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Old, but never answered queries

(None currently)

different books in a slipcase

Hello, there is an publication with seven books in a slipcase Die andere Zukunft. 7 Bände. (PhB 368). (3-518-06579-3). € 5,95. All books have the same apparently wrong ISBN 3-518-06579-3. I own only two of these books and I don't now how to handle this [1][2]. Thanks for any help Henna 17:57, 14 December 2016 (UTC)

What do you mean when you say "wrong"? Does it belong to another book? If so, are you sure it was not also issued to those books (happens now and then) :) Anniemod 18:22, 14 December 2016 (UTC)
The ISBN was previously used for a novel by Hermann Hesse. This really does happen in a few cases: somebody at the publisher then must have lost the overview.
It does seem that the single volumes initially weren't for sale on their own, so this should be handled as an OMNIBUS. If you know the other titles included, you can import or enter them. Stonecreek 19:25, 14 December 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for your answers! I try to create such OMNIBUS and mark the ISBN with #? Thanks again Henna 20:21, 14 December 2016 (UTC)
Well, no. This seems to be a valid ISBN, it just was doubly used: a note on that would be fine! Stonecreek 20:42, 14 December 2016 (UTC)
I'm not sure, is this the correct way? Thanks Henna 15:51, 16 January 2017 (UTC)
Yes, fine for the double-used ISBN. I still would use the paperback (pb) designation for the format (and note that the volumes were likely published in a slipcase). Stonecreek 20:33, 20 January 2017 (UTC)


I see some printings of which state "a borzoi book published by alfred a. knopf inc" listed as knopf publisher, some knopf/sfbc; on the other hand, i see Borzoi / Alfred A. Knopf, Borzoi / Alfred A. Knopf / BCE, Borzoi / Alfred A. Knopf / BOMC, all listed as publishers via the search box, and this printing i'm looking at says "a borzoi book published by alfred a. knopf inc" on the copyright page, knopf everywhere else, and is listed as knopf/sfbc publisher so I imagine it could conceivably be considered Borzoi / Alfred A. Knopf / SFBC. So, I was wondering what the rules surrounding this issue might be? Thanks. gzuckier 18:56, 30 December 2016 (UTC)

The general format is "Imprint / Publisher". So the text you quote should be represented as "Borzoi / Alfred A. Knopf". The help identifies a special case for the Science Fiction Book Club, using the format "Publisher / SFBC". In practice, that is interpreted to mean "publisher-string / SFBC" or, in other words, "Imprint / Publisher / SFBC". So if you had a book with that same text you quoted, but it was an Science Fiction Book Club edition, that should be represented as "Borzoi / Alfred A. Knopf / SFBC". There are other book clubs besides the Science Fiction Book Club. Not stated in the help, but de facto standard, is to represent those using the same format as used for the SFBC. BOMC is Book-of-the-Month Club -- another well-known book club. BCE is "book club edition". Someone who knows more than I do would have to tell you if that's a specific book club or if it's just any non-SFBC, non-BOMC book saying "book club edition" and/or otherwise obviously not being the trade edition. --MartyD 12:02, 2 January 2017 (UTC)
thanksgzuckier 03:21, 4 January 2017 (UTC)

SF? again

How about this item? thanks gzuckier 07:19, 2 January 2017 (UTC)

No (again). Hauck 08:29, 2 January 2017 (UTC)
Though it is SF. It's just a craft book, though, and those generally aren't included (as Hauck says). ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 02:09, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
We don't include craft books, puzzle books, crosswords, mazes, paper dolls, or joke books. If it doesn't have an actual story (for fiction) or a real essay about fiction (for non-fiction), we don't include it. The only exception to that simple rule that I can think of are the art books. Chavey 06:11, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
Exactly. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 20:26, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
I do disagree and I am aware of several other examples of cut out and craft books that are already in the database. These sorts of books clearly fall under the second item for what is included in the ROA which simply requires that they be "works about speculative fiction". There is no exclusion for craft books, nor do I feel there should be. If someone is interested enough to enter such books, there is probably someone else who would find the bibliographic data of use. A reason for excluding such works escapes me. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 00:34, 16 February 2017 (UTC)
I'd be fine with including them, but I've been told in the past they weren't allowed. I agree with you that they are "works about speculative fiction". I can see not including crossword books and mazes. Paper dolls could be considered art books, IMHO. Joke books...if all of the jokes were about speculative fiction, then I could see including them (say, a Star Trek joke book). ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 01:24, 16 February 2017 (UTC)
Should this be moved to Rules and Standards? Chavey 02:55, 16 February 2017 (UTC)
If craft books are eligible, then the exclusion of the Graphic novels becomes bizarre. A Science fiction or horror Graphic novel is much closer to Speculative Fiction than an Origami book about Star Wars. And yet, the first is excluded but we are arguing that there is no reason not to include the latter. It can be valuable for someone, I agree, but so can movies related to our authors and books, graphic novels, music and so on. Should we start discussing including them all? Annie 03:02, 16 February 2017 (UTC)
Yes, that's a fine line we have to draw here: not only graphic novels, but in consequence the whole speculative comic output would have to be 'in'. Stonecreek 04:42, 16 February 2017 (UTC)
I think we could exclude individual comic issues and only accept those released as graphic novels. Pretty much everything here is a book of some sort, so that wouldn't be a bad place to draw the line. I agree with Chavey that it might be good to move this over to R&S to discuss. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 08:39, 16 February 2017 (UTC)
Sorry to disagree, but that's a kind of (self-)deception. Since the boundaries between graphic novels and comics are fuzzy (comics are reissued as graphic novels and vice versa), this will lead to the eventual inclusion of all genre comics as history in other areas (graphics, nonfiction) shows. Stonecreek 09:11, 16 February 2017 (UTC)
Not to mention translations, later compilations (virtually any single issue published now seems to be making its way into a TPB sooner or late), variants and what's not. If we open the door, we may try to keep it just cracked but that won't last long. Annie 17:42, 16 February 2017 (UTC)
My position didn't change: No comics, no graphic novels, no mangas, no "bandes dessinées", no "fumetti", etc... Note also that I found the exception made for Gaiman utterly abusive and completely misleading for our new contributors as is the "Graphic" flag that shouldn't even exist if we simply follow our present rules. Hauck 19:23, 16 February 2017 (UTC)
I couldn't have said it better (especially since I don't know some of those fancy French and Italian words...). --MartyD 11:24, 17 February 2017 (UTC)

