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Contents

Mark H. Huston record has short both in series and separate

I recently made edits that made 'Mark Huston' a variant of 'Mark H. Huston'. Went through steps, but when done and approved, the story 'The Pessimist's Daughter' shows up as both within the 1632 fiction series, and as a separate title. See [1]. What did I miss? --GlennMcG 19:54, 4 July 2020 (EDT)

When there is already an existing record with the parent name & title, instead of creating a new record (option 2 of the create variant), you need to link the stories via option 1. Still use "Make This Title a Variant" on the record to be varianted, but copy record number (or the whole URL) of the existing record that should become the parent into the Parent # box of the option 1 section. When I gave you instructions on using the option 2 section, I should have mentioned that, sorry. I have merged the duplicate records. -- JLaTondre (talk) 21:19, 4 July 2020 (EDT)

The Adventures of the Librarian: Quest for the Spear

A version of this book [2] seems to be pre-publication. I can't find that that version ever got released. I own the first printing of subject title with a cover without the 'For Solicitation Only' annotation and with the title change. It also has the same ISBN. How I should enter this. A variant? A new publication? Suggestions? --GlennMcG 22:03, 5 July 2020 (EDT)

Edit the existing publication. There is no source for the existing record. If you have the same ISBN that states it is the first printing, then we go with that. Thanks. -- JLaTondre (talk) 17:04, 6 July 2020 (EDT)

Downloading Titles from Advanced Search

For a junior research project on literary invisibility at Ludwig Maximilian University Munich, Germany, we are currently working on creating a databse of invisibility fiction as a starting point for our further research. Ideally, we could create an Excel file of all the titles from the ISFDB containing invisibility or invisible or unseen in their titles. From there, we would be able to edit and then import these titles into our existing database. Is there any way to create such a file with the aforementioned titles without dowloading the entire database? Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much for your support. Best regards from Munich. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by L.Ha (talkcontribs) .

I am afraid there is no way to download Advanced Search results in an Excel-compatible format. You could download the latest database backup, restore it in a local MySQL database, then run a query against the "titles" table -- see Database Schema for details. It would also make it easier to find ISFDB titles associated with a tag containing "invisib" in it. Ahasuerus 15:26, 6 July 2020 (EDT)
Maybe time for another feature request? (^_^) ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 11:46, 7 July 2020 (EDT)
I have had success in creating 'lists' based on the Advanced Search simply by copying and pasting the lines into a spreadsheet. The links stay as links but the checkboxes remain as graphics. ../Doug H 18:06, 6 July 2020 (EDT)

Patricia Mathews alternate update

I put an edit [3] in to link 'Patricia Mathews' to 'Patricia Shaw Mathews', rather than 'Patricia Matthews'. It seems to be stuck. My guess is that I've opened a can of worms, and it's taking a while to sort through, but if not, is there something I should be doing? Thanks! --GlennMcG 16:48, 7 July 2020 (EDT)

This time of the year moderators are thin on the ground :) You can always reject it if it is wrong. So is it a correct connection? Annie 16:55, 7 July 2020 (EDT)

I believe it to be correct. It's just that I don't have access all the entries listed under just 'Patricia Mathews', and sort-of weasel worded my edit. The blurb that started me down this road indicates that she wrote an essay about C. L. Moore. I've just run through the list (again) that shows up under just 'Patrica Mathews', and they all seem to fall into the same buckets, essays/letters, and shared world contributions. So I'm quite convinced, but not 100% certain. And I'm reasonably certain that this change would be closer to reality than the way it stands now. --GlennMcG 17:25, 7 July 2020 (EDT)

Primary Verifications - Questions

What should I prioritize?

I currently have ~5500 entries in my person library catalog with ISBNs. (And ~8500 with only catalog numbers). I've written a script that uses the ISBN to use the isfdb rest api to grab record numbers, and then the normal display URLs to grab html that I scrape for PV status.

I'm assuming that I should go for PVing entries with no primary verification. And then perhaps only those with transient PVs. Assuming I still have energy left at that point, I need to figure a way to retrieve PV status by catalog numbers/imprints.

Does this seem appropriate? Is there enough value to warrant?


What should I do about notes?

Making sure the actual fields are correct seems straight-forward. But, how much data should I add to notes. Stated printing? Number Line? What's the blue-sky version of notes for relatively modern books less than 50 years old?

--GlennMcG 17:39, 7 July 2020 (EDT)

Technically yes on the priorities but... there are a lot of books that had been verified by someone who is not around anymore and who had no clue what they are doing. So just because a book is PV'd does not necessarily mean we have a good record (and as PV-ing is not moderator-approved activity, there are some PVed records that are really really bad). On the other hand a transient PV from a long term editor usually means a much much better record (I do that for library books for example). If you want to follow a plan, yours is as good as any. As is "start at the top of a bookcase, clear it and then move to the next" or go by author and so on :) Plus as you are around, even if the books has 10 PVs, IF you are the only one active, you will get the questions when someone needs something. And in my experience, the more PVs and the older the record is, the more likely is that something needs fixing (people tend to overlook things because they thought someone else did the checks - we had been finding glaring issues in books with as many as 7 PVs... :) Never underestimate the power of another set of eyes (and the power of "oh, 4 people checked this page number, I won't bother" to backfire) :)
For what goes into the details, it is absolutely up to you. Any information that will allow us to separate editions (so number lines, stated printings, any dates mentioned, any printing history (although some people skip that), any differences in title or author attribution between the cover, title page and copyright page, any printed prices and ISBN (on the spine, backcover, flaps, copyright pages and so on), LCCN being printed (verify if it is correct - if it is, it has a space down in the notes; if it is not or belongs to another edition it stays in the notes only with an explanation why ("Printed LCCN xx-xxxx which belongs to the first printing/hardcover/blah blah), any mention of a cover artist (add this to the proper field and add a note where the credit is; cover designers can also be listed but only in the notes), imprints and publishers named differently on cover/spine/flaps/copyright page/title page (remember that we go by title page but we do standardize a bit), other prices being printed, pub series and lines (I like adding notes for things like "Ace Fantasy on the top of the spine" for example - both to note it is printed and where and as a way to recognize some editions sometimes) and anything else you would like to know for that book) is what we really need. If you feel like it, check OCLC, LCCN (BL for British books), Goodreads and whatever else is applicable for that book and mark the external IDs (and add the differences between their records and ours in the notes). There is no real rule on what we do include - it is down to the editors - some add more, some add less. The only rule is that it should be data that applies to all copies. You can mention things like "price cropped" in "PV1 copy is price-cropped" expressions (which tells someone that PV1 is not verifying price) but not just as a statement "Jacket is price-cropped" (as not all books from that printing have their price removed).
A lot of people who work on their libraries develop a pattern they use on all their submissions which makes their notes very distinctive. It also ensures they do not miss something somewhere. The only rules are:
- Never remove correct information
- Unless you are PV-ing (and you are the first PV) or adding a lot of new notes, do not change the format of the notes, even if they are not your preferred pattern. We do not enforce formatting for the Notes so either html or plain text work. :) Annie 19:12, 7 July 2020 (EDT)
While a theoretical prioritization sounds great, I recommend you go with what interests you the most or makes it easy for you to track which ones you have done. As Annie says, verification alone is unfortunately not a guarantee of quality (though if you stick at it you will probably come to recognize the regulars' names, but even that is not a guarantee as we all make mistakes). It would be better to have a system that is easy to track so you don't get discouraged by it being complicated -- unless you're the type that loves tracking those type things and then who am I interfere with your fun! ;-) But seriously, it would be great to have you add to our verifications so whatever you pick works. -- JLaTondre (talk) 19:38, 7 July 2020 (EDT)

I went ahead with the suggestion of just plowing through my shelves and PVing everything. I just hit 1000 PVs and should finish well before I need to change them all to transient. --GlennMcG 17:29, 27 July 2020 (EDT)

Steal the Galaxy!

I was in the process of PVing [4] Steal the Galaxy! and ran into the issue that it's marked as 'tp' (tall edition). Notes indicate the info came from Locus #682. (I checked, and indeed, that's what it says). However, my copy is 'pb', and Amazon only has the 'pb' size. The entry has price $8.99, which matches my 'pb'. The entry has no PV. Should I edit the entry in place, or create a new one? --GlennMcG 17:58, 8 July 2020 (EDT)

How high is it and do the ISBN and all other elements match? Our pb format stops at 7 inches (to quote: "For books as tall as 7.25" (19 cm) or as wide/deep as 4.5" (11.5 cm) use "tp"." (from here; the newish ($9.99 usually but some are $8.99...) mass market paperbacks are 7.5 inches. However, this one seems to be a normal mass market paperback so yes, correct the value if so. Locus do have some errors in their mass market/tp decisions but also keep the size in mind - our pb is NOT always the same as mass market paperback these days even for US books (and it never was for non US) :) Annie 18:33, 8 July 2020 (EDT)

Format with superscript question mark

What does the superscript question mark imply next a format type, like 'pb'? --GlennMcG 19:36, 8 July 2020 (EDT)

That there is short "help tip" attached. In this case, for pb and tp, it spells out the size requirement for the format. Hover over the question mark and you will see it (does not work from touchscreens of course). It is the first sentence or two from the complete explanation for the format. Annie 19:54, 8 July 2020 (EDT)
I knew there was a tooltip, but I didn't guess that that was a hint that there was a tooltip. My first guess, which I discarded, is that it's not reliable information. --GlennMcG 20:02, 8 July 2020 (EDT)
Nope. :) On "selection" fields, it gives you a part of the help page. Not all of them have it - only the ones that tend to confuse people (like formats...). On "text" fields such as titles and names, the question mark tells you that there is transliteration - and that is what shows up as a tooptip if you hover on it. See for example. :) Annie 20:07, 8 July 2020 (EDT)

Format with superscript question mark

Ooops... duplicate

Clarifications on variant title actions

I'm still a bit confused on how to work the variant title action. So here's a specific example of what I'd like to submit.

Title [5] "C. L. Moore's Classic Science Fiction" shows up as written by "Patricia Mathews", but it's the wrong "Patrica Mathews". My earlier edit made this also an alternate name for "Patrica Shaw Mathews". However, this title still shows up under "Patricia Matthews", rather than the Shaw version.

