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Contents

The Trouble with Tycho What is a novel?

Initial problem

I was massaging Simak the other day and had to re-arrange The Trouble with Tycho since apparently somebody had merged a SERIAL record with a NOVEL record, which affected Marc's verified publication Bring Back Yesterday / The Trouble With Tycho. It looks OK now, but we still have two separate records for The Trouble with Tycho. One of them is a NOVEL and is used in book reprints and the other is a novella and is used in magazine publications. As far as I can tell, the text is the same in both cases -- Double Your Pleasure and Clute/Nicholls seem to agree -- it's just very close to the border line between the two categories, with some reprints taking as little as 77 pages and others taking as many as 115 pages. Assuming that the text is the same, it looks like we have only two choices: make it a NOVEL, in which case its magazine appearances will become Serials, or make it a novella and merge the two records. For what it's worth, Contento lists it as a novella, but I suspect that we are better off with it as a NOVEL since it would be more visible that way. What do you think? Ahasuerus 01:17, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

P.S. I have checked the master backup file and the last couple of merges that affected The Trouble with Tycho were in early 2007. I am sure we have gotten better since then :) Ahasuerus 01:41, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
Early 2007? Maybe around the 2nd of March, when I verified my two copies of the novel? It's probably me that messed it up then. :-/ Still, as I wasn't even proposed as a moderator till the 24th of March, I claim it wasn't a solo cock-up, I had moderator collusion! What idiot let me loose after a mistake like that? Oh, lots of you...
It seems I've only one copy now, so I've improved that: I adjusted the other based on my recollection of a book probably long gone now (maybe I swapped it, or maybe my cleaner has misfiled it). Still, I've been a bad boy and shall now go to bed without any supper and will recheck my Simaks tomorrow. In the meantime, please add lots of notes to each version so Moderators (even ones more sober than me) don't get confused. BLongley 21:36, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
BTW, have we agreed on capitalisation of "with" or "With" recently? BLongley 21:41, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
Not according to Help:Screen:NewNovel, I am afraid. And don't worry, Bill, it wasn't you who mis-merged the Tychos, although we can't be sure which one of the three editors (including yours truly) did it because our audit trail for title merges is incomplete. Hopefully, our auditing capabilities will be improved when Al finishes his "history" project so that we can better identify patterns of questionable submissions and follow up with the submitting/approving editors/moderators. So much has changed over the last couple of years that it's entirely possible that some editors/moderators are using a slightly out of date set of rules. Ahasuerus 01:16, 19 July 2008 (UTC)
I fixed the "With" - thanks. I think we've had this discussion about what to do with those stories that are both novels and novellas. In this case I would make the shortfiction title the "story" and the novel title a "wrapper" meaning the standalone novel publications would include the shortfiction. The novel title would only reference the standalone publications and you would look at the shortfiction to see all the places it was used. We'd need to add a note to the novel's title record. Marc Kupper (talk) 03:39, 19 July 2008 (UTC)
That looks like a vote for "with", Marc - in which case we'd better update Help. (I wouldn't mind adding a few more to the list, as 'Is' looks wrong to me too.) BLongley 17:38, 19 July 2008 (UTC)
If we are going to modify the capitalization rules for one word I would strongly suggest consulting some style manuals and making our overall standard consistent with those manuals. --swfritter 17:47, 19 July 2008 (UTC)
Good point, and yes, we should deal with as many words as possible in one go rather than argue each individually. Do you have a preferred manual in mind? Some quick Googling suggests that not many deal with "title case". R. M. Ritter's "Oxford Manual of Style" (2002), suggests capitalising "the first word and all nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs and adverbs, but generally not articles, conjunctions and short prepositions" - which mostly supports our current list of "and", "the", "a", "an", "for", "of", "in", "on", "by", "at", "from", and "to" - but if "from" is in, "with" should be too, for instance. (No support for my dislike of "Is" though, but maybe if we read the full thing it would expand a bit more.) BLongley 20:09, 19 July 2008 (UTC)
Of course, whoever updates Help also has the wonderful project of changing all of the existing data. Otherwise the lexical matches for book reviews and serials will no longer work if the data is entered inconsistently.--swfritter 17:47, 19 July 2008 (UTC)
It won't be changing ALL of the existing data as most of the debatable words are inconsistent here anyway (people are following the rules they THINK are there rather than the ones that ARE), and I think we can make most changes on a case-by-case basis. (We already do, or am I the only one using "Similar Title Mode" in merges?) The Review lexical matching has gone now, and Serial lexical matching has always been broken anyway, and is Number 2 on Al's To Do list. BLongley 20:09, 19 July 2008 (UTC)
It is kind of nice when there is an auto-link to a review rather than having to do a manual because of a case mismatch. I would describe serial matching as mangled rather than broken. Inconsistent capitalization might make it harder to auto-match titles when it is fixed and the titles are reconciled. Probably need to address this issue independently so everyone knows it is under discussion.--swfritter 17:35, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

Discussion of First Proposed Solution

I am afraid I am having trouble visualizing Marc's proposed solution to the novel/novella problem. Could you please change the Tychos in accordance with your proposal so that we could see what the end result would look like? Thanks! Ahasuerus 03:05, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

  • The NOVEL title record that references the two standalone publications. The publications under this are a little ugly as the contents show both a novel and shortfiction.
  • The SHORTFICTION title record links to all appearances of the story.
Now that I'm looking at it the most awkward aspect are the two novels that have two title records and also the Ace double that has a novel on one side and a shortfiction on the other.
Maybe it'll work better if we consider the "nature of the work" - when a story is published standalone, as part of an Ace double, or in an omnibus then it's a "novel" but it it's in a magazine, anthology, or collection it's a shortfiction?
Another thought for a rule is if a story is ever published in novel format (standalone, or 1/2 of a double) that we have a single title record of type NOVEL for it. There is no shortfiction listing. If a short only appears in chapbooks, magazines, anthologies, and collections then it remains a shortfiction though may be novella or even novel length. I personally like this as then we only would have one title record per story (not counting variant titles) and when you are looking at a publication listing for a magazine or anthology and you see "novel" in the contents you'll know that story has been published in novel format. Marc Kupper (talk) 04:28, 21 July 2008 (UTC)
My feeling is that we should stick strictly to the word-count limits for what makes a novel. If a work of 30,000 words has been published separately, that is a chapbook, not a novel. If two such works are bound together in a double, that is a collection or anthology, not an omnibus, and in either case, the only title record should be a shortfiction one. Contrariwise, if a work of 55,000 words has been included in an anthology or collection, so what, many anthologies include full novels. The sole title record should be for a novel. In any case, i strongly dislike having two different title records for the same work. Furthermore, it is sufficiently common that a work of shortfiction is expanded into a true novel with the same title that having two title records makes it look as if that had happened when it had not. This is not a good idea. -DES Talk 16:59, 21 July 2008 (UTC)
I don't like strict word count limits as the word count is often unknown and the definitions for translating a count into vi, nt, na, nv are at times subjective. That's why I proposed a simpler to externally verify system of if a story's title has appeared on the front cover of a novel or double then the title record would be of type novel but if the story has only appeared in magazines, collections, anthologies, or chapbooks then it would be of type shortfiction. Chapbook would have to be clarified as staple bound and even a very skinny perfect bound book would still qualify the title record to be of type NOVEL through its length field can still be used to explain it's really a novella or shorter. One gray zone would be if the title appears on the cover of what could be classified as either an omnibus or collection. I suspect those would be handled case-by-case and that we'd figure out the word count to see if this should be a shortfiction or novel.
I am in agreement with DES in that I don't like that I created both a novel and shortfiction title record for The Trouble with Tycho as they are the same work. I want to see if others have solutions on if and how these should be merged. BTW - this thread started out with a comment about a merge of type SERIAL with NOVEL. I checked an old backup from May-2007 and we used to have a type SERIAL record for The Trouble with Tycho (complete novel) that was only used by the Amazing Stories, October 1960 magazine appearance. There was also a type NOVEL record that was used by the anthology, Ace double (omnibus), and standalone novel publications. Marc Kupper (talk) 20:05, 21 July 2008 (UTC)
I don't really like that the same work may have a title record as SERIAL, and another as NOVEL, but I do see some reasons for it, and it is true that in many cases the serialized work gets revised or expanded for separate publication (or the serial version was in fact cut). I understand that better handling for serials is near the top of the ToDo list, so I will trust that the results will be improved when that is accomplished.
I don't think that word-count is all that hard to approximate, at least not for anyone with a physical copy: count a few lines to get average words per line, count lines on one or two pages to get lines per page, count pages and multiply out. There will be an error factor, but it will be close enough for our purposes. of course, any work where there is a Gutenberg or other e-text available can yield an exact word count quite easily, and I often do this. And the divisions into ss, nt, and nv may be arbitrary, but they are not subjective, although estimates of word count, particularly if made from page count alone, are somewhat error-prone.
It might be a good idea if for a few representative texts of specific sizes by particular publishers, actual counts were made and saved on a wiki-page somewhere, so that we knew, say, that an Ace pb of the 1960s had typically XX words per page, while a Baen pb of the 1990s had YY words per page. Actual counts can be fairly easily be made by scanning and OCRing, for which i have the software, as do others.
We can change the current word-count-based standard if we choose, but we will then be at odds with the award listings and more at odds with some of the standard references. Your standard would also mean that if we find a new publication of a 30,000 word work as a stand-alone, previously anthology/collection publications would be converted from a novella into a novel. It would also mean that a new publication could retroactively change the type of existing publications. But if that is acceptable to all, we can adopt such a change. But I do think that whatever standard we adopt, having both a NOVEL and a SHORTFICTION title record for the same work is simply an error. it will include confusion. It will mean that a person wanting the answer to the question "Where can i find work X" will often need to look in two places, and pending software improvements, there will be no link except possibly a note between them. It may also reduce the ease of answering "When was work X first published" and 'How many different works did Author Y write". Whatever standard there is for separating novels form short-fiction, let it be applied as consistently as possible, and retain "Ow work, one title record" insofar as possible (not counting vts, which are so displayed as to make it clear that they are the same work). -DES Talk 21:04, 21 July 2008 (UTC)
I don't want to change word-count categorisations, all I want is to avoid my smaller paperbacks disappearing into a CHAPBOOK category that removes them from where I look for separate book publications, and labels them as ephemeral pamphlets and suchlike, or kid's books (depending on whether you look up CHAPBOOK or CHAPTER BOOK on Wikipedia, or had your own views even before Wikipedia arrived). Has anyone actually checked as to whether "The Trouble with Tycho" actually IS the same work in both forms? I started reading a NOVEL version at the hospital today, before I got rudely interrupted by blood-tests, but I wasn't counting the words as I went along. It actually felt as if it had been cut-down (major scene-jumps) so I can understand that the NOVEL might have been trimmed for magazine publication, and not properly restored for the stand-alone publications. It may be we're all talking about the same words, maybe not, but it seems people are making assumptions about whether it's one work or two already. BLongley 21:42, 21 July 2008 (UTC)
I agree that we need better display of chap(ter)books if we continue the current system (as I think we should), and i trust that we will get it in time. I have read a good deal of Simak, but not this work, and I'm sure I don't have any of the pubs it is listed as appearing in. In the fist psot of this thread, Ahasuerus said "Assuming that the text is the same..." and the rest of the discussion has pretty much accepted that assumption. If there actually are two versions, of significantly different length, then of course there should be two title records, but i see no particular evidence for that in the bibliography or this discussion. It might well have been drastically cut from the workign draft for magazine publication, but who is to say that the "full" version was ever publiahed, if this did happen. In any case, whatever the case for this work, there are works both above and below 40k words that have been printed both as elements of collections and/or anthologies, and as separate publications. If all such are to be listed as novels, regardless of length, then we are going to have a lot more novels included in collections and anthologies, not that we don't have some now. -DES Talk 22:06, 21 July 2008 (UTC)
DES wrote "I don't really like that the same work may have a title record as SERIAL, and another as NOVEL" - Actually, there is a rather subtle "reason" for that two records for the same story which that for some reason bibliographers care about the first book publication date. Template:TitleFields:Date reflects this with "record the first book publication date." Thus the SERIAL record is there to capture the magazine publication date and the other record, such as SHORTFICTION, captures the first book publication date. It gets complicated when a magazine is reprinted as a book... If I were the Ruler of the Universe and all Dimensions/Times I'd only capture the first publication date regardless of its format until I wised up to as to why bibliographers care about the first book publication date.
I believe we all would be happy if there was a title record type that would behave like both a NOVEL and SHORTFICTION depending on where it's displayed. The reason we are having this discussion is that for efficiency ISFDB uses title records to define both works (stories) and publication formats (novel, anthology, etc.) A type NOVEL serves to both define that publications exist with that title on the cover and the story they contain. Marc Kupper (talk) 01:38, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

Second phase of Discussion, with details on the original example

(unindent)I think I have 4 publications with this title, let me see if I can spot check them... Ahasuerus 01:53, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

OK, I have all 4 pubs right here. The Thrilling version is a photographic reprint of the original Amazing publication, so they are naturally identical and the word count is around 26,000, so clearly a novella and not a novel. The two Ace reprints -- one a double and the other one a triple-decker (the one and only!) -- appear to be identical as well since, after all, they were both Ace editions of the same text, but the text is slightly different vis a vis the magazine version. "27" became "twenty-seven", "O.K." became "okay" and a few obvious grammar errors ("they" instead of "he" etc) were apparently corrected when the first Ace edition was put together. Other than that, the texts appear to be very similar and the word count is around 28,000, which is close enough given the imprecise way we measure these things. Still, clearly a novella. Ahasuerus 02:30, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
And for extra credit, I have also found the 1976 reprint, the one with 115 pages. It has 115 pages all right (he said unconsciously imitating a Simak character), but they cheated by adding blank pages between chapters and generally leaving as much black space as possible, so my (once again imprecise) word count is about 29,000. Case closed, your honor! :) Ahasuerus 02:40, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
Even though the story does not change from publication to publication that means we need four title records for this story. :-)
  1. type SERIAL for the initial magazine publication and Thrilling reprint.
  2. type SHORTFICTION Novella for the Ace Science Fiction Reader triple-decker anthology
  3. type NOVEL for the two standalone Ace publications and the dos-a-dos omnibus format.
  4. type NOVEL variant title for to handle the Clifford Simak credit when published as 1/2 of the dos-a-dos. Marc Kupper (talk) 03:38, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
If the Title type were NOVEL, then, as per Help, we would need two SERIAL Titles, one for each appearance:
  • Magazines: Serial installments of a work are always given the date of the magazine in which they appear even if the work has been published previously in book or serial form. Novel length works (40,000+ words) printed as a single installment in a magazine are treated as serials and given the date of the issue in which they appear; the Title Type is "Serial" and the text "(Complete Novel)", preceded by a space, is appended to the title. [emphasis added]
However, since this is a novella (word count less than 30,000), we don't need any SERIAL or NOVEL Titles. We just need two SHORTFICTION Title records, one for "Clifford D. Simak" and one for "Clifford Simak".
Having said that, the preceding discussion raises various interesting issues which we have touched upon in the past, but are yet to find a satisfactory solution for. I'll try to comment on them tonight. Ahasuerus 13:41, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
In reply to Marc Kupper's comments about the reason for the existence of the SERIAL type, i do understand them, and I don't advocate changing that, but it is IMO less than ideal. In regard to his comments about the four title records needed, I strongly disagree. I would not have any title records of type NOVEL, nor of type SERIAL. (I note that the magazine publications are now listed as shortfiction not SERIAL.) I would have only one title record, of type SHORTFICTION and length novella (plus one vt novella record for the Clifford Simak credit), and the standalone and double ACE publications would be publications of that novella. (In short, I agree with Ahasuerus above.) If I came across this with both a novel and a novella record for the same work (provided that I could in fact determine that it was the same work) in the absence of this discussion, i wouldn't hesitate to merge them into a single novella record. The ACE double would probably be listed as Anthologies. As a temporary hack to avoid the problems with chap(ter)books, I would be willing to list the ace standalone publications as collections with only one item in their contents. I don't like that, but I like it better than listing a 26,000-29,000 word work as a "novel", and much better than having two different title records for what is essentially one work. That is IMO simply not acceptable. -DES Talk 14:58, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
The "temporary" hack we have been using is that we use multiple title records. One benefit of this "hack" is that when someone goes to Clifford_D._Simak sees The Trouble with Tycho (1961) in the Novels, and clicks, that then are only shown the type NOVEL publications. I believe this is what the average person is expecting to see. I added a "temporary" hack to that title record in that there is a note explaining that the same story is available as a shortfiction work in other forms of packaging. As an experiment I did a hack where I included the shortfiction in the two NOVEL publications so that when you view that title record you get to see all the forms in which the story has appeared. While I like the title record's display I don't like how the two NOVEL publications are displayed.
Using COLLECTION to define a novel that contains a single SHORTFICTION seems like an interesting idea but I would not want to move in that direction at all as Trouble with Tycho is sold and packaged as a novel. It would look plain bizarre to claim it's a collection and to me is a worse evil than multiple title records as it's so flat in your face wrong to someone viewing a bibliography. I'd rather have a billion linked title records in the background but the goal is to make them invisible to both people viewing ISFDB and ideally to the regular editors. Marc Kupper (talk) 17:54, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
I think I missed the discussion where the "temporary hack" of using multiple title records was proposed. Would you happen to remember where it was posted? At first glance the approach appears to have more downside than upsides -- and doesn't seem to be what the average person is expecting to see -- but perhaps I am missing some important arguments. Ahasuerus 18:13, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
I also don't recall any discussion of this, outside of this thread, and I don't see anywhere where there was a consensus on this so-called "solution" Note that these aren't "linked" title records as there is no software support for such linking, there are simply entries in the notes field.My preferred solution would be to list the separate publications of "Trouble with Tycho" as chap(ter)books, the collection solution was only a stop gap until we have better chapbook support for those like Bill who object to such publications being listed as chap(ter)books, as this removes the pubs from the main author biblio pages and leaves the titles only under the shortfiction section. But I think that whether such pubs are listed as chapbooks or collections, they should not be listed as novels, and in ANY case there should not be multiple title records, even if "linked" for a singe work. Sooner than that, i would list them all as NOVEL type records. -DES Talk 19:32, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
You say "The 'temporary' hack we have been using..." Where else has this "hack" been used? How many such cases are there to clean up? -DES Talk 19:32, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
I think the original "temporary hack" is actually nothing of the sort - people just enter normal book-size books with only one title in as "NOVEL" naturally. The "CHAPBOOK" categorization when it turns out it's too short by current definitions is the "hack", IMO - it's an ISFDB workaround I don't like because of the loss of visibility of Books, and the name is misleading as well. I agree we need to separate NOVEL (content-length definition) from NOVEL (book with only one fiction entry in) - CHAPBOOK is not the answer even if we get better display, as Wikipedia:Chapbooks and Wikipedia:Chapter_book do NOT cover "Books that were published as novels but are nowadays considered too short". It's the other end of the spectrum from classifying books as Omnibuses just because they're so LONG that they get published in smaller sections, e.g. Some of Peter Hamilton's works. Do we demand that Magazines below a certain size get called "COMIC" and smaller ones still get called CHAPBOOK? No. I don't mind if we add a SHORTNOVEL type or suchlike, but lumping proper books into CHAPBOOK category is annoying and should be stopped as a "temporary hack" until we get what we need. I'm fine with two titles for now - add notes/links between them when proven the same text (or near enough - 26k to 29k in this case seems near enough) but let's not go for unsatisfactory workarounds for now. BLongley 20:48, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
My wife says my jokes are terrible at times and that's an example of one... ISFDB as it stands today is the "temporary hack." In other words, we have a certain structure and have developed ways to map the specfict book universe into that structure. One of the rituals we adopted to perform this magical mapping uses multiple title records. I would LOVE to have a single title record that represents a single work but the way ISFDB deals with things, which is rather elegant in itself, pretty much requires the use of multiple title records. There's a lot of stuff in this thread - I need to read it over... Marc Kupper (talk) 00:07, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

Third Phase of Discussion

(Unindent) the name should be changed in any case, as "Chapterbook" is clearly wrong, and chapbook is at least arguably wrong. if you want to change it to "SHORTNOVEL" or even add a new "SHORTNOVEL" type, and reserve "CHAPBOOK" only for very short works -- say no more than 24 pages, or some such limit -- I would support you. I would favor doing that as soon as possible, and also making whatever changes to the display logic are practical to display "short novels" as a separate section in the author pages. (I understand the performance issues, but I suspect they can be dealt with.) But the title type should not be NOVEL; it should be SHORTFICTION, and there should in no case be multiple title records for the same work (SERIALs excepted). I won't merge this particular title, because it is under discussion, but if I encounter others of the same sort, I would merge them without hesitation, as that is what our current documentation calls for. -DES Talk 22:12, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

Who knew that Chap(ter)books would be so controversial? And they say that bibliographers are a placid lot! :) More seriously, I think it would be useful to take a step back and review the underlying causes of this controversy. I'll try to write something up later tonight. Ahasuerus 22:15, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
There have been complaints from Bill about our use of the chap(ter)book publication type for a while, and IMO he has a point. I don't agree with his solution, but the problem is, at this point, real. Taking a step back is probably a good idea, and so would be moving this discussion for one about this one book to one about the overall standard that we will use. -DES Talk 22:23, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
Mark said above: "One benefit of this "hack" is that when someone goes to Clifford D. Simak, sees The Trouble with Tycho (1961) in the Novels, and clicks, that then are only shown the type NOVEL publications. I believe this is what the average person is expecting to see." That is not what I would expect to see, and i don't think it is what most users would expect to see. When i click on a title in the "novels" section, i expect to see all the places that work was published, whether in a standalone set of covers, or in an omnibus, or in an anthology. Many large anthologies include complete works of 60k words or more, which were previously published separately -- "novels" by anyone's standards here. I would expect to see those publications when I display the bibliography for a "novel". Hmm, how hard would it be to allow publications of type NOVEL to have as their sole content a title of type SHORTFICTION? That might solve the problem, if it were possible. -DES Talk 22:33, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
I think Marc (it's not "Mark") is viewing it forwards, and people that want to find the "novel" will accept it being part of a later Omnibus or Collection or Anthology. Viewing it backwards is better dealt with here already, we can have links back via "Complete Novel" or other Serial links. But I for one don't want to find I can buy 2, 3 or 4 magazines to get the "novel" - I want to find the BOOK. "Allow publications of type NOVEL to have as their sole content a title of type SHORTFICTION" IS the answer I think, even if we have to redefine NOVEL publication type. BLongley 23:12, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure what solution it is you think I'm suggesting - SHORTNOVEL is the latest, renaming CHAPBOOK is another, "don't mess with things till we can agree" is another - I'm not being prescriptive here, I'm just pointing out that there IS a problem, not only for we editors but for others coming here trying to find "that Book called something like..." who won't find a Book as we've classified it as something that won't show as a book. Please, DES, do NOT "merge them without hesitation, as that is what our current documentation calls for" - the whole area is under discussion, our current practices are not always documented in help anyway (as most editors can't even find the relevant entries, they're ISFDB experts not Wiki ones). If it's not a contentious subject that's going to mess with verified pubs, fix it: when it IS contentious, stop it and talk. Let's all step back before I start throwing OMNIBUSES (that may not be, but are big and heavy) at people that want to reclassify novels (that may not be, but could still give you a nasty paper-cut). BLongley 22:54, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

Proposed Issues and Multiple Solutions

(posted after edit conflict)First off, I have corrected my misspelling of Marc's name and I apologize for the error.

