ISFDB:Moderator noticeboard/Archive 24

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This is an archive page for the Moderator noticeboard. Please do not edit the contents. To start a new discussion, please click here.
This archive includes discussions from July - December 2018.

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Archives of old discussions from the Moderator noticeboard.

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Expanded archive listing

Hauck's withdrawal

As per User:Hauck's decision to stop being a moderator and withdraw from the project, the moderator flag has been removed from his account. His account remains active in case he decides to contribute again. Ahasuerus 13:37, 29 June 2018 (EDT)

Sad to see him go. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 18:34, 29 June 2018 (EDT)
Deplorable! Rudam 07:27, 30 June 2018 (EDT)
Agreed, very unfortunate. I hope he will have a change of heart. --MartyD 08:09, 30 June 2018 (EDT)
Yes indeed, sad to see him go... are we privy to know his reason/s? PeteYoung 08:22, 30 June 2018 (EDT)
It's always regrettable when a long-time contributor decides to leave the project. In this case, it was apparently a gradual accumulation of issues. Over time, Hauck became unhappy with Community Portal, Moderator Noticeboard and R&S discussions and processes, which he described as a "charade" and a "kangaroo court", so he stopped participating. In April, there were complaints about the way we guide new editors, at which point he stopped working on that as well.
That left his work on cleanup reports and self-moderating. The former prompted this discussion of his deletion of records accepted by other moderators without discussion or notification. His position was that "If a moderator choose to accept texts that are outside our ROA, these texts are fair game for deletion without notice (the more so if the records are highly visible because of sloppy moderating). There is nothing to discuss in the case of the correction of errors, be they deliberate or not." I pointed out that we can't run this project if moderators delete records accepted by other moderators without communicating with each other and with the submitting editors and that it would have to stop. At that point he changed his moderator status to "self-moderating only", but then changed his mind and decided to withdraw from the project. Ahasuerus 09:11, 30 June 2018 (EDT)
A shame and a great loss, if this turns out to be irrevocable. We will miss his encyclopaedic knowledge of French SF, among other things. Linguist 09:26, 1 July 2018 (EDT).
Yes, it is a shame. If he just would have been able (or will come) to communicate on such vital matters, this just would not have been necessary. But it turned out that several of the publications he deleted turned out to include genre titles, when he was of the one-sided opinion that they were not. There also was no word of regret when he was made aware of these facts. Stonecreek 11:24, 1 July 2018 (EDT)
Communication is typically the most important part of collaborative projects. It can be time-consuming and sometimes frustrating, but if the communication process breaks down, Bad Things (tm) invariably happen to the project. Ahasuerus 11:55, 1 July 2018 (EDT)
I understand his decision completely, I feel similarly, the permanent stress with moderators who manipulate data and tolerate wrong data is unacceptable.
Hauck is one of a few mods that have the perspective.--Wolfram.winkler 03:46, 3 July 2018 (EDT)
If there is an entry that has had data "manipulated" (not sure what that means) or that has wrong data, bring it up on the Rules and Standards or Community page for discussion. We certainly don't want incorrect information here. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 13:43, 3 July 2018 (EDT)
There is no reason for further discussions. Manipulate = change by artful or unfair means so as to serve one's purpose (source: 03:11, 6 July 2018 (EDT)
If we (as moderators) don't know where a problem is, we can't fix it. If you know of something that should be fixed, then there is absolutely a reason for further discussion. None of us (as far as I know) are mind readers, so please make a new section and bring up the concern if there is actually something that needs addressing. Playing your cards close to the vest helps no one. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 11:37, 6 July 2018 (EDT)
It has already been discussed enough, without results.--Wolfram.winkler 04:00, 12 July 2018 (EDT)

Sansanfeng's submissions "unheld"

I had Sansanfeng's submissions on hold while we were discussing webzine eligibility. Now that they are officially "in", I have removed the hold. Please feel free to approve/massage them if you feel qualified. My Korean is almost as weak as my Venusian, so I am not the best person to handle them. Ahasuerus 20:02, 5 July 2018 (EDT)

I've approved the one that was obviously in (the 14C thingie) and put the others back on hold - verifying is really speculative fiction webzine or just publishes occasional SF story. Annie 10:50, 6 July 2018 (EDT)

Held submissions - changing publisher credits to Orbit (US)

Does anyone have any objections to (or other insights about) my accepting the submissions I have held in the queue for a while that change various Orbit-related publisher credits to "Orbit (US)"? Most of the PVs involved have not responded to my inquiries. I did get two responses, one in favor and one who prefers just "Orbit" as stated in the book. I tried email to Bluesman -- who is involved as PV or a secondary source verifier on many of them -- with no response at all, so I can't tell if the email made it or not. But I've had them held for long enough and want to do something definitive with them. FWIW, the 978-0-316-xxxxx-x ISBN group is assigned to Hatchette Book Group USA, so the change seems correct to me. Thanks. --MartyD 11:45, 8 July 2018 (EDT)

Orbit is one of the special cases where the decision had been made a very long time ago to use the Orbit(US) for the American publisher despite the fact that the books say just Orbit - when there are multiple publishers with the same name, we need the difference so the books can split into proper lists. :) Maybe that second PV should be reminded that and asked again based on this information? Other from that, they look like belonging to the US Orbit indeed. Annie 13:37, 8 July 2018 (EDT)
No, it'll be ok. He didn't object, just expressed a preference based on what's in the book. I do not expect any an issue there with a "Orbit (US)" decision. --MartyD 13:55, 8 July 2018 (EDT)
As long as the primary verifiers have been notified and they do not object, I think it would be OK to accept the submissions. If a currently inactive verifier comes back later and wants to change it back to "Orbit", the breadcrumb trail will still be available. Ahasuerus 14:45, 8 July 2018 (EDT)

Submission of novel

My fantasy novel, Bumpy Night on the Walk of Fame, was just released as an e-book by Uncial Press of Oregon. How do I go about submitting it to get it listed in ISFDB, other than getting permission from my publisher? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Lorwish (talkcontribs) . 20:19, 11 July 2018 (EST)

Help:How to enter a new novel should help you out. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 20:26, 11 July 2018 (EDT)

Andre Norton - Forerunners Universe

As I was unable to find a decent cataloging or timeline for Norton's FORERUNNERS UNIVERSE here, (Goodreads doesn't have it either. ) I made one myself. I did consult Andre Norton Books but that was done in 1995 and Maureen O'Brien tried to shoehorn almost everything Norton wrote up to then in a single timeline. She didn't explain where she gets the majority of the dates she sticks to the listed books and apparently has not responded to contact requests for many years. That timeline just isn't very realistic imo and there are many things I don't agree with.

I have just uploaded my Timeline and Reading order for Andre Norton's FORERUNNERS UNIVERSE. I finished it yesterday and submitted to BAEN in case they would be interested. I joined 57 titles in this timeline, many of which ISFDB has listed as separate series or stand-alone novels. Most of the series that are listed here I agree with, some I don't. The titles that belong in the Space Age / Forerunners Universe should imo also be grouped together under that header.

I've included my reasoning and documentation so you can verify that I've done my homework on this. You can see the graphic timeline HERE.

If the moderators think this makes sense, please use this to update the Andre Norton page. Thank you. SF&F-fan 16:40, 18 July 2018 (EDT)

One technical thing here: can you please not add /* */ around the title - the system uses these for the summaries that allow someone to jump to a specific topic from the history/watch lists and when you have them as well, it messes up that capability a bit.
If you mailed Baen, should we give them a few days to see if they respond? And in the meantime, that will give everyone a few days/weeks to look at that and see if we can spot an issue in that series? Anniemod 16:47, July 18, 2018
How about we try to crowd-source it? Ask on Usenet, Goodreads and Reddit to see if there are any objections to the proposed timeline?
My immediate concern is with the standalones. Some of them have certain elements which arguably make them a part of the same universe. However, if I recall correctly (which I may not since it's been a long time), the hints were subtle. Ahasuerus 11:34, 19 July 2018 (EDT)
I am all for crowd-sourcing. Someone needs to take lead on that so I guess we need a volunteer? Annie 13:23, 19 July 2018 (EDT)
I have posted queries on rec.arts.sf.written and /r/printSF, but I don't have a Goodreads account. Ahasuerus 16:07, 20 July 2018 (EDT)

(unindent) The feedback has been limited so far.


  • There always seemed to be too many little odd inconsistencies and unique aspects for them to actually be in the same universe. Similar ones, yes, but they didn’t seem to be in the same one.


  • I don't think that her post-apocalyptic novels can fit into the Solar Queen's past. While that past certainly did have atomic wars, they didn't destroy civilization to that extent. There simply isn't enough time to recover to that level.

