NOVEL. Jens Hitspacebar 21:13, 12 January 2015 (UTC)
I'd have to agree with the actual editor of the book. Who are we to argue such ... ;-)))) I haven't read it, so nothing else to opine on ... perhaps a seance to invoke JRR??¿¿?? He'd probably call it an excerpt of a 'grander tale'! --~ Bill, Bluesman 22:50, 12 January 2015 (UTC)
So Bill, you should convert this record, this one, and this one from NOVEL to COLLECTION. That will leave six pubs under the NOVEL type, five of them verified by inactive editors. I'll fix those and await the decision of the verifier of the last pub. Thanks all. Mhhutchins 02:07, 13 January 2015 (UTC)
Starting a discussion to change the Silmarillion from NOVEL to COLLECTION has been on my extended TODO list, so it's a nice surprise to come back after 2 weeks and find that the work has been largely done. Thanks to everybody involved! Now let me see if I can make the last NOVEL-type things disappear... Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 11:36, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

Good place to zip Strange Horizons archive page?

Luckily a webzine that catalogs issue contents. Where would be a good place to place a zipped copy?--swfritter 23:53, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

I've linked that index page to the ISFDB series page. Unless you believe the index may disappear as well, that should be sufficient. The site has been pretty stable so I don't foresee that happening any time soon. Mhhutchins 01:42, 13 January 2015 (UTC)
I have been periodically saving the page just in case. I think it is reasonable to assume that even if they do stop publishing the contents and the index are likely to remain for a significant amount of time.--swfritter 22:04, 13 January 2015 (UTC)
And if they did drop the page, it would almost certainly still be available from the Wayback Machine. Chavey 01:45, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

Charles Nutt & Charles McNutt

After going through some of my facsimile reprints I've found that this site has a page for Charles Nutt as Charles Beaumont and one for Charles McNutt. The addresses that are listed with both names in their respective letter columns list Chicago. Could Charles McNutt be another pseudonym of Charles Nutt? Does anybody know? MLB 05:04, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

According to a chronology in Harold Lee Prosser's Running from the Hunter: The Life and Works of Charles Beaumont:
  • "1943: More of his letters are printed in the pulps, where he is now signing himself Charles "McNutt". He has a collaborative cartoon published in "Fantastic Adventures" (October issue)".
Well done, Detective Inspector MLB! :-) Ahasuerus 05:12, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
A webpage that claims illustrator Charles McNutt is author Charles Beaumont, even though there are no art credits under his more famous penname. This is about illustrations in Fantasy Book #1 which Ahasuerus primary verified. McNutt's other art credits are in another FPCI publication, a collection of stories by van Vogt and Hull. In Clute's The Encyclopedia of Fantasy, Beaumont is said to have used "McNutt" to publish his fanzine and "supplied illustrations to sf magazines." We don't have any records of "McNutt" illustrations in sf magazines, only letters. Our record for Fantastic Adventures, October 1943 has no content record for a "collaborative cartoon" credited to "McNutt". Mhhutchins 06:19, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
A couple more tidbits from Prosser:
  • "1945: The author uses the name "E. T. Beaumont" for the cover art on a fanzine published by Forrest J Ackerman."
  • "1947: As "Charles McNutt", the author is profiled in the "Tops Among Teens" feature in the "Chicago Tribune". he decides to pursue an acting career, and attends the Bliss-Hayden Drama School in Los Angeles on the G.I. bill. He stars in a local stage production of "Broadway" as "Charles Beaumont", the name he would eventually legally adopt as his own."
Ahasuerus 06:38, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
So . . . should McNutt be listed as a variant of Beaumont's? MLB 02:37, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I went ahead and made made the changes. I have also found and varianted "Chas. McNutt"'s INTERIOART in Famous Fantastic Mysteries, June 1948. 03:35, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

Issue with one particular cover

Hi, could you have a look at this cover? It Looks to me as if the file is corrupted - at least all notebooks and Smartphones that I have used to Access the file display - nothing. Many thanks, John. JLochhas 12:33, 15 January 2015 (UTC)

No problem for me (android smartphone). Hauck 09:20, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
No problem on my end either. Have you tried reloading all images (usually Ctrl-F5)? Ahasuerus 15:14, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
Read the explanation I gave to your post on Stonecreek's talk page about this image file. Mhhutchins 19:06, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

Canadian printings and number lines starting with 2

I've seen a number of cases where notes indicate that during the 1980s and 1990s the first Canadian printing starts with 2 for some publishers. I'm currently looking at some "Signet / New American Library of Canada" books, for which there are similar notes for other pubs from the same year (1981).

Is there an accepted guideline as to when the first printing date can be used for 2nd printing Canadaian editions? DStandsh 19:17, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

Use the stated date when you're certain that the first US printing was simultaneous with the Canadian printing that is designated as a second printing. Mhhutchins 20:49, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
I am correct in assuming that for "Signet / New American Library of Canada" books in the 1980s, I need to find a secondary source to to confirm the date of the Canadian printing?
Using Swords of the Horseclans as an example. I have on hand the Canadian printing with print number line "2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9". To attribute an August, 1981 date, would the follwoing entry in AMICUS be sufficient? DStandsh 00:27, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Again, if your research has led you to the conclusion that certain publishers within certain time periods used this method to indicate the first Canadian printing, you can use the stated date. Just record your source (if available) and any pertinent secondary data and primary statements in the Note field. Mhhutchins 03:25, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks Mhhutchins. DStandsh 03:32, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

Discrepancy in pub with inactive verifier "The Iron Lords"

Looking at a copy of The Iron Lords, I see "Ace edition / July 1983", while the verified record has "Ace edition August 1983". As the verifier is no longer active, should I create a new reord, edit the current record, or ignore the matter assuming that the verifier knew something I don't? DStandsh 19:11, 28 January 2015 (UTC)

If your copy matches in all other fields, update the current record. Mhhutchins 20:38, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
There is one additional difference, the copy on hand only has one price, while the verified copy notes a Canadian price. Looking at some Ace printings from this period, Ace changed from single price to dual price in the 1983/1984 time frame. It is conceivable that the verified copy could actually be a 2nd printing. I don't know if this is likely. I'll take the safe course and create a new pubrec for my copy. DStandsh 05:15, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
That's fine. Although I find it unlikely that this title would be so popular to warrant a second printing the following month. Mhhutchins 05:17, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

How to add new magazine

I'm preparing to enter some issues of a magazine which doen't exist here so far. Before I start doing that I have some questions:

1. The magazine is German and called "Pandora". Since there's already another magazine called Pandora Magazine and also a series called Pandora, would "Pandora Magazine (German)" be an appropriate name?

2. Alas, this great magazine had 4 issues only, spread across a few years, and then went into hiatus. Therefore I won't start an issue grid per year like it's done for other magazines that have lots of issues, right?

3. I haven't found any help page regarding entering a new magazin, only the one about how to add issues to a magazine's issue grid. But from my experience here so far that I'd do it this way: Go to "Add new magazine", then enter the magazine name into the "Series" field. As with other title types, I'd enter editor, stories, essays and reviews and later variant whatever needs to be varianted, and that's it. Or is there anything else to do regarding magazines? Thanks. Jens Hitspacebar 21:33, 28 January 2015 (UTC)

1. Enter the title of the publication as published using the MAGAZINE type. When you create a series for it, you'll have to disambiguate it. Adding "Germany" parenthetically to the series name is OK.
2. Don't worry about the issue grid. That's done automatically. If you're talking about creating a Wiki page for the magazine, I'd say it's a waste of time, since those pages have been deprecated by the series and issue grid in the database itself.
3. Use the "Add New Magazine" function and fill in the fields as much as you're able to. As with all series, if it's already in use, you have to create another one, as explained above. Mhhutchins 21:46, 28 January 2015 (UTC)

Nebula distributed chapterbook

I entered this book, but I don't know if it belongs in here. It was distributed (free) at the 1994 Nebula awards, so it was "published". But it does have the feel of an ARC, which would eliminate it. That's especially true because not only was it published as a side-stapled booklet, but it wasn't even trimmed before distribution. (Additional comments in the publication's notes.) Thoughts? Chavey 21:56, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

There are many records for such preview publications in the database. In most cases, they differ from ARCs in that they are not complete, but intended as a preview of a forthcoming work. Mhhutchins 22:00, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, I'll leave it in. Chavey 22:13, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

How to enter a review that reviews more than one book?

