ISFDB:Help desk/archives/archive 21

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This is an archive page for the Help Desk. Please do not edit the contents. To start a new discussion, please click here.
This archive includes discussions from July - December 2014.

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Archives of old discussions from the Help desk.


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Expanded archive listing


Contents

Question on how to handle a situation

I'm working on a project of my own, but using some of your information as reference material. I'm noticing things like Vance Aandhal is shown as a pseudonym for Vance Aandhal. Other instances show that the authors name with and without the middle initial are pseudonyms. I find both of these "odd" for pseudonyms. Should I just ignore them or ... what?? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by AlJones (talkcontribs) .

Without knowing the scope of your project, I'm not sure whether you should ignore the data as presented here on the ISFDB. Perhaps an explanation of the ISFDB method would help.
It is ISFDB policy to enter title and author credits exactly as they are published. (In the above example, perhaps you meant to say that Vance Aandhal is a pseudonym of Vance Aandahl, note the different spelling.) If a magazine mistakenly credits a work by "Aandahl" as "Aandhal", we have to enter it that way. In order to get the work onto the proper author's page, we create a pseudonym relationship between the two authors, and then variant the title of the miscredited work to a title which is credited correctly to the canonical form of the author's name. In an ideal world, there would be a relationship other than pseudonym for a credit which is an obvious misspelling. At one point, there was a discussion to create a new kind of relationship for such false pseudonyms. But it never went very far. At this point, I'm not sure how it would actually work, or how we could convert the thousands of records in the database which are handled that way. Hope this helps. Mhhutchins 18:47, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
Well, there is a feature request (FR 348) to:
  • ...distinguish between true pseudonyms (or "aliases") and "name variations"... so that "Robert Heinlein" and "R. A. Heinlein" would become "name variations" (or "alternate names") while "Anson MacDonald" and "Lyle Monroe" would become pseudonyms
And, presumably, there would be another type of pseudonym for "translated names".
I don't think it would be particularly difficult to implement. We would simply have to add a new drop-down list of pseudonym types to Make Pseudonym and create a new "Edit Pseudonym Type" option, which shouldn't be too time-consuming to code. I just need to finish entering the data for September into the database -- August and September are the worst months because the number of new pubs spikes for the all-important fall season. Fixer is down to 448 ISBNs as of 5 minutes ago... Ahasuerus 19:00, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
Adding an option for pseudonym types going forward, yes, but how would we "repair" the thousands that are already in the database? I suppose they'd have to be done manually? Mhhutchins 20:08, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
That's right. That's why I am thinking that a new "Edit Pseudonym Type" option would need to be added. Ahasuerus 20:18, 30 July 2014 (UTC)

Other Worlds

I'm not sure that this is the right place to ask this, but here goes.

When I Primary (Transient) verified Other Worlds by Barbara Michaels, I at first listed it as a “collection”, but then I changed it back to a “novel” (I was cloning) to coincide with the other listing. I initially listed it as a collection as it was comprised of two novellas which novelized two reported true hauntings of America’s past. The first novella was called “The First Evening” and novelized The Bell Witch haunting and the second is called “The Second Evening” and novelized the Stratford Haunting. These two novellas are linked together by a very weak framing device. Normally I would have let this all go and would have just moved on but I recently bought Tales of the Uncanny from Amazon and I found that the Other Worlds collection is from 1999, so there is a sixteen year difference.

Comparing the texts, other than the framing material, the Other Worlds version seems to be pretty verbatim of the Tales of the Uncanny version. Sadly, I didn’t much like this novella the first time around and I really don’t want to re-read it again to double-check this. However, my questions are: should Other Worlds be listed as a collection, and The First Evening and The Second Evening be listed as the contents and The Second Evening then be linked to the Strange Affair at Stratford as a variant, as Strange Affair at Stratford came first. More details of the contents of Other Worlds can be found on Amazon at here which includes my review of this book and which describes this book's framing content.

As a sidebar, I’m pretty sure that at least three of the other novellas in Tales of the Uncanny have appeared as full-length books elsewhere, including Robert Bloch’s Dr. Holmes's Murder Castle which might be a rewrite of American Gothic. MLB 17:27, 1 August 2014 (UTC)

Update both publication records to change their types into COLLECTION, adding two content records to the record you verified, with the titles as given in the publication. (Don't forget to change the type of the title record to COLLECTION in a separate submission.) After the contents are in the db, make each of them into variants of the original titles. If you don't know the original title of "The First Evening", just let it be until someone does further research, unless you want to research yourself. Mhhutchins 17:41, 1 August 2014 (UTC)
About Tales of the Uncanny: those might be abridged ("digest") versions of other works, but they should not be varianted to the original title record. Just record the data in their Note fields (and link the other title if possible). Mhhutchins 17:50, 1 August 2014 (UTC)
Sorry, I've been away for a couple of days, but just to be clear. I shouldn't make The Second Evening a variant of Strange Affair at Stratford'? This is the only story in Tales of the Uncanny that I can vouch for. Whatever you say will be fine with me. MLB 03:34, 5 August 2014 (UTC)
As I said above: "After the contents are in the db, make each of them into variants of the original titles. If you don't know the original title of "The First Evening", just let it be until someone does further research, unless you want to research yourself." I've done it for you, leaving the first one as is. Mhhutchins 04:38, 5 August 2014 (UTC)

Adding a new award

The Phoenix Award is a rather prestigious award, at least in my neck of the woods. How does an editor create a new award? Mhhutchins 00:47, 5 August 2014 (UTC)

The ability to create new award types is currently limited to bureaucrats. It's not that I didn't trust our moderators to do a good job, but I wanted to have a single gatekeeper in order to avoid duplicate award types and ensure that there would be at least a brief discussion before new types were added.
I have now created a stub record for the Phoenix Awards -- have fun massaging the data :) Ahasuerus 01:34, 5 August 2014 (UTC)
Looks nice! The only question that I have is whether "Tom Dietz" was supposed to be "Tom Deitz". Ahasuerus 05:00, 5 August 2014 (UTC)
Good catch. I fell into the "ie" trap. Thanks. Mhhutchins 05:18, 5 August 2014 (UTC)

Should I create a variant title?

From the numberline, which indicates a first printing, I am 99% sure that I own this pub. I noticed that on the title page of my book there is this insane interesting second subtitle "Some Informal Remarks Towards the Modular Calculus, Part Four". So I would like to add the subtitle to the pub record, and as far as I can remember from 1.5 years back when I was last active here, I should make a variant title that links to this title. I am unsure, though, if a VT is the right thing to do, because there isn't already a VT for this pub (which already includes the subtitle that I am talking about). Can you please provide some guidance? Thanks, Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 18:14, 12 August 2014 (UTC)

Do not create a variant title record. Just update the publication record to show the extended title in the title field (as in the other pub record you cite), or you can note its existence in the Note field. Even though this extended title may be the "formal" title, we've chosen to be "informal" and not consider it as such. Thanks. Mhhutchins 18:56, 12 August 2014 (UTC)

Variant chains

The Dominque Haas French translation of KSR's Forty Signs of Rain exists with two titles: Les quarante signes de la pluie and Les 40 signes de la pluie. Under normal circumstances, one of these would be a variant of the other.

However, since we treat translations as variants (an expansion of its original intent) if we were to link these two translated titles as variants, then one of the titles would be twice removed from the original English version.

It seems worthwhile to establish the variant between the two French versions since they are the same text with differing titles, but is creating these variant chains in this manner frowned upon? Albinoflea 02:01, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

If you try to create a "variant of a variant", you will see the following error message:
  • Error: Proposed parent title is currently a variant of another title. Variants of variants are not allowed.
This is by design because it was envisioned that all variants/translations of the same title should point to that title record and not to some other variant. For example, Verne's Autour de la Lune has been translated as:
  • A Trip Round the Moon (1870)
  • Round the Moon (1870)
  • A Trip Around It (1958)
  • All Around the Moon (1960)
  • Around the Moon (1970)
  • A Tour of the Moon (2002)
  • Circling the Moon (2010)
and they are all co-equals. We even have a moderator-only cleanup script to identify "variants of variants" that may have slipped through the cracks. Ahasuerus 02:36, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
And when they do slip through the "variant of a variant" doesn't appear under the parent title record. So anyone looking for it would be up the proverbial creek without the proverbial paddle. So displaying both titles of the French translation under the parent English title is "a good thing." Mhhutchins 03:52, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
Great, thanks for the responses. I agree that it is best that a link to the original title record is preserved, I just wish there was a way to preserve the relationship between the translations as well; I'll go ahead and place that information into a Title note. Albinoflea 18:51, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

Question re verification of Dark Celebration

I am working on verifying Dark Celebration by Christine Feehan and have a question about the "Recipe" section, "Dark Desserts." On the title page of this section, the book has Dark Desserts and underneath that, By Christine Feehan Readers. Each recipe has "Submitted by: " with the reader's name.

So, for now, I have entered this as "non-fiction" with an author of "uncredited." I didn't think it was a good idea to create an "author" of Christine Feehan Readers, or list each recipe (we're not a cooking site!). Or, I could have entered it with Christine Feehan as the author. Either way, I should probably add information to the Notes section saying how the book actually appears, just to be complete. What do you folks think?

Also, Appendix 1 and Appendix 2 do not show an author on the title page. I have credited them to the author of the book. Is that OK?

BungalowBarbara 23:23, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

NONFICTION should only be used for book-length works of non-fiction. Any work of non-fiction contained in a larger work should be typed as ESSAY. Unfortunately, we don't have a way of differing the dozens of different types of non-fiction.
Now to your question about crediting: it's OK to assume that all uncredited content was written by the author credited on the title page. BUT if the work is credited otherwise, as in this case, I would suggest that you use "various" as the author and give an explanation in the title record's Note field. And in the pub record, if you wish. Mhhutchins 23:38, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
Also the record you've titled "Map of Europe (showing Carpathian Mountains)" may be incorrect. It should be titled as given in the book, whether that is a caption, a content page, or a title on the map itself. Otherwise it should be titled the same as the work it illustrates: "Dark Celebration (map)". Thanks. Mhhutchins 23:45, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for your corrections and suggestions. I've made the changes. BungalowBarbara 04:43, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

Nightfall One/Two vs. Nightfall and Other Stories

Panther re-published Nightfall and Other Stories in two volumes, Nightfall One and Nightfall Two. I am baffled that we record these two "sub" collections as variant titles of the "master" collection - I would have expected two fully separate title records with a note explaining the relationship. Aren't we misusing variants here? Seeking enlightenment, Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 22:23, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

This may not be a misuse of the variant function per se, but it does go to the fact that the function is being overused. A different form of punctuation is used in the title? Make it a function. A revision or adaptation of the work? Make it a variant. The publisher mistakenly drops the author's middle initial? Make it a variant. Someone has translated the work into another language? Make it a variant. The work has been split into two publications? Make it a variant.
To your point: breaking the variant function between these works will likely cause the split publications to be overlooked. Some editors might even try to create publication records for them when they're unable to find them. I suppose that's the rationale behind making them variants. An editor might have asked "Where would the average database user look to find these publications?"
Until we have a relationship function, the next best thing is to go to the tried and true, or actually tired and abused, variant function. Sorry. Mhhutchins 23:00, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Although I can see the desire to record a relationship between split works and their master/parent, I am not convinced that this justifies the abuse of variant titles. If I absolutely had to record a relationship, and I had a choice how to do it, I probably would abuse the title series function. If reading this makes your toenails curl up :-) just remember that this is all theoretical, I don't currently have a new split work relationship to record. Thanks for taking the time to explain. Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 00:08, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

Correct year of a title first released in a different language

Regarding this title: it looks very much like it has first been released as a translation in German in 2011 before its release in English in 2012 (I checked Worldcat and Amazon). What's the correct year for that title, 2011 oder 2012? I think 2011 would be correct, but on the other hand it's a bit misleading if the title page would say "The Secrets of Ordinary Farm" and "2011", because English title and publication year don't match then. Hitspacebar 19:33, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

Each title record should have the date in which the work first appeared. If the German translation was published in 2011 and the English original was first published in 2012, then the records are correctly dated. And since the authors' primary language is English, that title becomes the parent record. As odd as it looks, dating it otherwise would lead the average user to assume that the first English publication is missing from the database. Mhhutchins 20:13, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
Hm, I'm confused now: you say that "each title record should have the date in which the work first appeared", but then - as long as I understand "appeared" as "released" - the title mentioned above is currently not correctly dated and should be changed to 2011, its first appearance. But that wouldn't fit to your last sentence (about misleading the average user). So I guess you meant "first appeared in the author's language" and the title keeps its current year 2012? Hitspacebar 20:39, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
It was implied that when the "work first appeared" it meant the language as well, since each title record has its own language. So to be more explicit, each title record should be dated the year (and day if known) that the work appeared, under that title, and in the language assigned to that work. Mhhutchins 21:35, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
Ok. Thanks a lot. Hitspacebar 22:14, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
Standard practice has been for the parent to always have the date of the first appearance even if the the first appearance was under a different title (something which you agreed with earlier this year ;-) ). I don't see why that's different for translations. The same argument ("would lead the average user to assume that the first ... publication is missing from the database") could be made for variant titles in the same language as well. -- JLaTondre (talk) 20:58, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
But it's not different for translations. I still stand by what I said in that post, and it would apply to translated works as well. Even so, sometimes we have to break that rule when a work first appears in an unauthorized title, or the author later chooses to change the title of a work and that title becomes the more popular one for the work. I always refer to this work when the question arises about exceptions to dating variant titles. Asimov's story is now known as "What Is This Thing Called Love?" and it is dated 1961, even though it didn't appear under that title until it was reprinted in a 1966 anthology. That became the canonical title of the work, because Asimov chose to use that title every time it was reprinted in one of his collections. (It may have been his original title before Amazing's editor got hold of it and titled it "Playboy and the Slime God".) Your concern that someone may think there's a missing 1961 publication under that title wouldn't be obvious to the average user, because all publications of a work are listed on the parent title, including a 1961 publication. The average user would not likely dig deeper to discover that there is no publication of the title in 1961. But if you feel that may be an issue to some users, it may be a good idea to add a note to the parent title record when the ISFDB has chosen to use a later title as the canonical title of a work. (In this post, I'm trying to differentiate between "title" and "work" but I don't think the average user would even know the distinction.) Mhhutchins 21:35, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
I'm missing something. It wasn't me that had the concern a user would think there was a missing pub, that was your concern stated above in response to Hitspacebar. Everything immediately above seems to be saying that the parent should have the first publication date despite the original title. However, earlier you said in the case of this translation, it shouldn't. I'm not getting the distinction you are making. A note can always be added stating "first published in German" to clarify, if you think it's needed, but I don't see why the parent shouldn't be dated 2011. -- JLaTondre (talk) 23:38, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
Back to square one concerning the orignal poster's question:
This title is dated 2012 because that was the year the work first appeared with that title, by those authors and in that language.
This title is dated 2011 because that was the year the work first appeared with that title, by those authors and in that language.
As you can see, I'm not making a distinction between whether a work is translated or not. One of them had to be made into the canonical (parent) title, and of course, the title of the work written by the authors was chosen. The exception was made for the Asimov work for the reason I cited. If an editor feels strongly enough that an exception should be made for the Williams & Beale work, (or any other translation which appears before the original work), let them present their reason. I can not think of a strong case to make an exception to the title dating standard, but I'm open to hear it. Mhhutchins 00:13, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
Okay, then back to square one on my question: It has been standard practice that the parent should have the date of first publication even if the canonical title was not the title it was first published under. JLaTondre
No, that is the standard until you got to the "even if" part, followed by an accepted exception to the standard. Mhhutchins 02:04, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
Why should we not do that in this case? I'm not asking for an exception for the Williams & Beale work. I am asking why an exception is being made for the Williams & Beale work. -- JLaTondre (talk) 00:31, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
I don't believe it's an exception. According to the standards: If a book was written in one language, but a foreign language translation was published first, then the original language title is entered as the canonical title and the translated title is entered as a Variant Title. It is also ISFDB standard that a title record should be dated the date of its first publication. Was not the parent title first published in 2012? The problem is one could argue either way depending upon which rule one considers has precedence over the other. One of the reasons this is an issue at all is because we have no way of distinguishing a real, actual variant title with the title of a translated work. If we had a relationship function, we wouldn't have to fall back on using the variant function for translation. In the end, and to end the discussion, it really doesn't matter which date you use for the parent title record's publication date as long the exception is noted. (And believe me, dating it anything other than 2012 is an exception.) Mhhutchins 01:58, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
The information about how to enter the year for these cases should be added to the Help:How_to_enter_foreign_language_editions. Proposal: "If a book was written in one language, but a foreign language translation was published first, then the original language title is entered as the canonical title and the translated title is entered as a Variant Title. The year of the canonical title has to be set to one of the canonical title, not to the one of the translation (though the latter one was released earlier)." Hitspacebar 10:00, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
That should be proposed at Rules and standards discussions. We centralize those discussions to make it easier for people to be aware of such proposals. Not that it always helps with getting sufficient participation... -- JLaTondre (talk) 12:26, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
The problem is our help is inconsistent and barely discuss translations. As translations are entered as variants, the average user is not going to see a distinction when it comes to the help since they are the same function and you get the variant help from the varianting screen. We already have the disconnect between the standard practice of dating a variant with the date of its first appearance and the help stating the variant should always have the date of first publication under any title (the discussion I linked above which went nowhere). To be clear, I was trying to find out the distinction being made in this case vs. the Asimov example you raised (and translations should be handled differently than true variants is a sufficient answer to that). I don't have a strong enough preference to argue against that. I just wish we could start getting the help more consistent with how things are actually done. -- JLaTondre (talk) 12:26, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

