ISFDB:Help desk/archives/archive 35

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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 January - December 2022.

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Archives of old discussions from the Help desk.

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Tags, duplicate and mispellings

I was looking through a database dump of the tags and noticed that there tags with mispellings like "Detectve" (id 11064) and near duplicates like "into movie" and "into-movie". Is there a standard for tag names and a process to report and or fix them? --Colink 22:20, 2 January 2022 (EST)

There is FR 911, "Allow moderators to edit and merge tags"; its comment section discusses some of the functional and technical issues involved. Also, this whole area can be tricky because one person's "obvious duplicate" can be another person's "subtle but important distinction" -- it was one the reasons why we originally made tags user-definable and not subject to the submission creation/approval process.
For now, moderators have the ability to remove clearly incorrect tags. If you notice any, please post on the Moderator Noticeboard and they will be removed. Ahasuerus 22:33, 2 January 2022 (EST)

C. H. Hung & Bruce Mcallister

I have a question. I have just finished reading the November-December 2021 issue of Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine and it contains two stories of interest. One is by C. H. Hung and the other is by Bruce McAllister. Neither are genre, but should they be listed because of the authors? Lemme know. MLB 01:53, 3 January 2022 (EST)

IMO, the answer is no, unless the issue of the magazine is being included for some other reason. I don't know if others will disagree. #4 here says Works (both fiction and non-fiction) which are not related to speculative fiction, but were produced by authors who have otherwise published works either of or about speculative fiction over a certain threshold (see below). This includes any non-genre works published as standalone books as well as non-genre short fiction, but excludes non-fiction which was not published as a standalone book. .... Assuming for the sake of argument that those authors are both above the "certain threshold", we would allow inclusion of the pieces. But #4 here says Works unrelated to speculative fiction that are found in primarily non-genre publication that will be cataloged based on other criteria, e.g. a Norton anthology of 19 century literature or a Playboy issue that include a single speculative story. This is done to avoid having to catalog huge amounts of non-SF data. It's not quite the same, but I think the "Norton anthology" example is relevant. Basically, non-genre anthologies are not "in" just because of an association with a genre author; by extension, that same treatment would apply to magazines. So if that issue of Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine were "in" because it contained an SF story or an article/interview related to SF, then it would be acceptable to include those particular non-genre stories. But because the magazine is non-genre and the stories are non-genre, the presence of those stories is not sufficient for that issue to be "in". --MartyD 07:02, 3 January 2022 (EST)
Well, okay then, on to something else. Now I know. MLB 22:39, 3 January 2022 (EST)

re Cover Image Data

Hello to all,

I just can't remember : is it possible for a non-moderator to upgrade the Cover Image Data Web page (viz., to replace the previous scanner's name by his, and suppress the older versions) ? I thought I'd better check before telling off a contributor who never does, he might not be able to… TIA (and a Happy New Year to all, while I'm at it), Linguist 08:14, 3 January 2022 (EST).

A non-moderator can upload a new image & edit the page to replace the previous scanner's name. It depends by what you mean "suppress the older versions". If you upload a new version, that becomes the new version and the prior one is "hidden". If you mean delete the prior one, then, no, deletion of wiki pages is a moderator only function. -- JLaTondre (talk) 18:31, 3 January 2022 (EST)
Thanks a lot ! That's all I needed to know (and what I thought as well) ! Linguist 04:40, 4 January 2022 (EST).

Adding a new collection

Very basic question. Been all through the Help areas without finding an answer, but maybe I missed something obvious.

If I'm adding an author's new collection, when do I add the existing stories that are already in ISFDB? Do I create the new collection without any stories and later get the opportunity to import the stories after the new title is approved by a moderator? I don't see any "import" possibility on the New Collection page.

Color me easily confused. I'm returning here after nearly a year away (because life happens) that was preceded by only a month or so that contained mistakes. Sfmvnterry 01:55, 4 January 2022 (EST) (Interested to see what happens with a "Watch this page" selection.)

Welcome back! :)
Yep, after the adding of the collection is approved, you can use our Import functionality to import the stories we have using their IDs. You cannot import during a creation (or an edit) - it is a separate page which requires the collection to be already in place. You can either add it as an empty one or you can add the stories/essays we do not have (if there are any).
The menu is called "Import Content" and here is the help page for it once you get to that point. Let me know if I can assist with anything else. :) Annie 11:02, 4 January 2022 (EST)
Thank you. Allow me to point out that as far as I can tell, nowhere in the help is this two-step process made clear. I did find the "Import Content" page in the process of trying to answer my question myself. Thanks again. Sfmvnterry 18:02, 4 January 2022 (EST)
Some of the help pages are old and there is always the "we know that" bias when help pages are written. Looking for the most logical place for this: Will it help if we include a note/subsection about the Import option here? Annie 18:06, 4 January 2022 (EST)
Good point. I have updated that Help section -- could you please take a look to see if it makes sense? Ahasuerus 21:58, 4 January 2022 (EST)
I think that it is clear enough. We probably need something similar for the Edit page help as well but that’s a good start. We may want to template part of these two pages - too much repetition so a chance to easily get out of sync. Annie 22:07, 4 January 2022 (EST)
Done. Unfortunately, the EditPub scenario was so different that the same language could not be shared by the two Help pages. Ahasuerus 12:47, 5 January 2022 (EST)
Yep - that is why I said similar and did not just copy it over :) Looks good to me - we can always adjust if needed. Thanks for taking care of it. Annie 12:53, 5 January 2022 (EST)
Here's a vote from a newbie agreeing that the update looks helpful. Sfmvnterry 22:58, 4 January 2022 (EST)
Awesome. :) Thanks for pointing the problem out! Annie 10:39, 5 January 2022 (EST)

The em-dash swamp (redux)

I'm PVing [1] and ran across the story Golden the Ship Was — Oh! Oh! Oh!. The title page for the story doesn't have spaces around the em-dash, which is in conflict with publication entry. Help for 'title' [2] indicates there shouldn't be surrounding spaces. Is this a rathole to avoid, or something I should attempt to submit an edit for?

Has this query been lost, or is the lack of input a hint to let sleeping dogs lie. --GlennMcG 15:11, 14 December 2021 (EST)
Perhaps it's more like Fight Club. --GlennMcG 15:34, 4 January 2022 (EST)
Just holidays. :) Technically m-dash's punctuation is well defined in the rules so if you submit a change, it will be approved. Now - do you want to go down that rabbit hole - have fun. That may be something we may want to do a report on actually and clean up a bit more systematically (or discuss a change in the rules). Annie 16:08, 4 January 2022 (EST)
Checking the database, I see that we have 7156 titles with an em-dash. Of that number, 4316, or 60%, have at least one adjacent space. For Publication records, the numbers are 548 and 329, i.e. also 60%.
Given the discrepancy between Template:PublicationFields:Title, which says:
  • Em-dashes should be entered directly adjacent to the words on both sides
and the predominant practice, we may want to have a Rules and Standards discussion to determine which way we want to take it. Once we have consensus, we can update Help and create two cleanup reports, one for Title records and one for Publication records. Ahasuerus 16:51, 4 January 2022 (EST)

As Tomorrow Becomes Today / Sullivan

I'm trying to fix/complete the edits I made on the anthology As Tomorrow Becomes Today. The publication uses the author spelling of 'Charles Wm. Sullivan III' everywhere in/on the book. I normalize this to 'Charles Wm. Sullivan, III' as per rules. The section essays in the book are titled, but not given a separate author attribution.

Should I be attacking this from the title record, or the publication? I believe that I'll need to create variant titles pointing at the canonic author 'C. W. Sullivan, III', but I need some guidance on what order to proceed in. Thanks. --GlennMcG 15:44, 7 January 2022 (EST)

Title record. The essays only appear in the tp and hc editions of this book. It is likely the hc used the same credits as the tp. The current essays are credited to Charles W. Sullivan. You can just edit the title records to change to Charles Wm. Sullivan, III. This will change them in both publications. They are already varianted to the canonical name so you don't need to variant. Hope I explained that clearly enough... -- JLaTondre (talk) 18:17, 7 January 2022 (EST)
Edits are in. Now all that's left is whether the section essays should be copied to the hc pub. The clone (from tp, I believe) was done before they were added to the tp. --GlennMcG 00:54, 8 January 2022 (EST)

Help with Cover Art automatically misattributed to an author

Hello, I entered the Cover Art data with the name "Laura Fernandez" in my two pubs: Firewing and Sunwing, without an accent, and both entries added the accent and attributed it to Fernández 272892. Could someone help replacing these links to the correct artist: Fernandez 272875 please? Or let me know how I can do it, thank you. -Kapotun 00:29, 9 January 2022 (EST)

To differentiate the two, we have the artist entered as 'Laura Fernandez (artist)'. We do this to avoid listings of titles in the entry for an author or artist that don't belong there (for example, we have four different David Williams). So, you just need to enter 'Laura Fernandez (artist)' in the publication entries and the system will list it in the correct author summary. Stonecreek 07:52, 9 January 2022 (EST)
Got it, thanks. I'll submit the edits for approval then. -Kapotun 14:41, 9 January 2022 (EST)

Previously published version not in database

In Three-Fisted Tales of "Bob", the foreword "Behind-ForeEverAfterword: Sects and Death", by William S. Burroughs, was first published in 1979 as just "Sects and Death" in Burroughs' collection Roosevelt After Inauguration and Other Atrocities, not in the db. Do I date the version in Three-Fisted Tales of "Bob" to 1979, or not, because it's not the original title?--Rosab618 03:00, 11 January 2022 (EST)

Nope. But you can add the missing book and the missing title - that will have the original date and become a parent for the story we have now. Stories are dated based on when they are first published under that title and author form :) Unless that falls under the “better known as” rule and the story we have become the parent - then it will get dated based on first occurrence under any title. Annie 03:27, 11 January 2022 (EST)
Okay, I did.--Rosab618 03:43, 14 January 2022 (EST)

Box set of the Lord of the Rings (and the Hobbit)

Trying to figure out the best way to add this publication. It has a separate ISBN (inferred from 23523-1) 0-345-23523-1. There's no separate title on the box, so I assume that I should give the main title as the individual titles separated by ' / '.

Should I add the titles during the 'add omnibus', or import them later?

The artwork on the box is various labeled illustration elements (heraldry?) from JRRT. For example, Elwe, Luthen Tinvviel, Finwe. Add as cover art?

Is the format of the omnibus the format of the books within?

--GlennMcG 21:48, 11 January 2022 (EST)

Yes for the title - use the "/" separator if the box does not have its own title.
Import the novels later (add in the moderator note of the new Omnibus that you are going to do that). Although you may want to check the existing omnibuses - if there is one with the title as you need it, clone from it thus eliminating the need to variant/merge and import later :)
Yes for the box art (that's the cover of the omnibus) and the format (the books format inside of it determine the overall format). Add in the notes that it is a boxset. Did I get everything? Annie 21:59, 11 January 2022 (EST)
Hmmmm. All the boxed sets are titled 'The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings', except for one titled Tolkien, which happens to be a latter printing of mine. (Same box). Thoughts? --GlennMcG 02:12, 12 January 2022 (EST)
Up to you. :) You can also call it Tolkien if you want (based on the cover image) or go for the / standard - these kinds of boxes are a bit ambiguous. Annie 10:45, 14 January 2022 (EST)

Help page for novel->novella conversion incorrect or outdated?

Adrian Tchaikovsky's Elder Race is a novella per Twitter; confirmed by Kobo reporting 40k words for the ebook (which presumably includes copyright page text, etc). As this title has 2 pubs (ebook and tp), I followed the instructions at Help:How_to_convert_a_novel_to_a_chapbook#Special_Instructions_.28Titles_with_more_than_one_publication_record.29.

I have submitted an edit to convert the title from NOVEL to SHORTFICTION/novella per items #2 & 3. Item #4 says I can proceed to edit the pub records from NOVEL to CHAPBOOK as "You do not have to wait for moderation before proceeding to the next step."

The next step appears to be editing the pub records as per Help:How_to_convert_a_novel_to_a_chapbook#Special_Instructions_.28Titles_with_more_than_one_publication_record.29, but skipping item #3. However, after adding a new CHAPBOOK record to the contents (per item #4), and hitting submit, I get a Javascript alert popup stating "ANTHOLOGY, COLLECTION, NONFICTION, NOVEL, and OMNIBUS titles are not allowed within CHAPBOOK publications."

I'm sure I'd be able to progress once my first edit to the title record is accepted by a mod, but unless I'm missing something or have made an error, the sentence about not having to wait for moderation should be removed or altered? ErsatzCulture 16:45, 12 January 2022 (EST)

The software got updated, the help page was forgotten. Back in the days, you could indeed add pretty much any type to any record - thus allowing easier conversions. The result was exactly what you would expect. So a few years ago, a few cleanup reports were created so we can clean all publications with weird types in them and the software was updated not to allow weird combinations.
Your edit is approved so you can go and fix these - apparently my hunch on the length being iffy was correct on this one. :) I will fix the help page. Annie 17:15, 12 January 2022 (EST)
Done. Let me know if that reads ok. Thanks for finding the issue! :) Annie 17:19, 12 January 2022 (EST)
Thanks - I think your edit covers what I reported, but I think there's another issue with that page...
In Help:How_to_convert_a_novel_to_a_chapbook#Publication_Record_Edit_Only_.28Titles_with_a_single_publication.29, having the note about changing the title subtype to novella/novelette/short story at #9 strongly implies that this should be done for the CHAPBOOK contents, given that is what had been referred to in the preceding steps #4-8. Surely this should be done for the existing contents record that was converted from NOVEL to SHORTFICTION in step #3? As such, it might be better to move the current #9 item up to be #4, and/or explicitly state that the subtype is for that record, not the CHAPBOOK one? (And update the subsequent section for cases where there are multiple pubs accordingly.) I'll happily edit the page if someone can sanity check my thinking. ErsatzCulture 17:27, 12 January 2022 (EST)
Let me finish an anthology I am trying not to lose track of and I will look at that order in there :) Annie 17:32, 12 January 2022 (EST)
I think I got it. Moved to Step 4. And added down in the special instruction as well (and then you will skip steps 3 and 4). Let me know if I missed something. Annie 17:58, 12 January 2022 (EST)

Variant interviews

I have two interview records with alternate-name authors as interviewee (like here). How do I variant these records, so that they show up under the author's canonical name? MagicUnk 11:17, 14 January 2022 (EST)

You don't - you use the canonical name AND add a note on what names is used - it is a software limitation. See the help page: "Interviewee - The canonical name of the person being interviewed, whether or not it matches the form(s) of the name used in the interview." :) Annie 11:21, 14 January 2022 (EST)

Duplicate ISBN numbers

Hi Annie. As you moderate a lot of my edits, I'll let you know. I just submitted a cloned version of the ebook "The Very Best of Barry N. Malzberg". I was very surprised to see the "Duplicate ISBN" message. I checked, and there is a duplicate ISBN for both the current ebook version (just submitted) and Silverberg's "Lord of Darkness" (2012), which are both on Nonstop Press. I assume one is a typo, and I just sent an email to Nonstop to see if I can find out what the actual story is. I'll update if I can find out which one is incorrect, assuming that is what is going on. At worst, if this is a fatal problem, I can resubmit the clone request after I know what the correct ISBNs are here. Thanks.Dave888 13:33, 17 January 2022 (EST)

Might be a typo, might also be Nonstop Press being weird and actually printing/using the same one (won't be for the first time - even the major publishers had done it now and again). Document where the source of the ISBN is and we are all set. No need to cancel it - it will get handned and note written if needed. Annie 17:48, 19 January 2022 (EST)

Sequence for editing a magazine issue with no content

This is my first attempt at this sort of thing, so I apologize for my ignorance.