I could answer the question myself because the answer seems obvious, but I wanted to make sure that's the correct way (the help doesn't provide information about such a case): if a REVIEW reviews more than one book, I'd enter a REVIEW record for each of the books reviewed, and all these REVIEW records would have the same page number. Is that correct? Jens Hitspacebar 18:48, 31 January 2015 (UTC)

An article can review more than one title, but a REVIEW (as the ISFDB defines it) is a review of a single title. As you've surmised, each title reviewed requires its own REVIEW content record. The page number given for each REVIEW content record is the page on which the review begins, even if it begins several pages after the article begins. If more than one review appears on the same page, you can use the pipe method to order them when displayed on the publication record. If for example, three reviews appear on page 15, the first would be entered as "15|15.1", the second as "15|15.2", and the third as "15|15.3". Mhhutchins 20:57, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
Ok. Thanks a lot. Jens Hitspacebar 21:36, 31 January 2015 (UTC)

Deleting a Content Record

1) In the case of a contact record that exists in only one publication, can that content be deleted by clearing all of its fields in the pub, or is it preferable to delete it from its own title record using the "Delete Title" option? 2) If that same content has a series attached to it, must the series be cleared on the record's title page first, or can the content be deleted without regard to whether it's in a series or not? Thanks, Doug / Vornoff 17:25, 1 February 2015 (UTC)

1) You can't do either. The first approach does nothing to the title record. The second approach can't be done as long as the title appears as a content in any publication. You have to first use the "Remove Titles From This Pub" function. Once a title record has been removed from every publication record, you can delete it without consequence.
2) No to the first part of the question. Yes to the second part. If you delete a title it will no longer appear in the series list. So it's useless to remove the series before deleting the title. Also, if it's the only title in a series, we're left with a titleless series, which then must be deleted. (Series with titles can't be deleted.) If you're aware that you've just deleted the last title in a series, you should proceed to delete the series as well. Mhhutchins 18:41, 1 February 2015 (UTC)
Okay, thanks - Exactly the info I needed. Doug / Vornoff 19:20, 1 February 2015 (UTC)

The Amulet of Samarkand - publisher; The Golem's Eye publisher / date

I'm looking at a 5th printing of The Amulet of Samarkand, and a 1st printing of The Golem's Eye.

Given that both have "MIRAMAX BOOKS" over "HYPERION PAPERBACKS FOR CHILDREN" on the title page, is "Miramax Books / Hyperion Books for Children" the best entry to use for publisher? DStandsh 20:23, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

Yes, if both the imprint and the parent publisher appear on the title page, you should use the format that you gave. Mhhutchins 06:51, 6 February 2015 (UTC)

Also, there is conflicting date information about The Golem's Eye. Locus1 has Feb 2006, Amazon has December 27, 2005, the copyright page has only 2005. I assume the book trumps Locus1, and I should use 2005-00-00 for verification. Correct? DStandsh 20:23, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

The book trumps everything, unless there is substantial and highly reliable information that the publisher made an error. (Believe me, that happens more than you'd think!) I suggest using the Amazon date 2005-12-27 and give the source for the date in the record's Note field. It also wouldn't hurt to add a note about the error in Locus1, which could prevent other editors from questioning the discrepancy. Thanks. Mhhutchins 06:55, 6 February 2015 (UTC)

Armchair Fiction Series

Currently there are 140 titles in the Armchair Fiction Series. Each book consists of two reprinted works which can be by the same or two different authors. The majority of the titles are typed as Anthologies in which the author(s) show up as editors, which of course they are not. If anyone is the editor it'd be Greg Luce, the guy who packages the series. Some of the titles, however, are typed as Omnibus where the author(s) show up here as authors, which seems right. Would there be an objection to changing the type from Anthology to Omnibus for those that need it? If not, I'd be happy to do it. Doug / Vornoff 05:48, 6 February 2015 (UTC)

This could be tricky, but here goes:
  • If the works are by two different authors, and both of them are less-than-novel length, i.e. SHORTFICTION, then it is an ANTHOLOGY with Luce credited as the editor, but only if he is explicitly credited in the books. If there is no editor credited, they're handled like this publication where the three authors are credited with the work, even though none of them are actually the editor. The ISFDB software automatically labels the "responsible" author of an ANTHOLOGY or MAGAZINE as the editor. We can't get around that, regardless of how odd it may look for this infinitely small percentage of titles.
  • If the works are by the same author, and both of them are less-than-novel length, then it is a COLLECTION credited to the single author.
  • If at least one of the works is a novel (more than 40,000 words), then the whole publication is typed as an OMNIBUS, credited to the author(s).
I looked at a few of the records and they all seem to be OK. I don't think crediting Luce as the editor adds any more value to the data, especially if he isn't explicitly credited. Can you point out those pubs which you feel should be changed from ANTHOLOGY to OMNIBUS? Thanks. Mhhutchins 06:45, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
I'll look into those but given the rules you've stated I'll bet they're all correct. I only have one of those and Luce isn't credited so he's out. Just thought it looked weird is all but I understand the distinction Thanks, Doug / Vornoff 07:20, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
So, I checked the first one and it's typed as Anthology but one of the titles is a novel. This should be an Omnibus then, right? Doug / Vornoff 07:30, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
Yes, it should be an OMNIBUS. It will take two submissions to fix it: pub update and title update. Try it. Mhhutchins 15:59, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
Done. Doug / Vornoff 16:18, 6 February 2015 (UTC)

getpub.cgi for non-ISBN books? (using ISFDB in cataloging local books)

Hi, (Brand-new here, and database innocent - please be gentle.)

basic question:
getpub.cgi only seems to work with ISBNs. Is there an alternative for retrieving data for non-ISBN books, such as by SFBC Catalog ID, or even by the presumably unique ISFDB Publication Record number?

probably irrelevant background detail:
Have quite a few ISBN-less books / SFBC editions, and in searching online for a database - by SFBC bookcover number - found The ISFDB. Although I'm no database wrangler, thinking - perhaps in naivete - that I might be able to somehow semi-automate things starting with a getpub.cgi type output, into a csv file importable into a book-cataloging app (trying to get a handle on a bit of a book hoard).

(Probably unlikely, but in any case I'll be sure to enter any SFBC books in-hand that haven't yet made it into the ISFDB.)

Thanks. And apologies if this is the wrong place to ask. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Apollo17 (talkcontribs) .

I am afraid getpub.cgi currently requires an ISBN. It doesn't work with publication IDs, which are indeed unique. However, the Wiki page Publisher:Science Fiction Book Club may be of help. Have you had a chance to review it, especially the sub-pages that are linked under "Book Listings"? Ahasuerus 04:12, 8 February 2015 (UTC)
Thank you very much for clarifying about the .cgi, and for the information on the SFBC wiki page - it looks like it will be a very useful resource. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Apollo17 (talkcontribs) .
You are welcome! Glad you have found these lists helpful :) Ahasuerus 00:18, 9 February 2015 (UTC)

Undue artist credit

Hello. The cover art of this edition of Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's Burning Shadows is credited to Ingres, but shouldn't be in my opinion, as it is only a photograph reproducing a detail of Ingres' Grande Odalisque, which can also be seen on the cover of Yarbro's Borne in Blood. I'd like to know if it's OK to remove the credit, and just make a note about it, as the photographer seems unknown so far. Linguist 14:06, 9 February 2015 (UTC).

It doesn't look like the same work, but how are you certain that the work is a photograph? It looks like a painting to me. And if the publisher credits it to Ingres, how do you know it isn't his work? We don't distinguish crediting artwork depending upon whether it is cropped or complete. I'm also uncertain what you mean by "a photograph reproducing a detail...". All covers are photographs which reproduce the original work. :) Mhhutchins 19:35, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
I think I understand what you meant. The photographer used the original painting as a model for this photograph. In that case, you're correct. The artist of the original painting should not be credited in the record. Mhhutchins 19:39, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
OK, thanks for responding. Sorry if I didn't make myself clear straightaway. Linguist 21:59, 9 February 2015 (UTC).