Ahasuerus 11:01, 23 July 2018 (EDT)

Another comment by Joe Bernstein:

  • [snip] <Warlock>, 1960-1973, first compiled as such 2002
  • [snip] <Ice Crown>, 1970, <Forerunner>, 1981, and <Forerunner: The Second Venture>, 1985

[snip] My <Locus> / Contento indices claim that the six books listed above form the "Forerunner" series. Clute in the EoSF almost agrees, omitting <Ice Crown>. Neither is correct. Each of these books (like many others by Norton) has a single protagonist. <Forerunner> and <Forerunner: The Second Venture> share theirs, Simsa. <Storm over Warlock>'s Shann Lantee meets <Ordeal in Otherwhere>'s Charis Nordholm during the latter book. A character in <Forerunner Foray> (not its protagonist, Ziantha) seems to be their son. Simsa's two share no close link with the <Warlock> three, nor has any of the five much to do with <Ice Crown> (protagonist Roane Hulme). What does link them all is actually a common (extremely vague) future history, which according to Clute pervades Norton's science fiction. Thus while <Ice Crown> refers to "Forerunner"s, <Forerunner> itself, in a cover blurb, names <The Time Traders>, 1958, and <Galactic Derelict>, 1959, as its predecessors. Much of <Forerunner Foray> is set in a place whose name <Locus> / Contento give to a series consisting of <Catseye>, 1961, <Judgment on Janus>, 1963, and <Night of Masks>, 1964, but not including <Victory on Janus>, 1966, which apparently shares its protagonist with <Judgment> ... You get the idea.

Ahasuerus 18:15, 23 July 2018 (EDT)

11/30/2018 update:

Thank you all for the follow-up. Sorry for not responding earlier.

I did hear back from Baen shortly after I posted this, they seemed to like it, but also said that it ( = Andre Norton ? ) doesn't fit in their publication schedule at this time. However, I do think it indicates some measure of approval that they shared the link to my timeline on their facebook page twice (August 14 and August 20) Baen books Facebook post

I did make considerable changes since the first draft, mostly by moving the war stories forward in the timeline, -- motivation detailed in the arguments pages -- and there are much fewer internal inconsistencies that way. If interested, you might review it again.

Ahasuerus, About the remark of 'predecessors' It is obvious that the 2 oldest novels (Star Guard & Star Rangers; aka 'Central Control' series) are precursors or forerunners (pun intended) to the Forerunner-themed books, but they also have many inconsistencies with the later books. I have clearly listed these inconsistencies for each reader's consideration and shown where the titles might fit in the timeline if one decides to overlook these inconsistencies or just wants to read them to follow Norton's evolution as a writer. I also think that despite the inconsistencies in the later titles, Andre Norton stuck to the A.D. 2000 - 8000 timeline laid out in those first 2 novels as shown in the timeline picture. The inconsistencies still do not mean these early novels cannot be acknowledged as what they are: the earliest forerunners of the forerunner books and as such they deserve to be considered as part of the developmental context of Norton's Forerunners works. The same 'precursor' argumentation would also be valid for the Time Traders series, but I find that series much less compatible with the Forerunners universe than the 2 "Central Control' novels.

It is as you quoted: "What does link them all is actually a common (extremely vague) future history, which according to Clute pervades Norton's science fiction."

YES, this future history remains frustratingly vague when compared to e.g. Asimov, the political environment very ill-defined and there are so few time references that is impossible to order a dozen or so books even relative to each other on a timeline. But there is no denying that the common elements are there to see for anyone willing to spend the time reading through the books.

That vagueness, so very different from the very well-defined timeline in Asimov's Foundation / Robots Universe, is imo the very reason that to date this part of Norton's work has not ever been acknowledged as a valid future history. Asimov did a good job at tying all his stories together, but not many authors are acknowledged geniuses like he either.

The arguments of 'different protagonists and locations have imo little value here. Just look at Jack Vance's Gaean Reach Ursula K. Le Guin's Hainish cycle, and to some extent even Poul Anderson's Future History. All of those have these 'stand-alone' novels and small series / trilogies that have little or no connection between each other besides the author's statement that they do belong together. Compared to those three acknowledged Future Histories, the Forerunners Universe themes and the variable socio-political contexts are a lot more consistent. In a universe without instantaneous communication or transportation, such differences are likely to develop. A mere 50 books that span a time period of 6,000 years in a universe of hundreds of thousands of planets can only be eye-blinks in the totality of human history.

The very limited amount of specific time references certainly made it very difficult to get this organized. The fact that Norton never published a timeline or even left notes only means that that was not a priority for her. I still think that a body of more than 45 novels with forerunners as a common theme deserves to be acknowledged as such.

I acknowledged many small (and some big) internal inconsistencies in Norton's Space Age books. Consider for a moment what is going on in our own archaeology. There are so many gaps in our knowledge that we have lost entire peoples, empires that we don't even have names for. We know only generalizations of how people lived before written records. Are there inconsistencies in our interpretation? Just look at how the 'experts' even today disagree about how / when the Americas were populated. Look at the bible as a historical document, and see the inconsistencies between various 'editions' of the same books, or between the 4 gospels.

Now look for a moment at Norton's books as if you were a history student in the far future looking at these fragmentary historical documents. We wouldn't expect 100% consistency in every detail between records that span over 6000 years in a universe of hundreds of thousands of colonized planets? Discrepancies can easily be attributed to the historic telephone game: details change in the retelling. By looking at Norton as a 'collector of ancient stories' all these inconsistencies become irrelevant as long as the common Forerunners Universe elements are identifiable.

In response to the comment quoted by Ahasuerus from Usenet: "I don't think that her post-apocalyptic novels can fit into the Solar Queen's past. .../... There simply isn't enough time to recover to that level."

The 3 post-apocalyptic titles are imo fairly consistent in the history line. While large areas of Earth have been devastated, the protagonists go searching for surviving cities or centers of scientific/technological knowledge. Even though they were unknown when Norton wrote these novels, short-half-life atomic weapons that destroy life without damaging structures are now a reality, so 1000 years to First Contact is not really 'short.' Also, 'Solar Queen' comes after contact with a more advanced Galactic civilization. Technology would have taken a quantum leap after First Contact.

Whether or not to include the pre- and/or post-history novels together with the core titles is not the important issue here. I have left that open to personal interpretation. But the 45 core-titles that specifically refer to forerunners are imo a body of work that deserves to be acknowledged as a future history in its own right, similar to those of so many other authors.

Ahasuerus, I do disagree with some of the 'series' that are listed on the internet, including on ISFDB and Goodreads. That is how this very project got started. If you would review my timeline, you'll see I have split that so-called 'Forerunner series' mentioned in your quote into two separate ones: the Warlock / Lantee series which takes place contemporary with the Dipple books, and the unrelated 'Forerunner Simsa' series which cannot be dated at all. And indeed, 'Ice Crown' does not belong with either of those two. I have included that one in a new 'Criminal Minds' series, together with 'Android at Arms,' the other so-called psychocrat novel and the Perilous Dreams SSC.

On the other hand, there are 10 books that are solidly linked together in a period of about 50 years. I called this the The Warlock - Korwar connection. (erroneously labeled Warlock / Dipple connection in the picture)

After all the shuffling, there are still more than a dozen 'stand-alone' titles with the common Forerunners Universe themes, that cannot be dated with any measure of confidence. That is why I have opted for a thematic grouping of those stories, rather than a chronological one, hence 4 new series: Lost Worlds, Alien Encounters, Forerunner Planets, and Criminal Minds.

I have meticulously done my homework on this and have provided the references for review in the documentation that goes with the timeline. I would request that anyone who has not actually read these stories RECENTLY with the same intent as I have, i.e. to specifically verify these internal connections, would at least read through my extensive reference listings, before commenting negatively.

I don't expect agreement with every interpretation, but for anyone who's willing to bother checking, the multitude of internal references that link this body of - depending on interpretation - 45 to 57 titles together to the common Forerunner theme is undeniable.

Thank you all for your time reviewing this.