I subscribe to Galaxy's Edge and noticed that issues of the magazine have been neglected at isfbd since the January 2020 issue. So I thought I would update/add issues to get them current. The first one (the January 2020 issue) has an entry but no content. The process for updating this seems somewhat convoluted, but perhaps that is unavoidable (I lack the knowledge to judge).

My main question is, what is the best/correct sequence for doing all the necessary steps?

I assume that the first step is to either edit the entry to add missing content, OR import content that already exists (using Option 2). The magazine has both new and reprint short fiction. I get the impression that it is better to import the reprints rather than merge them after the fact, but I could have that wrong. If this is true, then I should do both (add & import) in two seperate actions. Another question relating to this is, should I wait for one action (adding content OR importing content) to get approved by a moderator before proceeding to the other? Or is it safe to have both the Edits and Imports in queue for the same entry at the same time? And does it matter which one I do first?

In addition to the Edit and Import actions, I also have to do several things (I assume these all come after the above edit action has been moderator approved):

- Apparently I need to enter this poem as if it is a new entry during the above edit process, because in this case the author, Mike Resnick, used a facetious pseudonym (Mike Wadsworth Resnick) which has not been used before (at least in the isfbd records). Then I turn that new entry into a variation of the original poem. And perhaps I also connect the pseudonym to the canonical author? I am not clear on this process yet. The rules here are a bit too voluminous to digest in one go.

- I also need to turn an English translation of a Romanian story into a variant after first creating it as a new entry during the above edit, and then add the translators into the notes on the variant after the variant has been moderator approved.

- And I need to connect book reviews in the magazine to the entries of the books being reviewed.

- And I need to connect essays that are part of a series to the existing series.

It seems that none of these steps are automated. The only automated part I noticed is the connecting of new stories to the existing author record if one exists.

One other thing I am a little vague on is how I indicate that all this data comes from a Primary Source (printed copy in my possession). Do I just put something to that effect in the publication notes, or is there something of a standard of how I should indicate this. I see no box on the edit page for the magazine issue to check regarding the nature of my source.

My apologies for being both long winded and ignorant, but please correct me where I am wrong. In time I will get past the initial learning curve.

Daffodil11 17:31, 19 January 2022 (EST)

Welcome to ISFDB!
Yep, you got the steps correctly. :) First add the stories - either via import (existing) or Edit Publication (new ones). Then once it is approved:
  • Do all needed variants - for translations, other names being used, other titles being used and so on
  • Add the series to all essays that need them
  • Connect the reviews which did not auto-connect.If the title and author of the review matches a title we have, it WILL autoconnect. If it does not, it needs to be done manually
You indicate that you have the book/magazine by either doing a primary verification (open the magazine and look in the left menu for the verification option) or if you would rather not do it until the magazine is complete, add a note in the moderator's note to tell us so we know when processing.
You can have import and edit submitted at the same time if you want to (or multiple imports). But you cannot have two edits as they will step on each other toe's.
Magazines tend to be the hardest thing to work on in this DB so... yeah, it can be a bit convoluted. Once you do a couple, it makes a lot more sense. So just try it - and if something goes wrong, all is fixable. :) Annie 17:45, 19 January 2022 (EST)

Best Cover Scan Attributes?

I want to upload a new cover scan Is there a desirable resolution, color depth setting that works well for the purpose, or a target file size that works well? I looked around the FAQs and other places, did a search, but nothing really bubbled up. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Bccrowe (talkcontribs) .

Personally, I scan at 300 dpi and keep the image, but upload a reduction to 600 pixels in the longest dimension. I've not really fussed about details like color matching (beyond it appearing roughly correct) since I was doing older books (50's-80's) and I've no guarantee that they even are their original colour, given aging and exposure to sunlight, chemicals and such. ../Doug H 12:29, 20 January 2022 (EST)
The ISFDB Wiki software prevents editors from uploading files which are too large. In addition, Help:How to upload images to the ISFDB wiki says:
  • Please be sure that the image is no larger than required, and in any case is less than 600 pixels along its largest dimension, if at all possible. You may wish to crop or rescale the image.
Also, unless the image is in public domain, we have to comply with the copyright laws of the country where the ISFDB servers are located (USA at the moment.) To quote Template:Cover Image Data:
  • This resolution is significantly reduced, and could not plausibly be used to make publishable copies of the original.
In many cases the Wiki-imposed limitation on file size takes care of this issue automatically -- you'd need to upload a really big file to get to the "publishable copy" level of fidelity. Ahasuerus 13:14, 20 January 2022 (EST)


I accidently listed the animal fantasy The Gentlest Purr as The Deepest Growl. Is there any way I can change the title, or do I have to do this listing all over again? MLB 10:15, 22 January 2022 (EST)

You can edit the pub to change the pub title. To change the content title, go to the title record and unmerge it from the others. Then there will be a single record that you can edit to change its title. -- JLaTondre (talk) 10:22, 22 January 2022 (EST)

Disambiguated Author

I entered the contents of the May 2020 issue of Galaxy's Edge magazine, and one of the stories entered displayed the warning "Disambiguated Author" because there are two isfdb entries under the name Eric Miller. So I confirmed that the entry ended up under the correct author Eric Miller by finding proof on the author's website. Now that I know that the story is correctly connected to its author, do I do anything with that knowledge by noting this somewhere or just leave it as is? Daffodil11 15:18, 22 January 2022 (EST)

You can certainly edit the title record and add that the attribution to the correct "Eric Miller" was confirmed by consulting the author's Web site. Notes and references to external sources are always good :-) Ahasuerus 16:16, 22 January 2022 (EST)

William Llewellyn

I have noticed the name Llew appearing as illustrator, 1956-58, for the Ziff-Davis Publishing Company. At the same time Llewellyn was a prolific artist for the same company. Could they be the same person? MLB 21:10, 23 January 2022 (EST)

I have since found out that they are the same. Well, another project to keep me busy in the future. MLB 22:07, 30 January 2022 (EST)

Learning the Ropes

Hi, folks. I'm very new here. I submitted info about a short story of mine that was published in a magazine called Harpur Palate. JLaTondre wrote back and welcomed me, and said they'd list the US price in a different way because it's a British publication. But it's not -- it was a student magazine published by the English Department of Binghamton University in Binghamton, New York. I didn't see a way to hit "reply" and say that to JLaTondre, or a way to contact that person by clicking on the name and going to the home page. Is there a way to respond directly to a message, or send someone a new message here? Also, I'm looking at the HelpGettingStarted info, or whatever it is called ... and it tells one how to enter info about a book. I do not see a way to enter info about a magazine -- info dumbed down for a new user like me in the same way. I also had a story in a small British magazine (that one really is from the UK!) called Auslander. It was a horror/SF magazine, but I do not see copies for sale on Amazon. I'm wondering how to submit a picture of the cover art -- do I need to find a color scanner and create a jpg? Should I scan the whole magazine and send it as a pdf, so other writers in it can be included in ISFDB?

Thanks -- Judy

I've added some info to your record recently; a photo of you, your birthplace, the cover of the Harpur Palate issue you were in (I also added the artist who did the creepy cover and added the $8.83 price), the cover of the 1996 Keen! Science Fiction issue you were in, and a German cover for the 1989 Star Trek novel you wrote. Hope all this helps flesh out your record a bit more. If you could enter the month and day of your birthdate that would be good. Also, don't forget to sign your notes here at the end by clicking the icon above ("Your signature with timestamp"). --Username 10:41, 25 January 2022 (EST)
I had to reject your Harpur Palate, Summer 2003 edit. We do not add covers or cover artists for non-genre magazines. -- JLaTondre (talk) 19:57, 25 January 2022 (EST)
To begin entering a magazine you only have to click 'Add New Magazine' in the left tool bar (under 'Add New Data'). However, your edit will benefit from reading the help screen on New Pubs first (and maybe looking into indexed magazines also). Anyway, you'll have to add a not-yet-existing magazine or fanzine first, before it's possible to upload a cover image. Stonecreek 13:02, 25 January 2022 (EST)
D'oh! Sorry about that. Somehow, I read that as Birmingham and not Binghamton. I have fixed the publication record. Thank you for letting us know. To respond to a message on your talk page, you can click the "edit" on the far right of the message title on your talk page. To post a new message to a specific user, you can click on their name in the signature line of the message which will take you to their user page. You then click the "discussion" link at the top of that page to get to the talk page and then click the "+" link at the top of the talk page to start a new discussion. -- JLaTondre (talk) 19:51, 25 January 2022 (EST)
I figured the cover would have to go; I thought maybe it would slip by, being disturbing and all. The artist, who has no credits on ISFDB, is an interesting guy: I suppose the only way the cover would be acceptable is if it illustrated Klass' story, so if she responds here, maybe she'll let us know her story involves CREEPY MANNIKINS. --Username 20:07, 25 January 2022 (EST)

Entering the parts of an incomplete serialization

The weekly newspaper Vilas County News began serializing Mr. Stranger's Sealed Packet when their issues were 8 pages long, but they only managed to get 7 parts of it printed (ending somewhere after the beginning of Chapter XI).

  • Should I enter these 7 parts as SERIALs anyway, or should I just add a note to the title page?
  • If I should enter the parts, should they be called "Mr. Stranger's Sealed Packet (Part 1 of ?)" with a question mark, or just "Mr. Stranger's Sealed Packet (Part 1)"?
  • And as an aside, what about the subtitle—should these be called "Mr. Stranger's Sealed Packet; or, A Voyage to the Planet Mars (Part...)" instead?

Thanks! Sylvar 10:20, 25 January 2022 (EST)

Yes, they should be entered as serials. If you know how many were planned (for example, it was advertised as a specific number), I would use "(Part 1 of #)". If you do not, then use "(Part 1 of ?)". Either way, I would add notes to the serial title records and the novel title record explaining it was not completed. As for the title, it should be entered as per the magazine. If they used the subtitle, it should be included. -- JLaTondre (talk) 20:15, 25 January 2022 (EST)

Connecting a new magazine issue & essay series inconsistencies

I created an entry for an issue of Galaxy's Edge magazine that was not in isfdb (until now I only added content to preexisting issues that had no content listed). I don't know how the new issue gets attached to the series. What did I do wrong during the initial "Add New Magazine" step, or is this something that is done in a multistep process. Also, when I get to 2022 issues, what do I do to create a year sub-list for the magazine?

Also, I am not sure what to do with the name of an essay series that has become inconsistent regarding the use of the articles "A" and "The." A Scientist's Notebook written by Gregory Benford spent over a decade as an essay series at F&SF, and from what I can tell from the issues I have, was consistently published as "A Scientist's Notebook." The series resurfaced at Galaxy's Edge and continued to be published as "A Scientist's Notebook." Use of the "A" in the series title has become unstable in the past couple of years. Here is a list of the recent inconsistencies in issues of Galaxy's Edge:

2020 September has "The" on essay page & the Table of Contents (TOC).

2020 November goes back to "A" in both places

2021 January has "The" in the TOC and no reference to the series on the essay page, but it is a reprint from F&SF, so I plan to import it in my next step in creating the issue entry.

2021 March & May both use "A" on the essay pages and TOCs.

2021 July has "The" in the TOC but "A" on the essay page

2021 September has "The" in the TOC but "A" on the essay page

2021 November has "The" on both TOC and essay page.

2022 January has "The" on both TOC and essay page.

So it looks like the editor after Mike Resnick was inconsistent from Sept 2020 to Sept 2021, and is perhaps settling into using "The," although that is uncertain given it has only been 2 consecutive issues using "The." While I can add notes to point out some of the recent inconsistencies, what should be done if the editor sticks with "The" when the series has years and years under the series name "A Scientist's Notebook?" And if I am making a change that affects the whole series, when should I decide that the change to "The" is permanent?

A third question was just answered by the previous inquiry. I will use (part 1 of ?) because the serial is in progress and I don't know how many parts there will be.

Daffodil11 14:52, 26 January 2022 (EST)

Document in notes in the issues where it is different and stick all of them in the "A ..." series. Problem solved. Add a note in the series notes as well about the change. :)
PS: By the way: the two essays with common name in that issue NEED disambiguation ("Fantasy & Technology" should be "Fantasy & Technology (Galaxy's Edge, January 2021)" and the same for Recommended Books :) Annie 15:16, 26 January 2022 (EST)
The other two questions: it should be "(Part 1 of ?)" - see the capitalization.
For the year entry - edit the EDITOR record - this one to change its title and date (to be 2022-00-00) and to add the series. That's it. Any additional questions - post back please :) Annie 15:19, 26 January 2022 (EST)
PS: And you need to connect the two reviews that did not connect. That happens when the review title is different from the actual title. Open the review and look at the left menu. There is a "Link Review" menu item. Use the ID of the title it reviews. :) Annie 15:20, 26 January 2022 (EST)

Order of contents appearance

The last review in a review column and the beginning of an essay are both on the same page (78), so when I visit the page where the contents are displayed SOMETIMES the last review is listed after the essay even though the review appears first on the page. Though I don't suppose it is much of a problem, it looks awkward due to the leading space before "Review." Is there a way to force this to display in the correct order? Note (in case either of these is a factor) that I imported the essay after the reviews were in place and I have Concise Listing as my default. Daffodil11 18:10, 26 January 2022 (EST)

