User talk:Merlene

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This editor is no longer actively participating and is unlikely to respond to messages left here.

If this user is the sole verifier of a publication record, please:

  • post only notices on the user's talk page concerning the addition of images and notes
  • post inquiries regarding any other changes to the verified record at the Moderator noticeboard

Otherwise, please post notices and inquiries only on the talk pages of the other primary verifiers.


Hello, Merlene, and welcome to the ISFDB Wiki! I hope you like the place and decide to stay. Here are some pages that you might find helpful:

Note: Image uploading isn't entirely automated. You're uploading the files to the wiki which will then have to be linked to the database by editing the publication record.

Please be careful in editing publications that have been primary verified by other editors. See Help:How to verify data#Making changes to verified pubs. But if you have a copy of an unverified publication, verifying it can be quite helpful. See Help:How to verify data for detailed information.

I hope you enjoy editing here! Please sign your name on talk pages using four tildes (~~~~); this will insert your name and the date. If you need help, check out the community portal, or ask me on my talk page. Again, welcome! —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Mhhutchins (talkcontribs) .

Whipping Star by Herbert

I accepted the submission updating this publication record. We ask that you do a verification of the record if you have a copy of the book. If you don't have the book, please note the source of the data in the record's note field. Here is a link to the help page that explains how to verify a record. Thanks for contributing. Mhhutchins 19:48, 29 July 2011 (UTC)

I added the required license tag to the image file you uploaded for Whipping Star. The best way to add cover images is to use the semi-automated method: go to the record of the book you want to upload the image for, and click "Upload cover scan" (or "Upload new cover scan", if there's one already there) and follow the directions. This will create and add the license tag automatically. The only thing after that you need to do is to update the record by adding the URL of the image you just uploaded. Thanks. Mhhutchins 00:49, 30 July 2011 (UTC)

The Blood Artists

Hi. I accepted your submission of The Blood Artists. I moved the "Jacket design by..." information from the Artist field to the notes and made the artist credit be simply Richard L. Aquan. We use a person's name, or a company's name if no person credited, putting any further detail in the notes (for example, sometimes we get "jacket art by xyz" plus "jacket design by abc", in which case we only credit xyz). You should be able to upload the full cover scan -- it doesn't have to be a scan of just the front. If you were not able to scan it in one piece, you will need to put all of the pieces together into one jpg or gif (e.g., using Paint on Windows) and upload that. Thanks, and thank you for contributing. --MartyD 10:46, 15 September 2011 (UTC)


If you have some, we want them! As mentioned elsewhere, the want-list would be really, really long, so letting us know what you can fill in would be good. BLongley 02:03, 18 September 2011 (UTC)

Saberhagen's The Books of the Gods: Part One

Hi Merlene. I have your submission to change the date of this pub from 2001-01-00 to 2000-12-00. Is this date actually stated in the book itself? Our source for the current date is Locus1, but that may have been the date they received the book. Thanks for checking. Mhhutchins 20:43, 22 September 2011 (UTC)

On the copyright page about 3/4 of the way down the page it says--First SFBC Fantasy printing December 2000.
BTW, I find it very confusing here--the project is huge, with many instructions (which I read), that are very complicated and many times I don't understand them. I love science fiction and have thousands and thousands of books. I want very much to help as much as I can. For example, is there someplace that tells how to use this talk page--I look, and search for things--but somehow I am just not "getting it". I am sorry to bother you like this, but I have been a user on the site for years and never realized until recently that you could JUST JOIN, and contribute. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Merlene (talkcontribs) .
I very much understand your frustration at how editor-unfriendly this project truly is. My one consolation is that if you stick around, it will eventually come together and be easier. The learning curve here is extremely steep for newcomers but will flatten out with experience.
  • First, to edit a user talk page (or any Wiki page): go here and just read the first section, "Editing basics" which is practically everything you'll ever need to know in order to communicate on the Wiki. There are tricks with formatting displays and the such but all are unnecessary for basic communication between editors.
  • Second: if you need help before you make a submission: post a message on the Help Desk page. It shouldn't take long for it to be answered.
  • Third, editing the database: the best place to start learning to edit (either a current record or adding a record) is this How To page. These basic questions lead to help pages which have practically everything you'll need to start. If it becomes too complicated or uneasy to comprehend, just post a message at the Help Desk linked above and someone will be able to step you through the process.
I truly hope this helps. We need people like you who have the books and are willing to update, enter and verify records. You're really appreciated. Thanks for contributing. Mhhutchins 23:09, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
Seconded! Please add, correct, and verify to the best of your abilities and we'll support you all the way. And please do point out where things are confusing - we do need to improve help, and a few of us can actually improve the software too, if you point out where it is unintuitive or even "broken". BLongley 01:37, 28 September 2011 (UTC)
I've updated the pub record with the information that you provided. Please feel free to add to the note field any other information that you think is important for the record to contain. The more the better, but only as much as you're able to provide. Thanks. Mhhutchins 23:13, 22 September 2011 (UTC)