Page Number Question, Again!

I still have a question about page numbering. I'm looking at a book that has (not including fc or fep) 8 unnumbered pages before pagination. There are 202 numbered pages ending on the last numbered page. The first title starts on numbered page 1 after the unnumbered section. There is enterable content (an editor's note) on the 6th & 7th unnumbered page. So here is Herzbube's chart in this case:
Physical A----B----C----D----E----F----G----H----I----J----K----L----
Database fc---fep---[1]---[2]---[3]---[4]---[5]---[6]---[7]---[8]--1----2 etc.
Allowed content* * * * *

From what Herzbube said, the database should have [7]+202 as its page count, ignoring the extraneous material after [7], and the note should have [6] as its page number. Can anyone tell me where it says the non-important pages after [7] should not be counted? I notice in this help page question it says "If significant content begins on an unnumbered page within an unnumbered section of pages before the first numbered page of a book, then all of the pages before that page should be added to page count field in bracketed Arabic numbers, and the starting page number of that content should be determined by counting from the first unnumbered page (not counting endpages) and entered into the content's page field as a bracketed Arabic number." That would seem to say the page count should be [8]+202, and the page # of the note would again be [6].

Lastly, there is one unnumbered page after the 202 which contains an "About (the author)" note. From what I can gather from this page, the page count would now be [8]+202+[1] (or [7]+202+[1] depending on the first question above) and the content for the note would be stated as page [203]. Any clarifications?

I can't seem to get the chart to line up correctly, so I'm stuck with what I have up there. Doug / Vornoff 07:12, 11 February 2015 (UTC)

You ask "Can anyone tell me where it says the non-important pages after [7] should not be counted?". If you look at the NewPub documentation (the most important of all documentation pages), under Pages, bullet point 2, sentence three reads "Pages without numbers that fall between the two types of page numbering can be ignored."
Usually, we do not include the "About (the author)" as a content item, unless either (1) it's credited to a particular author; or (2) It contains substantially more than the normal amount of biographical information that we usually see in those blurbs. But IF the "About" note is substantive enough to deserve a content entry page, then yes, you would give a page count of [7]+202+[1], with the "About" entry on p. [203]. Chavey 08:53, 11 February 2015 (UTC)
Thank you! I think this has finally sunk in so thanks for the clarification. Doug / Vornoff 15:51, 11 February 2015 (UTC)

Magazine of Horror, April 1965

I've a question about a story in the above mag. The story The Hand of Glory as by Thomas Ingoldsby, is a variant of The Hand of Glory by Richard Harris Barham. However, on the story's title page it is credited (erroneously by the editor, I believe) to "R.H.D. Barham", who happens to be Richard Harris Barham's son and, from what I can gather, published this story, among others, by his father after his father's death. But the story was written by the father under the name of Thomas Ingoldsby, so MOH should have credited either the father or Ingoldsby, but named the son instead. I'm not really sure what should be done here. Should it end up being by Richard Harris Barham (as by R.H.D. Barham) even though that would show up under RHD's list and would be wrong? Or leave it as is, and make a note saying the author listed in the mag is in error? Thanks, Doug / Vornoff 01:19, 21 February 2015 (UTC)

You should credit the story as it appears in the publication, and then variant it to the true author. In these rare cases, do NOT make "R.H.D." a pseudonym of the father. The variant will appear on the correct author's page, and the publication will show the credit as published as well as the true author's name. You can also add a note to the publication record and to the variant title record explaining the erroneously credited publication. Mhhutchins 06:19, 21 February 2015 (UTC)

Question on "Full Title"

I'm entering an anthology of supernatural stories, Strange Tales From Many Lands. Each story title page has the country of origin, followed by 3 blank lines, followed by the formal title, e.g. "Korea <over> The Tiger-Woman", followed by several blank lines, then the author's name. The country of origin is in a smaller font, by several points, than the title or author's name. Question: Should the title be listed as "Korea: The Tiger-Woman" or just "The Tiger-Woman"? The Table of Contents lists the story in a similar fashion, with the country of origin in italics: "Korea<over> The Tiger-Woman". Chavey 05:02, 21 February 2015 (UTC)

I wouldn't enter the country of origin in the title field. It's only there to provide additional information about the story, just as an editorial blurb or an epigraph on a work's title page. Mhhutchins 06:11, 21 February 2015 (UTC)

Artist Portfolios

How does one list the works in an artist's portfolio in a magazine? I have several small-press magazines that have artist's portfolios. Do I list each illustration as part of the portfolio, or give each illustration it's proper title if known? MLB 23:44, 1 March 2015 (UTC)

You can create an ESSAY record for the portfolio and a single INTERIORART record (of the same title) for the illustrations. Or you can create content records for each illustration typed as INTERIORART. It's your call. But you should not credit the separate works of art with titles other than what is given in the publication. That is their "proper title". If no title is given to a piece of interior art, then they are titled by the work which they illustrate (ISFDB interior art titling rule #1). You have the option to variant these records to other records in the db for the same work of art. Mhhutchins 00:28, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
Thank you. MLB 00:51, 2 March 2015 (UTC)

The Mummy by Ambrose Bierce

I have an anthology of horror fiction that have been adapted into graphic stories. In this anthology is a piece of verse titled The Mummy by Ambrose Bierce. I don't see it listed on this site, and I'm not much of a fan of Bierce. Does anybody know anything about this piece? It may be excerpted from another work. MLB 23:52, 1 March 2015 (UTC)

Graphic novels and stories are not eligible for the database, unless they are explicitly scripted by a mainstream author who is well-known for work within the spec-fic field (e.g. Anthony Burgess whose spec-fic is in the minority of his total body of work), or is considered a spec-fic author by those outside the field (e.g. Isaac Asimov who wrote more books about science than science fiction). If this anthology reprints the entirety of Bierce's poem, it would be entered as a reprint of the work, merged with the title in the database, with an additional INTERIORART record created for the artwork credited to the artist. Any graphic adaptation of a spec-fic work by another author who is not "above the threshold" would not be eligible. Mhhutchins 00:37, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps the verse in the anthology is an excerpt from Bierce's The Devil's Dictionary which has an entry for "Mummy":

MUMMY, n. An ancient Egyptian, formerly in universal use among modern civilized nations as medicine, and now engaged in supplying art with an excellent pigment. He is handy, too, in museums in gratifying the vulgar curiosity that serves to distinguish man from the lower animals.

By means of the Mummy, mankind, it is said,

Attests to the gods its respect for the dead.

We plunder his tomb, be he sinner or saint,

Distil him for physic and grind him for paint,

Exhibit for money his poor, shrunken frame,

And with levity flock to the scene of the shame.

O, tell me, ye gods, for the use of my rhyme:

For respecting the dead what's the limit of time?

     —Scopas Brune
Is this it? Mhhutchins 00:41, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
Yes it is. Word for word. I wasn't going to list it unless it was a stand-alone piece of verse, which it seems it isn't. Anyway, I had nobody else to ask. Thank you. MLB 00:53, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
I would suggest that you create a content record for it as POEM titled "The Mummy" and once it's in the database, add a note that it's an excerpt from The Devil's Dictionary. Mhhutchins 01:51, 2 March 2015 (UTC)

Editing a Cover Title Record

So, the title record for the cover is generated automatically at the birth of the publication by the title of the pub being placed after "Cover: ". In the case where the title of the pub has changed, like here, the issue # was placed after the comma later on. The title of the pub was changed but the title of the cover stays at this, without the #.

 1. Can you just change this by editing the cover title record directly? 
 2. If true, can you change the variant for this cover title the same way?