Yes, you can use piping to do that. See "Sorting" at Template:PubContentFields:Page for how it works. Let us know if you have any questions after reading that (as well as answering them, it will help to know if we need to improve the documentation). -- JLaTondre (talk) 18:23, 26 January 2022 (EST)
Thanks, it was reasonably clear. I just got too lazy to try to find the answer before asking here. I have found it difficult at times to find answers to questions I have had, resulting in lengthy searches. And often I know I have read something about a topic before but I can't remember where I read it and it can take some time to find it again. It has occurred to me that something like an index similar to what one might find in the back of a book might be useful here. I realize there is a search function, but the results can be frustratingly unhelpful. I'm not sure if such an index is feasible, or if it would be as helpful as I imagine. But it is a thought (by someone who has admittedly no experience in the topic). Daffodil11 19:21, 26 January 2022 (EST)
We kinda have a main help page which is linked from the main wiki page - usually one of the linked pages will get you to what you are looking for unless you are deep in the weeds somewhere on an interesting problem.
A little tip - look at the question marks next to each field on the EditPub/AddPub and other pages. Hover over them for a quick tip. If you click on them, they will get you to the help page for that specific field in more details - and 90% of the help pages you need will be the ones linked that way :) For the contents section (where this thing was located), the question marks are on the first row of them - there is one on the page number, there is one on the title, one on the author and so on. There is also always a full page help linked at the top of any edit page. Hope that makes sense. Not that we cannot do better of course - and if you think we need to add something to that main page, please share. Also - the links the welcoming moderator posted on your own Talk page in the very first message are curated to give you quick access to the main pages for a lot of help areas. Annie 19:30, 26 January 2022 (EST)
If you want to know areas where I found the help pages in need of improvement, here are two things that I remember spending too much time trying to find/figure out:
  • How to add a new issue of a magazine (see my help desk post just before this one). I clicked on the and then on the "New Magazine" link. Nowhere did I find anything about having to edit the Editor Title, as a second step or otherwise. Additionally, even if I had stumbled my way to that page, the help templates linked through the question marks are so generic as to be of no help in this case. For instance, Template:TitleFields:Title does not mention that I should use a “Magazine Name - Year” format. Template:TitleFields:Date mentions nothing about using a ####-00-00 date. And Template:TitleFields:Series does not even have the word magazine in it. So eventually I posted my question here and you (Annie) were very helpful. I suppose I might have eventually figured things out after study of existing entries, but the help system was decidedly unhelpful in this case. Maybe there are explanations for these somewhere but I was not able to find them.
  • Checking with other primary verifiers before changing data for a publication that they verified. I had read something about this while researching how to do my first edit (Galaxy's Edge, January 2020), but it did not apply to anything I was doing at the time. Then when I got to the July 2020 issue, I noticed that the ebook had been primary verified, but I could not remember what I had read about editing things that alter other primary verified publications. I checked in Help:Screen:Verify & Help:Screen:EditPub & Help:Getting_Started but could find no mention of this. Eventually I found discussions regarding this in archived Help Desk entries. For all I know, this is something that does not apply any more, but my impression is that I am supposed to check with other primary verifiers before changing data and notify other verifiers when adding data. Am I wrong? If not, maybe something about this needs to be added to the Help:Screen:EditPub, or maybe it is already there but I just could not find it.
In a related question, what is the proper procedure or proper etiquette regarding checking with the primary verifier? If, for instance, I post a message on their talk page and I know they are still active (and even notice that they have been active in the days since my post), how long to I wait for a response? And when said waiting period has elapsed, how do I proceed? Try to "email this user" or just make the changes or something else? I certainly don't want to step on toes, particularly as a newbie.
Daffodil11 21:44, 26 January 2022 (EST)
Will look at the rest in the morning (done for the day - unless someone else posts) but for PVs and waiting time - depends on the change - for changes which remove/change major information - a week and if they do not respond, post on the Moderator board so we can assist. See the FAQ page on that (and other things). For adding information - notify and submit is the usual policy - no need to wait. For typos and housekeeping changes - just the moderator note may be enough but notifying is never a mistake. Email can work but we have issues with some mail servers so some members may not receive them (and mail is not mandatory and you can opt out so if you want to try that as well, do that but don’t rely on it).
PS: Part of your difficulty is because you just started walking and are now competing in a marathon at the Olympics. The magazines can be entertaining (or brutal) - they make a lot more sense in comparison to the rest of the DB and not as a starting point but we will get there - just be patient and don’t hesitate to ask. Annie 22:18, 26 January 2022 (EST)
I probably ran into the PV notification stuff on the FAQ page and also in JLaTondre's welcome message on my talk page, but as mentioned, I could not remember where I read it when I wanted to read it again. Now it seems obvious after you pointed me to both locations. I just looked in the wrong places, which is why I mentioned the index idea in response to JLaTondre. I hope I have not come across as complaining about how things work around here. I have tremendous gratitude for all the work people have put into isfdb and I have no right to complain. Its just that JLaTondre asked about how documentation could be improved, and I thought I could offer the viewpoint of the ignorant. And that I most certainly am. And I feel even more obtuse now, because I just discovered the How to add a magazine issue to the magazine's issue gridand How to link a magazine to its wiki page and add it to a magazine series pages. I suppose I would have found them sooner if they had been linked to the places I did look. Maybe that is the only useful input I really have on this topic. Daffodil11 00:59, 27 January 2022 (EST)
That last page is a bit out of date actually - we are migrating stuff out from the wiki and into the DB proper. :) I’ll see what I can do about it later this week. Happens now and again with older projects that get out of sync with current practices. And no worries - it is a big project and getting lost happens even when you had been here for a long time. All feedback is valuable - especially from new editors. Can we make it easier? Probably not - but we may be able to add some links here and there to assist. :) You are more likely to get in trouble for not asking a question than for asking why so don’t sweat it. Annie 01:12, 27 January 2022 (EST)

Number line question

Hi. I have a publication with 'D 0 9 8' as printer's key here. I'm assuming this is the eighth printing, but anyone knows what that 'D' means? Thanks! MagicUnk 09:19, 27 January 2022 (EST)

Many times, I've seen that refer to the printer who printed that particular run. It's possible that refers to RR Donnelley, though I often see that one as RRD. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 13:06, 27 January 2022 (EST)

"C.S. Friedman" author record

Spotted this author record with an empty bibliography just now - shouldn't it be either varianted to the "proper" C. S. Friedman entry or deleted? Or is it serving some arcane purpose beyond my understanding? ErsatzCulture 18:33, 27 January 2022 (EST)

The record that created it needs to be fixed. When it looks like that, there is a review somewhere with the Reviewed author using that form so you need to find it via search and fix the record. Fixed now. :) Annie 18:41, 27 January 2022 (EST)

Title record edit not propagating to publications within

I submitted edit [3] to remove the series from a its title. It was approved. However, the publications within have not had their titles updated, even though the tool tip for 'title' indicates that they should. Thoughts? --GlennMcG 20:09, 27 January 2022 (EST)

Glenn, The tool tip is telling you that any publication which contains this title will be affected. What kind of publication might contain this title? Omnibus and collection immediatedly come to mind. If this novel was in either, you would see the change. Clearly, you were hoping this change would propagate to the underlying publications contained in this title. Sadly, You will have to submit an edit for each publication. John Scifibones 21:48, 27 January 2022 (EST)
There may be a terminological issue here. When this submission was approved, the title of the title record was changed from "The Great War: American Front" to "American Front". If you check any of the publication records which contain this title records, e.g. the first edition, you will note that the Contents section now says "3 • American Front • [The Great War] • novel by Harry Turtledove". However, if you examine the first line of the same Web page, you will see that it still says "Publication: The Great War: American Front". So the change did affect every publication which has this title record in it, but it didn't change the titles of the publication records. Hope this makes sense. Ahasuerus 21:59, 27 January 2022 (EST)
Perhaps if it stated what was going to change in the publication record, it would have been clearer. I reread the tool tip, and thought I could read the linked article for more information about what changed in the publication record, but I couldn't find anything. My guess is the referral is for earlier in the tool tip. --GlennMcG 23:51, 27 January 2022 (EST)
Can I assume that it works the same way for interior art and covers? --GlennMcG 01:41, 28 January 2022 (EST)
What's still is to do, is to change the titles of the single publications: the container title of the novel was changed (you'll see that when you edit one of the publications), but the title of the respective publication the container title appears in wasn't. John's example for a possible OMNIBUS publication is well chosen: if the change of a novel's title would propagate to the OMNIBUS that one's title would be changed, but is most likely quite different. Stonecreek 02:30, 28 January 2022 (EST)
Re: your question 'Can I assume that it works the same way for interior art and covers?'; well, no: you usually need edit those titles only once, because they should only appear inside of publications, not as stand-alone publications / container titles. Stonecreek 02:33, 28 January 2022 (EST)
The basic rule is that once created, each element is on its own - cover, title record and a publication record. If you need to change all of them, they need to be updated separately (sometimes possible via a single PubEdit (if used in only one publication), sometimes requiring PubEdit and a few TitleEdits - and that list of updates will need to include any title where the old title was used as part of the name (introductions, interior art and so on). During the AddPub phase, you enter one title and we reuse it for the 2 (or 3 if you have a cover) elements but that is just a behind-the-scenes reusing - we create 2 (or 3) separate elements). Changing one of them later on does not change any of the others. Annie 10:37, 28 January 2022 (EST)
What criteria is used to have more than one publication use the same cover title record? Is it a side effect of cloning a different publication? Or a merge? --GlennMcG 18:41, 28 January 2022 (EST)
Clone, import of the cover or a merge after a separate record was created. There are two different things to account for when you have a cover:
  • The link to the image - that one will be different for each printing/edition (or can be anyway - usually a good idea to be in case there are slight variations and for ISFDB hosted images to ensure that one update does not wipe out the cover on all editions.
  • The COVERART record - this one will be the same for all books that have the same image on the cover and the same language, title and author - if one of these three is different, it will be a variant instead. So if Book A and Book B have the same image on their cover, there will be two different COVERART entries (due to the different title) and we will variant the later to the earlier one. But if the 1998 edition of Book A and the 2020 Edition of the same book uses the same image (regardless if the colors are changed or what kind of writing is there on the cover or if the image is inverted and so on), we merge the COVERART records. See this record for an example - same image across languages and titles so we varianted it. At the same time all versions of this one stay as one entry despite the change in the cover because the image is the same (even if one of them are inverted and one of them is just part of the image -- ignore the ones that show the Apple+ thingie here - these are using /P/ Amazon images which are ISBN-based and need fixing - they are the same cover as the others - we just have a bad link now).
Let me know if I can assist further. Annie 19:00, 28 January 2022 (EST)

Gerin the Fox series

The Gerin the Fox series is numbered with a mixture of the original first two novels in separate and revised combined form. Is there a convention on how this should be recorded? There's also a problem with the later ebook versions that indicate 'Werenight', when almost certainly they should link to 'Werenight (revised)' title record.

My suggestion would be to number the first versions 1.1 and 1.2, and the revised 1, and renumber from that point. Or is there a better approach? --GlennMcG 19:41, 28 January 2022 (EST)

Recording translator(s) for translated collections

I see that a collection I added a few months ago is showing up in the "Translations without the Tr Template in Notes" cleanup report. Naively I'd have thought that for translated collections (or anthologies), the translator notes would only really need to go with the records for the individual shortfiction/essay/etc contents [*] - especially in cases like this one where multiple translators are involved? If the translator(s) have to go in the collection/anthology note, then you'd have to leave it undefined about which contents were translated by which translators (which seems a bit unhelpful), or explicitly match them up - which could make the note overly complicated, and only duplicates stuff which is (or should be) recorded in the shortfiction/essay records?

I did have a look to see how this was handled in the only other translated collection I could think of off the top of my head, but that doesn't have a title note, and looks in any case like it would get cropped off the report due to not being in the first 500 records alphabetically.

[* - This particular example is somewhat moot, as it doesn't currently have the contents added. I actually have the UK ebook of this pub, but I've avoided submitting the details as yet, because it looks a bit messy and requiring a fair bit of research e.g. the essays don't have a translator credited, but it's unclear at first glance if these are original to the English publications, or they were translated by the original author (which seems possible as I think he grew up in the US). I'll get round to doing all that if/when this book escapes from my TBR pile...] ErsatzCulture 09:27, 29 January 2022 (EST)

It's best I think to put something like Template(diverse hands) or Template(various hands) into the notes, at least that's how I do handle those cases. Christian Stonecreek 09:51, 29 January 2022 (EST)
Thanks - that seems a decent way of addressing the issue. ErsatzCulture 11:32, 29 January 2022 (EST)

Amanda Luzzader / A. M. Luzzader

I’ve entered the fiction of Amanda Luzzader onto this site, but I’ve just found out that she has written a whole score of children’s books as A. M. Luzzader. These are not picture books, but text books for 3-8 year-old girls. Are they eligible for this site? MLB 23:13, 29 January 2022 (EST)

Yes. The only age related restriction we have is that we exclude "Animal books for very young children, i.e. books for preschoolers which depict simple scenes from animal life featuring anthropomorphized animals". Those don't fall into that category so they are eligible. -- JLaTondre (talk) 09:20, 30 January 2022 (EST)

Potter's Field Anthologies

Should these three be in a title series? (different editors, different publishers, so surely no pub series, right?) MagicUnk 11:09, 31 January 2022 (EST)

They all have the same subtitle, so I assume that they are in a series. It would be nice to add volumes 1, 2, 3 and 6 as well. Ahasuerus 15:49, 31 January 2022 (EST)
Any suggestion on what the series title should be. 'Potter's Field', or, 'Tales from Unmarked Graves' (I've selected Potter's Field for now)? MagicUnk 13:50, 1 February 2022 (EST)

Mike Sirota

I was wondering if Mike Sirota is an over-the-threshold author, as he has written Stone Woman: Winema and the Modocs, his lone historical. Should I list it? Or just move on? MLB 22:54, 2 February 2022 (EST)

My recommendation: don't waste your time entering non-spec fic - at all :) MagicUnk 08:37, 3 February 2022 (EST)
Well, as you know, that's why the "over-the-threshold" rule was invented. That's why we list the non-spec fiction of authors like Fredric Brown, Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke, and others. MLB 11:32, 3 February 2022 (EST)
If you add it, it won't be against the rules. I would not add it - simply because I do not see a value in having these in the DB at all (yes, even for our authors) but the consensus and the rule is that we allow them so if you add it, just make sure you mark it as a "non-genre". On the other hand, having complete bibliographies of "our" authors is a good thing (we may be the only ones having them considering how many things we list). So go ahead and add it if you want. :) Annie 14:10, 3 February 2022 (EST)
As far as I know, Mike Sirota is primarily a genre author, so there should be no issue with adding his one non-SF novel to the database.
Personally, I find these kinds of non-genre additions useful. If we don't include them, then our users won't know whether the "missed" novel(s) is missing because we were not aware of it or because it was non-genre. Ahasuerus 17:14, 3 February 2022 (EST)
An argument may be made that we would want all borderline novels/stories and non-genre horror as well then for the same reason - so it is clear that we have looked at them and determined they are not ours as opposed to never having seen them. But that opens a rather big conversation.
We really need the ability to indicate on a profile if an author is genre/above threshold or not - it is confusing now for almost anyone finding the DB why we would allow some non-genre books but not others. No need for a default value - sometimes we may not know - but when we do, we should be able to set that somewhere (and I know we can use the notes but... we need a template then and having a better indication that a note buried among other notes makes more sense to me. That may also reopen the question on what we consider genre authors, who needs to be above threshold and get these squared away in a better way. :) Annie 18:16, 3 February 2022 (EST)
Well, we do have FR 860, "Add a 'non-genre' field to Author records", which would address this issue. If there is support for making it higher priority, it could be pushed closer to the top of the list. Ahasuerus 19:02, 3 February 2022 (EST)
Talking of priorities made me look for the current plan from 2017. Any plans on issuing an update? ../Doug H 19:35, 3 February 2022 (EST)
We briefly talked about creating a new "road map" last year, but then I got sidetracked with the HTTP/HTTPS migration, which put everything else on hold. At this point our software is HTTPS-ready, but I still need to migrate links to third party sites. Once that's taken care of, we can work on creating a new road map. Ahasuerus 10:09, 4 February 2022 (EST)

Possible to move a pub from a parent title record to the child?

I noticed last night that I'd made an error a few months ago when adding the ebook pub of Swarm Rising - like the hc pubs, it should be attributed to Steve Cole, rather than the parent author record Stephen Cole.

My initial thought was to merge the two title records, but this seemed a bit sub-optimal, as I'd then have to manually recreate the one that got dropped so that this title shows up on the Stephen Cole bibliography page, but is attributed to Steve Cole. However, I couldn't see any way to move a pub from the parent title to the child title (and keeping the now pub-less title record around). Is there a way to do this, or is doing a title merge and then creating a "stub" parent title the only way to go? ErsatzCulture 11:56, 8 February 2022 (EST)

Remove Title to remove the wrong novel record and Import title to get the correct one in is generally a better idea, plus an edit the publication to fix the author name there. Merge will always work BUT if there was a valid title which belonged to the parent, it will mess it up. Plus any notes, links and so on will need to be transferred up (if they exist) and so on. So instead, work with the records we do have. Not to mention the (admittedly rare) case where this is the only title for the parent and the merge will delete the author record (with all details and all pseudonym connections in it - so you will need to recover those as well)Annie 12:04, 8 February 2022 (EST)
Thanks - just submitted edits for removing the title and importing the Steve Cole one. Will edit the pub for the author name once those are in place. ErsatzCulture 12:13, 8 February 2022 (EST)
Approved. Annie 12:16, 8 February 2022 (EST)

Ken Kelly versus K. W. Kelly

I'm working through the Robert Adams Horseclans Signet titles using my owned copies and have found that the cover art in many of the existing records are credited to "Ken Kelly" even when the only credit is from the "K. W. Kelly" signature on the covers. Shouldn't these be changed to match what's actually there? "K. W. Kelly" is already an alias for "Ken Kelly". Thanks! Phil 09:36, 10 February 2022 (EST)

We record artists as stated in publications. If there's no credit in the book, and we identify the artist from other sources (websites, other books with the same illustration, signature etc), we use the canonical name of the artist, so in this case "Ken Kelly" is correct. --Willem 14:01, 10 February 2022 (EST)
Thanks for clarifying. I'll redo my pending submissions but make sure there is an appropriate note as well. Phil 14:27, 10 February 2022 (EST)

The War of the Ring

(moved from Bob's discussion page)

I'm attempting to PV my copy and came across the pub record you added [4] that has the same ISBN and cover (with more intense color values). The pub date on my copy is 2000-09-00, but the record has 2003-09-01 which you added on 2017-03-19. It seems a bit odd to be adding a record for 6 years in the future. Another complication is that my copy is Houghton Mifflin, while the record has Mariner.