What steps should I take to have this title owned by canonic author "Patrica Shaw Mathews"? --GlennMcG 15:53, 10 July 2020 (EDT)

Two usecases here:
  • Cases like this one where the parent exists only to bring the title to the Canonical author: Edit the parent and replace the author name with the new canonical name. If the title already exists under the new canonocal name, you can merge the two now (you can also merge from Advanced Search without the edit). If the new canonical already has that that title, you can also connect the children to that instead and then the now empty old parent will need to be deleted.
  • If there is a legitimate publication under the old canonical name, you cannot do that. Instead you need to create a new parent or if the new canonical name already has that title, variant to it. All children of the old parent will automatically show up as children of the new parent.
Hope this makes sense. if not, please do let me know. Annie 15:59, 10 July 2020 (EDT)
I've made the edit from your link. Here's hoping! --GlennMcG 16:12, 10 July 2020 (EDT)

Synthetic ISBNs for early DAW Books

I've reached the spot in my PV death march where I've hit my first early DAW book. (Transit to Scorpio). I'm curious whether is would be a 'good thing' to attach ISBNs to these records using the rules called out in [6]. For example, I'd set the ISBN to 0-87997-033-2 (from catalog UQ1033), and note it with something like "ISBN derived using DAW catalog# to ISBN rules". Thoughts? --GlennMcG 16:28, 12 July 2020 (EDT)

Yes, that is the appropriate treatment. --MartyD 09:29, 14 July 2020 (EDT)

How to set the novelization flag for an existing record

I would have thought through the edit function, but I don't see it. --GlennMcG 18:51, 13 July 2020 (EDT)

Which record? Please provide a link. Thanks! ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 19:03, 13 July 2020 (EDT)

Quest for the spear [7] --GlennMcG 19:08, 13 July 2020 (EDT)

Can I assume that you did it, rather than I was blind before? --GlennMcG 19:43, 13 July 2020 (EDT)

Make sure you are looking at the title and not the publication for those - while you add titles in the publication (edit on the record you linked above), you set details to titles in Title Edit. And as this title is a variant record, you need to find the parent to set these checkboxes (same with series) so here. Annie 01:50, 14 July 2020 (EDT)

Add Cover Artist with complex name?

I have a book with "Cover Photo © Lisa Spindler Photography, Inc./Getty Images" on the copyright page. How would I enter this? --GlennMcG 03:47, 18 July 2020 (EDT)

We don't have a standard for that. Some people will do Lisa Spindler, some Lisa Spindler Photography, and some Lisa Spindler Photography & Getty Images (as two artists). There are different opinions between crediting exactly as per the pub and the view that bureaus (like Getty Images) are just suppliers / sellers and don't have involvement in the image creation. Since we focus on the fiction, it's not as important as long as we're consistent on a given pub. -- JLaTondre (talk) 08:26, 18 July 2020 (EDT)

Correct short story title with typo in name?

While adding page numbers to [8] I discovered a an apparent typo in the title page of the story 'Legend of Paldevia'. It's 'Legend of Poldevia' in the TOC, and every where else I can find web searching. Is this something an edit should be put in for? --GlennMcG 21:35, 20 July 2020 (EDT)

Yep - we record based on the title pages, typos and all. Add the story with the correct title, remove the old one and variant the new record to the old one. Don't forget to add a note to the publication explaining where it is credited how. :) Annie 00:16, 21 July 2020 (EDT)

I don't quite follow what you mean by 'where it is credited how'. --GlennMcG 01:15, 21 July 2020 (EDT)

Something like this: "The story "Legend of Paldevia" is credited this way only on the title page; it is credited as "Legend of Poldevia" on the TOC (and in the copyright page?)"". Basically document the different spelling so someone does not decide to 'fix' based on one of the other instances - it is always a good thing to do when two different places in the same book disagree (or when a source has differences). Hope that is clearer. :) Annie 01:21, 21 July 2020 (EDT)

Update fuzzy record or create a new one for 'The Wings of Merlin'

I'm trying to figure out how to deal with [9]. I have a first printing of the Ace mass-market edition, however, it doesn't quite match the cover shown in the link. (It's missing the 'New York Times Bestselling ...' blurb. Should I update this record, and add 1st printing info and change the cover, or create a new publication record? --GlennMcG 01:59, 25 July 2020 (EDT)

Fix the record. This is one of the books that has an-ISBN based Amazon cover (so it changes with time)-- we should not have any of those linked in the DB because Amazon changes the cover any time the ISBN is reprinted but we do have some. But even if it was not a faulty cover -- as it has the month of the first printing, it is indeed meant to be the first printing so update it. As a rule, if you are holding a first printing and there is a non-verified book with no printing info that matches the date, you edit that one and fix it. We add a lot of books from secondary sources so the real book wins. Annie 03:06, 25 July 2020 (EDT)
How about the case where I have a later printing? --GlennMcG 04:13, 25 July 2020 (EDT)
Then clone/create a new record. If you can improve something in the existing first printing record, edit that one as well but do not convert a de facto first printing (based on the date) to a later one. Annie 05:28, 25 July 2020 (EDT)

Templates

Is there a list of all existing {{ }} templates? It would be useful to have one. --Zapp 07:30, 25 July 2020 (EDT)

There's this page. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 07:58, 25 July 2020 (EDT)
Thanks. Hard to find for me. --Zapp 07:52, 26 July 2020 (EDT)
It is linked from the help page of every Notes and Synopsis field - I always lose track of it as well so just click on the question mark to one of those and it will be there. Annie 16:17, 26 July 2020 (EDT)
It's also linked from all of the main Help pages (accessed via the Help link on the left side of every page on the wiki). It's in the main Help:Contents page. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 12:43, 3 August 2020 (EDT)

ISBN from probable partial SBN?

Should one enter an ISBN from what's probably an SBN? For example, [10] lists 440-08433-095 on the spine. 440 is Dell's publisher number, and 08433 is a nice 5 digit sequence. It seems quite likely that it's an SBN minus the check digit, and a price, giving 0-440-08433-4 as the resulting ISBN. Another hint is that it's from 1972, which is in the transition period from ISBNs becoming prevalent. --GlennMcG 21:44, 27 July 2020 (EDT)

Two relevant sections of the good old help page:
  • If the ISBN is of the form "0-586-06604-7-275", do not enter the last hyphen and the three digits that follow it. They indicate the publication's price and are not part of the ISBN.
  • Some English language books published during the late 1960s and 1970s used nine digit "SBN"s without a leading zero. When entering these publications, add the leading zero
Now - this is a bit different because it misses the check digit - but the 095 is definitely the price and it is missing its leading zero. But if we are deriving from other IDs, deriving these is not so much of a stretch either. Add notes explaining that it is derived and we should be all set. That will make it easier to find the book - but we had not been adding these historically for some reason so wait for one more opinion at least :) Annie 22:01, 27 July 2020 (EDT)
I saw some discussion in older threads about checking to see if the derived ISBN showed up on other sites. If it was in common use, then it would be more acceptable to use it in this database. TAWeiss 08:15, 1 August 2020 (EDT)
I recorded a number of these older SBN's on the interpretation of ISFDB's policy to record what is in the publication. I found the policy exception of normalizing capitalization quite reasonable, but the one for publishers just a bit odd but acceptable. Cover artists being identified from other sources is fine as long as the source is documented in the notes, which seems to be generally followed. The problem really comes up with dates and ISBN's that show up in the summary, where one cannot see the (relevant) notes. Matching a book in hand to the list becomes problematic when the list includes information I don' have, such as a date. If my copy has no date, I check each of the 0000-00-00 copies to find corroborating data and add if there is none. I now also have to check each of the issues with dates, on the grounds that it may have been added based on dates in Locus magazine. What is the purpose of putting an ISBN on a publication that didn't have one? ../Doug H 10:31, 1 August 2020 (EDT)
Having it supports finding those things when searching by ISBN. Various sellers, and other entities, list these using the derived ISBN. So if someone comes to the ISFDB to research, having the ISBN helps them. If the ISBN is derived from the SBN, that derivation should be documented in the notes. --MartyD 08:40, 4 August 2020 (EDT)
My impression is that converting an SBN to ISBN was just adding a zero. I thought that if the code was missing a checksum, that we treated that as a catalog number. If we're adding ISBNs for publications that aren't referred by those numbers elsewhere, is that adding value? TAWeiss 08:48, 4 August 2020 (EDT)

The problem that we have run into occurs for this pub. The generated ISBN is actually for another book. How do we make sure that aren't giving misleading information here? Should we check to see if the generated ISBN is referenced elsewhere for the referenced book or other books? TAWeiss 09:14, 28 August 2020 (EDT)

10 digit ISBN formatting

Why does 10 digit ISBN formatting display a 4 digit publisher code, e.g., [11] as 0-812-53014-4? The 13-digit format 978-0-8125-3014-8 seems correct. --GlennMcG 01:07, 3 August 2020 (EDT)

Partly answering my own question I found the following in the source code:

# Two special cases, "groups" 765 and 812.  The length rules say
# these should be 4-digit publisher numbers, but they are always
# presented as 3-digit, even though different publishes share the
# same three digits. For example,
#
#    765-3 is Tor
#    765-6 is M.E. Sharpe
#    812-3 is Great Source Education Group
#    812-5 is Tor
# 2016-06-12 change: Apparently, these special cases reverted to
# regular rules, i.e. 4-digit publisher numbers, around 2007. This
# applies to at least Tor and apparrently M.E. Sharpe. We account
# for it by only using a 3-digit publisher number for ISBN-10s (but
# not for ISBN-13s.) It's not perfect since some books published by
# Tor in 2006 had an ISBN-13 but used a 3-digit publisher number.
#

If I'm reading this correctly, the software is attempting to reproduce the bad formatting used by Tor at the time they still used 10 digit ISBNs. Thoughts? --GlennMcG 17:55, 3 August 2020 (EDT)

Yes, that is it exactly. --MartyD 08:34, 4 August 2020 (EDT)

Manual merge marker in edit

Given an edit like [12], is there something I'm supposed to do after the fact for entries marked with 'manual merge'? --GlennMcG 15:33, 4 August 2020 (EDT)

You will see that if you add additional entries to a clone. It means, that after approval, you should check to see if duplicate items exist and, if so, merge them (assuming the are the same content). So for example, if you cloned an entry without a cover art credit and added the cover art credit, there could be another entry that did have the same cover art credit. Those two cover art credits should be merged. It's just a reminder to check any new content added. Often, the approving moderator will do that, but always good to double check. Hopefully I explained that well enough, but let us know if not. Thanks. -- JLaTondre (talk) 19:12, 4 August 2020 (EDT)
It looks like the cover art doesn't need merging in the example link I gave, but there are four 'Armageddon's Children (excerpt)' entries. Should they be merged? --GlennMcG 21:13, 4 August 2020 (EDT)
Only if we know they are exactly the same excerpt. Annie 21:50, 4 August 2020 (EDT)

The Darkness of God - Delete a presumed first printing when a real first printing record exists?

I just PVed [13] this record. Would it be appropriate to delete [14]? --GlennMcG 18:11, 5 August 2020 (EDT)

Deleted. That one was a pretty clear duplicate. -- JLaTondre (talk) 18:31, 5 August 2020 (EDT)

"Robots and Empire" missing in Isaac Asimov Collection

We have the Isaac Asimov Collection, created by Bantam Doubleday Dell Direct, Inc. We see that the book, "Robots and Empire" was not part of the series and we wanted to ask the publisher why not. Is there an email address that could be used to ask this question... but if it now exists, we'd like to get it. Thanks for your help. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Healer1234 (talkcontribs) .