(unindent) A little bit of background re: graphic novels. The question was extensively debated ca. 2006-2008 when ISFDB 2.0 was opened for editing. Some editors felt strongly about including award-winning works of SF even if they were graphic in nature. The emphasis on "award-winning" may seem strange in 2017 since we cover so much more than award-winning works, but it was what it was. Perhaps it was due to the fact that the ISFDB project originally started by cataloging SF awards and some of that still lingered on 10 years ago.

Be that as it may, the rest of us went along with the proposed "selective inclusion" of graphic novels even though some editors were uncomfortable with the idea of using awards as an inclusion criterion. I was one of the "uncomfortable" ones, but, once the decision had been made, I thought that it was important to distinguish graphic novels from regular titles. If we were going to list some graphic novels, the least we could do was clearly indicate that they were not like the rest of the works that we cataloged. Hence the eventual addition of the "Graphic" flag.

Well, it's been about 10 years since the original discussion and a couple of things have changed. First, some of the editors who were in favor of the selective inclusion of award-winning graphic novels are no longer around, so perhaps the consensus has changed. Second, graphic novels have evolved and, in many cases, have become closely related to regular novels. In 2006, Neil Gaiman's use of graphic novels and regular stories set in the same universe was still uncommon. In 2017 many popular prose series have graphic off-shoots, e.g. Mercy Thompson and The Dresden Files have graphic versions. Should this be reflected in our rules?

I don't know the answer to these questions, but I agree with Darrah that a Rules and Standards discussion may be warranted. We may not be able to reach consensus, at least not right away, but we would likely compile a more comprehensive list of arguments "pro et contra" as of 2017. Ahasuerus 16:12, 17 February 2017 (UTC)

So can we move/restart the discussion in the other board? Annie 17:31, 17 February 2017 (UTC)

Hors-série magazine issue

How do you add an issue of a magazine to the editor series when it's a hors-série, not one of the regular dated issues? Besides their weekly issues, this year Strange Horizons also had a Fund Drive Special -- they give the date as "published between 14 September and 14 October 2016". --Vasha 21:28, 6 January 2017 (UTC)

The same way you do it with the dated ones, just the date will be 2016-00-00 - it will simply show up in a separate column called "unknown" or something like that in the table :) Annie 23:02, 6 January 2017 (UTC)


Numerous of the covers of this title say "by Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III. Translated from the Old Norse by Cressida Cowell." on the cover and the copyright page. Does that merit an alternate name variant? thanks. gzuckier 06:39, 7 January 2017 (UTC)

Only if it's also stated on the title page: that's our reference. Stonecreek 09:58, 7 January 2017 (UTC)
having gone back and looked, that is in fact what it says. so varianting i shall go. thanks. gzuckier 04:34, 14 January 2017 (UTC)


This pub says "Map by G D S/Jeffrey L. Ward" on the copyright page, and the signature on the map says G D S/Jeffrey L. Ward. does anybody know who or what G D S is? thanks.

googling gds and maps i get a couple of possibilities,
gzuckier 07:44, 7 January 2017 (UTC)

If you really think one part of the map originated from 'geologicdata', we still would only credit Ward. Stonecreek 12:48, 8 January 2017 (UTC)
i can't find anything other than those 2, so i guess i'll back g d s out. thanks. gzuckier 18:53, 8 January 2017 (UTC)

cover artist confusion

The pubs and are showing the same cover but 2 different artists. I have a transient copy with the same cover, and the artist doesn't seem to be identified anywhere in the book. I was going to just leave cover artist blank for this pub, but should we do something about the conflicting pubs? thanks. gzuckier 21:35, 7 January 2017 (UTC)

I've deleted the image for the Lee cover (data seem to come from Locus with usually gives the artist). There are likely two successive covers. Hauck 09:30, 8 January 2017 (UTC)

a text within a text

How should I handle this? In Strange Horizons, Niall Harrison reprints Nalo Hopkinson's announcement of the Lemonade Award. It is mostly her text with her name signed at the bottom; Harrison provides a two-sentence introduction. And yet, at the top of the article and in the TOC, it is his name alone that appears. Now, I have created a record with the title "Announcement: The Lemonade Award" and author Niall Harrison; but I can't shake the feeling that there should be some sort of record that names Hopkinson as author too. --Vasha 15:18, 8 January 2017 (UTC)