I trying to figure out if I should just add a new record from scratch, or take this one over with much of the data replaced. Thoughts? --GlennMcG 00:36, 14 February 2022 (EST)

Apparently this was a pub automatically added from Amazon back in the days before Annie decided to input all such records. So the information for this pub was from Amazon in 2017, and I really have no idea how your copy could have the same ISBN. I don't understand your comment about adding a record for 6 years in the future. I wonder if your copy isn't the same as the first version of the pub based on the date you quote. I suggest you post your question on the Community Portal. Maybe one of the other moderators can provide some guidance. Bob 09:07, 14 February 2022 (EST)
As a start, 2017 is 14 years after 2003, not 6 years before it - so it was not added 6 years before it existed. :)
Onto the book itself: Chances are that the date was for a reprint/later printing which they later corrected (the current version of it is for a 2000 book). Mariner was an imprint of Houghton Mifflin at the time so it is possible that Amazon did use that on the record at the time. The ISBN now says "William Morrow Paperbacks" in Amazon (which is even more bizarre). But then data for 2000/2003 books in Amazon was loaded later and is known to have major issues. OCLC and OCLC again agrees with you on Houghton Mifflin pbk. ed. 2000 for the ISBN so edit the record and fix it. Annie 17:09, 14 February 2022 (EST)
I apparently had 20 year math rollover. Thanks. --Glenn 17:17, 14 February 2022 (EST)
Happens. I still refuse to believe that we are in the 2020s ;) Annie 17:23, 14 February 2022 (EST)

Aimee Thurlo

How do I change Aimee Thurlo’s canonical name to Aimée Thurlo? This is the name in which that she signs all of her work as. I would go back and then change her works on this site. MLB 22:23, 16 February 2022 (EST)

All fixed since all of the works use the accented letter. I changed the name to "Aimeee Thurlo" and then to "Aimée Thurlo". ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 13:27, 21 February 2022 (EST)
Thanks. MLB 02:31, 25 February 2022 (EST)

Digital Audio Downloads

In post 2007 digital audio downloads with no ISBN recorded and an Audible-ASIN which is an ISBN10:

  • The preferred entry in the ISBN can should be?
  1. ISBN10 (ignore the warning)
  2. Convert to ISBN13 and then enter

Thanks, John Scifibones 11:59, 17 February 2022 (EST)

Convert to 13 - or someone else will need to edit after you to fix that :) Our field will show both of them anyway - so we show the proper format for the time. Annie 12:02, 17 February 2022 (EST)

Brian W. Aldiss, the short fiction "Hothouse" and the novel Hothouse

The 1962 Hugo for Short Fiction went to "Hothouse" by Brian W. Aldiss ( That story was later incorporated into his novel, Hothouse (or The Long Afternoon of Earth), which is where the current iSFdb Hugo award is being pointed ( Can someone correct that? Gengelcox 13:42, 17 February 2022 (EST)

I think that may not be correct. According to, that award was for the whole series, not just the one story. And if I understand correctly, the Hothouse "novel" of 1962 is the collection of the five stories in the series. So I think having the award record linked to the novel is the best representation of what the award was granted for. I don't believe there is a way to link it to the series record. --MartyD 08:41, 19 February 2022 (EST)
There should be a note on the award record explaining that though. -- JLaTondre (talk) 14:48, 19 February 2022 (EST)
I think an explanatory note would be helpful, otherwise it seems strange that a "Short Fiction" award went to a novel. Gengelcox 12:56, 22 February 2022 (EST)

Same author/artist?

I stumbled across this. Are Jan S. Gephardt and Jan Sherrell Gephardt the same person? If they are, I'm not sure which should be the cannonical name but they should be linked. Phil 09:01, 21 February 2022 (EST)

They may very well be. The content for both overlap in the right years. Jan Sherrell Gephardt has more content, so I'd go with that as the canonical name. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 13:22, 21 February 2022 (EST)
Alias creation submitted. Phil 15:09, 21 February 2022 (EST)

Space Relations title problem

Based on a title note in here, my copy of the Fawcett Crest pb edition here and a WorldCat search, I think the cannonical title needs to be changed to "Space Relations: A Slightly Gothic Interplanetary Tale" as well as at least that of the non-PVd Charterhouse edition (and possibly all of the pubs). I hesitate to create a potentially false variant when I change the Fawcett Crest edition record and the Charterhouse edition record. Since the Charterhouse edition is the oldest pub, the variant would be for the short form "Space Relations". Suggestions? Phil 09:20, 22 February 2022 (EST)

Watts duplicates

We have both George Frederick Watts (1817-1904) [5] and George Frederic Watts (1817-1904) [6]. Can someone merge? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Gengelcox (talkcontribs) . 10:37, 23 February 2022 (EST)

I'll take care of it. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 12:44, 23 February 2022 (EST)
All fixed and at this entry. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 13:15, 23 February 2022 (EST)

About The Authors

Hello! New here. If there is an About The Authors section in the back of a given anthology, listing the bios of the included contributors, do I need to record this? Thank you. Canuckscribe 16:35, 24 February 2022 (EST)

Depends on how long the item is. If it is a substantial essay (a page or 3 per author), you can record is an essay. But if it is the usual 1-2 paragraphs per author, just add a note in the publication notes. See the "About the Author" and other biographical sketches bullet point here. For an example on how to add to the notes only, see this book for an example. You can use your own wording of course. :) Annie 16:49, 24 February 2022 (EST)

Hi there. I went and edited a Pub Note, but now it appears that my new note is there in addition to the original Pub Note, which was not my intention. My note appears as a duplication with some edits. Is there a way to prevent this duplication? Many thanks. Canuckscribe 16:46, 24 February 2022 (EST)

It is a single field. When editing it, you need to add/remove whatever pieces you need added/removed (just adding the new contents WILL replace the whole note, not just append to it for example). If you share which publication that happened in, someone can check and see what happened exactly there. Annie 16:49, 24 February 2022 (EST)
PS: A housekeeping item: when adding a new question, instead of pressing "Edit", press the plus sign next to the edit link. That will allow you to add a title and will separate the question :) And then when you are answering to an existing topic, use the edit link next to it, not the overall one at the top. That way the History will show which thread you are responding to so we do not need to hunt down where the latest update is :) Annie 16:49, 24 February 2022 (EST)

I have a question.

I have a question that I’ve been meaning to ask for a while. What do you do when a book has multiple covers but the same publishing date? For example, there’s this book and this book. Now I think that this one is the later edition, as the mega-series is not listed on the cover, but, suspicions are not facts. Do I list them both? I've seen this a lot. MLB 02:30, 25 February 2022 (EST)

Past advice (and precedent) has been to make different records if the artwork differs, with the exception being for those differing only in color. I recommend a cross-reference note about it in each set of pub notes. If the artist is known and the same, then I also recommend cross-reference notes in the title notes for each COVERART record, once created. --MartyD 07:32, 28 February 2022 (EST)
I agree with the separate record. One more note though: if there is a suspicion, especially around ebooks but also on reprints, that the sources are showing the date of a first/earlier edition and the cover cannot belong to it - the new Foundation series being advertised on a 2003 ebook cover for example - (Amazon often shows the first ebook date even when they change the covers; Goodreads is usually good for untangling those for the last 10 years or so if they have both covers), I'd set the date as 0000-00-00 to the suspicious book, document the source date in the notes, explain the issue and leave it at that). No point adding incorrect data which is physically impossible just because another site says so. Annie 15:47, 28 February 2022 (EST)

Burly Tales

Hi there. There are two entry for Burly Tales: Fairy Tales for the Hirsute and Hefty Gay Man, Publication Record # 882461, which I recently updated, but as they said in Highlander, there should be only one. The other is Title Record # 2964877, which is for the ebook. How do we make it one entry for this title? Many thanks! Canuckscribe 13:53, 27 February 2022 (EST)

Thanks for finding this doublette: I'll merge the two title records (2964877 & 2988934). Stonecreek 14:57, 27 February 2022 (EST)

Uploading an author picture

Anyone knows what I'm doing wrong here? (I'm getting a Yellow warning)... MagicUnk 04:46, 3 March 2022 (EST)

Known issue -as we are using the same code for authors and pubs. Ignore that specific one for authors. Annie 13:44, 3 March 2022 (EST)

Translation question and magazines

I'm a techno-dummy and have a bad history when it comes to entering data into other folks databases. Is there a way for me to submit information on a translation of one of my published works, or should I bite the bullet and make the addition myself? For the record, the original work is "The Wrong Refrigerator," published in Asimov's, September/October 2018. The Chinese translation was published in the 2020/09 issue of Science Fiction World. Also, do you track SFF adjacent publications? I recently became the staff interviewer for Galaxy's Edge magazine. To date, they have published my interviews with Seanan McGuire (July/August 2021), Jonathan Maberry (September/October 2021), Charlaine Harris (November/December 2021), and John Scalzi (in two parts: January/February 2022 and March/April 2022). My interview with Martha Wells will appear in the May/June 2022 issue. Thanks! —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Jmward14 (talkcontribs) .

Galaxy's Edge is indeed in the DB (here) and when we add our genre magazines, we index everything inside. But we are a bit (a lot really) behind on this one so if you want to learn how to add/update magazines and would like to update all our records while adding your interviews, that will be a great way to learn how the DB works. If not, someone will need to get around to it at some point - it is on one of my lists to do but... there are a lot of things there. If you decide to try, do let me know and I will get you some initial steps and some reading to do -- and we can work on that.
About the translation - you can try if your Chinese is good enough or you feel comfortable enough to add books and magazines in it. We don't have a Chinese editor who shows up regularly enough but if you have some sources about the magazine where it got published and what title it went under (and how your name looked in Chinese), I can try to assist. Annie 20:07, 5 March 2022 (EST)

Fixing cover art title problem

After the pub record for [7] was fixed by Dirk, I noticed that the cover title needed to be fixed as well. When I pulled up [8] to change the title to match the pub, I found that there are five additional non-related pubs showing for this title. I have no clue as to how to fix this mess. Can someone help? Thanks! Phil 12:59, 6 March 2022 (EST)

There is only one pub under this title. The rest are all under variants. There is a "Do not display variants or translations" above the publication list that you can click so that it shows only the pubs containing the parent title record. -- JLaTondre (talk) 13:42, 6 March 2022 (EST)
OK. I'll fix the title. Phil 13:52, 6 March 2022 (EST)

Award issue: Neil Gaiman's "Snow, Glass, Apples"

The entry for the original short story published in 1995 is here This story was converted into a graphic novel, which won the 2019 Stoker. To me, the short story is a different beast than the graphic novel (as in the Chaykin graphic adaptation of The Stars My Destination), but perhaps this choice was made here because most of the text exists in the graphic novel version, rather than just being an adaptation? -Gengelcox 12:05, 8 March 2022 (EST)

The root of the problem is that the graphic version and the text version were merged at some point - which should not have happened because the text is different as far as I remember. Let me look into this and see what we need to split and move around. We are not well set for GN awards but the GN text is usually different from the pure story so they usually will have two separate titles (and a ton of notes explaining why). If they were exactly the same text, then we will keep them together with a note on the award on what exactly won the award. Annie 12:10, 8 March 2022 (EST)

Magazine or Anthology?

I have been working on the magazine Not One of Us. In addition to their regular issues, they produced a 'special publication'. It was intermittent at first, but yearly from 2002 - 2020. The regular issues were 52-page octavos (occasionally up to 56) priced at $4.50. Example. The specials were titled, 32-page octavos, priced at $3.50. Example. Four issues were entered as magazines and four as anthologies. I have added seven issues as magazines and converted the four anthologies to magazines. One anthology title had a Locus magazine review, so I scanned the Locus Index. There is no listing for any of the 12 specials between 1987 and 2004. However, the three issues between 2005 and 2007 are indexed. Before I add any more, I would like a second opinion. Magazine or anthology? John Scifibones 12:01, 9 March 2022 (EST)

I have a few of those (cannot get to them now as they are in Europe) - I would call them magazines but it can go either way (although if they are anthologies, they will be ph and not octavo as format (as they are stapled and octavo is not a book format) and if they are magazines, they need a big of renaming). As long as we are consistent and the single entries follow the rules of the chosen format, either way works for these. Annie 13:44, 9 March 2022 (EST)
Annie, thanks for the quick response. Are you referring to the "title", "date" format required for magazine titles? John Scifibones 14:54, 9 March 2022 (EST)
Yes and how we count pages technically (covers included for magazines even if we don't always do that for modern/POD magazines...) and so on. As these are stories only in these (no columns and letters and so on), it can go either way technically - as long as we are consistent and apply the correct rules. But they got distributed as magazines, not as books so there is that. :) Annie 15:30, 9 March 2022 (EST)
I'll stick with magazines. I will have to change the one review to an essay since the title record is rolled up into the year. Hopefully none of the three PV's will object. Is this considered housekeeping? John Scifibones 16:24, 9 March 2022 (EST)
Mostly yes but I'd still drop a note on their pages though and not rely on just the "changed PV notifications" for active PVs - just because it does change the contents of their verified. Annie 16:33, 9 March 2022 (EST)
PS: "Care, January 2017" is not the correct title here though - in any way or for -- because the magazine is not called "Care". It will need to either be "Not One of Us, January 2017" or "Not One of Us, January 2017: Care" (if there is another January 2017 one and to differentiate it and show that it is different) or something else like that (showing that it is a special edition - although even that is irregular but we need to differentiate). Look at the rules for the magazines naming -- you always need the MAGAZINE name as part of the title even of the issue has its own name. That's partially why some of them were anthologies IMO -- under our rules, the naming will be weird. May be a good reason to actually make them anthologies so their titles show up accordingly. Annie 17:03, 9 March 2022 (EST)
While 'January 2017: Care' is tolerable, 'January 2011: Love Is a Hurtin' Thing" is just ugly. I still think they are magazines, but agree the best solution is to make them anthologies. Should the anthology series have its own name? John Scifibones 17:25, 9 March 2022 (EST) P.S. One issue did have a couple book reviews. Is that a problem?
Nope, book reviews in a book are fine - not unheard of. :) I'd call it "Not All of Us Special Editions" or something. And yes - I think they are magazines but that puts them in a different rule book so... Annie 17:55, 9 March 2022 (EST)
Last question, A 32-page octavo magazine becomes a 28-page ph in a book. If the first story is page 3 (which would be the first page after the cover) does it now become page 1? Do all the page numbers need to be altered? Sorry to take so much of your time. This is a new situation for me. John Scifibones 18:03, 9 March 2022 (EST)
If they are numbered (which they are from what I remember from the few I have), we use how they are numbered and explain the numbering in the notes. That one is a pain because of how differently we treat anthologies and magazines. So I'd leave it at 32 pages and add a note that the covers are counted as part of the page if that is the case. We don't call page 3 page 1 if the number 3 is printed on it - even if it is really page 1 (or page 45). :) And no worries at all. Annie 18:11, 9 March 2022 (EST)

Search for List of Genre Authors

How do I search for a list of authors who have written Fantasy? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Gwydion5‎ (talkcontribs) .