The Reaches

I added a note to your verified pub The Reaches. Thanks - Kevin 23:03, 1 October 2011 (UTC)

Kenneth Grahame's Pagan Papers

I have the submission to add a pub for this title, but I'm not sure if its eligible for the database. I've read some of the pieces on the Project Gutenberg website and they appear to be personal essays, not fiction at all. Do you have any further insight that would suggest that the title does belong in the database? Thanks. Mhhutchins 01:54, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

The book is old enough to be in the Public Domain, in the U.S. that is. So, I just searched and grabbed a site with the entire publication: (sorry, I don't know how to hotlink this). If you want to glance through it, it is actually quite small when printed in a small font and single space. I took the info from my copy and it is my feeling that it is very fantastical. Grahame, as did many other late-Victorian writers, openly embraced the neopaganist views of the period and many of these stories are an extension of his beliefs. There some instances when Grahame does discuss something in the first person, but I think, much as a poet does--he uses it as a stepping stone. If you look at "The Lost Centaur" and "Orion", I think they are gorgeously evocative examples of the volume. --It's your call.Trisha 02:53, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
Looking over a few of the "stories" (which stretches the definition of the term to its outermost boundaries), I can still find only a few that could be considered "fantastical". Yes, marvelous language, very poetic, often clever, even whimsical but little in the form of speculative fiction. I found this description of the book:
Years before he wrote The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame published a very different sort of book: Pagan Papers, a wry, witty, wide-ranging collection of eighteen irresistible essays. Strolling, loafing, smoking, collecting books and pondering, the author muses on the human condition. What to do about relatives who are in the way? What is the proper punishment for a bookbinder who takes too long at his job? Are free libraries an unmixed blessing? More seriously: Can nothing make it worth our while not to quarrel with our fellows? Which is more desirable: memory or forgetfulness? Are we irrevocably cut off from the natural world, or might there still be a way back to it?
It pretty much describes what I read in my light perusal. Perhaps I'm not the person to make the decision about whether it should be in the database, although I often lean toward inclusion in borderline cases. I'm going to release the hold and allow another moderator the chance to look at the submission. Thanks. Mhhutchins 03:56, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
I totally see your point and as I am completely new here at isfdb this is a good part of my learning experience. Really, I think it should just be cancelled. Thanks Trisha 13:12, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

Level 7

I have removed the "series" from the title of the "Library of American Fiction" publication series in this record, as being redundant. According to this OCLC record, the book has xlix roman-numbered pages and an introduction by David Seed. I can add the introduction if you wish, but I'd need to know if it has a title other than "Introduction". Thanks. Mhhutchins 01:29, 5 October 2011 (UTC)

Just got the book today, I don't know if you use/need any or all of this Table of Contents, it is on page seven, or where to enter this so let me give you this in its entirety:
 Introduction by David Seed   ix
 Looking Back in Wonder: The Author's Reminiscences and Reflections   xxix
 Preface  by The Martian Institute for Archaeological Excavations in the Solar System   xlv
 Level 7   1
 Appendix A: Training the Nuclear Warrior: A Manual for Level 7  185
 Appendix B: The Politics of Ratology (a fantasy)    191
 Further Reading    203