Although it's very short, I would handle Harrison's part only as the introduction it is and list the Hopkinson essay separately (I'd say as by 'uncredited'): if to enter it under the same title or with the [ ... ] format that some of use, would be a choice of taste (just my two pennies of thought). Stonecreek 18:47, 8 January 2017 (UTC)
I was thinking of keeping the record with Harrison's name and adding a note that it's an intro; and then creating another record -- "[Announcement: The Lemonade Award]" by Nalo Hopkinson, because her name is signed at the bottom; brackets because her part of the article doesn't have a title. --Vasha 19:02, 8 January 2017 (UTC)
It'd be rather more correct to use the beginning of the text [What are we doing to foster joy ...]. Stonecreek 04:37, 9 January 2017 (UTC)

cover artist again

so if i'm interpreting this right,
"Cover Design by David Shoemaker
Cover Photographs:
Hands/Face: Marion Clendenen;
Highway: Radius Images"
would have cover artists Marion Clendenen and Radius Images, right? thanks. gzuckier 02:48, 9 January 2017 (UTC)

Yeah! Stonecreek 04:36, 9 January 2017 (UTC)
When there appears to be sufficient artistic effort involved in a montage cover, i.e. when the designer who put things together seems to have as much "artistic" involvement in the cover as the photographers, you may optionally include the cover designer as one of the "authors" of the cover. We really don't want to do that when the designer appears to have only been responsible for placing text (and little else) over someone's art, but when the cover art has really been "created" by the cover designer from pieces that would not represent the book individually, then the cover designer can be assigned some of the artistic credit. Chavey 04:54, 10 January 2017 (UTC)
uh huh. thanks. gzuckier 04:33, 14 January 2017 (UTC)

Help with cover art question?

I recently uploaded a picture(CRRPKRZXVP2007.jpg) using the "upload cover scan" button associated with the book I wanted to add the picture to. It didn't get placed in the reference, so I think I'm supposed to edit the publication info to include the picture. Well and good, but the edit page asks for a url to the cover and I don't know what to put. I tried variations on bracket-bracket-Image:CRRPKRZXVP2007.jpg-bracket-bracket and the editor form demands an http tag, so apparently that won't work. (insert "[" for first two "bracket" and "]" for the second two, removing "-", thus creating standard wiki markup)

There are quite a few more books that I hope to be adding to the database, many of which will need pictures (only some of them can be gotten from fantlab or fantascienza or amazon, so I will be uploading a fair number of them), so I'm hoping that rather than fix it for me, someone will tell me what I'm doing wrong, so I can do the job right from now on.

Could someone tell me what the correct sequence of actions is for adding a new book that needs a cover to be uploaded? Thanks, KarenHunt 22:53, 12 January 2017 (UTC)

You have the sequence correctly. All that is left is to right click on the image after you uploaded it and grab the URL for the image for it. You do not use Wiki syntax or brackets -- just the address as the browser sees it. For you picture, it is CRRPKRZXVP2007.jpg (did you mean to have the white borders around it?). Just right click on the picture to see the exact address (or you can do it directly from the uploaded page where I took it from) See here for a longer explanation. Annie 23:00, 12 January 2017 (UTC)
Thanks, I'll try that out on the next books I add! KarenHunt 23:43, 12 January 2017 (UTC)
I will probably try to replace the picture with one that lacks the borders. I have one, so it's just a matter of redoing the upload and add.... KarenHunt 23:48, 12 January 2017 (UTC)
I think what you want to do (and others please correct me if I'm wrong) is click on the "ISFDB" link under the existing image where it says "Cover art supplied by ISFDB"; then at the bottom of the page it links to, click on the "Upload a new version of this file" link. Then on that page, which should have have the 'destination filename' already filled in, click the UPLOAD FILE button. Doug / Vornoff 08:26, 14 January 2017 (UTC)

Another more complex cover art question (two, really)

I'm putting up some Hebrew translations into the Lois McMaster Bujold collection, and I'm finding rather odd things about the cover art. For example, the cover artist was listed as Anat Vardimon for their version of Shards of Honor, but I've determined that the underlying art matches a much older book (Anya Seaton's _Avalon_ ISBN 0449017818 from 1965). I've seen reuse of cover art and I assume that is being done here, but there are certainly additions to the picture and I'm guessing that was what was added by Anat Vardimon. I don't know who did the original picture. Also, should I have put Anat Vardimon's name in using Hebrew characters?

I'm seeing something similar with another book - the version of Barrayar appears to be something of a montage. The background is from the upper left corner of The Fall of Rebel Angels by Frans Floris the Elder ( How do I indicate this sort of thing? KarenHunt 16:35, 16 January 2017 (UTC) EDIT: I mean upper right corner, reflected, not upper left. KarenHunt 18:53, 16 January 2017 (UTC)