I don't think you can do it directly. There are 2 ways to get lists of titles tagged with the "fantasy" tag:
  • Run a regular Tag search on "Fantasy", then select "Fantasy" from the displayed list of tags. Page through the displayed list of titles.
  • Run an Advanced Title Search on Tag is exactly Fantasy. Page through the displayed list of titles.
If you know SQL, you can download our publicly available backups -- see ISFDB Downloads -- and craft a custom query to get exactly what you want. Ahasuerus 17:48, 9 March 2022 (EST)
While that will show what was tagged in the DB with fantasy, tagging is a non-moderated activity - so all that the search/query will show is the list of titles that someone cared enough to tag with fantasy - and where noone disagreed strongly enough to seek the removal of the tag. So it may contain titles which are not fantasy even under the broadest definition and will be missing a LOT of titles which are. Which unfortunately is the best we can do - the DB is not set for differentiating between the different speculative genres... Annie 17:53, 9 March 2022 (EST)
Do any of the awards differentiate? ../Doug H 08:10, 11 March 2022 (EST)
Yes. Some awards are limited to fantasy works, e.g. the Balrog Award, the British Fantasy Award, the Gemmell Award or Japan Fantasy Novel Award. Certain other awards have separate categories for fantasy and science fiction, notably the Locus Poll Award. Ahasuerus 12:40, 11 March 2022 (EST)
Another option may be to look for the Fantasy imprints (and publishers) but even there, you will have inconsistencies... Annie 14:46, 11 March 2022 (EST)

Original cover as interior art

Hello, in this pub Die Verwandlung the interior art is the cover of the first edition of Die Verwandlung. What should I do with it, merge or make a variant? Many thanks Henna 12:22, 13 March 2022 (EDT)

You would make a variant. -- JLaTondre (talk) 13:03, 13 March 2022 (EDT)
OK, Thanks Henna 13:27, 13 March 2022 (EDT)

Incomplete edit

Hi moderators. Gah-I just somehow accidentally hit "Submit" on an incomplete entry for an anthology entitled Blood on His Hands. The ToC is not finished and I haven't double-checked the entry. Should I just wait to hear back and then complete the entry? Thanks. Canuckscribe 16:37, 16 March 2022 (EDT)

Approved here. Go finish it. I also fixed the format (pb is the standard sized mass market paperbacks; this is a tp; fixed the cover (we need the image, not the product page) and the ISBN (removed "ISBN:"). Annie 16:44, 16 March 2022 (EDT)

Sanity check: removing an unwanted "container title" from a pub

Yesterday I added a pub of Civiliations, and today realized I'd added it to the original French version rather than the English translation. Per a similar item further up this page I went to fix this by adding the correct English title, and then removing the unwanted French title. However, on the edit page for the latter part of the change, it advises me to "exercise caution" when removing a "container title", but the linked help page doesn't give any info about what this caution might be required for. I'm guessing it might be when the container title isn't associated with any other pubs besides the one you're currently editing - which isn't a concern in this particular instance, and so I think I should be OK to remove that title? - but perhaps a note about why/how caution should be exercised might be a useful addition to that help page?

Also - and this is probably a rare occurrence - but it might be useful on the remove title page/script (rmtitles.cgi) to have the year and/or language listed for the titles as disambiguating between "Civilizations, NOVEL, Laurent Binet" and "Civilizations, NOVEL, Laurent Binet" is a bit difficult. In this case, there's the clue that one is a "container" title, and the other a "regular" title, but I'm guessing that hint would go away if these were both translated titles? (This potential for confusion could be avoided by doing the deletion before the addition I guess?) ErsatzCulture 15:01, 19 March 2022 (EDT)

The warning is provided as every publication must have a container title (a title record that matches the type of the publication). It is to help avoid cases where people mistakenly selected the wrong title record to remove from the publication or remove the existing container title and forget to import the correct one. There are valid reasons to remove one. In such cases, you can remove it without a problem. You should just double check there is a correct container title in the publication as well as the wrong one.
I agree adding more information to the remove screen would be helpful. I've run into similar cases when the existing information is not sufficient to select the right record. Yes, you can pop open each record and easily figure it out, but having date, language, and parent id on the screen would make it easier. -- JLaTondre (talk) 08:09, 20 March 2022 (EDT)
Thanks - edit has now been made, and everything looks OK.
BTW, I was wondering afterwards why one of the title records was listed as a container title, and the other not, when both are novels. Looking at the code, there's a special case for if the title ID is the "reference ID" for the pub, and if so, that one is marked as a container title.
(It also looks like adding extra disambiguation info for these titles might be straightforward, but I'm currently running a fairly old version of the code on my local PC, and need to bring it up-to-date before looking deeply at what any changes might entail.) ErsatzCulture 15:04, 20 March 2022 (EDT)

Omnibus or Collection (or Novel)?

I'm PVing The Year of the Warrior. The publication has two interior titles, one of which has been published separately, and one that appears there the first time. Each title, both of novel length, has a separate copyright statement, and it's own title page. The back cover has the statement: "Part of this novel was previously published as Erling's Word".

So... What is the appropriate way to take this? --Glenn 17:11, 20 March 2022 (EDT)

If at least one of them was published previously AND both are novels, go for an omnibus. Add a note explaining the choice and the fact that it is presented as a single novel and so on but that is not much different from what we did for this one (shorter works so collection so same principle) - and we can always change that later. The fact that it has both separate copyrights and title pages makes it even more of an omnibus IMO.
Another option may be a split novel but that earlier publication makes that a non-starter I think. Annie 17:32, 20 March 2022 (EDT)
I've submitted a edit for the publication. Will I need to do something to the container title, or will it propagate somehow? --Glenn 18:26, 20 March 2022 (EDT)
Upon reflection, as the type fields were editable, it seems likely it will propagate. --Glenn 18:32, 20 March 2022 (EDT)
In this case, as we do not have the earlier novels in the DB, that is all that needs to be done. I've approved it. If we had the earlier novels OR we had other editions, it would have been a bit more complicated. PS: the "being editable" means "no publication" but that does not make it always fair game - for example a parent title which is there to reconcile a pseudonym will often not have pubs so will always be editable in the first pub it gets added into... but you never want to edit that inside of that first pub. Not the case here so we are all good but keep that in mind. :) Annie 18:53, 20 March 2022 (EDT)
I don't quite follow this. One of the earlier novels was in the DB. --Glenn 00:19, 21 March 2022 (EDT)
Yep, I merged it. I will show you what I mean about editable parents with an example in a bit - let me find one that has the correct number of pubs. Annie 14:50, 21 March 2022 (EDT)
After a bit of thought... Would it have been better to import the first interior title to avoid the merge? --Glenn 15:16, 22 March 2022 (EDT)
Merge or import - with one title, does not make much of a difference - you still need the extra edit. Annie 17:02, 22 March 2022 (EDT)

Publisher question - Camelot

While looking at my copy of Earthman's Burden in preparation for doing a PV, I noticed that the current record shows "Avon Camelot" as the publisher but the title page shows "Camelot Books/Published by Avon". Based on the title page, shouldn't the publisher be "Camelot Books / Avon"? Thanks! Phil 11:48, 22 March 2022 (EDT)

It's complicated (as usual). If Camelot is an imprint of Avon, then yes. According to the note, it might be - but more research may be needed.
It also depends on the history - if there was a change, we may have decided to keep the same name on the publisher so the books stay together (but that should be in the publisher notes). Look through some of the PV'd books and see if there are active PVs and ask them to stop by and report how the publisher is credited in their books...
So the short answer? If you try to change it on your book alone, you will be reminded that we standardize publishers somewhat so books stay together (and the exact credit can go into the notes). If you are interested in chasing the whole publisher name, work with the rest of the PVs. :) Annie 12:52, 22 March 2022 (EDT)

Varianting split Japanese Murderbot Diaries back to the English titles

The first 4 Murderbot novellas have been published in Japanese as two split 上 and 下 volumes of 2 novellas each. The first one has been varianted to a "dummy" English entry" that has a note explicitly stating "This record is for a collection of the first two stories."; and I just varianted the second one to another "dummy" entry with the original author but the Japanese title.

However, on reflection, I'm thinking that both of these Japanese titles should perhaps instead be varianted to the English language collections of all 4 novellas? AFAIK, that's how split translations are handled for novels, but I dunno if there's a different practice for collections - thoughts? ErsatzCulture 08:09, 2 April 2022 (EDT)

Yes, the two collections should each be varianted to this title. The individual novellas should also be varianted to the individual English original titles (but I suspect you know that part). ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 12:45, 2 April 2022 (EDT)
Thanks, this has now been done. (I went through the slightly circuitous process of unvarianting the Japanese collections and revarianting them to the "real" English collection, rather than merging the "dummy" parent collections with the latter, in order to preserve the title ID 2764245, as I think the merge tool always retains the lowest ID, which was one of the dummy ones. Not sure how necessary/important that is, but hopefully better safe than sorry.)
I'd already varianted all the JA novellas to the EN ones, where they hadn't already been done - the collections were the last thing that needed tidying up. (Other than adding 2 short stories to an upcoming collection, but that can't be done properly until the translated JA titles are known, so I've just put a { { incomplete } } template in the notes for the time being. ErsatzCulture 14:32, 2 April 2022 (EDT)
EDIT: I just noticed the "dummy" collections are still around [9] [10]; I guess them losing their variants isn't enough for them to be automatically removed? I assume it would be OK to delete them, re. my earlier comment re. IDs meaning the merge tool can't be used (for one of them, at least). ErsatzCulture 14:36, 2 April 2022 (EDT)
Deleting those dangling titles is fine. They serve no purpose anymore, so go ahead. MagicUnk 15:59, 2 April 2022 (EDT)
Oh, and when looking at the Japanese titles, I noticed this one which should have been varianted to the existing English original. As it stands now, that publication (and titles) should be deleted, I think, because that Japanese title has already been varianted - or perhaps the other way around? Since you've been working on these, could you check and do the necessary? Thanks! MagicUnk 16:14, 2 April 2022 (EDT)
逃亡テレメトリー (#3013154 the novella) has been varianted to Fugitive Telemetry; however 逃亡テレメトリー (#3013152) contains two additional stories, and so is (AIUI) a collection which (again AIUI) had no existing title to be varianted to, hence me creating a "dummy" collection for the parent author.
I *think* this is/was the right thing to do, but please correct me if I'm wrong - I don't recall the details of a discussion several months ago about what could constitute a chapbook, but I think a novella + 2 short stories puts it into collection territory? As mentioned above, the translated names of the 2 short stories doesn't seem to be available yet - their presence is based on a close examination of the cover image - so they aren't yet in the contents of the pub.
(NB: FWIW, I wasn't the original submitter for these pubs/titles, I just stumbled across them whilst skimming through the forthcoming books page. I'll happily to defer to anyone who knows more about them.) ErsatzCulture 17:00, 2 April 2022 (EDT)
Actually - I don't think so. The "Split novel" rule which allows partial to be varianted to the whole ONLY applies to split novels, not all books - not to collections and omnibuses for sure (or we will end up varianting all series collections/omnibuses for one series into each other). We had a discussion about that a few years ago - let me try to find it. Annie 17:10, 2 April 2022 (EDT)
OK, I'll keep the "dangling" variant titles around for now in case it is indeed the right thing to do to restore the split JA titles to point at them. ErsatzCulture 18:59, 2 April 2022 (EDT)

Changing a canonical name

An author acquaintance expressed annoyance that his canonical name is one he used in his initial publications, but he has subsequently dropped the use of his middle initial (this form is noted as a variant of the canonical name). He would greatly prefer the name he now uses in practice to be that canonical name. How does one go about altering it? Crileyma 16:48, 2 April 2022 (EDT)

By mentioning here which author it is and getting consensus on the change (or not getting strong disagreement) and then making all required changes (usually at least one on each title - either varianting or breaking a variant). Please note that we usually go with the numbers - if he published 10 titles with the old name and 4 with the new ones, we won't change it until the numbers get closer (although there are exceptions). Who is the author? Annie 17:13, 2 April 2022 (EDT)

Integration with wikidata

I'm currently developing a SF portal site, which combines information on SF authors and SF fandom from multiple sites, including Fancyclopedia, ISFDB and Wikidata. is a typical entry. Do you have any plans to import your data into wikidata? There is a good mapping of ISFDB ids for Wikidata SF authors already. For the moment I'm just connecting Fancyclopedia's convention coverage with Wikidata, but could help you if you want to do the same for your author data. And once Wikidata has the convention GoH information, you might want to use it in ISFDB. Vicarage 10:29, 4 April 2022 (EDT)

Mountains & Madness author problem

Mountains & Madness is currently showing that it was written by both Rose Estes and E. J. Cherhavy. However, E. J. Cherhavy does not appear as the author anywhere in the book. He's not referenced on the title page or the copyright page, in the LCCN record, or the WorldCat record. The only reference I could find for him is in Locus1. I think his name should be removed from this pub record (and the variant deleted) and a note added about the bad Locus1 reference. I've discussed this with the only active PV here and would like some guidance as to how to proceed. Phil 07:29, 6 April 2022 (EDT)

If you have the book, Locus1 does not matter. Even if there was a coauthor and Locus1 is correct, it would be on a parent record for the title, not in the publication and title record for the book. So remove the author from both, add a note for the Locus1 credit in both the parent title and the publication (the parent title note is just in case another edition does confirm it - otherwise people may miss the pub note and delete the variant). I’d leave the parent - Locus1 claims it is valid so we trust them (until proven wrong) and document it - just as a parent though, not on the book. Let me know if something does not make sense. Annie 08:01, 6 April 2022 (EDT)

Undoing a verification?

I verified an ebook pub earlier today, and belatedly noticed the cover image on my copy has been tweaked from the version originally entered here. As such, I'd like to remove my verification and then add a new pub with the new image, but I don't see a UI for removing verification, just switching between permanent and transient - is this possible?

If not, I could perhaps mitigate with an addition to the note to link to Amazon's copy of the image on my copy? I did consider updating the existing record to use the new cover, and clone a new pub record to use the older cover image - but this feels like something that would be icky on a "vanilla" record, but definitely not to be done in this particular case, as there's a secondary verification to OCLC (which has the old image). ErsatzCulture 16:51, 6 April 2022 (EDT)

When you select "Verify This Pub" on a primary verified publication, the first radio button is "No verification". Make sue it is selected and then click Verify and your verification will be removed. John Scifibones 17:05, 6 April 2022 (EDT)
Doh - so it does. Too much lazily skimming over the text and not actually reading what it says, on my part... Thanks! ErsatzCulture 17:40, 6 April 2022 (EDT)

Is this a collection, a omnibus or a anthology?