Thanks, Doug / Vornoff 06:09, 4 March 2015 (UTC)

Yes, both is possible (and necessary, because there is no automatic update). Christian Stonecreek 07:21, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for the input. Doug / Vornoff 07:48, 4 March 2015 (UTC)

SHORTFICTION [graphic format]


I've come across a short fiction record here flagged as "graphic format" on Kathleen Jennings' page. I'd like to do the same for another of her illustrated stories. How do I get the graphic format thing to happen? The story I'm working on is "A Small Wild Magic". Thanks --clarkmci / j_clark 07:04, 4 March 2015 (UTC)

Now there's a new pull-down box in the title's record, so you just have to edit the title. Christian Stonecreek 07:23, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
Found it! Thanks --clarkmci / j_clark 07:38, 4 March 2015 (UTC)

Using the isfdb for other purposes

While there are many forums to discuss novels, many people have complained about the lack of a forum to review and/or discuss short stories.

One of the issues is creating a comprehensive listing of short stories so people can discover similar editors, publications and so on.

isfdb was not built for this purpose but could serve the purpose.

Would you guys be okay exposing the database layer so someone else could build a discussion forum on top of it?

Thanks. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Projectramo (talkcontribs) .

We are certainly happy to see the ISFDB data leveraged by other projects. Technically, there are a couple of ways to get to the ISFDB data.
First, our weekly backups are available for download (see ISFDB Downloads.) Each backup file contains a full copy of the database except that some user data (e-mail addresses and such) has been purged. The Database Schema that describes each table is somewhat out of date, but all the core fields are explained.
Second, we have a Web API, which lets third parties look up publication (i.e. edition) records by ISBN in real time. At this time there is no way to retrieve title (i.e. distinct work) records, but there is a feature request to add this functionality and it shouldn't be too hard to do.
The problem that any third party tool built on top of ISFDB is likely to have is that our record IDs are not guaranteed to be stable. For example, if two story records are determined to be duplicates, they get merged and one of the IDs is lost. There is a feature request (see my last comment) to redirect requests for merged titles.
I should also add that our development resources are rather limited, but we can reshuffle our priorities if it helps third party projects. Ahasuerus 22:38, 5 March 2015 (UTC)

L. Jerome Stanton

I just entered some content for the Startling Stories, September 1939 facsimile and in the letter section there was a letter by L. J. Stanton, whom I suspect is L. Jerome Stanton. I listed the letter in case both Stantons are the same person. However the death date for L. Jerome Stanton is 1933, and if this is correct, how can he have published material in the forties, fifties, and seventies? Did he have a gifted medium? MLB 22:48, 8 March 2015 (UTC)

Are you looking at this record (death date 1993-06-10) or is there another Stanton involved? Ahasuerus 23:49, 8 March 2015 (UTC)

Bantam Falcon Doc Savage publications

In the early 90's eight Bantam Falcon editions of new Doc Savage novels, mostly by Will Murray & Lester Dent, were published. These are #s 183-190 of the Doc Savage Novels series. Of these, two, and only two, of the publications, Jade Ogre and White Eyes have "Doc Savage: " in front of the titles. On the title page of Jade Ogre, which I have, "Doc Savage" is shown in large wavy print in a box at the top of the page, like a design element. The title "The Jade Ogre" is further down the page, in smaller type by itself. I have three of the other books, which do not carry the "Doc Savage" in the ISFDB publications but which do have the same design element, which I suspect is the same in all the editions. Should the "Doc Savage" be dropped from the two that have it, or added to the six that don't? Thanks, Doug / Vornoff 00:41, 11 March 2015 (UTC)

You can change the title fields of the publication records to reflect the title page of the publication. Most editors don't add series data to title fields of publication records, but that's a prerogative of the primary verifier of the record. Series data should not be given in the title field of the title records, so you shouldn't make changes to the title records. Also, it's best not to make any changes to the titles of publication records for books you don't have at hand, unless you have a reliable secondary source that is known to use the title page title and not the cover title. Thanks. Mhhutchins 02:37, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
Then I think I'll submit to remove the "Doc Savage" from the title field of the pub record for "Jade Ogre", which I pv'd. That will conform to the pub records of the others in the serires, except for one, "Whie Eyes", which is verified by another editor. The title record won't be changed. Thanks, Doug / Vornoff 03:54, 11 March 2015 (UTC)

Encyclopedia of Fairies

I'm trying to enter The Book of Fairies, which is essentially a collection of imaginary essays about all the different kinds of fairies in the world. Sort of like J.K. Rowlings "Fantastic Beasts", but with no framing story. (The Amazon link above gives a good description of the book.) I hesitate to call it "Non Fiction", because we list "in universe essays" as fiction. But I hesitate to call it a "Collection", because the essays are descriptive, and generally do not contain anything I would call a "story". How do I catalog such a book? Chavey 06:51, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

If the items are catalogued as fiction (which I'd do in this case), there seems to be no alternative to catalogue it as a COLLECTION (it would be an ANTHOLOGY, if the item were written by different authors, wouldn't it?). Christian Stonecreek 11:16, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

Merging cover art

When the same artwork is used for two different editions of the same title (hence are eligible for merging), but the artwork has been changed substantially, when should they be merged or varianted? For example, these two covers used the same art for the center, but dramatically different backgrounds, so I varianted them. Should they have been merged? What about simpler, but dramatic, adjustments to colors and contrast? The two different covers shown here are currently recorded as two different cover records (each with two covers). Should they be merged or varianted? Chavey 09:43, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

I have done the same with these, so, a no for merging and a yes for varianting from me, if the central or main motif stays the same and only the background is changed (but if, for example, you'd have a fantasy setting turned in for a science fictional one, the judgment may come out different). Stonecreek 11:11, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
Varianting is for the same work with different titles. Different works with the same title are not varianted. I don't think we should have different practices in this regard for fiction and artwork. If the changes are sufficient so that they shouldn't be merged, then they should stay separate records. How much difference is enough will always be subjective (same as with edits to a story). Changes in the subject displayed (probably not the best description), I would leave separate. Changes in colors/contrast or cropping, I would merge. -- JLaTondre (talk) 13:32, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
I backup JLaTondre's response. Merging cover art title records should be done if the art is essentially the same and the title and/or author credit are the same. Varianting cover art title records should be done if the art is essentially the same, but there is a difference in the artist credit or the title. In the case given by Darrah, I agree with J that the records should be merged. In the case given by Christian, I personally would not variant them, even though a large portion of the work is the same. They appear to be sufficiently different to warrant separate records with no relationship other than perhaps a link their note fields to the other record. (Here's another case where a relationship function would come in handy.) As J points out, deciding whether there's sufficient difference can be subjective, so the decision will have to be left to the primary verifier(s). Mhhutchins 20:31, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
Thanks much, I appreciate the help. I'm working on a project to pull title summaries from WorldCat into our title recs, and along the way I'm just looking at a lot of title recs with all their covers displayed to me. So I figured I might as well merge covers when I saw essentially identical ones, but I wanted to make sure I was doing this right. (Along the way, I'm also noticing a bunch of covers that don't have credited artists, but I can get the artist from other equivalent covers that do have artist attributions.) Chavey 05:37, 27 March 2015 (UTC)
A heads-up: Those cover images displayed on OCLC are supplied by Amazon, so they're as reliable as the Amazon images we link to. (So you know they can be wrong.) In other words, the same caution should be taken in assigning a cover image to a publication record based on an OCLC record as you would with an Amazon-supplied image. Mhhutchins 06:20, 27 March 2015 (UTC)
Yeh, I've certainly seen cases where Amazon was giving the wrong image. I've also seen a few cases where an editor had clearly gone to the "Look Inside" to get an artist attribution, and not noticed that Amazon was giving the "Look Inside" of a different edition, with a different cover, and hence we've ended up with the wrong artist attached to a cover. I've corrected those whenever I've found them, but of course some may have slipped by me. Chavey 14:02, 27 March 2015 (UTC)

Series affecting the display in other publications

I've started adding more issues Science Fiction Chronicle, and have hit a small stumbling block on a series which, while following procedure, results in an altered display in a separate publication. SFC #64 (January 1985) continues a series 'The Writers' that they began in December 1984, reprinting essays from David Wingrove's The Science Fiction Sourcebook (March 1984). Entering the essays into the series and then merging/varianting will result in the essay appearing in the original publication with its series title added from the later editions of SFC as well, which to me looks odd and like it really ought not to be there. Variants can't be put into a series separately, only the parent titles, and merges of course have the same result.