[unindent] I agree that many help pages are inconsistent, incomplete, and incomprehensible, because of software changes. But I personally don't have the time to update the help pages. All I can do is guide new editors in creating and updating records based on the current practices. And answering their questions (like this post) when those concerns about incomplete help pages arise. If more moderators would work the queue and the clean-up scripts, it would free the time for others to update the help pages. I'm in no position to tell other volunteers what they should be doing, so we'll have to muddle through somehow. But the time and energy taken up by postings like this should be enough incentive to initiate a Help Clean-up and Update Project. Mhhutchins 22:01, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

It turns out that the publication which was the instigator of this discussion was published in English as an ebook in August 2011, which makes the problem of its dating moot. Mhhutchins 19:36, 3 September 2014 (UTC)

Reactivation

I have been away from ISFBD for 2 years now and I want to become active again. There seems to be many changes and what I knew about editing here will all have to be relearned by me. Since it will take me quite a while to get up to speed again, I plan to do simple verifications while I review all the help pages, etc. For starters, can someone remove the "inactive editor" notice on my talk page? Thanks. Syzygy 21:54, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

I'll do it. But it's rather simple. It's just a template that was added at the top of your talk page, and can be deleted by editing the page. Welcome back! Just ask if there's any specific changes that you need help with. Mhhutchins 22:02, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
Thank you. I appreciate the help.Syzygy 22:11, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

How to bundle two existing publications under a new title after unmerging from another title

The publications from 1999 and 2003 of Planet der Habenichtse are a new translation and should become publications of a new separate title variant. I know how to unmerge these two publications from that title, but then I'm lost. How do I bundle these two publications under a new title afterwards? Maybe I'm just not seeing the obvious... Thanks Hitspacebar 14:21, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

When you unmerge, it will create new title records for each of the unmerged publications. If they are the same translation, you would then need to merge the two new title records into a single title record. And then variant that merged title record to the original English version. Does that help? Or am I unclear? -- JLaTondre (talk) 15:13, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
Still unclear: if I merge the two unmerged titles into a single title record I'd lose one of the two publications. Does that mean I'd have to re-enter one of the two publications after that? Hitspacebar 15:19, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
No, title records are separate from publications. When you merge the two title records, both publications will be displayed under the merged title record. -- JLaTondre (talk) 15:25, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
Ah ok, I see. It's some kind of hidden merge magic :) Thanks for your help. Hitspacebar 15:35, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

Does this numberline indicate a 1st or 6th printing?

This pub that I verified has this numberline:

11 10 9 8 01 02 03 04 05

Does this indicate a 1st or 6th printing? When I originally verified the publication I apparently came to the conclusion that it was the first printing, but today I am no longer sure. What do you think? Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 19:00, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

I mean, a 1st or a 5th printing. 5th, 5th, 5th! This is just too confusing... Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 19:45, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
Well, it most surely is a fifth printing, probably published in 2011 as the first part (11 10 9 8) indicates. Hope that helps. Christian Stonecreek 05:23, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
Sure? It looks more like an 8th printing in 2001 to me although I confess I've never seen a numberline with the low numbers in the centre before. Except the copyright date is too late for that. Very odd. --AliHarlow 06:09, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
To me it looks like a first printing, published in 2008. Read this article for more information. --Willem H. 08:30, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
I think Ali is right. 11 - 8 is the number line, 01 - 05 is the date line. So 8th printing, 2001. The article seems to corroborate that interpretation. --MartyD 11:03, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
Aha! So the numbers "11 10 9 8" are printings, and the numbers "01 02 03 04 05" are years - or vice versa. I haven't seen such a number line scheme before, thank you Willem for posting that article. Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 11:18, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
Now to the question whether "01 02 03 04 05" are years or printings. It is indeed tempting to interpret these as years, so it would be an 8th printing from 2001. But then what about the contradicting copyright page statement "First IDW Printing. August 2008" ? If we turn around the meaning and interpret "01 02 03 04 05" as printings, then we get a 1st printing from 2008 - and that is a perfect match for the copyright page statement! So if no other evidence comes to light, I will go with Willem's interpretation and write down the findings in the pub notes. I might also see whether I can get my hands on the book "A Pocket Guide to the Identification of First Editions" mentioned in the article, maybe that guide has some information on publisher IDW. Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 11:18, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
Actually it could be any number of different interpretations. Since a publisher can create its own form of identifying printings and dates, you'll have to compare it with other books from this publisher. This will narrow down how to interpret their unique number line. (I would go with 1st printing of 2008.) Mhhutchins 21:23, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
Considering that the publisher seems not to have been too prolific and in the light of Willem's link (thanks!) I'll go with the first printing from 2008. My first guess was from the use of the numberline like in this pub., where the outer numbers counted. Stonecreek 04:01, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
Pub record is now updated, thanks everybody for the feedback. Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 19:47, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

Original cover art artist vs. cover creator using original artist's art

It just occured to me that I probably entered the wrong cover artist for this German Captain Future release. The cover art is actually taken from Captain Future Magazine Winter 1940 and was drawn by George Rozen back then, but the German edition uses only a part of that cover image. On the other hand, the cover of the German release was created by s.BENeš, using that old cover art. George Rozen is not credited in the book, only s.BENeš. Which one is the correct cover artist in this case? Or should I use both? Hitspacebar 11:41, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

If all that s.BENeš has done amounts to formatting (cropping, shaping) and design work (adding text and other non-art elements), then he should probably only be credited in the notes for "cover design", and not for the cover itself (and only Rozen credited). If he's added actual art content that he created, then they should both be credited. Chavey 13:17, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
Sounds reasonable. I changed to title accordingly. Thanks. Hitspacebar 16:30, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

Does "Import content" automagically merge content items?

Yesterday I made an "Import content" submission, with the intent to follow it up with a "Remove titles from this pub" submission. The plan was to replace a variant title record in this pub with the canonical title record. However, after the import submission was accepted the pub record no longer contained the variant title, so the "remove titles" submission was no longer necessary. Although convenient (one edit less for me to make) this behaviour contradicts the second-to-last bullet point on the Help:Screen:ImportContent page, which states: "This tool adds the content to whatever existing content may be already present. It doesn't affect any titles that are already in the publication." (emphasis mine).

Is this a bug, or an undocumented feature? Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 20:17, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

No, it does not automatically remove titles. However, if it's clear what you're trying to do, sometimes a moderator will complete the second step for you. Looking at the history, that's what happened in this case. Mhhutchins removed the title after approving your import. -- JLaTondre (talk) 20:59, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
Ah, I see, wrong thinking on my side. Thanks Michael! One more question: You're mentioning "the history" - I guess that's a moderator tool and not something that non-mods have access to? Cheers, Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 23:30, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
Sometimes it's obvious what an editor is attempting, and it's easier for the moderator to do the follow-up submission, rather than the editor waiting for the first submission to be accepted and then making another submission to complete the "clean-up". You can even request it in the "Note to Moderator" field. Also, I believe the Recent Integrations list is accessible only by moderators. But you can clink on the link to see if you can access it. Mhhutchins 00:54, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
There is also Recent Edits which is under the 'Other Pages' section of links so I assume that is open to all editors. It's what I used to track down the publication edit. What the difference is between the two links isn't clear to me as they appear to show the same data. -- JLaTondre (talk) 01:08, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
Strange. I never noticed the "Recent Edits" link. Maybe Ahasuerus can tell us the difference, if any. Mhhutchins 01:37, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
They are pretty much the same after the last few rounds of enhancements, although the moderator-only version is slightly more robust in that some submission types have additional hyperlinks. I should probably merge them. Ahasuerus 02:36, 27 August 2014 (UTC)

Excerpt titles that indicate the extent of the excerpt

Most excerpts in this publication of "The Road to Science Fiction: Volume I: From Gilgamesh to Wells" include the extent of the excerpt in their title, sometimes even the work that they are taken from. For instance:

  • Utopia (book II) (excerpt)
  • A Voyage to Laputa (chapters I-VI of Gulliver's Travels)
  • Around the Moon (excerpt, chaps. XVII-XVIII)
  • From A Voyage to the Moon

In my opinion, this is quite a mess because 1) these titles do not follow any of our rules (that I am aware of) how to record excerpts; 2) the titles use inconsistent wording even within the same publication ("chapters", "chap", "chaps."); and in one case they are actually wrong ("From A Voyage to the Moon" should really be "A Voyage to the Moon (excerpt)"). Here is how the titles for the examples above appear in the book (including emphasized "From" to indicate that it's an excerpt):

  • From Utopia
  • From "A Voyage to Laputa"
  • From Around the Moon
  • From A Voyage to the Moon

I would really like to regularize these titles to the usual "A Story Title (excerpt)", but only if I am allowed to do this for my publication by creating variant titles. Call me selfish, but in this case I don't have any desire to take up the crusade to convince the verifiers of the other publications to change their entries as well. How should I proceed? Or am I overreacting and excerpt titles like these are fine? Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 23:33, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

No, you're not overreacting. You're following the standards, which is all right by me. :) It appears that the original editor who created the first content records may have been either overzealous in recording data, or not familiar with the way we enter titles. They probably didn't realize that we record records exactly (as near to exact) as we possibly can. Any further description should have gone into the Note field of the title record instead of the Title field. Maybe they felt that someone would accidentally merge these records with other excerpts from different parts of the same work? In any case, go ahead and make the corrections in your copies. I will leave a message on the other verifiers pointing them to this post. If they choose not to change their records, fine with me. I'm too busy to argue about it. BTW, you can't use HTML in the Title field of a record. (Actually, you can only use HTML in the Note field.) Enter the titles as they appear on their title pages, and include additional information if necessary in the Note fields of the Title record (not the publication record.) I would drop any idea about "regularizing" the titles and/or varianting them to non-existing titles. That would be overzealous as well, IMHO. :) Thanks. Mhhutchins 17:06, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
Chiming in, as asked. I agree with Michael that regularization just for its own sake is simply wrong. In this case I am not familiar enough with the editions that the excerpts come from to know if the titles as shown are 'wrong', or just over-complete [if such an expression actually exists]. Record them as they appear. Can't ever go wrong with that. Once you do your edition [don't Variant anything just yet] I can compare the edition I have and see if anything is different. Same with the other editions/verifiers. --~ Bill, Bluesman 23:38, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
OK, Volume 1 (and also Volume 2, for those who have it) have now been edited into correctness, so please take a look. The varianting submissions are lurking in the queue but are on hold :-) Thanks for all the help. Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 23:50, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
I have no problem with these changes. If the other verifiers agree, we can merge them under the correct title. --Willem H. 09:10, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
For the 1977 printing the titles of all the excerpts should be changed to exactly how they appear on the stories title page, e.g. "Utopia (book II) (excerpt)" should be "From Utopia". There is no need for the parenthetical "(excerpt)" since it is clear from the "From" that these are excerpts. Incidentally, that particular title should also be changed from "Sir Thomas More" to simply "Thomas More". I think we've still got one editor left to chime in before we can change across all the editions. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 12:55, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
I too have no problems with any changes.Don Erikson 19:57, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
It appears that there is now consensus that we can perform some sort of regularization. I am fine with both of Ron's suggestions, but using the verbatim title (i.e. "From Utopia") opens up another can of worms because A True Story (excerpt) and The New Atlantis (excerpt) would also need to be changed, and these are used by pub records that are not publications of "The Road to Science Fiction". I am not sure how to proceed in this situation. One solution could be to unmerge the two title records so that we are free to make our changes without affecting the other publications. What do you think of this? Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 16:06, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
By the way, I checked the Gutenberg publication that contains "A True Story (excerpt)": In this case an umerge (or rather: an un-variant) is definitely OK because the Gutenberg text contains what seems to be the full text, not just an excerpt, and the translation from Greek is completely different. Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 16:06, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
Excerpts may not be the same (and usually aren't) unless they are reprints of the same anthology (like "The Road to Science Fiction"). So only change the titles of the works in each publication record of that anthology, and then merge only the titles from that anthology. Do not merge with any excerpt published in another anthology, even if they have the same name. Moderators usually keep an eye on unintended merges of such records. Thanks. Mhhutchins 17:29, 5 September 2014 (UTC)

(unindent). Thanks Michael, understood. So for any moderators who are doomed to review my submissions, here is my master plan:

  1. Unmerge excerpt titles that appear in publications other than the "Road to SF" anthology ("A True Story" and "The New Atlantis")
  2. Change all titles in the reference pub record (the one verified by me) to say "From ..." instead of "... (excerpt)". For the "Utopia" title, also change the name to "Thomas More".
  3. Create a parent record under the canonical "Sir Thomas More" ("Thomas More" already exists as a pseudonym)
  4. Import corrected titles from the reference pub record into all the other "Road to Science Fiction" pub records
  5. Remove wrong titles from all the other "Road to Science Fiction" pub records
  6. Cleanup: Remove any title records that have no more references (don't know yet if that will be necessary)
  7. Cleanup: Fix the Gutenberg pub record

Cheers, Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 15:21, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

Good plan. One thing: for the first step, use the "Remove Titles from This Pub" function rather than the "Unmerge Titles" function. The former function makes it clear to the moderator what you're doing. The latter function doesn't, and may cause some confusion. Step 6 will be necessary, since you will have to delete those misnamed titles from the database. Thanks. Mhhutchins 17:38, 7 September 2014 (UTC)
All done. If the other verifiers find the time, they can now check if I made any mistakes with their pub records. Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 19:49, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

Special characters in canoncial author name

How are canonical author names containing special characters entered? Are these characters allowed? The AuthorData help doesn't provide information about that. I ask because I found these two author records of Myra Çakan and they should be merged, but both records have errors (see bold letter):

The correct name should be "Myra Çakan", which is used for almost all (maybe really all) of her publications. May I use the "Ç" or not? Is it ok to change the canoncial name at all? Hitspacebar 15:03, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

I see that the two authors have just been merged to Myra Cakan, but the question about the special character "Ç" in the canonical name remains. Hitspacebar 15:07, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

I just realized that my question was a bit stupid because German umlauts like äÖÜ are allowed, so why should a Turkish "Ç" not be alllowed... Then only the last part of my question remains: is it ok to change the canoncial author name at all? Hitspacebar 15:23, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

Sure, it has been done before, for example in the case of Lem (Stanislaw vs. Stanisław). Just try it!
The two versions of Myra weren't merged, I just changed a probable typo in an unverified publication record. Keep up the good work! Christian Stonecreek 15:30, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
I would advise caution when making such a submission. If you change the canonical name of an author, you're changing every ISFDB record of every publication in which that author's work appeared. So if you'll willing to assume that fact is true, and none of the publications have been primary verified, go for it. If you're not sure, create a new canonical author and make the other author a pseudonym and variant the non-canonically credited title records. Mhhutchins 17:19, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