Do you mean the Bantam Spectra line from ~2008 that looked like this one and this ones? Or another set? Asimov had been reprinted often :)
If this is the line you mean, it is possible that we are missing an edition in the DB - although OCLC does not report any either and as far as I remember, I never saw one of those for this specific book either - I tried to collected them way back when :). This novel also has a somewhat different publishing history from all the others at first glance - so it is possible that there was a permissions issue at the time. Not sure who can be contacted for a series that is now a decade old - there had been way too many mergers but if you open a newer book from the publisher, there may be a contact address there? Annie 12:55, 6 August 2020 (EDT)
Or do you mean The Isaac Asimov Collection? Looking at it, maybe this is the one you mean actually. Same answer for that one -- the only US editions from the early 90s seem to be from Ballantine - so maybe Bantam just did not have the rights? Even harder to find someone to ask about this series -- but maybe someone on the board here has more information - these are a bit before my time :) Annie 13:01, 6 August 2020 (EDT)

New Penguin pub of Flatland

Penguin have put out a new edition of this today, the title page of the ebook pub - visible at https://www.amazon.co.uk/Flatland-Penguin-Science-Fiction-Abbott-ebook/dp/B087YPGK4P - lists the author as "A. Square (Edwin A. Abbott)". Any thoughts/preferences as to whether this merits a new variant author or not, and if so what best to use? There are currently entries for "A Square" (note: no dot after the A, which is possibly a mistake by Penguin?) and "Edwin A. Abbott", FWIW. ErsatzCulture 11:46, 6 August 2020 (EDT)

PLEASE add links to ISFDB's records of books you are talking about - making more work for people who are trying to answer to you is not really nice. The author or the title links would have been nice here -- The title record for the book in question.
The way I read this credit is "A. Square" (in reality "Edwin A. Abbott") -- a somewhat standard way to note known pseudonyms. So I would add it as under "A. Square" and add notes for the cover/title page discrepancy and the exact form on the title page.
PS: Penguin are not the only ones who added a dot there: The Road to Science Fiction Volume 5: The British Way apparently also had it when they excerpted from the novel. Annie 12:13, 6 August 2020 (EDT)

Blurb in Cursor's Fury

There's a two page blurb at the of Cursor's Fury [15] for The Dresden Files. It reads as if it were written by Butcher, but is not stated explicitly. It's currently annotated with '(excerpt)'. Would it make sense to mark it as '(blurb)'? Leave the Author alone? Leave the whole thing along? --GlennMcG 20:15, 6 August 2020 (EDT)

Is it part from another book or just an advertisement/blurb for the series? Blurbs and ads are excluded per policy (which is why we do not have a policy for naming as we do with excerpts) so how/if we add it will really depend on what its nature is. Annie 05:18, 8 August 2020 (EDT)
It's sort of a blurb-excerpt. The text is third-person, while the books are first-person. It's a restatement of the very end of Storm Front. Some of it is pretty close to word-for-word, some of it differs more. The true excerpt, from Captain's Fury, is credited as copyright © 2007 by Jim Butcher. There is no credit or copyright statement for the "The Dresden Files" piece. Here's the end of Storm Front:
.... Where trolls stay the hell under their bridges and elves don't come swooping out to snatch children from their cradles. Where vampires respect the limits, where faeries mind their p 's and q 's.
My name is Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden. Conjure by it at your own risk. When things get strange, when what goes bump in the night flicks on the lights, when no one else can help you, give me a call.
I'm in the book.
The piece in Cursor's Fury has these two sections:
.... Trolls lurk under bridges, and faeries swoop down to kidnap children. Vampires prowl the shadows by night, ...
and
When the need is most dire, when the night is most deadly, when no one else can help you, give Harry Dresden a call.
He's in the book.
And there is other text. So definitely not a true excerpt and perhaps not even Butcher's writing, but different from more typical blurbs. Dunno. I was 2nd verifier and the treatment seemed reasonable to me, although I don't object to a different treatment. --MartyD 13:21, 8 August 2020 (EDT)

Archiving

At what point would one archive their Talk page and how do you go about doing that ? --Mavmaramis 16:16, 8 August 2020 (EDT)

Whenever it seems long enough. ;-) There is no set limit, but when they get too long, it can take awhile to load. As for how, you will have to decide how you want to organize them (some do by years or date ranges, some don't worry about that and just start a new archive when the prior one gets long enough). You would then edit your talk page (from the "edit" at the top of the page) and edit your new archive page (User talk:Mavmaramis/Archive 1 or User talk:Mavmaramis/Archive 2019 or whatever scheme you want). Then cut the content from your talk page and paste to your archive page. At the top of your talk page, you would add a link to your archive page. Save both pages. Hope that helps. Let me know if something wasn't clear. -- JLaTondre (talk) 17:35, 8 August 2020 (EDT)
Helpful to a point but neglected to mention how I create the New page to begin with. --Mavmaramis 12:37, 17 August 2020 (EDT)
If you go to a new page, it will automatically give you an edit page for it. -- JLaTondre (talk) 17:05, 17 August 2020 (EDT)

De-Series-izing Titles

Is it appropriate for me to remove series markers from publications I haven't PVed? E.g., [16]. I've PVed all the Campbell Lost Fleet mass-market publications, and have the urge to clean up the titles in other formats. Is this ok? Desirable? My OCD tendencies want everything notated the same way. --GlennMcG 02:06, 10 August 2020 (EDT)

Yep. Anyone is welcome to bring any book to current standards. So if you see something that needs fixing, feel free to (let me change that: please please please fix it) :). In the case of series in the title, the only catch is that if a book has an active PV, they need to be consulted - as we do allow the series to be in the title if it is so on the title page, we just discourage it) :) Annie 03:31, 10 August 2020 (EDT)

Trish Heinrich

I've entered the works of Trish Heinrich onto this site. Last year she was known as Trish Heinrich, but now (2020) she has reissued her books under the name of T. L. Heinrich. Should I enter new entries for each book and then variate them? As the publishing dates on the books remain the same, should I enter the year of 2020 and enter a note as to the fact that last year (2019) she was Trish and now she is T. L.? MLB 23:38, 11 August 2020 (EDT)

Yes, you need new entries when a new name is used.
Who will have more books - T. L. or Trish? If Trish, then add the books as T. L. and variant them into the existing titles and every title keeps its own date. If T. L., then add the books, variant with the new one as parent and then adjust the parent title to be the first date for the pair (always fun with those...) - the list under the title will show which book is what. Annie 00:05, 12 August 2020 (EDT)
Well, first of all, I have no idea which name is used more often, as she just did this name switch. And what about the date?? Some of these authors are giving me ulcers. MLB 06:32, 12 August 2020 (EDT)
If the complete backlist is reprinted, my guess is that T. L. will need to be the cannonical.
See above for the date: the publications get their own dates, then make the variants and then adjust the parents of needed. Let's start with adding the books, and the pseudonym and we will take it from here. Annie 11:13, 12 August 2020 (EDT)

Don Sakers

Don Sakers has done a couple of non-sf novels that I think should be listed here as he has done quite a bit in the sf field, but I suspect that because of the subject matter and that they are young adult. Still, I think he's above that level that is needed. Am I wrong? MLB 02:25, 13 August 2020 (EDT)

I would call him above threshold -- so if you want to add them, go ahead. Make sure they are marked as non-genre and that the moderator note says that this is an over the threshold author. :) Annie 04:22, 13 August 2020 (EDT)
Thank you. MLB 06:04, 13 August 2020 (EDT)

Short Fiction without container

While fixing up the series on various excerpts I've added I noticed [17]. Does this mean something, or should it be removed? --GlennMcG 16:14, 13 August 2020 (EDT)

Leftover, ejected from somewhere that needs deleting - it is a manual second step post-ejection. We have a report that runs nightly on these but it has an ignore option so either this one is new (since last night) or someone pressed the ignore by mistake. When you find this kind of things, excerpts always need deletion; non-excerpts sometimes can stay WITH notes on why :) So feel free to submit a delete for such. I deleted this one now. :) Annie 16:20, 13 August 2020 (EDT)

Don Sakers, Part II

If I enter these publications, there are at least fifteen of them, should they be listed as collections, or as magazines? I would go with an e-magazine, but things seem a bit fuzzy here. MLB 20:18, 13 August 2020 (EDT)

I'd add them as Magazines if I was adding them. Makes it easier to add the serials also because technically, serials are not allowed in collections (we kinda look the other way for some cases but...). So add them as magazines. :) Makes them easier to organize as well. Annie 20:28, 13 August 2020 (EDT)

Cyteen entries - mistake or data model limitation?

The title Cyteen by Cherryh is sort-of simultaneously a novel and a omnibus. The series [18] shows its sub-components as variants of their parent. Is there a way to straighten this out? --GlennMcG 00:59, 15 August 2020 (EDT)

The novel was split into three parts for the initial paperback publication, it was published as a novel before and ever since. Things like this do happen from time to time in the publishing business, so it's neither a mistake nor a data model limitation - it only reflects what was going on. Hope thet helps. Stonecreek 02:03, 15 August 2020 (EDT)
My point, e.g., is that The Betrayal is shown as a variant of Cyteen, rather than a component of. --GlennMcG 02:16, 15 August 2020 (EDT)
That's how we record split novels (as opposed to serialized ones) -- part of the policy of the DB. Usually we use the notes to explain what it is. We had been discussing a few times to change these to serials but... the current rules are that split novels are directly varianted to the full novel and are recorded as novels. See the last paragraph here. Annie 03:43, 15 August 2020 (EDT)'
Ahhh. Although the rule stated there just seems to be stating how to work around a data model limitation. --GlennMcG 03:59, 15 August 2020 (EDT)
The original discussion about this subject was from 2006. Back then it was decided(?) not to variant the split novels to the original title record, but to add them to a (sub)series (as you can see with Peter Hamilton's Night's Dawn Trilogy and Tad Williams' Memory, Sorrow & Thorn). I think I remember a later discussion about varianting, but can't find it now. It was probably when the first Portuguese editions were entered (a lot of split novels there). Anyway, it should be in the rules and we should be more consistent (the Hamilton example is a mess). --Willem 04:53, 15 August 2020 (EDT)
Plus: the only way to show a section as a component of an existing work for us is to use the notes, as long as the section is titled differently (which makes it a different title that has to be dealt with in a way). Stonecreek 07:55, 15 August 2020 (EDT)
If only we had a special type that shows that a work is split into parts for publication and allowing the separate parts to be added under the complete work without looking like being the full text... Oh, hold on a second :) Does not work for excerpts (as it is just a part) but for complete splits? Maybe it is time to reopen the discussion once again... Annie 01:17, 16 August 2020 (EDT)

Correct links to FLURB

The URL for my zine www.flurb.net was hijacked by a squatter, who now has a copy of the Flurb archive on this site .... with ALL AUTHOR NAMES AND COPYRIGHTS REMOVED.

I set up an integral archival correct untouched archive of the zine Flurb at flurb.rudyrucker.com

So I'd like to do a search and replace on the full database to replace all appearances of "flurb.net" by "flurb.rudyrucker.com"

I'd like your advice on the possibility and feasability of this, and of course I'd test the procedure on a limited number of links to start with...maybe just those on the Rudy Rucker page.

Thanks, Rudy —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Rudyrucker (talkcontribs) .

Hello, that's bad news! At least I tried the replacement for issue #1, and it seemed to work. If you'd like to take a look at the outcome, that'd be appreciated, and I hope that it's really quite easy. Christian Stonecreek 23:19, 19 August 2020 (EDT)
The ISFDB Web Page Search (accessible from the Advanced Search page) reports that there are 3 ISFDB title records with links to "flurb.net". The links no longer work, so let me change them to matching flurb.rudyrucker.com links... Ahasuerus 10:19, 20 August 2020 (EDT)
Done. Thanks for reporting the problem! Ahasuerus 10:21, 20 August 2020 (EDT)
The Notes search finds 12 more - I will clear them up shortly. Both searches usually need to be used in conjunction to get all the instances of a link in the DB :)Annie 13:14, 20 August 2020 (EDT)
These are all cleaned up and the more generic search for just flurb (Notes and links) does not show any other slightly misspelled variants so I think we got them all. Annie 15:06, 20 August 2020 (EDT)
Thanks! Ahasuerus 18:21, 20 August 2020 (EDT)

Is there a howto for adding novel of previously published serial

Derek Künsken's The House of Styx has recently been published in novel form. It's currently in the DB as 3 parts published in serialized form in Analog, and I'm wondering how best to go about adding the novel version. A wiki search on "serial" and "serialized" didn't throw up anything that seemed relevant.