Secondly i see your point, the matter is under discussion. Let it stand that had this discussion not started I would have felt it perfectly proper to do such merges, butt I will now refrain pending the results of this discussion. I hop others will refrain from creating duplicate title records for the same work where these do not currently exist.

Thirdly I agree that there is a current problem. I think that one important aspect of solution would be that someone looking at a record of a work should see all the various places that it has been published. We don't know and shouldn't assume which places any given user will more easily find, and we don't know whether a user's purpose is to find a copy of the work, or to determine thinks like when or how often a work was published. We should support all of these uses. I also think that someone looking on an author's biblio page should, as Bill has mentioned on several occasions, see all works that have been independently published with some clear indication of this fact.

I see several possibilities for a solution:

  1. Allow novel type publications to have as their contents single works of short fiction. This would allow a work of say 30k words to have a single title record of type SHORTFICTION, but allow the separate publications of such works to be listed on author biblio pages among the novels
  2. Change the name of the current CHAPTERBOOK type to SHORTNOVEL, and change the display logic so that shortnovels are either displayed among the novels, or in their own clearly marked section.
  3. Have both a SHORTNOVEL type (as just above) and a CHAPBOOK type, the latter restricted to short, staple or comb-bound publications, or other ephemera. This would need a display change for SHRTNOVELs, as above. Existing chapterbooks could be either type by default, as there are only about 650, they could be considered individually and changed as needed.
  4. Change our standard for novel, and rule that any work that has been published in a standalone set of covers (perhaps with some restrictions on page count or whatever) be called a novel. But in that case, such a work should be called a novels in all its publications, whether in anthologies, collections, or magazines (where it may be a serial.

All but the last of these require software changes, but IMO the last is the least desirable, I have no strong preference among the first three. Pending software changes, (if we are not going to adopt the fourth choice) I would favor either calling single publications of works of less than novel length chap(ter)books or collections, with a note that they will be corrected when software changes have been made, and perhaps a tag or something to make them easy to find for such later correction. Or adopting choice 4 temporarily, again with a note or tag for later correction. Even as a temporary expedient, i don't like the multiple-title-record solution.

Have I correctly identified the issues here, if perhaps not the solutions? -DES Talk 00:20, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

Have I correctly identified the issues here, if perhaps not the solutions I believe "yes" and a #5 comes to mind which would be like #4 in that we have a single record for NOVEL and that the display logic for a publication's contents would be modified to look at the length field. If the title record is of type NOVEL there is a recognizable code there (vi, nt, na) then to display it as of that type rather than as "novel." The existing display logic already hides the contents section if there is a single title record and it matches the publication type. Thus the display of a novel with a single novel title (nearly all books) will not change even though the title has a length code. One sticky area is omnibus publications and if we want them to override the displayed type using the length. Marc Kupper (talk) 00:33, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
That could work, for the user (but not the editor) it would function rather like my #2 or #3, if I understand it correctly. I have no idea which would be technically easier. It would leave for editors the question of when to use a novel with length code and when to use a shortfiction type, and the possibility of retroactive changes as new pubs are discovered and entered, but I could live with that, i think. -DES Talk 00:54, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
#2, 3, and 5 all share the editor problem in that at times there will be promotion from SHORTFICTION to another type. Both #2 and #3 share a problem in that they involve changes to the author display and that's a house of cards. Let me think about how #1 can be coded as that would allow the record to remain as SHORTFICTION. Part the problem for #1 is that I happen to have a publication where an author wrote a fiction and then expanded it into a novel of the same title. Both stories are in the publication meaning it would look exactly like one of those novels that only has a shortfiction. FWIW - I see no reason to develop temporary expedients. We've been dealing with the title record issue for a number of years and so a few more months or even years will not hurt much. Marc Kupper (talk) 02:16, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
Neither proposal #2 nor #3, as I intended them, would ever involve "promotion" (change) of a record form a SHORTFICTION to a different type (unless we discovered an error, as will happen of course). My proposed SHORTNOVEL type would be a publication type, but not a title type. Works of less than 40k words would all be of type SHORTFICTION under both proposals #2 and #3, but when published separately those publications would be assigned to a SHORTNOVEL publication, which would be allowed and normally expected to contain only a single title record of type SHORTFICTION. All three are variants on the same idea. In all three proposals, all texts with length less than 40k words would be represented by title records of type SHORTFICTION. In all three proposals, when such works are separately published, they would be contained in a publication type which would be displayed separately from the shortfiction display. in #1 this would be the existing NOVEL type. In #2 this would be the existing CHAPTERBOOK type, renamed and better displayed. In #3 this would be a new SHORTNOVEL type, leaving the existing CHAPTERBOOK type (renamed to CHAPBOOK) to be used for very short and/or very cheaply bound publications, more the meaning that Wikipedia assigns to "chapbook". Things like convention programs that contain stories would fit here (I own at least one of these myself), as would short volumes of SF poetry and the like. -DES Talk 20:27, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

6. Use SHORTFICTION to define stories

A solution that's similar to #5 would be to rename SHORTFICTION to FICTION and that the storylen value of NV would be for novel length works. The title type NOVEL would instead be used to define publication types of NOVEL. Currently NOVEL is overloaded and it simultaneously defines/describes a story and that it's published in standalone book format. This change would essentially double the number of title records in the system. Marc Kupper (talk) 02:33, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

Why would there be a separate title type to define how something is published? Surely that is what the publication type is for? If you want to no longer use the title type to distinguish between novels and shorter fictions (which makes some sense) fine, but then there is no reason to have a second title record for such works, simply a length code. (By the way, since "nv" is currently used for "Novella", why not use "nl" for "novel", or else first convert all existing novellas to code "na" or some such) To aid is efficiency of display, each title record would also contain a (hidden) field independant_pubs_count. Each time a publication is added of a NOVEL type, this count would be incremented, and each time such a pub was deleted, or so edited that it no longer contained the title, or was no longer solo (for example changed to an omnibus or collection) then the count would be decremented. As long as the count was non-zero, the title would be displayed in the novels section (or some section outside of "short fiction") no matter what its length code is. Obviously there would need to be an initial script to set the count for existing records, run once at conversion. -DES Talk 20:44, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
I might add that currently NOVEL is both the name of a type that some title records have, and the name of a type that some publication records have. The two types are quite separate, the similarity of names is solely a human convenience, they might better be called NOVEL_T and NOVEL_P. You are proposing, if I understand you correctly, to do away with NOVEL_T but not with NOVEL_P. Such a change should not in any way change the number of title records in the system. Currently every work has a title record, and every publication of that work has a pub record, and this would still be true. -DES Talk 20:44, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

What Does the Help now Call For?

I would merge them without hesitation, as that is what our current documentation calls for DES - where does the documentation call for merging or getting rid of title records? Marc Kupper (talk) 00:07, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

Well, let's see:
  • Help:How to merge titles says "If you see an author (or artist, or editor) has a work listed twice in the ISFDB, then the two works can probably be merged." and "merges require that the author and title field both match identically.".
    This establishes that merges are proper when there are two or more records for a single work. VTs are explictlyu excepted, no other exceptions are stated
    "work" in that context can be viewed as publication type. For example, a collection, novel, and shortfiction are all different works even though they may have exactly the same title and author. If two titles are 100% identical except perhaps in the storylen then yes, they are likely safe to merge. In no event was an "always merge these" case listed. Marc Kupper (talk) 02:22, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
    It seems to me that "work" means "text" in this context. When a novella is expanded or extended into a novel, as often happens, there are two different works because there are two different texts, with significantly different content, and often with drastically different word counts. But merely labeling the same text in two different ways does not make it two different works. If two title records describe the same text, however the descriptions may differ (different notes, different title types, or whatever) they still refer to the same work, and IMO they stull ought to be merged, with the single special case of SERIAL types. -DES Talk 20:14, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
  • Help:Screen:EditPub says: "SHORTFICTION. Any form of fiction other than a novel should be given this entry type. A novel is defined as work of over 40,000 words; this cannot easily be determined by looking at a publication, so typically you should enter SHORTFICTION for anything you are not certain is a novel. Note that frequently a magazine will describe a story as a complete novel, even though it may be substantially below the 40,000 word mark. The description in the magazine should not be relied upon for this distinction."
    This establishes the ISFDB definition of novel, and explictly says that unless it has cleary been reached, a SHORTFICTION type should be used. It also establsihed that printed calssifications of a work as a novel are not to be relied on.
    Yes, and that's why I proposed a rules change in that if a story title is the title of a publication then it's a novel rather than relying on the word count. Per that help a 60,000 word story would have a type novel record even if it's never published in that format. That story would show up in the novels section of the author bibliographies. Clearly that's wrong and so people enter these works as type SHORTFICTION with length NV. Marc Kupper (talk) 02:35, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
    As I understand it, a work of 60,000 words published only in a "complete works" collection, would none the less be eligible for a "best novel" Hugo or nebula. I don't think it would be wrong to list such a work among the novels, to me "novel" does not equate to 'separately published work" in all cases. In any case, i was answering the question what the helped called for now. Obviously if we were to adopt the principle that anything published separately is a novel, then this section of the help, among others, would need to be altered. -DES Talk 20:14, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
  • Help:Screen:Title says "Publications. All publications of the work are listed."
    This establishes the principle of a single title record for a given work, as otherwise the statement could not be true.
    That depends on how you define "work" - If you look at as a publication type then it would be correct that you would click on a type NOVEL title and it would display all publication instances of that work, the novel. That why I added a note to the The Trouble with Tycho type NOVEL title record explaining that the story is available in other publication formats and provided a link to the shortfiction title record which at the moment is set up more like the FICTION(nv) record I proposed as #6 in that it references all publications that include the story. Marc Kupper (talk) 02:52, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
    AS above i look on a "work" as a "text". Two publications are of the same work if a textual comparision finds no significant differences between them, whatever records the ISFDB may have created, correctly or incorrectly, to describe them.
Those (some of which are repeted on other help screens or pages) are more or less what I meant. -DES Talk 00:49, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
Overall, I agree with you in that there should be a title record that allows someone to view all publications of a story. At present many stories that were published in magazines as "Complete Novel" are split between two or more title records. I also believe that if someone is drilling down from an author bibliography in the novels area they they would mainly be looking for instances of that publication rather than all magazines, collections, and anthologies that also contain the story. There should be an easy to see/use indicator that says "This story was also published as part of a magazine, anthology, or collection. Click here to view a complete list of publications that the story appears in." We might as well throw in a preference setting to enable showing all publications by default. Marc Kupper (talk) 02:52, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
I will post my ruminations about the root causes of this conundrum tomorrow, but for now let me just point out that early in the game the term "Work" was used to describe what we now call a "Title". The (perfectly good, I thought) reason was to avoid awkward constructs like "the title of this Title is...", but "Title" stuck while "Work" didn't and it's too late to change it now. We probably want to change all Help pages to reflect the change in the usage while making sure that Help still says what we want it to say. Ahasuerus 03:22, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
The terminology can be whatever people prefer, i don't really care. All though the above I was using "work" to mean not any ISFDB record, but the text as the author wrote it, or more exactly as it was published. (And I think the current help makes most sense if read that way, also.) If we call the ISFDB record a "work record" then perhaps we should call the writing to which it refers a "text". In any case what I am saying is that for any given text, there ought to be exactly one title or work record in the ISFDB, with the unfortunate but required exceptions of SERIAL records (justified by the frequency with which the serialized text is different from the separately published text, and by the bibliographic standard that the date of serial publication does not count for a text also separately published) and the VT record (needed to record differences in title and author credits, and pesud relationships) -DES Talk 20:14, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

The 30,000 ft view

Let me take another couple of steps back. One of the earliest (i.e. 1995) decisions that was made re: ISFDB design was to separate texts (aka Titles aka "works") from their physical appearances (aka Publications). This separation is rooted in the fact that the essential text ("the characters in the text", if you will) of "Nightfall" remains the same regardless of whether it appears in a magazine, an anthology, a chapbook or a single author collection. The assumption here is that our users are interested, first and foremost, in texts and that is the view that the Summary Bibliography page provides for each Author. Once you have found the text that you are interested in, you can then click on the link and see what physical publications it has appeared it.

The only current semi-exception to this basic rule are Serials, which get a separate Title record even though the actual text may be the same as what was later printed in a book. This is done for two reasons:

  • Novel length texts are often substantially changed for book publication; and
  • Most collectors (and genre bibliographers, who are often collectors themselves) are primarily interested in first editions and do not consider magazine publications "true first editions" because they are often ephemeral

The first bullet point is consistent with our overall paradigm since it's based on (potential) differences between texts, but the second bullet point is where our paradigm of "a text is a text is a text" and "all Publications of a text are equal for our purposes" begins to break down. We clearly have a number of users (as exemplified by Bill) who are primarily interested in book publications of texts and want all texts that have appeared as standalone books to have higher visibility on the Summary Bibliography page and elsewhere. That this preference is widespread is attested to by the fact that other established genre bibliographers like Clute and Tuck treat short fiction that has appeared as chapbooks differently.

There are numerous ways of making our software do what Clute and Tuck do, but I think the first thing to decide is whether we want to change our overall approach and, if so, to what extent.

Another issue that has repeatedly come up has to do with the criteria that we use to separate different fiction categories from each other. Currently, we use a very simple and inflexible categorization system, which is based on an objective criterion, i. e. the number of words in the text. Of course, counting the words is only possible when you have access to the publication, but once you have done it, there can be no disagreement whether the text in question is a Novel or a Novella, which at first glance is a Good Thing.

Unfortunately, this lack of flexibility sometimes leads to situations where we violate the Principle of Least Astonishment. For example, a faithful application of our rules would change many YA books to Novellas (or even Novelets!), which is presumably not what our users expect. Similarly, many older novels like The Trouble with Tycho -- which were first serialized in the 1940s-1960s and appeared as standalones in the 1950s-1970s -- would become Novellas which is again probably not what our users expect.

I'd like to emphasize that these are two separate issues, which we need to keep them in mind when devising a solution to the current problems. The "chapbook" problem would still exist even if we had a universally agreed upon way of categorizing Novels and Novellas. After all, Bill and many other users would still want to see novellas published as chapbooks appear separately from the mass of Shortfiction entries even if we all agreed that they are novellas and not novels. Conversely, even if we had a way of displaying chapbooks the way Bill would like them to appear, we would still have issues with categorizing Novels vs. Novellas.

Let me leave a note for Al and see what he thinks about this since it's a fundamental design issue... Ahasuerus 23:22, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

Interesting New Resource

I stumbled across Random House's Smart Archive, Public Access site today while looking up some Del Rey Discovery titles. I'm not sure how useful it's going to be overall - quick tests suggest the content CAN go back 10 years, show exact publication date, price, etc: not all records do give that much detail though. But for the more recent titles we have, it should be at least a nice sanity check. Beware - it does allow you to do big searches like "every Bantam Book before 2000" and such can take some time. BLongley 19:13, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

Looks useful, although I am getting a lot of duplicate records depending on the type of the search. Still, very much worth playing with, thanks! Ahasuerus 21:47, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
P.S. And the Wizards of the Coast archive looks particularly interesting... Ahasuerus 21:49, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
I took a casual scan but was unable to locate any of my publications. I did fine one of my daughter's but we have a 4th printing at $6.50 while the database only mentioned $6.99. The covers are scanned images meaning there are dust specs, creases, etc. I'd say it's yet another database but not one I would use as a gold standard for sourcing ISFDB content. Marc Kupper (talk) 22:24, 26 July 2008 (UTC)
True, it's also slow and not very bibliographer-friendly, but I hope it may help with vaporware and other biblio-beasts :) Ahasuerus 23:00, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

What about podcasts?

There are several bodcasts which contain original or "reprinted" science fiction and/or fantasy in audio form. For example http://escapepod.org/ and http://podcastle.org/ Should those be included to the database? They publish some classic sf (Asimov's Nightfall has been in escapepod, among others well known stories), and that kind publication might also be of some interest. Tpi 06:20, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

I would think thse might have the same ephemerality problem as webziens. If that is not so, no reason not to consider them a format of auto books, just as "Audio (CD)" and "Audio (DAT)" etc are, IMO. -DES Talk 20:05, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
I doubt there's a lot of support for inclusion as most of us are still happy working on paper-based products: a few download electronic text editions of things: I can't say I know of any moderator working on audio especially. I can't say there's much reason for exclusion either, if it's SF, but I personally would leave such submissions to somebody else to approve, and I can't think of anyone that would check with a specialist eye. When testing the boundaries, it always helps if there's a moderator supporting such entries. But maybe we're just missing moderators that like such? Is there a candidate? We haven't had a new Moderator for a while now. BLongley 22:50, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
I have entered a few audiobooks, when I happened across them, largely in online library catalogs while looking for other things by the same author. I am surely not a specialist. But if anyone wants to enter such, and has been reliable on paper-based pubs, great. -DES Talk 15:33, 25 July 2008 (UTC)

Childhood's End

I do not get a search result for the novel. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 12:55, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

Apostrophes have always been a pain since there are numerous kinds behind the scenes, which our software valiantly -- and sometimes successfully -- tries to convert to one common type. This Novel Title probably dates back to 1995 and has undergone a number of transformations and conversions along the way, making it an Official Elder Horror. I had to change the spelling to "Childhoods End" and then back to "Childhood's End" (a time honored hack) and now everything looks fine. Thanks for catching it! Ahasuerus 13:23, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
I appreciate it. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 15:22, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

Reminder for Magazine Dates: Hyphen instead of "/" for bimonthly issues

From Help: "A hyphen should be used between two months used for a bimonthly issue."--swfritter 18:51, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

A Whiff of Madness ISBN?