Magazine Article in a Series

I can't find this in the archives, or maybe I don't know what to look for. I'm entering items in a magazine. Some are articles in a particular series. I can see that some articles entered by other people are listed on a separate page with other articles in the same series; and in the mag contents, those articles are flagged as part of the series...but I can't figure out how to achieve this effect myself. A step-by-step would be great. Arch 05:33, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

In the magazine's content section, click on the title which you wish to add to a series. This takes you to the title reference record, which is more often called the title record (as opposed to the publication record which contains the title.) Think of the title record representing the work and the publication record representing the publication of the work.
Placing a title into a series is the ISFDB way of grouping titles with some common connection. In the case of magazine articles, this connection is not as strong as it would be for works of fiction, usually just because the pieces appeared regularly under a column title.
When you get to the title record, click on the link under the Editing Tools menu called "Edit Title Data". This opens a page which allows you to add or change data about the title. Be very careful when editing a title record, because all changes to this record will change how this title appears in every publication which contains it.
You'll see a field labeled "Series". You can add or change the series for this title. You also have the option of numbering this title within the series. This option is rarely used for magazine articles because they usually aren't numbered. If you wish to place this title into an existing series, you must enter the series name exactly as it appears for other titles in the series. If there is no series in the database, you can create one by entering it into this field. You should first do a search for the series to make sure it's not already assigned to another series. If there is another unrelated series in the db, you have to come up with a new name, disambiguated if necessary, in order to keep the series separate.
Here is a more detailed help page that contains a section explaining how to update or add a title to a series. If you need further assistance, don't hesitate to ask here. Thanks. Mhhutchins 06:10, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

Adding information to an original pulp

I would like to know if it is okay to add information to the original pulp based on an exact facsimile. I'm asking because facsimiles will sometimes miss stories, columns, illustrations, and ads. I rarely can compare the two. If I add it and then add a note about it. Either adding this information, or not adding this information is okay with me. Please let me know. MLB 01:35, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

If you're certain it's an exact facsimile, and the ISFDB record is not primary verified, please add the new information to the existing record. Provide your source (the facsimile edition) in the Note field. Mhhutchins 01:39, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
When you said "ads" did you mean "advertisements"? If so, then do NOT create content records for advertisements. Mhhutchins 01:41, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
No, I wouldn't create a record for an advertisement, it's just if some ads are gone from the facsimile, what else hasn't been reprinted? If you can't compare, you don't know. MLB 01:09, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
If it's missing "stories, columns, illustrations, and ads" then it's not an exact facsimile and should not be used to create content records or to update the original record. So I'll repeat "If you're certain it's an exact facsimile, and the ISFDB record is not primary verified, please add the new information to the existing record." Thanks. 02:12, 3 September 2014 (UTC)

Collective pseudonyms

I haven't found in the help pages a clear answer to the following problem, related to Jean Frollo : it was a pseudonym used by different journalists to write in the same column of Le Petit Parisien. Most of them are known, but it is unsure who wrote what. Basing myself on the BnF catalogue, I had assumed the corresponding author was Jean Vignaud, as it is the only name that appears in connection with the pseudo in the database, but some other sources (viz., Nathalie Prince's notes in Petit musée des horreurs) imply it may have been Catulle Mendès, who was the first and the only one to use the pseudo for some time. Yet, there is no certainty about this. Is there a way to indicate that “Jean Frollo” corresponds to a pool a journalists, name them, and leave it at that ? Linguist 10:17, 4 September 2014 (UTC).

You can make multiple pseudonym relationships between the pseudonym and each of the real authors. See Axel Archer, for example. --MartyD 10:49, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks of your answer. Yet, the link you provided doesn't seem to work ! Linguist 10:52, 4 September 2014 (UTC).
It's Alex Archer :-) Ahasuerus 16:13, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks ! I'll try and cook something up in a similar style. Linguist 20:14, 4 September 2014 (UTC).
If Frollo is a pseudonym, he can't have a birth place, birth date, death date, etc., even if he were only one person. That data should only go on the pages of the true author's (or authors') summary page(s). If you're not certain how to attribute a work credited to him, you should variant the title record to one credited to "unknown" and explain the discrepancies in the different sources in the title's Note field. Mhhutchins 20:44, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
OK, thanks. Is that compatible with multiple pseudonym relationships as well (just in case) ? Linguist 08:28, 5 September 2014 (UTC).
If by "multiple pseudonym relationships" you mean pseudonyms which are used by more than one author, yes. (Isn't that what we're talking about here?) Mhhutchins 17:33, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
Yes, thanks. I just wanted to make sure that varianting the title record to one credited to "unknown" was compatible with making “Jean Frollo” the pseudonym of different known authors, before I started mucking around with it. Linguist 20:27, 5 September 2014 (UTC).

Novel originally published as serial

Hi, I am about to add a novel originally published in serial form. I know how to enter the individual publications and titles, I think, but not how I should link them all together.

The novel is Meljean Brook's The Kraken King, originally published as a serial novel in the form of 8 ebooks. In a few months it will come out in physical book form, and there will be a new e-book edition that includes all of the novel. It is also part of a series -- book four in The Iron Seas series.

So, I figure I enter the upcoming novel as a new novel, clone it with some changes for the complete ebook version...I think I can take care of that. And the original 8 parts would be entered as chapterbooks, correct?

What next? Do I group the titles together under a new subseries? Make them variants? I'm sure there must be a precedent for this -- novels used to appear first in serial form in magazines -- yes, I'm old enough to remember that -- but I'm not sure just what to do. BungalowBarbara 22:37, 4 September 2014 (UTC)

  1. Create a publication record for the whole work.
  2. Create publication records for each of the parts, entering each of them as a CHAPTERBOOK with a single SERIAL type content.
  3. Variant each of the SERIAL title records to the single title record of the whole work.
  4. Enter only the title record of the whole work into a series. Do NOT enter the title records of the CHAPTERBOOKs or the SERIALs into the series. The individual SERIAL records will automatically display the series once they've been varianted. Series data should not be entered into CHAPTERBOOK title records.
There is a precedent for ebook serialization of a novel. See John Scalzi's The Human Division to see how it was entered and is displayed. Mhhutchins 01:04, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
Aha! I was going to enter the parts as a CHAPTERBOOK with EBOOK type content -- not SERIAL. So glad I asked before I did it! Now I see what to do. Thank you. BungalowBarbara 01:21, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
EBOOK isn't a type (like NOVEL, COLLECTION, ANTHOLOGY, etc.), it's a format (like hc, tp, pb, etc.) If they're electronic publications (not print), they would be entered as "ebook". The content record would be typed as SERIAL. Remember, all CHAPTERBOOK-typed records must have an accompanying content record. In this case, the single content record for each publication record would be typed as SERIAL. Mhhutchins 02:47, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
Aha again! I see -- the publication is like the box, and the title(s) are like what's inside the box. So the publication is CHAPTERBOOK of format EBOOK, and the title ("content") is of type SERIAL. Thank you for your help with this, and thanks for setting up the variants for me. (I do know how to do that, but help is always appreciated.) Looks good now, don't you think? The Kraken King I wanted to get those serial ebooks entered before they vanished **poof!!** into electronic oblivion. BungalowBarbara 20:48, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

Help on submitting translations

Could you please create a little guideline on how to create translations to existing records? Search directs to Requirements:Translations not edited since 2010. I tried to add a German translation of a book and of a short story included on ISFDB but it's quite confusing, e.g. Help:Screen:AddPublication does not mention translations (only editions) and Help:Screen:AddVariant mentions a missing Translator field. A step-by-step guide how to add a new translation would help to open ISFDB also for more non-English content. -- Nichtich 12:20, 5 September 2014 (UTC)

If it is really a new translation (not one already in the database) you should simply use the 'Add Novel' etc. to add the publication in question and then variant the title (or titles if there's additional content) to the original title(s). Hope that helps. Stonecreek 13:08, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
There is no specific help page for translations, because the entry standards are the same. Go here for help on creating publication records. Once the submission creating the new publication record has been accepted, if it's a translation of a work already in the database, we variant the translated titles to the original titles. Also, do not create variants until after the publication and its contents have been entered into the database. There's a submission in the queue to create a German variant to a Moorcock story which will be "orphaned", meaning it's a title without a publication record. Thanks and welcome to the ISFDB. Mhhutchins 16:18, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
Here's a small page about how to enter foreign language editions which is a good point to start but not covering everything (I'm actually collecting missing information in the help right now and will hopefully be able to provide some suggestions for help improvements in a few days or so). Hitspacebar 16:27, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
It's been almost three years years since I wrote that Help page in the wake of adding the language field to the database. It was a bit outdated, so I have clarified the bullet point dealing with non-Latin names and titles. I have also changed the "bilingual" bullet point to cover multilingual books. Ahasuerus 19:10, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, I added a link from Help:Getting_Started to that page to make clear that editions must be treated differently if they are translations. -- Nichtich 16:03, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
I've accepted the submission for the German translation of Interfaces, but I had to unmerge it from the English title record, change the language to German, and then variant its title record to the English one. Mhhutchins 19:04, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
Here's the publication record. I've changed the publication title to the German title (it was entered as Interfaces when it should have been Grenzflächen.) In the future, if there is no record of the publication in the database, regardless of its language, use the links under the "Add New Data" menu on the front page. Only use the "Add Publication to This Title" link, if you're adding a publication to an existing title. Thanks. Mhhutchins 19:08, 5 September 2014 (UTC)

Pseudonyms and variants

I recently updated this pub record adding mostly interior art. In doing so, an artist's known pseudonym was used, creating, or more likely recreating this author/artist record. The canonical name is Marge Simon. As much as I went over the help pages, I'm still unsure of what comes next or what template I should use to get this straightened out. Any help here would be much appreciated and will go a long way in helping me with pub updates. Thanks. Syzygy 13:25, 5 September 2014 (UTC)

As far as I understand the process, I think you should go on each title record that you created under “Margaret Ballif Simon”, click on “Make This Title a Variant Title or Pseudonymous Work” on the left, and replace that name by “Marge Simon” in the author's field in the lower half of the screen. This should make each title appear on the proper page once the change has been approved (I think). Linguist 13:50, 5 September 2014 (UTC).
From experience I can confirm that this is indeed the correct procedure. Only you should say "[...] go on each title record that you created [...]". Happy varianting, Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 17:15, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks! I see where I should edit, just hope that I edit correctly. I'll start with one record and see how that flies. If not, just another rejected edit for my growing pile. Again, thanks for the help. Syzygy 18:02, 5 September 2014 (UTC)

Abandoning an Amazon image

In the old days, before we resolved the copyright issues with scanned images, we linked to Amazon images. I did a transient verification against one such publication but also kept a scan of the cover. I was cleaning up and checked my image against the Amazon one and noticed some minor differences.

The differences are: the Amazon cover credits the author as author of Phule's Company, whereas my copy credits them as editor of Thieves' World. The Amazon image has a different Ace logo and no pricing, publishing or ISBN information on the cover.

Before I replaced the existing image, I checked the other Ace publications (here, here and here) and which seem to share the same scanned image (the third is wrong according to the notes) and which differs from the Amazon one.

I can replace the image for the publication I verified, but there is clearly another publication that should be there with the Amazon cover.

Three options - replace the image and forget the Amazon version, create a new pub that uses the Amazon image and speculates on price, date, etc, or dig deeper and query verifiers of the other publications about which version they actually have (unlikely as they date to the 80's and Phule's Company was release in 1990). Suggestions anyone? Doug 15:27, 5 September 2014 (UTC)

Just replace the record's Cover Art URL link to an image that matches your copy. Or upload your scan of the book and link the record to that one. No need to create a new publication record just because the Amazon image doesn't match. If you don't have a copy of the book but are certain that the Amazon image is incorrect, update the publication record removing the link to the Amazon file and leaving the URL field blank. Mhhutchins 16:27, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
I would add as well that sometimes Amazon seems to get pre-publication cover images from the publishers, which may differ in their title placement, tag lines, logo placement, etc. I've even seen some that have different title spellings or indicate contents that should be included but wound up not making the final cut. I've taken to just not trusting Amazon or any sort of stock image I stumble upon, although I still keep copies of them on file.
It is possible that the new image is indicative of an new printing, but without a copy in hand it would be impossible to verify any of the important details which would make a meaningful distinction possible. Albinoflea 02:19, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

"The Madman" by Pat Frank

"The Madman" is a postapocalyptic short story (novelette, whatever) by Pat Frank. Apparently it's from the September 1947 Argosy. I read it in The Argosy Book of Adventure Stories. The ISFDB page for that collection lists only one story, Heinlein's "Water Is for Washing". Pat Frank's story is not in the ISFDB but it should be.

I've never edited anything here and am not about to start, seems too complicated. I hope it's OK for a bystander like me to point out errors and omissions on this page, so that people who know how can do the edits if they want to. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Bof (talkcontribs) .

It's in the database now. It took less than one minute to enter it. I've left a Welcome message on your talk page that provides links to the most important help pages. If you want to learn how to add further data, just ask on my talk page. Thanks for contributing. Mhhutchins 15:59, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

Holdstock's Avilion

http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?873575

According to wikipedia this has the wrong date and isn't listed under the series it belongs to but I can't change the date because (a) I don't have any first-hand information and (b) that would make the paperback come out before the hardcover - surely the paperback date is wrong, too, but I have no info on it. If anyone can fix all this somehow, that'd be great. --J-Sun 13:22, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

Per the original notes, those records were based on pre-release information. It is not unusual for a publication to be delayed. I have update both the hc and tp based on the current Amazon information. Thanks. -- JLaTondre (talk) 22:36, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

Japanese authors: name order and vowel sounds

I am checking on accuracy of listings for a Japanese SF author I have translated. The author, Kono Tensei, appears under three different names on isfdb. Two names put his family name (Kono) first, personal name second. This is the correct name order in Japan, and is increasingly used as the name order in translations, newspaper articles, etc.

Question 1: What is the isfdb rule on name order for foreign names: the name order in the home country, or the name order in English?

In addition, one entry uses "long O" typography to indicate the correct pronunciation of the author's name. This is the correct rendition used in most academic publications in English about Japan. The other two entries use the much more common (in journalism and other non-academic publications) practice of depicting both the long o and the short o sound in Japanese as simply: "o"

Question 2: What is the isfdb rule for indicating long and short vowel sounds in foreign languages?

Currently there are 3 separate entries for Kono Tensei. The publication information in each entry is accurate, but only partial. I see this is true of other Japanese writers listed on Isfdb as well (see Tsutsui Yasutaka).

Question 3: How can all 3 entries for Kono Tensei be merged under one standard "romanization" of this excellent writer's name?

Many thanks! —The preceding unsigned comment was added by KunoichiSF‎ (talkcontribs) .

Welcome to ISFDB! We hope you'll like it here :-)
The issue that you raise has been the bane of librarians' existence for a very long time. If you enter the author's name exactly as it appears on the title page, you end up with the kind of bibliographic fragmentation that you saw. On the other hand, if you pick one "canonical" name and use it to enter the author's books/stories, you lose potentially important data. For example, if we were to change all records to "Kono Tensei", then all future searches on "Tensei Kono" would fail. So you are damned if you do and you are damned if you don't.
The way ISFDB handles this issue is by creating "pseudonyms" for authors and "variant titles" for book/story titles. We pick one form of each author's name, declare it "canonical" and then treat all other names used by the author as "pseudonyms". For example, if you search on "Robert Heinlein", you will land on a page that will tell you that it's a pseudonym used by Robert A. Heinlein. If you then follow the link to the "Robert A. Heinlein" page, you will see all the gory details, including the pseudonyms/alternative versions of Heinlein's name. As an aside, there is a feature request to modify the software to differentiate between different types of pseudonyms -- translations vs. misspelling vs. alternate versions of the name vs. "true pseudonyms" -- and we hope to implement it in the near future.
To go back to the author that you are interested in, ideally we would use his original Japanese name, i.e. 河野 典生, as the canonical name and turn "KŌno Tensei", "Kono Tensei" and "Tensei Kono" into pseudonyms. Unfortunately, the ISFDB software still has some issues with non-Latin characters in author names, but we hope to resolve them shortly. In the meantime, I will use "Tensei Kono" as the canonical name and create various pseudonymous/variant relationships. Give me a few minutes... Ahasuerus 16:12, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
OK, Tensei Kono has been consolidated and cleaned up a bit. I have asked the verifier of the publications where the 1982 version of "Triceratops" first appeared to check if David Lewis, the translator, is credited as a co-author, so hopefully that will be resolved shortly. By the way, would you happen to know the original Japanese title of "Hikari", which was translated in 2007? Ahasuerus 16:42, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
The original Japanese title is: 「光」. It is pronounced/transliterated as "Hikari" and just means "Light". You can easily ascertain this by comparing these: http://www.kurodahan.com/mt/e/catalog/j0021cate.html http://www.kurodahan.com/mt/j/catalog/j0021cate.html Uzume 04:57, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks! I have varianted the title record and everything looks good except for the year. Would you happen to know when the original Japanese text was published? Ahasuerus 05:33, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
I already made a submission for that (but without the Japanese quotation marks 「」 used in a similar way as we use ""). Uzume 05:49, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Approved, thanks! (Goes to show how vast my ignorance of Japanese is :-) Ahasuerus 06:05, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

Gafia Poetry Leaflet: Fanzine or Collection?