IMHO, enter as credited, such "borrowings" can go in the notes, it's sometimes even more visible, compare this copy to the original (and note the disappearance of the "PE"). Hauck 19:10, 16 January 2017 (UTC)
Indeed. There's a Russian Ethan of Athos where the cover is a reflection of C J Cherryh's Rimrunners cover ( I've been wondering how I'll put that one up. (I've got the artist already, but I don't yet know how to variant an artist picture. I assume reflections of pictures still count as the same picture?) KarenHunt 19:48, 16 January 2017 (UTC)
Yes, reflections, cropping, minor color changes, and other similar image editing are still considered the same picture. -- JLaTondre (talk) 22:08, 16 January 2017 (UTC)
Karen, what I would do to variant the cover art picture is 1) In your case, the cover art already exists so find the already existing ISFDB Title Record # in the upper right corner of the COVERART page of the cover you want to variant to and copy it. 2) Go to the publication page of the pub whose cover you want to make a variant. 3) To the right of the image where it says "Cover: ArtistName" click on the word/link "Cover", which takes you to the COVERART title page. Then 4) In the left column click on "Make This Title a Variant Title or Pseudonymous Work", which takes you to the "Make Variant Title" page. Enter/paste the copied record # where it says Parent # (under Option 1) and click on the "Link to Existing Parent" button. You can also leave notes for anything unusual for that cover (as was noted above) in the notes section of the cover title record and/or publication record. Hope this helps. Doug/ Vornoff 07:39, 17 January 2017 (UTC)
Sorry, but as I understand there are new elements in the art, so this wouldn't be correct. It's in fact a new piece of art. As we aren't as stringent in crediting pieces of art, you still might to chose to credit the initial artist as well and put a note in the publication and/or the art's title entry on the original credit and the original piece of art. Stonecreek 07:49, 17 January 2017 (UTC)
I think the procedure is correct for a cover that would be appropriate, though, such as identical covers with different titles. My goal was to answer Karen's query on how to variant a cover. If I've misinterpreted something, Christian, please advise. Thanks / Doug Vornoff 08:11, 17 January 2017 (UTC)
You're right: it'd be correct for the same art. As new art this item should have it's own title entry. Stonecreek 09:03, 17 January 2017 (UTC)
I'm going to take this as: For the two oddball Hebrew covers (one of which contains a chunk of a 16th century artwork while the other probably has some old artist's work as its background as well but not one that I know the source of, just put the relevant info in my notes. For the Russian one that's a simple reflection of another cover (with new words on top), if it doesn't have changes other than the reflection, then call it a variant of the Rimrunners cover; otherwise cite the artist and leave it as a separate work. If this is not what's intended, let me know? KarenHunt 22:04, 17 January 2017 (UTC)
Yes, if it is a 'new' artwork, it should remain its own record. Notes can be added to the title record if there is re-use. If it is minor editing (mirroring, cropping, etc.), it would be considered the same artwork and merged (if title and publication language are the same) or varianted (if title or publication language are not the same) with existing records. -- JLaTondre (talk) 23:37, 17 January 2017 (UTC)

Publisher duplication question

I believe the Romanian publisher Editură Nemira is present twice in the database - the other entry is Editura Nemira (without the micron over the a). There are other Romanian publishers with names that begin either way - should this be standardized to one choice or another? I'm not sure how one goes about dealing with these issues... KarenHunt 22:31, 18 January 2017 (UTC)

We go with what the publisher actually uses (Editură Nemira). When you find a pair of those, post in the "Moderator noticeboard" so a moderator can merge them :) Alternatively if the minority name is only in a handful of non-verified publicaitons, just go and edit it there.
PS: If you use the "+" sign instead of "Edit" when posting new queries in the boards, it will create the notification with the name of the topic :) Plus you do not need to remember how to format a title :) Annie 22:46, 18 January 2017 (UTC)
I see! I shall remember the easier way of adding topics. I suppose I shall consider this particular issue to have been posted well enough, but that future ones should go to the noticeboard. KarenHunt 23:14, 18 January 2017 (UTC)
Either someone fixed it or I cannot find "Editura Nemira" by the way :) Annie 23:25, 18 January 2017 (UTC)
Well, not precisely on list of publishers:

KarenHunt 23:29, 18 January 2017 (UTC)

It is a wiki page for the image - ping the editor that did it and either ask them to fix it or if they mind if you do if it really bugs you. But the DB is clean from this issue. :) Annie 23:34, 18 January 2017 (UTC)
It's not that big a deal to me. I'll figure it's good, then. KarenHunt 01:30, 19 January 2017 (UTC)

Can't change cover artist?

I can't change this cover artist it's grayed out. ??? That's not the artist of this edition. thanks. gzuckier 03:27, 19 January 2017 (UTC)

The cover art record is contained in multiple publications. You will need to remove it from the publication (use the "Remove Titles From This Pub" link on the publication screen) and add a new cover art record with the correct artist for that publication. -- JLaTondre (talk) 03:32, 19 January 2017 (UTC)
aha, thanks. gzuckier 14:47, 19 January 2017 (UTC)

Should I merge two Korean versions of The Warrior's Apprentice?

I made two records TWA 2013 and TWA 2007 for separate translations with different titles for separate Korean translations Lois McMaster Bujold's book The Warrior's Apprentice. On the other hand, I merged their two versions of The Vor Game, so they show up as two publications of the same book. Mostly I made the different choices because the ones for The Vor Game had the same title, while the ones for The Warrior's Apprentice had different titles.

