User talk:Ahasuerus


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See User talk:Ahasuerus/Archive for discussions prior to 2021.


If you're writing to inform me that you've either added a COVER IMAGE or NOTES to any of my VERIFIED PUBS, please follow THIS LINK and add it to the bottom of the list. A link to the pub record would be appreciated. Once the pub has been reviewed, I'll remove your note from the list. Thanks!


Weird link renaming

On this artist entry, the link to this site is renamed "A. E. van Vogt Cover Art Gallery". Will you figure out why, because it's definitely not anything to do with van Vogt. :) ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 15:36, 22 January 2021 (EST)

Let's see...
The base URL of the "A. E. van Vogt Cover Art Gallery" is The base URL of "Suhano Tobe's Web Site" is Our software assumes that anything hosted by "" must be a part of "A. E. van Vogt Cover Art Gallery", which is apparently not true. Let me see what I can do... Ahasuerus 15:54, 22 January 2021 (EST)
And fixed! Ahasuerus 16:22, 22 January 2021 (EST)
Thanks! Yeah, "" is an ISP, so there are likely many thousands of sites on it. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 13:49, 25 January 2021 (EST)

Man from U.N.C.L.E. publication dates.

You may have noticed that I took the Reginald number off of two publications in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. series which you have verified. I did this because the number in Reginald refers to the UK edition for these two publications which appeared before the US Ace editions. While looking at these two records, I noticed that they both have a note that states that the pub date is from the copyright and that the date is likely incorrect because of the catalog number. Reginald, in the Series Index, lists both the UK and the US ordering of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and while the main section gives the date and publisher of the first edition (UK), the listing for the US series does give the later publication date. This is all a long way saying that Reginald indicates that the US edition of The Power Cube Affair was published in 1969 and The Corfu Affair was published in 1970. I checked the rest of the series and Reginald has the US editions of The Unfair Fare Affair published in 1969; The Thinking Machine Affair in 1970; and The Finger In The Sky Affair in 1971. The others all appear to have the correct date for the Ace printings. You're the only active verifier for these publications. Thanks. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 14:22, 23 January 2021 (EST)

The 5 linked pubs have been updated. Many thanks! Ahasuerus 15:46, 23 January 2021 (EST)

The Compleat Werewolf and Other Stories of Fantasy and Science Fiction

You're the PV on this one. Is the submitted cover correct? The submitter is just guessing, based on their comments. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 14:09, 14 February 2021 (EST)

After checking my copy I can confirm that it is indeed the correct cover. Lucky us! :) Ahasuerus 21:23, 14 February 2021 (EST)
It was me who submitted that cover. --Username 12:09, 15 February 2021 (EST)
Ahasuerus, I left it in the queue for you, as the submission has a comment in the note-to-the-moderator about dates, and I see more info has been provided here, too. You're the only PV, so I think it would be best if you reviewed and processed it. --MartyD 12:26, 15 February 2021 (EST)
Thanks, I'll take a look. Ahasuerus 16:32, 15 February 2021 (EST)
I have approved the submission, updated Notes and changed the date from 1990 to 0000. Thanks! Ahasuerus 11:28, 16 February 2021 (EST)

Bill Breedlove and Publishers Export Co.

I noticed a 1967 novel on Bill Breedlove's ISFDB page, Devil Sex, which is by a man who wrote articles for magazines under the name William Breedlove, and I don't think he's related to the Bill Breedlove who started publishing stories 20 years later and runs Dark Arts Books. [--Username 12:09, 15 February 2021 (EST)

The author's Web page has his photos as of 2005-2006. He certainly doesn't look like he was born in the 1940s or earlier, which he would have to be in order to have published a book in 1967. Besides, it was probably a pseudonym anyway. I have disambiguated the name and added a note. Thanks! Ahasuerus 12:22, 16 February 2021 (EST)

While deciding what to do about this, I noticed Devil Sex didn't have a price or cover so I checked and only Goodreads had one, which had the price clearly displayed, so I entered it. Someone scrawled a big number on the cover so a better one is needed for ISFDB. [--Username 12:09, 15 February 2021 (EST)

I have approved the submission and added a note. Thanks! Ahasuerus 12:23, 16 February 2021 (EST)

Then I noticed the publisher, PEC, and saw online it stood for Publishers Export Corporation (or Company depending on where you look). There was 1 book by that publisher on ISFDB, Swap Academy, [1], which you PV'd, which has no cover and a date of 1970. However, [2] has it as 1969 with a different catalog ID. I nearly didn't find that page because they misspelled "swap". Also, I found exactly 1 book on picclick, Historic Orgies (1968), which shows a copyright page for this publisher and it says "Publishers Export Co., Inc.", which would agree with the note on ISFDB that says P.E.C, Inc. So I know Swap Academy is very rare but date and publisher name might need fixing, and maybe Devil Sex and Swap Academy should be on the same publisher page. Also, I found an archived 2008 discussion on ISFDB about not safe for work images which includes the cover for Swap Academy, [3]. [--Username 12:09, 15 February 2021 (EST)