I filled in as much as I could of the Gafia Poetrey Leaflets, a series of about 7 four-page leaflets published in the early '50s by Redd Boggs, and distributed by FAPA. They clearly have the format of a fanzine (e.g. a single legal size sheet of paper folded in half). However, our definition of COLLECTION refers to "publications", not just books, and most of these leaflets were one-author collections of poems (#1, from this view, would be an anthology). So I'm a little unclear whether the publication type for these leaflets should be "Fanzine" or "Collection". Chavey 03:58, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

I think "fanzine" implies that it's an amateur magazine published periodically by a fan. Since each publication had a different title, and it wasn't exactly a periodical in the normal sense, I wouldn't call it a fanzine, just a series of fannish publications. Mhhutchins 04:39, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Separate pub records for books printed in Canada?

Do we create two separate pub records for same-printing books that were printed in the USA and in Canada? I checked the help pages but could not find anything. Specifically, I am confused over these two:

  • One: 8th printing, printed in Canada
  • Two: 8th printing, manufactured in the USA

The first is the one I have verified a few years ago. I can't remember that I ever entered a publication specifically for Canada, and with a Canadian price. Anyway, the record exists now, but its Canadian price is wrong (it should be C$6.99, same as the first pub record). Rather than fix the price for the Canadian printing record, I would prefer to delete that record if it is not needed. Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 22:46, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

In absence of any comments, I have now submitted the fix for the Canadian publication. Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 19:07, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
It is ISFDB standard to create separate records for editions which have different printing statements (including countries of manufacture), even if they indicate the same printing number. Use the Note field to explain the differences. Mhhutchins 19:42, 17 September 2014 (UTC)

Changing a canonical name.

I recently made a submission in which this author should have been used. Instead I mistyped his name and this author was spuriously created. I tried editing his name via the edit author button but it doesn't allow me to change this new name I mistakenly created. How do I get around this and change this name into the real name. It's not a pseudonym because I simply mistyped it. Thanks. Doug / Vornoff 23:48, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

The wrong version of the name was used by this review record. Since reviewed authors do not appear on their Summary pages, the resulting page was blank. I was able to find the review by doing an Advanced Title Search on "Reviewed Author" and once I corrected the record, the misspelled author record disappeared.
BTW, we have a standard process in place to deal with these kinds of issues. There is a background process which runs every night and looks for all kinds of irregularities in our data. "Authors that exist only due to reviews" is one of the reports that it generates and makes available to moderators, so these kinds of problems tend to get resolved within a few days. Ahasuerus 23:58, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the info. That helps. Doug / Vornoff 00:11, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

Andrew Porter vs Andy Porter

While verifying Science Fiction Chronicle, October 1985, I entered the author of the editorial as being Andy Porter as shown on the work. I assumed this was a pseudonym for the editor Andrew Porter but was a little surprised to see Andy is listed as a separate author and his credit for this editorial of course would not credit to Andrew's page. Is there enough evidence to make Andy Porter a pseudonym of Andrew Porter - I didn't want to do it myself without some advice. Thanks. Doug / Vornoff 00:21, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

That's right, Andrew Porter often signed his name "Andy Porter" early in his career. He provides a brief history of "Degler!" here. Ahasuerus 00:32, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
The steps to create a pseudonym relationship.
  1. Click on the link "Make/Remove a Pseudonym" under the Editing Tools menu of the author which is not the canonical form of the author 's name.
  2. On the next screen, enter the name of the canonical author in the "Parent Name:" field. (Or, you can optionally enter the canonical author's record number.) Then wait for the submission to be moderated.
  3. Go back to the page for the non-canonical author (which you just made into a pseudonym). Each title on this author's page must be made into a variant of a record credited to the canonical author. You create parent records by clicking on the "Make This Title a Variant Title or Pseudonymous Work" on the work's title page.
  4. In the lower section of the "Make Variant" page, change the "Author1:" field to the canonical author's name. Or...
  5. If the parent record already exists, use the upper section of the "Make Variant" page, and enter the record number of the parent record.
Keep in mind that creating pseudonyms and creating variants are two entirely different functions. One can be done without the other. But the results would have to be cleaned up by another editor if you forget to do both. In fact, the system doesn't dictate the order in which it is done. You can create variants first, and then go back and create a pseudonym. The order I give here is just my preference. Just remember to do both. Mhhutchins 01:21, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

Gregory Benford's Foundation's Fear

I'm entering contents of new printing of the title and was comparing the contents to existing publications (such as this one. They contain a reference to

Afterword (Foundations Fear) . (1997) (variant of Afterword to Foundation's Fear 1996).

My copy (14th printing, so well along) does have the afterword on the same page, but is dated at the end with September 1996. The only reference to the 1996 Afterword is in a compendium of reviews, all other references are as the variant title. These seem to be earlier printings. The novel itself is copyright 1997. Suggestions? Doug 15:11, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

If you click on the parent title record, you'll discover that the work was first published in the December 1996 issue of NYRSF, four months before the novel's publication. The record is thus dated 1996-12-00. (We don't use the author's composition date, which is often given at the end of a work. We use the date of its first publication.) Thanks. Mhhutchins 16:36, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

First publication of a novella as a hardcover book: which pub type?

Regarding this publication: I just realized that is obviously a novella, not a novel (first world-wide printing, hardcover). Now I'm not sure how to change it properly. The only possibility is a CHAPTERBOOK, isn't it? If so I'm confused by the word "separate" in the Help:Screen:NewPub#Pub_Type about CHAPTERBOOKs: "This publication type is a unique ISFDB designation for a separate publication of a single work of SHORTFICTION". If CHAPTERBOOK is only for a "separate publication" (which I understand as being "another publication"), what about this first publication...? Hitspacebar 17:49, 24 September 2014 (UTC)

It doesn't have to be the first (or the last) publication of a single work of fiction which is less than 40,000 words. It just has to be a separate publication. In this case, "separate" means it is not published with any other work of fiction. If you're certain that it's not novel-length, change the title record to CHAPTERBOOK. In another submission, edit the publication record, changing its type to CHAPTERBOOK, and adding a content record for a work of SHORTFICTION of novella length. Mhhutchins 18:01, 24 September 2014 (UTC)
Ok, thanks a lot for your help. Hitspacebar 18:14, 24 September 2014 (UTC)
As I said above "add" a content record. You changed the type of the title reference from CHAPTERBOOK to SHORTFICTION. Now you'll have to add a CHAPTERBOOK content record. Otherwise, as you can see, there is no link back to the title record, and the SHORTFICTION record isn't visible. Try again. Mhhutchins 19:27, 24 September 2014 (UTC)
Ah well, sorry. Sometimes one reads what he thinks is written instead of reading what is really written. I'll try again. Thanks. Hitspacebar 20:48, 24 September 2014 (UTC)
No problem. All is fixed now. BTW, an editor should be extremely careful about changing the title reference record of a publication during a publication edit. In most cases, it's not editable, as in container-type records and those that have more than one publication attached to it. But in cases where it can be edited, one must be sure that the changes are correct. It's also a good idea to never overwrite an existing content record. Even editors who are familiar with the underlying and often hidden structure of the database have to be very cautious. Thanks. Mhhutchins 21:19, 24 September 2014 (UTC)

Joe Randell Christopher's variant names

I find myself listed three times, with some different information in each: J. R. Christopher, Joe R. Christopher, and Joe Randell Christopher. Some sort of cross-listing would be nice if anyone besides myself ever checks the listings. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Joe R Christopher (talkcontribs) .

I will make the appropriate changes. There are links to our help in the welcome message on your talk if you wish to make submissions yourself in the future. Thanks. -- JLaTondre (talk) 00:03, 26 September 2014 (UTC)

One publication - Two or more formats

I have been doing some pub updates for Space and Time Magazine, and found that most of the later issues after #105 are listed as ebook issues. I have several of the print publications and I am not sure how to proceed updating these later ones. There are some that are verified and some that are unverified. Any help here on how to go about this would be much appreciated. Thanks, John Syzygy 18:02, 26 September 2014 (UTC)

You should undoubtedly create separate records if the format of the issues already in the database doesn't match the publication you want to primary verify. How to handle the editor records is a different matter. There are currently two different ways of handling it, because there are no documented standards. This is a relatively recent phenomenon (within the past decade) and there has been no discussion about it. Some ISFDB editors are entering them into the same editor series (duplicate records for the same issue will appear on the same magazine grid), while others have created a separate editor (magazine) series.
Look at the summary page for Neil Clarke. His magazine Clarkesworld began as a webzine, Four years later, in November 2010, it became available in a downloadable electronic format, so issues were entered as ebooks. Since both of those are electronic and there was no crossover between issues, they continued under the same editor series: Clarkesworld Magazine. At the same time (November 2010) it became also available as a print publication. All print issues since then have been entered into a separate editor series: Clarkesworld (print issues). I can see reasons to keep them separate and other reasons to have them together.
So to answer your question, if you have print publications of issues that have records for the electronic version, you should create a new publication record and import the contents from the other record. Whether you should merge the issues into the same editor title record is debatable, and is probably something to be asked on the ISFDB:Rules and standards discussions page. Mhhutchins 20:08, 26 September 2014 (UTC)

Puppet Master by Liz Greene has 2 ISBNs

Should I create a separate publication for the US version of BKTG04954? If so, should I update the UK version page count (305 not 306) and add the cover artist based on the US version? The US version appears to be the UK version with the price and ISBN overprinted on the back. ISBN on back is 0-140190503 but retains original ISBN, 1-85063-057-7, on copyright page. DStandsh 23:18, 28 September 2014 (UTC)

There appears to be enough differences that two separate records should be made. Do a primary verification of the printing(s) you have, and give the source for the data in the Note field of the printing(s) you don't have. Thanks. Mhhutchins 01:24, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
I've cloned the pub to create the US record. Will address the version I don't have following clone approval. DStandsh 03:04, 29 September 2014 (UTC)

Goose Girl paperback vs trade

According to locus1 "The Goose Girl" is pb. At 7.75in x 5in, its size should classify it as tp. The next book in the series, "Enna Burning", has the same dimensions. Locus1 lists "Enna Burning" as tp.

I would be more comfortable changing the binding data if Locus1 didn't also state, "A six-page author interview is included; the reading group guide noted on the cover appears to have been left out." The copy I am using for verification includes both an eighteen page interview and a six page reading group guide. Is this enough of a discrepancy that a separate publication should be created?

If a secondary source's data doesn't match your book in hand, but every other field is substantially the same, and the record hasn't been primary verified, update the record based on the primary data, adjust the note to record the discrepancy between the actual book and the secondary source's data, and then do a primary verification of the record. Mhhutchins 17:44, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
Update complete, will do primary verification once update approved. DStandsh 18:15, 29 September 2014 (UTC)

Secondary sources for cover artist

I'm currently looking at a number of Niel Hancock books. Dragon Winter has no artist attribution. I don't see a signature on the cover. I did find a general note in Toronto Public Library:Dragon Winter stating "Cover art: Gervasio Gallardo." Is there a prefered way to reference this source in the notes?

A slightly different case is The Fires of Windameir. The copyright page attributes cover design to Don Puckey. There appears to be part of a stylized "G" on the bottom right corner of the cover. Searching for Gervasio Gallardo, I found several images of original artwork on Heritage Auctions. They include the cover of "The Fires of Windameir" as well as some other Niel Hancock covers. Would this be a sufficient basis for attributing cover art to Gervasio Gallardo? If so, how would you recommend documenting this source? I wouldn't consider this source appropriate for long term linking. DStandsh 16:31, 30 September 2014 (UTC)

First case: All changes to primary verified records should first be discussed with the verifying editor, if they are active. (You'll see a warning message at the top of inactive editors.) The editor may have overlooked the cover art credit. But if it's determined that there is no stated credit in the book, reliable secondary sources can be used to determine unstated data. Here, the reliability of the source you cite is questionable. (Librarians may not pay as much attention to separate printings as a bibliographer would.) If the source is determined to be questionable, you can add the data (and its source) in the Note field. If the source is determined to be reliable, you can update the Artist1 field and give the source in the Note field. All of this should be done in cooperation with the primary-verifying editor.
I don't have a strong feel for the source reliability. The fact that this from the Merril Collection of Science Fiction, Speculation & Fantasy might add some weight, but I've since found a case were the cover designer may have been attributed the cover art. I'll contact the verifier to propose adding the data to the Note field. I will take the same approach with third printing I will be creating and verifying. DStandsh 19:39, 30 September 2014 (UTC)
Second case: Because this record has not been primary verified, it's possible that the artist is actually credited elsewhere in the book itself. Your source here appears to be reliable. So add the artist credit to the Artist1 field, and provide your source in the Note field. You should give the source without linking. As you say, linking should only be done to stable URLs. Mhhutchins 17:32, 30 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. I can verify this one. I can't find cover artist credit in the book, there is credit for cover design to Don Puckey but given the initial "G" and the other source I think Don Puckely's contribution is limited those elements overlaying the artwork. DStandsh 19:39, 30 September 2014 (UTC)
On a separate note, is there much value in providing artist signature images?DStandsh 19:39, 30 September 2014 (UTC)
There is. We have a library of them here on the ISFDB wiki. Scan the signature, and upload it directly to the wiki using this upload link. Then add this license tag which will place the file into the artist signature category. Ask if you need help on using the template for the license. Mhhutchins 20:19, 30 September 2014 (UTC)
Done DStandsh 01:32, 2 October 2014 (UTC)

Amazon image drift

Amazon images for some of Robin Hobb's Farseer series have dirfted to another cover artist from a much later printing. I've submited an update for Assassin's Apprentice 1st printing and have drawn attention to the issue to the verifier of the 15th printing. However, the 19th printing is unverified. Is the fact that the 19th printing cites the same cover artist as the 1st printing sufficient basis for me to submit a an image update? DStandsh 15:47, 4 October 2014 (UTC)

Yes. And a correction of the credit. Please proceed. Mhhutchins 16:11, 4 October 2014 (UTC)
I'm not sure I understand. If I update the image, then it will be consistent with the credited artist. DStandsh 16:19, 4 October 2014 (UTC)
I will remove all cover artist data and the link to the Amazon image file in the ISFDB record for the 19th printing. Hopefully an editor with a copy of that printing will come along and update it. Thanks. Mhhutchins 19:36, 26 October 2014 (UTC)

Two entries for same work

There are two entries for Storm by Kevin Crossley-Holland, which don't seem to be connected:

  • Chapterbook (which it really isn't, at only 42pp for the first edition, more recent editions have 48pp, as seen here)
  • Shortfiction (which points to the same 48pp edition as the above)

It's more of a children's picture book, though I'm not sure how that would be entered as there doesn't seem to be an option for picture book (one ought to be added, though, as there are a lot of sf/f/h picture books). How should these be merged? There is no evidence I have found that Crossley-Holland published the story any other way than as the picture book. If "picture book" isn't added as a format, then "shortfiction" would likely be the closest option to what it is as it certainly isn't a chapter book. Nihonjoe 18:02, 4 October 2014 (UTC)