SF&F-fan 14:23, 30 November 2018 (EST)

Format Column

About a week ago while I was submitting books I started to get stange things coming up in the format column after I had submitted books and was checking the data. One time I had all the info from the roll over button. After a time things came right except for the format type, it now extends into the next column. Could someone check please. It needs to be made to fit the column --Chris J 18:51, 19 July 2018 (EDT)

I suspect it may have to do with changing the way mouse-over bubbles work. Do you happen to have an example? Which browser are you using? (Firefox seems to have more trouble with formatting tables than other browsers.) Ahasuerus 13:38, 20 July 2018 (EDT)
I'm using chrome. See if this link shows anything on your computer Out of the Aeons --Chris J 18:13, 20 July 2018 (EDT)
Everything looks OK on my end under Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer. Can anyone else see anything unusual with this title? Ahasuerus 18:54, 20 July 2018 (EDT)
Looks ok on Firefox, Chrome and IE 11 on my Windows laptop and on Safari on iPhone. Chris, can you do a screenshot and upload it in the wiki so we can see what you are seeing and try to figure out what is wrong? Annie 19:29, 20 July 2018 (EDT)
I think the problem is because I have the screen size zoomed up as my eyes aren't what they used to be. When I go back to normal size everything is alright --Chris J 21:39, 20 July 2018 (EDT)
The reason for the format value extending into the next column instead of being wrapped is the "display: inline-block;" in the "tooltip" CSS class. It can be removed from the class and the tooltip will work without it. Jens Hitspacebar 03:59, 21 July 2018 (EDT)
Thanks, I'll take a look. Ahasuerus 06:57, 21 July 2018 (EDT)
Fixed, thanks! Chris, could you please confirm that formats now wrap on your end? Ahasuerus 07:25, 21 July 2018 (EDT)

(undent) Pages that have a transliteration are now not displaying correctly. See 674484, 228522 or even the main page. It is inserting a break after the question mark (at least on Chrome). -- JLaTondre (talk) 09:28, 21 July 2018 (EDT)

I also noticed a few minutes ago the appearance of breaks after the question marks : am I the only one to see a display problem here or here ? Linguist 09:42, 21 July 2018 (EDT).
I'm seeing the same thing. I just described it badly. For titles, it is putting a break after the question mark. For names, it is putting a break before the name. -- JLaTondre (talk) 10:11, 21 July 2018 (EDT)
Ok, then the solution is to put the "display" property back into the "tooltip" CSS class, but with a different value: "display: inline;" (not "inline-block"). I just checked this with the examples mentioned above on Firefox, and with that value they look good. Jens Hitspacebar 10:19, 21 July 2018 (EDT)
Firefox and Chrome appear to handle the current layout differently. Investigating... Ahasuerus 11:05, 21 July 2018 (EDT)
There seems to be some progress as far as the display is concerned ! But the transliteration bubble now covers the name or the title, so that you can't click on it ! Linguist 12:07, 21 July 2018 (EDT).
A new patch was installed as 12:01pm server time. Could you please force a full page reload (Control-F5 in most browsers) and see what happens? If it's still not working right, could you link to the problematic record? Ahasuerus 12:11, 21 July 2018 (EDT)
Here, for instance, but I think the problem is the same everywhere. Linguist 12:16, 21 July 2018 (EDT).
I have tried the publication page that you linked using Chrome, Firefox and IE 11. The mouseover bubbles appear to the right of each link and the links are clickable. Which browser are you using (including the version) and what is the zoom level, please? Ahasuerus 12:30, 21 July 2018 (EDT)
The problem seems to have solved itself after I switched the computer off and on again (although it hadn't disappeared after my reloading the page). Sorry about the hassle. My browser (Firefox, 16.0.2) is certainly getting a bit old… Thanks for your concern. Linguist 15:18, 21 July 2018 (EDT).
Spoke too fast. It seems to have come back… Linguist 15:30, 21 July 2018 (EDT).
Ouch! Considering the fact that the current version of Firefox is 61, Firefox 16, which is 6 years old at this point, will have issues with all kinds of things out there. For example, the security framework which we added recently only works with Firefox 23 and above. And it's not just the ISFDB software -- the whole Web increasingly relies on the same security framework. Any chance that you may be able to upgrade? Ahasuerus 15:48, 21 July 2018 (EDT)

[unindent] I suppose I'll have to eventually. I kept putting it off as, not being very technically-minded, I found it a pain in the… neck rather than anything else. Linguist 15:55, 21 July 2018 (EDT).

The good news is that upgrading Firefox is not as painful as it could be in the past. Some, if not all, of the add-ons may need to be updated, but otherwise browser upgrades are fairly straightforward these days. I would still recommend exporting your bookmarks as HTML prior to the upgrade -- better safe than sorry :) Ahasuerus 16:10, 21 July 2018 (EDT)
P.S. Once Firefox is up to date, you can simply tell it to keep itself current. That way you will be getting all security and other updates automatically. I also recommend the security add-on NoScript, but it may be a tad challenging for non-technical people. Ahasuerus 16:12, 21 July 2018 (EDT)
My problem is fixed. Thanks --Chris J 17:01, 21 July 2018 (EDT)
Great! Ahasuerus 17:31, 21 July 2018 (EDT)

Nightmares & Dreamscapes and Night Shift

When the audio books/audible books were published for these 2 Stephen King collections, they were both split into 3 (N&D vol 1-3 and Gray Matter/Graveyard Shift/The Lawnmower Man) -- each audible / audio collection only contained about 1/2 of the stories from the original collection.

My question is should they be varianted from the original collection or listed as their own collections, since they're not just variants of the originals.. Susan O'Fearna 16:34, 24 July 2018 (EDT)

When a novel is split into 2 volumes, we variant both parts under the novel itself. So I'd say that the same applies to these collections - they are not new collections but a split one - just add notes to the titles so it is clear that the collection is split. Annie 17:05, 24 July 2018 (EDT)
Thanks Susan O'Fearna 03:02, 25 July 2018 (EDT)

Audible adaptation of Locke & Key

Should I try to add the full-cast adaptation of Joe Hill's Locke & Key ? Susan O'Fearna 03:02, 25 July 2018 (EDT)

Nope. Someone reading a story is ok; full cast drama is a bit out of scope. I remember asking the same awhile ago around Doctor Who and I still think that this is a good distinction. :) Annie 04:00, 25 July 2018 (EDT)
That's right, full cast adaptations are currently not eligible for inclusion. Ahasuerus 14:24, 25 July 2018 (EDT)
Do we have a standard definition of "full cast"? I've seen a couple audiobooks where there are two or three narrators who either take turns reading or each take a few of the characters and read them. They are not done as a drama, just read that way. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 16:12, 4 September 2018 (EDT)
I don't recall a discussion of this issue, but I rarely work on audio books. All I know is that ISFDB:Policy says "Included: ... audio books, i.e. readings, but not dramatizations". Hopefully other moderators are more familiar with this area. Ahasuerus 20:30, 4 September 2018 (EDT)
If it contains the word "adaptation", it is not the original text but an adaptation:) 2 or more people reading the novel is a proper audio-book; this one is a real adaptation. Annie 20:51, 4 September 2018 (EDT)

Title type mismatches

Based on a recent discussion on my Talk page, I have compiled the following list of title type mismatches between VTs and their parent titles which appear to be invalid:

Calling for volunteers to reconcile the affected titles.

I will create a separate post on the Community Portal to discuss the 11 mismatches that seem to be legitimate based on the current rules. Ahasuerus 14:23, 25 July 2018 (EDT)

How do I update my entry?

Greetings. I have just discovered that I have an entry here, and I'd like to make a couple of changes to it. How do I go about doing this? Thanks! —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Alsirois (talkcontribs) .

Go to your author page & click the edit link to the upper right of the listing. See Help:Screen:AuthorData for a description of the fields and desired content. Thanks. -- JLaTondre (talk) 15:04, 28 July 2018 (EDT)

'Salem's Lot needs to be a variant of (see contents) not just the novel ... how to fid ? Susan O'Fearna 18:09, 10 August 2018 (EDT)

Step 1: Change the type of the publication to collection and add a new reference title from the Collection type
Step 2 - variant the new title to this one.
Let me know if you want me to do it? Annie 18:25, 10 August 2018 (EDT)

HTML support when rejecting a submission

As per FR 77, the "Rejection Reason" field has been modified to support HTML. Ahasuerus 21:09, 12 August 2018 (EDT)

The Science Fiction Hall of Fame Volume Four

I believe this listing needs corrections, but the PV is no longer active. I've got a copy of the book as described except the publisher is "Book Club Associates". On its copyright page is "by arrangement with Victor Gollancz". OK if I correct the listing … or should I leave it alone and create a new listing for the title? Thx Markwood 20:05, 18 August 2018 (EDT)

He's not completely inactive (his last activity date is 2 weeks ago). You could try leaving him a note and also using the Wiki's mail-sending feature to contact him about it. Given the uncertain note about possible book club edition, I'd think he would have noticed a "Book Club Associates". So if you don't hear from him, I'd err on the side of caution and make a separate record, adding cross-reference notes to both. --MartyD 06:53, 19 August 2018 (EDT)

Kyell Gold/Tim Susman

I have just found out that furry author Kyell Gold and author Tim Susman are the same person, so I’m going to enter Gold as the canonical author, as this name has the majority of entries on this site. Not sure how to handle the interviews though. MLB 19:50, 1 September 2018 (EDT)

Updated. Thanks for digging!
As far as interviews go, as per Help:Screen:NewPub, the rules are as follows:
  • Interviewee - The canonical name of the person being interviewed, whether or not it matches the form(s) of the name used in the interview. This is done so that the interview is displayed on the interviewee's summary bibliography page.
  • Interviewer - The name of the interviewer. This name should not be corrected if mis-spelled, or given in a variant form; it follows the same rules as the rules for author name in a content record.
Ahasuerus 13:39, 3 September 2018 (EDT)

Submission for Science Fiction Chronicle - new author notifications.