Should they be merged instead? KarenHunt 16:38, 22 January 2017 (UTC)

No, as they have different titles, they should remain separate. If the title and the translator are the same, they would be merged. If the title is the same but the translator is different, they would also remain separate variants. -- JLaTondre (talk) 17:20, 22 January 2017 (UTC)
One more note on multiple translations: Keeping the variants separate even when they have the same title when they have different translators will be helpful when Translators support is added downstream. If these are now merged, they will need unmerging later to add a translator to the record. :) Annie 03:50, 23 January 2017 (UTC)

Number line again

I have a book with this number line 40/00/36/9. I know thats the ninth printing, but the year? Thanks for any help Henna 14:57, 23 January 2017 (UTC)

Non-Latin titles with Latin author names

The three Lois McMaster Bujold titles in this report are flagged due to parent Greek titles using her English name. The variants are the Greek titles using a Greek version of her name. The chapbooks were not published in English, so there's no natural English title + English name record to which to link the Greek + Greek combination. What do we do about this? Ignore the reported issues? Make the current Greek + English combination into English + English? Something else? Thanks. --MartyD 11:24, 24 January 2017 (UTC)

See my answer on Dirk's page (two to ignore, one to variant to the existing chapbook in english). Hauck 11:28, 24 January 2017 (UTC)
That's right. It's the same as any other title which has appeared "only as by" a pseudonym. Original omnibuses, collections and anthologies which collect translations are a common offender -- see, e.g., the Omnibus section of Philip José Farmer's Summary page. Ahasuerus 12:47, 24 January 2017 (UTC)

How to link review without publication

The latest Fantastic Stories of the Imagination contains a review of a genre story that was published in The Forge Literary Magazine; I think this magazine can't be indexed here because it's a non-genre webzine, am I right? If so, is there still a way I can create a title record to link the review to? --Vasha 22:06, 28 January 2017 (UTC)

You convert the review to an essay. It is added as a review if it is for something that is eligible in the db; anything else (non-genre that is not from the above threshold authors, movies and so on) is entered as an essay (with a name such as "Review of "something")Annie 22:32, 28 January 2017 (UTC)
But the story is eligible in the DB, it just hasn't appeared in an eligible publication. --Vasha 22:52, 28 January 2017 (UTC)
Ah, then you add the story in the same way we are adding this kind of stories - look at the Nature magazine for an example. You add the magazine and just the fiction content. However - if the magazine is not distributed as a e-book in some form and is only online, the story is not eligible under the current rules even when it is clearly genre(I do not like that rule but it is what it is for now). Annie 22:56, 28 January 2017 (UTC)
OK, got it. Unfortunately, if this story later appears in a collection or something, no one's ever going to realize that there was a review and go back and change the "essay" to a linked review. --Vasha 23:29, 28 January 2017 (UTC)
We generally want reviews linked to title records if the reviewed item is eligible for inclusion in its own right. Others may differ with this suggestion, but: In a situation like this, I would create the short fiction title record, link the review to it, and include a note in the title notes that it was only published in the online-only, non-genre webzine (and you can even provide the link as the web page). If you wanted to go further, you could raise a discussion of whether such a combination (genre title in an ineligible publication reviewed in a genre publication) should be sufficient to allow the indexing of that ineligible publication. I think that would be a logical extension of what we would do if the work had received an award. --MartyD 12:30, 29 January 2017 (UTC)
I'm completely against such "bricolage" (a french expression that may be translated as "makeshift job"). I know that some moderators played this game before, but for me, if the text is outside our scope (by our present rules), it's simply not to be included in the db. How can we stay coherent otherwise? Hauck 14:46, 29 January 2017 (UTC)
How about going halfway with Marty's suggestion -- create a title record with a note about the publication but don't index the magazine. There are other title records without publications, and this one won't even be sitting idle, it'll be holding the link to the review. --Vasha 19:14, 31 January 2017 (UTC)
Still strongly opposed. There are enough complaints about our multiple undocumented and discretionary exceptions to add anotrher one. Hauck 08:17, 1 February 2017 (UTC)

Sig Image Data template bug

It appears that the Artist= field of the Sig Image Data template isn't handling a name with an apostrophe correctly, as clicking on the link tries to convert the apostrophe to its ASCII number equivalent. thanks. gzuckier 23:30, 29 January 2017 (UTC)

I can fix problems with our core software, but I am afraid I don't know as much about our Wiki software as I'd like to. It may be a bug inherent in the version of the Wiki software that we use or it may be something that we can fix at the template level. Do we have any Wiki experts active at the moment? Ahasuerus 00:24, 30 January 2017 (UTC)
The version of the wiki software is limited in what it has for template processing. There is not a direct way to fix the linking issue (that I've found at least, I've tried with other templates). I can try adding another optional parameter that will take the artists id number and use that. -- JLaTondre (talk) 00:57, 30 January 2017 (UTC)
I added a ArtistId= optional parameter that if present will cause the artist's summary page to be linked via their record number vs. their name. It requires specifying an additional parameter, but avoids the breakage. Worked for my testing, but if anyone sees an issue please let me know. -- JLaTondre (talk) 01:19, 30 January 2017 (UTC)
I see I forgot to include the url: Anyway, i changed the artist=Pino Dell'Orco to ArtistId=233104 but it gives me artist=unknown and no link. Are you sure you did the Sig Image Data template? Thanks. gzuckier 04:35, 31 January 2017 (UTC)
It requires both the Artist= and the ArtistId= fields as the name should still be displayed. I updated the documentation to make that explicit. I also updated that signature page as an example. -- JLaTondre (talk) 19:25, 31 January 2017 (UTC)

Magazine "special publication"

In January 2016 the magazine Not One of Us put out what they call a "special publication" -- you can see the website and the cover. Visually, it greatly resembles their regular issues. Do you think this is an (unnumbered) issue or an anthology? --Vasha 03:09, 31 January 2017 (UTC)

It's an extra issue - so I would add it as such (like the special issue of Strange Horizons last year for example). They are planning another one this year as well - I wonder if they are not switching to named issues. Annie 21:34, 31 January 2017 (UTC)