I bring this up because I'm putting in entries for a newly-added award, and I'm not sure which one should have the award added to it. Thanks for the help. Nihonjoe 18:09, 4 October 2014 (UTC)
Congratulations, you have discovered ISFDB's dirtiest secret, CHAPTERBOOKS! :-) It's a very misleading term because we don't use it the way the rest of the world does. To quote Help:
  • CHAPTERBOOK. This publication type is a unique ISFDB designation for a separate publication of a single work of SHORTFICTION (q.v.) or a single POEM. In addition to the single SHORTFICTION or POEM content record, such publications may also contain one or more ESSAY and INTERIORART content records. This type covers all bindings and formats, including ebooks and audiobooks of less-than-novel length fiction.
  • Do not merge a CHAPTERBOOK's title record with its identically titled content record. ... This type should not be confused with the generally accepted publishing format called chapbook or the term used for books intended for intermediate readers called chapter book.
The reason this rather unwieldy designation was introduced some years ago was the desire to display short works (novellas, short stories, poems, etc) that have appeared as standalone publications on Summary pages in addition to their appearance in the Short Fiction section. The best we could do was introduce a new title type, CHAPTERBOOK, which is basically the same as a single-item collection. CHAPTERBOOKs usually startle new editors when they first encounter them, but reports of permanent neurological damage are rare :-) There is an outstanding feature request to change the name of this title type to CHAPBOOK, which, although not perfect, should be a better term to describe these critters.
To answer your question, awards are typically added to SHORTFICTION records rather than to CHAPTERBOOK records. And picture books are currently entered as CHAPTERBOOKs because they are under 40,000 words. Ahasuerus 22:36, 4 October 2014 (UTC)
So, do I win a prize? ;) Nihonjoe 23:22, 4 October 2014 (UTC)
We need to establish an "ISFDB CHAPTERBOOK" award for successfully navigating our Help :) Ahasuerus 00:26, 5 October 2014 (UTC)

Content record for list of characters

I'm looking at editing (actually cloning for 2nd printing) Seeker's Mask. The book's arabic numbering implicitly begins at the first interior page. The last explicitly numbered page is 526. The contents are roughly as follows:

  • 9 Introduction (Charles de Lint)
  • 16 Seeker’s Mask (map)
  • 17 Characters present and past
  • (23 unnumbered) title page
  • (25 unnumbered) part title page
  • (26 unnumbered) map
  • 27 first page of novel text
  • 523 last page of novel text
  • (525 unnumbered, 526 numbered) Author’s Biography (Seeker’s Mask) ESSAY

I'm disposed to entering the content as below, but have no idea what kind of entry type to use for the character list. Also, I'm not sure how well this conforms to the rules and standards.

  • 9 Introduction (Charles de Lint) ESSAY
  • 16 Seeker’s Mask (map) INTERIORART
  • 17 Characters present and past  ????
  • 23 Seeker’s Mask NOVEL
  • 525 Author’s Biography (Seeker’s Mask) ESSAY

Would the following simpler alternative be acceptable?

  • 9 Introduction (Charles de Lint) ESSAY
  • -empty- Seeker’s Mask NOVEL
  • 525 Author’s Biography (Seeker’s Mask) ESSAY

I would base the content on the one verified edition of this work, SKRSMSKMDR2001, but I suspect that it is in error. DStandsh 23:08, 4 October 2014 (UTC)

I'd go for the "simpler alternative." I personally don't feel that a list of characters should be entered as a content record, because it is neither fiction nor essay. But I've seen editors do it, since there's no rule against it. (They usually enter it as ESSAY, but I've also seen them entered as SHORTFICTION.) Mhhutchins 16:25, 5 October 2014 (UTC)
Thanks Mhhutchins. DStandsh 02:22, 6 October 2014 (UTC)

Unnecessary variant of "Acknowledgments (The Ocean at the End of the Lane)"?

I'm scratching my head about why this variant exists for this title. Both records have the same data. Maybe I'm not seeing the obvious, but to me it looks like the variant is superfluous. Hitspacebar 21:01, 14 October 2014 (UTC)

Very likely, the editor intended to merge the records, mistakenly varianted them, and the moderator didn't catch it. I'll unvariant them and merge them. Thanks for finding this. Mhhutchins 22:28, 14 October 2014 (UTC)

Dating interior art - James Branch Cabell

Ballantine came out with a reprint of James Branch Cabell's series on Poictesme. All of them have the same interior map (labelled Poictesme). The map is signed Peter Koch and has a date that looks like 29. Wikipedia has an entry with an image that has the note "created by Peter Kock in 1928". The file name oddly enough is FilePoictesme1926.jpg. Two ISFDB publications already refer to interior maps (The High Place and The Silver Stallion) and interpreted the date as 1920. (I have second printing, these are first.) Presumably, the Content section date for the interior art should have the date of first publication - which is none of these. There were 22 titles in the original series, many pre-dating the 1920 date, all pre-dating the 1929 date. Which publication of which title first held the map is unknown. Should I go with the earliest publication date (1971)for the Ballantine edition which decided to include the illustration? Doug 15:32, 15 October 2014 (UTC)

Yes, go with the earliest publication date you can find, not necessarily those records on the ISFDB if a reliable secondary source indicates an earlier publication (not creation) of the identical work. Mhhutchins 15:48, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
That map is in J.B. Post's An Atlas of Fantasy which describes the map as being "drawn by Peter Koch in 1928". Unfortunately, Post doesn't specify when it was first published, though it does list the copyright of the map as 1928 by Peacock Press/Argus Books. I've checked the 1932 Cabell bibliography and can't find a mention of the Koch map. There is an end-paper map in this 1928 edition of The Silver Stallion, but it is different and is by Papé. I can also verify that the Koch map is not present in the first Ballantine printings of either The Silver Stallion or The High Place. Hope this is of some help, but it doesn't really get us earlier than the 1971 date unless you want to go by the copyright. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 02:43, 16 October 2014 (UTC)

Strange listing of "Anathem" on Neal Stephenson's page

I don't understand the way "Anathem" is listed on Neal Stephenson's page. It reads "Anathem (2008) [also as by Neal Stephenson ]". First, why is the existing German variant of Anathem not listed (in contrast to e.g. "Snow Crash"), and second, why does it say "also as by" though it links to the same author record? Is that a software bug? Hitspacebar 19:56, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

The parent (866747) did not have a language specified. It would have been created prior to language support was added to the database. I changed it to "English" and now the records display as expected. I'm not sure I'd call it a bug, but the software does do some odd things at times when a parent record doesn't have a language. -- JLaTondre (talk) 20:05, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
I see. Thanks for the explanation. Hitspacebar 20:09, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
Here is what the Summary Bibliography logic does when it encounters a variant. (This is a simplified version, the actual logic is more involved because it has to handle multiple VTs, parent titles without pubs, etc.)
If the titles of the canonical record and its variant are different, the software displays "also appeared as" and then the VT on the next line. If the titles are the same, the software then checks if the two titles' language codes are identical. If they are, then the software decides that the reason why the variant record exists is that the text must have also appeared under a pseudonym, so it displays "also as by". If the language codes are different, then the software thinks "Even though the two title records say "Anathem", they are different texts, so I am going to display "also appeared as"."
So far so good. However, what should the software do if the titles are the same, but one of the language codes is not set? The variant may be a translation, but that again, it may not be. The software assumes that it is not a translation and uses "also as by", which looks odd if the variant is actually a translation.
Now that I am thinking about it, it may be possible to fix this issue by modifying the display logic to check each record's authors. If they are the same, then it's probably a translation rather than an "also appeared as" case. I will have to play with it. Ahasuerus 21:20, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

How to delete an image

I mistakenly uploaded an image for a publication that had none. I have not edited the publication to refer to the image. Is there a way or need to delete the image to avoid confusion for anyone who does load an image later and reduce the digital litter? Doug 14:49, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

The file will have to be deleted if it was uploaded from the wrong publication record. If you look at the wiki page for the image file, you'll see that all its data is related to a publication record. Only mods can delete wiki files, so I'll do that once you've told me that you still have a copy on your hard drive. If not, copy it from the ISFDB server back to your computer. Then I'll delete it.
BTW, your message here was improperly posted. Notice how it bleeds into the previous topic. Perhaps you edited the page and did not click on the plus tab to start a new topic? Mhhutchins 15:51, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
I expect I simply didn't fill in the topic after selecting the plus tab. As for the image, I have large detail scans that I reduce to the 600 x ?? as needed. So delete away. And thanks Doug 16:29, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Content records for The Monk

I am attempting to create the 19th printing (1982) of The Monk. I started to clone the 11th printing, but started to wonder what dates are appropriate for the content records. The work was originhally published in 1796. From the help page Template:TitleFields:Date, I think I should use 1796 for original content, and the Grove Press copyright date, 1952, for the content added for the Grove Press edition. Am I on the right track? DStandsh 03:33, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

If you're certain that the contents currently dated 1959 were first published in 1952 (not just copyrighted), you can clone the pub record and update the individual contents' title records in separate submissions. Mhhutchins 05:53, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
According to this OCLC record, those contents were included in the 1952 edition, so I'll update their publication dates and then you can just clone the 11th printing record for your copy of the 19th printing. Mhhutchins 05:55, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
Thanks Mhhutchins for fixing the incorrect date on the novel. The dating of the contributions of Louis F. Peck (1904 - ) are consitent with the 1952 Grove Press edition. In "A life of Matthew G. Lewis" (Louis F. Peck, 1961), WORKS CITED p 283, the book is listed as
  • Lewis, Matthew Gregory: The Monk. Original text, variant readings, and "A Note on the Text" by Louis F. Peck. Introduction by John Berryman. New York, 1952; Evergreen Edition, New York, 1959. DStandsh 17:30, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
Another fine source, but you'd already convinced me. That's why I had previously changed the dates of the contents as well to 1952. As I said above, please proceed to clone the current record to create one for your printing. Mhhutchins 21:12, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

Editing one's own entry?

I am not sure if it's kosher to edit my own entry. I want to add 3 items (one which is coming out in December, is that okay? and one which is old and one which came out in September), remove a website link as that website is going to come down in the next few days, and add a new link.

But I don't want to do that if it's not the way things are done. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Lucykemnitzer (talkcontribs) .

That's no problem at all. The author is most definitely one of the most reliable sources for information on her publications. We're not like that silly website, what's it called? Wikipedia?, that prohibits professionals from editing their own entries! If you need any assistance, don't hesitate to ask here. (Don't forget to end you message with four tildes (~~~~) which automatically dates and signs it.) Thanks. Mhhutchins 05:13, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

Three in one

I wanted to enter a record of my own copy of Beowulf, but came upon a few snags before I could do it :

  • I saw the modern English translations of the original text are labeled as NOVEL, whereas it is really a POEM. Should this be changed, or should the Old English version be entered as NOVEL as well ?
  • There is no option for “Old English”; yet, linguistically speaking, it is a different language from modern English. Could this option be created ?
  • The edition I own is bilingual : Old English on one page, French on the other. I remember reading something somewhere about editing bilingual texts, but where ? What is the usual procedure ?

TIA for any answers to these existential questions. Linguist 10:44, 23 October 2014 (UTC).

(I'm dividing this into the three points, so that folks who look only at the summaries of this page see what we're talking about.)
Epic Poetry: An awful lot of code and documentation has been written on the assumption that "POEM" is a sub-category of "SHORTFICTION". Unfortunately, we have no category for "EPIC POEM", and hence works like Beowulf, The Faerie Queene, The Odyssey, The Iliad, Ovid's Metamorphoses, The Divine Comedy, The Nibelungenlied (and possibly others) have been entered as NOVEL instead of POEM. I can find no formal policy about this but, as these examples show, it's become "standard", and should not be changed lightly. For example listing such works as "POEM" would have at least the following side effects:
• All such works get listed on an author's bibliography page down under the short fiction, and not up with the "longer works";
• Since translations of epic poems are often done as novels, and not as poems themselves, there could be oddities involved with making a NOVEL be a variant of a POEM (since the code views them as being of different lengths).</ul>
My suggestion is that you submit a Feature Request for a category called "EPIC POEM", which would be handled appropriately, and that you include a link to this discussion so that if/when it is implemented, we know which books to change. Chavey 20:53, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
Old English: Ahaseurus handles the requests to add another language. If he doesn't respond directly here, you could ask him on his talk page. Chavey 20:59, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
Bilingual Texts: See Help: How to enter foreign language editions. The penultimate bullet point addresses your question. (Short answer: It's an omnibus.) Chavey 21:03, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
Old English has been added as a supported language. Ahasuerus 23:16, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
I can think of at least a dozen title types that are more urgently needed than EPIC POEM. Mhhutchins 03:04, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
Thanks to everyone for responding. I will abstain from putting in a feature request for EPIC POEM for the time being, but the question might arise again when I tackle my stock of Victor Hugo (with such things as La fin de Satan, Dieu, etc.) and especially French medieval epic poetry, such as Huon de Bordeaux (Huon of the Horn in English). Linguist 10:36, 24 October 2014 (UTC).

Are COVERART records merged in the cover art is the same but the cover design is different?

The following two COVERART titles have the same cover art but the overall cover design is slightly different. How are these cases handled? Hitspacebar 19:16, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

The ISFDB records art, not design. So if the same artwork is used for later printings of the same work, they are merged. If the same artwork is used for an entirely different work, they are varianted. Mhhutchins 20:21, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

I just tried to merge them but the submission record looked like one of the two cover images would be dropped, which is not what I intended. So I cancelled the submission.

Hitspacebar 19:16, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

Merging two records deletes the newer one, retains the older one, and links the older record to the publication of the newer one. These two records should be merged into one, which deletes the other. Mhhutchins 20:21, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
Ok, thanks. Hitspacebar 23:32, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

"Contents" block shown in some NOVEL publications but not in others

Comprehension question: some NOVEL publications which contain no extra content except for the novel itself show a "Contents" block, others don't. Examples:

Why is that? I can't see any obvious structural differences between those two. Both are novels, both have only one content entry. Hitspacebar 18:21, 25 October 2014 (UTC)

The difference is that one publication includes page numbers and the other one doesn't. It would be difficult to display them if there was no Contents section :-) Ahasuerus 18:58, 25 October 2014 (UTC)
Sounds reasonable. However, what about this one: http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?64479 It has no page number, but a "Contents" block. Hitspacebar 19:14, 25 October 2014 (UTC)
Hm, that looks odd. Let me check the code... <rustle rustle>
OK, I see what's going on. The first thing that the software does is check the number of titles in the pub. If the number is 1, then it doesn't display the Contents section. (I could have sworn it also checked for page numbers, but I don't see it in the code.) If the number of titles is 2, then the software checks if one of them is a COVERART title, in which case it doesn't display the Contents section either. So far so good. However, this particular pub has 3 titles, one of them a NOVEL and the other two COVERART titles, so the check fails and the Contents section is displayed. Congratulations, you have found a bug! :-) Ahasuerus 19:46, 25 October 2014 (UTC)
Cool :) Thanks. Hitspacebar 20:12, 25 October 2014 (UTC)
Fixed! Ahasuerus 20:41, 25 October 2014 (UTC)
Bug found and fixed within an hour and a half! Wish I could do that with my own code :-) Chavey 21:24, 25 October 2014 (UTC)
To be fair, it was a teeny tiny bug. I almost felt bad squashing it :) Ahasuerus 21:52, 25 October 2014 (UTC)

Varianting an existing incorrect title

As far as I can tell this record, Jack the Giant Killer, should really have a variant title. The title page definitely has a comma after "Jack". If I edit the title, then use the Make This Title a Variant, will this attain the desired result or will it make a mess? DStandsh 23:40, 25 October 2014 (UTC)