Looking at his earlier Quantum Magician, which had a similar pub history, it seems like a reasonable approach might be:

  • Add the novel as a new title
  • Make the existing 3 serializations variants of that title

But maybe I'm missing an easier/better way? ErsatzCulture 10:09, 22 August 2020 (EDT)

Nope. This is the way. Add the novel, variant the serial parts. Now - technically we would variant and create the parent novel as soon as the serials start rolling in so you can do just AddPub later - but as it was not done, you will need to. Annie 10:41, 22 August 2020 (EDT)
Thanks - there's a submission in the queue for the novel now, and I'll do the varianting once that's accepted. ErsatzCulture 15:11, 22 August 2020 (EDT)
Approved. You may want to move that link from the title level to the Publication links though - as it is for a specific publisher's edition (or 3) and not for the title as a while (as an author site or a Wiki page will be). Annie 16:55, 22 August 2020 (EDT)
Good point - I usually just submit new pubs for existing titles, so put it in the wrong field. Anyway, there are submissions in the queue to fix that and to cover all the series and variant stuff as well. 10:42, 23 August 2020 (EDT)

Adding an excerpt of an Anthology

I'm PVing a book with an excerpt to an anthology (Witch Way to the Mall, ed. by. Esther Friesner), that provides part of a short (There's No "I" in "Coven" by Jody Lynn Nye). How would one add this to a publication? --GlennMcG 18:00, 23 August 2020 (EDT)

You add it as an excerpt of the story (story title (if credited there, anthology name otherwise with (excerpt) behind it and the story writer if credited)) and you add a note in the Pub notes that this is presented as an anthology excerpt. If you share the exact Title part of that excerpt, someone may be a bit more definitive. Annie 19:08, 23 August 2020 (EDT)

Page numbers from next printing.

I plan on cloning a anthology publication for a 2nd printing. The first doesn't have page numbers for the stories. I doubt they're different, but I can't prove it. Should I enter them into the 1st printing, or just add them to the new 2nd? --GlennMcG 20:37, 23 August 2020 (EDT)

Depends on how sure you are they are the same. If it is a classical real second printing and not a second edition hiding as a reprint (different size for example or one of the publishers who seem to mix up the terms), I will add the page numbers to the first pritning and add a note that they are coming from the second printing. If something looks weird and/or mismatches on page numbers seem to be there, I would still add them but with | in front of the number (so at least the stories stay in order). Annie 21:26, 23 August 2020 (EDT)

Adding to Genre Stories on the Web

I'm trying to find out either how to do this, if someone can do or for me, and if those are added your main ISFDB site entry or not? I've included all required details below if someone can add them for me, please?


Genre Stories on the Web / S-Z

Title-Salary Man Author-Ray Daley Link+Date-https://365tomorrows.com/2013/05/28/salary-man/ 2013-05-28 Site Name-365 Tomorrows

Genre Stories on the Web / M-R Title-Return From Red Zone Author-Ray Daley Link+Date-https://365tomorrows.com/2013/01/12/return-from-red-zone/ Site Name-365 Tomorrows

"365 Tomorrows" is technically a webzine under our definition (it can be considered as a "webzine that has daily issues") so it can be added that way. I think we should threat is we treat Daily Science Fiction (monthly record with the stories from the month inside). Unless someone objects, I will add the needed months - we already have a few stories here which need a bit of TLC (may take awhile so please be patient - (unless you are willing to try to add the full months - I will provide instructions on your page if you are willing to?) - it is one of the webzines I had been planning to work on for awhile). As we are publication-based and not title based, we cannot just add the stories - we need to add the publication they are in. Annie 18:08, 29 August 2020 (EDT)

Audio

Hello. Does the ISFDB contain any audiobooks (audio books) or any information about SF audiobooks? Despite any negative feelings some may have about listening to books I don't have much choice due to my failing eyesight. I do have a large collection of (mostly SF) audiobooks* which I would be happy to share, and I'm always looking for more -- to fill in the gaps, or to find a better reader. Thank you kindly for your time. Knuten48 [

  • (Not all of them from Librivox.)
Hi, we do add audiobooks to our list: that is, fiction titles as read by voice actors: we don't index recorded radio / audio plays, though. The advanced search menu allows you to find publications. But, alas, we have the formats diversified: for example audio CD or digital audio download. So you may have to run the search a few times, I'm afraid. And we are not complete in this field. I hope that helps, and if you do need more help, please let us know. Stonecreek 08:47, 2 September 2020 (EDT)
Advanced Search can be used to look for multiple formats at the same time (up to 5 if this is the only thing you want to filter based on) so a single search may work (use OR instead of AND). :) If the books are mainly downloads, they would be under "digital audio download"; the physical one formats will be under 5 different formats (described here although we have only a few vinyls recorded so if you pick up the other 5 formats, you will get everything we have. We even started recorded the narrators/readers in the publications in a structured way so you can search for {{Narrator|name}} to look for books from that narrator -- not complete yet but we are getting there. Annie 11:07, 2 September 2020 (EDT)

How to merge duplicate, but PV'd publications

I believe that [19] and [20] are the same publication, but both are PVed. Any way to merge them together while retaining the verifications? --GlennMcG 18:11, 4 September 2020 (EDT)

We cannot merge publications, only titles. In this case, one of these will need to be deleted... Which means that one of the editors will need to move their PV. As Bill is not around but Don is occasionally, I would leave a note on Don's page about it with the link to the other one (so he can verify again) and request the deletion of the second one (which was added earlier but has less details...) Annie 18:54, 4 September 2020 (EDT)

Free extended preview

This pub is a free extended preview in electronic form. It seems like an extended excerpt not a chapbook. How should we track this type of entry in the database? I found the pdf at this site. TAWeiss 16:01, 12 September 2020 (EDT)

How it's currently entered would be correct. It's a chapbook consisting of an excerpt. In ISFDB parlance, a chapbook is a book with only a shortfiction, poem, or serial record (plus essays, artwork and a couple of other special cases). We treat an except (as long as it's less than 40k words) as shortfiction. -- JLaTondre (talk) 16:13, 12 September 2020 (EDT)
For clarity, and based on the title page, would it be appropriate to add ": Free Extended Preview" as part of the title? TAWeiss 18:35, 15 September 2020 (EDT)
Yes. Based on the title page, the title: subtitle format can be used. So it would be The Girl With All the Gifts: Extended Free Preview (not Free Extended Preview). MagicUnk 00:46, 17 September 2020 (EDT)
And while you're at it, do update the contents title too so that it matches the updated pub title. :) MagicUnk 00:56, 17 September 2020 (EDT)

Protocol for using { { incomplete } } in anthologies when I have no intention of completing the contents personally?

There's a Mike Ashley anthology due out in the UK next week that Fixer hasn't picked up or submitted. I'm quite happy to submit a barebones AddPub for it, if only to stop it showing up on my tools that report on UK pubs that aren't in ISFDB. However, the content of this anthology is well outside of my personal interest/knowledge, so I've got zero intention of going to the effort of finding out what the contents are and filling out those. (Not that it seems they are documented anywhere right now anyway...)

In such a case, should I tag the pub note with the { { incomplete } } template, or is that going to create annoying noise in the incomplete report that may never get resolved, certainly not by the editor who submitted the original record? Presumably such a record would show up in the anthologies and collections lacking fiction report? ErsatzCulture 07:37, 18 September 2020 (EDT)

Yes, please! Even if you don't intend to fill in the missing items, chances aren't too bad that eventually someone will do it! Stonecreek 10:43, 18 September 2020 (EDT)
That’s exactly why we have the template - so we can keep track of the ones that need work. After rereading: if the record is going to stay empty for now, it will show on the other report indeed so it is not critical to add it. I would not add it to an empty book but it is technically not a problem so you can add it if you want. If you add/import even a single story though, the template must be added. :) Annie 11:23, 18 September 2020 (EDT)


Linking from Review to book

I have used titles as included in the review - e.g. http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?2775075 - which don't match the way they are stored in the db ( http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?1161263 ). How do I match them up? Lawiedc 12:09, 20 September 2020 (EDT)

That's fairly straightforward. When you've display the review, there's a menu item on the left (link review to title) to link it with the corresponding title. MagicUnk 15:07, 20 September 2020 (EDT)
Ta - just couldn't see it before :-) Lawiedc 11:32, 23 September 2020 (EDT)

Rewritten Novels and Verified Duplicates

There are two Dell Mapbacks that are re-written versions of H. Rider Haggard novels. They have been entered into the database in a couple of different ways, resulting, in one case, duplicate verified publications under different titles. So the first question is what is the preferred way to enter rewritten titles. The two rewritten novels are King Solomon's Mines and She with another publication merged with Haggard's original novel. In both cases the title page does not mention the new author: "H. Rider Haggard's King Solomon's Mines: The Story of the M-G-M Motion Picture" and "H. Rider Haggard's She: The Story Retold" The author of the rewrite is credited at the foot of the contents page. My first question is who should be credited as author. Only the re-writer, only Haggard, or both? If we credit only the re-writer, do we include "H. Rider Haggard's" as part of the title? My personal preference is to have the title as "H. Rider Haggard's She: The Story Retold" with the author as only the re-writer. Tuck does lists both books under Haggard with a note about the re-writer only for She. Reginald lists both books with both authors. My other question is how to deal with merging the two publications of She ([21] and [22]). The problem here is that I will either have to delete the publication with a primary verification by Rhschu or the one with an OCLC verification by Mhhutchins. The former editor is inactive sine 2014 and the latter is mostly incommunicado. I also have a primary verification, but I can move mine. Maybe I'm worrying too much about preserving someone else's verification. I was falsely accused of removing verifications in the past, so I'm hesitant about doing so through deletion. In any case, are there thoughts about how to merge the duplicate copies and how they should be titled and credited. Thanks. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 11:57, 26 September 2020 (EDT)

I would usually try to preserve an PV if at all possible - secondary verifications while important are secondary to that. I would try to find the OCLC verifier if I can but... "someone actually had the book" is a bit more important than "someone read the Worldcat site". I know that a lot of people get upset when they lose secondary verifications but... So I would say: move your PV, update the record there (noting what was added post-first PV) and delete the other one.
I agree with you on the title and author credit based on the title page (despite the lack of the author there) with a note on exact appearance? The Title rule sometimes needs a bit of creative reading or we end up with really messy records (especially outside of English but that is a different question). So it will either be the rewriter, or Haggard+uncredited (with the rewriter up on a parent after that) or uncredited and then varianted up with rewriter, or Haggard and the again varianted up. Just the rewritter and keeping Haggard (plus notes) in the title sounds the cleanest... Annie 18:02, 27 September 2020 (EDT)