User:Bluesman is questioning whether the ISBN is present on this verified pub. He says that he can not find an ISBN on his copy. Amazon and ISBNdb.com list an ISBN, and the ISBN-based links work to go to various vendors for what seems to be the proper edition. Howewver, neither OCLC nor Melvyl - the Catalog of the University of California Libraries list an ISBN in their records for this work, while Library of Congress Online Catalog does not list it at all. User:Dragoondelight (the secondary verifier, the primary is User:Scott Latham who is unavailable) says there is no ISBN on his copy. It appears that the ISBN "works" but was not listed on the actual printed book. Should we include it in our pub record? Perhaps along with a note that the ISBN is not found on the actual book? Any advice? -DES Talk 21:01, 25 July 2008 (UTC)

A 1976 (US) paperback is likely using an SBN instead of an ISBN. Let me check my copy tonight... Ahasuerus 21:32, 25 July 2008 (UTC)
DAW books from this time period have no ISBN#. The ISBN# on this book has been derived from their cat# UY1250(the 250 is extracted) and worked backwards from there. Hope this helps.Kraang 23:10, 25 July 2008 (UTC)
If it "works" - as in "some of the links Al has given us link somewhere useful" or "Google provides useful results"- I'd keep that. But what's actually recorded ON THE BOOK needs recording too. BLongley 23:45, 25 July 2008 (UTC)
The annoying thing for me is that I'm pretty sure I've GOT that, or have seen it at least, based on cover picture: but I can't find it at the moment. BLongley
Take a look at User talk:Dragoondelight#A Whiff of Madness to see what he says he saees on the copy he has. -DES Talk 00:18, 26 July 2008 (UTC)
I don't have a copy but this publication will have
  • UY1250 on the front cover
  • 451-UY1250-125 on the spine
There is no ISBN but the ISBN 0879972505 / 0-87997-250-5 can be derived from this. Scott Latham should have made a note of this when he verified the publication. Don Erikson has a copy and we could ask him about verifying this. I went ahead with updating the publication notes. I believe every single DAW book has an "ISBN" entry on Amazon though DAW did not print ISBN on their publications from 1972 through October 1976. Starting in November 1976 they printed the ISBN on the spine. However, DAW was quite aware of ISBNs as early as mid-1974 because as they counted sequentially through the catalog numbers they always skipped those numbers where the ISBN checksum would have been "X". They continued this practice of skipping "X" up through the end of 1999. It's been my guess that their computers could not handle a non-numeric ISBN and that as part of Y2K they upgraded to a system that could. Marc Kupper (talk) 19:39, 26 July 2008 (UTC)
I have checked my copy and it's the same "First printing August 1976" as everyone else's. I have changed the Note field to read "451-UY1250-125" instead of "451-UY1250-124" and the Title date from 1976-00-00 to 1976-08-00, but otherwise everything looks fine. Ahasuerus 21:56, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

Improper revert of help page edit

In this edit User:Marc Kupper reverted my recent edit to a template that forms part of multiple help pages. He did this without first discussing the matter in any way. My edit was in response to the discussion at Rules and standards discussions#First publication date. In that thread Marc himself said "the rules should get clarified". The response by User:Mhhutchins said that the current help was in fact quite clear. I agreed, Moreover, i think that the specific rule, (that "date of first book publication" is used over "date of first publication anywhere" only for book-length works which use a SERIAL type title record for magazine appearances) is widely followed in the ISFDB's practice.

But even if the rule is less clear-cut than I had supposed, or there was an actual debate in progress, simply reverting an obviously well-intended edit (not vandalism, not obvious error) without prior discussion, indeed without even subsequent discussion except for the edit summery, seems to me to be highly impolite.

Discussion on the substantive rule should probably stay at Rules and standards discussions#First publication date, at least IMO. But discussion on the etiquette of reverts is a separate matter. -DES Talk 04:39, 27 July 2008 (UTC)

I now see that while I was drafting the above, Marc did post to the Rules and standards discussions thread on this subject, although his post there does not mention the revert and does not seem to me to make it clear why he thought a revert was required. But he did re-enter discussions not long after the revert itself, I am pleased to note. -DES Talk 04:53, 27 July 2008 (UTC)

This is a tricky area and I am not sure I can do it justice at 1:50am EST. In the past we would often discuss something to death, never come to a decision and let Help stay in limbo. That was a Bad Thing (tm), but on the other hand it's possible to start making changes to Help too soon before consensus has been reached. It's probably safer to wait for the discussion to wind down before changing Help. On the other hand, it's probably also safer to post a message on the editor's Talk page instead of reverting his changes. That way we will all keep our blood pressure within reasonable limits -- dead editors are rarely very productive :) Ahasuerus 05:51, 27 July 2008 (UTC)
Since I am now aware that there is a significant dispute on the matter, I am surely not going to change the help back until we have soemthing clsoer to a consensus. I thought I was merely clarifing the existign wording that all agreed on, not making any substantive change. Had anyone said "Wait, i don't agree with that" I would have self-reverted. Perahps i do things too quickly when it seems to me that the Right thingTM is clear. But I do try to be open to discussion. -DES Talk 06:45, 27 July 2008 (UTC)
I tend to wait a week before making any changes that affect everyone: it only seems fair, as we have editors that can only work here weekdays (internet access from work only?), and some that only work weekends (only time they get to do personal stuff?). Of course, as I find it difficult to even FIND the bits of help I want to change, I'm probably not very aggressive in fixing things. (I suspect all our agreements about Ace Doubles still have not been added to help, for instance.) But for those of us still watching All "Recent Changes" as best we can, Changes should be explained, and Reverts even more so. BLongley 22:26, 27 July 2008 (UTC)
Honestly, had I thought there was a significant dispute here, i would have acted more slowly. I truly thought that I was merely clarifing existuing consensus that had been unclearly expressed, not "making changes" in any substantive sense at all. Inded I have still to hear of anyone who actually says that they disagree with the substance of my edit. But i will now wait for someone else to restore it, when and if there is celar agreement on the matter. -DES Talk 23:52, 27 July 2008 (UTC)
FWIW, I think it was a perfectly acceptable clarification and I'm not really sure what Marc's concerns are, we've been doing it this way for as long as I've been here despite apparently unclear help. But sometimes when you get into a tricky exception you forget what the current practices really are and concentrate on the words in the help. BLongley 18:32, 28 July 2008 (UTC)
Sorry - a time blob slid into my office and enshrouded me - I think I'm back - the reversion had a comment "Please wait until the rules discussion is completed" and I thought that was sufficient. I have not checked over at the rules discussion to see if it's "complete" yet but it was my understanding we agree to change the rules on the rules page and then make the changes/clarification in the help. DES - I happen to agree with your position and the clarification you added was great. But, I also believe both of us are wrong and will head over to the rules page to see if light had been shed on the issue. I was planning on giving it a week or two as I wanted to see if Ahasuerus and Al chip in as they'd know more about the title dating and then we'd update the help, probably by undoing my undo. Marc Kupper (talk) 06:58, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
Oh my - there's a huge thread over there and the blob is back. I may have time tomorrow evening. Marc Kupper (talk) 07:07, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

Richard Laymon - A Good and Secret Place

I wondered why we didn't have contents for this award winner. I Googled for it, and found that some guy called Sergey Brin has it on his "My favorite books" list. Apparently he isn't at Stanford anymore though, does anyone know what happened to him, and can we ask him if it's really "A Good, Secret Place"? it seems to be a really expensive limited edition book, I'd have had to have made a fortune in the dot.com boom to buy a copy for myself to check... ;-) BLongley 21:36, 27 July 2008 (UTC)

Hm, Mein Kampf and Man Superior to Woman (and a bunch of duplicates) suggest that it may not be Sergey Brin's list of favorite books per se but perhaps some kind of catalog. And sure enough, his Stanford Web page says "Extracting Patterns and Relations from the World Wide Web by Sergey Brin: We demonstrate a technique for extracting relations from the WWW based on the duality of patterns and relations. We experiment with it by extracting a relations of [books]. WebDB Workshop at EDBT '98." Wonder where he found the two Alexander Blade stories in 1998, though. The ISFDB, perhaps? :) Ahasuerus 16:03, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

Trouble with review links, a bug?

There's some trouble with the displaying of certain reviews. Check this pub out to see what I mean. It's obviously connected with the fact that there are variant reviews involved. Both of the unlinked pubs under review are missing authorship as well as a link to the pub. I could try to link the pub to the pub's title record, but there already exists a link on the pub's title page to one of the variants of the review, and I'm afraid that I'd create another link which would be displayed on the pub's title record page. (I've seen these on a few occasions, two links to the same review, caused by variant reviews.) Is this a known bug, and can it be fixed, or is it something we have to live with? If I had to choose I'd prefer the review in the original pub contain links, or, at the very least, show the authorship of the pub under review. MHHutchins 03:26, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

Strange. Here's a pub that's contrary to what I stated above: reviews with variants that are displayed correctly. What gives? MHHutchins 04:18, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
It looks to me like the author's of the books being reviewed have not been entered. Even once they have been entered I would imagine the review links would have to be done manually.--swfritter 15:04, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
I just checked and it appears you're right. But I'm positive that they had to have been entered at one time. Otherwise why would only the ones with variant reviewers not have authors? I'll go ahead and add the authors for this one and see how it displays. Thanks. MHHutchins 15:16, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
I added the missing author credits, but did not link the reviews, otherwise there would be two links to the same review from the pub's title record. MHHutchins 15:21, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
It seems to me that this shows that when we do a vaient (as by) review, we must be careful to link the "parent" reveiw, (the one with the cannonical name of the reviewer), not the "child" reveiw. I fon't know if one can unlink the child review and then link the parent, but that would IMO fix the problem -- can we unlike reviews with the 0 method? -DES Talk 15:59, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
Yes, the zero trick works with reveiws. I switched which review was linked, and things now look correct to me. Actually I had to link the "child" review, not the "parent" to make things work correctly. -DES Talk 16:07, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
We've encountered the missing author problem on reviews before but weren't sure if it was serious enough to need an automated script. BLongley 18:57, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

"Jaime Murray" or "Jamie Murray"

We have a couple of Title records for each form; anyone happen to know which one is correct? Ahasuerus 21:01, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

All of the covers are for books by P. N. Elrod, so I went to her website, where she raves about "Jamie" with a link to his website. Just call me Sherlock. And here's a gallery of his work including two of the covers. MHHutchins 23:14, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
Fixed -- thank you, Mr. Holmes! The next puzzle has to do with Brian Patrick Murray and Brian Murray, two artists who were both active in 1986-1987. Coincidence or conspiracy?.. Ahasuerus 23:21, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
All of Brian Patrick Murray's work is in WOTF II, and all of Brian Murray's work is in WOTF III. I'd lay money that it's the same person. And I swear, it's just a coincidence that I entered the contents from both of those anthologies. MHHutchins 02:40, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

George Leonard/George H. Leonard

As this site suggests that "Beyond Control" was written by a George J. Leonard and makes no mention of any George H. Leonard works we know of, I think Clute and Nicholls are wrong in combining the two. I also can't pin down why some sites say Hughes Cooper is a pseudonym of George H. Leonard. Does anyone know anything about these authors? BLongley 13:19, 2 August 2008 (UTC)

Reginald (1975-1991 version) shows "Beyond Control" as written by George H. Leonard, and has a section trailing the entry for "as Hughes Cooper" (he lists "Sexmax" (1969). The H. stands for Hugh. His entry for Beyond Control:
 28205 Beyond Control. New York: Macmillan Publishing Co.; London: Collier Macmillan Publishers, 1975, 165 p., cloth novel.
Reginald Volume 1 also shows Hughes Cooper as a pseudonym of George H. Leonard. No entries on George J. Leonard. Alvonruff 11:05, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

Mini reviews?

I have been doing some issues of Whispers, as I have time (lots of stuff to enter in each issue). Most issues have a book review column, which I handle normally, but most also have a "news" column, in which the editor discusses the then current state of the horror/fantasy market, and mentions recent publications (mostly books, some magazines and review mags) that he thinks will be of interest to his readers, usually with a brief comment on quality (1-2 sentences). Should/can these be entered as reviews? The thing is, often they have details about the pub that we don't currently have, and entering them as reviews is not a bad way to make sure that info is entered. Also, when a specific issue of a magazine is mentioned, how do we (and should we) enter that as a review? See this issue for a pub I'm almost but not quite through entering. -DES Talk 22:56, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

I've come across a similar situation in the Books Received columns of Locus. Sometimes the comments on books go beyond description to the point of being mini-reviews, and occasionally the comments are credited to an individual. I've noted this in the pub notes for example here, but am somewhat guilty about not creating individual records. It may be a subjective matter, but if there were some firm guidelines about length, I'd feel less guilty. I may be compulsive about entering EVERYTHING, but when it comes to 20-30 individual records for one-two sentences of commentary, well that's where I draw the line! As for reviews of magazines, that issue's never been settled. For several years now, Locus has been reviewing magazine issues in its "Short Fiction" review columns. I've not reached that point in my indexing, but we'll have to face it eventually. MHHutchins 02:54, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
Both of you draw the line at some point and that's fine with me. I've run into something similar and what I did was to add a publication note explaining there the content of the column. I'd say that a one or two sentence review, or even a single paragraph, does not merit addition to ISFDB. As it is, we could propose a new record type, MENTION, which could be used to record these or the REVIEW record could get expended to have a field that states how long it is. Marc Kupper (talk) 03:07, 5 August 2008 (UTC)


Nominating Clarkmci for moderatorship

Ref: Moderator Qualifications#Becoming a moderator for the nomination process.

Nomination statement

I nominate Clarkmci (talkcontribs) for moderatorship; he has accepted the nomination User talk:Clarkmci#Would you be interested in Moderatorship?. Clarkmci has over 3300 submissions and has a good knowledge of all aspects of the database. I believe Clarkmci would be a valuable addition to the moderators ranks and his location in Australia(assumed) would be an asset to the ISFDB. I believe that he is qualified.

Support

  1. Support, as nominator.Kraang 11:51, 7 August 2008 (UTC)
  2. Support. I have worked with Clarkmci on many occasions and agree that his knowledge of the application and communication skills make him qualified. Ahasuerus 13:27, 7 August 2008 (UTC)
  3. Support. I have approved a good many of his submissions, with very few problems. I have had occasional interactions with him when a problem did arise, and he seems more than sufficiently knowledgeable and easy to work with. I looked back though his talk page and see no indications of recurring problems that would interfere with his being a good moderator. Of course, it will give me less to do in approving his edits :) -DES Talk 15:42, 7 August 2008 (UTC)
  4. Support. He seems clear on his edits and is becoming more proactively communicative. Hopefully moderatorisation will encourage him to help with sorting out the Australian publishers. BLongley 09:42, 8 August 2008 (UTC)
  5. Support, knowing that an overwhelming majority of his submissions were quite decent, and with the hope (after looking over his talk page) that moderatorship will lead him to become more communicative. MHHutchins 02:24, 9 August 2008 (UTC)
  6. Support, I had to look at the talk page as I could not recall the last time I needed to query him about a submission. It turns out it's only happened a couple of times and both were really minor. Marc Kupper (talk) 05:17, 9 August 2008 (UTC)

Oppose

Comments/Neutral

Outcome

Nomination is successful, moderator flag set on the account. Congratulations! :)

You may want to review Help:Screen:Moderator, which describes the Moderator page, and please don't hesitate to ask if in doubt! Ahasuerus 03:20, 13 August 2008 (UTC)

Bookmarklet: Other ISBNs

I see you have a Worldcat link for publications. It takes you into the Worldcat entry for that ISBN. Then you can enter the maze of twisty editions, all alike. I prefer to find all editions quickly. If you do too, this bookmarklet might be useful. When you are editing one publication with an ISBN, this will open a new window with all the other ISBNs for this title. Then you can look at how many there actually are and run away screaming.

javascript:isbn=document.getElementById('data').pub_isbn.value.replace(/-/g,);url='http://xisbn.worldcat.org/webservices/xid/isbn/'+isbn+'?method=getEditions&format=xml';window.open(url);void(null);

This works with Firefox. I have not tested with other browsers. Data Thief 10:40, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

Who Goes There?

Title record 860248 says it's Who Goes There? by Don A. Stuart. I suspect this got edited as part of pub-contents at one time and that it should be John W. Campbell, Jr. The trouble is that even old database backups from May 2008 show Don A. Stuart and publications have been verified meaning some would have verified John W. Campbell, Jr. and others Don A. Stuart. I'm thinking the fix is to change the record to Don A. Stuart John W. Campbell, Jr. and then to re-verify.

Toward Infinity] Verified by Mhhutchins on 2007-05-27 18:08:40
Towards Infinity Verified by BLongley on 2008-01-13 18:10:58
The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume Two A Verified by Mhhutchins on 2007-08-15 12:37:20
Science Fiction Hall of Fame: The Novellas, Book 1 Verified by Brin1 on 2007-04-10 14:23:25
The Science Fiction Roll of Honor Verified by Mhhutchins on 2007-08-15 13:05:19
The Best of John W. Campbell Verified by BLongley on 2007-02-27 16:05:21
Adventures in Time and Space Verified by Mhhutchins on 2007-11-07 08:49:48
They Came from Outer Space Verified by Mhhutchins on 2007-08-15 11:54:06
The Future in Question Verified by Mhhutchins on 2008-02-06 19:47:34
The Mammoth Book of Short Science Fiction Novels Verified by Brin1 on 2007-04-12 01:36:24
The Mammoth Book of Short Science Fiction Novels Verified by BLongley on 2007-07-26 16:28:10
Worlds of Fear Verified by CoachPaul on 2008-05-29 20:07:18
Between Time and Terror Verified by CoachPaul on 2007-03-27 20:45:41
Marc Kupper (talk) 05:38, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
I've checked my three, and they all indicate the record should be John W. Campbell, Jr. The main giveaway is in Towards Infinity:
Who Goes There? • (1938) • novella by Don A. Stuart  [as by Don A. Stuart ]
I've done some strange things, but never deliberately made a record a variant of itself. Fortunately there's no "No Jr." variants in there.BLongley 12:45, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
Do we want to correct the database for the lack of "No Jr."'s? I noticed last night that I have many campbell items without the Jr. (including verified items that list the Jr.). kpulliam 14:48, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
Yes, they should be corrected. Also the Dean Koontz's with no 'R', the Robert Heinlein's with no 'A', the Arthur C. Clarke's with a 'Sir' and several others where there's a small difference that people didn't notice or ignored or didn't know the 'title page or first page of story' rule. BLongley 15:34, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
Well, I just wasted 30 minutes of my life correcting those six verified pubs. I've done no merges for those titles, because I'm afraid they'll get merged with the "Don A. Stuart [as by Don A. Stuart]" titles. Someone must have approved a variant or merge of "Who Goes There?" with itself. (or as Bill says below someone change a content record, our ever-present nemesis). I know Marc was working on a submission [2008-08-17 19:53:15 1022233 - PubUpdate Kpulliam Marc Kupper Reel Future] which changed content records that I personally would have rejected with an explanation to the editor. Until someone figures out how to straighten out this mess, please don't merge the newly created title records for the six pubs I've verified. Thanks. MHHutchins 17:06, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
I think you wasted 29 of those, it seems pretty clear that it was the canonical John W. Campbell, Jr. record that got changed (as the only ones that way now are the ones you just created), and one title-edit can change it back. That would presumably mean a contents-change, rather than a merge, slipped through. BLongley 20:39, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
So do you think if we change this record's author from "Don A. Stuart" to "John W. Campbell, Jr." that it'll be straightened out? They all appear in the pubs as "Don A. Stuart [as by Don A. Stuart]". I'm afraid to make the change as I don't want to have to change it all back if it's an error! MHHutchins 20:53, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
Yes: it's only one record that changes, and that can be changed back just as easily, so I've done it. The records credited to Don A. Stuart should now all look like:
Who Goes There? • (1938) • novella by John W. Campbell, Jr.  [as by Don A. Stuart ]
and if they were credited to John W. Campbell, Jr. anyway they'll now look like this:
Who Goes There? • (1938) • novella by John W. Campbell, Jr.
If anyone else has added/removed contents to fix it in the meantime, those new records can now be merged back. The one oddity left in the Verified pubs is in Coachpaul's "Worlds of Fear" - that's a "No Jr." version that has NOT been set up as a proper variant. BLongley 23:50, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
Oh, and your The Science Fiction Roll of Honor - another "No Jr" not set-up as variant. But that only needs doing once. BLongley 23:54, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
I've merged my verified pubs back into their respective title records, and created a variant for "No Jr". Thanks. MHHutchins 00:29, 19 August 2008 (UTC)
Sorry guys - I should have made it clearer that the 1-second fix was to change the original record back to John W. Campbell, Jr. My question had to do with the six verified publications where we needed to spot any that were verified as Don A. Stuart. Now I realize I should have done the 1-second fix first and then have people track down and fix the publications that now said John W. Campbell, Jr. when they should be Don A. Stuart.
This mini-project was triggered by Kpulliam's pub-update to Reel Future. I thought about rejecting it but he had many page # additions and other stuff and so it looked faster to approve and then to do a single pub-update to under the six title records he had changed. Plus I usually don't reject as there's no way to remove rejects. I was then double-checking the results when I saw the Campbell record and wondered WTF? At first I thought I did the undo wrong but then I realized the record was wrong in the first place. Marc Kupper (talk) 04:39, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