The title with a comma is the canonical name. Looking over my copy of the first edition, it appears that the comma-less title was a designer's choice. So I've changed the canonical title and updated the publication record you linked to. In the meanwhile, it appears that the ebook edition did not have a comma (based on the Amazon "Look Inside"), so i will variant its title to the canonical one. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. Mhhutchins 19:25, 26 October 2014 (UTC)
Thank you DStandsh 21:13, 26 October 2014 (UTC)
I wonder if Memory and Dream also has the canonical title incorrect. I've edited the title on this edition, changing "&" to "and". I wonder if the title page on all the editions have "and" instead of "&". DStandsh 21:13, 26 October 2014 (UTC)
I've changed the canonical title to "and" and made the one UK edition with "&" as the variant. Mhhutchins 22:13, 26 October 2014 (UTC)
Similarly, Moonlight and Vines should be "Moonlight and Vines: A Newford Collection" according to title page and WorldCat OCLC 43029510. I haven't edited this one yet. DStandsh 21:13, 26 October 2014 (UTC)
You can edit the title field of the pub record, but don't edit the canonical title of the work. As a rule, we don't add series data to a canonical title. Mhhutchins 22:13, 26 October 2014 (UTC)
Also, Moonheart should be "Moonheart: A Romance" according to title page, but not as clearly per WorldCat OCLC 16063466. Haven't edited this yet either. DStandsh 21:13, 26 October 2014 (UTC)
Same rule as above. Edit the pub record, but leave the canonical title alone. Mhhutchins 22:13, 26 October 2014 (UTC)
Am I going in the right direction here? DStandsh 21:13, 26 October 2014 (UTC)
Yes. Just remember that the title field of a publication record doesn't have to be an exact match of the title field of its title record. As I said above, we usually don't add series data to the canonical title ("the title field of the title record"), but it is allowed for the title field of the publication record as long as it appears on the title page of the publication. Thanks. Mhhutchins 22:13, 26 October 2014 (UTC)

Tom Clancy's Net Force series

I recently picked up four of Tom Clancy's Net Force Explorer books at a library sale. They turned out to be SF juveniles, already in the database, but unverified. I went ahead and verified them, and uploaded covers for them. As I was doing this, I noticed that the authorship of the books was somewhat inconsistent. Some are listed as by Tom and Steve, but others in the series are listed as by individual authors. As far as I could tell, none of the books in the series actually list an author on the cover or title page, but most of them seem to list someone on the "Acknowledgements" page as the person who "rounded out the manuscript". In some cases, the database lists these people as the author. I assume that what happens is that Tom and/or Steve come up with a plot idea, and then give it to the person acknowledged to fill in the details. Or perhaps authors submit plot ideas to Tom - who knows. Anyway, it seems to me that we should treat these books consistently, but I'm not sure how to go about it. Thanks, Jack Sjmathis 15:03, 28 October 2014 (UTC)

Credit the authors of each as "uncredited" (both the publication record and the title record), add a note about the lack of an explicit author credit, and then variant the title record to the person(s) responsible for writing the book, giving the secondary source to support the credit. Mhhutchins 01:31, 29 October 2014 (UTC)

Case-sensitivity for non-English titles

I've got these two titles and wonder if they should be merged or not. Note the case of the first letter in the second word of the title ("tausend" vs. "Tausend"):

How is case-sensitivity for non-English titles handled? The rules about the Case in Template:TitleFields:Title seem to have been created with the English language in mind. In German, however, you usually don't use the rule "the first word is capitalized, and all later words are also capitalized" for titles. It would make titles look awkward, and changing the first letter of a word from lower to uppercase can in some circumstances even change its meaning. Should I merge these titles anyway or not? I'd say no. Hitspacebar 21:07, 29 October 2014 (UTC)

Best to wait-a-while. I have the Suhrkamp edition at hand, which is principially a reprint of the first german edition, and there it is also 'Tausend'. I'll ask the primary verifier if it's really 'tausend'. Christian Stonecreek 21:23, 29 October 2014 (UTC)
Hello! Sorry Jens that I've caused the trouble. It had been a good idea from you Christian to ask the primary verifier. I rechecked my verified copy [1] and I had to discover that the title on the cover and the spine is Die tausend Träume... but on the title page is Die Tausend Träume... and the title of the story is equally Die Tausend Träume.... The title of my Heyne paperback edition is also Die Tausend Träume.... I'll convert them. Rudolf Rudam 10:45, 9 November 2014 (UTC)
Well, Minus eins and Minus Eins have the same problem... Hitspacebar 21:34, 29 October 2014 (UTC)
Just saw that you're the primary verifier of this collection, Christian. Can check the "Minus e/Eins" case? Jens Hitspacebar 21:45, 29 October 2014 (UTC)
Phew, this one has Minus eins on the table of contents, but Minus Eins on the story's title page. To avoid an unnecessary double entry, I'd go with a merge for Minus Eins (and add a note to the publication), if that's OK for you. Christian Stonecreek 21:52, 29 October 2014 (UTC)
Yep, perfectly ok for me. Jens Hitspacebar 21:57, 29 October 2014 (UTC)
Oops, I meant Minus eins and added a note to the Suhrkamp publication. Whew, it's getting late, time to pull the lids down, I guess. Stonecreek 22:12, 29 October 2014 (UTC)
I should be Minus Eins, at least according the the title help: "always take the title from the heading on the page where the work begins. The title shown in/on the table of contents (...) is secondary". Hitspacebar 22:23, 29 October 2014 (UTC)
Yes, always take the title from the title page title, but not the capitalization. If it uses a stylized form of capitalization, e.g. all letters capitalized, we use the standard capitalization rules of the language it is published, and disregard how it appears on the publication's title page. Mhhutchins 23:18, 29 October 2014 (UTC)
Ok. My previous comment was wrong anyway. It was indeed late and I had mixed up the titles and the cases when I wrote that comment. The title should stay Minus eins. Jens Hitspacebar 06:45, 30 October 2014 (UTC)

Title to use for reviews

The rules about reviews state that for the review title one must use the title of the work being reviewed. But what about the real title of the review, the title as it appears printed? For instance, in this pub I have a review titled "Final Judgement" (please disregard for the moment that this is still wrongly recorded as an essay, I will fix this tomorrow). Where do I record this title? Should I put this in the notes of the review title record? And to make things slightly more twisted: "Final Judgement" is a variant title, the review originally appeared under the title "Did Elric Die in Vain?" (in New Worlds SF, #147, if you must know). Do I record this also as a title note, if at all? Thanks for your help, Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 01:28, 2 November 2014 (UTC)

Are you certain that the piece is a review and not a work of criticism? There's a difference, admittedly more subtle in some pieces than in others. If the piece first appeared with a title (as you describe), you can handle all as ESSAYs, and do the various varianting as required with a note linking it to the title being discussed. This will not show up on the list of reviews for the title. If you're certain that it should be typed as a review, you have the option of creating a separate content record as a REVIEW and another as an ESSAY. (See the reviews on page 14 - 18 in this record. They each had a title which I retained as ESSAY records). But you can not variant the essay to the review as it will look like the piece appears twice in the same publication. You can merge REVIEW-typed records, or variant a piece that appeared as a REVIEW in one publication to its appearance as an ESSAY in another. (See how the ESSAYs on pages 388 and 393 are varianted to REVIEWs in this publication.)
Having said all that, here is my suggestion about resolving your particular problem: in NW #147 create two records: one typed as ESSAY titled "Did Elric Die in Vain?" and a REVIEW record for Stormbringer. In Elric: Stormbringer create an ESSAY content record, titled "Final Judgement" and variant it to "Did Elric Die in Vain?", and a review record which you will merged with the 1965 review record. And then in the Note fields of the ESSAY title records, state they they contain reviews of Stormbringer and add a link to the novel's title record. Mhhutchins 03:11, 2 November 2014 (UTC)
Having re-read the essay just now, I would say that it definitely leans on the review side of things. The writing style may not be exactly what I would expect from a review, but then again the piece is from 1965 and I don't have much experience how things were written in that period (and in magazines). Anyway, I will take the discussion to Bill who has verified the magazine. Thanks for your advice, Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 11:43, 2 November 2014 (UTC)

Process for deleting titles

I am editing a short run of a magazine publication and ran afoul somehow with making a variant title of an author's pseudonym. The affected titles are from Rigel#4, page 42, Rigel#7, page 51, and Rigel#8, page 21, all essays for a regular feature by Dean R. Lambe. Please don't ask me how I made this minor mess, because I can't retrace the sequence that I used, or how issue#8 got affected since I am not even editing that one. So, after reviewing the instructions from the help pages, will the following steps work for me?

  1. Disassociate affected variants from the parents by entering record 0 on the top line, click 'Link to Existing Parent' and wait for mod approval.
  2. Remove titles from affected pub records, wait for mod approval.
  3. Use advanced search to find titles. Click on title to bring up the title record page and use 'Delete this title'. Submit and wait for mod approval.
  4. Reenter desired content title with pseudonym author using pub update. Wait for mod approval.
  5. Make author pseudonym a variant title. Done after mod approval.

Assume that I am somewhat familiar with the navbar editing tools. I want to delete all the related essay titles and start from a clean slate. I'm sure there might be an easier way, but will the process described above work? Any tips would be helpful. John Syzygy 22:07, 4 November 2014 (UTC)

Titles associated with publications can not be deleted. Only "publess" titles can be deleted, i.e. titles which are not contained in any publication record. If you'd like to start over, use the "Remove Titles From This Pub" function under the Editing Tools menu of the publication record. Once the remove submission has been moderated you can delete the titles. Because each title has two records (one for the canonical author, one for the pseudonym), you'll have to delete both of them. You do not have to disassociate the variant title from the parent title, if you delete the variant title first. You will not have use the Advance search to find these titles. Just go to the author's summary page and click the link "Show All Titles". From this list, find the titles you want to delete, click on its title, which leads to its title record, and then use the "Delete This Title" function. Then go back to the publication record, using the "Edit This Pub" function to add the new title under the Contents section. Mhhutchins 04:43, 5 November 2014 (UTC)
The process you described sounds much simpler. Thanks for the help. John Syzygy 07:10, 5 November 2014 (UTC)

The "Von Bek" omnibus situation

Currently the database has 3 editions by different publishers that collect Moorcock's two "Von Bek" novels into an omnibus. All editions have the same title "Von Bek", but all have varying content besides the two novels:

  • The Millennium edition (first publication 1992): Has an introduction, the two "Von Bek" novels, and a short story
  • The White Wolf Publishing edition (first publication 1995): Has a different introduction, the two "Von Bek" novels, the same short story as the Millennium edition, and an additonal "Eternal Champion" novel
  • The Gollancz edition (first publication 2013): Has two new introductions, the two "Von Bek" novels, but omits the short story

Spiderman has a "spider sense", software developers have "code smells", and ISFDB editors have... well, maybe "database itches"? :-) My particular itch tells me that something is wrong with keeping publications with such different content under the same title record. Even though the editions have the same title, I think at least the Millennium and the White Wolf Publishing editions should have different title records. I am hesitant in regard to the Gollancz edition: Is this sufficiently different from the Millennium edition to warrant creation of a third title record? What do you think, should I do one or two unmerges, or leave everything as it is?

BTW: There is a similar situation where someone already has created two title records for different editions of "The Eternal Champion" omnibus: One record for the Millennium edition and one for the White Wolf Publishing edition.

Last but not least: Is all this merely a matter of editor preference, or are there guidelines/rules that can provide direction for when [not] to create different title records for different editions?

Thanks for your advice. Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 15:04, 7 November 2014 (UTC)

Since the three omnibuses (omnibi?) have different contents, it is ISFDB policy (documented or not) and just plain common sense that each have a different, unrelated title record. Go ahead and unmerge them, but make sure to update each title record with an explanatory note that they should not be merged, lest some unknowing editor make the attempt in the future. (Each will also have to be added to the proper series name, that is title series. The creeping use of publication series in Moorcock's titles has created much confusion in his bibliography summary page, as you have pointed out in the White Wolf and Millennium publication series.) Thanks. Mhhutchins 19:17, 7 November 2014 (UTC)
OK, I have started to make submissions. Thanks for the hint about the title series, I would probably have missed this. Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 18:53, 8 November 2014 (UTC)
Meanwhile I have found other instances (e.g. The Nomad of Time) where there are more subtle differences between the omnibus editions. Can you (or other editors) offer some advice whether you would create different title records for any of the following?
  1. Difference in short fiction content only
  2. Difference in essays or other non-fiction content only (typically introductions and the like)
  3. Difference in interior art only
  4. Difference in publisher only
  5. Difference in translation only (usually means a publisher change also)
I am not looking for hard rules, I merely would like to get a rough feeling of when it makes sense to challenge existing database content, and what to do when adding new content. For instance, my personal preference would be to always create different title records for 1+2, but not necessarily for 3 (unless the difference is substantial), and certainly not for 4+5 (it would be another matter if the publisher would change content). Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 18:53, 8 November 2014 (UTC)
It's not a hard fast rule, but for the most part, it's only the fiction content that determines whether titles should be merged (or varianted). We don't consider any non-fiction content, including art. And the publisher is never considered when thinking about merging titles. Title records represent the author's creative work, while publication records represent the tangible product (paper or digital) delivered by a publisher. It appears that all of the publications under this title record contain the three novels of the series, so they are properly considered the same work (not the same product). Mhhutchins 20:02, 10 November 2014 (UTC)
Finally, do we treat collections and anthologies in the same way as omnibus titles, or are these different beasts? Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 18:53, 8 November 2014 (UTC)
I'm unsure what you're asking. All three are entirely different beasts as explained here. Mhhutchins 20:02, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

Magazine vs Collection

I'd like to index my copy of Mark Wheatley's 1998 "Titanic Tales" but am not sure whether to classify it as a collection or a magazine. The only indication that it is a periodical is on the ToC where it states: Vol. 1 No. 1 . Searching the internet, I come up with no other issues so don't know if it ever made it past its initial tryout. It's basically a collection of stories done in style of old pulp fiction and an article or two. The format is tp about 1/2" thick. Thanks, Doug / Vornoff 19:39, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

The type COLLECTION is restricted to publications containing two or more works of SHORTFICTION or POEMs by a single author (with exceptions for collaborative works). From the description I've found on the internet, Titanic Tales was intended to be periodically published. That would make it a MAGAZINE. BTW, is this an all speculative-fiction magazine or as mixed-genre as the descriptions seem to make it? Mhhutchins 19:55, 10 November 2014 (UTC)
OK, magazine it is. I should have said ANTHOLOGY instead of COLLECTION. Content includes a Tarzan-ish type story, an article by Al Williamson, a sequential art story (not to be indexed), a science fiction type Doc Cyborg story, a ghost story, a horror story & a couple of other items. It's all text, liberally illustrated, except for the one comic book-type story. Doug / Vornoff 21:10, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

East of Samarinda/ Threshold Question

I noticed that East of Samarinda exists in the database. I've just started this book and have read the first two stories and realized I would have had doubts about entering this book at all. So far there is no speculative aspect to the stories - they are straight adventure stories taking place in the wilds of Borneo. Am I misunderstanding what speculative is? Has this author, Carl Jacobi, risen above the threshold? If so, that brings up another question I've been kicking around in my head. Just what is the threshold and how do you know who's above it or below it? Thanks for any input. Doug / Vornoff 00:30, 11 November 2014 (UTC)

There is no concrete answer to that question. For most of us it's a gut feeling. Anyone who has read in the field for more than a decade or so should have an instinctive feeling about whether an author is above the threshold. Some questions to ask yourself: Is the author mainly known for his speculative fiction? Is the author well-known within the spec-fiction field? There's a close but distinct difference there. An author could have published a dozen or so works within the field, even the majority of their output could be spec-fic, but the author is not well enough known in the field to be considered "above the threshold" and allowing the entry of non-genre books into the database.
To be more specific, Carl Jacobi has an SFE3 listing and his description in Wikipedia states "He wrote short stories in the horror, fantasy, science fiction and crime genres for the pulp magazine market. He also produced some science fiction, mainly space opera." So although he may not be well-known today, he was in his time. We would include all of his published books, but be sure to enter his crime or other non-spec novels as NONGENRE (as we would with any "above the threshold" author). Unfortunately there is currently no distinct type for non-genre short fiction or collections. So those have to be entered as SHORTFICTION and COLLECTION, recording in the Note fields of each title record that the work is non-genre or contains no spec-fic (fantastic) elements. That may or may not be the case with the stories in East of Samarinda, a collection which was reviewed in Weird Tales and Crypt of Cthulhu, probably based on Jacobi's reputation in the weird fiction field. Mhhutchins 01:31, 11 November 2014 (UTC)
If there is any specific author which you come upon and can't determine whether he/she is above the threshold, post a message on the Community Portal and ask for assistance from the group. A clear consensus should emerge. Mhhutchins 01:41, 11 November 2014 (UTC)
Okay, thanks, that helps me out. Though it may not seem like it sometimes by some of the mistakes I make here, I actually have been reading science-fiction and fantasy since the 1960s so I'm pretty well-versed in the old-time authors and have no problem there. I just needed an idea of how the threshold is applied and you've given me that. I have to admit I'm not that familiar with a lot of the old-time pulp writers but am slowly correcting that. Where I am deficient is in knowledge of many of the newcomers, say after 1990 or so, so I may have to ask questions from time to time about some of them. As to the stories in "East of Samarinda", so far they are straight adventure stories, but good ones, with no spec-fic elements. Doug / Vornoff 00:10, 12 November 2014 (UTC)
Actually, we're in the same boat. I know very little about the latest generation of writers. Working here on the ISFDB has made me familiar with names but not with their work. Alas, I've become a bibliographer when I used to be a reader. :( Mhhutchins 00:31, 12 November 2014 (UTC)
I can understand that. I realize that the time I spend indexing for ISFDB could be spent on more reading but I also get pleasure from adding whatever small amount of data I can to bring just that little bit of extra order to a worthy project. Then there's time that's spent on other hobbies that I didn't have when I was younger that also takes away from reading. Also, I get an idea of some of the newer talent by trying to keep up with Analog and F&SF but a lot of the time I'd rather re-read the older material in my collection from authors I've loved over all the years. Just not enough hours in the day. Doug / Vornoff 08:05, 12 November 2014 (UTC)

Unrelated, non-genre content in a genre publication, by a below-threshold author

The Rules of Acquisition clearly state that we do not enter non-genre work by an author who is below the threshold. Does this rule also hold if the non-genre work appears as content in a genre publication?