My submission noted two new authors - even though I had checked (using cut and paste to avoid typing errors) that both Brian W. Aldiss and Richard S. MacEnroe were in the database. I've a couple edits to do (image etc.) so please let me know if there's anything I did incorrectly that I can address. Thanks. ../Doug H 12:16, 3 September 2018 (EDT)

It's a spelling issue:
  • Brian W. Aldiss as opposed to Brian W. Aldis
  • Richard S. McEnroe as opposed to Richard S. MacEnroe
Is that how their names are spelled in the publication? Ahasuerus 13:33, 3 September 2018 (EDT)
Just to close off - I skipped checking Aldiss as too well-known to check and MacEnroe is how the name was entered. Problem is I checked the author (cut and paste), didn't find it so searched for the title. Found it an noticed the S. was missing but missed the Mac/Mc. Both fixed now (entered McEnroe as such and noted misspelling). ../Doug H 08:09, 5 September 2018 (EDT)
Looks good, thanks for the update! Ahasuerus 18:18, 5 September 2018 (EDT)

Author: Andy Heizeler

Hello. I am writing to suggest that two author records be merged or that one of the records should be marked as a pseudonym of the other. Here is the situation as best as I can describe it:

Andy Heizeler (the correct spelling) has been credited with eight stories beginning in February 2008. Most of these stories were published in Ray Gun Revival. On page 36 of the January 2009 issue of that same magazine, it was revealed that Heizeler is the pen name of David Bridgette and that this author also published "The Broken Hourglass" in Cosmos Magazine.

Andy Heizler (incorrect spelling) is credited in the ITTDB as the author of "The Broken Hourglass" from the December 2008 / January 2009 issue of Cosmos. This same incorrect spelling is listed on three other sites:,, and This leads me to believe that the Cosmos publication probably used the incorrect name Heizler. However, I also note that credits "The Broken Hourglass" to the correct spelling of Heizeler.

The Cosmos issue in question is no longer available on their website, so I cannot check the original source. I am, however, attempting to contact Heizeler, and will update if I receive more information.

Thank you for your help on this.

All good things,

--Michael Main 17:05, 4 September 2018 (EDT)

The Wayback Machine has the original Cosmo's page archived (see here) which shows the credit to have been Heizler. I will make the pseudonym. Thanks for finding this. -- JLaTondre (talk) 18:06, 4 September 2018 (EDT)
Very nice find in the Wayback Machine! Thank you, JLaTondre! --Michael Main 21:53, 4 September 2018 (EDT)

Private Games not spec fic?

I've been looking for a spec fic element in Private Games. I couldn't find it. Delete ? (I've also posted this on Bluesman's talk page, but not sure whether he'll ever read it) MagicUnk 17:28, 5 September 2018 (EDT)

According to reviews, it's a thriller. Patterson has (co-)written a lot of books, most of them with no speculative elements.
Re: Bill Bluesman, he tends to be very busy during certain seasons, so he's been known to disappear for months at a time. Hopefully he is OK and will return in the foreseeable future.
For now, we may want to set the "non-genre" flag on the title record and let Bill know about the change. Once he comes back, we can discuss deleting the publication/title pair. Ahasuerus 18:26, 5 September 2018 (EDT)
Good idea. I'll set the non-spec flag then and make a note to remind myself to check with Bill when/if he's back. Thanks! MagicUnk 18:45, 5 September 2018 (EDT)
BTW, I suspect that Mark Sullivan the co-author of this book is not the same person as the 1980s artist Mark Sullivan, so we may want to add "(I)" to his name. Ahasuerus 17:29, 7 September 2018 (EDT)

Xeelee series: title sequence tidying up?

I noticed that the ISFDB has Stephen Baxter's Xeelee series numbered up to 8, and includes two short fiction pieces (6 & 7). The recently published Xeelee: Redemption has (Xeelee 8) in it's title on Amazon UK. I guess removing the numbering from the SF stories Reality Dust and Riding the Rock, renumbering Xeelee: Vengeance to number 7 in the series, and numbering the collection Xeelee:Endurance as number 6 would make more sense to me; it'd make Xeelee: Redemption effectively 8th in the series. Can I do that, or is there anyone that disagrees? Thanks! MagicUnk 16:54, 7 September 2018 (EDT)

I haven't looked into the Xeelee continuity since the 1990s, but I can offer a few general observations:
  • Series numbering can be highly subjective, especially if prequels and nested series are involved: release order vs. author-suggested reading order (which can change over time) vs. third party order
  • Amazon's series numbering is a relatively recent addition and can be all over the place, ranging from perfectly reasonable to bizarre. Sometimes they split series or have gaps in their numbering scheme due to what appear to be data entry inconsistencies.
  • Sometimes our short fiction entries (especially novellas) are assigned whole numbers and other times they are assigned decimal numbers. This too can change over time as more volumes are published.
Ahasuerus 17:28, 7 September 2018 (EDT)
The Xeelee series is currently ordered in first publication order, so at least for this case I think it's clear that numbering order is to be by date.
I could add fractional numbering to the novellas, but that would become ugly quickly, and as some of the novellas published as chapbook have been given a number, some have not (e.g. Starfall), it makes more sense to remove numbering from these novellas, treating all novellas equal.
And renumbering as I proposed, incidentally results in Xeelee: Redemption being number 8 in the series...:-)
What do you think? --MagicUnk 17:48, 7 September 2018 (EDT)
Well, not all novellas and other short fiction works are created equal. Some are effectively standalone stories set in the same universe and can be read in any order. They are best left unnumbered. Others may take place between volume N and N+1 and it's important to record them as N.5. Unfortunately, I am not familiar with this universe (I may have sampled the first volume back when it came out), so I can't comment on the specifics. Ahasuerus 18:07, 7 September 2018 (EDT)
(am I actually posting this on the right board? MagicUnk 17:54, 7 September 2018 (EDT))
Sure, here is fine. Ahasuerus 18:07, 7 September 2018 (EDT)
According to Stephen Baxter, the Xeelee sequence timeline is a bit complicated... So I decided to stick to publication date instead. MagicUnk 17:09, 8 September 2018 (EDT)
Sounds like a plan! Ahasuerus 18:30, 8 September 2018 (EDT)

Der Feuergürtel

Hello, because I don't saw the preview of the cover I uploaded it three times. Please delete the two old covers and maybe repair the preview. Thanks Henna 14:44, 27 September 2018 (EDT)

Done. -- JLaTondre (talk) 19:36, 1 October 2018 (EDT)

Thanks to Ahasuerus

My thanks to Ahasuerus for doing transliterations, variants, and so on, on the Russian Merlin's Ring omnibus after I went offline--especially for catching the mistake in noun case that I'd made on one of the names when I pasted it in from FantLab. MOHearn 09:19, 10 October 2018 (EDT)

Hey, processing Cyrillic submissions is a great way to relax after entering a few dozen Japanese authors :-) Thanks for submitting the data! Ahasuerus 09:41, 10 October 2018 (EDT)
I find the Japanese authors relaxing. (^_^) ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 13:41, 10 October 2018 (EDT)

Remove Alternate Name - post-approval page

The post-approval page for Remove Alternate Name submissions has been enhanced as follows:

  • "Alternate name" is used instead of "pseudonym"
  • Both the former canonical name and the former alternate name are now linked
  • Error messages for previously broken alternate-canonical associations have been enhanced to clarify that it's the link that no longer exists, not the alternate name itself

Ahasuerus 13:16, 18 October 2018 (EDT)

Infinite Stars: Dark Frontiers

My understanding is that we do not add books until we are reasonably sure they will make it - so 90 days earlier or so unless we have a review and so on to make it a bit early. So how was this one added and approved? No ISBN, no projected date, not even a link to the source. Looking around internet, the date seems to be September 2019 (the link is Facebook in case someone would not rather click on it) - which makes it so out of policy that it is not even funny. If there is a definition of a possible vaporware in a dictionary, that book will probably be the example - a year from now, who knows what will happen. Am I missing something and why shouldn't we just delete this book and all those stories that are technically not published yet? I understand that someone did some work to add it but it sets a precedent that can lead to a lot of those being added by authors... Annie 14:36, 29 October 2018 (EDT)