Pseudonyms in Series

I just finished cleaning up the "No Jr." version of John W. Campbell and most of the problems weren't anything to do with the above problem, they were down to the "No Jr." version of a title being put into a series like "Editorial (Analog)" or "Science Fact (Analog)" - sometimes instead of, and sometimes AS WELL AS, the canonical version. Can I remind everybody that we only need the title with the Canonical name in the series, please? Adding non-canonical author names means that we'll never get back to a "Pseudonym. See: " page for the variant name, it'll list the Series that the pseudonym has been placed in - without any entries under them. Looks a bit confusing really, so should be avoided. BLongley 01:32, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

Yes, I see these pop up every so often and try to fix them when I can. It took awhile after I first encountered them before I was able to figure out how they were created and how to repair them. 02:16, 19 August 2008 (UTC)
I just looked at some recent submissions, then Tom_Easton, and despaired. :-/ BLongley 02:29, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

And now for something completely different

Well, maybe not that different: it's still cleaning up SF-related data. After seeing so many people adding Project Gutenberg works, I signed up for Distributed Proofreaders - reading SF stuff is still fun, isn't it, rather than just arranging it neatly? OK, maybe not, when you see what you're proof-reading. Currently it seems as though the only English-language SF titles underway are "Astounding Stories" from 1931 - but unless Ahasuerus has given you access to his private collection I doubt many of us would read such at all. It's worth a look, IMO - you can look at a single page and retire in disgust, or hang on to the end of a story or beyond. If people are interested, maybe an ISFDB team can be created there? (Just a thought - at the moment it's an ESCAPE from ISFDB, but maybe we can learn from their regularization rules or such in future - they are a little more organized in that than we are.) But just go and try it if you haven't already. At worst, you'll understand why Lionel Fanthorpe didn't write the worst SF ever - he at least had a thesaurus! (I have seen the words "crocodilian" and "reptilian" far too many times today.) BLongley 03:37, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

I have spent FAR too many hours in the past month or so working on the Astoundings.... - Man I love the Letters sections. That's how I found two undocumented Ackerman letters.
Here is what's currently in process (or has recently been in P1 where new members can get to them)
Astounding Stories August 1931 	many 	New Project 
Astounding Stories July 1931 	many 	New Project 
Astounding Stories June 1931 	many 	New Project 
Astounding Stories May 1931 	many 	New Project 
Tros: Book I of Tros of Samothrace. 	Mundy, Talbot 	New Project 
La race future 	Edward Bulwer Lytton 	P1: Unavailable 
Astounding Stories April 1931 	many 	P1: Available 
Inside John Barth 	Stuart, William W. 	P2: Unavailable 
Monkey On His Back 	De Vet, Charles V. 	P2: Unavailable 
The Dope on Mars 	Sharkey, Jack 	P2: Unavailable 
The Good Neighbors 	Pangborn, Edgar 	P2: Unavailable 
Upstarts 	Stecher, L.J. 	P2: Unavailable 
Astounding Stories February 1931 {P1->P1} 	many 	P2: Waiting 
Astounding Stories March 1931 {P1->P1} 	many 	P2: Waiting 
Astounding Stories of Super-Science January 1931 {P1->P1} 	many 	P2: Available 
Astounding Stories of Super-Science August 1930 {P1->P1} 	many 	P3: Waiting 
Astounding Stories of Super-Science December 1930 {P1->P1} 	many 	P3: Waiting 
Astounding Stories of Super-Science November 1930 {P1->P1} 	many 	P3: Waiting 
Astounding Stories of Super-Science October 1930 {P1->P1} 	many 	P3: Waiting 
Astounding Stories of Super-Science September 1930 {P1->P1} 	many 	P3: Waiting 
Earthmen Bearing Gifts 	Brown, Fredric 	P3: Waiting 
Astounding Stories of Super-Science July 1930 {P1->P1} 	many 	P3: Available 
A Place in the Sun {P1->P1} 	Thames, C.H. 	F2: Waiting 
Astounding Stories of Super-Science April 1930 {P1->P1} 	many 	F2: Waiting 
Astounding Stories of Super-Science February 1930 {P1->P1} 	many 	F2: Waiting 
Astounding Stories of Super-Science June 1930 {P1->P1} 	many 	F2: Waiting 
Astounding Stories of Super-Science March 1930 {P1->P1} 	many 	F2: Waiting 
Astounding Stories of Super-Science May 1930 {P1->P1} 	many 	F2: Waiting 
Bolden's pets 	Wallace, Floyd L. 	F2: Waiting 
Doctor Jones' picnic 	Chapman, S. E. 	F2: Waiting 
Get Out of Our Skies! {P1->P1} 	Jarvis, E.K. 	F2: Waiting 
Mars via The Moon 	Mark Wicks 	F2: Waiting 
My Shipmate--Columbus {P1->P1} 	Wilder, Stephen 	F2: Waiting 
Starman's Quest {P1->P1} 	Silverberg, Robert 	F2: Waiting 
Summer Snow Storm {P1->P1} 	Chase, Adam 	F2: Waiting 
The Blue Germ 	Swayne, Martin 	F2: Waiting 
The game of rat and dragon 	Smith, Cordwainer 	F2: Waiting 
The Great Gray Plague {P1->P1} 	Jones, Raymond F. 	F2: Waiting 
The invader 	Woods, Margaret L. 	F2: Waiting 
The message 	Dawson, A. J. 	F2: Waiting 
The panchronicon 	MacKaye, Harold Steele 	F2: Waiting 
The tower of oblivion 	Onions, Oliver 	F2: Waiting 
The Wonder 	Beresford, J. D. 	F2: Waiting 
Vital Ingredient {P1->P1} 	Vance, Gerald 	F2: Waiting 
Astounding Stories of Super-Science January 1930 {P1->P1} 	many 	F2: Available 
The Crack of Doom 	Robert Cromie 	F2: Available 

kpulliam 04:38, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

It's not just "Who Goes There?"

There's this lot too: and this is not an exhaustive list as it's not easy to cope with multiple-authored titles in SQL. Do any of these look familiar to anybody? BLongley 15:45, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?PLANETSPRING1950 The First Man on the Moon • shortstory by Alfred Coppel [as by Alfred Coppel ]

http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?PRTSTRS1971 My Country, Right or Wrong • shortstory by Andrew J. Offutt [as by Andrew J. Offutt ]

http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?CSMCLGHTR1974 The Black Sorcerer of the Black Castle • shortfiction by Andrew J. Offutt [as by Andrew J. Offutt ]

http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?TIMTOCOM1965 The Blight • (1954) • novelette by Arthur J. Cox [as by Arthur J. Cox ]

http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?ASTAUG1950 Linguistics and Time • essay by Arthur J. Cox [as by Arthur J. Cox ]

http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?THCTHLHMTH1997 The Gorge Beyond Salapunco • (1949) • novelette by August Derleth [as by August Derleth ]

http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?AMAZFALL1998 The Observatory: You Might Live Forever • essay by Ben Bova [as by Ben Bova ]

http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?WHSPRSCTBR1983 One for the Horrors • shortstory by David J. Schow [as by David J. Schow ]

http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?THMNWHLSTT2005 The Man Who Told Lies • (1959) • shortstory by Theodore Sturgeon [as by Theodore Sturgeon ]

http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?SPRSCISCFEB1943 The Vortex Blaster Makes War • (1942) • novelette by Edward E. Smith [as by Edward E. Smith ]

http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?SPRSCISCOCT1942 Storm Cloud on Deka • (1942) • novelette by Edward E. Smith [as by Edward E. Smith ]

http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?THDPFXBD1966 The Deep Fix • (1964) • novella by Michael Moorcock [as by Michael Moorcock ]

http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?JIZZLE1954 Jizzle • (1949) • shortstory by John Wyndham [as by John Wyndham ]

http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?GNTFVGA1960 The Illusionists • novella by James H. Schmitz [as by James H. Schmitz ]

http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?ANLGAUG90 The Negative Matter Space Drive • [Science Fact (Analog)] • essay by Robert L. Forward [as by Robert L. Forward ]

http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?ANLGDEC90 Polesitters • [Science Fact (Analog)] • essay by Robert L. Forward [as by Robert L. Forward ]

http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?TLSPIRX1981 Terminus • [Pirx the Pilot] • (1979) • novelette by Stanislaw Lem [as by Stanislaw Lem ]

http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?MRTLSPTP1982 Ananke • [Pirx the Pilot] • novelette by Stanislaw Lem [as by Stanislaw Lem ]

http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?NLMPLTRNTH2003 And I Think to Myself, What a Wonderful World • (1999) • essay by Paul Di Filippo [as by Paul Di Filippo ]

http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?RTNTVLN1996 Sparrow • novelette by Esther M. Friesner [as by Esther M. Friesner ]

http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?NLGSHLGY6C1982 Make Mine Homogenized • (1960) • novelette by Rick Raphael [as by Rick Raphael ]

http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?XCLBR1995 Echoes of the One Sword • poem by T. Winter-Damon [as by T. Winter-Damon ]

Fixed - http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?PRRRHDNNTR0000 The Third Power • novella by Walter Ernsting [as by Walter Ernsting ] - Fixed

The two Lems may be a bit more convoluted than the rest of the crop. There was presumably a Polish version and an English version of "Terminus" and "Ananke", so the vts may be legitimate, although they may not be set up correctly at the moment. Ahasuerus 16:25, 19 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Taking a look at the last publication in the list, PRRRHDNNTR0000, I see that Hall3730 [1] changed title 643453 so that the author is Walter Ernsting. In looking at Walter Ernsting it's pretty obvious that 643453 used to have an author of Clark Darlton. Marc Kupper (talk) 21:06, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

new cover image template available

I have created Template:Cover Image Data2. It requires no more input than Template:P, but provides much the same boilerplate as Template:Cover Image Data. I have used it on Image:BKTG05639.jpg‎ as an example. This template does not provide automatic categorizing by publisher and artist (as Template:Cover Image Data does), and it requires following a link to see all the meta-data. It is slightly less stable, in that if a pub tag or record number changes (due to a merge perhaps) or if the tag is initially entered incorrectly, there is no easy way to see what publication the cover is for. But it should be somewhat quicker and easier to use than Template:Cover Image Data. -DES Talk 00:12, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Please use either Template:Cover Image Data2 or Template:Cover Image Data when uplaoding book covers, Template:Author Image Data for pics of authors, or one of the other templates in Category:Image License Tags for other uplaoded images. -DES Talk 00:16, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Caution: Firefox Users

Installing the 3.0.1 version of Firefox for the Mac has deleted all previous saved form data, which I was using to speed data entry. The previous version also allowed you to recover from a submission mistake by using the back button. This version deletes all new entries when you go back.--Rkihara 16:17, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

The same seems to be true for Windows.--swfritter 16:29, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
I disagree. I'm on windows with 3.0.1 and I can backpage and my forms are still filled out (so that I could submit another edit with a minor change if I realized my error). FYI- I am on Vista Ultimate as a datapoint.Kevin 04:42, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
I haven't tried FF 3.0.1 yet after these warnings - might do later once I've ensured I can backout easily if necessary. Has anyone tried Chrome yet? I was going to, but it's unwilling to install on a machine where the hard-drive isn't "C:". (No, mine isn't - why should it be? I've got by perfectly happily with "H:", would prefer "Z:" and wish I could call it anything I want.) BLongley 21:23, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

Images and image templates

There has been a discussion between me and Bill, with a few comments by Marc, at User talk:BLongley#Image:Edgar Pangborn.jpg and images in general. The general subject is the various image tagging tempates (such as Template:Cover Image Data, Template:Cover Image Data2 and the other templates in Category: Image License Tags); how to make those tempaltes easier to find and use; how to make the wiki a better suppoort for the ISFDB. I urge people to take a look through that thread, and consider these and related issues, and indicate your views. I note that we now have over 110 images tagged with one or another of the license tags. how burdensome have opeople found the tags? How useful? -DES Talk 19:33, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

List of Publishers

I've added a large wiki-list to Publishers, listing the publisher wiki pages now on file, to make it easier to find them. Let me know if this looks helkpful or not. -DES Talk 22:29, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

It seems to be duplicating Category:Publishers though one benefit of Publishers is that it's all on one page. There's also Special:All pages (Publisher namespace) though that'll show the publisher names that are redirects to the canonical name. Marc Kupper (talk) 04:49, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
I created Category Category:Publishers to replace Publishers as an automated option. DES hasn't seen the new page yet. Either page could serve as an update to Publishers as linked off the main page of [www.isfdb.org ISFDB] which is several years out of date. I also updated your link above. To link to a category, you MUST type like so [[:Category:CATEGORYNAME]] notice the preceeding ":" colon. Without it, you put the talk page into the category. Kevin 05:03, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
I agree that the chances of getting people to add category links to publisher pages is greater than is the chance of getting them to update the list on a separate wiki-page. Thus I haev deelted the list from Publishers, replacing it with a pointer to the category page, and a duplicate of the instructions about puttign pages into the category. -DES Talk 05:44, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
But why separate the parts? Doesn't it make sense to have Major SF publisher at the top and a list of all at the bottom of a single page (the publisher Category page) and just redirect from Publisher (sorry no links - No easy square bracket on my cellphone). Its not about doing it the 'wiki' way, but rather the smartest ISFDB way. Kevin 13:06, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
REdirects to a category don't work, so that isn't posible. And then, the teo parts are rathe different. I originally constructed the list as a separate page, meaning to put it at Publishers as a parallel to Magazines, and when I found that the page already existed, I just stuck it on the bottom. We can consider the matter further. -DES Talk 14:23, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
Ummmm actually they do. After Marc's cleanup today it appears that Publishers is redirecting to Category:Publishers and Publisher_Catalogs_and_Print_Series is a standalone page now. The main ISFDB WIki page links to Publishers with a description of "Publication history of many SF specialty publishers", while the main page of the ISFDB links to an HTML version of Publisher_Catalogs_and_Print_Series. Do we want to change this description, and which page do we want it to point to and from where? My thinking is that Publisher_Catalogs_and_Print_Series is of historical interest and we shoudl look to move most/all of that information to those publisher wiki pages. We should put major SF Publishers in the Category:Major SF Publishers (in addition to Category:Publishers). We should then put a hand edited (since it won't change much except over many years) list of these Major SF publishers on the top of the categoy page Category:Publishers. That way.. the current design intent is retained, the current access to information is retained, but all of it is reformated and properly combined in the Wiki. This also gives us a 'major SF publisher page' to refer to for common publisher interest if someone is bothered by the alphabetical list of all publishers at the bottom of Category:Publishers. Thoughts? Kevin 22:22, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
That could work. There must have been a fix on category redirects in one of the recent versions of the wiki software, they didn't used to work unless i am badly mistaken (which is possible). I think there might be seome value in retaining the curreht Publisher Catalogs and Print Series together on a single page, but in most if not all cases the info about a particualr publisher should probalby be copied to the relevant wiki page, when one exists. -DES Talk 15:30, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

Edit Tag Screen

I'm wondering how hard it would be (and how much support there would be) for someone to reformat the html for the edittags.cgi? screen? In the beginning, having the list of already present tags appear above the enter tag box may have been helpful... it may even be helpful today... but is it sooo helpful that it's worth making every user of the screen scroll past all tags used 3 or more times in the database?

  • Limiting it to tags of 100 or more uses would cut it down to 9 tags.
  • Limiting it to tags of 50 or more uses would cut it down to 35 tags.
  • Putting the code to display tags below the add tag button and below the submit button keeps the list as is, but makes the page more user friendly, to the friendlies that most often use it.

Thanks Kevin 00:32, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

Below might be ok. Reducing to only a few tags dsiplayed would make it nearly useless for me -- indeed even as it is, I often click the link to switch to display all tagas used once or more. Scrolling right to the bottom is quick. If we are to make a change, please change the wording on the "add tag" button. it keeps fooling me into think it is the button to commit data, and I know better. How about "additional tag"? -DES Talk 00:42, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
If you often have to click the 'show all' button, then it isn't working for you now. Wouldn't having no list, or a shorter list with a 'show all' button be the same amount of work for you, but less interference for everyone else? I mean seriously, how helpful is a page+ of unformatted text (especially when every use of a tag changes its location in the list)? Wouldn't an alphabetized list or a Categorized list be of more use to more people? Some possible categories that jump out at me...
  • Themes (Space Opera, Fantasy, Lost Race)
  • Bibliographic (Merillxx, Bleiler78)
  • ISFDB (Needs contents)
  • Ebooks (pga, pgb, pgc, etc)
  • Personal Tags (I-Own-This, Fix me Saturday)
  • Descriptive (Strong Female Character, Elves, Orcs)
  • etc etc.
Kevin 01:55, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
I don't see how tags, which are straight text, can be put into categories unless soemone maintains a list of categories and the tags that fit them, and i think that is too much work for the gain. Alphabetized might be good, but havign the more frequiently used ones first is not bad either. Ideally, you could chose to sort by alpha or freq, and what the display threshold was. But of all the coding work needed on the ISFDB, I would not put that in first place, nor in second or third either. Rediong the tag editor might be a good project for soemone jsut getting started in working on the ISFDB code, but it isn't soemthing i would ask Al to do. -DES Talk 02:32, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
What about the original 3rd choice above. Just moving the Add tag and submit buttons to the top of the page. That (I would think) would only require HTML Reorganization... as opposed to rewriting significant code, or coming to any consensus regarding what is the best thing to show in addition to the buttons. From a minimalist stance... the page requires the Add tag button, and the submit button. Everything else appears to be an extended discussion. Is the placement of the required elements, Top or Bottom, an extended discussion?
I personally don't greatly care about the placement. I suspect that the html is generated by python code, however, so some code change will probably be needed, I would hope a small and easy one. -DES Talk 23:47, 30 August 2008 (UTC)
It seems like an easy change. I've also been thinking about tag categories and late last year started to go through the list and divided the tags into categories much like what Kevin proposed. The categories is a separate discussion and so to avoid having this turn into an extended discussion we'll focus on just the order of the elements. Right now the order is
  • Existing Tags Associated With This Work: ...
  • Most Popular Tags in the Database: ...
  • Show All Tags (link)
  • Tag1 [_________]
  •         [Add Tag]
  •         [Submit Data]
I believe the proposed order is
  • Existing Tags Associated With This Work: ...
  • Tag1 [_________]
  •         [Add Tag]
  •         [Submit Data]
  • Show All Tags (link)
  • Most Popular Tags in the Database: ...
http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/edit/edittags.cgi?640181 would change to
Existing Tags Associated With This Work: artifact , nanotechnology , artificial intelligence , mega-engineering , transhuman , space opera , megastructure , science fiction
Tag1 [_________]
        [Add Tag]
        [Submit Data]
Show All Tags (link)
Most Popular Tags in the Database: fantasy (589), science fiction (461), space opera (294), nanotechnology (229), horror (219), young-adult fantasy (199), non-genre (126), vampires (106), young-adult (104), Merril10 (103), paranormal romance (101), Merril04 (94), Merril08 (92), first contact (89), alternate history (88), Merril03 (88), into-movie (86), Merril05 (86), Merril06 (85), Merril07 (85), Merril02 (82), military sf (80), novelization (79), Merril09 (79), todo (78), Merril01 (78), Cthulhu Mythos (74), mystery (66), young-adult sf (65), pick (65), dark fantasy (62), Hugo Award Winner (62), time travel (58), artificial intelligence (55), female main character (49), near future (48), humorous (48), sword and sorcery (47), Nebula Award Winner (44), action-adventure (43), pgs (43), pgg (43), xRPG (42), pgb (39), pgp (39), RPG (37), short (36), graphic novel (36), werewolf (35), pgl (33), fantasy short story (32), anthology (32), post apocalypse (31), pgw (31), Dimension X (30), cyberpunk (29), steampunk (28), pgn (28), transhuman (27), thriller (27), pgc (27), Bleiler78 (27), ghosts (26), pgr (26), war with aliens (25), strong female characters (24), associational (23), noir (23), murder (23), science fantasy (22), pgd (22), pgv (22), parallel universe (21), detective (21), telepathy (21), mega-engineering (21), virtual reality (20), transdimensional (20), military fantasy (20), Bram Stoker Award Winner (20), historical fantasy (19), dragons (19), fantasy romance (19), pgm (19), new weird (18), religion (18), hard sf (17), alien artifact (17), pgh (17), superhero (16), integrated magic (16), magic (16), vampire romance (15), far future (15), romance (15), empire (15), colony (15), aliens (15), pgj (15), pgf (15), genetic engineering (14), dystopia (14), modern fantasy (14), revolution (13), lycanthropy (13), victorian (12), zombies (12), mind cloning (12), teleportation (12), space navy (12), adventure (12), possession (12), ship AI (11), alien invasion (11), Fix up (11), assassin (11), hidden society (11), swashbuckling adventure (11), epic fantasy (11), into-tv (11), Newbery Medal (11), sf thriller (10), quest (10), special ops (10), mars (10), orphan (10), Suspense (10), pulp hero (10), shapechangers (9), dyson sphere (9), pirates (9), secondary source (9), psychohistory (9), mutant (9), sub-light speed (9), Young Adult (9), female leaders (9), mad scientist (9), pgt (9), haunted (9), your own story (9), urban fantasy (8), dinosaurs (8), survival (8), magic school (8), martial arts (8), galactic empire (8), cyborg (8), moon (8), telekinesis (8), psionics (8), witches (8), private eye (8), music based magic (8), RPG inspired (8), posthuman (7), paranormal mystery (7), trading (7), exploration (7), human experiment (7), zeppelin (7), vampire (7), alien ecology (7), insanity (7), child protagonist (7), pga (7), pgk (7), Fear (7), supernatural (7), novel (7), occult detective (7), humor (6), android (6), lost colony (6), threaded novel (6), mega-fauna (6), superman (6), mercenary (6), social criticism (6), galactic culture (6), alien culture (6), alien perspective (6), wizards (6), into-rpg (6), war (6), portal-gates (6), mind augmentation (6), Dracula (6), young-adult horror (6), erotic fantasy (6), historical (5), afterlife (5), cloning (5), diplomacy (5), space colony (5), artifact (5), uplift (5), archeology (5), asteroid (5), asteroid belt (5), immortal (5), science essay (5), private investigators (5), Jack Vance pastiche (5), Soviet Science Fiction (5), revenge (5), transported main character (5), vehicle (5), forerunner artifacts (5), Creator vs. Creation (5), haunted house (5), erotica (5), Ditmar Award Winner (5), folklore (5), generation starship (4), ecology (4), heroic fantasy (4), psychology (4), mega-starship (4), lost heritage (4), only aliens (4), shared universe (4), maybe-comic (4), ubermensch (4), power armor (4), humanity enslaved (4), storytelling (4), from-board game (4), mathematics (4), ai citizens (4), elves (4), pge (4), Satan (4), satire (4), wishes (4), celtic (4), medieval fantasy (3), space pirates (3), magical realism (3), ace-double (3), prehistoric (3), parallel world (3), colonization (3), parallel earth (3), fictional biography (3), natural disaster (3), mega-flora (3), non-planetary life (3), conspiracy (3), secret breeding program (3), evolution (3), psionic (3), fantasy anthology (3), precognition (3), essay (3), ai bootstrap (3), amnesia (3), mechanical computers (3), augmented reality (3), dueling (3), inventor (3), dwarves (3), humans (3), Earth (3), postcyberpunk (3), lesbian (3), possible floor display (3), King Arthur (3), pgy (3), smart gun (3), maybe delete (3), familiar (3), alien contact (3), anthology-missing-contents (3), literary fantasy (3), Gollancz/Sunday Times SF Award Winner (3), check author graphic novels (3)
Does anyone have an objection to the proposed order? Marc Kupper (talk) 18:13, 31 August 2008 (UTC)
Your mock up fits what I had in mind. - So, no objections here. Kevin 19:16, 31 August 2008 (UTC)
no objections from me. -DES Talk 19:45, 31 August 2008 (UTC)
It looks useful, but I think that Al is on one of his occasional hiatuses and Roglo hasn't been seen in a couple of months. (I have been mostly unavailable for a few weeks as well, but I only do cleanup scripts, so wouldn't be able to help anyway.) Unless somebody else is able and willing to set up a development system, it will have to linger on the list of requested features... Ahasuerus 16:21, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps someone could set up a list of 'low hanging fruit' type requests (such as this) that are html/python related, and specifically do not involve updates to the database in any way. That might allow them to happen sooner than later, to the earlier benefit of all. (off the top of my head, there is this request, the broken advanced search (which literally needs a <space> inserted in between AND and NOT for one of the fixes, and perhaps the menu choices displayed on the website. Oh and add to the list the front page ISFDB link for Publishers which now points to a 2-3 year old page, while a much more up to date publisher page exists in the Wiki now. (I guess I just kind of started the list... but I'm unsure where it should be put for maximum effectiveness and of course... these are things that bug me, not necessarily other editors.) None of these require any mucking with the database, and only one requires any knowledge of SQL at all. Kevin 16:33, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
When Al's availability improved earlier this year, he said that he decided to concentrate on big ticket items as opposed to the "low hanging fruit" to avoid distractions which could prevent him from getting to the important stuff. To an extent, his approach has paid off since he was able to fix Reviews, create an Author Directory and do a number of other relatively major projects including migrating to a new server. In the meantime, Roglo was working on minor cleanup issues while learning the system, but he hasn't contributed since late June, which left our low hanging fruit in limbo. Ahasuerus 17:14, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
I'm thinking to just change the code blind/untested and to let Al know. It should be safe as it's just a re-ordering and not a logic change. Marc Kupper (talk) 04:35, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
I've let this percolate in my head for a while and I can't come up with a way that editing this page (even if we break it temporarily) will have long term negative results. With that said, I say go for it blind untested. Kevin 22:01, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