After checking my copy, I updated the ISFDB record with more details. The stated copyright date is 1970, but it's conceivable that the book was published in late 1969. I'll leave it as 1970 until we find more information. The stated catalog ID is G-1201; it's possible that a later printing appeared as G-1205, but we'll need more data before we can create a separate publication record for it.
I have standardized the publisher name ("Publisher's Export Company") of Swap Academy and Devil Sex and added a note and a Web page link to the publisher page. Thanks! Ahasuerus 13:01, 16 February 2021 (EST)

Found this, [4], and copyright page has same publisher name but different address than the one in Swap Academy. Guess they moved. If only someone could find a hint of genre content in this book so PANDA BEAR PASSION can be entered on ISFDB! --Username 13:00, 16 February 2021 (EST)

Found this, [5], which is related to the above. --Username 01:30, 27 February 2021 (EST)

I have merged the publisher records and updated the affected pubs' Notes to clarify what different secondary sources state. Thanks! Ahasuerus 20:13, 27 February 2021 (EST)

I've recently started using and have added a ton of covers here, including Devil Sex and Swap Academy. However, their site says the ID for Devil Sex is SP13, not PEC 13, --Username 00:33, 6 April 2021 (EDT)

Re: "Devil Sex", the cover that we currently link to has "sPECial 13" -- with "PEC" highlighted -- in the top right corner. I suspect that the person who created the record assumed that the first two letters were the catalog ID, but it's possible that there is another ID on the spine. I have updated the record. Ahasuerus 10:24, 6 April 2021 (EDT)

and their cover for Swap Academy is censored with black bars over the woman's breasts and butt. Is your copy censored and, if not, is there a way for you to upload your cover? --Username 00:33, 6 April 2021 (EDT)

Since the 2008 discussion about linking explicit images was inconclusive, I have updated the record with the scan that I uploaded to the Wiki back then. Thanks for the heads up! Ahasuerus 10:29, 6 April 2021 (EDT)

Leinster's The Last Space Ship


We have two publication records for the Fell edition of The Last Space Ship, one of which you've verified. That record has a note that there is no stated publication date. The other record notes a stated publication date of November 1949. Happily, I also found a scan that verifies the date appears on the copyright page. Could you double check that your copy doesn't have a stated date. If so, I think we should probably change that publication to an unknown date and move the many of the secondary verifications to the other copy. I'm happy to handle that, but you've done the Tuck verification, so I'll leave that one to you. I'm also checking with Bob as he has also verified the copy. Of course, if both your copies actually have the publication date, we just need to combine the two records. Thanks for checking. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 09:27, 28 February 2021 (EST)

Unfortunately, my copy of The Last Space Ship is in the part of my collection which was boxed in 2015 and I can't get to it :-( I really need to do something about that... Ahasuerus 10:26, 28 February 2021 (EST)
I see Bob found his copy. I've moved the appropriate verifications, except for Tuck. I've left that slot open on the first printing. Thanks. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 12:39, 28 February 2021 (EST)

Rip Van Winkle

There is something wrong associated with the yellow warning message for the cover on this import content submission. It says the publication tag should be GRLSGDTVMP2003. However, I added the image from the publication upload link. And if you go to publication and click the "Upload new cover scan", the resultant file is RPVNWNKLTX1894.jpg. So something is not consistent. Thanks. -- JLaTondre (talk) 17:50, 3 March 2021 (EST)

Possibly related: I've seen this with a few author photos I've uploaded, even though there isn't a link to upload an author photo on the author page itself, and even though (as far as I know) there's no way to even know what the internal tag is for an author. It's only started happening in the last several days for me. I wonder if some recent update tweaked something? ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 19:24, 3 March 2021 (EST)
It's a recently discovered issue with this type of yellow warnings -- see Bug 765, "Entering an author image URL can generate a spurious yellow warning". The way the submission display software is designed, there is no easy way for the code to distinguish between author images and publication images. I may need to remove this warning until the software is made smart enough to distinguish between the two types of images. Ahasuerus 21:58, 3 March 2021 (EST)
My issue was a publication image and not an author image. The import screen is using the wrong publication ID in its validation logic. -- JLaTondre (talk) 16:35, 4 March 2021 (EST)
Oh, I see. Sorry about the confusion! I'll take a closer look. Ahasuerus 17:17, 4 March 2021 (EST)
You may have already figured this out, but it occurred to me what is happening in this case. GRLSGDTVMP2003 (the publication id it is checking against) equates to this this pub which has a pub id of 91841. That number is the also title id of the short story being imported in this edit. So the verification check is incorrectly using the short story title id instead of the chapbook pub id. -- JLaTondre (talk) 09:05, 6 March 2021 (EST)
Thanks! The logic appears to be working correctly for NewPub submissions, but it fails for Clone/Import/Export submissions. The software checks the value of the 'Record' element in the XML payload, but, as luck would have it, 'Record' has a different meaning in Clone/Import/Export submissions. Working on it... Ahasuerus 10:32, 6 March 2021 (EST)
Fixed -- see the original example. Thanks for spotting the problem! Ahasuerus 10:54, 6 March 2021 (EST)