I know the editor, and he just turned in the book. He also posted the table of contents when he announced turning it in. That said, it's not due out for almost a year, so it shouldn't have been added this early. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 14:58, 29 October 2018 (EDT)
Oh, I am sure that if the publisher does not fold (I know it is Titan but... we live in interesting times - it can be bought, it can collapse or it can get new management that sends the book to a later date) and if something bad does not happen, the book will be out some time next autumn. But it is just way too early... Annie 15:03, 29 October 2018 (EDT)
I wish there was a way to put this back on hold or something, in order to preserve the time spent entering it. Any way we can add a feature to unapprove a submission so it could be placed on hold? ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 15:08, 29 October 2018 (EDT)
I am afraid it's not possible given the way the ISFDB software works. If we want to preserve the entered data, we should move it to a Wiki page and check again when the book is about to be published. Ahasuerus 15:45, 29 October 2018 (EDT)
Okay. I've done that. I've deleted it. Hopefully, whoever submitted it won't be upset. :) ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 16:08, 29 October 2018 (EDT)
I think we should find the original submitter and explain why it was deleted - especially if we are working with a new editor. Ahasuerus, can you run a query to find the editor? Based on the Pub ID, we are looking for a record some time last week - and there are a lot of records to go through if someone tries to page through the Recent Approvals. Annie 16:25, 29 October 2018 (EDT)
On it. Parenthetically, now that submission bodies are publicly available, I should probably implement FR 927 "Add the ability to search submissions". Ahasuerus 17:27, 29 October 2018 (EDT)
Looks like it was submitted by BryanThomasS, who is likely the editor. I'll ask him about it. It was approved by Dirk P Broer. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 17:39, 29 October 2018 (EDT)
Bryan (the editor) is okay with it. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 18:47, 29 October 2018 (EDT)

Simplifying Divergent series

I've been in a discussion with Dirk & Annie on simplifying current Divergent series hierarchy (in fact, get rid of the hierarchy as per the sequence found here, as suggested by Dirk P. Broer). I can't approve myself, so if you're reading this, can you approve my submissions so as not to loose track, and we can see how it looks like? MagicUnk 15:44, 31 October 2018 (EDT)

No patience these days... Give me a few minutes, I am working through them :) Annie 16:06, 31 October 2018 (EDT)
Hehe :) Thanks Annie! MagicUnk 16:41, 31 October 2018 (EDT)

Re-migrate LCCN in verified record

Our records P177309 and 293661, for A Maze of Death in 1971/1973 1st/2nd US printings from (Warner) Paperback Library, both display:

External IDs:
LCCN: 70-111158
OCLC/WorldCat: ...

where the Library of Congress record is that of the 1970 Doubleday 1st ed. and the WorldCat record fits the publication at hand. The second record includes 4th of 4 bullet points "LCCN: 70-111158 on copyright page.", from which I infer the mistake probably happened during migration of linked external IDs from Notes to the new dedicated field. That explanation doesn't fit the first record, which lacks any related Note.

The first record has two primary verifiers, both now inactive. The second has one primary verifier Willem H., whom I notified last week, with recommendation that we should at a minimum augment his note as "LCCN: 70-111158 on copyright page is that of the 1st ed." (see User talk:Willem H.#A Maze of Death).

1. Verifier Scott Latham is inactive 3 years, with the familiar User talk notice "Important!" that directs people here if he is the sole verifier --or all verifiers are inactive, presumably. Bluesman is inactive 4 months with no such User talk notice. Thus a first question is whether it's now appropriate or premature to come here concerning some modifications of Bluesman-verified publication records.

2. Second question:
Is amendment of a verified record such as this --re-migration of External ID, with explanation in a Note-- one that should simply be submitted for approval, relying on the verifier's log of "My Changed Primary Verifications", rather than talk-page communication? That is how we implemented the migration of linked External IDs from Notes to the new dedicated field, i understand.
That is: Submission 4023198. For illustration I did simply submit for approval in this instance. --Pwendt|talk 19:00, 31 October 2018 (EDT)

If you find an external ID that does not belong to the edition but belongs to a different edition of the same title, feel free to move it and add a note in the note on what it belongs to. A lot of the ones moved early were just moved (if it was there, it got moved - full stop.). Even now some slip through the cracks. We are all human - that is why we check and recheck. And yes - if all you are doing is moving it around, not notifying is fine - as long as you are not changing the notes considerably but just adding a clarification that it belongs to another edition). And if you find an external ID that just does not belong, feel free to remove it - between typos and what's not, we have some... interesting mistakes.
If the value ended up in the field during the migration, it was there in the record before that. If the line in the original record was just "LCCN: something", it was removed when moving; the one where it stayed was because of the note that it was ON the copyright page (removing this line would have lost that information) - and it is very likely both were links. Annie 15:53, 11 November 2018 (EST)

The Best of Amazing Stories: The 1929 Anthology

I accidentally entered the cover to the 1928 anthology instead of the 1929 one. If my submission is accepted I'll fix it. MLB 02:53, 11 November 2018 (EST)

Data Blanking Again

Regrettably, we need to revisit this discussion. Despite the referenced Moderator Noticeboard topic, a R&S discussion, another R&S discussion and polite notes from me and Ahasuerus, Bluesman has stated his intention to ignore the consensus and has continued to blank data in publications See these edits: [1], [2] and [3], all of which have had data which I had added to the records blanked. Clearly, asking Bill to abide by the consensus of the community doesn't work in preventing this sort of vandalism. I am frustrated at having to re-add this data several times and have to ask that the community to step in to prevent the data from being blanked again. Thanks. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 21:12, 19 November 2018 (EST)

I have compared the current state of the affected publications with what's in the latest backup. The deleted lines were:
  • Reginald3: 24829.
  • Bleiler Science-Fiction: The Early Years: 964.
  • Reginald1: 06655.
  • Bleiler Science-Fiction: The Early Years: 992.
  • Reginald1: 06697.
  • Bleiler Science-Fiction: The Early Years: 1023.
This is the same issue that was discussed in June. I have left a note on User:Bluesman's Talk page asking him to respond and to abide by consensus. Ahasuerus 21:54, 19 November 2018 (EST)
And it still continues. I added data at here. Bluesman blanked the added data here within a minute of the addition. He has clearly not agreed to abide by the consensus. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 14:21, 5 December 2018 (EST)
He said he was going to restart the discussion on November 19, but I can't find any new discussions at this point. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 15:55, 5 December 2018 (EST)
I don't think the discussion has been restarted. I have left a note on his Talk page. Ahasuerus 15:56, 5 December 2018 (EST)
I suspect that this edit again blanked data. I can't be certain, but I would have added the Bleiler number when I did the verification in October, and they are certainly gone now. It's unfortunate that I feel I need to patrol the recent approvals list to catch these. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 22:14, 13 December 2018 (EST)
I have confirmed that the edit deleted the following line from the Note field:
  • Bleiler Science-Fiction: The Early Years: 1822.
Given that this issue has been going on for a long time and given Bluesman's refusal to respond to my requests to stop, I have suspended his moderator privileges until I can get assurances that this will not happen again. Ahasuerus 22:52, 13 December 2018 (EST)

IDs of Secondary Verification Sources in Notes

(Copied from User_talk:Bluesman#IDs_of_Secondary_Verification_Sources_in_Notes on 2018-12-16.)

Could you please respond to User:Rtrace's post on the Moderator Noticeboard? This is a follow-up to the last discussion re: removing IDs of secondary verification sources that are documented in publication notes. As I wrote on November 10, "the consensus was not to remove catalog numbers (from secondary sources) from notes. If you would like to restart this discussion, please post on the Moderator Noticeboard."

Update: As stated in Moderator Qualifications, moderators must "comply with the consensus gained on the ISFDB Wiki on the resolution of various bibliographic debates". We all have our individual preferences, but if we start deleting data that other editors have entered in accordance with Policy and consensus, the project will quickly fall apart. We can't let that happen; please reconsider and abide by consensus. Ahasuerus 21:47, 19 November 2018 (EST)

I will definitely restart this discussion. --~ Bill, Bluesman 21:52, 19 November 2018 (EST)
Sounds good. Please refrain from making any changes to these IDs until and unless the consensus has been changed. Ahasuerus 21:55, 19 November 2018 (EST)
There is a Moderator Noticeboard report of your removal of IDs earlier today. As I mentioned earlier, as per Moderator Qualifications moderators must "comply with the consensus gained on the ISFDB Wiki on the resolution of various bibliographic debates". We can't have moderators go against the consensus. Can I have your assurances that it won't happen again until and unless the consensus changes? Ahasuerus 15:55, 5 December 2018 (EST)

Update 2:== Blanking Data ==

(Copied from User_talk:Bluesman#Blanking_Data_2)

“Blanking data” …. an interesting euphemism, I prefer “Taking out the garbage”. Two notes first: this is about content or substance, very little to do with process or form. Second, this is not the first discussion or comment about these numbers, more like the fifth or sixth.