I hope this helps/makes sense and I hope I am not being too much trouble.Trisha 02:53, 5 October 2011 (UTC)

The submission updating this record was accepted, but there's a couple of issues to deal with. First, a question: are the SHORTFICTION pieces (starting on pages xlv, 185 and 191) actually part of the novel? If so, we don't give them separate records. Do you know if they're new to this particular edition of the novel? (Perhaps somewhere in the introductions this may be mentioned.) Next, the piece titled "Further Reading 203" should be typed as ESSAY, not NONFICTION, which is reserved for book-length works of nonfiction, or essay collections. Also the author "Suggested by David Seed", should be changed to simply "David Seed". And I suspect the "203" is a typo.
Another ISFDB standard is to disambiguate generic titles by adding the title of the work parenthetically to the piece's title. So the "Introduction" should be titled "Introduction (Level 7)", and "Further Reading 203" should be "Further Reading (Level 7)". I can make these changes for you, but I suggest that it would be good practice to do it yourself. Either way, it's a good lesson. These are common errors that every editor make when learning the ins and outs of ISFDB data entry. Mhhutchins 15:46, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
Item #1: Preface by The Martian Institute for Archaeological Excavations in the Solar System xlv Mordecai Roshwald wrote this "Preface" to his novel Level 7 but it was not included until 2003 because it was felt that it was just one big "spoiler". The pretense is that long, long after the earth is decimated another group of beings are living on Mars, send an archaeology team to earth and that they write a report on the devastation. They find a "journal", cannot decide whether it is truth or fiction, and offer it in their report stating, "Still, for the sake of mental curiosity we reproduce the Diary of Push-Button Officer X-127. May the reader form his own opinion about the problem involved."
Appendix A, page 185 was published in "The Nation" 4/2/1960 and Appendix B, page 191 was published in "The Nation" 9/17/1960. They were supposed to be two chapters from a new novel by Mordecai Roshwald, but he never went further with it.
Mhhutchins, I gave Martian Preface a separate record so that what I submitted matches the book's Table of Contents numbering scheme--the info on my 10/5 post above is an exact match to the books "Contents" page. Please let me know how you would like this handled. I originally went to "Help" and tried a search on both Index and Preface but did not getting any help in how this should be handled--where might that information be?Trisha 16:55, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
The rule about disambiguating generic titles is under the "Standard" Titles subsection in the Title subheading of the General Contents (2.2) subsection of this page. This is a very important page as it outlines just about everything you'll need to know about entering a new pub to the database. It looks like another moderator has accepted your changes to the record, and everything looks good. Mhhutchins 16:58, 6 October 2011 (UTC)

Wild Magic by Tamora Peirce

Can you confirm that the publisher of this 1992 book is stated as "Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Division" under the Atheneum imprint? My research shows that Simon & Schuster didn't purchase Atheneum until 1994, and in 1992 it was still an imprint of Macmillan. This may be wrong, and your checking the book will really help us determine exactly when the transfer of the imprint occurred. Also, is the name "Atheneum Books for Young Readers" stated anywhere in the book? Thanks. Mhhutchins 17:16, 12 October 2011 (UTC)