Standards for SFBC editions

I've created a help page for entering SFBC editions. Everything's up for debate, so please join in if you're so inclined. MHHutchins 02:41, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

This looks good but I'm wondering why do you have the note "Because a book club edition may have several printings, and each may be designated by its Gutter Code, you may be tempted to enter a pub record for each printing. Before doing so, please ask at the Moderator Noticeboard?" Marc Kupper (talk) 04:43, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
You may recall the situation with Asimov's The Bicentennial Man and Other Stories. I have a book club edition that was a later printing (the first SFBC printing was published in September 1976, not necessarily printed then). At that time I cloned the first printing to create a verified record that would be dated according to the gutter code in my printing. I was uneasy doing that then, and have come to the conclusion that it's not a good idea to create pub records for every SFBC printing. There are some titles that remained in print for decades and were reprinted constantly. Since there has been very little effort in the area of book club editions among the editors, I pretty much decided on my own to create the standards that I'd been using to enter the pub records. That doesn't mean those standards can't be changed. It's just that there have been no standards up to the time of my creating that Help Page. Everything's up for discussion.
In the case of the Asimov collection, if we date the second printing based on the gutter code, then shouldn't we do the same with the first printing? I strongly believe the publication date is the month of its selection. (We all know that publication dates, even for trade publishers, isn't the printing date.)
The reason I added the remark about asking on the Moderator Noticeboard, is so that any discussion (debate, quarrel) would be there for anyone who felt passionately enough about the situation could become involved. MHHutchins 00:37, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

David L. Robbins (twins)

David Robbins (1950) wrote over 200 novels. David L. Robbins (1954?)started writing in 1999. David L. Robbins, legal name, gets all David Robbins including the new David L. Robbins at ISFDB. I can not track the L. in the David Robbins who wrote so prolifically. There is a David Robbins entry with many of the same books as under David L. FantasticFiction has data on some of the books, including pseudonyms. Give David Robbins a haircut and he might be the David L. Robbins of FantasticFiction. The later novels listed under David Bobbins might or might not mean he went high tech/end. I wish to add a book, new publication of doubles, of the Blade series. Who is David Robbins really? Could there be a third or is the David L. Robbins doubled back by using David Robbins? I am confused and thus pass it on. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 15:36, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

The fact that David Robbins has so many "Stray Publications" is a dead giveaway - someone's put David No L. Robbins pubs under David L. Robbins titles - they should be in step. I've no idea which way they should go though so can't really work on them. BLongley 18:06, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
I now have a little time to think. The (1950) David Robbins has one book under the L in 1981 (The Blood Cult (1981) not in db yet). The new (1954) David L. Robbins has only one book that I can find in this database (Souls to Keep). My suggestion is to change the (1950) one to the canonical David Robbins. Then go through and change each of the series and the books that were inputed wrongly with David L. to David. At this point I am unsure. I think, once the books that are David Robbins (1950) and series are aligned properly. Then to create a David L Robbins cannonical and name. Someone say the word and I could try that, but of course the moderators will see a lot of activity. Personally, I prefer the 'Hoover' (not the vacuum cleaner) solution. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 20:10, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
(after edit conflict with Harry) According to Wikipedia:David L. Robbins, David L. Robbins has written under the names "David Thompson, Jake McMasters, Jon Sharpe, Don Pendleton, Franklin W. Dixon, Dean L. McElwain, J.D. Cameron, and John Killdeer". His Books N Bytes page clearly descries the same person (the bio is similar, and many of the same titles and pesuds are listed), but the author's real name is given as "David Roberts" with no middle inital at all. The "Official David Robbins Fan club" list much the same set of books, and again gives the name of "David Robbins" with no inital. The profile at fantasticfiction also seems to be about the same author, and also uses no middle inital. This profile is the Wikipedia article's only cited source.
On the other hand bookreporter.com and "David L. Robbins: The Official Website" describe a rather different author, who has apparently written 7 novels, all under the name "David L. Robbins", all more or less historical thrillers, apparently none of them SF in any reasonable sense. -DES Talk 20:41, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
David L's website says he's only had 8 novels, so putting all the others back to David No L seems wise. However, it also has links to contact the author so you could ask if he's any relation. I doubt it's really "twins" or "brothers" - nobody gives twins the same name, do they? Or reuses the name four years later for a sibling? (George Foreman excepted, and I don't think he's in ISFDB yet.) "Cousins" (of various removals) may be possible though. I know some families have honoured fathers and grandfathers so often that there's only been three different forenames for the first son in the last fifteen generations. (And second and third sons are still likely to pick up the other names: in my family, it's "William", "John" and "Thomas" as the common names, so my name could apply to me, dad, grand-dad, great-granddad, great-great-grand-dad, or John could mean my uncle or great-great-great-grand-dad, or either could apply to cousins so removed I don't know they exist or existed...) BLongley 20:55, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
OCLC lists all the 8 novels from the "David L." Website as by "Robbins, David L." Several interviews mention one or more of these same novels, and all give the author as "David L." or as by "Robbins, David L., 1954-" On the other hand, I have checked OCLC records for about 50 of the novels listed for "David", and all are listd as by "Robbins, David, 1950-". There are also listings for a dozen or move books by "Robbins, David, 1940-", but all seem to be about Africa, and none appear to be SF. I have not yet seen any evidencxe that "Robbins, David, 1950-" was ever "David L. Robbins". But he also has an email address (d robbins [AT] cpros [DOT] com.invalid) <munged slightly> so we could ask him. He seems to be the only "David Robbins" who has written any SF -- none of the works of "Robbins, David L., 1954-" seem to be SF, nor any of those of "Robbins, David, 1940-". I am inclined to lsit all these books under "David Robbins", and none of them under "David L. Robbins. Many of the David Robbins books seem to have been released under other names, in several cases house names (including "Franklin W. Dixon") so VTs will be needed. -DES Talk 21:20, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
Library of Congress Online Catalog lists 12 works by "Robbins, David, 1940-", 19 by "Robbins, David, 1950-", and 10 by "Robbins, David L., 1954-" the detaile listings confirm my thoughts above. -DES Talk 21:27, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
I changed the author data to Canonical David Robbins. I then went and changed the series author to David (no L.). I also changed the last title from David Robbins to David L. Robbins the new author who wrote it. I will check tomorrow to find other loose ends. Any pointers or corrections are welcome. I appreciate the input. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 22:40, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
I added data to both author files. Thanks to everyone for the help. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 16:04, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

Under the Moons of Mars (series)

This is appearing under the Moskowitz so [2] . It also appears properly under Edgar Rice Burroughs and Norman Bean where it properly belongs. This must be a 'name title' similarity link to the Moskowitz. I can not fathom the proper fix. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 00:02, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

We link serials to titles only by the name. "lexical matching". There's a project to fix this but for now we will sometimes see things like this where an unrelated book, the Moskowitz anthology in this case, is reporting as having been serialized. Marc Kupper (talk) 07:15, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
As there's only one pub called "Under the Moons of Mars: A History and Anthology Of 'The Scientific Romance' in the Munsey Magazines, 1912-1920", which is under the title "Under the Moons of Mars" (the common name causing the mismatch), the inappropriate "link" could be broken by using the full name of the pub as the title as well. We sometimes have to suffix titles to distinguish them, using a true full publication name couldn't really be considered an error. Or even just use enough of the publication name to distinguish them, maybe "Under the Moons of Mars: A History and Anthology". So long as the part that at a minimum could be considered the title (rather than title and subtitle, or series and title, or title and series) is entered correctly searches will work. And it would be more elegant than a "(NOT the series)" suffix, for instance. Although I now notice that the full title is inconsistent in capitalisation of "of" as well. BLongley 21:59, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, to both. I will capitalize the Of in the title tonight. I will check tomorrow and if it is still there I will add the subtitle. I had expected some confusion from the first time I saw the Moskowitz title. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 00:01, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
I added the subtitle and hopefully that will break the "lexical matching". And some people think you guys do not have decoder rings. LOL Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 11:58, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
I can neither confirm or deny that I have one. After all, they're SECRET decoder rings. BLongley 12:40, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

Brain refresh - page numbers

Within the last month or two there was a thread on an editor's talk page. The editor had entered a book using something like [5]+200 and the thread ended up with a list of bibliographic sources and their numbering systems. I can't find this talk page. TIA. Marc Kupper (talk) 07:18, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

See User_talk:Kpulliam/Archives02#The_Dancer_from_Atlantis. Kevin 15:56, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
Thank you Kevin. Marc Kupper (talk) 21:04, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

Help:Screen:MakeVariant

Somehow I am missing the point. It says the ID is 44190 and let's you go look at the title page and says you can see this digits in the URL. For the life of me I can not see those numbers anywhere, even if I open and look at each title. Secondly it says URL which again I can not find what is meant. What I thought it should be is the Publication:Coding sequence. I also guessed that you would not need the publications part. I am stuck at this. Probably Tuesday before I check back on this. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 20:25, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

If you do a Title Search on "Strange Playfellow" (and select the story, not the excerpt), you get to this record. When this is displayed in your browser, the browser's address bar will display the URL http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?44190. This includes the record number, "44190" at the end. The record number can be copied from the address bar. A URL is a "Uniform Resource Locator" -- the formal name for a web or net address. You mostly see URLs in the address bar of a browser, or in link text in HTML. Anything that starts "http://" is almost surely a URL.
Variants are done at the title level, there is no need to open publication records to make or unmake a variant. The number wanted is the title record number. This is the same number that is used as the argument to Template:T.
Note that there is also Help:Screen:AddVariant, which should probably be more consistent with this screen.
I hope this is helpful. -DES Talk 16:30, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
Another thing you can do is perform an ADVANCED title search: then the title record number shows up in a more obvious place:
	Year 	Type 		Record 	Title 					Authors
	1940 	SHORTFICTION 	68259 	Excerpt from "Strange Playfellow" 	Isaac Asimov
	1940 	SHORTFICTION 	44190 	Strange Playfellow 			Isaac Asimov
BLongley 18:21, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
I normally get the title # by clicking on one of the things to the left on a title page such as Edit Title Data. It'll show up at the end of the URL where a simple double-click on the number and then Ctrl-C gets the number into the copy/paste buffer. The same us true for authors should you ever want to pseudonym link using author-IDs. Dragoondelight is correct in that the finding the numbers is not intuitive. Marc Kupper (talk) 23:13, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
Thanks to all. I was stuck on the paradigm and was looking for the number in the layout. It took forever to look at the Browser URL, it just was not in my idea of where forms numbers should be. It was a shock to find it up there. Part of the problems is the example is large and you have to go down to see the whole page. My vision focused on that and ignored the top. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 10:58, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

Verified publishing discussion

There is an interesting discussion going on at Talk:Verified Publishing Names. Please do join. -DES Talk 23:36, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

The Rival Rigellians (mispelling for cover art)

I mispell 'The Rival Rigelians' as above and it references the cover artists. I can not find a way to delete the double ll. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 12:14, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

You just search for title "The Rival Rigellians" and edit the COVERART record - or in this case records, as there are two cover artists. Fixed now. BLongley 18:23, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
I checked the book record, but not the cover art record. Thanks, Harry --Dragoondelight 20:54, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

The Merchants' War

Frederik Pohl is not searchable for this title. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 12:34, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

I think it's one of those nasty issues with different apostrophe characters. Try searching for "The Merchants% War" instead? Or advanced search for "merchant" and "war" in titles? (Or am I totally missing the point of your question?) -- Dave (davecat) 14:48, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
I'd agree with Dave on that one. When I'm searching for a title like The Merchants' War I will avoid the areas that have apostrophes and instead search for "The Merchant" and if needed a second line on Advance Search with either the author name or "War". You are probably seeking
There are two similar characters for apostrophe, codes 39 (') and 146 (’). On a Windows PC if you hold the ALT key down, enter 39 or 146 on the numeric keypad, and release the ALT key you will get these characters. Character 39 is usually on the keyboard next to the ENTER key but some software, such as Microsoft Word, will change that key into character 146 when you use it in a document. Recently ISFDB was updated to convert some of these codes but I just tested and am getting inconsistent results. Some modules such as newpub, editpub, and edittitle seem to be converting code 39 to 146 before you edit and then converting back when you hit save while others like addpub and mkvariant are not doing this meaning it's still possible to introduce both codes into the database.
A second reason I steer clear of the apostrophe when searching which is that the title may be The Merchant's War and not The Merchants' War. It looks like someone has used "Merchant's" as I found this cover and this verified publication. Marc Kupper (talk) 18:19, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
I have that edition and the original submission is incorrect. It should be The Merchants' War. I've corrected the pub and cover credit. MHHutchins 18:24, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
And let's not forget the titles with ampersand, "quot", semi-colon (six separate characters) in... :-/ BLongley 18:32, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
Truly amazing. Substitution, institution, re-substituion, and re-institution and people think computer's are not self-aware. LOL I now officially blame everything on the computer. Thanks, Harry. --Dragoondelight 21:04, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
Dashes & hyphens are also vexing. There are the hyphen, the mdash, & the ndash, three separate characters. It's also possible that there are variants for one or more of these. And whitespace (blank, two blanks, & tabs, as well as newlines in note fields) can all look the same. When searching it's advisable to avoid searching for any non-alphanumeric characters. Don't blame your computer, though, Harry. It's people who set conflicting standards—often for good reasons, though. (That should be an mdash in that sentence, via copy/paste, though it looks like a hyphen to me as I type here; in doing a preview, though, I can see it's an mdash. Ndashes look a lot like hyphens. The following should be two hyphens (before my sig).) -- Dave (davecat) 16:08, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
There are also non-breaking hyphens, and minus signs, both impossible to tell from standard hyphens by eye in most fonts. And there are thin spaces, which may or may not look different. I think that the ISFDB should probably convert a number of these problamatic charaxcters to standard forms on saving records and doing searches -- the differences are just not that useful, at least in key db fields like Title, Author, and Publisher. (Notes is a different matter.) -DES Talk 16:42, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
I got caught, and eaten, and swallowed by a dash yesterday. I was verifying Daybreak—2250 A.D. and copy/pasted the title from ISFDB into the advanced search box so I could merge a title. The search failed because in this case ISFDB correctly escaped the dash into \x97 it failed to account for that immediately after this was "2250" meaning the search was for character \x972250. Marc Kupper (talk) 18:48, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
Another fun character is "%". When searching, that's treated as a wildcard so you tend to get rather more than expected - we only actually have four titles with it in, as a search for "\%" shows. Strangely, searching for just "\" finds just one of them... BLongley 18:04, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
The "%" matches any number of characters including zero and "_" matches any one character. Searching for either % and/or _ itself is harder. MySQL syntax supports "\_" and "\%" but the ISFDB code is also escaping \ into \\. Using "\%" finds anywhere from one to six titles for reasons I don't understand. The code is also converting a * that you enter into a % for the MySQL search and it's not coded to recognize \* for example to search for a "*" itself. You would think that "\\" would be used to search for titles containing a "\". That works but you also see the titles that contain "Ä", "ä", "Æ", or "æ". This is a side affect of Al's battle with Unicode and his handling of \ to prevent abuse such as putting a \ at the end of a search expression.
There is a subtle difference between the "Search the database" box on the left and the Advanced Search form in that Advance Search trims leading and trailing spaces from the string before adding a % to the beginning and end to perform the search. The "Search the database" box does not trim the spaces. Thus if you enter " A test " (without the quotes) in the "Search the database" box you get four titles while Advanced Search returns ten titles. Use "% a test %" in Advanced Search and you will get the same four titles. Unfortunately, there's no way to search for a title that starts or ends in something. Marc Kupper (talk) 17:33, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
"no way to search for a title that starts or ends in something" does bug me quite often. My ISBN searches are almost always by prefix if they're not for a full ISBN (once I've discovered identified ranges for a publisher and/or imprint I like to check whether they're unique, lead to other imprints, or show up some poorly cloned pubs). And another regular sweep I do is for titles where a leading "The" or "A" or "An" has been imported with a trailing ", The" or ", A" or ", An". Still, I can do those from the offline backups fairly easily, it just means I don't do it too often. I should probably document a few of the small clean-ups I do occasionally just in case anything happens to me: does anyone else check things like "http" in author names to see where someone has entered an "Image URL:" in "Artist1:" instead? I usually catch three or four each month. BLongley 19:30, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

Novel vs. Collection: Part X of Y

Here is an exchange about James Gunn's The Listeners over on Harry's Talk page:

[...] In reading the commentary, it does not seem a collection, but an non-standard novel. Though each novellete is separated, they are actually subdivided on the contents page. There is a human named portion and then a computer run portion. [...] Dragoondelight 19:54, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
I have spot-checked a few stories against my SFBC edition of the novel. As far as I can tell, the texts of the original stories were mostly preserved, although some magazine conventions like italicizations were altered by Scribner's. There were two major changes, though. First, as you note, a bunch of "Computer Run" sections, mostly consisting of quotes from other sources, were added after each chapter. Second, a number of foreign language quotes were removed from the first story; the rest had their associated translations moved to the back of the book. Overall, the changes were not as extensive as in some other "fix-ups" from that period, but still, one could argue that the end result is a novel and not a collection. [...] Ahasuerus 02:04, 25 September 2008 (UTC)

Based on the discussion above, would you say that the book version is a fix-up novel or a collection? Ahasuerus 02:10, 25 September 2008 (UTC)

I would say that this is in the gray area. Were the names used in the separate publication preserved as chapter/section/story titles? if they were, it argues to me for retaining collection status. Do the stories stand on their own? Can they be read out-of-order and make sense? If not, i would call this a novel. If they have separate names, and can usefully be read out of order and/or separately I would call this a collection. -DES Talk 16:49, 25 September 2008 (UTC)
The titles of the original stories were changed when they became novel chapters -- see Contento. You could probably read the stories out of order since there is enough background information in most of them to figure out what's going on, but they form one long overarching story and the stories/chapters appear chronologically. To make things even more interesting, the story that became the second chapter in the book was the last one to be published in Galaxy and "Robert MacDonald—2058" never appeared as a standalone.
Since the author and the publisher call the book "a novel" and the designation is prominently displayed on the dust jacket, I agree with Michael that we should probably go along and call it a novel as well. We'll just need to add notes to the Title record explaining which original story became which chapter of the book and clarify the nature of the changes. We already have a Series set up, so the relationship should be clear on the Summary page. Ahasuerus 17:53, 25 September 2008 (UTC)
Reasonable, although i don't think the author's and publisher's terminology should be weighted as highly as you seem to. -DES Talk 20:53, 25 September 2008 (UTC)
Well, if a book is billed as a Novel and we enter it as a Collection based on internal evidence, then there is a good chance that it may confuse some of our users and they will conclude that the same author has published two books under the same title, one a novel and one a collection. After all, it does happen from time to time, so anything that we can do to avoid this problem (and promote the Principle of Least Surprise) seems to be a Good Thing (tm). Of course, there are usually other factors involved as well. Ahasuerus 23:49, 25 September 2008 (UTC)
Point noted. In any case, on close calls, a pub note or title note would probably be a good idea, not that that will stop all confusion, but it might help. -DES Talk 17:37, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
Oh, and your example, I would have listed as a novel with a bonus story. This particular author has done that several times, see THMSNCHNTD2000, WTHSNGLSPL2000, THNWLLNGWR2000, Template:BLDFDRGNJL2001, and others in that series. Indeed I'd be tempted to change it now, except that it is verified. -DES Talk 17:45, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
I'm in two minds about Novels with bonus stories. Often the bonus is just an extract from another forthcoming book - which has been known to be a complete real short story, especially if the forthcoming book is a collection (see The Boy Who Would Live Forever). Then you get things like Who Goes Here? and The Giaconda Caper, where I specially hunted the book down despite already owning the Novel. My borderline is beginning to shift towards "would I buy a different edition of this book based on knowing one edition had a bonus?" - if "no" then I'd leave it as a novel + bonus, if "yes", I'd quite like it flagged up as being a bit different. A variant title if not a completely separate one. BLongley 18:43, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
Of course, fix-ups are more complicated: I recently noticed we haven't agreed on The Day the Martians Came. I lean towards Collection in that case as the names are preserved, and sources credited for the previously published material. In the case of The Listeners I'm not too fussed either way but it's a LOT easier to let ISFDB handle the links to the constituent stories rather than construct the HTML for Pub or Title notes. (Badly-formed HTML can lead to some real display oddities or even unapprovable and unrejectable submissions, and even well-formed HTML links are next-to-useless if you're using the database offline.) BLongley 18:43, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
I actually got The Day the Martians Came out of the library to weigh in on that one, and then didn't get to it before the book was overdue.
As to "bonus stories", I only use the term for actual stories, not promotional excerpts. Take a look at the Watt-Evans publications linked above. Each has a novel, albeit a fairly short one by current standards. In each one publication of that novel also includes a short story set in the same universe, in some cases with some other relation to the novel (shared theme, mostly), in one or two cases not. Most if not all of the stories have been published elsewhere. Would you make these collections? I admit that I dislike collections with only two content items (well, plus introductions and such, but still...). Or would you call them omnibuses? since one element is a novel previously published separately? Currently they are listed as publications of novels.
We need a better way to handle fix-ups, revised and expanded works, and similar things. That has been said before, but it is still true. Maybe when Al has some time again... -DES Talk 21:06, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
Last I heard, Al was at least one ocean away from his development system, but hopefully he will re-emerge soon. As far as the "collection vs. novel+a bonus story" debate goes, I agree that a single bonus story makes it for at best a borderline collection, but the first Watt-Evans publication that I linked has one novel, one story and one long (14 pages) excerpt from another novel. Oh well, I guess we'll never have a perfect definition which will cover all possible permutations and make everybody happy... Ahasuerus 21:28, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
Al's return will of course never fix everything unless we grant him "benevolent despot" status. We'll actually have to AGREE on some things... I suspect asking for a "based on/including this shortfiction entry" link would help, and "expanded" or "revised" editions linking better without having to vary the title would help. As would allowing "fuzzy" definitions of titles like "Foundation" - it's the first novel in Asimov's classic trilogy, isn't it? Not according to us. And it's not in a trilogy. And the Foundation books aren't all by Asimov. Some things we currently deal with without complaint should be questioned or worked-around: but when we DO complain then we ought to offer a solution. BLongley 23:15, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
Most of those (except for the Fuzzy logic, AFAIK) have been askwed for, soem time ago. See the ISFDB Feature List and in particular "Feature:90155 Add an optional "nature of the relationship" field to the Make Variant screen"; ISFDB:Proposed Design Changes; and ISFDB talk:Proposed Design Changes#"Based on". -DES Talk 01:57, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

Implemented features

The following items are listed as "open" in the ISFDB Feature List, but I think they have in fact been implemented. However, not being a developer myself, I am reluctant to just move them to the implemented section. -DES Talk 02:22, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

  • Feature:90149 Publisher biographies -- This has been at least partly implemented, depending on how it is interpreted.
  • Feature:90138 Title Merge Review – show differences -- not implemented as described, but the current display I think performs the same function.
  • Feature:90133 Show who has verified a publication in pub-edit approval -- fully implemented, unless I have misunderstood.
  • Feature:90103 Linking book reviews to their title records -- fully implemented, unless I have misunderstood.
  • Feature:90083 Need better submission feedback -- seems to have been at least partly implemented
  • Feature:90049 Make this Publication into a New Title -- I think unmerge fixed this.
  • Feature:90017 Can we add a free text field to the Merge/Delete form so that editors could explain why they want to merge/delete data? -- done for delete, but not for merge
  • Feature:90013 Any way to hyperlink publisher names? -- implemented.

There are, of course, lots of requested features left. -DES Talk 02:22, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

I'm working on getting a development system up and one of the things that'll happen once it's up is I'll be taking a hard look at the current bug and feature lists. In the mean time I've pretty much ignored the lists meaning it's possible features were either implemented or partially implemented and not removed from the list. Your list seems accurate though. Probably what I'd do is to go back to the person that posted each feature request and ask "has the request been handled to your satisfaction?" Marc Kupper (talk) 16:12, 28 September 2008 (UTC)
90013 and 90049 were "mine", so I have moved them to the "Implemented features" section. I think the rest are Marc's.
P.S. Checking the specifics, 90083 seems to be significantly more comprehensive that what we currently have. Ahasuerus 02:29, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
Oops - I looked at the list...
  • 90149 and 90133 are done.
  • 90138 is still open - we have highlighting of what values someone picked but not a way to show if we are loosing information in the merge. Sometimes I end up copy/searching for strings to make sure all the titles are exactly the same, etc. This feature request is to help moderators spot that approving a merge would result in the loss of information. Editors get a color coded conflict list when submitting a merge but moderators don't. I've updated the issue description.
  • 90083 is still open and was something I was mentally coding up the other day. I want editors to be able to see the moderator approval screens and to be able to revise their edits. This also involves interlocking the submission state. Right now two moderators can pick up a NEW submission and so part of what's involved here is that a submission gets added as EDITOR-REVIEW. An editor can later pick up the submission and the system will change it's state from NEW back to EDITOR-REVIEW. A new state, MODERATOR-REVIEW, would get added to prevent editors or other moderators from picking up a submission. We also need timeouts or perhaps on the mod screen to see that something has been in REVIEW for X hours/days and to override this as a session must have died. The edit screens are challenging. Anyway, it's a *feature* request. :-)
  • 90017 is Ahasuerus' but it's partially implemented (for deletes). Marc Kupper (talk) 04:35, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

Cover art by multiple artists

I had occasion, today, to enter multiple cover artists for a publication, and to palce notes on the cover art record. (The publication was Station in Space.) I found, to my suprise, that two separate cover art records were created, one for each artist, rather than a single record with two co-creators. These are 921628 and 921629. Is this by design? It seems odd. It also means that the dispaly on each artist's page shows "Cover: Station in Space (1958)" rather than "Cover: Station in Space (1958) with Other Artist". Obviously this is not a top-priority matter, but should I put in a feature request, or is this really the best way for things to work, or is there something odd about this example? -DES Talk 21:18, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

The current behaviour may be because two-artist works are usually dos-a-dos. While you can get it work by setting up the pub with one artist and then changing the coverart title record to have the second artist the result is fragile if you then edit the publication and try to change the artists the results are unpredictible. Unlike publication contents, if you remove or change a cover artist name the software also deletes the coverart title record(s).
I agree though that there are publications with joint or even group works. It's moderately complicated to fix this. I'd lean towards calling it a feature request rather than a bug fix. Marc Kupper (talk) 22:41, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
Feature request submitted. -DES Talk 17:11, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
I think we're up to THREE feature requests now due to rapid cross-thinking - (it might even be four before I post this!) but will sort that out later. But we do (eventually) need to divide "multiple artists for same artwork" from "multiple artists for multiple works on same publication". I think we could validly call some of the things you CAN do with COVERART "bugs" but as we're generally lousy on expressing requirements Al can always turn round and say it's a "feature". Although sometimes I wish for a better explanation of what the new "features" are for. :-/ BLongley 20:25, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
For now, I'd suggest that COVERART records be left alone unless you're providing a test example for review - they're not QUITE as badly bugged as CHAPTERBOOK records, but you might be surprised at some of the things you can do with them. For instance, we could get "James R. Frenkel" credited as EDITOR for non-magazine works. (See other discussions for why this might be desirable.) I haven't found a way to abuse them for anything I want but others might. But please don't experiment too hard, there are records I can't figure out how to clean up without a full database download and some major offline experimentation. (I suspect I've got a non-linked REVIEW that makes one of my test authors undeletable, but we can't find those here). BLongley 20:25, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
I agree that using coverart records in odd ways like this is unwise at this time. I don't see any problem in using them to record notes about coverart, that is not twisting the obvious intent, nor does it cause problems with other records. AFAIK. Do you see any problem with putting text into the notes field of a cover art record that describes the cover or says something possibly useful about it? The only problem I see is that until the interface is changed most users will never see any such notes, but that is just as true if you put them in the wiki. They could go into publication notes, but there they tend to overwhelm the actual pub notes, at least in some cases. -DES Talk 20:32, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
I'd offer the word "Vulnerability" - if that's a word. Adding notes looks fine, but the records might disappear as people experiment. If it's not a supported feature, I wouldn't recommend doing anything odd until you can point at the problems caused too. Most experiments with unsupported features break links - stray titles that are in no publications, publications that have no titles, for instance. Those we can find via Title searches and Publication searches and fix. Add notes to COVERART if you like, so long as you can find those records later, or understand they might be lost for ever when "we" fix things. (They're actually TOO prevalent anyway, you'll find COVERART records in even a simple search. Same with experimental EDITOR records - you'll find those even if there's no magazine.) But my experiments (and I think I'm about 50% familiar with the underlying database now) still lead me to areas where I can't fix it via the ISFDB interface even though I know I've created some oddities. So experiment a LITTLE, be prepared to FIX, but please don't spend too much effort on records that might well be lost for good later. When we've established what is "Normal" around here. BLongley 21:15, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
But it seems to me that coverarts notes are a supported feature, they surely are a designed-in feature. I agree about the kind of twisted use you discuss, or most of them. You seem to be conflating a supported, but perhaps not too well implemented feature, with unintended, and therefore unsupported overloading of features intended for different purposes. I agree that such overloading is usually unwise. -DES Talk 21:28, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
I think they're an ACCIDENTAL feature, given their general invisibility. Feel free to experiment if you want - I can't stop you anyway - but I wouldn't recommend adding much data expecting it to be useful later, that's all. Try an example publication with COVERART records by multiple artists, on both sides of a Double publication, add the data about how one is based on an extract of a famed 17th century artist's work (of course, make sure he gets a credit here) (detailing the materials used, where the painting can be seen, who loaned it to the gallery, et cetera) and the same for an 18th century artist (make sure he gets a credit here too) on the other side. Edit the publication to say the cover art is down to "Robert Carr" (and that's enough). (Name picked mostly at random, but he seems to be a "Cover Designer" of note.) Go find all the stray records. I frankly have no idea what chaos will ensue, but if you state what you've tried I can fix it later (to some extent) or look at the backups and see what we need to add to the editing tools. 22:28, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
What about linking an art critic review? :-) Marc Kupper (talk) 03:54, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
Funny man. Let's worry about it when you find one you want to link. :) -DES Talk 16:34, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

Where's Earl? Binder - that is

I have just finished updating the Eando Binder short fiction, serial, and some novel entries to to reflect the psuedonym attributions according to Day and Contento. Earl's bibliographical credits are now much reduced. Keep an eye out for anyone who feels sorry for Earl. Any changes in psueodonym attributions for Eando Binder should not be done without some justification. There is a note in the master title for each entry indicating the sources for the attributions. A little more research needs to be done for some of the novels.--swfritter 16:27, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Publisher / SFBC

In light of #Standards for SFBC editions I'd like to update Template:PublicationFields:Publisher to include the "Publisher / SFBC" format. Does anyone see a problem with this? Marc Kupper (talk) 02:42, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

No problem, proceed.Kraang 03:43, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
Go for it, ASAP. -DES Talk 16:24, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
I strongly suggest you split this question from the original one, or it will deteriorate into another mess where we can't extract the assent from the dissent. " / SFBC" looks fine to everyone so far. "/ BOMC" and " / BCE" exist but are another discussion. So is "/ QPB". "QPD" would be another but seems to have been regularised (probably inaccurately.) The UK SFBC would be one of the ones that might be closely related, but even THAT is a big can of worms with "Reader's Union" classification an issue. Stick to ONE question per thread, don't let it get out of hand, and we might get some agreements. BLongley 22:04, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
Since we have over 130 "NNNNNN / SFBC" (and no "SFBC / NNNNNN" records except for "SFBC / QPBC") Publisher records, we might as well make "NNNNNN / SFBC" official. Ahasuerus 23:22, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Ahasuerus. (And he's referring to publisher records not title records.) MHHutchins 07:06, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
I've updated Template:PublicationFields:Publisher to include a section about SFBC. Marc Kupper (talk) 04:52, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

Publisher normalization

Template:PublicationFields:Publisher does not mention normalizing names but I would like to include about that we normally do not include suffixes such as Inc., Limited, etc. that designate the legal nature of the company. Does anyone see a problem with this? Marc Kupper (talk) 02:44, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

I general I agree but I've found a couple of cases where it would appears that Inc. or inc. should be used, it seems to have been used as part of the imprints name.Kraang 03:47, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Marc. If you like, include a mention that there may be a few cases that are exceptions. -DES Talk 16:25, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Marc. I can't think of any time I've found such a suffix useful. However I'm interested in 1) hearing what exceptions Kraang thinks there are, and 2) whether the magazine publishers should be included. I've left those alone for now as their editors seem to be being especially particular about those sorts of details, so I haven't even messed with "Inc." and "Inc" variations. BLongley 19:05, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
I've only left it "Inc./inc." where it involves magazines since this is the publishers name and there is no imprint involved.Kraang 01:22, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
Inc/inc. defines the structure of the company as an incorporated entity and is not part of the company name. When you register a company you would register Kraang for example and if it's approved (you paid the registration fee and your name is not the same or similar to an existing company), then you are allowed to use Kraang incorporated and, depending on where you registered, Kraang limited both of which are often abbreviated to Inc., inc., LTD, and Ltd. Australia adds "Pty" and you would see Kraang Pty Ltd down under. While "Inc" is not part of the name there is some value to entering a publisher name as "Kraang Inc." in that it lets people know that Kraang is a company and not simply a marketing brand or imprint. For example, Ace Books, Inc. was the publishing company and Ace Books is an imprint of Charter Communications.
This does bring up a pitfall with regularizing in that right now all the names that have "Inc" in that we'd loose that 415 of the 8363 names in the database (5%) are designated as companies of one sort or another. I need to think about this a bit. While I don't mind an all merging
  • Scholastic Inc (used 6 times, not verified, and so I merged this into Scholastic Inc.)
  • Scholastic Inc. (used 71 times)
  • Scholastic, Inc (used once, not verified, and so I merged this into Scholastic Inc.)
  • Scholastic, Inc. (used 8 times, none verified, and so I merged this into Scholastic Inc.)
  • Scholastic, Incorporated (used once, not verified, and so I merged this into Scholastic Inc.)
I'd be less comfortable merging Scholastic Inc. into Scholastic (1161 pubs) as we'd be erasing from the database the fact that Scholastic is incorporated. Thus before erasing the existing 415 instances of Inc/Ltd I'd want to document them, probably on the Publisher namespace article for the common name (The Scholastic article in the case of Scholastic Inc. for example). Marc Kupper (talk) 04:08, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

Imprint / Publisher vs. Publisher / Imprint

I was looking at Template:PublicationFields:Publisher about if it's "Imprint / Publisher" or "Publisher / Imprint". It seems we use both and the help is silent. I'd lean towards Imprint / Publisher myself or even just Imprint. Marc Kupper (talk) 02:47, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