Hello, I'm not sure what is it: Nacht der Schrecken. In German this publication is presented as an Bloch collection, but it contains a novel by Michael Avallone and five short stories by Bloch. Thanks four your help. Regards Henna 14:17, 21 April 2022 (EDT)

Anthology seems ok, unless the novel was published separately first. The help (look for OMNIBUS) gives this example as a case where Collection is preferred over Omnibus, and that seems much much like your case here (except with different authors, we would use Anthology, not Collection). --MartyD 14:52, 21 April 2022 (EDT)
Hello Marty, I will change this publication to an anthology. Thanks again Henna 15:29, 21 April 2022 (EDT)

All My Sins Remembered

I stumbled across a comment on a Reddit thread where the cover of an edition of this book was posted asking if it was "the edition that’s missing the crucial final chapter." There seems to be no mention of any edition od this publication missing a final chapter. Does anyone know anything more about this ? --Mavmaramis 00:37, 22 April 2022 (EDT)

I take it you refer to the Haldeman collection / fix-up (!?). I know that the assemblage as a book has added material, including the last chapter / piece of shortfiction, which may be viewed as crucial by some. Christian Stonecreek 10:25, 23 April 2022 (EDT)
Yes I refer to this title. Still doesn't answer the question as to which of the editions is missing "the last chapter / piece of shortfiction, which may be viewed as crucial by some" --Mavmaramis 00:11, 25 April 2022 (EDT)
Several years ago I asked the same question and got nowhere. I've heard a rumour it may be a shortened final chapter where printing of the last page was accidentally omitted, and later editions all used the same galleys. I've since made the acquaintance of John Jarrold, who was Orbit's acquiring editor in 1978 for its 1st UK edition, so I think if anyone in the UK knows it will be him. I've asked him if there are any differences he knows of between UK and US editions. If he doesn't come up with anything, I guess the only way to find out is to ask our verifiers of the first edition to compare final pages with later editions. But if John does comes up with the goods I'll let you know. PeteYoung 14:22, 25 April 2022 (EDT)
All my verified editions (St. Martins 1st ed., UK book club and Avon 1st printing have the same ending. Last line: "Unplug him; I'll leave a note for the clean-up crew." Hope that helps. --Willem 03:08, 26 April 2022 (EDT)

A Shattered Life

I would like some advice. I want to add this book to the database, but is it a collection or a novel? MLB 21:03, 23 April 2022 (EDT)

I would go with collection. Per the Amazon Look Inside, the title is "A Shattered Life and Other Stories" on the title page and the description describes separate stories. While it is described as a "connected anthology", sounds like stories were written separately (and some have appeared before). -- JLaTondre (talk) 08:08, 24 April 2022 (EDT)

Deciphering Scholastic number lines

I've seen two different methods for deciphering number lines on Scholastic publications.

Sample: 12 11 10 (on the left) | separation spaces | 4 5 6 7 8/o (on the right) (First printing, June 2003)

- Method 1: Left side is the printing number, right side is the last digit of the print year. This would indicate 10th printing dated 2004-00-00

- Method 2: Left side is the month, right side is the last digit of the print year. This would indicate an unknown printing dated 2004-10-00

Is either of these methods correct and if so, which one? If not, what is the correct way to decipher the number line data? Thanks! Phil 22:46, 25 April 2022 (EDT)

They changed how they numbered things in 1976. I suggest reading the sections titled "Printing Identification" and "Printing Date Identification" at TunnelTwo (Scholastic). They have some helpful photos included. On my computer, those sections are on screens two and three of this page. Chavey 01:31, 26 April 2022 (EDT)

King's Graveyard Shift

Following on from my recent "Weeds" debacle where I almost got duped, like even some Stephen King experts have, into changing the original title, I found that Stephen King's "Graveyard Shift" was first published as by Steve King in the 1970 issue of Cavalier where it appeared. The name change was just approved, so I made a couple more edits. Just to be clear, is the right thing to do to variant the Steve story record to the Stephen story record, and to change the 1970 date for Stephen's record to 1978 (the date of his Night Shift collection where the story was first reprinted)? --Username 17:38, 26 April 2022 (EDT)

Variant the titles as you suggest. Do not change the date of the canonical title. That is the date of first publication, irrespective of which name it was published under. John Scifibones 18:28, 26 April 2022 (EDT)

"Split novel" but it's a (translated) story collection(s)?

The Thai publisher SALT has published the collection The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories by Ken Liu translated into Thai. However, SALT chose to publish the story collection split into 2 volumes. The English Paper Menagerie contains 15 short stories. Going by the SALT website, the Thai publication is split into สวนสัตว์กระดาษและเรื่องสั้นอื่นๆ (The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories), containing 8 stories, and ในระลอกกาลและเรื่องสั้นอื่นๆ (The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories vol.2), containing 7 stories.

How should these be added and organized on ISFDB? Are they translated variants of the English Paper Menagerie collection, or are they new unique collections? New standalone collections seem to make the most sense, but SALT is definitely marketing them as "Paper Menagerie Volumes 1 & 2," not as standalone titles. Should they get their own Paper Menagerie series with numbering? Do both Thai books belong on one ISFDB page like they were published as a 2-volume set? (I think they were published separately months apart.) Thanks for any help. ETA: Readery is showing Thai Volume 2 published in October 2019 and Thai Volume 1 published in March 2019. So, months apart. Morebooks 03:10, 29 April 2022 (EDT)

Yep, variants they should be; analogous to the German splitting of this collection. Christian Stonecreek 05:06, 29 April 2022 (EDT)
Except that under the current rules and community agreement, the "split novel" rule applies only to novels, not to collections and other types... I think that we even had a discussion about that awhile back affirming that. I will see if I can find it. If you really want it to apply to collections, we need a change of the rules... Annie 12:22, 29 April 2022 (EDT)
The discussion turned out that we only have it formulated for novels, because this seemed less obvious for most users in this case (having for example two novel length texts differently titled). The state of the art is for split ANTHOLOGIES and COLLECTIONS to have them varianted, see also this series. Christian Stonecreek 12:34, 29 April 2022 (EDT)
Have the discussion handy? Because I have a very different recollection of how it ended. PS: Nope, that is not the state of the art for non-novels May be your practice but not the site at large one. :) Annie 12:44, 29 April 2022 (EDT)
Sure it is: if a translation is abridged (regardless of the title type), we variant it to the original - we just have in these cases two (or more) abridged titles. Christian Stonecreek 04:06, 30 April 2022 (EDT)
I have added the first SALT Paper Menagerie collection, สวนสัตว์กระดาษและเรื่องสั้นอื่นๆ (The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories), so please make it a variant, or not, as y'all see fit. Morebooks 12:31, 5 May 2022 (EDT)

please help adding an emag issue

I never got the hang of adding magazine issues, especially e-mags.... can someone help me add #1, Winter 2021 to it can be found at ASIN=B08RWG4H5X... I can add the contents, etc, but don't want to do it incorrectly... Thanks! Susan O'Fearna 18:26, 30 April 2022 (EDT)

Here you go. What trouble did you have? There is nothing special to it. Just do New Magazine, fill out the info, and after that's approved, merge the issue-specific title with the year-bucket title. If you have the e-book, see if there is an editor credit anywhere. The website says Teppo is the founder, but says nothing about editing. --MartyD 08:56, 1 May 2022 (EDT)

Publisher information

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

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

Question on Printer's key

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Book of the SubGenius

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

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


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

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

Changing Author/artist name

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

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

How do chapbooks work?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rotating Covers

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

Rotating (and skewing) covers can be a pain if you don't have the right tools. I approved your change, but then fixed the perspective of the cover so it was straight on. You may have to force a refresh to see the updated cover image. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 12:35, 19 May 2022 (EDT); I made an edit adding page #'s from FantLab and replaced the cover, but Amazon's cover, which doesn't seem to exist on current Amazon anymore except as a tiny measured photo incorrectly added to the 2017 Shadow edition, is bigger and framed better. While trying to find a bigger one to upload to head off the usual grousing about unnecessarily replacing a cover image I tried the page but just got a Wix message, and the archived page has a broken image, although with a little searching you can get the 2017 Shadow cover, which is totally different (and not on ISFDB). I finally found what I think is the only photo online that shows the spine clearly, but the photo is badly done, as can be seen at the link above. So my question is, can you zoom it up so cover is clear while still showing the full spine? --Username 13:55, 23 May 2022 (EDT)
We generally only include the spine (and the back cover) if it includes part of the front cover image. In this case, it's just a plain color, so there's really no reason to include it. It would violate fair use. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 13:59, 23 May 2022 (EDT)
Boy, in that case I hope nobody ever notices the MANY cover images I've entered which show the spine. When this edit is finally approved I'll restore the Amazon image, although it's still weird that the only place it seems to exist now is as a tiny photo incorrectly on the 2017 edition's Amazon page. --Username 19:20, 23 May 2022 (EDT)
Well, now you know, and knowing is half the battle (as they say). In the future, unless the cover image wraps around onto the spine or the spine and the back cover, please avoid adding images with the spine. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 21:13, 23 May 2022 (EDT)
Did some work on this a while back,, and today discovered the title, publisher and cover artist were wrong! I fixed those (cover artist as "Wayne Miller" needs to be merged after approval so it's as by M. Wayne Miller, I suppose) but this, [11], is the only online photo I can find that shows the full cover art. Too small now, but is there a way to crop out the book itself and enlarge the dustjacket so it can be uploaded? --Username 14:02, 27 May 2022 (EDT)

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

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

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

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

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

Currency--Iranian Rial

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

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

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

A Sending of Dragons

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

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

Stories by John Wyndham, adapted for younger readers

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

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

Turning a novel into a collection

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

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

Adding a cover image

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

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

Hardwired: The Sourcebook

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

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

Strike Fighters, by Tom Willard

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

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

Adding Open Library cover

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

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

Page count rules: The Autumn Castle

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

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

Alternate versions - forking series

Tamara Siler Jones ( published three novels in a series.

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

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

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

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

Illustrator name misspelled

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

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

Varianting/organizing translated collections of The Murderbot Diaries series

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

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

The National Pastime: The Future According to Baseball

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

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

Consolidate or create?

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

Capitol Cat & Watch Dog Unite Lady Freedoms

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

"Story by" author credits

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Math input question

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

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

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

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

Savage Realms Monthly

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

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

Boxed set format

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

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

{Now + n, Now - n} title formatting

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

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

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

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

Two-part Cover term

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

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

Deleting a bad cover upload

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

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

Isaac Asimov's OPUS books.

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

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

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

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

Amaranth, magazine

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

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

Battlestations / Battle Stations

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

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

Info about submitting info for a magazine series.

Hello. I am co-editor of a Brazilian magazine that pays homage to pulp magazines ("Histórias Extraordinárias" - [12] ). It publishes previously unreleased short stories in the Science Fiction, Supernatural and Cosmic Horror genres.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stack dump when displaying verifier activity timestamps

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

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

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

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

It was a bug introduced in an earlier patch to support the server upgrade project. It should be fixed now. Ahasuerus 17:19, 31 August 2022 (EDT)
Is there a place I can read about the planned upgrades? --Glenn 18:45, 31 August 2022 (EDT)
Al has an overview of what's going on on his User page, User:Alvonruff. The details can be found over on User:Alvonruff/ISFDB_Move. Ahasuerus 20:45, 31 August 2022 (EDT)

Information for different printings

I was looking up Robert Heinlein's The Past Through Tomorrow ( and found two listings for the same ISBN (978-0-425-03178-0)- one for the seventh printing ( and one for the eighth printing ( The bulk of the information is naturally the same. Neither lists a print date.

My copy, as it turns out, is from the sixth printing, and lists a print date of "January, 1975". I'd like to add this information to the record, but found it confusing to have two entries for different printings of the same book, so I'm not eager to add a third. I didn't see a way to provide the 6th printing date in a comment on the others, so not sure what to do with this.

Evil Overlord

We add separate publication records for each printing. As there can be difference between printings, they are treated separately. You can clone one of the existing printings to make record for the sixth. -- JLaTondre (talk) 13:00, 4 September 2022 (EDT)

Stephen King "The Shining" Book Club Edition

Hi, I have a copy of Stephen King's "The Shining" which is a book club edition with the gutter code MP3DD. According to your posting, Doubleday discontinued the gutter code mid-1987 with CC. I don't see anywhere in the coding series where this code is identified. Any idea of when it was used? Thanks, Danelle

Sword of Ice and Other Tales of Valdemar

When entering a different printing for Sword of Ice and Other Tales of Valdemar, I noticed that the oldest pub record here is really for the 7th printing and should have a 0000-00-00 date. Changing it would leave us without a first printing record. Should I clone this pub and add the appropriate notes to make it the true 1997-01-00 first printing pub with the source being Locus1 and then update the existing pub to have the 0000-00-00 date and corrected notes? That would preserve the history of this record. The other choice would be to clone this pub with corrected notes to be the true 7th printing record and then update the original record to have the correct first printing data and notes. Thanks! Phil (talk) 08:00, 12 September 2022 (EDT)

The OCLC does not say anything about this being a 7th printing and looking at the history, it was made a 7th printing later. So I'd clean up this record and make it the real first and not bother with a 7th printing - when/if someone can verify, they can add it. We have no source for this 7th printing besides the record unless you are verifying a later one and you want to add it because it must exist after all. You may want to ping the editor who added the note about the 7th (here and see if they have the book and can verify eventually so we have a source... Annie (talk) 17:33, 12 September 2022 (EDT)
I'll cleanup the existing record. I don't think I can ping the editor who added the 7th printing note since his last post was in 2017. :) Phil (talk) 22:02, 12 September 2022 (EDT)


Just wondering about entry of book length biographies of significant authors. Mary Shelly or Poe, for instance. I assume this is includable? Is this considered genre or non-genre? gzuckier (talk) 00:50, 16 September 2022 (EDT)

As per ISFDB:Policy, we include:
  • Published non-fiction works about speculative fiction which can be plausibly linked to published (as defined above) speculative fiction
so books about speculative fiction authors can be included. It can get fuzzy if the author in question is only marginally related to speculative fiction. For example, a biography of Robert Conquest that concentrated on his work as a historian would be borderline at best even though he wrote and edited a fair amount of SF. Ahasuerus (talk) 06:52, 16 September 2022 (EDT)
Just to add a note and answer part of the question here: a biography will be considered genre - it is in as a book linked to speculative fiction. Non-genre will be a book from an above the treshold author about science for example. Annie (talk) 15:34, 16 September 2022 (EDT)

On a related point, there doesn't seem to be any way to link the biography to the author, or vice versa. If the title of the bio included the author's name, it could be searched that way, but if it doesn't it would kind of be an orphan; that would seem to be a glitch?

Thanks. gzuckier (talk) 00:50, 16 September 2022 (EDT)

As per Help:Screen:AuthorData:
  • Note - This field is for bibliographic notes about the author. It can be used to document the sources that were used to compile author-specific information. It can also be used to enter brief biographical data, especially for authors who do not have other biographical pages on the Internet.
For longer biographical articles, you can use {{BREAK}} -- see Help:Using Templates and HTML in Note Fields.
We used to create biographical Wiki pages, but they were deprecated a few years ago. There are a dozen cleanup reports to help move remaining Wiki pages to the database proper. Ahasuerus (talk) 06:52, 16 September 2022 (EDT)

How to/should I enter a collection with genre and non-genre stories?

Cats Triumphant! includes "Well Worth the Money", which has been getting some interest due to this Tumblr post about it. It includes 8 genre stories and 3 non-genre stories.

I've got information on the 2012 Kindle ebook and generic ebook, plus the 2022 reprints (including, at last, a print edition that will have page numbers).

  1. Should I enter this collection even though it includes non-genre stories?
  2. Should I enter the non-genre stories or pretend they don't exist?
  3. Is it okay to enter the list of stories in the 2012 ebook editions based on the ToC for the 2022 reprints? (I originally said 'omitting the new introduction by Carole Nelson Douglas', but it appears she wrote one for the 2012 version as well.)

Thanks! Sylvar (talk) 10:15, 20 September 2022 (EDT)

  1. Yes - A predominately genre publication by a genre author.
  2. Yes - All titles are included. After creation, set the non-genre flag for the three non-genre stories.
  3. Yes - Note that your source is the 2022 publication and state that the 2012 order could differ. Edit: The two introductions look identical. John Scifibones 11:43, 20 September 2022 (EDT)

Thanks again! Sylvar (talk) 12:23, 20 September 2022 (EDT)

Oh no... I forgot to include the introductions on my first two. Oh well, I'll add those in an edit after they're created. Sylvar (talk) 12:38, 20 September 2022 (EDT)

Cover art links to ISFDB site -- include https in URL?