For the moment I've left the one Roger Zelazny essay I've added to the series for reference as to what I'm talking about (without compounding things by merging the Gene Wolfe essay as well). Either: a) I'm being a wuss and there's nothing wrong; b) is there a workaround that doesn't result in an affected display in the earlier publication?, or c) I can remove the actual series and just make reference to it in the Note. Thoughts, please. PeteYoung 14:45, 3 April 2015 (UTC)

As you point out, a title record can only be in one series, and a variant of a title can not be in a different series. That's a limitation of the current software. If a work which was never part of a series (or never intended to be) then a reprint of it shouldn't be entered into a title series. In these cases, what you have is actually a hybrid series, not really a title series (where each title has a connection based on its text), but closer to a publication series (where each work is based on where and how it is published). Most magazine columns, which have been entered into the ISFDB as title series, are of this same nature. Back when we starting adding columns to title series, I brought this point to the attention of the group and nothing ever came of it. It was my opinion that there should have been a new type series created for columns (and certain fiction series like Astounding/Analog's "Probability Zero", stories which have no other connection at all.) As for a work-around to deal with the situation you've found, I have no idea, other than to simply Note the reprint series name. But remember, variants should only be created if the reprint has been retitled. Otherwise they should be merged. Sorry not to have been of much help.
A question: why was it necessary to disambiguate the SFC column's title? There are no other series titled "The Writers". I'm coming across similar situations where disambiguation is unnecessary, e.g. titled introductions which have been disambiguated with the publication's title when the introduction already has a unique title. (I know that's a separate issue which should be addressed under a different topic.) Mhhutchins 15:19, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
To point out that the situation you've discovered isn't unique, look at how the story "Earth's Lucky Day" appears in this 1936 publication. It's displayed as part of a series which was created for and only appears in the Perry Rhodan magabooks of the 1970s. Mhhutchins 15:23, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
The underlying problem is that we use the concept of "series" to group essays which appear in magazine departments. The approach sort of works as long as an essay appears in one (and only one) department, but it breaks down when the same essay appears in two different departments. There is a feature request to implement "departments" as a separate record type, but it will require a significant amount of development work. Ahasuerus 15:36, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for the quick responses. I added "Science Fiction Chronicle" to "The Writers" not as a disambiguation so much as an explanation of where the series exists, when I noticed it had to appear in the Science Fiction Sourcebook pub also. But as I said, even that is not satisfactory. I think I'm limited here to option c), ie. remove the series and restrict mention of its presence to the Note. Thanks again. PeteYoung 16:32, 3 April 2015 (UTC)

David Wiesner / David Weisner

There seems to be a problem with two similarly-named authors: David Wiesner and David Weisner. I believe that Weisner doesn't really exist and that all his works are by Wiesner. Another question is whether or not Weisner should be made a pseudonym of Wiesner. None of Weisner's works have been verified; much, if not all, his info is taken from Amazon, which lists works by both Weisner and Wiesner. In the ISFDB, "Firebrat" credits both, depending on which pub you look at. "Tuesday", listed under Weisner in ISFDB, is credited to Wiesner at Amazon. When searching the internet for the other Weisner works and the title of the work, evidence that they are the work of Wiesner emerge. this point I'm not sure how to proceed. Do a pseudonym anyway? Go into each Weisner publication and change the content credit to Wiesner? Then do the same for the titles? Or by changing the title credit will that change the pub content credit? What would happen if the last credit for an author (Weisner) disappears? Is the author automatically removed? Thanks, Doug / Vornoff 17:42, 8 April 2015 (UTC)

Tuesday was definitely entered wrong. It is credited Wiesner. The art credits are probably typos as well. I changed all of the Weisner records to Wiesner. Since these are all unverified, it is likely they were typos in the database and not in the publications. As far as fixing them:
  • For a publication credit (like Tuesday), you would need to edit both the publication credit and the title credit.
  • For an art (cover or interior) credit, if it appears in only one publication, then you can edit either the publication credit or the title credit (you don't have to do both). If it appears in multiple publications, you would have to edit the title credit.
Once there are no more credits to an author, the author record is automatically deleted. -- JLaTondre (talk) 13:07, 11 April 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for cleaning that up and for the advice. Doug / Vornoff 04:30, 12 April 2015 (UTC)

Submission vanished completely but has been partly accepted. Software bug?

I've made a submission for Pandora, Spring 2008 yesterday evening which should add about two dozen reviews to that publication. I can see now that this submission completey vanished from all of my lists: I can't see it in my "My Pending Edits", "My Recents Edit" or in "My Rejected Edits". I also can't find it in "Recent Edits". There's also nothing new on my talk page. However, five of the two dozens reviews of my submission have been added to the publication, so it must haven been partly accepted. Is that a software bug? Jens Hitspacebar 11:46, 11 April 2015 (UTC)

Your submisssion (IIRC approved by me) effectively ended in error (it's in this list but I don't know iof you can access it). Hauck 13:13, 11 April 2015 (UTC)
I don't have the rights to access this list. What kind of error is it? Did I submit wrong data? And do I have to make a new submission or is it possible to somehow resurrect the already submitted data from the error for approval? Jens Hitspacebar 13:22, 11 April 2015 (UTC)
Probably a kind of system error (the programming team should know better than me), for the latter, I don't know if it's possible. Hauck 15:07, 11 April 2015 (UTC)
Let me take a look... Ahasuerus 16:07, 11 April 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. Hauck 16:08, 11 April 2015 (UTC)
I have downloaded the latest backup file with this submission, but I need to do the backups first and then work on some non-ISFDB things. It will probably be a few hours before I know the answer. Ahasuerus 16:59, 11 April 2015 (UTC)

(unindent) A review of the three submissions that have errored out over the last couple of weeks found nothing unusual. Moreover, when I changed their status (on the development server) back to "New" and approved them, everything worked perfectly. This leads me to believe that in each case the approving moderator happened to click the "Approve" button at 9:29:59am (ish) server time. The approval process filed the first part of each submission and then, at 9:30am, the server froze because of the backups, hence the three half-approved submissions.

On the one hand this is good because it means that the software is not to blame. On the other hand it also means that we need to enhance the backup process. I am going to see if I can modify the backup script to disable database access at 9:30:00am, start the backups at 9:30:30am and, once they are finished, re-enable database access.

As far as the missing Content records go, I am afraid there is no easy way to re-add them to the database automatically. If I were to change the submission status to "New" and re-approve it, we would end up with duplicate Content entries, which is what happened on the development server when I tried it. Sorry :-( Ahasuerus 01:05, 12 April 2015 (UTC)

I made a new submission for the missing reviews of Pandora, Spring 2008 but it looks like there was an error again after approval of this new submission: again I can't find my new submission in any of my lists anymore, and again not all submitted reviews have been added to the publication (two didn't make it). Moreover, this time one review only made it partly into the database: it has no author though I'm sure I submitted one. Jens Hitspacebar 10:39, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
I can see that the second submission errored out while adding Christian Hoffmann's review of Gisbert Haefs's "Die Reisen des Mungo Carteret". (There is a feature request to let editors view their errored out submissions.)
I am currently in the process of restoring the latest backup on the development server to see if I can recreate the problem. For now all I can say is that it seems exceedingly unlikely that two separate submissions updating the same publication record would have been approved at 9:29:59 server time on two different days. There is also a known issue with the XML processing library that we are using, but it doesn't come into play unless a very large submission with hundreds of Content items is created. Ahasuerus 16:02, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
When I re-approved the submission on the development server, everything worked perfectly. I am stumped, to be honest. I'll try to add the ability to view errored out submissions real quick, but I'll keep thinking about the larger issue. Ahasuerus 18:17, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
Ok, thanks a lot. It'd be good to be able view one's errored out submissions, especially the exception type, message and probably the stack, so that editors who are software developers - like myself - might be able to help out in finding the cause. I'll try to add the final missing reviews to the publication now. Jens Hitspacebar 18:31, 12 April 2015 (UTC)

(unindent) Oh, I see where the disconnect is. No, the term "errored out" as used in this context doesn't imply a Python error. Here is the explanation that I posted a few weeks when I changed the approval process:

In the past, submissions could be in one of three states: "New", "Approved" (aka "Integrated") or "Rejected". The way things worked, when a moderator clicked the "Approve" link, the software would update the database first and change the submission status from "New" to "Approved" second. This could result in one of two problems:

  1. If the approval process errored out half way through, the submission remained in its original "New" state and another moderator could try to approve it again, thus creating multiple partial records.
  2. If the server happened to be particularly slow during the approval process, another moderator could come along and try to approve the submission before its status was changed to "Approved", thus creating a duplicate record or worse.