My vote's for "Imprint / Publisher".Kraang 03:50, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
My preference is for "Imprint / Publisher" in general. If the "publisher" has never done any SF except through imprints, and the "imprint" is well known on it's own, then perhaps just "Imprint" would be better: for example I would prefer "Baen" to "Baen / Baen Publishing enterprises" (or whatever the corporate legal name is) and "Tor" to "Tor / Tom Doherty Assocs". But I prefer "Del Rey / Ballantine" to "Del Rey".
Can we also standardize on spaces before and after the slash, please? Or else on no spaces (though i prefer the spaces), but anything is better than half one way and half the other, often with both variants for a single imprint / publisher combo. Let's put this in the help also, please? I would just make this change, but don't want to act unilaterally while the matter is under discussion. -DES Talk 16:32, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
To be clear (Partly in response to Bill's comment below), the times when i most want the publisher included is when the publisher has also done significant SF not in the imprint, or has two or more significant imprints, or the imprtint is not that well known, but the publisher is. Thus i would want the variuous imprints of HarperCollins listed as, for example "Dark Alley / HarperCollins" and "Eos / HarperCollins". not just ""Dark Alley" and "Eos". Similarly, because Ballantine had several significant SF lines before Del Rey was created is why i would use "Del Rey / Ballantine" rather than "Del Rey".
Perhaps we could agree to standardize (in the DB) on "Imprint / Publisher" and then consider imprint by imprint which ones should be jsut "Imprint" -DES Talk 20:32, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
I would MUCH prefer it if we standardised on "Imprint" and decided when ADDING "/ Publisher" was desirable. I can understand that some people want to find the other imprints of a publisher easily, but given the number of publications that ARE just recorded with imprint I'd want some REALLY GOOD reason to go reverify my Ace, NEL, NAL, Baen, Tor, Tandem, Orbit, etc books. We cannot safely change what we have en masse (well, maybe we could change "Corgi" to "Corgi / Transworld", I haven't seen an exception yet) - but as we haven't even agreed on what a "Publisher" truly is it seems to be a bad move to go back to 0% verification and start over. I can be persuaded to do things like checking my "Tandem" and dividing into "Tandem Science Fiction" and "Tandem Science Fantasy", but you'll have to persuade me on a case-by-case basis. Otherwise it's just more typing for no added value. BLongley 21:11, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
Let me give a detailed example. My reasons for favoring "Del Rey / Ballantine" are several. First of all, when someone does a publisher search on "Ballantine" I want them to see the Del Rey imprint, and when soemone does a search on "Del Rey" I want them to notice the other Ballantine imprints. If we use only "Del Rey" neither of these will heppen. -DES Talk 05:41, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
Adding Ballantine doesn't show the other imprints when you search for Del Rey, it only gives you an indicator that there's a publisher Ballantine. You'd still have to do a second search on Ballantine to find the full list of 30. Or we could leave Ballantine in the publisher notes for Del Rey, or write more comprehensive articles on the Wiki for Del Rey and Ballantine. This allows for things like mentioning other imprints that are NOT represented here. Or do both. You have to balance the effort of making people enter a name almost 3 times longer on each pub, with any improved search or display benefits you'd get. BLongley 15:15, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
Secondly, for most if not all of its existance, and particuarly its early years, the Ballantie name and (at least at first) logo were generally present on Del Rey books. The Ballantien name is now less promeinent, but generally still present. Thirdly, the historical factor. Ballantine has been an important SF publisher, with several SF lines before Del Rey. Del Rey was, initally, very much a part of Ballantine, althouggh it now acts as more of an independant label.
Similar sorts of reasons will apply in many cases, i think. I agree that evaluationg these sorts of reasons will be soemthign of a case-by-case job. -DES Talk 05:41, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
But in any case, I think it is highly desireable that there should be, to the greatest extent possible, a single cannonical name for each imprint or publisher. I would rather that all Del Rey books had only "Del Rey" in the publisher field, than that some had "Del Rey" and some had "Del Rey / Ballantine". Notice also that IF we standardize on "Imprint / Publisher" and IF we later add a separate imprint field, bulk conversion (for already standardized publisehrs, at least) would be easy. Note: I do not see that a bulk conversion, via the Edit Publisher interface, to an accepted cannonical anme for an imprint, should require or imply re-verification of any pubs. -DES Talk 05:41, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
I believe people use imprint / publisher when they are not certain which name is the "right" one and perhaps that some imprints have seemed "naked" without the publisher name.
Some of the responses made me realize my original question may not be clear. I'm only asking about "imprint / publisher" vs. "publisher / imprint" and was not intending to make any statements/suggestions regarding on if "imprint" alone is desired. It does seem we are settling on "imprint / publisher" which *may* lead to later proposals to look for "publisher / imprint", "imprint publisher" "publisher imprint" etc. and to merge those into the "imprint / publisher" format. Marc Kupper (talk) 00:36, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
The inital post included the text: "I'd lean towards Imprint / Publisher myself or even just Imprint." (emphasis added) That rather opend up the question, IMO. -DES Talk 05:41, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
I my case I do not use imprint / publisher because i am unsure of which to use, but because I think it better to lsit both (unless/until we have a separate "imprint" field)
I prefer just "Imprint" unless the Publisher is needed for disambiguation: then "Imprint / Publisher". I always prefer spaces around a slash too, not just here but in titles. BLongley 18:46, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
I'm for "Imprint / Publisher". --Chris J 19:52, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
I'm also for the ordering "Imprint / Publisher", and have a strong preference for spaces around the slash. ...clarkmci/--j_clark 01:10, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
I've updated Template:PublicationFields:Publisher to add the "Imprint / Publisher" format. I'm also spitting the part of the thread that seems to be about entering the imprint name only into it's own thread. Marc Kupper (talk) 03:09, 5 October 2008 (UTC)
While looking at Scholastic a moment ago I realized that there are publisher names like
  • Little Apple Books (Scholastic)
  • Apple imprint, Ashton Scholastic (Australia)
  • Little Apple imprint, Scholastic Inc.
  • Apple imprint, Ashton Scholastic (NZ)
With all of these the intent was clear (least astonishment) and so I've updated the help to allow for that and to explain that what we want to avoid is Publisher / Imprint and the use of / with no spaces. Marc Kupper (talk) 04:18, 5 October 2008 (UTC)
I've just remembered another reason not to do "obvious" merges. For instance, Panther went from a separate company to an imprint of Granada in the late 1960s, but retained Panther as the spine imprint. Later, Panther was reduced to a joint spine imprint like "Panther Granada" or "Triad Panther". These are NOT intended to be "Publisher / Imprint" or "Imprint / Publisher", they're just "Imprint" as recorded on the spine. I find it usefully indicates the decline of the Panther name over time but have found it necessary to explain why "Panther Science Fiction" still appears on the COVER of books by Granada, Grafton, etc. If anyone assumes that I just missed a slash then they're assuming wrongly. Of course, people might hate me enough by now to go "fix" these anyway, but you'd be destroying data. BLongley 21:02, 5 October 2008 (UTC)
That brings up which parts of a book someone should look at when figuring out the publisher name to enter... Marc Kupper (talk) 21:33, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
What's wrong with "all of them"? Front and back cover, spine, title page, copyright page, intro pages, advertising pages... basically I think I'd stop checking when the fiction starts, and restart when it ends. BLongley 22:06, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
The publisher name is fiction when it's an imprint. :-). I'm back here as I have a publication that states "Octopus/Heinemann" with the slash. It's a joint publication with no imprint involved meaning the regularization rules would need to take this into account. Marc Kupper (talk) 07:24, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

Entering the imprint name only

(unindent) Can we agree that records alredy entered with both a publisher and an imprint name should be standardized on "Imprint / Publisher"? This would mean converting forms such as "Imprint Publisher" "Publisher Imprint", "Imprint, an Imprint of Publisher", "Publisher/Imprint", "Imprint/Publisher" etc. it would not mean converting records now listed as "Imprint" or as "Publisher", thsoe would be left intact. Then we work through, imprint-by-imprint, and agree on whether it should be "Imprint", "Publisher", or "Imprint / Publisher" in each case. At the same time we can consider "inc", "Ltd", "Co" and the like, case by case. After we agree on a few, perhaps a patteren will emerge that we can all agree on. Cane we also agree that the first phase changes above ("Publisher Imprint" and other such forms to "Imprint / Publisher") can be made by bulk change, and may affect verified pubs? If we can't agree on this much, or something like it, is there really any point to talkign about publisher regularization? -DES Talk 04:39, 4 October 2008 (UTC)

I think we can agree that the 'Publisher / Imprint' form can be changed to/merged with the 'Imprint / Publisher' form, and the spaces around a slash can be introduced where necessary. For anything more ambitious where people have been verifying an extended name, I'd like them to be consulted first and given the opportunity of making the case for what they've been entering, or given the chance to move their details to notes before they're obliterated. E.g. Thomas Conneely seems fond of "VGSF - an imprint of Victor Gollancz Ltd" and hasn't been involved in these talks. Engaging such people might lead to a decision on making such just "VGSF" or agreeing whether "VGSF / Gollancz" or "VGSF / Victor Gollancz" is better (if you know what the VG is for, either seem unnecessary to me) or even if "VGSF / Victor Gollancz / Cassell" should be "VGSF / Cassell" and should we be fragmenting "VGSF" anyway? But too much over-riding of verifiers preferred formats without discussion is a bad thing IMO. BLongley 15:15, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
If "Del Rey / Ballantine" is the example under discussion I'll go revisit mine and see if I want them like that. BLongley 15:15, 4 October 2008 (UTC)

Del Rey / Ballantine

Ok, I've checked a few and prefer plain "Del Rey" even more strongly now - given the current vague definitions of "publisher" we're at risk of introducing "Del Rey / Random House" for recent books and splitting Del Rey further. BLongley 17:49, 4 October 2008 (UTC)

There's some argument FOR splitting Del Rey though, as I've found Del Rey SF, Del Rey SF Classics, Del Rey Fantasy and Del Rey Fantasy Classics. We have "Ballantine Adult Fantasy" set up as a separate publisher, but that's really a Publisher series. It's currently the only way we represent the Publisher series though so is dangerous to change or we'd lose the data. Does anyone know if the Del Rey Classics were true series or just an occasional label? From my limited checks so far I'm not sure I'd agree that Del Rey's SF/Fantasy split matches my idea of the differences, but splitting SF and Fantasy imprints in general IF the publisher has done so could help me. BLongley 17:49, 4 October 2008 (UTC)

I've checked a few more and found examples where Ballantine (NOT Del Rey) and Del Rey editions both exist, e.g. Del Rey here and Ballantine here. Or Ballantine here and Del Rey here. I think it's clearer that these are different imprints (and not just different printings) if the Del Rey one does NOT have "/ Ballantine" added.
The trouble here is that, most notably in the case of at least the early Del Rey titles, the printing designations were carried over from the straight Ballantine editions. Del Rey Books obviously started out as an SF-specialty sub-imprint of Ballantine, and were essentially considered Ballantine books by the publisher. These days, I'm not so sure. I've been out of touch with the publishing industry for probably going on a decade and a half, but all of the neverending corporate mergers have complicated things enormously. Publishers that were completely separate corporate entities are now under the same corporate umbrella, and the parent corporation decides it wants to consolidate the lines. I'm inclined to keep the sense of history by, for example, using "Ballantine Del Rey" for the early books and "Del Rey" at the point (wherever that may be) that it becomes a separate imprint from Ballantine.
As an aside, I really REALLY don't think "Ballantine Adult Fantasy" should be a separate publisher. I don't even see it as a sub-imprint, but, as you say, a handy label/series designation. Jayembee 03:41, 2 November 2008 (UTC) Jayembee
One of the software enhancements that has been frequently requested is support for "Publication series", which would let us organize things like "Ballantine Adult Fantasy" without fragmenting Publishers. Until then, pretty much anything we are going to do in this area is likely to be a kludge, I am afraid... Ahasuerus 03:55, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

Tor

I've noticed on some of my recent Pan Macmillan Australia & UK books that they have been published under a Tor imprint. The Tor "mountain" logo looks the same. I think the Pan Macmillan ones & any similar should definitely be Imprint / Publisher. Tor by itself, I'm happy to assume is "Tor / Tom Doherty Assocs". ...clarkmci/--j_clark 00:12, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

Why not just "Tor UK" and "Tor Australia"? That's what Pan Macmillan seem to call them. I agree they need splitting though, they have very different publication schedules. BLongley 12:51, 5 October 2008 (UTC)
Not my preference, 'cos it makes me wonder if Tom Doherty has opened up branch offices in UK & Oz. --j_clark 21:08, 5 October 2008 (UTC)
Well, they seem to have done so in the UK - Tor UK was part of "Tom Doherty Associates, LLC" when it was launched in March 2003, but "Tom Doherty Associates, LLC" seems to have been owned by St Martin's from 1986 to 1998 and "Holtzbrinck" after that, who own "Pan Macmillan" now and want to rebrand the US branch to plain "Macmillan". The more I look into who the PUBLISHER is behind the imprint, the less confident I am that ANY of us know who the "publisher" really is. BLongley 22:18, 5 October 2008 (UTC)
re: "The more I look into who the PUBLISHER is behind the imprint..." That's why I'm trying with looking at and and documenting what's stated in publications. For now it's random snapshots that at times will not make sense but hopefully a pattern develops. The experiment is also exposing the issue of if we care if a particular publication was published by Ace Books, Inc. vs. the imprint Ace Books or with Tor if it's flavored by Pan Macmillan, Tom Doherty Assocs, Tor UK, and/or Tor Australia. It my case when I'm documenting/verifying a publication I don't care, they are Ace and Tor respectively but when it comes to documenting and verifying just who "Ace" and "Tor" are I care a lot. If it should come up that there is a "Tor" company that is genuinely different than what we normally think of for "Tor" then we would figure out how to tell that company apart. Marc Kupper (talk) 16:31, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
This is why I'm supporting the effort, Marc! Especially if it's mostly YOUR effort! ;-) Feel free to ask about particular publications I own and have primary verified and I'll try to add some more relevant data, but I find it a bit boring entering title/copyright pages on the off-chance someone will find them of help. I'm more likely to enter ones that break any theories currently underway: e.g. those promoting "Del Rey / Ballantine" as an approved "Imprint / Publisher" format may be unaware that "Division" has been left out as a potentially useful name. It seems Ballantine became a Division of Random House, but aren't even listed as that on the copyright page anymore: the "Ballantine" name is hanging on on title pages and covers still though, but it's definitely fading and "Del Rey" and "Random House" may yet be the only names left on publications. (A small amount of) Evidence is available on request. BLongley 19:26, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
I agree that entering the title and copyright page stuff is boring and am still working on ways to improve on this. One thought is to just list out the relevant names but this introduces two problems
  1. I've observed that some ISFDB editors are "compelled" to normalize or otherwise change names to fit into their own worldview meaning we don't know if a name they documented was stated as such in the publication.
  2. Often times knowing the bigger context is important when trying to decipher a name. I've gotten it wrong at times and another editor reading the same text can say "this is how I see it" #2 is a continuation of #1 in that the editor may not even realize they are changing the name or misinterpreting its context. Of course, that could also happen even if someone were doing word-for-word transcription as we see what we believe we see.
Thus literal transcription seems the most likely to keep the process objective but it's also the most boring and time consuming. I've tried OCR at times and have never been happy with the results. It seems I spend as much time proofreading and correcting OCR output as I would entering the data by hand.
Frankly, literal transcription is as error-prone and editor-self-censored as initial publication notes. Unless someone's complaining about the number or size of images here, just upload the image and we can ALL try and read it. I know I uploaded PART of a copyright page to show that Hutchinson GROUP had a logo as well as the Arrow book it was on - and now I wonder why I cut it down? Posting the whole image actually allows people to see all the stuff we're currently filtering out as of no interest, but might be later. Then we can ALL add our plain-text, searchable view-points on what it says and what it MEANS. BLongley 21:53, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
The downside might be that we then concentrate on title pages or copyright pages. I make sure the cover is there too - but I'm beginning to find that the SPINE imprint or logo is often of use, and apart from piling a set of VGSF books on the scanner to show changes over time, we're missing those. BLongley 21:53, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
I agree it is more fun to focus on those publications that seem to conflict with or break established traditions. At the least it allows us to replace an "always" with a "usually" and to cite the exception(s). Marc Kupper (talk) 21:22, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
As for Tor, I must admit I don't own many recent ones but examining the US, UK, and Australian websites leads me to a general belief that they are CURRENTLY acting quite independently. (The Australian site doesn't even have a separate page for the imprint while the UK one does, so it's hard to demonstrate with a few links.) Whether they need differentiating into separate publishers is arguable - I'll withdraw my "I agree they need splitting though" if people are getting by with obvious currency differences in the price field. I'm not sure people are entering a currency symbol for unknown prices but known publisher country though? BLongley 19:26, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
I own a lot of these and the US Tor is very much different from the UK books. The copyright page notes it as an imprint of Macmillan and there is no mention of Tom Doherty Associates, the cover price is always in pounds and sometimes the Canadian price is added(if being sold in Canada), the last difference is the ISBN which are different for the UK and US books.Kraang(signed using his travelling name)¬¬¬¬

Five Star

Lest it be seemed I'm advocating the removal of all USEFUL suffixes, after entering Giant of World's End I'm reminded that we have some common names that really COULD usefully be separated. Has anyone got any "Five Star" examples to add? BLongley 20:45, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

I don't have any Five Star but see I recorded at one time in my personal db "Tempo Star / Ace Books" and "Ace Star / Ace Books". ISFDB did not have any Tempo Star books and as that book happens to be right at eye level I added it to ISFDB as it seems to be within scope. In this case I decided to enter the publisher name as just Tempo Star much like what you did with Five Star for the publication record and but I expanded the detail on the publication's bibliographic comments page though don't have time yet to link this page to the five publishing name's that the publication mentions.
I agree that names like "Five Star" and "Tempo Star" by themselves are not terribly useful. I could have made the base ISFDB record more useful with a publisher name of "Tempo Star, Distributed by Ace Books, Grosset & Dunlap, Inc., Publishers, New York, N.Y. 10010, A Filmways Company" but instead did this in the wiki. Marc Kupper (talk) 17:43, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
I tried to separate all the Five Stars a bit when I created Publisher:Five_Star but that's mostly from trying to find each publication on the various websites. I lack much primary info on these publishers. Finding the sources I used to explain the Mayflower "Five Star" is difficult too as I decided to use "Mayflower" instead on my publications. :-/ BLongley 19:34, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
That brings to mind a feature request to "five star" a publisher meaning that if a publisher name gets "five starred" then anyone adding, editing, or verifying once of those names would get a message directing them to Publisher:Five_Star. The header of "Five Starred" pages would have a notice explaining what sort of information is being sought and asking that people edit the page to fill in details. Obviously this should be used sparingly though a related thought would be to turn this flag on for all publisher names except those that are so common that many editors would have publications. Marc Kupper (talk) 20:47, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

I think I've come across something that seems similar. The entry for Varley's The Ophiuchi Hotline gives the publisher as "Dell SF / Quantum". It seems to be the only book under that particular publisher name. I question whether "Quantum", or even "Dell SF" qualifies as a sub-imprint of Dell. It's not clear to me exactly who is behind the "Quantum Science Fiction" line (which claims that its "panel of judges" consists of Isaac Asimov and Ben Bova), but it's not restricted to Dell. Both this novel and Varley's collection The Persistance of Vision (which also appears with the "Dell SF" and "Quantum Science Fiction" designations, but is in the ISFDb as published by, simply, Dell) - the only Quantum SF books I think I've ever come across - had the Quantum designation on the Dial Press/James Wade hardcover editions as well. It's not clear what the corporate connections are between Dial and Dell - they don't claim to be affiliated, but they had the same corporate address.

To me, the "Quantum" designation has the same feel as Bantam's "Frederick Pohl Selection" or the brief "Harlan Ellison Discovery Series" from Pyramid, or even Ballantine's "Adult Fantasy" line. It may be something worth noting in the Notes field, but doesn't seem to me to be an actual sub-imprint in the vein of, say, Bantam Spectra. The same with "Dell SF", which seems to me to be nothing more than a fancy logo. The two Varley books simply say "A Dell Book" on the title page. Jayembee 03:20, 2 November 2008 (UTC) Jayembee

Asimov and Bova's "Quantum" books do seem to be some sort of series or set, but they're not just in Dell and Dial: see In the Ocean of Night and In the Hall of the Martian Kings in Orbit. And Futura published some "Quantum Science Fiction" books like Stardance which may be related (as Futura owned Orbit): but Bova and Asimov weren't credited. BLongley 12:25, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

Dragon, Dragon Press, Dragon Publishing

Publishers found searching for "Dragon". I suspect some in "Dragon" might be Dragon / Granada, others possibly Dragon Press or Dragon Publishing. ...clarkmci/--j_clark 21:14, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

There definitely was a "Dragon" imprint of Granada, see The Terror Cubes. I think "Dragon" was also a British Printer's name - somewhere local in fact, maybe Letchworth? Or St. Albans? And I believe they took over the remnants of a failed publishing company they used to print for, and so became true "Publishers" themselves for a while. "Badger" or "John Spencer" maybe? Sorry, my memory is failing me. I think I read about this in one of Mike Ashley's books, if that helps. But yes, "Dragon" is a rather ambiguous "publisher" name here that needs work. BLongley 22:41, 5 October 2008 (UTC)
Doh! It turns out to be even closer to home than I thought. Asteroid Man was printed by "Dragon Press Ltd, Luton, Beds". Some sites suggest "49-51 John Street, Luton" so only about 2 miles away! I must have driven past it a hundred times... BLongley 19:02, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
No relation to the "Dragon Press" we have here though. And although Dragon Press Ltd did print that Badger book, it was "Scion" they took over in 1954, according to "The History of the Science-Fiction Magazine" by Michael Ashley on Google books. Hope this helps, or at least explains what my memory is like at times... BLongley 19:02, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
Found another Dragon (Granada) book today - (A) Young Person's Guide to UFOs. So they did YA Non-Fiction too. BLongley 19:42, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

Detecting a SFBC edition

I'm thinking How to enter a SFBC publication needs something to explain how to detect if a publication is SFBC. I know of the following points.

  • No price with the price nearly always (always?) being on the upper-right corner of the front flyleaf.
  • "Book Club Edition" on the bottom-right of the front flyleaf and a 4-digit number on bottom-centered of the back flyleaf. (up to at least 1977)
  • "Book Club Edition" on the bottom-right of the front flyleaf and a 4-digit number in a white box on the back of the jacket. (at least 1984 up to ????)
  • Nothing on on bottom-right of the front flyleaf but a 5-digit number in a white box on the back of the jacket. (at least 1995 and later)
  • Copyright page will not include a printing date. This is less reliable as older trade pubs often don't show dates and I believe newer SFBC do.