Magazines with no Fiction Titles

When marking a title as ignored on the Magazines with no Fiction Titles cleanup report, can it take you back to the subpage you were on instead of the "main" page? When ignoring multiple issues within a year, the current behavior is a pain. Thanks. -- JLaTondre (talk) 12:10, 26 March 2021 (EDT)

Yes, please! That is annoying. Annie 12:19, 26 March 2021 (EDT)
Done! Ahasuerus 14:22, 26 March 2021 (EDT)
Thank you! -- JLaTondre (talk) 08:24, 27 March 2021 (EDT)

Invalid Prices

Is it possible to put a yellow warning on invalid prices at submission? Something that would catch cases like this one. That way they would be more likely to get fixed at submission instead of waiting on the cleanup report. Thanks. -- JLaTondre (talk) 08:23, 27 March 2021 (EDT)

Good point -- FR 1406, "Add a yellow warning for invalid prices", has been created. Ahasuerus 18:26, 27 March 2021 (EDT)
Done -- see this Community Portal announcement. Ahasuerus 20:39, 26 May 2021 (EDT)

Series Names That May Need Disambiguation

When the series is a subseries of the reported match, I'm not sure we need it to show up on the "Series Names That May Need Disambiguation" report. Example: Crónica de Tinieblas and Crónica de Tinieblas (short fiction) were on the report (I ignored them). Since this is a pretty typical case, it could be skipped (though it is easy enough to ignore so low priority suggested change). -- JLaTondre (talk) 08:42, 27 March 2021 (EDT)

Another fair point. FR 1407 has been created. Ahasuerus 18:43, 27 March 2021 (EDT)
Done. Ahasuerus 22:03, 26 May 2021 (EDT)

Security Warnings

Please see this discussion. As browser security warnings have gotten more stringent, I have to suspect that is impacting new user signups. -- JLaTondre (talk) 08:45, 28 March 2021 (EDT)

Thanks for the heads-up! When Al last surfaced a few months ago, he said that he was planning to concentrate on the HTTPS upgrade and the Wiki upgrade. Unfortunately, he hasn't been seen since then. I'll see if I can ping him. Ahasuerus 09:27, 28 March 2021 (EDT)
I have received an update from Al. He has been investigating, but it's more complicated than it looks. Ahasuerus 12:52, 5 April 2021 (EDT)

Advanced Search Request

Greetings, Is it possible to add more lines in the selection criteria screen? There have been times I have needed to merge more than six titles. Since I am not a moderator, I have to wait for approval of each merge before I can submit the next one. Most elegant solution would be for the user to be able to continuously add search lines as needed. Thanks for your consideration. John, Scifibones 10:50, 27 April 2021 (EDT)

Thanks for reporting the problem! Originally, Advanced Search pages were limited to three rows and supported a small number of searchable fields. When I last redesigned Advanced Search, I thought that six rows whould be sufficient in the vast majority of cases, but it looks like it's not always true.
As you said, the most elegant way to address the issue would be to allow adding an unlimited number of search lines. Unfortunately, it wouldn't be viable because:
  • each search value is added to the resulting URL, and
  • URLs with more than 2,000 characters can't be correctly processed by some older browsers and even by some servers.
Bumping the number of rows to 10 is probably the easiest and least impactful compromise solution, at least until older browsers with their 2K limitations are a distant memory. Let me ask on the Community Portal.
Oh, and are you familiar with "Show All Titles" in the navigation bar displayed on Summary pages? It lets you merge a bunch of titles for a single author, which may help depending on your use case. Ahasuerus 21:24, 27 April 2021 (EDT)
Advanced Search is really the best tool for the purpose I have in mind. Many times we have myriad title records for the same map or drawing, when it occurs in multiple volumes in a series. I try to clean this up as I encounter them. I'll post a comment on the Community Portal. Thank you John, Scifibones 07:18, 28 April 2021 (EDT)
Done -- please see my last Community Portal response. Ahasuerus 15:18, 3 May 2021 (EDT)

WatchDate report not working?