Editor for Book Smugglers' Quarterly Almanac

The credit for The Book Smugglers' Quarterly Almanac (a new periodical, two issues so far) is given as "selected and edited by The Book Smugglers". Should I put "The Book Smugglers" in the editor space, or uncredited, or what? --Vasha 20:43, 31 January 2017 (UTC)

If they credit "The Book Smugglers", that's what goes in the field. One day when it is clear who was behind the name, it even can get aliased. Annie 21:32, 31 January 2017 (UTC)
I found it -- the copyright page says "edited by Ana Grilo and Thea James" and that overrides what they said on the website. But the editorial is signed "The Book Smugglers" so that's what I'll put as the author for that. --Vasha 23:39, 31 January 2017 (UTC)
Yep. If you (or someone else) can find a proof that they are one and the same, you can even alias at some point:) But not just based on an assumption... Annie 00:32, 1 February 2017 (UTC)

Suspected Duplicate Printing Record

Looks to me like both and are referring to the same printing. ?? (The correct number of pages is 625+[3]) Thanks. gzuckier 04:19, 8 February 2017 (UTC)

Seems you're right. I'd be inclined to delete your transient verified, though (because it seems to have appeared later in the db). Would you like to transfer your verification to the other volume? Stonecreek 07:10, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
ok, will do gzuckier 03:15, 9 February 2017 (UTC)

Author credit for letters columns

In a magazine, I've included a letters column as an essay type with the editor as author (he replies to the letters); I assume we don't put each letter writer as an additional author (nothing or nobody notable involved) right? thanks. gzuckier 03:20, 12 February 2017 (UTC)

I came across the same problem recently. Isaac Asimov replied to the letters in his magazines, and I found three different ways how this is handled:
I'm not sure which of these practices is best, but I think this should be handled consistently. Darkday 14:27, 13 February 2017 (UTC)
I do credit the editor of the letter column (IMHO correct as he/she usually selects & edits the letters and also comments on them). I don't credit each and every writer of letters, only those that are featured in ISFDB as authors, editors or artists in their own right).
Crediting 'The Readers' was common practice, but as we try to capture only natural persons (occasionally represented by their pseudonym), these should better replaced by 'various'. Stonecreek 16:01, 13 February 2017 (UTC)
For Science Fiction Chronicles, we dropped the column and only included the letters as appropriate. In discussions about back-filling the column, I ran across "The Readers" and liked how they displayed when using Series. It makes it almost useful, as opposed to various. No decision or action yet. Doug H 22:06, 13 February 2017 (UTC)
How do we determine which letter writers are important? What happens when we have the same person having letters in 30+ issues but not having an entry because we did not deem him important? I can see why the DB has gone the way it is but I think that we need to be consistent - we either credit all authors or none at all (even ours)... Just thinking aloud here :) Annie 23:30, 13 February 2017 (UTC)
I enter a bunch of fanzines. I assume that every letter to the editor is by someone who's famous in some local sense, probably someone who wrote their own fanzine (which will get entered eventually), and hence will eventually be in our DB. So I enter them all. Chavey 07:47, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
Ditto. I enter all correspondents with their own letters; I don't put a value judgement on how recognisable their name is or is not. What I don't enter is anyone in the WAHF column, which in one fanzine I've indexed has been known to run to pages. :-\ PeteYoung 08:56, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
I do not enter individual letters but when applicable enter a general lettercol ESSAY (and credit it to The Readers).Hauck 09:25, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
At one point I also was tempted to enter all 'letterers' but refrained from the idea, as the recent use of email adresses obscures the identities and leads IMHO to a somewhat chaotic and meaningless bulk of authors that may or may be not identical to known (semi-prominent) contributors. This, for me, is the background of not adding all letters.
Doug (& Hervé), I don't see how 'The Readers' is much different from 'various.
That said, I'd nevertheless add letters that have something substantial to say (for example on creators of speculative fiction), and aren't written by a known author. Christian Stonecreek 10:54, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
I use "The Readers" because it was there and IMHO it is a bit more precise than various as it qualifies the persons. Hauck 13:16, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
So we have the usual case of "entering editor decision" case about that... :) Annie 15:48, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
I am entering all letter writers who have published at least one essay or story entered into ISFDB. In the case of lesser known authors, this may be the only link to their identity, as most letters include the sender's address. If you're worried about clutter, it's too late. I did a search on "letters" and quit counting when I got close to 20 000. My guess is the total is very close to 30 000.--Rkihara 21:47, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
The other way around - I am worried about having prolific letter authors that we are missing because noone had enough issues of the magazines to recognize the name multiple times. Or magazines in the same run that are inconsistently entered. If we are going to record all internal illustrations, letters do not bother me at all. Annie 22:00, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
For the most part, I'm not entering the writers who have not published anything other than letters into the ISFB, but I am keeping track of them and could go back and enter them. What would you suggest? I wouldn't want to enter one-off letter writers. Maybe four or more published letters, or winning a letterhack award?--Rkihara 22:59, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
I do not know... I had been mostly thinking aloud so far :) Maybe start a community page in the wiki where single letters authors are noted so if I find the same somewhere, I can consult, see that we already have 3 non-entered and that would mean they are eligible now to be included? Because you have notes but what if the other 2 letters are in magazines you do not see but I do.(and then the German guys find a 5th one). :) I need to think a bit more on that Annie 23:56, 14 February 2017 (UTC)


Is there a policy about excerpts of Novels? Should they be linked to their related Series or left as Short Fiction? I've seen both occurrences so I am not sure what is 'right'.--AndyjMo 11:40, 14 February 2017 (UTC)

Well, if a title series exists, they should be joining the party. If not, they are better left alone as stand-alone shortfiction. Stonecreek 13:19, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
My memory is that the last time we discussed this in any detail, we came to the notorious "no conclusion", leaving it up to the editors to decide. I tend to view them like advertisements, hence I do not include them in the contents, but I do mention them in the publication notes. Chavey 06:01, 15 February 2017 (UTC)

Novels created by linked stories

We have Blackbird House entered as a novel (with a note that it is a "Collection/novel of 12 linked stories."). We also have the 12 stories already in the DB (as publication-less titles). It is officially considered a novel for the publishing world. How do we handle this?