Tor vs Tor Fantasy publisher

What's the criteria for selecting which publisher to use? For Ace I use the title page publisher or the copyright page edition statement as a hint. Is it the presence of the escutcheon with the mountain and stars? --GlennMcG 20:59, 4 October 2020 (EDT)

Title page wins in all cases for any title, author or publisher spelling/variant - when we have access to it, we always use that (plus/minus some standardization). That may mean that even of a copyright statement differentiates certain imprints, if the title page does not, we differentiate only in notes. Annie 21:02, 4 October 2020 (EDT)
Are the more specific publishers a relatively recent thing? I've had to perform a fair number of 'refine publisher' edits for Ace during my PV sweep. --GlennMcG 21:10, 4 October 2020 (EDT)
Rules had changed a few times. A lot of our very old records are out of policy (some more, some less) because they had not been touched since they were added or because only certain parts had been brought to policy (I will often do capitalization and series cleanup but if I do not have the book, I won't touch the publisher unless I can find the title page). The "publisher recorded as on the title page" is an old enough rule but the standardization had been more extreme at times. And sometimes people will just PV when a book is already PVd without checking the details (they should not but...). Annie 21:18, 4 October 2020 (EDT)

Broken link on Web API page

On the page http://www.isfdb.org/wiki/index.php/Web_API , the "Advanced Publication Search by External Identifier" link is broken. Clicking it yields

Not Found

The requested URL /cgi-bin/search.cgi was not found on this server. --Raja99 21:19, 4 October 2020 (EDT)

The Advanced Publication Search by External Identifier page moved to a different location a couple of years ago. I have updated the link -- thanks for reporting the problem! Ahasuerus 21:33, 4 October 2020 (EDT)

To give a bit more context: I've built a web app for members of my discussion group to track the short stories they read. They would like to be able to enter an ISFDB id, for example 41243 , and have my app auto-populate the title, date, and author (for this example, "Ker-Plop", "Ted Reynolds", and "1979-01-00"). I presume the correct way to do this would be to use the Web API, but that page does not mention searching via the ISFDB ID. I'm guessing that getpub_by_Id.cgi would be the appropriate tool, but the documentation link given above seems to be broken.

Thanks for any help!

--Raja99 21:19, 4 October 2020 (EDT)

The problem is that you need a search for titles and what getpub_by_Id.cgi searches for is a publication - aka a book. Short stories will be hiding under title records. The "Advanced Publication Search by External Identifier" for example is a search for books/publications based on an IDs (OCLC, ASIN and so on) so this is not what you need.
If you have the ID, why would you even bother with the search instead of directly hitting the URL with a GET: http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?ID and parse the HTML? Or are you looking for a way to get the fields in a bit more structured way? Annie 21:27, 4 October 2020 (EDT)
That's right. Unfortunately, as the linked Wiki page says, "There are currently no methods for obtaining author, title, series, or awards information from the ISFDB." All you can do is get publication records either by ISBN (getpub.cgi) or by an External ID (getpub_by_ID.cgi). Ahasuerus 21:35, 4 October 2020 (EDT)

Annie and Ahasuerus, thanks a ton for your speedy replies!

Ahasuerus: Thanks for fixing the link. It looks like there are lots of interesting possibilities here.

Annie: Yes, I was hoping for something more structured. This is totally not intended as a criticism--I love the ISFDB!--but it seems a little odd to me that it's "easier" to get author/title/date information with a random ISBN than with what looks like the ID of an ISFDB record.

I will have to think about this some more. I may end up downloading the DB, I may end up trying to parse HTML (not my first choice), or I may end up telling my discussion group members to demand their money back (since I'm providing them this tool for free) ;-) . Thanks again.

Title Type to use for musical notation

InteriorArt? Poem? (no lyrics the driving case). --GlennMcG 21:42, 4 October 2020 (EDT)

I would use Interior Art and a note in the title record (and probably in the publication note as well) what exactly it is... If the lyrics are also there, I would do a poem + interior art (the way we record graphic stories) (or just a poem with a note in the publication note that there is also musical notation). Annie 22:13, 4 October 2020 (EDT)

Resources for verifying ebook pub dates that seem unlikely

Did you miss to post the messsage? :) Annie 15:52, 5 October 2020 (EDT)
Yes, and because someone decided to jump in before I had chance to properly fix it, I've just had to do additional faffing around to avoid the edit conflict :-( Anyway, here's what I wanted to say:

I just submitted the UK ebook pub of Carole Stivers The Mother Code, using data extracted from Amazon UK, Kobo and the publisher's site, all of which agree it was published on May 5th earlier this year. The post-submit page told me that the pub date I'd submitted was before the existing known values, and it turns out to be by several months. (The UK hc, which was next on my list to submit, is reported as not being published until August 25th by Amazon, Waterstones and the publisher.)

Obviously there has been a fair amount of craziness with books being pushed back this year, but naively I'd have thought that the pub dates of already-published ebooks as reported by vendors should be correct, given that these are presumably linked to buy button/download/etc logic? Does anyone know of any other way of determining/verifying historical ebook pub dates?

FWIW, I've done a bit of digging on other sources to see if I can find any corroboration one way or another, and things aren't any clearer:

  • This corporate tweet says the hc was "out today in hardback" in August - the lack of any mention of the ebook might hint towards that having already been published, but it's far from certain. (Neither of the Hodder UK Twitter accounts - the other being @Hodderscape - seem to have had much to say about this title, which in itself is a bit surprising.)
  • Ratings activity on Goodreads doesn't seem to have really started until August; there are a few people giving ratings or reviews prior to that point, but these could easily be from ARC copies etc.

ErsatzCulture 15:56, 5 October 2020 (EDT)

A body tries to help and then get nagged at for being too helpful... :)
Back on the question... all we can do is to document and record. I tend to trust the major publishers when their sites get updated. In this case, Booktopia also agrees and in the last few months I had found that their dates are scarily correct among the sea of missing updates (if anything, they may be reporting later dates sometimes but almost always that end up being an indicator of a delay). So in this case I would update based on the publisher site but add a note with the observations you have above. If that proves to be incorrect one day, it will get fixed (or not). Documenting it helps. If the local Kobo, local Amazon and the local publisher site agree, I would say that it is a duck... Don't use dates from the non-local stores though - these had been a disaster in terms of updates - they are getting better but for anything in April-September, I would go to a local store. Or Booktopia. :)
And with Hachette's imprints (both UK and US based (And even the AU ones)), this seemed to be a somewhat normal working procedure this summer with some books - with the bookstores closed and Amazon de-prioritizing books, that even made some sense. Solaris/Rebellion did something similar with some books (ebook in July, hc/tp is scheduled for November in one of the later ones I added) and so on.
I spent a few weeks in April/May tracking ebooks as they were coming out -- and the dates held - the books were available at the day Amazon/Kobo said they are. Spot checks since then, especially on books with later tp/hc had usually had the same result (especially because the ebooks addition post May/June was a bit... slowed down because of the new Amazon API) . Which does not mean that some of them did not slip but... welcome to 2020 I guess. Hope this helps a bit. Annie 16:13, 5 October 2020 (EDT)
As it happens, I tried some different Twitter search parameters, and finally found a tweet that appears to confirm the May ebook pub date.
Thanks re. the other stuff, especially re. Booktopia, which I wasn't aware of. ErsatzCulture 16:19, 5 October 2020 (EDT)
Anytime. Booktopia had been a life-saver for the physical audio formats and international paper editions but if they have the ebook as well, they are useful for it - mainly works for UK/AU/International ebooks (being in AU and all) but as this is what you deal with, it should be helpful now and then :) Annie 16:31, 5 October 2020 (EDT)

Improving cover images

I've occasionally scanned books for cover images. But as I get more aggressive about updating publications I'm worried that I may be going too far, or stepping on the toes of the original submitter.

My assumptions are as such:

  • It's better to have a local wiki copy than an external link that may change over time.
  • It's better to have the image appropriately cropped, so that it doesn't waste space when displaying.
  • A replacement scan doesn't need to be perfect, as long as it's better than what it replaces.

Here's an example [23]. Thoughts? --GlennMcG 16:43, 7 October 2020 (EDT)

Pretty much - approved that one. :) Just don't replace a readable file with a blurry mess and/or a perfectly fine ISFDB one with a new one just for the sake of it. And if you see any Amazon image NOT ending with /I/random_string.jpg, these may need replacement and the ones in the /P/ISBN10.jpg format always need a replacement image - even if it is again from the proper space from Amazon (Amazon changes these based on the last cover to be published under that ISBN...). Keep in mind that there are a few external servers that are used for larger images (Ofearna hosts one of them for example) so I would not replace images from there - they are there and not here because they are too big to be here. Other from that, replace anything you can improve on as long as it matches the book. :) Annie 16:52, 7 October 2020 (EDT)

One further question... Is it better to scale the image down to 600 px so that the wiki software can display? Or try to find a higher rez value that still meets the max size criteria? --GlennMcG 17:32, 7 October 2020 (EDT)

600px is the maximum dimension that should be used. There is both a dimension and file size limit. So yes, please scale down ;-) -- JLaTondre (talk) 19:07, 7 October 2020 (EDT)

Stated 1st printing

When PVing books with a note containing a 'Stated 1st printing', but no quoted evidence supporting, I often find something like

First Edition, MON YEAR

on the copyright page, with no number line present. I'd like to add the additional quoted evidence, but to my literal mind, it would have been better to say something like:

"First Edition: MON YEAR"; no number line
Presumed first printing

However, I understand that this could be irritating to the other PVers. Any suggestions on how to reconcile? I've been skipping adding additional info on these types of publications. --GlennMcG 17:40, 7 October 2020 (EDT)

If the book doesn't state it's a first printing (either by number line or statement), then the pub notes shouldn't say "stated 1st printing". However, in these cases, it is always best to discuss with the other verifiers. Not just because of the irritation factor, but because it's possible theirs's does say first printing which would make yours a different printing. It sometimes happens. -- JLaTondre (talk) 19:10, 7 October 2020 (EDT)
Here's some examples from PVing Barbara Hambly. [24] [25] [26] [27]
All have "First Edition, MON YEAR" and no number line on copyright page. Looks like that part of the note either comes in during record creation (without history), or early on with inactive PVers. It seems unlikely these all have mystery 1st printing versions. I suppose that a later PVer could have a copy with the 'stated 1st', and that would force the creation a new record, but it seems likely that their copy matches. Then we're in the same boat as before. --GlennMcG 19:59, 7 October 2020 (EDT)
Rtrace is around daily - ping him for the 3 books you are sharing from these 4. If he confirms that it is indeed not stated, we probably are looking at faulty old records. If not, we are looking at different versions. Annie 20:20, 7 October 2020 (EDT)

Cover image link sharing

I've just PVed a first printing with no cover image. [28]. There's a 15th printing with a matching cover image [29]. Is it appropriate to just use the image link? Uploading a new image for the 1st printing would generate a new name hash, and would be probably safer. So what's the tradeoff between disk space and safety? Thanks. --GlennMcG 15:50, 8 October 2020 (EDT)

I personally prefer separate images when possible - the metadata in their wiki pages contain link to their work and if that pub is deleted, deleting the image by mistake is possible. Annie 18:42, 8 October 2020 (EDT)

Tor Fantasy (publisher) vs Tor Fantasy (publication series)

While PVing [30] I ran into a book with the 'Tor Fantasy' publication series, but not the 'Tor Fantasy' publisher, even though the title page indicates so. How are these suppose to work with each other? --GlennMcG 22:12, 9 October 2020 (EDT)

They don't - it is one of those cases where the DB is a bit inconsistent - welcome to the cleanup team :). At some point someone decided that it needs to be a pub series and not a publisher (either because they did not check or because it predated the publisher creation - sometimes it is hard to determine what the case is so we have cases like that. As now we treat it as a publisher, someone will need to edit all the books in the series to remove the publication series and change the publisher. No shortcuts, these will need to be edited one by one - at least it is a short series. Want to do that? :) Annie 22:29, 9 October 2020 (EDT)
Sure. There's only nine of them. Hopefully the pub series wasn't used with fantasy on the spine, but not the title page. --GlennMcG 22:40, 9 October 2020 (EDT)
It seems that Holmesd is one of the PVs of most of those and he is around (although with no access to some of his books). So for the books you do not have, you may want to leave him a message and ask? I don't think this is the case (we add that in the notes - but then it depends on the editor sometimes). Annie 22:49, 9 October 2020 (EDT)
I happened to have 7 of the 9. [31] is a hardcover of which I have the equivalent paperback, with a Tor Fantasy publisher. Edited the pb. Not sure about [32]. No active Pver, and it's in a year that doesn't seem to apply. I marked the boxed set, as it seems quite likely the Fantasy version is correct. The downside to the current schema is that the set points to titles, rather than publications. So it's not entirely clear which books are included. --GlennMcG 02:35, 10 October 2020 (EDT)

So how should this be finished off?