It’s an ‘interesting’ development that seems to have arisen over the last few years. If an idea gets put forth often enough the detractors get sick and tired of fighting it and cease replying/engaging so eventually only the ‘for’ contingent is left and VOILA!! - a consensus is reached. So, take heart all editors, no matter how inane or useless an idea is, just keep pushing [and of course ignoring any negative sentiments/feedback - think Vasha] and some day you’ll get your wish. This is not to detract from the good ideas, as those usually only have to be discussed once or twice. It’s not a condemnation of the process of collaboration, as all such have their faults.

At least the first two/three times this ‘data’ was discussed [and it goes back years so I’m not going to look for them] the reaction was: clutter, useless, stop doing it. So being accused of disregarding ‘consensus’ is more than a little annoying as that’s what’s been happening with every inclusion of these numbers for years. And remember, the ONLY reason this started was because the perpetrator saw them being included in a bookseller’s ads and thought it was neat idea. I’ll repeat: the ONLY reason this started was because the perpetrator saw them being included in a bookseller’s ads and thought it was a neat idea. They’ve been going into notes for about five years and I’ve been removing them for about five years. I don’t care who/what any pretentious bookseller does in their ads to impress a buyer that because their book is noted in some OTHER book that makes it worth at least 50% more than any other copy for sale - doesn’t make it anything more than a selling ploy.

Why do we have separate records? A facetious question but an important one. We do it because there are an untold number of editions/printings from various publishers of almost every title we include. What are the individual records for? To identify what makes that particular edition/printing different from any other with that title. Sometimes we have to use external sources to add information [dates/artists] and wherever possible to link to those sources [i.e. - proof]. A recent addition to the form of the record is the external ID list, a good thing as it decreases the clutter that was beginning to take over the notes. So, it really boggles the mind that numbers are being deliberately added to possibly ± 38,000 records [and that’s just Reginald] plus an estimated 200,000 more [Tuck almost can’t be counted, Curry maybe 5-6,000, the two Clute encyclopedias maybe 50,000] when we have an external field for them. [If you think this will stop when Reginald/Bleiler are exhausted, not too likely] Oh, wait ……. [drumroll] ……. none of these are linkable!!!! And I would bet my pension they never will be. This means that unless one owns a copy of the book[s] they are completely and utterly useless - merely a pretentious aping of a pretentious bookseller. And the fact that they are being deliberately hidden should say all one needs to know about their value. Even in this ‘text me [I can’t spell]’ age the alphabet is all one needs. And, gasp, each book has a ‘How to use this book’ section in the front! Wow! Who’d a-thought that! The idea that anyone who owns copies of the books we use for most secondary verifications couldn’t find an entry without the 'hidden treasures’ is ludicrous. On a slightly different plane: the current formulation of this non-data makes it look like the notes came from the sources being hidden. Posit for just a dreamish second: should any of the above sources be digitized, now every single one of these numerical delights would need to be removed. It’s been how many months of work to get a portion of the OCLC links/numbers moved and that started at only 60,000?

The opening of this particular door is dangerous. It tells any prospective new editor they can add anything they want as long as they hide it. Yes, the moderators should catch/nip most of this in the bud but what happens when it’s a moderator? If this succession of edits had been done by a non-mod we wouldn’t be having this discussion. So much actual, real data gets put in notes that belongs at a whole different level. A revision gets noted thirty times in records instead of once at the title level. Addresses of publishers [yes, we get those, and I don’t mean ones used to identify nefarious printings by Ace] when we have a whole page for each publisher. I love the ones where the nano-second a magazine shows up in a mailbox gets noted - how does that get past a moderator?? Just musing, folks. Not condemning anyone specific, but sometimes the urge to clear the queue [other than by rejecting everything] just takes over. Been there, done that. It seems that the Idea of “if it’s on the copyright page it has to go in the notes” is taking over and it’s just so much junk. If it doesn’t distunguish the edition/printing for that specific record, it shouldn’t be there. We have other places for real data that transcends any individual printing. But there’s still no place for these ridiculous numbers. They should simply be excised until that far distant day when/if the book[s] are linkable. Not data, not content, just clutter [hidden or not].

_________________________________________________________ FIN _____________________________________________________________________

Please do not reply here. If anyone wants to discuss/disect/decry the above, move it somewhere else. In about a week I’ll delete it and post something similar to Michael’s page. Being here just isn’t as much fun as it used to be, but I’m still a bibliographer at heart and there’s just SO many books. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Bluesman (talkcontribs) .

I don't know where to, so I'll leave it to someone else to move the discussion. As a new member of the community, I'm trying to understand what the discussion is about. My summary would be as follows:
  1. We are a bibliographical project, which implies that we identify publications from available sources and record them. Sources can be:
    • book in hand
    • secondary sources
  2. We reference secondary sources that we've used to define a pub (and information pertaining to that pub). These references go into the External ID field for linkable ID's; they go into the secondary verification checkboxes if the reference sources are not readily available; or they go into the Notes as a last resort.
  3. Reginald, Bleiler etc. are secondary sources for pub data, so can be referenced as per 2. above.
My first question: is this correct?
Assuming it is, then my understanding is that the discussion boils down to whether or not Reginald, Bleiler etc. recordID's are secondary source references (which they are, aren't they?) that warrant addition to the pub record, right?
I understand Bluesman argues they are not because they are not references to source records that are readily available to the user of the ISFDB (unlike the other references we link to). Ron, I assume, argues they are refrenceID's to source data, so as per 2. above, can be added even if they rare useless to the majority of ISFDB users.
Does this about sum it up? MagicUnk 06:38, 17 December 2018 (EST)
The substantive issues associated with secondary IDs that we can't link to were last discussed in June 2018. As I wrote at the time, it's a tricky issue to address programmatically. There are different scenarios which makes it hard to come up with a single software solution the way we came up with a software solution for External IDs in May 2017:
  • The main problem is our secondary verification sources vary quite a bit. Some, e.g. Reginald and Bleier, have stable IDs. Some, e.g. Locus 1, have unstable URLs which change over time. Some, e.g. Tuck and the Clutes, do not have IDs. (Not to mention that the Clutes do not include publication details except for "US/UK/etc".)
At the time the consensus was that we should not be removing these IDs from notes. Bluesman did not participate in that discussion and went on hiatus around the same time.
The issue that arose when Bluesman returned in November 2018 was procedural: can moderators go against the consensus and change our data based on personal preferences? Here is the timeline:
  • On November 10 Bluesman wrote in response to Ron's June report of the reached consensus and a request to abide by it: "Not likely ..........." In response, I wrote "that the consensus was not to remove catalog numbers (from secondary sources) from notes. If you would like to restart this discussion, please post on the Moderator Noticeboard." Bluesman did not respond.
  • On November 19, after a confirmed report of some of these IDs getting deleted, I wrote: "As stated in Moderator Qualifications, moderators must "comply with the consensus gained on the ISFDB Wiki on the resolution of various bibliographic debates". We all have our individual preferences, but if we start deleting data that other editors have entered in accordance with Policy and consensus, the project will quickly fall apart. We can't let that happen; please reconsider and abide by consensus."
  • Bluesman responded with "I will definitely restart this discussion", at which point I wrote "Sounds good. Please refrain from making any changes to these IDs until and unless the consensus has been changed."
  • On December 5, there was another confirmed report of IDs getting deleted. In response, I wrote: "We can't have moderators go against the consensus. Can I have your assurances that it won't happen again until and unless the consensus changes?" Bluesman did not respond.
  • On December 8 Bluesman overwrote his Talk page with the "Blanking Data" text posted above. When I asked him about the deletion of his Talk page, he claimed that "There were no unresolved posts."
  • On December 13 I wrote "My question remains unresolved. It's an important question since, as I said, we can't have moderators go against the consensus. Can I have your assurances, please?"
  • Later on December 13 there was another confirmed report of Bluesman deleting IDs from notes. That's when I wrote "I have confirmed that you deleted an ID earlier today in spite of multiple requests not to go against the consensus. As I have repeatedly said, this goes against what is stated in Moderator Qualifications. Your moderator privileges have been suspended until I get assurances that this will not happen again."
As per Bluesman's post above, he can't give assurances that he won't go against the consensus in the future. His moderator privileges will remain suspended for as long as it remains the case. His ISFDB account remains active and he can create submissions, but he won't be able to moderate them. Ahasuerus 09:07, 17 December 2018 (EST)
Hi Ahasuerus. The intent of my post was to better understand the issue at hand. Even though being courteous is important, I do not intend to discuss behaviour here (whether it is appropriate or not - as it isn't all that fruitful imo).
It is my understanding that the current consensus is put up for discussion again. I'm interested in seeing arguments for and against. I'm not entirely clear as to the rationale for inclusion of these numbers. What is their added value? I still don't understand the reason for the heated debate. Rtrace, why do you want these ID's included in the notes, what do you use it for, what is your rationale? And Bluesman, I infer from your comments that having bloated notes is frowned upon, the numbers discussion merely an example of a wider issue that you're seeing - why is that and can you enlighten a newbie? Thanks! --MagicUnk 16:03, 17 December 2018 (EST)
I think having the numbers (or other references like that) is very helpful. True, not everyone has access to all of the sources, but that doesn't make them any less valuable. Having the sources makes the entries here more useful to everyone, as they can always visit a library or ask someone who has the source to provide additional details if needed. It makes ISFDB a great place to reference as it shows we've done our homework when adding information. Removing the information diminishes that. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 18:02, 17 December 2018 (EST)
I don't really want to re-litigate the substance here. However, Bluesman's above repost from his talk page misstates the narrative and sets up several straw men and I'll address that. The original discussions began in 2015. Unfortunately, Bluesman has deleted the archives of his talk page, but his first objections to catalog numbers can be found in this page history if you search for the heading "Pohl's Star Science Fiction". The relevant R&S discussions can be found here and here. Despite Bluesman's implications that the R&S discussions resulted in a consensus to prohibit such data, I don't consider either of these discussions to have resulted in a consensus. I was surprised that the data was at all controversial and seeing no policy that prohibits such data in the notes, I would assume that a new prohibition would be required in order to bar its addition. Absent a consensus to prohibit such data, to my mind, it is allowed. When I noticed that the data was being deleted without notice, and after a fruitless discussion with Bluesman, I brought this before the moderators in this forum here where I believe that a consensus was finally achieved. The rest of story is covered in Ahasuerus's above post. The straw men are Bluesman's contention that someone will want to add catalog numbers from Tuck, Curry and the Clute encyclopedias. Since none of these sources have catalog numbers, this isn't an issue. He also suggests that I'm attempting to hide this data because I somehow think it's improper. The truth is that placing the data below the {{break}} tag was a suggestion by Ahasuerus here, as an attempt to mollify Bluesman. I would actually prefer not to to put this data below the break, but have continued to do so as an attempt to compromise (Clearly, it doesn't have the desired effect. Do I need to continue putting these below the break?). My arguments for the inclusion of this data are in the discussions that I've cited. If someone really wants to start a a new discussion to change the consensus, I'll of course participate, but I feel that I've made my case several times. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 19:44, 17 December 2018 (EST)