The last patch changed the approval process. The way it works now, as soon as you click "Approve", the status is changed to "In Progress" and the submission becomes unapprovable. If the approval process errors out, the submission remains labeled "In Progress" and will appear on the newly added Errored Out submissions report. Once the approval process is done, the submission state is changed to "Approved", just like it's always been. Ahasuerus 01:28, 13 April 2015 (UTC)

I see. Thanks for the info and the quick code change to make the error list available to editors. Jens Hitspacebar 15:42, 13 April 2015 (UTC)

Add existing novel to a series?

I tried to edit this title: in order that it would become book 1 of the series The Tyon Collective. Book 2 has been added already. But in editing the entry for the first book, there is no field for adding a series title or series number. Those fields only seem to be there when a new novel is added. Can someone advise how to fix this? --Ckovacs 14:11, 12 April 2015 (UTC)

If not entered the first time (when created) where both title AND publication details are accessible such data as the series is updatable at title level here (via "•Edit Title Data" on the left side) but not at the publication level there. Hauck 14:18, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for the help, I've been able to fix that now. The other issue is how do I add an award to that title or the author? I can't find that in the instructions. The award isn't in the ISFDB database either; it's called the Moonbeam Childrens Books Awards, for which this title won the 2012 Gold Medal in the Young Adult Fiction - Fantasy/SciFi category. Details are at: Instructions would be appreciated, thanks. --Ckovacs 16:45, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
I think some of the confusion comes from misunderstanding the database schema. Series and award data are linked to titles, not to publications. Frank Herbert's novel Dune is part of the Dune series and was awarded a Hugo. Chilton's publication, also titled Dune, didn't win the Hugo. No matter who publishes the work, it will be in the Dune series and will have won a Hugo. That's why we don't add series and award data to publication records. The ISFDB structure is based on works for which we have assigned a title record to which we add publication records. The title record can be accessed from any publication record by clicking on the "Title Reference" link in the publication record's metadata section.
About adding an award to a title: An administrator has to create the award, e.g. Nebula, Hugo, Moonbeam Children's Book Awards, etc. Once he's determined the award's eligibility for the database, he will add it to the list of awards which can be linked to titles. Then an editor, like you or I, can add an award to a title by clicking on the "Add an Award to This Title" link under the Editing Tools menu and following the steps. Requests to add new awards can be made on the ISFDB:Community Portal. But Ahasuerus (the administrator) may see this post and respond to it here. In the meantime, you can update the title record and add a note about its receiving an award. Thanks for contributing. Mhhutchins 18:43, 12 April 2015 (UTC)

(after edit conflict)

The ability to create new award types is currently limited to ISFDB bureaucrats. The reason for this restriction is that we want to make sure that we are all on the same page before we create new award types, thus avoiding partial award listing, award type duplication, etc.
The Moonbeam Children's Books Awards (Goodreads, Facebook, Wikipedia) are an interesting case, which may have wider implications. The organization that runs these awards charges authors an entry fee, $85 at this time, if they want their book to be considered. So are they really awards as we know them or are they a promotional tool? As one Web site puts it:
  • Every year, a round of book contest award programs is launched, and every year, on may publishing fora, a battle is waged regarding if the contests are worth it. [...] There are a lot of companies making a lot of money off contests. Most are “beauty pageants” where every entrant wins a nominal prize just for entering their book(s). Who really wins? Well, the promoter of said prize contest. Figure that at least 2500 people will pony up $50 or more for their book to be considered. Post a website and print 2500 certificates, and you’ve made an 85% profit. And most of the people participating are perfectly happy. Ahasuerus 18:46, 12 April 2015 (UTC)

Cemetery Dance #72

I know that I asked this question before but I'll be darned if I can remember where, but I'll ask this again. It’s been three months since Cemetery Dance #72 has been listed on this site by this verifier. Unfortunately it is missing huge amounts of content, like the cover image, column titles, illustrations, reviews, and interviews. I asked the verifier if they were going to complete the listing and offered to do it for them. I’ve been a lifetime subscriber, and a one-time contributor, and I would like to complete this posting. Should I, and then notify the verifier that I have done so? MLB 23:59, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

Asked and answered here. If you want to know what you've posted on the ISFDB wiki check your contributions link on your talk page. Mhhutchins 00:11, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
Oh, okay. Updating this will be next on my agenda. Then I'll do Shock Totem 9. MLB 02:15, 15 April 2015 (UTC)

Title page question

I'm reviewing this pub and found myself wondering what the answer to this situation would be. It's known that if an illustration starts on the proceeding page of a story, and is part of that story, that page should be taken as the title page. But what about a photograph, an item associated with an interview on the following page? Does it get the same treatment as an illustration in determining what the title page should be, or ignore it and make the title page where the interview actually is titled? Syzygy 22:46, 17 April 2015 (UTC)

I interpret the current rule to include any work which illustrates another work, whether that work is art or a photograph. If the photograph "illustrates" the interview, then the starting page of the interview in the ISFDB record should be the page on which the photograph appears. Mhhutchins 23:32, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
Okay, thanks for the quick response. Syzygy 00:14, 18 April 2015 (UTC)

Enter online chats which got released in printed form as interview?

I've got a publication which contains a chat that was done online with a writer. The chat was moderated by a person who forwarded the chat user's question to the writer. Technically the chat was conducted between moderator and writer only, the questions however came from different chat users, like this:

Moderator: John asks: "did you..."
Writer: (answers)
Moderator: Anne asks: "how did you..."

I'd consider these chats to be INTERVIEWs and enter the moderator of the chat as INTERVIEWER. Is that correct? Hitspacebar 14:47, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

Depends upon how it is presented in its printed form. As you describe it, I would credit the INTERVIEWER as "various". Mhhutchins 21:01, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
Ok, thanks. It's presented exactly like the example I posted above, with the moderator forwarding the asker's questions and only mentioning the asker's chat nickname ("ChatMod: John asks: ..."), but sometimes also asking questions himself. So the whole chat is a mixture of "mostly forwarded questions" and "a few questions by the moderator himself". Seems like "various" is the way to enter it. Hitspacebar 22:57, 25 April 2015 (UTC)


This is embarrassing. I've done it before, but I seem to have forgotten how to archive my messages. Could somebody leave me the details as to how to do this? MLB 03:16, 27 April 2015 (UTC)

Answered on your talk page. Mhhutchins 03:33, 27 April 2015 (UTC)

Red link won't turn blue

Hello. I had added a bibliographic comment to Marcel G. Prêtre's record, but the link to the wiki page remains red. I thought it might have been due to the circumflex, and tried to tinker with it, but to no avail. Any idea how to solve the problem ? TIA, Linguist 15:59, 1 May 2015 (UTC).