  • Leave the last two as pub series, and possibly add a note to the pub series entry deprecating.
  • Remove the pub series from the publications, and delete the series.
  • Remove the pub series from the publications, and switch the publisher, and then delete the series.
  • Or something else that's not obvious to me.

--GlennMcG 21:55, 12 October 2020 (EDT)

A note needs to be added for sure. Once all books are removed from a publication series, the publication series will be automatically deleted so you do not need to worry about that part. In this case as both are verified, one option is to change the publisher and add a note inside of publication saying "The publisher was changed on DATE after the primary verification from Publisher: XX, Pub Series: YY to Publisher: ZZ based on evidence of other books and current ISFDB policies. A further PV should verify the publisher on the title page". Or we just leave a note in the pub series explaining what happened here.
I would say to leave a not in the publication record and to see if we can find these books in a library and/or elsewhere (once the world reopens a bit more). Adding notes about post-PV changes inside of a publication is always a good idea btw :) Annie 00:20, 14 October 2020 (EDT)

ANTHOLOGY Resurrection Engines 2012 Ed. Scott Harrison

As an occasional user I sometimes see an entry I could enhance or correct. - And I have added some data in the past. - But I find the system too labyrinthine when attempting 'something new'. - The anthology above seems to exist in two versions: - The tp (I have a copy in front of me) entry appears entirely correct - 15 authors, but the cover scan is incorrect - 16. - I assume the hc actually has the 16 contents (has same cover scan), but the Contents only lists 15. - I can supply a scan of the tp cover. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Xipetotec (talkcontribs) .

This book? That looks like the cover of the hardcover being reused (or an early cover). If you have a scan of the cover, you can press on "Upload new cover scan", it will open a new tab and once you upload, you can press the Edit on the record and swap the cover. More details on the image upload process here.
And if you have the book, you may want to think about primary verifying (more details here).
I will check if I can find out the 16th story in the hardcover and/or add some notes around it. Annie 00:10, 14 October 2020 (EDT)

Dumb question:How do you add a new poem?

I've found a poem by Marrion Zimmer in a 1948 fanzine that's not currently in her listing.

How do I add it? There's no link for "New Poem."

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

We are publication-centric - so you add the fanzine and then add the poem inside of its contents section. In this case, first verify that we do not have the fanzine issue with incomplete contents (if we do, you can just edit and add the poem) and if we do not, you use "New Fanzine". If you share the name and issue number of the fanzine, I can provide a more exact step by step :) Annie 00:04, 14 October 2020 (EDT)

Double Star / Heinlein -- two 5th printings, each with an inactive PV

[33] and [34]. The 2nd has more/better info. Any good way to deal with this? --GlennMcG 02:30, 15 October 2020 (EDT)

No perfect solution, but ask Taweiss to move his PV, delete the first pub record, and leave a note on Rschu's page that the pub record he had PVd has been deleted and that he should PV the other record instead (assuming he's still interested). Oh, and since the statement that WorldCat has no record pertaining to this 5th printing seems to be incorrect, you'd best move oclc 3269375 to the latter and update the notes accordingly :). Regards MagicUnk 11:32, 15 October 2020 (EDT)
I'd rather keep the older record. The Bluesman entry was added much later.TAWeiss 21:14, 19 October 2020 (EDT)
I'd agree with that - keep the original record, delete the newer one (the only case where I would keep the newer one under these circumstances would be if it has more PVs but even in that the old one had more non-new ones). Glenn, move your PV over to the old one, move any data you want and we can delete the newer record. Annie 21:30, 19 October 2020 (EDT)
Done. --GlennMcG 01:23, 21 October 2020 (EDT)

Subseries for excerpts?

For some long series with many excerpts is it appropriate to create and use an 'NAME excerpts' subseries? I've only seen it done a few times, but it seems to spiff up the author display nicely. --GlennMcG 16:15, 15 October 2020 (EDT)

Yep - go ahead and do them where it makes sense. Annie 16:26, 15 October 2020 (EDT)

Is it possible to search titles filtered on the language they were originally published in?

Say I'm interested in the native SF written in a particular language. Doing a search like this is straightforward, but picks up a load of translated titles, which are not of interest in this context. Filtering those results to only show the titles that don't have parents would likely be an imperfect solution, but probably good enough - but I don't see a way of selecting that on the advanced search page.

I can easily do this sort of thing as a SQL query against a local copy of the database, but I'd like something that I could publicly hyperlink to. (This thought came to me whilst reading an online discussion with some assertions that I was a bit dubious about, but would like to have some sort of "evidence" to link to before engaging in discussion.)

Without looking at the code behind the search functionality, this feels like the sort of thing that might be easy to implement in terms of technical functionality, but working out a way to present those options in an easily understandable UI to a user - especially one not familiar with ISFDB internals - would be another matter altogether. ErsatzCulture 06:06, 16 October 2020 (EDT)

Our search is not very good with "empty" searches - because what you need to look is for titles in the language which have no parents... Annie 13:24, 16 October 2020 (EDT)
This isn't perfect -- it depends on the quality of the notes -- but you could add AND Notes DOES NOT CONTAIN "{{TR" + AND Notes DOES NOT CONTAIN "Translated" like this. For your example, it reduces the 107 Chinese novel titles to 12. --MartyD 07:50, 20 October 2020 (EDT)
Thanks - I don't think that approach would have ever occurred to me. ErsatzCulture 15:30, 20 October 2020 (EDT)

Surprising (to me) behaviour with omnibus pubs and variant authors

In the last week or so, I submitted a couple of omnibuses [35] [36] by Paul McAuley with no middle initial, which is a variant author name. My understanding was that the system would automagically create additional entries for these pubs under the main Paul J. McAuley author as well (even though there are no pubs using this version of the author name), but that hasn't happened here. Those two omnibuses don't show up on his bibliography page, but they do on the series page; that's not really surprising given that a series can have works by multiple authors, but I note that these two omnibuses show up there with "by Paul McAuley" rather than "only as by Paul McAuley", I assume due to the lack of title/pub for the main author.

Not having them show up on the main author bibliography page seems a bit counter-intuitive and undesirable to me - did I do something wrong, or is there some reasonable explanation for this behaviour? Do the extra entries for the main author not get created for omnibuses perhaps, or am I misremembering/misunderstanding how that side of things works? ErsatzCulture 11:24, 21 October 2020 (EDT)

Nope, it is not automatic. When you add a new title under a pseudonym name (like here, you need to manually create a parent which brings it into the actual proper bibliography (or connect to an existing one if it exists). Some moderators will create these parents for you upon approval or someone may catch it overnight when the cleanup process finds it but it is never an automatic process. It does not happen for ANY type of title :) As a rule - unless you are adding a publication under a pre-existing title (AddPub/ClonePub) and not adding any new contents under the pseudonym, if you are using a pseudonym author, you will need to follow up upon approval to get the new title to the main author page. If you are adding a brand new collection, you will need to create/connect parents for each and every story :) Same process that happens for every translation which does not use the cannonical author name as well.
It shows up on the series page because the series page is always cross-author so the the series does not care who the authors are. Annie 11:46, 21 October 2020 (EDT)
Thanks. When you say "the cleanup process finds it", is this something that's in one of the public cleanup reports? I just had a look through them, and couldn't find one that looked like it might cover this scenario.
For creating the "placeholder" entry for the parent author, is it just a case of doing "Add New Omnibus (or whatever)" and then just filling out the top "Title Data" section, but leaving the "Publication Data" section empty? (And then doing the appropriate varianting afterwards.) ErsatzCulture 12:14, 21 October 2020 (EDT)
Yep, this one. Your guy Paul McAuley is in there for these two :)
Nope, it is just a "Make This Title a Variant" on the title level, then in option 2 just swap the author name to the canonical. You need a new title, not a new publication. Annie 12:24, 21 October 2020 (EDT)

Inherit the Stars / Jame P. Hogan

I'm not sure how to reconcile information in [37] with a book I'm PVing. Mine is "First Edition, May 1977" without a number line or printing statement. It also has "Manufactured in the United States of America" on the copyright page. $1.50 price stated. None of the verifiers are active.

It's possible (?) that the record is just missing C$ for the price, and that it's a Canadian edition. Or there are two first printings of difference sources. Thoughts? --GlennMcG 02:49, 22 October 2020 (EDT)

"Printed in Canada" in the one we have - it is possible that we missed C in the price or it was priced in US$ for some reason. Or someone made a mix of the two editions. Yours is printed in USA - so is definitely a different edition so clone from this one and create a new record for yours. The Canadian/US printing of the major publisher back then can cause anyone a headache. Annie 03:00, 22 October 2020 (EDT)

Diplomatic Incident

I am totally ignorant when it comes to poetry, so could somebody tell me it Diplomatic Incident is one poem broken into several chapters, or several poems under an umbrella title. MLB 23:14, 23 October 2020 (EDT)

Can be considered either a single poem or a cycle of poems IMO. So either way will work until a reprint somewhere brings more clarity. Whatever you chose - make sure to add notes. Annie 10:18, 24 October 2020 (EDT)

Expecting Someone Taller - fix or clone?