  • Change it to a collection and import the content
  • Leave it as a novel but import the stories anyway
  • Something else?

Thanks for any opinions. Annie 22:50, 15 February 2017 (UTC)

Ugh, never mind. This is the same as "Foundation" - collection it is. Sorry, had a bit of a stupid moment here. Annie 22:52, 15 February 2017 (UTC)

How do you unvariant?

I have a reverse varianting (the variant needs to become the parent) but I cannot figure out how to revert them without recreating one of the titles again and then deleting the now orphan one. Help? Annie 00:27, 16 February 2017 (UTC)

I would start by breaking the variant relationship. As the "Make Variant Title" page says, "To BREAK an existing Variant link, enter 0." Once that has been approved, you can turn the ex-parent title into a variant of the ex-VT. Ahasuerus 01:44, 16 February 2017 (UTC)
Note to self: Read the pages you think you know. I was missing the "0" trick and did not even think of reading the instructions again. Thanks for pointing it out! Once I break the connection, I am back in known waters :) Annie 02:24, 16 February 2017 (UTC)

Missing Titles from The History of Science Fiction by Adam Roberts (2005)

Long ago, I have created a page called ISFDB:Missing_Titles_from_The_History_of_Science_Fiction_by_Adam_Roberts_(2005)

and slowly added all the titles listed there to ISFDB.

Now I have randomly checked page of

"Jean De La Pierre" 181767

and the page of his title

"Le Grand Empire de L'un et L'autre Monde" 1517791

where both deleted for some reason.

same hapened to many others e.g.

181764 Charles Renouvier

can someone help me understand why they were deleted? Qshadow 16:06, 17 February 2017 (UTC)

There are three editions of this book on file, one of them primary-verified. Perhaps the editors who worked on this title and its publication thought that individual sections were just chapters and didn't merit separate records of their own? Ahasuerus 18:47, 17 February 2017 (UTC)
Not me again! I don't understand clearly where the problem lies. Is it a problem of disappearance of authors and their work in the db or a problem with the content of the book? Hauck 19:01, 17 February 2017 (UTC)
I think that Qshadow is talking about titles (probably without attached publications or notes) and authors that are mentioned in this book that were added here at one point but had been deleted since (and the numbers after the name are IDs?). Annie 19:12, 17 February 2017 (UTC)
Thanks, Annie, you are absolutely correct. The titles were mentioned as important SF milestones in the "History of Science Fiction by Adam Roberts". Qshadow 20:02, 17 February 2017 (UTC)
Let me check submission history <...> OK, I see one submission that matches the records that Qshadow mentioned -- see this Web page. According to "Note to Moderator" at the bottom of the page, it was a "fake omnibus to add the titles without their publication data".
It looks like the submission was approved and its data was subsequently used to create regular publication records. The "fake omnibus" publication and title were eventually deleted. The question then is why 5 of the 12 added novels are no longer in the database. Ahasuerus 19:28, 17 February 2017 (UTC)
Thanks Ahasuerus, this is indeed my question. How it is possible that titles were deleted from our database, is it database glitch (horror! horror! how many more could be lost?), or is it somebody that just deleted them without letting anyone know, in such case this is also very bad. Qshadow 20:02, 17 February 2017 (UTC)
Titles get deleted every day when they have no publications attached to them - mainly because there are a lot of operations in the DB that can leave orphaned titles that are not needed - or because they are duplicates. Do you remember when you created them if they had publications attached? (Ahasuerus, can we check in the logs based on the IDs of the titles that we have - I know that deleted titles don't show anything properly but we should have at least the addition?) Annie 20:10, 17 February 2017 (UTC)
I remember that this titles had no publications, they are so old that i didn't find (at that time) any publication for them. But in any case, why just delete titles, maybe we can better flag them as "publication missing" or something and add publications later when they become known. Qshadow 20:23, 17 February 2017 (UTC)
It is not an automatic deletion. They get flagged on a report and a decision is made by a human if they get deleted or ignored (anyone can request a delete; only a moderator can ignore). In order for them to be ignored, there should be a note or something telling the moderator why this should not be deleted (such as "Cited in "this book", published in year" - see this one for example that shows where it was published so it is obviously left for a reason). Once it is clear why we have it, it will get ignored and not deleted. Otherwise they look like a leftover from varianting or pseudonyming which needs cleaning.
The deletions are needed because there is a big amount of titles that are just wrong - for example someone types "Author by Title" by mistake while adding content somewhere. Depending on how you reverse the fields, that may leave an orphaned title - which can never get a publication because it is a wrong one to start with. So it needs deletion - no point keeping an obviously wrong title. Annie 20:53, 17 February 2017 (UTC)
Checking submission history, I see that the 5 missing titles were deleted by different moderators in 2014-2015. It happened shortly after NOVEL titles were added to the "Titles without Publications" cleanup report, so it probably happened as part of the cleanup effort. It's unfortunate, but we can get them back in by submitting the first editions of these novels as regular "New Novel" submissions. Ahasuerus 21:17, 17 February 2017 (UTC)
Thanks, i understand the reasons now. Ahasuerus, I will appreciate if you can bring them back properly (it is really difficult for me to recall the process now). And Annie, welcome to the project! last time I was here (few years ago) I think we still didn't have you with us. Qshadow 21:28, 17 February 2017 (UTC)
I have added what I could (Some submissions are still pending), hope they will stay on now. Qshadow 22:27, 19 February 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for the welcome and yeah, I am new(ish) - been around since July :) Annie 22:54, 17 February 2017 (UTC)