When I 'Upload new cover scan', the links available on the page now include the https protocol marker. Are the references from the publication supposed to be changed to match? Will there be some batched fixup applied someday? --Glenn (talk) 16:04, 24 September 2022 (EDT)

ISFDB-hosted URLs can be entered using either "http" or "https". When our software builds Web pages to display, it checks whether the site is currently running HTTP or HTTPS. It then adjusts the displayed images automatically. This setup makes it easy to go back and forth between HTTP and HTTPS, e.g. when setting up a test version of the ISFDB database on your home computer. Ahasuerus (talk) 17:48, 24 September 2022 (EDT)

In addition, what should one do when the links "Cover art supplied by ISFDB on this Web page" and "Upload new cover scan" don't match? E.g. Invader on My Back / Destination: Saturn --Glenn (talk) 17:08, 24 September 2022 (EDT)

Would like to create an author

I have a variant of an author not yet created
I believe F. G. B. should be a variant of an author named Frans G. Bengtsson, but I am not sure I can create that author by myself. At least, I have not found a way yet. --Spacecow (talk) 19:04, 24 September 2022 (EDT)

Help:How to enter an author into the database discusses related issues, but not this particular scenario. To do what you are trying to so, pull up the title in question, then click "Make This Title a Variant" in the navigation bar on the left. Scroll down to "Option 2". Change "F. G. B." to "Frans G. Bengtsson" in "Author 1", then click "Create New Parent Title". Ahasuerus (talk) 21:52, 24 September 2022 (EDT)
Done! Thank you. Appreciate the help! --Spacecow (talk) 18:07, 25 September 2022 (EDT)

Star Trek series vs publication series

I've started PVing my Star Trek books, and have tripped over what seems to be inconsistencies in whether whether a numbered sequence should be entered as a (sub)series, or a publication series. E.g., Star Trek Pocket Books vs Star Trek: The Next Generation Numbered, Star Trek: Voyager, etc.

It seems like it might be safer to not poke the bear, but I'd interested in what folks think. --Glenn (talk) 20:47, 3 October 2022 (EDT)

The way I think about distinguishing between publication and title series is to ask: If the same book were published by a completely different publisher, would (could) they do so under the same series? If the answer is "no", it's a publication series; if the answer is "yes", it's a title series. For your examples, anyone could publish a "Star Trek: Voyager" book, but no one else could publish a "Star Trek Pocket Book" book. --MartyD (talk) 09:59, 4 October 2022 (EDT)

Is there a master list of spec fiction sub-genres?

Apologies in advance for being new and not knowing my way around, but if there is such a list, I couldn't find it. Can someone please direct me? Thanks. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by VShannon (talkcontribs) .

Our inclusion policy defines speculative fiction here. Not quite the same thing as a master list of all sub-genres (which I think I credible argument could be made against the feasibility of accomplishing such a list), but the closest we have. -- JLaTondre (talk) 19:46, 8 October 2022 (EDT)
The Speculative fiction template over on Wikipedia has a pretty good list. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 14:45, 11 October 2022 (EDT)

Login Issue

I have been a member for several years, but suddenly my login is rejected. I assume I need to update my password, but can't find anything on the Wiki page about that. Wcornette

Have you had a chance to check ISFDB:FAQ#What_do_I_do_if_I_have_problems_logging_in.3F? I have added a clarification re: the 2022-09-06 server move, specifically:
  • If you were able to log in before September 6, 2022 (which is when the ISFDB site was upgraded to HTTPS) and have been unable to log in since, you need to log in to the ISFDB Wiki first. Once you do that, you should be able to log in on the ISFDB side as well.
Ahasuerus (talk) 18:26, 9 October 2022 (EDT)
I had to change my password because my old one somehow didn't comply with PW complexity rules anymore. Somehow the system didn't accept my old PW anymore... So, you may have to change your password anyway, making sure it complies with current PW rules. MagicUnk (talk) 06:26, 13 October 2022 (EDT)

Can we split an author, please?

Author record 22465 contains information about two distinct authors:

  • Hyacinthe Hill was born Virginia Rose Cronin in Manhattan on 24 May 1920. She married John L. Anderson and wrote as Hyacinthe Hill. She died on 25 March 1989 in Marin County, California.
  • Virginia 'Nanek' Anderson was born Virginia Hadie Combs in Elizabeth City, Virginia on 20 March 1920. She married Carl W. K. Anderson and wrote as Nanek as well as her own name. She died on 25 May 1987 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Could we please break this up into two author entries? Sylvar (talk) 13:05, 13 October 2022 (EDT)

I think I got them untangled. Look at Hyacinthe Hill and the old record and let me know if I got something wrong. Annie (talk) 13:25, 13 October 2022 (EDT)
That looks right to me. Thank you very much! Sylvar (talk) 11:32, 18 October 2022 (EDT)
I added some comppressed biographical information to each of the two "Virginia Anderson"s. Chavey (talk) 14:03, 13 March 2023 (EDT)

Le Guin Award "finalists" not looking quite right

A few days ago, the new Le Guin award announced a winner and two "finalists" from the previously announced 9 nominees. I've just updated 3 records, but - as can be seen from the linked page - the 2 "finalists" appear below the nominees, which doesn't really reflect that those 2 books were recognized. Is there anything that can be tweaked to make them appear in the order winner>finalists>nominees, or is that just how it works with the data model?

(FWIW I don't know that there was any indication prior to the winner announcement that there'd be a "finalist" category...) ErsatzCulture (talk) 17:27, 23 October 2022 (EDT)

In our data model, "winners" correspond to Award Level 1, "nominees" correspond to Award Level 9 and "finalists" correspond to Award Level 90. This is due to the fact that we assume that a "finalist" is a work which made it to the final round of jury/voter selection, but didn't become an official "nominee".
Also, as Help:Screen:EditAward says:
  • ISFDB supports two varieties of award types: poll-based and non-poll-based. For poll-based award types, you will see a "Poll place" radio button; enter the numeric award ranking between 1 and 70. For non-poll-based award types, you will see a "Win" radio button and a "Nomination" radio button; check the appropriate button.
Up until now, it was our understanding that The Ursula K. Le Guin Prize for Fiction didn't rank nominees beyond announcing the winner. Now that we know that they do rank them, we should probably change the Award Type definition from "Not Poll" to "Poll". Once we do that, we should be able to make the "finalists" Award Level 2 and the rest of the nominees Award level 3. Ahasuerus (talk) 22:30, 23 October 2022 (EDT)
That will be even more confusing than what we have now and a bad idea IMO. We need the ability to order the categories of nominees on the page (for things like short and ling lists for example or fir Finalists). A few of the Russian aware have the same issue. Just adding an explanation in the description on what Finalist means keeps the things a bit cleaner, order on the page notwithstanding. Annie (talk) 23:34, 23 October 2022 (EDT)
Back when the current version of the award model was implemented, we identified a few areas where it didn't adequately reflect the variety of scenarios that existed in the real world. After a discussion of possible permutations, FR 656, "Add support for Displayed Award Levels", was created. A few years later FR 1086, "Change the award year field to a drop-down list", was created to support certain other scenarios. (We also have FR 583 and FR 269 to support linking awards to authors and publishers, but that's a different can of worms.)
For now, we handle awards which use the terms "nominee" and "finalist" interchangeably in a number of ways. Hugo, Campbell/Astounding and Lodestar are currently set up as "Polls" with voting details given in Notes, e.g. see this 2022 award record. In certain cases, we use "Finalists" in the database sense of the world (Award Level 90), which can be confusing, e.g. see the 1977 Campbell/Astounding list, where "Finalists" are listed below "Withdrawn -- Ineligible". (We may want to review the internal Award Level values and swap some of them in order to sort more logically.)
Another possible way to handle the Le Guin situation would be to keep the "Poll" flag for this Award Type set to "No". We would then turn all 2022 nominees back to "Nominee", then add notes explaining that 2 of them were singled out as "finalists". Ahasuerus (talk) 10:42, 24 October 2022 (EDT)
Does the following workaround yield your desired result? Select the 'Special' radio button rather than the 'Nomination' radio button. Then choose 'Preliminary Nominees' from the dropdown list. John Scifibones 11:24, 24 October 2022 (EDT)
It may work for this year but whoever adds them next year may not realize how to enter them (or someone may decide to 'fix' this year's nominations because they are not really preliminary nominations). As a stop-gap, it can work and we can keep an eye on it (and add a note at the award Note explaining the naming). Annie (talk) 11:41, 24 October 2022 (EDT)
And then if we are not careful, different years in the same award may also use a different mechanism. In a perfect world, we should be able to set the precedence of the level inside of the category - so if one day an award does something like semi-finalists for example, we do not need to twist the UI yet again :) Annie (talk) 11:41, 24 October 2022 (EDT)

Help Desk history missing content

Viewing the Help Desk history, e.g. Revision as of 14:04, 15 November 2019 by Ahasuerus ( seems to show empty content.

FlaSheridn (talk) 21:57, 23 October 2022 (EDT)

We only keep the last 50 versions of Wiki pages due to limited disk space. However, old sections are periodically archive, so they are not lost. In this case November 2019 sections can be found in Archive 31, specifically ISFDB:Help_desk/archives/archive_31#My_Votes_in_.28Internal_and.2For_External.29_Chronological_Order. Ahasuerus (talk) 22:12, 23 October 2022 (EDT)

Problem finding license types for uploaded image files

When uploading files (eg. an author image) to the wiki, shouldn't there be a drop down box in File Description that allows you to select the license? The only option I see is "None selected". Ultimately I'm looking for the area where I can specify the license type, image creator, source, etc. Thanks. PeteYoung (talk) 13:21, 24 October 2022 (EDT)

Hmm, the Upload file page has a link (at least for moderators?) for editing MediaWiki:Licenses which controls the pull down. Looking at the Wikipedia version, it looks like it only allows for simply static licenses. So we could make use of it, but people would still need to add information to allow linking back to the database (author id, etc.). If people think it would useful for having at least partial templates, I would be willing to enter them. -- JLaTondre (talk) 13:41, 24 October 2022 (EDT)
Right now, Category:Image License Tags is linked from the image upload page. Instead of selecting a license from the list (which isn't populated right now), you should use one of the templates listed in that category. The correct template will include the correct license. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 15:16, 24 October 2022 (EDT)
I've updated the list based on the list of templates in Category:Image License Tags. Let us know if that works for you. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 16:23, 24 October 2022 (EDT)
That looks ideal, thanks. Will use this list tomorrow and report back on any problems. Cheers. PeteYoung (talk) 16:27, 24 October 2022 (EDT)
You will need to edit the image page afterward in order to fill in the appropriate information. You'll also have to copy the parameters from the template page so you know what you need to fill in for the template. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 16:30, 24 October 2022 (EDT)

Two authors same name, needs (I)?

These do appear to be two different authors, but then shouldn't one of them be (I)? Thanks. gzuckier (talk) 00:56, 31 October 2022 (EDT)

The only difference in the two names is the use, or lack, of a diacritic dot under the e in the last name. The first step is to confirm that we didn't make a data entry error. A check of the attribution in issue 1 of 34 Orchard confirms the name was entered correctly. Based on the available bios, it appears this is just one author.
The proper way to handle is to make Ernest O. Ògúnyemí and alternate name of Ernest O. Ògúnyẹmí. Then make Christmas Chicken a variant title. Sumit these two edits and I will approve them. Thanks for finding this, John Scifibones 09:28, 31 October 2022 (EDT)

Narrator template and multiple narrators

I've recently started adding audiobooks, and a few of them have more than one narrator. In those cases I've just added multiple separate narrator templates, but I've just seen this omnibus pub where 5 narrators are listed in one template, separated by " and ". Is one or both of these correct usage? Neither Template:PublicationFields:PubNote nor Help:Using_Templates_and_HTML_in_Note_Fields have anything to say on this particular use case (which may well be equally applicable to other templates like A.

My guess is that right now, it doesn't make much difference, but if/when the current use of templates is superseded by having some sort of "role" functionality for contributors to pubs, then having something that can be easily and unambiguously parsed would be preferable. From a quick SQL query of the database, I note that there are 87 author records that contain the text ' and '. Granted, most of those are unlikely to ever be narrators, but could easily be referenced in A templates, and it might be preferable to have some consistent handling across template types, rather than special casing Narrator? ErsatzCulture (talk) 16:18, 7 November 2022 (EST)

It is the same issue as with the translator template - we can deal with all possibilities when we are ready to convert one day. I use "and" and "," as separators between the names and rarely use the A (author) template inside of the Translator/Narrator. And when working internationally, we have an extra challenge of adding the transliterations inside of the template (as there is no space for them elsewhere as it will be if they become proper author records). So pick up a way to record and when it comes to parsing, there won't be that many options to cover anyway. If and when the special characters become an issue, we can revisit but for now as long as the data is there, I am not too worried about converting later. Annie (talk) 16:23, 7 November 2022 (EST)

Name of the artist misspelled

. Good day,

The name of an illusterator in the recent issue of GHOSTS & SCHOLARS (no.43) is misspelled.

Instead of 'Carl Lavoir', it should be: Carl Lavoie.

There's already a page for him:

Could the name please be corrected and the illustration credit linked to the illustrator's profile?

Thank you, and have a wonderful day!


-Carl Lavoie —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Jahrel (talkcontribs) . 07:57, 17 November 2022‎ (EST) .

Thanks for letting us know. I've asked the person who verified that issue to come comment here. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 16:00, 17 November 2022 (EST)
Looking at the issue, it appears that was already corrected. It's current showing as "Carl Lavoie". ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 16:06, 17 November 2022 (EST)

Capitalization/varianting of David D. Levine's Tk'tk'tk aka Tk'Tk'Tk

At least some pubs of this story use the form "Tk'Tk'Tk", rather than the currently recorded "Tk'tk'tk". Examples of the former are the 21st Century SF anthology (*), the Space Magic anthology, and the derived chapbook that includes just that story; examples that use the latter are Escape Pod 54. Is this something that we should try to record the particular pub's usage exactly as far as possible using variant titles, or are there perhaps R&S capitalization rules that override things? I would have assumed the former, but given that this is a reasonably high-profile short story - albeit with an annoyingly-hard-to-get-right title - I'd have thought this one might have been caught before now?