Apparently some book clubs exist that are not SFBC. How do you detect their editions? I know people refer to "Book of Month Club" (BMOC) but does that ever get stated in the publications? Marc Kupper (talk) 21:49, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

There's been a section on the SFBC page for quite some time now about how to identify SFBC editions. It also mentions that just because all of the identifiers are present doesn't necessarily mean that it was a selection of the SFBC, only that is was printed by Doubleday for one (or several) of their book clubs. That's one of the reasons the chronological listing was created - so that there's clear evidence that the book was a SFBC selection. And that's only into the 90s. When they started adding ISBNs (whether for their own editions or duplicating the ISBN of the trade edition) all bets are off. Book of the Month (BOMC) printings can be identified by another set of markings. There is no price on the front flap and there is a small (1/8") square indention on the back of the book itself, usually on the bottom right. The copyright page duplicates the trade edition (even including the ISBN), but will add a slug (usually in different typeface) about the BOMC's other offerings. I only have a few that I purchased second-hand, but all state "BOMC offers recordings and compact discs, cassettes and records. For information and catalog write to BOMR, Camp Hill, PA 17012". When BOMC creates original editions, it will credit itself as the publisher such as the case Tevis' The Man Who Fell to Earth, a Sturgeon omnibus and Bishop's No Enemy But Time (the three original BOMC editions in my library.) MHHutchins 07:26, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
Thanks - so to really make sure a book is "SFBC" and not one of Doubleday's other book clubs someone needs to consult the SFBC Book Listings lists? Marc Kupper (talk) 06:23, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

Image templates

Please take a look at Rules and standards discussions#Template Use. This is a discussion about useful templates and how to make them easier to find, and also about the formatting of the image templates, {{Cover Image Data}} in particular. i just posted links to three example pages in my user space of a new version of this template, and i am asking for feedback before implementing it for real. -DES Talk 21:03, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

"asking for feedback before implementing it" - what exactly is "it?" Marc Kupper (talk) 21:27, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
by "it" I meant "a new version of this template", "this template" being {{Cover Image Data}}. In short, I have created a modified copy of {{Cover Image Data}}, in response to the discussions on Rules and standards discussions#Template Use I am asking people to look at the examples of use of that modified version, linked to from that discussion. If people like this modified version, i will edit {{Cover Image Data}} to make it the same as the temporary modified copy. Is that clearer? -DES Talk 02:13, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

Does your verification project look like this?

There's a lady I run into from time in book sales wears a shirt that has a picture of a room very much like this one. Marc Kupper (talk) 23:04, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

I have seen bookstores like that, most recently in an upscale Boston suburb. I have no idea how they manage to sell anything... Ahasuerus 02:01, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
Do you ever go to Dark Carnival? That gets chaotic at times. Marc Kupper (talk) 06:09, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
Hm, didn't we discuss Dark Carnival and The Other Change of Hobbit a while back? And that I knew the LA-based Dark Carnival back when it still carried SF and wasn't impressed with the used bookstore scene in the Bay area etc? Oh well, maybe not :) Ahasuerus 06:43, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
One place I mean to visit sometime is the Heckmondwike bookshop. Although some bits seem chaotic, there are areas of oustanding publisher organisation. BLongley 08:11, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
Oh, very nifty! Ahasuerus 23:44, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

Sadly, she can't remember where she got it. Marc Kupper (talk) 23:04, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

That looks like book abuse to me! I have mostly finished this room apart from the books on the table, and the fanzines in the boxes, then I can start on the side of the "spare bedroom" that hasn't been checked yet at all. BLongley 00:33, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
I am afraid that only works for moderate size collections unless you have a very large house(s)/garage, Bill. Over the years I have found that the most efficient way of storing/accessing books is to buy or build capacious bookcases (72" by 29" by 12" ones seem to be a good compromise between capacity and stability), then label your books and double stack them all the way to the ceiling. As long as you keep pbs and tp/hc's separate, you will be using close to 90% of the total space, which translates to about 750 books per 72" bookcase for a 50/50 mix of pbs and tp/hc's. Assuming that a large room can accommodate 20 bookcases, that's 15,000 books right there. (Hopefully you have sturdy floors!) Ahasuerus 02:01, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
I know, I'm still a beginner. Those are the "in progress" bits: I eventually get things more organised, like this. And then I sometimes rebuild a bookcase to fit another shelf in, like this. It's awkward in this rented house as I can't add fitted shelves and sometimes have to work around things like light switches, but if the credit crunch continues I may soon be able to afford something larger and more permanent. BLongley 08:35, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
Here is the shelf I mentioned. It's in a nook of sorts meaning I had to got off the bottom two feet in the photo but you can see parts of the computer hutch to the left the top of which is used as a bridge by the cats, one of which is snoozing at this moment behind the top row of books. A few dozen more shelves, like this, and a bigger house so I have wall space, and the cats plus books will be set. In the mean time I need to figure out either where to get more shelves like this or how to build them. They seem simple and as there's no back when you take the shelves out the sides are these long open rectangles. Marc Kupper (talk) 18:10, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
I find the big problem is that there are apparently fashions in bookcases. So whenever I go back for another of the same kind of bookcase it's no longer available - I find it hard to even acquire the "black ash" effect wood to add shelves to my main bookcases. I got wise to this eventually and the bookcases you saw in my second picture (spare bedroom) looked usefully adjustable so I bought several of them, the fifth of which still hasn't been assembled. I may use the shelves from that to increase the number of shelves on the other four instead: they're actually designed so you can build them as interlocking units, and can find corner units and such which allow you to make free-standing combinations that could stand in the middle of a room rather than against a wall, for instance. Which I suspect Ahasuerus might be thinking of, unless "large rooms" are much larger in the US, or have fewer impediments like fireplaces, radiators, windows, etc. I haven't fitted more than nine bookcases into any room here and that's when I've covered up the window. BLongley 20:23, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
I agree that there are fashions and now the furniture store where I got many of my shelves is going out of business meaning I won't be able to replicate that look. My parents solved a wall space issue by that they set up a T shaped configuration with the upper part of the T against a wall and the leg also serving to divide a dining from TV/living room area. The leg is constructed from four shelves set up back to back meaning that when people eat they can reach out to get a book and the same for the living/TV side. I've never looked at the interior of the T to see if the shelves are connected so that the arrangement is free standing.Marc Kupper (talk) 20:49, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
The median size of newly built (US) single family houses has increased significantly over the last few decades, from 1,385 sq. ft. in 1970 to 2,248 sq. ft. in 2006 -- see this handy Excel spreadsheet for details. Naturally, there are regional variations: a typical New York City room would be generally thought of as a walk-in closet in other parts of the country :-) And, of course, the sky is the limit if you can/want to throw millions of dollars at your dream home. Still, as a rough guess, a "large room", preferably a basement since they tend to have better floors, would be in excess of 20' by 15', which is enough space for 20 bookcases. Fireplaces are optional and getting less popular (below 55%) in new homes, thank Cthulhu. Radiators are used in just 3-7% of recently built houses, so there is a good chance that your bookcases won't have any serious competition for wall space. Windows might be problematic, but that's what shutters are for :) Ahasuerus 23:32, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
Well, my current house isn't exactly modern unless you think Queen Victoria is of the same era as Queen Elizabeth the Second rather than the First. But it's more spacious than most new builds. New builds will probably skip the fireplace entirely, but radiators are common still. Windows are still normally included (did Microsoft take a stake in British Home-Builders recently?) but "shutters" are almost unheard of. (We're a bit short on tornadoes and hurricanes here - we're still arguing over whether the 1987 "hurricane" actually was one.) "Basement" might translate to "cellar"? We don't have those built any more, due to all the floods. But I have seen some in early Victorian properties. They're not somewhere I'd place books. Britain is cramped, suffering from over-population that means if I want to buy bigger I'll have to buy older. BLongley 22:41, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
The word "cellar" does have certain gothic, perhaps even eldritch horror, connotations, doesn't it? :) Thankfully,modern American basements are rarely like that and, when "finished", are simply large rooms which don't get exposed to any of that annoying radiation from the local star. To quote Wikipedia:
  • Finished basement: In this case the space has been designed, either during construction or at a later point by the owners, to function as a fully habitable addition to the house. Frequently most or all of the basement is used as a recreation room or living room, but it is not uncommon as well to find there (either instead of or alongside the living/recreation room) a guest bedroom or teenager's room, a bathroom, and one or more closets. Occasionally a part of the basement is unfurnished and is used for storage, a workshop, and/or a laundry room; when this is the case the water heater and furnace will also often be located there.
Many long time collectors like Bob Madle use basements for storage due to their relatively constant humidity and temperature, but, of course, you need to be absolutely positively sure that it won't get flooded during a major storm! Ahasuerus 00:15, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
I nearly lost my entire magazine collection when a basement flooded. Where does a basement toilet flush to? I thought water flowed downhill.--swfritter 18:53, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
The thread gets me thinking on of there should be a page for specfict bookstores. Marc Kupper (talk) 18:10, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
You'd just make me jealous. There's not many left here. "Daeron's Books" closed, and that was the only one I can think of worth a day-trip to from here, outside of London. :-/ I guess I'll have to extend my day-trip definition, or start going on book-hunting holidays again. The average SF section in a book-shop now is about two of my book-cases worth at best. Oh well, there's still Fantasy Centre left. BLongley 20:23, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
I just got an e-mail from http://www.50000books.com and see they have a video where you can see moderate abuse: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6sUDrW6iJ4 - the guy does not specialize in specfict though and much like many of the independent used books stores in this area they have recently closed the brick shop and do Internet sales. Marc Kupper (talk) 01:05, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
Our closing stores don't even seem to have moved to the internet, e.g. Paton Books was a reason to visit St Albans but moved to Book-Fairs only. Now I visit St Albans only to search Charity Shops like Oxfam - now Europe's biggest second-hand bookseller apparently. They're incredibly inconsistent though - the St Albans one at least has a couple of bookcases of SF, but at £2.49 or £2.99 each typically: whereas the Linslade shop is one I've descended on twice and taken away 40-50 far more interesting books each time at £0.99 each. BLongley 18:18, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
Of course, there are also boxes for digests and boxes for pulps and various nooks and crannies for the oversize stuff, but that's the gist of it. Labeling and cataloging books is the most time consuming part, but you'll never have to re-arrange a whole bookcase after buying another 20 books by a prolific author. Ahasuerus 02:01, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
A local thrift store was going out of business and I got a nice looking 8 foot tall, 35" wide (on the inside), 12" deep shelf. With 10 shelves it's perfect for pb leaving a 1/4" inch gap from the top of the books to the next shelf. Unfortunately, they only had one shelf like this. I decided not to not pack it densely but it's still has 430 books on it at the moment meaning there's always something to grab on the way to the bathroom... Marc Kupper (talk) 06:05, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
I had a friend whose parents owned a book agency. He gave me a number of 14 inch by 22 inch paperback flats (3 rows of books) that they used to transport the books and built shelfs that I can slide the flats in and out of.--swfritter 14:54, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
I pack my digests into drawered, stackable storage containers inside of a couple of closets. Each container holds 50-70 digests on edge, so this closet contains ~2000 digests, any of which can be accessed in seconds. Magazines stored this way need to be bagged with moderately heavy backing boards, or they'll develop a bow from standing on edge. This would probably work pretty well for pocket books too.--Rkihara 21:35, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

(unindent)That's what our living room is starting to look like (the office is a total write-off). The problem is that I used to share a house, and had plenty of room to have my collection all out on shelves. For various reasons, I've only lived in apartments since then, and have had to keep the bulk of my collection in storage. And it's worse since I got married, as each of us had one apartment's worth of stuff, which we had to condensed into one combined apartment. Given the current economic situation, we're not likely to get a house any time soon. I've been recently trying to catalog my collection bit by bit (finally joining the ISFDb is a result of this) though the looming onset of winter is going to interrupt that process. Hopefully, I'll get enough reading done this winter to put the books currently in the living room into storage come spring.

I wonder if the bookstore in the "upscale Boston suburb" that Ahasuerus mentioned is Kate's Mystery Books in Cambridge. My wife and I were there the other week (her first trip there) and it's insane trying to navigate around the place. Jayembee 02:43, 2 November 2008 (UTC) Jayembee

I don't think I have thought of Cambridge as a "Boston suburb" in a couple of centuries :) I believe the bookstore in question was located off the pedestrian mall in Salem, but I am not 100% sure. And welcome to the Wiki side, which is where we keep (most of) our corpses! :) Ahasuerus 03:28, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

Anderson's Orbit Unlimited

User:Bluesman has the following comment about Poul Anderson's Orbit Unlimited:

Also have doubts whether this is a collection. There is no table of contents, but there are four parts, with a title and numbered "chapters" for each part. On the copyright page of this edition/printing and on the original edition/printing (I have one of each) it says: "ACKNOWLEDGMENTS: portions of this book appeared in somewhat different form, in Astounding Science Fiction for January 1959 and January 1960, and in Fantastic Universe for October 1959." That would account for three parts, though without those mags, in what form? Under the title on the title page, in much smaller print, it says "A Science fiction adventure" which would indicate a novel, not a collection.]

Clute/Nicholls say that it's a "collection of linked stories". Tuck says that the stories were "rewritten" for book publication. Overall, it sounds like a fixup; any objections to changing it to a novel? It's already in a series currently consisting of two collections, so the connection with the original stories will still be visible on the Summary page once the Series has been cleaned up. Ahasuerus 02:59, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

No objections raised, so I have converted the book to a Novel. I moved the page numbers for individual chapters/stories to the Notes fields in case we ever decide to go back. Ahasuerus 21:38, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

Pseudonymous author

While checking the data on THTHRWBCKS1965 before doing a Primary Verification, I noticed that the copyright was credited to Roger Sarac, Roger Caras. Looked up Caras on Wikipedia and think this is the real author and Sarac is a pseudonym. The SF book is not credited or even listed in Caras' bibliography, but the second book listed: "Dangerout to Man; Wild Animals: a Definitive Study of Their Reputed Dangers to Man", written in '64, ties in quite nicely with the theme of the Sarac title, released in '65. Trouble is I'm too new at this to know what, other than in general terms, to do with the data? Is it even enough to do anything with??--Bluesman 16:19, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

Reginald-1 confirms that "Roger Sarac" was a pseudonym used by Roger A(ndrew) Caras, b. 1928, and Reginald-2 even has Caras/Sarac's biography. Since The Throwbacks was apparently his only SF novel, we won't be listing the rest of his titles, so I guess we could simply make "Roger Sarac" his canonical name and "Caras, Roger Andrew" his legal name. Another thing that comes to mind is that Caras wrote a lot of books about animals as "Roger A. Caras" -- OCLC lists over 200 records. It might be better to set up "Roger Sarac" as Caras' pseudonym so that our users would immediately realize that he was the same person as the much better known Caras. I don't think it's a big deal one way or the other, though. Ahasuerus 16:45, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
Just did an update and went with the first suggestion. --Bluesman 18:47, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
Approved, but keep in mind that birth/death dates also need to be entered as YYYY-MM-DD :) Ahasuerus 18:55, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
Okay. Thanks for the help!--Bluesman 03:07, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

"Static" Wikipedia links?

I was verifying an O. R. Melling book and noticed that her Wikipedia link led to static.wikipedia.org/new/wikipedia/en/articles/o/2E/_/O._R._Melling_a4c7.html . I have changed the URL to en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O._R._Melling, but I wonder if there was a reason for this unusual link. Was it an attempt to link to a stable version of the Wikipedia page, perhaps? Ahasuerus 02:05, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

Somewhat curious. I can't think of a good reason to link to static.wikipedia as I did not think the static URLs are permanent. In other words, a few times a year someone will run a thing that dumps the current Wikipedia as a set of HTML files which is what the static web site is. The URL's in this dump can change from time to time. If someone wanted to link to a specific version of the page they would click on Permanent link on the left and that'll take you to a URL/page that's somewhat fixed. (the text of the page is fixed but images and included templates can still be changed). Marc Kupper (talk) 07:11, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

Cover Image Data updated

I have updated {{Cover Image Data}} in accordance with the discussion in the Rules and standards discussions‎#Template use thread.

  • The template will now make an automatic link to a publication record, provided that the user supplies a publication record number or tag.
  • The "resolution reduced" parameter will now default to "Yes".
  • There is now an optional parameter to specify the copyright holder when this is known and is neither the publisher nor the artist, for example if movie art is used for a tie-in edition.
  • There is now an optional parameter to add additional text to the rationale, in those cases where this is desired.
  • The link to the artist's db page is suppressed if the artist's name is not supplied, or is "Unknown"
  • There is a special cleanup category for images not using the new pub= parameter for the publication tag or record number.

The template documentation has been updated to describe all the new and altered features.

I will be making similar changes in the various other X Image Data templates as I have time.

I hope these changes are helpful. -DES Talk 16:26, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

Mel Odom warning

It looks like there are two Mel Odoms out there, a writer born in 1957 and an artist born in 1950. The former is a commercial writer with many SF/F (and comics/games/what have you) credits to his name. The latter has also been active in the field, creating many covers in the 1980s/1990s. I'll set up a record for "Mel Odom (artist)", but we'll need to keep an eye on their respective biblios to make sure things do not get confused. Ahasuerus 21:42, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

"The Astounding Adventures of Isaac Intrepid"

We have two records for "The Astounding Adventures of Isaac Intrepid" by Mike Resnick and Lou Tabakow on file. They appeared in 2 separate issues of the same magazine (Analog), so I suspect that they are actually [Part 1] and [Part 2]. My Analogs and are not easily accessible at the moment, but perhaps somebody else happens to be more organized and can check easily? TIA! Ahasuerus 17:55, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

NESFA Recursive Science Fiction suggests these are more of a series than a serial, and the two mentioned are probably 1 and 4. But we also have "the astounding adventures of Isaac Intrepid - VI" which would be number 2 by their counting. It might be worth a look at July 1980 too. BLongley 19:51, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
A little more research suggests these continued in Starshore - but NESFA says in two issues, Locus in three. I've entered the missing Starshores (not 'corrected' the one we had though) so "Isaac Intrepid" searches might lead people the right way. I own none so just take it as a pointer if anyone wants to finish the series. BLongley 21:24, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, Bill, I am sure our magazine editors will be all over it! :) Ahasuerus 21:25, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
Nah, they'll probably just moan about me not crediting sources for the extra data (I have here - that's enough for me), or not creating the Fanzine Wiki page for Starshore, or not fixing the "winter 1990" issue, or not disambiguating the "Spindrift" stuff, or not merging the "Magazine Editor" titles or something. But I may be wrong and people actually LOVE these little bomb-shells that the magazine editors and book editors throw at each other at times. ;-) BLongley 23:31, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
Before I sound too cynical (or is that too late?), let me congratulate the magazine editors for passing the 100,000 mark. (Despite my interference.) And keep on Verifying, Folks! Those stats look good too! BLongley 23:43, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

Frankel?

We have talked about James R. Frenkel quite a bit as part discussions on the the ISFDB S&M page. I was in the public library and spotted an interesting looking copy of Venus Plus X published by Bluejay Books. In the lower left corner of the back cover it says

Bluejay Books, Inc.
James Frankel, Publisher
Distributed by St. Martin's Press

Frankel? It seems like an odd typo and I'm wondering if he used this name along with Frenkel? --Marc Kupper|talk 22:14, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

My guess is that it was just a typo -- Leiber/Lieber, Eric/Erik Iverson, etc. Ahasuerus 23:07, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

Exodus from the Long Sun

The 1996-11-00 Tor edition of Exodus from the Long Sun has the following note associated with it:

If you have a copy of this book please pay special attention to the copyright page and see if this was published by agreement with Hodder & Stoughton about publishing the book in the USA. The issue is there is an ISFDB record for a USA edition of this story by Hodder & Stoughton that was published at the same time as this Tor edition. It's likely there was an agreement between Hodder & Stoughton and Tor and that this publication record can be deleted if the copyright page confirms this agreement.

User:Gilgamesh has submitted a change which, among other things, adds the following sentence: "**Hodder & Stoughton isn't mentioned on the copyright page at all, or anywhere else in this edition." I assume we can now delete or rephrase the original note, but it would be probably safer if the original editor reviewed it first. Ahasuerus 17:26, 26 November 2008 (UTC)

I also have a copy of the Tor first edition and agree with the statement by Gilgamesh. I'm not sure why I didn't verify that pub when I was going through all of my hardcovers. Either I simply missed it, or it had been previously verified and the verification was subsequently removed. I'll go ahead and verify the pub and remove any note about the Hodder & Stoughton. MHHutchins 05:09, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
BTW, Ahasuerus, why led you to direct me to this post? Just an intuitive guess, or evidence of some previous edit I may have made on this pub? I didn't think we were able to go back very far to check on integrated edits. Thanks. MHHutchins 05:15, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
Well, I was in the process of leaving you a note about a proposed change to your verified The Citadel of the Autarch, so another Wolfe change seemed like something you might be in a position to comment on, especially since I seem to recall that you are fond of him. Hm, in retrospect, I could have pulled out my Wolfe hardcovers, but that would have been entirely too easy! :) Ahasuerus 05:49, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
The note about H&S was probably the result of this conversation. My take is that there was an incorrect US pricing on the H&S edition, but the moderator wanted to play it conservative, so I created a new one with the UK price. Based on Gigamesh & Mhhutchins' notes, I still think the extra pub BKTG20344 can be deleted.Jefe 18:11, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
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