This pub has the { { WatchDate } } template in its Notes. However, it doesn't show up in the report.

Querying Saturday's copy of the database:

   select * from notes where note_note like '%{ {WatchDate} }%'; -- (remove the spaces between the curly parens)

finds 7 matches, but only 4 records are shown in the report. I note that of the 7 matches, 4 are "watchDate", 1 is "watchdate" and 2 (mine) are "WatchDate", which makes me wonder if it's maybe a case-sensitivity thing? I've not looked at the code, but the ticket implies that "WatchDate" is the "official" form:

   Create a 'WatchDate' template and a corresponding cleanup report.

Or is the report maybe showing old data? ErsatzCulture 12:42, 28 April 2021 (EDT)

EDIT: That the template as I've used it in the linked pub gets replaced by the text message, would indicate that I've used it correctly, so maybe it's just the report not picking things up properly, or being updated? ErsatzCulture 12:59, 28 April 2021 (EDT)

Thanks, I'll take a look... Ahasuerus 14:03, 28 April 2021 (EDT)
It turns out that it was a typo in the display code. Thanks for spotting the issue!
P.S. Notes templates are case-insensitive, so we should be good on that front. Ahasuerus 14:42, 28 April 2021 (EDT)

Contento Link

It appears that the link to Contento1 has changed. The link we do have in the secondary verifications list,, now returns a 404. The new link is I assume it's either a software or properties change. I've gone ahead and changed it here. Thanks. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 21:17, 3 May 2021 (EDT)

I'll take a look, thanks! Ahasuerus 21:41, 3 May 2021 (EDT)
Fixed! Ahasuerus 13:32, 6 May 2021 (EDT)
Thanks! I meant to comment on the Community Portal discussion, but I was kind of ambivalent as to which way we went. This certainly does have the virtue of being easier to update when the external urls change. Anyway, it looks good. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 18:05, 6 May 2021 (EDT)

Cleanup report count mismatch

I just noticed that on the cleanup report page, we have "Publications with Invalid Prices (4)", but if you click through to the report, only 3 rows are shown.

Maybe this is just a caching issue where one of the errors has been fixed, but thought I should let you know in case it's something else? ErsatzCulture 13:12, 22 May 2021 (EDT)

Yes, it's a timing issue. As the "Legend" section at the top of the Cleanup Reports list says:
  • The numbers in parentheses show how many problem records were found when each report was last regenerated; the current numbers may be lower.
That being said, sometimes the report generation logic and the report display logic get out of sync when I tweak the code, as was the case when you reported the previous issue.
Ideally, each cleanup report would use the same code base when generating/displaying reports, but that would require a major rewrite. In addition, it may not be feasible in certain cases due to performance issues. While it's not a big deal if a report takes 15 seconds to compile (as long as it doesn't affect other users), the display side is more demanding. Ahasuerus 13:30, 22 May 2021 (EDT)
Ah, apologies for failing to notice that text, and consequently wasting your time :-( ErsatzCulture 13:41, 22 May 2021 (EDT)
No worries! :) Ahasuerus 13:43, 22 May 2021 (EDT)

Serial vs. Shortfiction

Ran across this record which caused me to do this search. Seems like the need for a cleanup report that find titles with " (Part" but are not SERIAL type. There may be some valid cases, but many of those look like they should be serials. -- JLaTondre (talk) 14:04, 22 May 2021 (EDT)

Oh boy! I didn't realize how many problematic records we had. FR 1417 has been created. Thanks! Ahasuerus 18:06, 22 May 2021 (EDT)
Done -- see the Community Portal announcement. Ahasuerus 12:46, 26 May 2021 (EDT)


Cover artist for this confirmed as Les Edwards via email from the artist. --Mavmaramis 14:38, 10 June 2021 (EDT)

Approved and tweaked, thanks! Ahasuerus 15:29, 10 June 2021 (EDT)

A serious problem with submitting

Hi, Ahasuerus! Is there some general problem going on or is it just my special status? I tried to submit an update for a publication (this one) and got the message / answer 'Moderator privileges are required for this option'. Christian Stonecreek 12:58, 15 June 2021 (EDT)

Not that I know of. Let me take a look... Ahasuerus 13:07, 15 June 2021 (EDT)
After setting up a self-approver user on the development server and creating a new submission, I received the same error message. It looks like one of the recent software updates may have had an unintended side-effect. Investigating... Ahasuerus 13:15, 15 June 2021 (EDT)
Yup, it was an unintended side effect of the patch which I installed earlier today. Sorry about that! Fixing it now... Ahasuerus 13:24, 15 June 2021 (EDT)
The fix has been installed. Could you please try it again and let me know if it's back to normal? Ahasuerus 13:28, 15 June 2021 (EDT)
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