Capturing IDs in a Structured Way

One other advantage of having these IDs in the database is that their presence makes it possible to check for gaps in our coverage. Since Reginald used sequential numbers (000001 through 37651) for first editions, we could easily create a cleanup report to look for gaps. Of course, it would be even easier to implement and display if we captured these IDs in a more structured way. Ahasuerus 16:49, 18 December 2018 (EST)

So are we back to "Let's have a non-linking External IDs" in their own list? And these will be extremely easy to move programmatically - they are very well (and predictably) structured in their notes - almost always alone on a line - so we can parse and dump the line... :) Annie 18:31, 18 December 2018 (EST)
I can think of two different programmatic solutions:
  • Create a new set of fields that would be similar to the "External IDs" box but without the linking
  • Modify the logic behind External IDs to allow non-linking IDs
The second solution would be much easier to implement. I suspect that it would also be more intuitive for users and editors. Ahasuerus 22:00, 18 December 2018 (EST)
I'd vote for the second approach. It also has the built-in capability to switch non-linking to linking with a simple server edit (as opposed to some type of reclassification depending on the design). Annie 22:19, 18 December 2018 (EST)
In theory (I'm sure this isn't practicable) it'd be nice to have IDs associated with the secondary verification checkboxes. The numbers that people are defending the usefulness of are ones where the book itself was considered useful enough to add to secondary verifications. In the case of Reginald, it would be very nice to have the reference number displayed next to the verification; more complicated in the case of OCLC where there can be multiple numbers. We have many OCLC numbers without Worldcat verification checked and vice versa, and it's somewhat redundant to have both. --Vasha (cazadora de tildes) 18:33, 18 December 2018 (EST)
Interesting points, some of them in line with what I have been thinking. I will mull it over and respond tomorrow. Ahasuerus 22:44, 18 December 2018 (EST)
Most of the external IDs are defacto verifications anyway - just not against the usual American sources and we do not keep record of who added them... For a Russian book I am much more likely to trust and check FantLab than OCLC and most of the information will come from the Russian source. Same for SFBG for Bulgarian, DNB for German and so on. And most editors had treated these as verification sources - by noting differences between sources. Just saying... Annie 23:20, 18 December 2018 (EST)
I wonder how it'd look to have both external IDs and verifications in the same section. Some sources of data would be numberable, some verifiable, and some both; some numbers would be linking and others not. Would just need suitable design to be legible. --Vasha (cazadora de tildes) 23:32, 18 December 2018 (EST)
I have just deployed a couple of cleanup reports to look for discrepancies between OCLC verifications and External IDs. It's a good example of how the two types of data are related.
Having said that, the two sections currently capture somewhat different types of data. Obviously, the External ID section captures linked IDs, which is very useful. On the other hand, the Secondary Verifications section lets you choose "N/A", which the External IDs section doesn't support at this time. It also records the date of the verification and the name of the verifier, which can not be changed except by the verifier. Also, unlike External IDs, verifications can be added without moderatorial oversight. I have also noticed that some editors become attached to their verifications.
I think tighter integration between External IDs and secondary verifications is worth considering. We just need to figure out how to reconcile the differences that I outlined in the previous paragraph. Ahasuerus 19:48, 19 December 2018 (EST)
The two don't have to be "linked" in order to be displayed together; it could be more like two parallel columns --perhaps start the left column with external IDs that don't have verifications, then begin a column of verifications on the right, with matching numbers associated on the appropriate line on the left. Just a thought.
As for better data entry linking, one possibility would be to have a space to enter an associated number on the 2ndary verification form (OCLC having a "+" for multiple numbers). The numbers would be sent to a moderated submission but the verifications would just go through automatically. --Vasha (cazadora de tildes) 20:08, 19 December 2018 (EST)
I've been reading through the historical material (well, tried to), and it seems to me the current dispute could be solved by adding non-linking external ID's. Why not be pragmatic, and implement the 2nd proposal from Ahasuerus (ie Modify the logic behind External IDs to allow non-linking IDs)? It wouldn't really change anything from the current practice. After all, we're already adding oclc's and check the corresponding verification flag. I can't imagine that that would be a lot of effort (but what do I really know about coding the ISFDB, right? :)). Granted, that wouldn't all that be efficient, but hey, it would be a start and better than what we have now. As for the integration of verification and referencing, yes that could (should?) be done, but as a future enhancement as I'm sure that that would cost considerably more dev'pment effort.
Again, if this non-linking ext ID thingy can be implemented 'quickly', I believe it'd bring back tranquillity to the community (or at least has the potential to), don't you think? MagicUnk 06:27, 20 December 2018 (EST)
There is always a balance between:
  • going after the "low-hanging fruit" which can be done quickly but may have to be reworked later on, and
  • implementing a long-term solution which takes longer to implement but is more likely to be permanent
An important factor to consider is whether a short-term solution would require more work down the road once a permanent solution is put into place. For example, the way we handled non-English titles prior to 2011 required a complete revamp once language support was added.
In this case allowing non-linking External IDs for Reginald, Bleiler, etc appears to be a low-risk proposition. Even if we end up implementing a different solution at some future point, it should be easy to move structured IDs to a different field(s).
In addition, we may want to have support for non-linking External IDs for other reasons. For example, if an external database were to go off-line, our links would become dead and would need to be deactivated. We wouldn't want to delete the IDs in case the site is eventually resurrected, but there are examples of bibliographic sites getting merged (like Shelfari) or becoming frozen (like the European Library.) Conversely, it's possible that some secondary sources may become available online at some point in the future.
For these reasons I think it would be worth adding support for non-linking External IDs sooner rather than later. We currently have around 4,000 Reginald IDs in Notes. It would be better to migrate them to a separate field while the number is still manageable. I will copy this proposal to the Community Portal where more editors will have a chance to eyeball it. Ahasuerus 16:21, 20 December 2018 (EST)

Reginald, et. al. Linking

One of the objections raised above is that these numbers are not linkable and that one needs to own the physical book for them to be referenced. This is not quite accurate. The Internet Archive has some of the secondary verification sources available. I know Reginald1 & Bleiler78 are there. I did not check all the others so there may be more. The catch though is these titles are part of their library which means you have to have an account (which is free), you have to check them out, and only one person can check them out at a time (for 14 days & they provide a wait list function). We could provide a linking though using the page number since the Internet Archive supports linking to specific pages. The external ID entry could be "page-number|entry-number". So for example, take A Walk with the Beast, the Reginald1 entry could be "112|03204" that would display "03204", but link to This would take you to the book and when you login and check out the book, it would open to page 112 which shows the entry. I'm not saying this ideal (or even that it's a good solution), but it is an option. -- JLaTondre (talk) 19:53, 18 December 2018 (EST)