N/A Primary verification

What does it mean to primary verify something as "N/A"? Help:How to verify data did not have much to say on the subject. And how do I go about fixing something like this: Clarkesworld Magazine, #47 August 2010? Do we have and should we have cleanup reports for this sort of thing? Thanks. Uzume 04:25, 19 February 2017 (UTC)

It means that the chosen source has no relevance or is mute on the subject e.g. Currey for a non-english book. There's no cleanup report for this, just drop a line if the user is active, if not, perhaps there's a solution at system administrator level (in this case I suppose a bad click). Hauck 09:24, 19 February 2017 (UTC)
@Hauck: I know what an N/A verification means in general, just not what it means for a primary verification. Uzume 16:11, 19 February 2017 (UTC)
As I said, we all agree that it's just a mistake. Hauck 16:16, 19 February 2017 (UTC)
Checking yesterday's database backup, there are 261 cases where a primary verification is marked as N/A. Many are against the transient spot and taking a look at a few of those, it seems people were going down the list of secondary sources and probably included that by mistake (since it is the middle of those). While we can probably come up with some pathological cases (like a publication that only ever had a single print), it seems to me it would be better if the software just didn't allow primary slots to be marked N/A. In that meantime, I'll notify the users for the current cases. I don't think we want to make a change directly in the database, because in some cases (like the example above), it probably should be set as verified and in others as unverified. -- JLaTondre (talk) 13:34, 19 February 2017 (UTC)
@JLaTondre: Thank you. I appreciate that. Uzume 16:11, 19 February 2017 (UTC)
Agreed. As far as the larger issue goes, there is a Feature Request to "Re-do primary verifications", which should take care of the problem. Ahasuerus 15:58, 19 February 2017 (UTC)
It is good to know there is a ticket on the subject at least. Thank you. Uzume 16:11, 19 February 2017 (UTC)
Editors notified. A few are inactive. I'll keep on eye out for new occurrences going forward. -- JLaTondre (talk) 03:27, 20 February 2017 (UTC)
Don't we actually have a valid case for a N/A being the only possible value for PV1-5 - webzines? E-books can be owned but a webzine is online - downloading it does not make it owned (which is what PV1 implies). Or do we read PV1 differently for webzines (to mean "I checked the content, it is verified"? I would think of that as Transient (leaving PV1-5 effectively N/A) but I may be wrong (so asking:) ). Annie 00:21, 22 February 2017 (UTC)
Until verification is reworked to allow multiple transients, there is value in using the PV1-5 as it's the only way to register multiple verifiers. And given the potential transient nature of web content, having multiple verifications is a good thing as we might not be able to go back and double check. -- JLaTondre (talk) 02:04, 22 February 2017 (UTC)
So we basically treat Transient and the 1-5 the same way for webzines. That makes sense. Annie 02:12, 22 February 2017 (UTC)

Delete my account information


My apologies if this is answered already, I have tried to find info but have not been successful. How do I delete my account and login information on isfdb? Thank you. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Ghostinthesaibot (talkcontribs) 23:15, 18 February 2017 (UTC).

The MediaWiki software which the ISFDB (as well as Wikipedia and many other sites) uses doesn't support account deletion. User accounts are linked to verifications, Wiki posts and other data stored in the database. Deleting an account would compromise database integrity. Ahasuerus 15:54, 19 February 2017 (UTC)
And the only contribution from this account in the wiki is this request, so there's really not anything to delete. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 09:05, 20 February 2017 (UTC)

Strange Behavior When Entering Title

I'm trying to enter a title "ampersand,hashmark, (I have to spell these symbols out) x25CD;" into this anthology and what I get is this "◍." I'm guessing running afoul of the wiki?--Rkihara 19:50, 21 February 2017 (UTC)

Not wiki, html :) This is the standard way to create this symbol using unicode: The HTML is doing exactly what you are telling it to - it produces the symbol. You may try to trick it by using unicode for one of the special characters ( for example) and see if that will show the sequence? Cannot try without doing a lot of entries I will need to cancel.Annie 20:00, 21 February 2017 (UTC)
Like this (see if you accept the submission the view holds). I replaced the hashtag with its hex unicode code :) ? Annie 20:06, 21 February 2017 (UTC)
Yes, that worked. Thank You!--Rkihara 20:16, 21 February 2017 (UTC)
You are welcome :) I think there is a software bug/side effect here though - if you try to edit again, it forgets (I suspect it is just the visualization) that there is a special escaping (html on html) and is showing the complete string again. If you save again, you are back to the special symbol. So it is solved for now but it needs a patch :) Annie 20:21, 21 February 2017 (UTC)
Yes, there is something funky going on. It looks like the software is not escaping certain characters correctly in "edit mode". I'll need to play with it some more. Ahasuerus 20:37, 21 February 2017 (UTC)
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