Looks blue to me, have you tried clearing your browser's search history?--Rkihara 16:29, 1 May 2015 (UTC)
Linguist is correct. There is no link between the author's summary page and the bibliographic comments page, and the link from the bc page to the summary page doesn't work. This was very likely caused by the non-standard character, a software bug which has plagued these links between database and the wiki forever. I can't tell you how to fix it though. Mhhutchins 17:17, 1 May 2015 (UTC)
There are multiple Bug reports (Bug 528, Bug 229, Bug 31, Bug 30) re: database/Wiki mismatches. It's one of the reasons why the current plan is to move all Bio/Biblio/Series/Publisher comments from the Wiki to the database -- see FR 307 for a brief discussion.
I am thinking that we will want to enhance the way the software displays Notes first. Displaying a lengthy biographical/bibliographical article at the top of a Summary page seems counterproductive just like displaying 50+ author-specific tags was counterproductive. The obvious solution would be to do what we did with tags -- display the first N lines at the top of the page and move the rest to a separate page. The only difference is that, unlike tags, biographical/bibliographical articles should not be split arbitrarily, so we will want to add support for some kind of separator, e.g. {{PAGE}}, which will be entered by editors to let the software know that everything prior to the separator should appear on the Summary page while the rest should be relegated to a separate page. Ahasuerus 18:23, 1 May 2015 (UTC)
Ah well. Thanks for your answers, anyway. Linguist 20:18, 1 May 2015 (UTC).
I've added a hard link back to the author's summary page from the wiki page. The link on the author's page does open the wiki page but in edit mode, so I'm not sure how to put a band-aid on that problem. Mhhutchins 21:44, 1 May 2015 (UTC)

Merge two record for cover artist Nele Schütz (person) and Nele Schütz Design (company and/or person)

There are these two records for the cover artist Nele Schütz right now which mean the same person and/or company, and I think they should be merged into one record, but I'd like to ask what the best approach is in this case:

I just checked a couple of my primary verified books and the cover is always credited to "Nele Schütz Design", not just "Nele Schütz". I also checked her website, and "Nele Schütz Design" is actually a very small company with Nele Schütz being the "creative director", but there seem to be three other employees being involved in the creative work. Since the artworks can't be attributed to a single person I think using the company name "Nele Schütz Design" is the correct cover artist name. Is it ok to use the company name, even is there were probably two or three people involved in the cover art? Hitspacebar 18:28, 1 May 2015 (UTC)

This has been discussed in the past, without any consensus arrived. I personally feel that corporate credits should not be given in the Cover Art field, nor should they be considered persons, but tell that to the US Supreme Court. Mhhutchins 18:36, 1 May 2015 (UTC)
This is an issue that the larger bibliographic world had to tackle decades ago because there are so many non-fiction books published by corporate entities (conferences, institutes, government departments, etc.) Their solution was to create additional fields, e.g. field 110 and field 111 in the MARC 21 Format for Bibliographic Data. It would be nice to do something similar in our little corner of the woods, but it would be a fairly time-consuming task and it's not a priority at the moment. Ahasuerus 18:46, 1 May 2015 (UTC)
Well, I credited only her, since it is the only name of an actual person that is stated. I agree with Michael that not companies but persons should be credited (there are some exceptions, though, as with Atelier Frank & Zaugg, where it seems more comfortable to stick with this credit than to establish two artists 'Zaugg' and 'Frank').
It may turn out in the future that some of the art may have to be credited to one of the employees, but without further evidence this is not possible: th employees may very well only have some augmentary or secretary functions; also, right now Nele Schütz seems to me the one person who's made responsible for the respective artwork. Christian Stonecreek 04:51, 2 May 2015 (UTC)
Every credit for Nele Schütz Design has a co-credit for a human being. Perhaps that firm only designed the cover. So they shouldn't be credited for the cover art at all. Mhhutchins 06:08, 2 May 2015 (UTC)
Two or three years back, I have read an interview with her (alas, as I remember, on a site for which the contents have been altered completely: in which the art is stated as created by her. I don't remember that she mentioned employees at that time: this seems to have changed in the meantime. Christian Stonecreek 06:22, 2 May 2015 (UTC)
"Every credit for Nele Schütz Design has a co-credit for a human being." No, that's not the case, at least not in my copies. It's always just "cover design by Nele Schütz Design", with no additional person being co-credited. We should probably allow very tiny firms like the ones mentioned in this thread to be credited as cover artist (another example is Das Illustrat, which is just two illustrators working together). Though I'm not sure where to draw the line to bigger companies. Maybe if it's obvious that there are not more than a handful of people in a firm and that it's an independent, "creative" firm. Moreover, if crediting her at all then using "Nele Schütz Design" instead of "Nele Schütz" would also be consistent with the rules for other fields where it's required to use names and titles as printed. Hitspacebar 09:21, 2 May 2015 (UTC)
I'm not sure now what the result of this thread is, if there is any. Do we leave the two records unchanged? Hitspacebar 15:53, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
You say "No, that's not the case, at least not in my copies." Then you need to correct the records. Every record which credits cover art to Nele Schütz Design in this database is co-credited to another artist. Just look at the records. There are currently three titles with four publications, three of which are primary verified by Clarkmci. If they're credited as "cover design" then they shouldn't be in the cover art field. Perhaps you need to leave a message for that verifier. That could settle the issue entirely. Mhhutchins 16:28, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
Now I see where the misunderstanding is: you were talking about the "Nele Schütz Design" records in the database, whereas I was talking about the books that have "Nele Schütz Design" printed on the copyright page, but which got recorded here as "Nele Schütz" only (and which are a lot). Ok, so considering Christian's remarks I think we should keep the name "Nele Schütz", and I'll leave a message for the verifiers of the "Nele Schütz Design" records. Hitspacebar 19:58, 4 May 2015 (UTC)

What's the correct year for a parent title if the translated variant title was released earlier?

What's the correct DATE for a parent title if the VARIANT title is a translation and was released earlier? Example: The Festival of Bones was first published in English (the author's working language) in 2011, but its first world-wide release was the German translation many years earlier in 2002. Template:TitleFields:Date has no information for such a case. Thanks. Jens Hitspacebar 20:55, 6 May 2015 (UTC)

It's covered at Help:How to enter foreign language editions (third bullet). The canonical title and date would be the original language publication. The translation would be a variant and the variant date would be earlier than the canonical. -- JLaTondre (talk) 22:25, 6 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks! I'll add a hint to that howto on the Template:TitleFields:Date page. Hitspacebar 15:31, 7 May 2015 (UTC)

Millennium/Gollancz 'Binary' series

I notice that we have a rather confused variety of listings for the Millennium/Gollancz 'Binary' series of 4 dos-à-dos paperbacks which came out in 2000-2002 – in fact the books are not currently listed as a series, either.

The first two sets of titles have been given the titles Binary 1 and Binary 2 instead of the titles of the actual works in the dos-à-dos pub. The pub type for all of them is ANTHOLOGY, therefore this incorrectly credits the authors as editors, eg. as in the other two titles Watching Trees Grow / Tendeleo's Story (Binary 3) and Reality Dust / Making History (Binary 4).

Comparable publications such as the Ace Doubles are all OMNIBUS, which lists the authors properly as authors. I'm curious as to why these were listed as anthologies – is it because all Binary titles appear to be novellas rather than novels, or has that nothing to do with it? I propose listing these titles as OMNIBUS, and creating a 'Millennium/Gollancz Binary' series. Thoughts and input, please. PeteYoung 21:30, 14 May 2015 (UTC)

They don't include a content record typed as NOVEL, ANTHOLOGY, COLLECTION, or NONFICTION, so they can't be typed as OMNIBUS. All titles typed as ANTHOLOGY will credit the author(s) as editor(s), since the software can't distinguish the role of the person(s) given the responsibility credit. As for titling, they should be consistent. Because "Binary" appears to be the publication series and not the actual titles, I would suggest going with the "Title A / Title B" format. Mhhutchins 03:58, 15 May 2015 (UTC)

Strange Highways

There are two titles for Dean Koontz's work "Strange Highways". One is a collection, the other an omnibus. The first, dated 1994, a collection, has 6 pubs, only the first of which is verified. The last is an ebook. The second, dated 1995, an omnibus, has 4 pubs, all the same as pubs 2 thru 5 of the first title, all unverified. These four have one story, "We Three", not in the verified pub. These four include the collection Strange Highways, the novel Strange Highways and all the stories of the collection as contents. The first title has reviews and awards; the second does not. It's conceivable another story could be added in subsequent printings, I guess, but what about the rest of it? Is there something that should be corrected here? Thanks, Doug / Vornoff 15:58, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