Perhaps we could include instructions like what you wrote above as part of the popup and on the description help page. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 12:06, 19 December 2018 (EST)
I think it's worth adding to the relevant Help page. Ahasuerus 19:33, 19 December 2018 (EST)

Your Talk page

I noticed that the text that you added yesterday overwrote the previous version of the Talk page. Did you mean to create a new section or perhaps archive the page? If you'd like help with archiving, please let me know and I'll create a new archival sub-page. Ahasuerus 12:52, 9 December 2018 (EST)

There were no unresolved posts. I am quite familiar with how to archive, it just wasn't necessary. --~ Bill, Bluesman 23:16, 10 December 2018 (EST)
Re: unresolved posts, my last reply prior to the data getting overwritten was:
  • There is a Moderator Noticeboard report of your removal of IDs earlier today. As I mentioned earlier, as per Moderator Qualifications moderators must "comply with the consensus gained on the ISFDB Wiki on the resolution of various bibliographic debates". We can't have moderators go against the consensus. Can I have your assurances that it won't happen again until and unless the consensus changes? Ahasuerus 15:55, 5 December 2018 (EST)
My question remains unresolved. It's an important question since, as I said, we can't have moderators go against the consensus. Can I have your assurances, please?
In addition, we archive resolved Talk page discussions rather than delete them. They are a valuable source of supporting information in case similar issues arise in the future. Please use Wiki history to restore the overwritten data and archive it. Ahasuerus 15:50, 13 December 2018 (EST)
I have confirmed that you deleted an ID earlier today in spite of multiple requests not to go against the consensus. As I have repeatedly said, this goes against what is stated in Moderator Qualifications. Your moderator privileges have been suspended until I get assurances that this will not happen again. Ahasuerus 22:40, 13 December 2018 (EST)
I have restored your Talk page and archived November 2017 through May 2018. Ahasuerus 17:13, 15 December 2018 (EST)

Replies: the simplest first - since all 'traffic' is forever, indelibly etched in the Wiki pages, why is archiving even considered? For me it would mean recording my seemingly endless supply of typos [never took that class in high school] or those one-off particular refinements of a single record. Hardly earth-shatteringly important. So it goes ...

As for the 'assurance' part. To agree to that would be, to me, tantamount to a personal betrayal of every reason I exist here at all. Imagine collaborating with a group to build a 'Habitat-for-Humanity' house only to have one participant decide [without letting anyone know beforehand] to carve their initials in the solid-oak front door [just because someone else did it for entirely different reasons] and be forced to just 'accept' that [while the other participants stand by and note only that the carving was 'neatly done']. Can't do it. Not built that way. The better part of ten years have been spent here. Made some friends, Willem, Hervè [remember him?] Annie, Ahasuerus [there's still hope] and others. The changes have been enormous, from the globalization of the Moderator base, the database, and [I erroneously thought] the maturity of it all. This database was considered a joke by many during its formative years [and, quite frankly and for different reasons is still thought of as such by some] but it has progressed to the point where it's being cited as a source [albeit by OCLC, whatever that's worth]. Sad to see this obvious and ill-conceived diminution of the central core of the reason for its existence. Anything of this magnitude should have been cleared BEFORE inception, not seek belated approval five years later [and from a twisted perspective]. From the above posts, transcribed from my talk page, it is obvious that 'double-secret probation' is not an option, though that would definitely add to the farcical nature of this situation. To think that I get the shaft for the same thing as the git doesn't get for basically the same transgression is just too choice. So it goes. If the hangman's noose is the future, so be it [it's just a cyberspace neck .............]. Cheers! --~ Bill, Bluesman 23:07, 16 December 2018 (EST) [I'm amazed I got through that without the dreaded 'www' epithet - Lord Longley would have been proud, and likely laughing his butt off .......] ;-))))

Comparing removal of valid data to some odd "carving your initials on an oak door" scenario makes no sense. It's more akin to multiple other people hanging all the doors in the house, and then you coming along and removing them, and persisting in doing so despite being asked multiple times to stop. Part of the maturity you mention is abiding by the decisions made by the group as a whole. The group as a whole decided the data should remain in the notes, and you kept removing it. You were creating needless extra work.
There are several things I think should be done differently here, but discussions were had and the decision was made to do things differently than what I would prefer, so I abide by that. I'm sure everyone here has similar situations where they think another way might be better. However, once the decision has been made as a group, we all must abide by the decision until and unless it is changed in a future discussion. Everyone has to do that or, as Ahasuerus wrote, the project will fall apart.
Sneakily removing valid data entered by others simply because you don't think it belongs, especially after being asked repeatedly to not do so, is simply immature and not conducive to working in a collaborative environment. You were given several chances to stop the removals, yet you persisted in the behavior. The consequences were entirely inevitable when you refused to change your behavior (especially since Ahasuerus specifically mentioned the consequences at least once before implementing them). I enjoy your contributions here, and I hope you continue to contribute. Perhaps, eventually, you will understand why your actions were so frustrating to us. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 13:36, 17 December 2018 (EST)

Development server redux

After fixing the development server a few weeks ago, I hoped that it would last until the end of Windows 7's extended support in January 2020. Unfortunately, it looks like the hardware gods had other plans. I am currently starting the process of getting a new server, migrating the development environment to it, making Fixer work under Windows 10 and so on. It shouldn't be a showstopper, but it will affect the development schedule. Always something... Ahasuerus 00:42, 23 November 2018 (EST)

The new development server is up and running. The core ISFDB software is working fine, but, as expected, Fixer needs a bunch of upgrades to be fully operational under Windows 10. I wish I hadn't chosen Windows as Fixer's habitat 10 years ago, but oh well. Back to the salt mines... Ahasuerus 23:38, 3 December 2018 (EST)
Fixer is up and running on the new development server. Back to development. Ahasuerus 13:25, 9 December 2018 (EST)

The Snows of Olympus

As the editor who verified this pub is no longer active, I'm posting here that I have added to the contents the Prologue and Introduction records for Clarke's The Snows of Olympus. The Note already states that the same print was used as for the Gollancz first edition which I have verified. PeteYoung 02:30, 30 November 2018 (EST)

Author correction from the author

Hello, this is one of your listed authors, Adele Gardner. Thank you so much for the detailed listing of my works! I just wanted to request that you list me as the primary name and Lyn C. A. Gardner as the subsidiary. I have been publishing only as Adele Gardner since 2012. Here is a history of my bylines:

  • Carolyn Adele Gardner, used rarely, but will be used again. Note, this is my legal name, but I do not like to be called Carolyn.
  • C. A. Gardner, used primarily from 1984-2008
  • Lyn Gardner, used sporadically starting in 1991, will not be used again
  • Deirdre Ni Fionnula, used primarily around 1991-1998 but will not be used again
  • Lyn C. A. Gardner, used from 2008-2012, will not be used again. Note, as the least-used of my bylines, it should not be the "parent" name.
  • Adele Gardner, used exclusively since 2012, will continue to be my primary pen name. Note, this is my name as an active member of SFWA and HWA.

The author states regarding the use of her name: "Adele lives and writes under her middle name to honor her father, mentor, and namesake, Delbert R. Gardner, for whom she serves as literary executor." These facts can be confirmed if necessary at my website,, or by writing to me at Thanks for your help! Adele —The preceding unsigned comment was added by AdeleGardner (talkcontribs) .

We utilize the most common name as the parent name. This is done to make it easier for readers. In your case, it's relatively evenly split between Lyn C. A. Gardner and Adele Gardner. Since you are no longer using Lyn C. A. Gardner, it would only be a matter of time before Adele Gardner was the dominate form and we flipped them. I will go ahead and do that now. Thanks. -- JLaTondre (talk) 11:11, 26 December 2018 (EST)
Let me point out that by the author's request, we use Willis Couvillier as that author's canonical name even though he publishes far more often as WC Roberts. --Vasha (cazadora de tildes) 20:47, 26 December 2018 (EST)

Update Marc De Bel

Hi, can someone update the canonical name of Marc De Bel to Marc de Bel. Turns out his name is written with lower-case 'd'. Thanks. MagicUnk 07:12, 30 December 2018 (EST)

Done. -- JLaTondre (talk) 13:38, 31 December 2018 (EST)

Update canonical name Jos Vandeloo

Hello, there's a typo in the name of author Jos Vanderloo. It should read Jos Vandeloo. Can somebody update it? Thanks! MagicUnk 13:34, 31 December 2018 (EST)

Done. -- JLaTondre (talk) 13:37, 31 December 2018 (EST)