For PV. [38] has price $4.50, but my first printing by number line copy has price $3.95 with "Ace edition / September 1990". The only PV is inactive. Change the price? Or, clone to a separate publication? --GlennMcG 15:24, 24 October 2020 (EDT)

I think you should clone and fully document your copy (i.e., include the statement + the number line), and then edit the other publication to change the date to unknown (0000-00-00) and adjust the notes there to say something like: Original verifier noted "First Edition" and 1990-09-00, but $4.50 price vs. known first printing's $3.95 price suggests this is a later printing of unknown date. Details unconfirmed as of 2020-10-25.. FWIW, Fantastic Fiction and Abe Books list a seller in the U.S. offering this ISBN for $4.50, which seems awfully likely to be a cover price. If you're feeling ambitious, you could try contacting that seller and asking. I see from an eBay listing that the $3.95 one prints the price on the cover along the left edge -- I assume yours has that? -- in which case the covers are slightly different, too. --MartyD 07:57, 25 October 2020 (EDT)

How to Delete a cover image upload

I uploaded a cover scan for an Amazon P10 replacement, but realized I had a different printing afterwards. Is there a way to remove the scan? --GlennMcG 15:52, 26 October 2020 (EDT)

Post a link on the moderator board (or here in this case) and someone can delete if for you - delete is a moderator function. We have a template for pages but not for images - so just post on the board when you want something cleaned up. Occasionally someone does a sweep through recent uploads and cleans the ones we do not need anymore but if you want to be proactive... :) Annie 15:57, 26 October 2020 (EDT)
[39]. Thanks. --GlennMcG 16:22, 26 October 2020 (EDT)
Done. Annie 16:31, 26 October 2020 (EDT)
The deletion template can be added to image pages. There is nothing special about them in that regards. -- JLaTondre (talk) 18:08, 28 October 2020 (EDT)

Inclusion threshold when one essay in a collection is genre, the rest not?

Joanna Russ’s Magic Mommas, Trembling Sisters, Puritans & Perverts is, as the ISFDB note says, “A superb collection of feminist essays, including an early one (for the subject) on Kirk/Spock porn.” More specifically, five of the essays are nongenre, about feminism and lesbianism and pornography, but the sixth one (“Pornography by Women for Women, with Love”) is about Kirk/Spock slash. The ISFDB listing for the book doesn’t include any of the titles of the essays in the book. I was considering adding them, but the ISFDB:Policy page says that nongenre nonfiction works that aren’t published as standalone books shouldn’t be added. So I’m not sure how or whether to proceed. For example:

A. I could leave all of the essays unlisted, but edit the book Note to explain why the titles aren’t listed (and maybe explicitly mention the title of the K/S essay, but not create an entry for it).

B. I could create an entry for the K/S essay but not the other essays. But that might give the impression that the book contains only one piece.

C. I could create entries for all six essays (and the Introduction). But that might go beyond the inclusion threshold.

D. Some other approach I’m not thinking of.

Thoughts? --Elysdir 02:39, 27 October 2020 (EDT)

I suggest to create a single Contents record with the 6th essay, and add notes explaining why this one belongs (even though there may be some discussion as to why this can be plausibly linked to 'written' spec fic - but then again, if not, why is the essay collection there in the first place if not for that 6th essay?), and that the other 5 are non-genre (so do not belong), with or without listing the other 5 in the notes - your choice. Regards, MagicUnk 03:39, 27 October 2020 (EDT)
Thanks! But I just noticed something else: In Le Guin’s Dancing at the Edge of the World, all of the essays are included, including the ones that have nothing to do with sf. Should the non-sf pieces be removed from that book? And similarly for other Le Guin books that include non-sf-related essays? --Elysdir 05:34, 27 October 2020 (EDT)
No, they are eligible because she is considered above the threshold - so any book from her is eligible (non-genre essays in magazines on their own won’t be but as long as they are in a book, they are). Russ is also above threshold so technically the whole book is eligible - just the non genre essays will need to be marked non genre post approval. So up to you if you want to add all the essays or just some of them. :) Annie 09:00, 27 October 2020 (EDT)
Thanks! That makes much more sense than the way I had been interpreting the policy, and I’m relieved to hear that such works are eligible for inclusion. On re-reading the ISFDB:Policy page, I see where my confusion came from: it says “This includes any non-genre works published as standalone books as well as non-genre short fiction, but excludes non-fiction which was not published as a standalone book.” So would it be okay for me to change that sentence from saying “as standalone books” and “as a standalone book” to instead say “in books” and “in a book”? To me, the sentence as written seems to exclude short nongenre nonfiction like the Russ and Le Guin pieces that we’re talking about. —Elysdir 13:34, 27 October 2020 (EDT)
Please do NOT change the official policy page - but feel free to post in R&S and propose a wording change - we need community agreement for changes like that. :) Annie 14:05, 27 October 2020 (EDT)
While I’m here, a side question for MagicUnk: You seemed to indicate that a discussion of Kirk/Spock slash might not be includable in ISFDB. I’m unclear on why it wouldn’t be—it’s specifically about written sf published in paper fanzines, which seems to me to fit the definition of “published” on the ISFDB:Policy page. Am I misunderstanding that definition? —Elysdir 13:39, 27 October 2020 (EDT)
Fiction stories in fanzines which are speculative fiction (which any Star Trek fiction will be by definition as they are in a SF universe -- unless the characters are moved to a non-SF universe in which case they are non-genre so not counted as speculative fiction) are indeed counted as published so non-fiction discussing them is indeed considered in scope. If these stories were published only online and/or in fan fiction sites and so on, then they are not considered published under our definition so the discussion about them is also out. At least this is how I read the rules. Circles inside of circles. :) Annie 14:11, 27 October 2020 (EDT)

PVing two for one / Wizard's Funeral by Kim Hunter

I believe that [40] and [41] are the same book, other than the US version's distribution channel and the presence of the Trafalgar Square sticker. (My copy has the sticker).

  • Should there really be two publication entries, or should it just be notes. (and if two entries...)
  • Should I only PV the sticker entry, or both?
  • Should I add notes to the sticker entry, or both?
  • Should I replace the Amazon P10 cover image for the sticker entry, or both?

--GlennMcG 15:54, 30 October 2020 (EDT)

Should I assume the lack of input here means I should just pick something and go with it? --GlennMcG 14:26, 3 November 2020 (EST)

Nah, just that the people that saw it needed some time to think and then got a bit under the weather (or at least this is why I never posted). I *think* that distribution stickers are not a reason to have a separate edition in the DB -- unless it is permanently attached and actually changes the book. So if the difference is in the sticker only, I would delete the newer record and leave the older one and migrate notes and so on.
PS: And replacing the cover for both books if we decide to keep both is a good idea. If we keep both, PV only the book you have. But I think we need to delete the newer record here. :)
But ultimately - yes. If you do not have an answer for a few days (I would give it at least a week), make a decision, post it here and implement. If someone disagrees, we can always undo and revert back. Annie 14:34, 3 November 2020 (EST)

Redwall / Jacques -- 16th printing PV

(copied from MLB talk page)

Your PV of [42] has a cover image [43]. However when I attempt to upload a cover image for the 1st printing record [44], it warns that I'd be overwriting your image.

Differences (of mine to yours):

  • Much lighter blue for edge background elements, verse, and illustrations.
  • $4.50 price
  • "Printed in U.S.A. on back lower right, running vertically.

I'm not sure how to proceed. Thoughts? --GlennMcG 15:06, 1 November 2020 (EST)

Every printing has it's own image number, I think, so if you're trying to download a new image to another printing you shouldn't have any problem. I don't know, maybe you should list this question on help page, questions usually get good results there. MLB 19:45, 1 November 2020 (EST)
I just posted over on MLB's page so reposting here. Basically we need an orchestrated change:
The 16th printing file name should have been RDWLLPWRNK0000.jpg. The image BKTG06967.jpg belongs to the first printing. So most likely when the 16th printing was created, the cover was by mistake added to the first and then just linked to the 16th (or something along these lines). You can see here that it links to the 1st printing from Avon from 1990-00-00. So in order to untangle:
  • MLB reuploads his cover to the proper place and changes the link into the 16th.
  • Glenn then overwrites the existing image for the first and adds the link to the 1st.
  • Annie deletes the old image from the 1st printing.
If any of you have any questions, please let me know. :) Annie 20:00, 1 November 2020 (EST)
This is actually a bug, I think. If you clone a publication record and copy the image along with it, and then you edit the original record and replace the image with a new one, all the other pub records that contain that same image will also have changed. To fix this, you'll need to do as Annie explained above. That is why I am extra careful when using the clone-with-image - rather, I would upload a new image for each pub record if I'm not 100% sure that it is the correct one. MagicUnk 08:13, 2 November 2020 (EST)
I would not call it a bug. If you clone with the image of the first, now you have a later printing pointing to the image of the first. That’s what you told the system to do - keep the link to the image the same. The clone does not create a new file for the clone, just a new record for the book. :) So of course it will be the same image physically in both books - you never created a second one. If it is an Isfdb image, you should not be keeping it on cloning Annie 10:14, 2 November 2020 (EST)
PS: However - in this case the image is not even linked on the first - so I suspect it was just added to the wrong book to start with and not a result of a clone. But who knows. :)Annie 10:17, 2 November 2020 (EST)
Let's call it a 'special feature' then :) Whether it's a bug or not is not the main point I'm trying to make (how to define what a 'bug' exactly is, I wouldn't know - is a (unwanted) side effect to be considered a bug?). Anyway, I believe that a correct behavior should be that whenever the original image is replaced with a new one, it only affects the pub record to which it has been uploaded. This since you can't be sure that the cloned record that has the original image linked to, has to change with the original or not. This is actually fairly easily implemented (I think - Ahasuerus would know for sure :)) if, when cloning a pub record, not the reference to the original image is kept, but instead that the image is copied, and gets its own unique ID, that uniquely corresponds to the cloned record. Granted, this at the cost of additional disk space (mainly for the image, obv.). Regards MagicUnk 15:03, 3 November 2020 (EST)
But if the link is used somewhere else (which was the case here), how would the system know that NOW you do not want that to be using the image even though you wanted earlier when you added it? The connection is NOT a hard one and is not on the DB level but on the Wiki level - don't forget that the Wiki and the DB are essentially two separate sites - that is why we need to manually add the link into the books post upload. Copying the image behind the scenes may have copyright consequences -- if we ever need to delete the old image for that, the new images will be hard to track down. It is up to the editor - when you chose to use an existing image, you understand that it MAY change at any time. If you do not want that, don't use the image. Annie 15:10, 3 November 2020 (EST)
I've started the swap process for MLB on the 16th printing. (There was no reason MLB needed to do the upload, and I opened the can of worms).
It is as easy as uploading the file in the new place and updating the record with the new URL. That's what you mean by started, right? Annie 15:10, 3 November 2020 (EST)
I grabbed a copy of the 16th printing cover and re-uploaded it. Then I made an edit to point at the new location. Awaiting moderator approval. --GlennMcG 15:14, 3 November 2020 (EST)
Yep - found the update. Approved. All free for you to upload the new image. I deleted the old one from the first printing (as it was not linked from the site anyway). All yours :) Annie 15:14, 3 November 2020 (EST)

(unindent) Let's consider the larger picture (no pun intended.) We commonly deal with the following three scenarios when cloning publications:

  1. The cover art of the to-be-created publication record is different from the cover art of the original publication. When this happens, the two publication records have different COVERART titles AND different cover URLs.
  2. The cover art of the to-be-created publication record is the same as the cover art of the original publication, BUT at least some publication-specific details (price, ISBN, etc) are different. When this happens, the two publication records share the same COVERART titles record but use different cover URLs.
  3. The cover art AND all of the publication details of the two publications are the same. When this happens, the two publication records share the same COVERART titles record AND the cover URLs.

The way our "Clone Publication" Web page currently facilitates these scenarios is by displaying the image associated with the source publication and a check box which says "Reuse COVERART title(s) and image URL?". Note how a single check box is used to determine what happens with the COVERART title(s) as well as with the cover URL.