The first two lines of the copyright page read
  Atheneum Books for Young Readers
  An imprint of Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Division
I ran a search on this and the wiki for each company says 1992, so I see what you are saying. I also searched on the book and author--the wiki for Tamora Pierce and Wild Magic plus the listing for Wild Magic all show the information as I have reported it from the book's copyright page. I don't know what else to say, it doesn't make sense. If you would like more info I can send you a scan of the copyright page. Trisha 15:20, 13 October 2011 (UTC)
Just a few more things: please check for a date of publication and/or a number line. Does the record's cover, price and ISBN match your copy? Thanks for checking. I may be wrong about the year of formation of the "Atheneum Books for Young Readers" imprint, unless your copy is a later printing. Mhhutchins 15:45, 13 October 2011 (UTC)
The record gives the publisher as Atheneum / Macmillan (who owned Atheneum in 1992). Simon & Schuster didn't buy Atheneum until 1994 if my research is correct. What is the worldcat record number that matches your book? Mhhutchins 15:48, 13 October 2011 (UTC)
Ahah, my book is a first edition, fourth printing. Thank you for catching that, it should have been in the notes. (When I searched worldcat I got this page which only says Atheneum--???) I think it is a sign for me to take some time off--I shouldn't have made a mistake that was that simple. Illness in the family is more distracting than I thought--sorry, Trisha 16:17, 13 October 2011 (UTC)
BTW, I have only encountered you and BLongley, but I have to tell you, you are both amazing. Both in the amount of time you put into this and the level of detail you work at. Thank youTrisha 16:22, 13 October 2011 (UTC)
I appreciate your kind words (as I'm sure Bill will if he happens to be reading this.) Your mistake is very common for new editors. I've recently gone back to do double checks on my early verifications and I've found at least a dozen books that were not first printings and have had to create new records for them. So don't kick yourself over this relatively minor error (you'd be surprised how many bigger errors I've committed and discovered later.) Thanks for contributing. Mhhutchins 18:14, 13 October 2011 (UTC)
Yes, it's very much appreciated - the Contributors and Moderator pages record plain numbers but it's only personal feedback that tells us how well we do it. And we both started off with the same sort of mistakes and have tried our best to educate rather than criticise since - hopefully the newer Moderators will treat you as well. Thanks for sticking with us - it does get easier with experience! BLongley 18:53, 13 October 2011 (UTC)
I've accepted your submission updating the record and have done some minor tweaking. The publisher was changed to "Atheneum Books for Young Readers". We usually don't record the imprint and the publisher unless they're both stated on the title page, but there's no hard-fast stated rule about it. In fact, there was one particular editor who found it necessary to record Imprint / Publisher / Division / Corporation, but we try to discourage such thoroughness! I also removed the date of publication, because the first printing was in October 1992. So any subsequent printing would have a later date, which most publishers, like Atheneum, do not record in the the book itself. I also "de-personalized" the note about this being the fourth printing. It's better to state "this publication", "this printing" or "the verified copy of the book", etc. rather than "my copy". Thanks. Mhhutchins 18:24, 13 October 2011 (UTC)

Whole collections reprinted intact in another publication

Concerning the Note to Moderator that you submitted in a record update for this pub: if it's clearly stated, and definitely separated and presented as a reprint of two earlier collections, you can add a content title record for the collection. Looking at the contents in this book, it appears that only 17 of the 22 stories in The Golden Apples of the Sun are included, and only 13 of the 17 stories in R Is for Rocket. So this book would be considered a new collection (as it is currently typed), not an omnibus. If it reprinted all the stories and presented itself as an omnibus of the two previously published collections, we would change the type to "omnibus" and add title records for the two collections. Because they're not complete, it's best to just note in the book's Note Field how the table of contents separate the stories. This would not be the case if there are separate title pages for the two collections, not just a separation on the contents page. If that's true I'll show you how to update the record.

BTW, it would have been better if your inquiry was presented on the Help Desk page which can be reached through the "Community Portal" link on most Wiki pages. Questions should not be asked in a submission to edit a record. The purpose of the Note to Moderator on record updates (and certain other submissions) is to give the moderator additional information that will help him in the decision to accept the change in the record, and are not intended to be part of the public record. Any questions before the submission should be made at the Help Desk. Thanks. Mhhutchins 04:41, 20 October 2011 (UTC)

The Face of Apollo

Marlene, I'd like to add a couple of things to the notes of, The Face of Apollo: First the LCCN, 97-34384. Second, Jacket design by Carol Russo. Please let me know if this is o.k. with you. Biomassbob 23:34, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

I've gone ahead and made these additions to the comments of this book and to the second book in the series, Ariadne's Web. Let me know if you object, please. Biomassbob 16:29, 11 February 2012 (UTC)

Changer of Worlds

I added some notes to Changer of Worlds by David Weber. Bob 02:30, 31 March 2012 (UTC)


Added cover scan and note to Prelude.SFJuggler 22:06, 5 July 2014 (UTC)

Shusterman's Shattered Sky

Added the Canadian cover price to our verified pub. PeteYoung 17:52, 26 September 2016 (UTC)