The publications which appear under the collection title include a) the collections which contain stories and a novel (of the same name which was first published in this collection) and b) the omnibuses which later repackaged the collection with an additional novel. The omnibuses are listed because they include the original collection which is represented by the title. The publications which appear under the omnibus title are those which include all of the works in the original collection plus a new non-genre novel, but not those publications which contained only the collection. I know it's confusing when it comes to an OMNIBUS-typed record containing a same-named COLLECTION-typed record which itself contains a same-named NOVEL-typed record, but they all seem to be correctly entered. The reason why the collection title has reviews and awards is because it was assumed that the reviews and awards were for the collection and not the later omnibus edition. If you have access to any of the reviews which you can see were for the omnibus, we can redirect the link. I'm thinking the Locus Award should be linked to the omnibus, since that was the version published in the US. I'll have to check further. Thanks. Mhhutchins 17:24, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
I've relinked the Locus review and the Locus award to the omnibus record. The British reviews and awards remain linked to the collection record. Mhhutchins 17:28, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for the explanation - it does make sense that way. It's a pretty good example of how complicated these things can get. Doug / Vornoff 17:30, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

Outposter series by Gordon R. Dickson

By Locus the works "None But Man" and "Hilifter" doesn't belong to the same series as "The Outposter", so should we remove the series, or is it still the same series? Qshadow 12:26, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

It appears to be the other way around: The Outposter isn't part of the "None But Man" series. I've removed it. Thanks. Mhhutchins 15:12, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

A few more possible series

Hi, I am going throw comparing series between ISFDB and, here are few possible cycles that are not found on ISFDB:

Dimensions of Miracles by Robert Sheckley
Supertoys by Brian W. Aldiss
Star Rings by George R. R. Martin
Hawley by Tom Reamy
Epikt & Others by R. A. Lafferty

although the site is in Russian, all the titles are given in English, so it is self explanatory. of course in case you want to read the annotations or maybe comments (if present) you can use google translate. Qshadow 12:18, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

I would only suggest that you get corroborating sources before placing titles into series based on the data from this website. There have been times in the past when I've found that the connections between stories were extremely tenuous.
  • Sheckley: Yes, this is a series.
  • Aldiss: Again, a valid series.
  • Martin: Same universe, but not a direct sequel. But I've seen less connections make a series, so this is a possibility.
  • Reamy: Again, they're all set in the same town (or in one case, a character from that town), but that doesn't necessarily make them a series. Further research would help.
  • Lafferty: A lot of titles here to work through. If you have the stories or can find another reliable corroborating source then proceed with caution.
Mhhutchins 15:57, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, I have started creating the series that you confirmed (Sheckley & Aldiss). I wonder if we could add a special mark that says something like: "This series titles binded only by same universe, but not a sequel to each other." Because there is a lot of "same universe / same subject" titles that are not sequels, and each time we will have this dilemma. Qshadow 18:24, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
All additional data helps. Saying it's set in the same universe/town/etc. but is not a direct sequel would save a lot of time and headaches in the future when another editor wants to come along and remove titles from the series. Mhhutchins 18:56, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
I think you misunderstood me, what i suggest is to add additional field in the database that the creator of the series will set/unset using checkbox or maybe create another Series type, that will show instead of "Series" something like:
  • "Series (Unconnected)"
OR even
  • "Same Universe (Not Series)".
This field will force each editor to think if it should be set/unset, and also will make it more standard instead of each one writing this in his own words. Of course in addition to this we could also add some comment if needed. From what i have seen, we have a lot of series that need to be reclassified to this type. This is VERY important to anyone that wants to read a title from the series, but is not sure if he should read other titles as well to understand the plot (I have this problem all the time, and so far there is no adequate solution on ISFDB). Qshadow 09:39, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
I don't think that will work very well. We try to make things as objective as possible. There are going to be cases where a series falls somewhere between and it would be up to the individual to determine. I think having this ability will only make working with series even more complicated than it already is. At least with a human-written note you have the ability for more explanation and certainly more nuanced than a checklist could ever be. Of course, you can bring up the idea for the group to discuss on the Rules and standards discussions page. Mhhutchins 14:52, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, I will think on better solution first and maybe come up with some idea. Qshadow 16:37, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
Let me just add that we have two existing mechanisms to cope with this problem. First, if (some) series entries have numbers assigned to them, it suggests that there is an order to the series. (Note that you can have a mix of numbered and unnumbered titles, which is useful when a series contains standalone stories set in the same universe as the main sequence.) Second, we allow infinitely nested sub-series as well as sub-series numbering, which can be used to good effect -- see Coyote Universe or Geronimo Stilton Metaverse for recent examples. Ahasuerus 17:29, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
The problem with the numbering is that when I see unnumbered series (or unnumbered titles in series that have some titles numbered) I can't know if they are unnumbered because we do not know their exact order or because their order is not important (like in same universe only case). Qshadow 18:17, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
Hm... So what you would want to see is some kind of flag/field that would tell you whether a title is unnumbered because:
  • it has no fixed position within the series;
  • it has a fixed position within the series, but we don't know what it is;
  • we are not sure whether it has a fixed position within the series
Is this about right? Ahasuerus 19:06, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
I almost answered: "Yes!", but than I thought again, and understood it would not help to answer the main concern: "Should i read all previous titles of this series to fully understand this one title that I want to read (eg because it got some award, or was a bestseller, or whatever...)?" Because even if title doesn't have fixed position, it is possible that you should at least read the first title (or first few core titles) of the series previously (eg to read any title from the "Frankenstein Universe" you must first read (or at least know) the "Frankenstein" itself). So, have only these flags will not help here. That's why I think the flag should be at the level of the series first and after that your suggestion:
  • If Series flag = "True Series (Order Important)" each title that was not set position automatically gets "it has a fixed position within the series, but we don't know what it is"
  • If Series flag = "Same Universe (Not Series)" each title automatically gets "it has no fixed position within the series"
  • If Series flag = "Mixed: Core titles must be read first, others in free order" this is the complicated case and each title can get any of the three flags.
I think that 90% of the series fall in the first two simple categories, so no editor will have to mess around with the "per title" flags. it is only in the last case where we have some work. And marking the series is much easier than marking each title. Qshadow 11:22, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
Well, if the underlying question is "Should I read all previous titles of this series to fully understand this one", then I am afraid that a single new field (whether we add it to our series records or to our title records) won't work in many cases. For example, consider Jules Verne's Captain Grant and Captain Nemo Universe. Volumes 1 and 2 are not related and can be read in any order. However, volume 3 features characters from volumes 1 and 2 and needs to be read last. Tim Powers's Fault Lines has a similar structure. And then there are series like Terry Pratchett's Discworld and Star Trek Crossovers where the series structure is best represented as an omnitruncated tesseract :-) Ahasuerus 20:47, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
This is the "mixed" cases, and there are not so many of them, thats exactly cases for "additional notes". On the other hand we will never have the dilemma again whether create the series (from my original question) like "Star Rings by George R. R. Martin" and "Hawley by Tom Reamy" , we just mark them "Same Universe (Not Series)" and boom, problem solved. I am sure there are a lot of cases like this that we make (or not make) as series without clear rule, which leaves the admin always unhappy about either choice (at least I feel so). And of course it will also nail the question of the reading order for all such series. Qshadow 10:04, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

(unindent) A couple of things come mind. First, our use of the term "universe" is somewhat inconsistent. For the most part we use it to describe super-series, e.g. Cassandra Palmer Universe or Redwall Universe, but sometimes there is no such implication, e.g. Dock Five Universe or Alysian Universe. I suspect that in the latter type of cases the word "universe" is usually meant to suggest that the works are set in the same world but are only loosely related otherwise. At least that's how I have used the term in the past, but I don't know how common this usage is.

Second, I think that there may exist a "series cohesion" scale rather than a well-defined divide between "universes" and "series". BTW, Lafferty's "Epikt & Others" stories (which I'd probably call "Institute for Impure Science Universe") is a good example of a universe that is so diffuse that it's hard to tell whether it's really a universe or a set of recurring characters that pop in and out of otherwise unrelated stories. To use a really extreme example, Keith Laumer briefly mentions Bolos in a number of non-Bolo stories, but I don't think we'd want to expand the Bolo universe based on a single casual reference.

BTW, the Fantlab folks may want to review their "Epikt & Others" page, which doesn't list a number of Institute stories like "Boomer Flats" and "Seven-Day Terror". Ahasuerus 03:10, 30 May 2015 (UTC)