A concrete example:

  • I consider Michael Chabon to be below the threshold (I may be wrong)
  • He wrote the genre novel "The Yiddish Policemen's Union" (title record)
  • This publication of the novel contains as bonus material an essay by Chabon ("Guidebook to a Land of Ghosts") which is 1) non-genre, and 2) not related to the novel.

Do I create a content title record for this essay, or do I merely mention the essay in the pub notes?

Also, please let me know if you think Michael Chabon is above the threshold. I would still interested in getting an answer for the general question I posed at the beginning, though.

Thanks, Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 10:32, 15 November 2014 (UTC)

The novel is genre, so that makes the book and all of its contents eligible for the database, regardless of its author's status. (Just like all contents in a genre magazine are eligible for inclusion, even contents which are non-genre, like the science articles in Analog.) Any non-genre content in a non-genre publication is not eligible for the database, even if the book itself is eligible. In an non-genre anthology edited by an "above the threshold" author, only the genre contents are recorded as separate records. For example, an anthology of mystery stories edited by Isaac Asimov would be eligible for the database, but we wouldn't create separate records for each of its non-genre stories. Mhhutchins 15:43, 15 November 2014 (UTC)
BTW, looking at the author summary page for Chabon, you'll see two non-genre novels listed. If he were below the threshold, those titles wouldn't be in the database. (Or shouldn't be. Occasionally some non-eligible non-genre novels work their way into the db.) Mhhutchins 15:45, 15 November 2014 (UTC)

Pulp Masters edited by Greenberg and Gorman

Martin H. Greenberg & Ed Gorman edited a crime/mystey anthology, Pulp Masters (2001), a non- genre book, but Greenberg sits above the threshold as evidenced by the inclusion of this series. Pulp Master contain an introduction by Gorman and six crime stories by recognized authors written between 1938 and 1965, including John D. MacDonald and Mickey Spillane. The introduction and four of the stories exist in the db as separate titles with no bibliography, e.g. the introduction or this story.

Should I enter my copy of Pulp Masters, since it's edited by Greenberg? If so, after entering the metadata, would I enter the Introduction as content, thereby attaching the existing Introduction to the book? Does that automatically link to the existing title? Also Gorman has written one-page comprehensive intros to all the stories. Enter them? What about the stories? All the authors exist in the db, some with a few titles and some with quite a few, and I'd guess a lot of those are non-genre. If it's determined that the titles shouldn't be in there, does a moderator delete the already-existing ones? Thanks, Doug / Vornoff 19:08, 15 November 2014 (UTC)

Create a record for the publication, and only create content records for those stories which you are certain are spec-fic. Only create records for introductions of spec-fic stories which you believe are substantial. Many anthologies have story introductions but it would be beyond the scope of the database to create content records for every blurb or paragraph used to introduce them. Because it's an anthology, it will have to be entered as an ANTHOLOGY and not NONGENRE. We don't have a NONGENRE ANTHOLOGY type, and NONGENRE can currently only be used for novels. Greenberg edited hundreds of non-genre anthologies and I'd hate to have them mixed in with spec-fic anthologies, but I can't see any way of preventing that until the software can handle a NONGENRE ANTHOLOGY (and NONGENRE COLLECTION, and NONGENRE ANTHOLOGY, etc). BTW, I'm not sure why that introduction and four stories are in the database, because they're publess. Maybe the pub was deleted because it was non-genre, and someone thought it was ineligible for the website. I'll delete those records, since you'd have to merge them even if you include them in the publication record. (A non-spec-fic mystery story by Gorman, Spillane, Block, MacDonald, etc. would not be eligible for the database.) Mhhutchins 01:03, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
I'll enter the pub, as you suggest, and note that it is non-genre. I've browsed the stories and nothing I see leads me to think any of the stories are other than hard-boiled crime type. So I don't see any reason to list any of the contents. The only reason the book would be entered at all, if I've understood your previous statements, is that non-genre works by authors/editors above the threshold should be included. If, after this, you think the book shouldn't be entered, let me know here or if I've already submitted it, just reject it. In any case, your explanations continue to give me added perspective on the db and I appreciate that. Doug / Vornoff 02:07, 16 November 2014 (UTC)

Page number and variant question

I have a novel that has 14 unnumbered pages before p. 1 and only one of those is content-worthy: an interior art pg that is a b&w copy of the color cover. This occurs on the 6 th unnumbered page, leaving 8 more non-content unnumbered pgs. I've read the rules and it seems that the page count would be [9]+390, disregarding the first five pgs of non-content. So, if that's correct, what is the actual pg number of that artwork? Is it [1] since it's the first of the eligible unnumbered pgs?

Also, about the interior art itself. It's the same drawing as the cover, just with no color.Would its title record be varianted to the cover? Should there be a note of some sort in the pub's notes and/or the note for the art record itself? Thanks for any help. Doug / Vornoff 02:02, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

Moderators, please correct me if the following is wrong. I would have recorded the interior art as on page [6], as per this sentence from the rules: "The page number can be derived by counting forward from the first page of the section of unnumbered pages.". Consequently I would have recorded the page count of the publication as [6]+390. The remaining 8 unnumbered pages without any content are "lost in limbo". Personally, when I am in doubt about how to record the content Page field I consult this wiki page which I have created a while back in an attempt to provide a visual aid for interpreting the rules about the content Page field.
Your second question is an interesting one. The idea of creating a variant has its merits, I think, but I am unsure myself what the right thing to do is in this case, so I hope someone else can answer. If the content is minor, I sometimes evade to make such decisions by not recording the content as a title record, but by adding a pub note. Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 21:36, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
I see where you're going on this. I was counting backwards from page 1 and including those pages back to the illo in the count and putting the first 5 pages in limbo - just the opposite. But your way seems to be easier, though it's still a bit confusing overall. I suppose I could get around it by taking the alternative method of just making the page "bp". Of course I'd still have to put a page count in the pub and use whichever method here ends up being correct. If someone can confirm Herzbube's solution, I'm happy to go with it and keep that in mind for the future. As to the second point, the note seems like a decent alternative as well. Thanks for the input. Doug / Vornoff 22:22, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

Duplicate Publications with Multiple Cover Artists

A problem has been found with some pubs by Robert E. Howard, specifically those with art by Jim and Ruth Keegan. The bottom line is that Ruth's name shows up twice as a cover or interior artist and editing the pub and removing the extra "Ruth Keegan" doesn't work. Please see the discussion on my talk page. The pubs themselves appear to be duplicated somehow. Bob 22:40, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

This is a known bug. Ideally, when entering a publication in which two (or more) persons collaborated on a single work of art, a single COVERART record should be created crediting both. Unfortunately, because of publications like Ace Doubles, which had two different "covers", usually by two different artists, the software was designed to create two separate COVERART records for the single work, one for each artist. The only way around this bug, that I know of, is to only enter one artist at the time of a publication creation. After the submission is accepted, you can update the COVERART record crediting both artists for a single work. You can tell if a single work is credited to two artists by the use of the work "and". Look at how Leo and Diane Dillon are credited for the cover of this publication compared with how the Keegans are credited in this one. I had to go through every publication containing covers by the Dillons to make this correction. Someone will have to do the same for the covers by the Keegans. Until the software can be fixed, this is the only remedy I know to the situation. Mhhutchins 23:31, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
BTW, to make the correction, you have to 1) remove all cover art credit from a publication record, 2) go back and edit the pub adding one artist credit, and 3) then update the COVERART credit to add the second artist credit. Mhhutchins 23:34, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
This sort-of worked. But there is still a comma between the names instead of "and", and when I access the artist's names, they appear separately instead of both at once. Bob 21:05, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
That's because you only sort-of followed Mhhutchins' instructions. ;-)
If you enter multiple cover artists via the "Publication Editor", you will end up with comma separation. To get the "and" representing joint credit, you need to enter one (and only one) artist via the "Publication Editor". Once the publication is updated, you edit the cover title record (accessible via the "Cover:" link on the publication display) and enter the additional artists there.
To correct the publication as it is currently, you will need to edit the publication and remove one of the cover artists. Once that's approved, then edit the cover title record and add the removed artist there (not via the publication editor). -- JLaTondre (talk) 21:29, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
I've corrected each of the records to credit "Jim Keegan and Ruth Keegan". If you see any that I've missed let me know. Mhhutchins
Michael, thank you for fixing them. I didn't "sorta" follow the directions, I followed them exactly: removed all credit for the artwork, after approval went back and entered Jim Keegan, then after approval of those, went back and added Ruth. I'm still struggling with credit for interior art for El Borak and Other Desert Adventures, which showed the same sort of problem. Bob 23:51, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
When you "went back and added Ruth", you added it to the publication and not the cover title record as specified above. You had to add the second artist to the cover title to get the "and". -- JLaTondre (talk) 00:04, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

Titles with diacritics stored as separate unicode characters not found when searching

I just found some records that have German umlauts stored with an extra diacritic character. For example the "ä" umlaut in Die Gefährten is stored as "a&#776;" (the "&#776;" character representing the two dots above the "a") in the database and rendered that way in the HTML page. As a result if you search for "Die Gefährten" in the search box you won't find that record. Is this a software bug, or an old record that should be corrected using a simple ISO-8859-1 "ä" in the title? Jens Hitspacebar 22:01, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

It's the latter. I have changed the character on the development server and now it's working as expected. I should probably do a database-wide search for other occurrences of this problem. Ahasuerus 22:53, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
I just did a quick search using a few weeks old local copy of the database and found 85 titles, 72 pubs and 9 authors using the &#776; diacritic character. There are probably some more records using other diacritics like "é" or "ê". Jens Hitspacebar 23:18, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

Probably caused by / related to this bug? Jens Hitspacebar 22:38, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

Yes, most likely. I'll change the priority on the bug report - thanks! Ahasuerus 22:53, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

Inclusion of partial spec-fic magazines

Example: High Adventure is a pulp reprint magazine. Sometimes its issues reprint all spec stories and is included in the db with all its contents. Sometimes it has partial spec-fic content and is included with only spec-fic contents indexed. Sometimes there are no spec-fic contents. Does this mean that that magazine issue itself is not eligible to be included? Arguments for inclusion (but with no story contents indexed) would be that it fills the gap in the magazine title and grid for missing issues. Possibly any introduction or editorial by the editor would be included. (?) Or would its inclusion strictly go against the rules and add to database clutter and should stay out? Thanks in advance. Doug / Vornoff 18:57, 23 November 2014 (UTC)

Do you happen to know the ratio of "SF issues" to "non-SF issues"? If the vast majority contains at least some SF, then I can see how it would be beneficial to create "skeleton" pubs for the rare "non-SF" issues. If, OTOH, the number of "non-SF issues" is high, then we can treat High Adventure like other non-genre magazines (Playboy, Colliers, etc). Ahasuerus 06:13, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
I don't know the ratio, off-hand, but I'll look into it but even if I can't get the data on this magazine run, it's good input to have for other like situations. Doug / Vornoff 14:33, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
The series Pulp Review / High Adventure is at 139 issues and apparently still publishing. Of these, 36 are already entered into the db. Some information I got from the contents of later issues off the publisher's website, some was gleaned from the information on the covers on several websites. The currently existing issues have continuing heroes such as Operator 5, Ki-Gor, G-8 and his Battle Aces, Secret Six, Capt. Zero, Phantom Detective, Green Lama, Jim Anthony and Capt Future. Of the others, I counted them as a yes if they had stories by authors over the threshold like Hugh B. Cave, Robert E. Howard, Lester Dent and Murray Leinster. Also counted were stories featuring weird menace, Asian peril, Black Hood, Captain Satan, Black Bat, Captain Hazard, Green Ghost, Crimson Mask, and those with above heroes already in the db. I put down 'no' for issues with non-threshold authors which just dealt with crime, war or adventure (although some of the adventure stories might apply). The count I came up with was 111 yes, 25 no and 3 maybes. If some of those hero-type pulps don't make the grade then the yesses would be fewer. Any thoughts? Doug / Vornoff 20:11, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for taking the time to look into this issue! Some of the "hero pulp" characters can be tricky because some of their powers were borderline SF. It can get even more complicated when a character has had multiple incarnations. For example, Green Ghost was, AFAIK, a non-SF hero, but I see that there are "sequels by other hands" where he "face[s] a few real supernatural menaces".
I should also add that we have editors who feel strongly about limiting the number of non-genre titles in the database as well as editors who are more willing to include associational material. I think the safe thing to do in this case would be to enter the issues that have speculative content or other works by authors "over the threshold" first. Once we have everything neatly organized, we will be in a better position to decide what to do next. Ahasuerus 00:17, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
I completely understand why some of the editors want to limit the non-genre titles, after all it IS a speculative fiction db. Apparently the practice, and it's what I've been doing on a limited basis, is to include non-genre content works by over the threshold writers but noting in the note field on the title record that it is non-genre, since the non-genre option is not available on the contents drop-down menu. The other point about the "hero pulp" characters is that, yes it is tricky, because some of them are inherently spec-fic, like Captain Zero, who turns invisible at night, while others have no real powers but are mysterious, and their inclusion would have to be based on each individual story. A lot of the stories in the shudder pulps dealt with supposedly supernatural, horrific threats but turned out to be able to be explained away by natural means. Does this type of story raise itself over the spec-fic bar I wonder? In any case I don't have too many of the High Adventure issues but this has given me a pretty good idea of what to put in and what to hold off on, both for this particular magazine and for other similar publications. Doug / Vornoff 04:59, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
At this time the NONGENRE title type is limited to non-genre novels, so whenever we enter non-genre short fiction/collections/etc into the database, we have to document the fact in Notes. As it happens, I plan to start working on changing the software to allow all titles to be marked "non-genre" as soon as I finish entering "forthcoming" books for January. (Only 139 ISBNs to go!) It's a fairly major effort, so it will probably take a week or more to implement. Ahasuerus 05:18, 26 November 2014 (UTC)

Dating, varianting & merging reprinted material.