This works well for scenarios 1 and 3 above -- basically "all or nothing" -- but it doesn't help with scenario 2. Perhaps it would be better to split the "Reuse COVERART title(s) and image URL?" check box into two: "Reuse COVERART title(s)?" and "Reuse image URL?", which would support all 3 scenarios. It would be an easy change to make. Ahasuerus 19:07, 3 November 2020 (EST)

Do we really have usecase 3 though? If they have all the details the same, why would we need two records? I really cannot think of a case where the URL will be the same (especially for an ISFDB image)? Annie 19:33, 3 November 2020 (EST)
We have quite a few pubs whose covers are identical, but the copyright page states that it's a different printing. Ahasuerus 10:05, 4 November 2020 (EST)
Until an eagle eyed later PV notices a small difference on the later printing and changes the uploaded file without realizing it changes it for all printings. Reusing ISFDB images across publications is a bad idea and we should actively discourage it IMO (at least a yellow warning maybe?). Amazon links and other external covers - sure. But ours are problematic for that. Annie 11:13, 4 November 2020 (EST)
Sure, we could add a yellow warning to the "Image" row. It could say something like "This image is already in use by another publication." Would that work? Ahasuerus 13:33, 4 November 2020 (EST)
It is not the "used in 2 places" that is the only problem, it is using an image that do not belong to this book and which can be overwritten from another semi-automated upload without anyone realizing. Can we compare the ID of the image with the ID/Tag of the publication? The problem that started this discussion was that the image was uploaded to the first printing, NOT used there and used only in the 16th. So when Glenn went to add a image to the 1st, it would have replaced the image for the 16th - he paid attention so it did not happen but as it is one of the actions not requiring approval, a new editor would not know to look for that and will easily replace a file. A warning just looking if the image was used elsewhere would not have flagged a problem... Annie 13:45, 4 November 2020 (EST)
I think it would. That warning is actually a good idea if you ask me. At least it will make you pause and reconsider what you were doing. The warning would only show up if the image was used elsewhere. It doesn't come up all that often (I think), but a forewarning is a good idea imo. And yes, I agree with Annie on the "using the same URL in different places". I myself am nowadays often uploading separate image copies to go with each individual printing - I've noticed there are sometimes subtle differences between them. Doing it this way avoid anyone accidentally replacing a cover. Another thought; could it be an idea to turn off the 'Copy image while cloning' checkbox, instead of having it checked by default? Regards, MagicUnk 13:53, 4 November 2020 (EST)
I am not arguing against the warning - just highlighting that we may need a warning for a different case as well - the "hold on, this image does not belong to this publication tag, you sure you want to use it here?" case :) Annie 14:34, 4 November 2020 (EST)
By the way, Glenn's a bit of a special case - I haven't seen it myself. But generally speaking, the more 'common' case is when the 1st printing image is being replaced while also being used in later printings. MagicUnk 13:54, 4 November 2020 (EST)
I had seen this case a few times - the editor clones and uploads on the one they clone from either because they do not want to wait for the approval of the clone or by mistake while they have both open post approval. Happens. I even managed to do something like that the other day while working on a string of Bulgarian books. :) Annie 14:34, 4 November 2020 (EST)
If warnings are on the table, it would be nice to indicate that an Amazon /P/10digit-isbn link is problematic. --GlennMcG 14:15, 4 November 2020 (EST)
Or any Amazon format that is NOT in the /I/Randomthingie syntax really.... Annie 14:34, 4 November 2020 (EST)

How to notate page number for 2nd block of numbers in publication

I'm adding an excerpt to a publication that has the last pages renumbered from 1. Is there a preferred way to enter the page #?

  • Novel starts on page 1 of main number range
  • Excerpt starts on page 4 of the second block of numbers.

I'm trying to make it look like the novel isn't just 3 pages long. Or is this something you need to deal with in notes. --GlennMcG 18:53, 4 November 2020 (EST)

Use 1|1001, 20|1020 (4|1004 in your case) and so on and explain in the notes why there are two separate numbering sections. This will sort them after the regular pages (the |1001 and so on is what will be used for the sorting) and the numbers will show up as they are in the book. I would make sure to note the page on which the novel ends in the notes :) Annie 23:27, 4 November 2020 (EST)

Excerpt added for variant author is not visible in base author

I added an excerpt to [45] with author "S. A. Sidor". It shows up under that author, but not the parent author "Steven Sidor". Did I miss a step? The original edit indicated 'alternate name submitted'. --GlennMcG 19:58, 8 November 2020 (EST)

Yep - you need a second step after you added it. Once approved, you need to variant it to the main author - it needs to be done for any title that is added under an alternate name. Go to the title and look in the left menu. Locate "Make This Title a Variant". You want option 2 -- just put the canonical name as an author and leave everything else as is. Annie 20:44, 8 November 2020 (EST)
Ok, I made the variant. However, it's not clear why this step is necessary. Seems that it should happen automagically somehow. Is there a downside I'm missing? --GlennMcG 20:54, 8 November 2020 (EST)
It may not need a new parent - while excerpts will almost never already have pre-existing parents, in other cases (translations, stories under new author forms and so on), there is a big chance that the parent already exists so it just needs to be connected. And even when it is not there, the name, language and date does not always match (think translations - their parents will have a different date, title and language and often an author name). So if the parent is created automatically, we will end up with a duplicate or a non-needed title that still needs work, except now is harder to find. And even excerpts can have existing parents if someone adds them (instead of clone/import) in a book and we have other editions with the same except which was already varianted.
There is very little automation that creates additional elements -- most of them need to be done as follow-up steps. It is partially because of the complexity of the DB and partially because adding them will mean a lot of cleanup when they misfire... :) Annie 00:40, 9 November 2020 (EST)
So what did it mean when it indicated 'Alternate name submitted' in the the warning column for the edit [46]? --GlennMcG 00:55, 9 November 2020 (EST)
It tells you that a title was submitted under an alternate name so you know you need to follow up upon approval and make sure it is connected (or in case you did not mean to, that you need to cancel and submit under the canonical name). You will see it every time you submit something under an alternate name - not all of them need a second step (if you are not creating a new title, you do not need one) so it is really a "check if something needs completing". The message can be made a bit more user-friendly I guess. :) Annie 01:19, 9 November 2020 (EST)
What would be a better way to phrase it? Ahasuerus 08:37, 9 November 2020 (EST)
"Alternate author name used"? Annie 15:34, 9 November 2020 (EST)
Yeah. My intuition said that it dealt the the alternate author, not that I needed to. (I was reading alternate as a generic linkage, rather than the author that I just submitted was an 'alternate'). --GlennMcG 01:37, 9 November 2020 (EST)
It would be a nice feature to have an Option 3 on the "Make Variant Title" screen that would submit a parent that matched the variant but with the canonical name. Sure, all it does is save copying and pasting the canonical name, but having had cases where that had to be done for many records, even that little savings would be nice. -- JLaTondre (talk) 18:39, 9 November 2020 (EST)

How to handle split variant of a translated novel?

This pub is a split version of the title it is currently associated with, and I'm trying to massage the records to model that correctly. (The latter half isn't yet in ISFDB, but I'll submit once I've got this pub resolved.)

Looking at Brandon Sanderson's Oathbringer, it seems the way to handle these split novels is to have the pub records associated with new "Foo: Part 1" and "Foo: Part 2" title records, and have those new title records in turn be variants of the "real" title.

However, this particular novel is a translation from German, and thus the title record is already a variant. I have verified on a local copy of the system that (as I feared) it's not possible to create a variant of a variant, so how should this best be modelled? Options that come to mind are:

  • Leave the current pub as associated with the "complete" translated title, perhaps adding a note to explicitly clarify that it's a split novel
  • Create the new Part 1 and Part 2 title records, but have them as variants of the original German title, perhaps adding notes to clarify that these new titles and the earlier "complete" translated title are basically the same

I did have a very quick look for any precedents for this "translated novel available in both complete and split forms" scenario, but didn't find anything similar - e.g. all the Japanese 上 and 下 split novels I looked at seem to only exist as split pubs. ErsatzCulture 12:05, 16 November 2020 (EST)

If it got published in 2 parts, it needs two separate records, using the name as defined on their title pages. The split parts get varianted to the complete version of the canonical title under the "split novels" rule regardless of the languages. So in this case, variant the two parts to this one. Look at Dune for a pretty comprehensive example. If the translation is from another language, mark that in the notes (happens a lot for non-standard languages). And yes - add a note that it is just half the novel. And yes - that means that there will be three records for this - one for the complete novel, 2 for each part, all of them varianted to the same parent.
This is one of the rules I hate but it is what it is - the last attempt to change it (so the split novels become serials and make it clearer what they are) failed :) Annie 12:12, 16 November 2020 (EST)
PS: So for this case: this this record needs splitting and the Part 1 needs its own title record which then needs to be varianted. Let me know if you want to do it or if you want me to (Unmerge will be the fastest way to solve this). Annie 12:19, 16 November 2020 (EST)
Thanks. (I did look at Dune, but failed to spot that it has French variants in complete and (multiple) split forms.) There's an unmerge submission in the queue. ErsatzCulture 12:23, 16 November 2020 (EST)
Not anymore :) It needs to be varianted now (and notes to be added). Annie 12:39, 16 November 2020 (EST)

Early science fiction novels : a microfiche collection

I would like help on figuring out the best way to add this microfiche collection, which I think will be of interest to academics and other people interested in early science fiction.

1. It's an editor-selected collection of works by different authors from different decades, but it's a collection of (mostly) novels, not short stories, so "Anthology/Collection" doesn't seem to apply. 2. This specific collection was published all together at the same time as a single publication (a box of 380+ individual microfiche cards), so "Publisher Series" doesn't seem to apply either.

Here is the Early Science Fiction collection listed on WorldCat as a single publication: Publication And here is the microfiche collection listed on WorldCat as a Series Title to which other books belong: Series

Here's a description of the microfiche collection from a Library of Congress guide: "Early science fiction novels : a microfiche collection / [edited by Thomas D. Clareson]. -- Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, [1985]. -- 382 microfiches : ill. ; 11 x 15 cm. +guide (16 p. ; 28 cm.). Microfiche 85/232 (P) GUIDE: MicRR Guide No.: 100 These ninety-eight science fiction novels were published from the 1870s to the 1930s."

What do you think? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Morebooks (talkcontribs) .

The Library of Congress guide makes it sound like a single publication containing 98 works, most of them novels. If so, then I would say that the closest match in the ISFDB world would be "OMNIBUS". Ahasuerus 00:30, 22 November 2020 (EST)

Fixing mismatching hierarchies (Galaktika, Hungary)

Hello Helpful Crowd!

I have realised that my favourite Hungarian anthology (or magazine series?) is a mess: there are great and informative publications recorded but they are a complete mess hierarchy-wise. I would like to fix this.

Details are on my talk subpage, but all advices, corrections or suggestions are most welcome.

I have tried to start it and realised that it will take literally forever since all modifications depend on moderator approval, and further modifications strongly depend on the queued ones so I would have to wait after every step for extended amount of time. (I have to convert ANTHOLOGY to MAGAZINE since the former can't be organised under SERIES and EDITORs, etc.). Just wondering. --grin 05:28, 26 November 2020 (EST)

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