(* - at least per the contents listing of the ebook, the title on the story itself appears in all caps) ErsatzCulture (talk) 16:30, 17 November 2022 (EST)

Sarah Monette's "Letter from a Teddy Bear on Veterans Day"

I stumbled across a duplicate and have a couple of questions about making a variant. From the web page, I can see that the original publication, "Letter from a Teddy Bear on Veteran's Day," is correctly listed but I don't have access to the anthologies which print it as "Letter from a Teddy Bear on Veterans' Day" (I didn't see it immediately but the difference is the plural possessive apostrophe vs. the singular) so I'm not sure if that's correctly listed or not. Both titles are actually wrong in terms of the name of the holiday which is "Veterans Day" (no apostrophe at all) so I don't know which should be canonical (presumably the first publication). And, while I doubt it, should there be a sort of redirect alternate title with the correct punctuation because, when you search for "Veterans Day," only "Veterans Day" by Cat Sparks shows up and this one doesn't. --J-Sun (talk) 15:14, 18 November 2022 (EST)

Wow, this is so complicated it almost seems like one of mine, but I'll try to sort it out. I (Username) added both links, 1 for each variant of the title, and when the 1 that was accepted recently was approved I think I'd completely forgotten that I added the other one late last year until I just looked at them now. The one spelled "Veteran's" is a 2006 page but the Archive link was in 2015 for some reason, while the one spelled "Veterans'" doesn't have a date on it but the Archive link is from 2007. Monette's Prime Books collection with this story is on and I checked it; it's "Veterans'". The Prime Books anthology it appeared in, which was apparently one of many they did which got cancelled before making it to the shelves, also, according to the linked blog post in the record, has "Veterans'". So here's what I say; she corrected the title in later appearances, so that should be the parent and "Veteran's" should be the variant. --Username (talk) 15:35, 18 November 2022 (EST)

Dating variants

I am unclear what to do in case we have a title by a variant author name that's dated earlier than the same title but published by the canonical author name. this one, for example, confuses me. The story 'Party Favors' has been published under the variant author name Alex Nathan Shumate in 1994. Only later was this title published under the author's canonical name Nathan Shumate in 2015. Currently, the parent title (by Nathan Shumate) is dated 1994, whereas it actually got published only in 2015 under the author's canonical name. I know we've been discussing this on and off, but to my knowledge we never got a clear set of rules for these, or do we?

Should we re-date the parent title to 2015? But if we do, we will have a parent title that's published later than its variant title by Alex Nathan Shumate of 1994. And the author's bibliography will show the title as published in 2015, not in 1994 as it should.

Conversely, should we date the parent title to the date of the first appearance of said title, whether it's the variant date or not? That will result in correct date in author's bibliography, but will result in wrong date of when the title actually appeared. (probably need to move to r&s, but hey, I'm confused...) MagicUnk (talk) 07:23, 19 November 2022 (EST)

Parents are dated based on the first appearance of the story (excluding translations) under any title or author credit. The only exception is if a translation was published first. In that case, we still use the first date published in the author's canonical language. -- JLaTondre (talk) 08:24, 19 November 2022 (EST)
Yes, I agree - that is the only case where a title is not dated based on its own publications but based on all publications in the title’s original language. That way it stays where it belongs in the publication order. The parent serves a double function for us - it is one of the titles (as any variant it carries) but it is also the main record for a text/book. As such, it is not treated as a regular variant (that’s why we can also have empty parents but not empty variants for example). Some DBs and sites solve that by having a “canonical” record which never belongs into a work. In ours we just use a record using the canonical name of the author when one with the correct title exists. Annie (talk) 12:18, 19 November 2022 (EST)
OK, that's clear, thanks. Shouldn't we add this rule explicitly into the rules somewhere for future reference? MagicUnk (talk) 16:05, 22 November 2022 (EST)

Can't log in and nothing works

Trying to add a new collection to my page. My old login is being rejected. All the notices tell me what to do, but not how to do it. Why is it so hard to log in? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Lwoolley (talkcontribs) . 15:49, 22 November 2022‎ (EST)

Which page? Please share the URL. Also, what is your old username (since you said you're having trouble logging in)?
To login, you should login here on the wiki first. That should log you into the database side of ISFDB. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 17:54, 22 November 2022 (EST)

Harlequin Pub Series with sub-series?

The Harlequin Publication Series Harlequin American Romance has a paranormal romance-themed miniseries/sub-series, More Than Men (here's another Goodreads list). The books in More Than Men all have pub series numbers listed for the Harlequin American Romance pub series (for instance, Neptune's Bride is HAR 509, but they don't appear to have pub series numbers listed for the More Than Men miniseries. Is it preferable to list the More Than Men books in the Harlequin American Romance pub series with their pub series numbers included? Or should I list them in a new More Than Men pub series without any pub series numbers? Or do something else?

(Several of the More Than Men books are also in different Harlequin pub series, e.g. a Neptune's Bride reprint is in Silhouette pub series Dreamscapes: Whispers of Love.) Morebooks (talk) 23:40, 30 November 2022 (EST)

Is it correct to assume that 'Harlequin American Romance' is devoted not only to speculative titles? Than, in my view, the case is similar to Phantastische Bibliothek and Suhrkamp Taschenbuch, with the books published in 'Phantastische Bibliothek' all also having a publication series no. within (and being part of) 'Suhrkamp Taschenbuch'. We decided to do it this way because the first series is devoted to speculative fiction titles and we are a site devoted to the same area. So, yes, under the above assumption I'd think the books within the 'More Than Men' should be indexed here with their own pub. series (and accompanying no.). Hope that helps, Christian Stonecreek (talk) 04:27, 1 December 2022 (EST)
Yes, Harlequin American Romance contains both specfic and non-specfic titles, while More Than Men is only specfic. More Than Men doesn’t have corresponding pub series numbers like Harlequin American Romance does. Should I put the books in a new More Than Men pub series while giving them the pub series numbers from Harlequin American Romance? Or should I put the books in More Than Men pub series and leave the pub series numbers blank? Morebooks (talk) 06:01, 1 December 2022 (EST)
Or what if I name the new pub series "Harlequin American Romance: More Than Men" and then include the HAR pub series numbers? Morebooks (talk) 16:34, 1 December 2022 (EST)
Either works but make sure the decision is documented in the notes of the series so people can understand what we are naming and numbering :) Annie (talk) 17:05, 1 December 2022 (EST)
Poking around more Harlequin paranormal romances, this is apparently going to be an ongoing issue with the publisher. E.g Harlequin has another pub series, Harlequin Temptation, that's a mixture of specfic and non-specfic titles; Temptation in turn has at least 2 sub-series that are also mixtures of specfic & non-specfic titles, Lovers & Legends and Secret Fantasies. And so on & so forth across various other Harlequin pub series & imprints. So what's the preferable way to handle this consistently? Keep creating new pub series for the sub-series? Ignore the sub-series? Move the pub series like Harlequin Temptation into a new separate publisher listing so the sub-series can be pub series for that imprint? Morebooks (talk) 03:09, 2 December 2022 (EST)
Ideally, we would implement FR 327, "Allow nested publication series". Unfortunately, it would take a significant amount of development time, so it's not on my short list of things to do. For now, any of the proposed solutions would work as long as we document what we are doing in Notes. Ahasuerus (talk) 09:19, 2 December 2022 (EST)
Just as a reminder, we also have the MultiPubS template (no parameters) which is to be used when a book is in two publication series (nested or not) and which should make it easier to untangle these when/if we ever can do nested and/or multiple pub series. I tend to add the other series name and number (if one is available). See this for an example. :) Annie (talk) 13:13, 2 December 2022 (EST)

The Eye of the Lens

The novelette "The Eye of the Lens" is a concatenation of three short stories, "The Hall of Machines", "The Coming of the Sun", and "The Eye of the Lens," apparently with no changes to the stories. We don't have a listing for the short story "The Eye of the Lens" yet, I'm about to add one. I've separated out the three pubs of the short story from the pubs of the novelette. Where the three short stories are published, they are all three together, so it's as if the novelette was published, but the subsections listed. None of the short stories appear anywhere on their own without the other two.

My question is do I make the three separate short stories a variant of the novelette in some way? Or just have a note to relate them?

Thanks. gzuckier (talk) 00:31, 1 December 2022 (EST)

No, they won't be variants unless they were serialized (aka - it was always one story, just published in pieces - in which case the smaller pieces become serials instead of stories). There are 2 ways to record that if we do not go the serials route:
  • Always include the 3 stories where the new bigger story is published. That works if the split is obvious in the big story.
  • Use notes to connect the fix-up story to its stories. We do that usually for fix-up novels which do not get treated as collections but it can work here as well.
However if the 3 short stories never appear on their own after their initial publication and always appear as part of the novelette, then they sound more like chapters/serialization than separate stories. If so, we may actually be better off making the initial ones SERIAL and connecting them to their parent. Intent matters here - it is important to know if they were planned to be one story or if they were 3 separate stories that then got fixed-up into a single entity. Annie (talk) 17:13, 1 December 2022 (EST)
OK, I'll do some mental activity. It's one of those New Wave type writings that doesn't fit into any categories politely. gzuckier (talk) 23:28, 1 December 2022 (EST)

How to Convert a Chapbook to a Novel

I am editing and PVing Christopher Ruocchio / The Lesser Devil. It is 56329 words long so comfortably a novel, however, it is currently recorded as a Chapbook. I have found this help page: How to convert a novel to a chapbook but I cannot find a help page telling me how to do the reverse. Can someone please point me in the direction of the appropriate help page or, if there isn't one, tell me what to do. Thanks. Teallach (talk) 18:48, 1 December 2022 (EST)

Step one: Change the short fiction title (this one to a novel.
Step 2-x: Go into each of the chapbook publications and use "Remove Title from Publication" to eject the Chapbook record.
Step Last: If the novella was in any collections and anthologies, check if they do not need to be changed to Omnibuses. If it is in a magazine, you will need to replace it in the magazine with the Complete Novel serial. If it was serialized, make sure the rules for novels and not for stories are applied to the dating. If the book has variants, all of them need to be changed the same way with steps 1-x :) Annie (talk) 18:56, 1 December 2022 (EST)
Forgot one step of course somewhere in the copying around: Once the short story is changed to a novel AND the chapbook is ejected (both need to be approved first), the publication needs to be changed to a novel as well. As you won't even be able to submit these pub type changes before the other two changes are approved, it may make sense to actually add a moderator note to ask the handling moderator to assist -- and just check at the end to make sure they did and submit if they missed it. :) That one is now all approved. Thanks for finding out the length. Annie (talk) 23:52, 2 December 2022 (EST)
1) Thanks for updating the pub records. As I stated in the Notes to Moderator, I was going to do this myself because I don't like asking moderators to do stuff that I can do. However, given your recommendation, I will do so if I come across this scenario again in the future. I presume you've suggested this because otherwise the inconsistent pub record(s) will get flagged in a cleanup report whilst my edit is waiting to be approved.
2) Now that we've done all these edits, there is an empty Chapbook record hanging around. Should I submit an edit to delete it or will it automatically get deleted as a result of some cleanup process? Teallach (talk) 16:48, 3 December 2022 (EST)
That helps not having the inconsistent formats stay a long time in the DB, get flagged on a report and needing someone to get to them. You submitting also works - and I would recommend checking just in case the handling moderator missed the note - sometimes it happens. I would usually do that step when I am approving even without a note (this one is just a bit clunky due to the inability to submit it early). We will fix it sooner or later (we have a report for it) but we don’t work all reports daily (or even weekly) :)
Oops, I thought I deleted it. Now I did. But yes - if it is not deleted, submit the deletion. It will show up on a report and we will zap it one day when someone works through the report but a deletion is needed so if you notice it, off it goes. Basically authors, publishers and publication series get deleted automatically when the last entry under them is deleted; titles and series need a delete submission when they are empty. Annie (talk) 20:00, 3 December 2022 (EST)

Adding a new issue of a magazine (Lackington's 24)?

Hi there,

I'm trying to figure out how to add a new issue for a magazine that already exists in the database. Would one do that with the "new magazine" function, or is there some way to make sure the submission fits within an already established magazine record? Specifically, I'm trying to add Lackington's 24 (, while the extent issues in the database only go up to 2020. Thanks so much for your help! —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Godzilla13 (talkcontribs) .

Use “Add New Magazine”. When you open the page, there is a link to the help page at the very top of the page. Please read it before submitting the issue of the magazine. It is also a good idea to read the help pages for each field (even when they sound logical) - we do have some not so straight forward conventions. Once it is approved, it will show up under the magazine page if you add the correct series to it (can also be done as a second step). So check the help pages (pay close attention on the help page for the title and the date fields - we have specific format for the first and special rules for dating magazines) and try to add it. Ich my have any specific questions, feel free to post back. Annie (talk) 22:29, 12 December 2022 (EST)

Adding stories to a collection

Back after a long time away without much experience then. I can't figure out how to add existing stories to a new (author-published) collection. Most of the stories are already in the db, a few aren't. Do both kinds go into the Regular Titles fields? Do I do something different for the existing stories? Did this once and created duplicate stories, but never learned how to do it right. Sfmvnterry (talk) 23:19, 20 December 2022 (EST)

Just chose 'Add New Collection' on the left tool bar (just scroll down a bit). Enter the publication data and the new shortfiction titles (it's best to import the existing titles after the submission was approved, but it's also possible to enter all the contents and merge the double titles later). Please do add some information in the notes (is it a first edition?, from where do stem the date of publication and the cover art credit?, analogous to other collections, like here or here (I suppose the collection isn't already indexed at ISFDB, if it is there you can add stories just by editing it). Christian Stonecreek (talk) 05:18, 21 December 2022 (EST)".
"if it is there you can add stories just by editing it" is going to achieve the opposite of what they are trying to achieve - namely NOT to create duplicates. Just saying. :) Annie (talk) 10:14, 21 December 2022 (EST)
To answer the question directly: when the book contains stories/essays/poems we already have, don't type the titles in the Regular Titles section, just add the ones we do not have. Submit the book with the stories we do not have and once approved, go to the Import menu on the left side of the screen when you have a publication open and import the stories you skipped (it will allow you to add page numbers on the second screen of the import). If all the stories are already in the DB, submit the initial book with no contents; if the book is already in the DB and you are just adding contents, just submit an Import (if the book is here but is a mix of stories we have and we do not, start with an Import again, add the stories we have with it and on the second screen of the Import process, you can add the stories we are missing thus adding the complete contents in a single submission) :)
The import has two options: importing the complete contents of another book (useful when you are adding a new format of a book we have for example) and importing individual titles based on their IDs. The ID of a title is in the top right corner when you open a title. The help page for the import function is here (it is also linked at the top of the page after you click on "Import Content" from the publication menu. Let me know if you have any questions and/or need any additional details. Annie (talk) 10:14, 21 December 2022 (EST)
Thank you to both! Finished it up with the nonexisting stories and sent it on its way; will try to import the existing stories next. Thanks again. Sfmvnterry (talk) 22:27, 21 December 2022 (EST)

SFE pseudonym links

If the SFE has an entry which says merely that the name is a pseudonym, should the link be added to the pseudonym page or the canonical name page? —Rosab618 (talk) 01:03, 27 December 2022 (EST)

I treat them somewhat differently depending on the type of the pseudonym. For house names like Alexander Blade and Will Garth, I usually add the SFE link to the house name page, but not to the canonical names associated with the house name. For single author pseudonyms like Grendel Briarton, I tend to add the link to both records. Having it appear on the pseudonym's page helps explain the source of our attribution. I also tend to add brief notes to more obscure or specialized pseudonyms, e.g. see Julie Light, which says:
  • "Julie Light" was a pseudonym briefly used by JC Andrijeski during 2020. At the end of the year the pseudonym was abandoned. All books originally published as by "Julie Light" were republished as by "JC Andrijeski".
or Hunter T. Castle, which says:
  • JC Andrijeski's pseudonym used for her juvenile novels.
Ahasuerus (talk) 10:45, 27 December 2022 (EST)
Thank you, A. (How are you, by the way?)—Rosab618 (talk) 19:18, 27 December 2022 (EST)
Still kicking, one software patch at a time :-) Ahasuerus (talk) 20:07, 27 December 2022 (EST)

Excerpt of incomplete work

The Splendor and Misery of Bodies, of Cities was originally defined as an unfinished work. An excerpt from Splendor was printed in the Review of Contemporary Fiction in September, 1996. The TOC for this publication gives the title as "From The Splendor and Misery of Bodies, of Cities". The excerpt has now been published without the "From" in Out of the Ruins. Since this appears to be its final form based on interviews with the author, do we still consider it an excerpt? Since the "From" version was printed first is that the canonical title with the later printings as variants? Tom (talk) 23:14, 28 December 2022 (EST)