I'm looking for a clarification of dating reprinted material and whether to make such material a variant or whether to merge.  As to dating, Mhhutchins has stated "With respect to this discussion: Our help still states that variant titles are to have the same date as the parent. However, this is no longer standard practice. I recommend we update the help to reflect that variants should have the date the variant appeared." I've been going by the help file and apparently I've been doing it wrong. From this note I take it I should enter the date of any reprinted material, be it text or interior art, as the publication date of the pub it appears in regardless of its original publication date.  As to variant/merge, I understand that interior art in different pubs should be varianted, not merged. But as to text content, apparently if the new content has the same title, author and type  as the original, it should be merged, not varianted. What happens to the new (reprint) content date in this case? Is it overwritten by the original? Or should this reprinted text content be varianted, not merged, despite having the same title, type and author? Thanks, Doug / Vornoff 18:25, 25 November 2014 (UTC)

The rules are the same whether it is interior art or text content:
  1. If the title, author credit, and content are the same, the records should be merged into a single record with the date being the first publication date.
  2. If the title and/or author credit differ, but the content is the same, the records should be varianted to one another. Typically, the parent will be the originally publication. However, in cases where a latter title is much more well known, the canonical title may be the parent and the original title a variant. In either case, the parent date should be the first publication date. The variant date should be either also be the first publication date under any title & author credit or the first publication date under that title & author credit. As you reference, we have a disconnect in practice on that (it would be nice to resolve that, but the last attempt didn't get any response).
Hope that helps. -- JLaTondre (talk) 00:32, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
That does help. Sometimes it's hard for a beginner like me to grasp some of this, especially when what's done in practice is not what you're told to do in the help. But you only have so much time to try to get stuff like this straightened up. I'm surprised you all get as much accomplished as you do. Anyway, this does clarify my thinking on the subject. Thanks, Doug / Vornoff 04:41, 26 November 2014 (UTC)

image uploaded for wrong pubrecord

I uploaded an [image] for The Blue Sword 0-425-07505-2. I did not edit the pub record.

What I need to do is create a 1st printing record for 0-425-06318-6, and re-upload the image in that context.

Could someone delete the uploaded image? I still have a copy on my hard drive. DStandsh 20:38, 26 November 2014 (UTC)

Deleted. -- JLaTondre (talk) 12:42, 30 November 2014 (UTC)
Thank You. DStandsh 05:03, 2 December 2014 (UTC)

Is there something odd about Berkley Books ISBNs and printings?

I'm looking at the pub records for Title:The Blue Sword. Is it my imagination, or does it seem that Berkley is issuing ISBNs for printings?

  • Dec 1983 0-425-07505-2 "date taken from 5th printing"
  • Jan 1984 0-425-06318-6 "Second (Berkley) printing"
  • Apr 1984 __no__isbn__ "Stated 3rd Berkley printing"
  • Sep 1984 0-425-07505-2 "Stated 4th printing" verified
  • Aug 1985 0-425-08840-5 "Stated 5th printing" verified
  • Jan 1986 0-425-08840-5
  • Nov 1986 0-425-10142-8

I have a copy on hand of 0-425-06318-6 with no stated printing, but is does state "Berkley edition/December 1983". This leads me to suspect that the "Dec 1983 0-425-07505-2" record might be in error, and should really have ISBN, 0-425-06318-6.

Am I just imagining this, or do I have a valid suspicion? DStandsh 21:29, 26 November 2014 (UTC)

The use of different ISBNs on different printings is not unknown. I would say your suspicion is valid. I would go ahead and edit the Dec 1983 publication and change it to match your book. The primary source always trumps a secondary source. -- JLaTondre (talk) 12:50, 30 November 2014 (UTC)
Thank you, I wasn't sure. I'll proceed to update and verify. DStandsh 05:05, 2 December 2014 (UTC)

Art credits

When a book has "engraved plates by F. Clein after W. Hollar", do I credit both of these people as interiorartists, or just one? And if only one, which one? Similarly with "engraved by William Blake from designs by William Mulready." Chavey 04:59, 30 November 2014 (UTC)

Typically we credit the person directly responsible for the work, so in these two cases I would credit Clein and Blake and document the other two artists' roles in Notes. Ahasuerus 07:03, 30 November 2014 (UTC)
Thanks! I'm re-visiting some of the 15th-19th century works, and this comes up a lot there. The most unusual of these are all of the engravers working on Orlando Furioso. Chavey 15:45, 30 November 2014 (UTC)

Fred Patten publess titles

There seems to be 11 identically titled publess titles by Fred Patten here. Should they be merged and then the remaining one deleted? Doug / Vornoff 16:37, 2 December 2014 (UTC)

Yes, please proceed to merge them into one record and then delete it. It seems they were removed from a publication record and he failed to delete them from the database. Thanks for finding them. Mhhutchins 19:05, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
Okay, will do. Doug / Vornoff 19:32, 2 December 2014 (UTC)

Science Fiction Review #43

I recently entered data for Science Fiction Review #43 and seemed to have messed up on the department "Then I Read ....". First, in a listing of the Series And Then I Read, all the other titles entered except the one I did list it named as "And Then I Read" with either four or three periods after it. My copy definitely has it as "Then I Read" with 4 periods, by The Editor. I entered it that way and then I started going wrong, I think, when I varianted that title to Richard E. Geis, when, I suppose, what I should have done was Add a Pseudonymous Work to this Title. So I have that backwards. Then I added the series name "And Then I Read" to both the canonical title and the variant which makes an ugly looking list under the series And Then I Read under both the Series listing and Geis's bibliography. Should I have just not put the author in as "The Editor" to begin with and leave it at "Richard E. Geis", even if that goes against the rule, for the sake of clarity on the lists? How do I (or someone) fix this? Thanks, Doug / Vornoff 17:54, 2 December 2014 (UTC)

Your last suggestion is how I would have handled it. Since the actual reviews are credited to Geis, there's nothing wrong with crediting the column record to him as well. Also, the content's title field should reflect exactly how it appears in the publication. So using four periods would be the way to go.
Your suggestion that you should have used the "Add a Pseudonymous Work to This Work" function is incorrect. Any work pseudonymously published should be varianted to the canonical author using the "Make This Title a Variant Title or Pseudonymous Work" function. (Which I believe you used.) The point is moot if you choose to credit the column to "Richard E. Geis". You'll have to break the variant using the "Make This Title a Variant..." function by entering a zero (0) in the the Parent # field. You'll also have to delete the record crediting "The Editor". This is going to take several submissions, so if you wish it would be easier if I did it and ask you to look at the results. Your call. Mhhutchins 19:16, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
Good suggestions. Thanks. Please proceed to make the changes - that would be great. Doug / Vornoff 19:31, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
Done. Please look it over to see if it matches your copy. I would recommend a Note saying that the column is credited to "The Editor", and that you chose to credit it to Geis. Mhhutchins 19:35, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
Done, Thanks, Doug / Vornoff 03:05, 3 December 2014 (UTC)

Elizabeth Moon: The Speed of Dark - Pages and contents

Looking at this record The Speed of Dark, I don't think the pages are entered correctly, but am unsure of the correct way.

Looking at a physical copy I see the following:

  • 2 page Acknowledgements on roman numeral pages ix, x
  • 340 page novel beginning on page 1 and ending on page 340. All pages numbered.
  • unnumbered title page "A Reader's Guide"
  • unnumbered blank page
  • 11 unnumbered pages of "A Conversation with Elizabeth Moon"
  • 4 unnumbered pages of "Reading Group Questions and Topics for Discussion"
  • 1 unnumbered page of "About the Author"

The current record has pages x+358, and the following contents:

  • ix Acknowledgements (The Speed of Dark)
  • 1 The Speed of Dark
  • 343 A Conversation with Elizabeth Moon
  • 354 Reading Group Questions and Topics for Discussion
  • 358 About the Author (The Speed of Dark)

I suspect that pages should be x+340+[16] with the following contents:

  • ix Acknowledgements (The Speed of Dark)
  • 1 The Speed of Dark
  • [1] A Conversation with Elizabeth Moon (The Speed of Dark)
  • [12] Reading Group Questions and Topics for Discussion (The Speed of Dark)
  • [16] About the Author (The Speed of Dark)

Do I need to include sorting information (i.e. [1]|2, [12]|3, [16]|4) ?

I assume I need to reach out to some higher power to append "(The Speed of Dark)" to "A Conversation with Elizabeth Moon" and "Reading Group Questions and Topics for Discussion".

Am I on the right track? DStandsh 20:37, 5 December 2014 (UTC)

Looks good. But I see no reason to disambiguate the title of "A Conversation...". BTW, you should use the "pipe" method when entering the starting pages of the unnumbered section. Otherwise they won't display in the order you're presenting here. Mhhutchins 22:01, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
Just noticed something else. The title page of the reader's guide should also be considered part of the guide. So the page count should be x+340+[18], and its contents should be two pages ahead of the number you've given, e.g. the starting page of "A Conversation..." should be entered as "[3]|343" (I'm adding "340" to create the pipe numbers, but you can choose any number above 340.) Mhhutchins 22:06, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, Mhhutchins. I left "A Conversation..." alone, and only disambiguated "Reading Group...." I used +340 pipe numbers as suggested. DStandsh 00:38, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
That'll work, but I thought you were going to start the pagination over with the reading guide (as the numbering you suggested above would have done). Either way works. Mhhutchins 01:03, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
I made the edit as discussed. The change happened on approval. As long as everyone is happy with the result, I'm happy too. DStandsh 02:16, 6 December 2014 (UTC)

Duplicate content reocrds Echoes of Betrayal

I don't know how I did it, but Echoes of Bretayal has duplicate content records for "Dramatis Personae (Echoes of Betrayal)" and "Limits of Power (excerpt)". The only thing I can think of is that I did something dumb with forward/back navigation. I'd better take a break and come back when I'm fresh. Sorry for creating this extra work. DStandsh 03:17, 6 December 2014 (UTC)

No problem. I have taken care of it. -- JLaTondre (talk) 03:22, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
Looking at the numbers assigned to each of the titles, it looks like the duplicates were created at the same time as the acceptance that added the others to the publication record. There must have been a hiccup in the system and two records for each content were created. It's not explainable, but it happens sometimes. Mhhutchins 04:13, 6 December 2014 (UTC)

content tags for collections, anthologies, omnibuses, etc

Should the content tags for a title (i.e. an anthology) reflect the individual stories, or just be general? i.e. if there is a book "Lots of horror stories" which contains a story about a killer rabbit, should the content tags for the book contain "rabbit", or just the tags for the individual story? thanks. gzuckier 02:50, 8 December 2014 (UTC)

User tags are user-definable, so there are no hard and fast rules. Well, with one exception: moderators can change non-bibliographic tags like "to be read" to "private", which makes them invisible to all but the tagger.
That said, if it was me, I would tag the anthology "horror" and reserve "rabbits" for the story. Ahasuerus 04:35, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
Well, I'd say to reserve a theme tag for the anthology (or collection) and to specify the tag for the individual contents. Either you could end up with an anthology 'Best Fantasy Stories' with a tag 'science fiction', because one of the latter crept into it. Stonecreek 05:06, 8 December 2014 (UTC)

Back cover artwork

When there are different artworks on the front and back covers, either by the same artist or not, what is the usual procedure ? Does back cover art count as interior art ? I know I read about it somewhere, but can't find it again… TIA, Linguist 15:46, 8 December 2014 (UTC).

IIRC, they're entered as interior art with a page number (sic) of "bc", like here. Hauck 16:23, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
Ah ! That's what I vaguely remembered. Thanks. Linguist 16:30, 8 December 2014 (UTC).

The Beach Murders by J. G. Ballard

I have been verifying issues of New Worlds in Miller/Contento and have found a problem. In New Worlds #189 (1969) this short story is listed as having an alternative title of Confetti Royale and an earlier source of Rogue Jan 1966. Now, this alternative title is given in the ISFDB as a variant title, but still with a date of 1969. This is also the date given in entries from his short story collections.

However, I had a look at the Galactic Central website and they happened to have indexed that particular issue of Rogue (although with a cover date of Feb-March 1966) and have listed that alternative title.

Then I checked Ballard's page on Wikipedia and again found both titles given for the same story and the source as Rogue. This was also mentioned in a cited reference to an article written by David Pringle.

So, is this a point which should be corrected?

Incidentally, that issue of Rogue also contains a more familiar story: Day Million by Fred Pohl. That *is* credited to Rogue and so an entry for this issue already exists in the ISFDB.--SGale 13:20, 9 December 2014 (UTC)

Thanks very much for bringing this to our attention! I have changed the dates of the titles to 1966-02-00 and have added notes. However, I wouldn't suggest a reversal of the parent/variant roles. To me, "The Beach Murders" seems to be the canonical title and the one intended by Ballard. It may very well be one of those cases where a (magazine) editor decided for a 'more electrifying' title, that wasn't used for any later publication. Stonecreek 15:53, 9 December 2014 (UTC)
The Feb/March 1966 issue of Rogue already was in our database - with Day Million as the only content. I added Confetti Royale to it. Stonecreek 18:54, 9 December 2014 (UTC)

Is purchase date sufficient rational for setting pub date?

I'm looking at a 2nd printing of a book where the 1st printing date is May 2010. According to my records the 2nd printing was purchased on Sep 5, 2010. Is this sufficient to enter a date of 2010-00-00 for the second printing. If so what bibliographic note would be appropriate? DStandsh 18:02, 9 December 2014 (UTC)

Yes, but be sure to give the source for that date in the Note field (signed as by the PV editor). For example: "No stated date of publication. Date is taken from a sales receipt by PV1" (or PV2, depending on the slot used to primary verify the record.) Just be aware that your second printing will be displayed on the title page before the first printing, because the system displays chronologically, and a publication dated "2010-00" appears on the list before one dated "2010-05". Mhhutchins 19:14, 15 December 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the response. Hopefully I'm not being too obsessed with conserving information. DStandsh 02:45, 16 December 2014 (UTC)

Issues with the website

Your help sections are too long, too diverse and don't provide simple answers for common searches. Also, larger type please. Some of us have vision problems. I signed on and tried to return to the entry I wanted to correct. My late husband, L. Jerome Stanton, is listed herein. How do I go back to that page? There should be a "find" item on the menu. So, perhaps you would make the correction I want to make: Your entry for Jay (his nickname) puts his birth year down as 1913. Au contraire. He was born in 1910 and he loved that his birthdate was 10/10/10. He died at the age of 82 in 1993. We were married for 36 years. I am not as techie as I used to be, which is probably why I am having trouble navigating your site. Harriet Stanton-Leaffer —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Tealstar (talkcontribs) .

Here is a link to the summary page for L. Jerome Stanton. To find other authors, enter a name into the searchbox under "Search the database" in the upper left corner of the screen. Once you're at the author's page, just click on the link "Edit Author Data" under the Editing Tools menu to update his data. I will change the birthdate for you. To increase the size of type, hold down the CTRL button on your keyboard, and at the same time tap the plus "+" button of the number keypad section of your keyboard. This should work on any website to increase the size of font. Conversely, you can reduce it by typing the minus "-" key. Hope this helps. Mhhutchins 19:14, 15 December 2014 (UTC)

Adding ISBNs to books that pre-date ISBNs from Amazon, etc.

What is the protocol regarding adding ISBNs to books that pre-date ISBNs from sources such as Amazon? For example Chieftain of Andor has no ISBN but one can be found on Amazon. Should this be added as a note?--Thync 21:10, 17 December 2014 (UTC)

Usually, please don't do it. Amazon should be only the last resort in bibliographical data, since there emphasis is to sell and we don't know where they get their data from (it may be from another edition or a later printing). In this case, please contact one of the primary verifiers, if there's really no ISBN to be found or deductable. Thanks, Stonecreek 05:43, 20 December 2014 (UTC)

Merging cover arts

I did a search, all I could find was this Archive03#CoverArt_Dates... I was wondering if there was a good rationale for maintaining separate but seemingly identical cover art images, for instance http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?153536 where the images of the HC and PB look identical? I.e. if I find a new pub that had identical cover to a previous pub, is it reasonable to link to it, or better to upload new image? thanks. gzuckier 05:08, 20 December 2014 (UTC)

Well, if the covers are identical (and not just the cover art), it is better to link to the existing file, since it does help to save disk space. If there are only minor changes that are recognizable with less dpi I personally try to upload a smaller version. Stonecreek 05:37, 20 December 2014 (UTC)
Actually, we don't "maintain" those separate but identical images. They're hosted by Amazon. We do merge the ISFDB cover art records so that there's only one record which represents the cover art (not necessarily the same thing as the cover image). In this case, the ISFDB has only one record which does that. Mhhutchins 06:15, 20 December 2014 (UTC)
To answer the original question, if the covers are identical, feel free to link to an existing file. If the covers are close (same art but different design), it's better to upload a new file, but you have the option of linking to the existing file while noting the difference (if there is any) in the record's Note field. Mhhutchins 06:20, 20 December 2014 (UTC)
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