User talk:Ahasuerus/Archive/2007


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Image Store/Contact

I made a change to an H.L. Gold Anthology and had an image of the additional pub cover. What I guess I need to know is where can I store it (is there an area in ISFDB to upload them)? I've recently gotten into the habit of scanning my covers; so, you can expect a LOT of images (if there's somewhere to put them).

Also, it has taken me quite a while to find out how to even ask a question (and I'm not certain even this is the correct place); so, how's about an easy "CONTACT US" (maybe only after login?) to click on at some point?

Anyway, glad to be able to start editing... I'll watch here for responses...


Answered at User talk:Dsorgen :) Ahasuerus 20:28, 1 Jan 2007 (CST)

Login Problems

I cannot log into the main part of the ISFDB ( with the username and password I use for the wiki. I get an error message saying "Login failed: Bad user name". Jefe 18:31, 3 Jan 2007 (CST)

Anthology contents

How do avoid situations like this, where the same publication is listed twice. It happens when publications are merged.

When entering the contents for a collection, the first entry is for the collection itself. Is it necessary for this to be completed? As it seems to create a duplicate collection in the list of collections, which then needs to be merged and results in the problem above.

--Unapersson 05:03, 4 Jan 2007 (CST)

Family Portrait / Picture of Evil

This has happened a few times with Graham Masterton's books. There is a one-off US publication with a non-canonical title.

So I've made the non-canonical one a variant of the usual title. These are the titles the books are known as.

Fortunately most have been after the original publication so in that case it is easier, but in this case the title may have been used before the one with the proper title. I do have a date of 1985 (rather than 1986) in my bibliography for the Arrow UK publication so will have to see if I've got an original copy somewhere to confirm the actual year.

--Unapersson 13:25, 4 Jan 2007 (CST)

Novels to collections transmographication

Hello Ahasuerus, thank you for your nice comments on my discussion page (I'm pretty new to editing Wiki -- though I've certainly sponged off its information for quite some time). I have been waiting for the user-modifications to be made available again for years, and I laughed when the first thing I did was enter the collection information for Karl Edward Wagner's NIGHT WINDS. This was the very book which -- because its info wasn't available on isfdb or Locus -- I went out and bought the book myself... only to find out that the database was closed to outside editing once I landed my treasured copy. DOH! :-)

Anyway, my question: If I am understanding your comment correctly, for me to change a novel into a collection, I need to leave the first entry (the novel entry) in there, add all the short fiction entries after it, and then once the book is officially changed to a collection by my edits being approved, *then* I should go in and request the first NOVEL entry be deleted? If that is true, I completely apologize, for I did exactly the opposite on several occasions over the last few days. (I was wondering why NUMBERS DON'T LIE and DEATH ANGEL'S SHADOW were taking so long to be approved!)


--Andrew J. Breitenbach (Breity 00:28, 5 Jan 2007 (CST))

Short fiction in series?

Ack, forgot to ask this:

I am currently editing Karl Edward Wagner's Kane series. Two of its component books are collections, and thus their component stories are Kane stories. Should those stories also be marked as being in the Kane series (the mark of Kane!), or should the series designation really be applied to books instead? (There are also other Kane short stories written after the last Kane novel, not collected in either of those two collections -- should those be designated as being in the series?)


Breity 00:41, 5 Jan 2007 (CST)


Ahasuerus, I put an submisstion on hold and started to write up some comments but need to run. As there is no "unhold" could you finish the cycle or I can pick it up some time late tomorrow? Thanks. Here's my comments so far. Marc Kupper 03:53, 8 Jan 2007 (CST)

Dcarson, I saw your update for Edison's Conquest of Mars but have put it on hold while we best think about what can be salvaged. Please keep in mind that a goal of ISFDB is to be able to construct/display bibliographies and other reports from the information in publication records.

The issues I saw were

  • The foreward and afterward should be listed as “Foreward (Edison's Conquest of Mars)” and “Afterward (Edison's Conquest of Mars)” someone looking at the bibliography for Robert Godwin will know what these were for.
  • Listing artwork as “untitled” by “uncredited” may be useful in the context of the publication itself but does not add bibliography for anyone other than “uncredited.”
  • Template:TitleFields:Title says “Interior art should have the same title as the fiction or essay it is associated with.” You seemed to have titled much of the artwork using the captions or the word “uncredited.”
  • Please read the INTERIORART section of Template:TitleFields:EntryType. I suspect the best way do to what you wanted to do is that to put a list of the illustrations in the publication’s note’s field.
Ahasuerus, I went ahead with approving and updating this - User_talk:Dcarson has the notes. Marc Kupper 19:03, 8 Jan 2007 (CST)

Fair Game

Yup, that's a typo on my part. I'll correct it if you already haven't. Thanks for the wishes! As one of the old New Yorker writers used to apparently say to all everyday greetings, "Another day nearer the grave...." Hehe.... Hayford Peirce 12:56, 8 Jan 2007 (CST)

Kolymsky Heights

Yup, yer right -- I had meant to say Russian but forgot. I'll fix it. Hayford Peirce 15:09, 8 Jan 2007 (CST)

Manning Coles and Francis Gaites

I was just going to write a note and paste it somewhere about this. "Manning Coles" is a bag of worms. Two people, Manning and Coles, wrote about 20 novels together about Tommy Hambledon. One of them died and another one or two were jointly written by the survivor and someone else. That's one can of worms. Another is the 5 ghost novels written by them. I've got the info somewhere, but my off-hand understanding is that *all* of them were published in England as by "Francis Gaites", that *some* of them were published in the States as by "Francis Gaites" but that at some point *all* of them were reissued in the States as by "Manning Coles." And maybe some of them in England, too. Somewhere I have the precise info but I dunno if I'm advanced enough to get it into ISFDB correctly. Can I give it all to you, hint, hint? Since the spy stuff outnumbers the ghost stuff by maybe 25 to 5 (which includes one "juvenile") I don't think we have to list all the Tommy Hambledon books.... Hayford Peirce 16:13, 8 Jan 2007 (CST)

Earlier this week read one of my daughter's Nancy Drew books and got curious about the authors. It turns out that several people could have significant input into a Carolyn Keene story and it's not a matter of saying a particular person, Mildred A. Wirt for example, wrote a particular story. See “Who Wrote Nancy Drew?” It's an area where ISBN is weak as there is no support for collaborators and other contributor roles much less multiple contributors working togther under a single pseudonym.
I suspect the best you could do for now is to put a detailed note in Manning Coles’s bibliography explaining who the collaborators were for each of the stories. Francis Gaites seems simpler to deal with as a pseudonym of Manning Cole. Marc Kupper 18:02, 8 Jan 2007 (CST)
I just checked out all the wonderful stuff you did at Manning Coles -- I don't want to even *ask* how you did it! As I said earlier, this is a real can of worms. As to where the "GaiteS" came from -- is it possible that it was my own mistaken referral to them by that spelling? If not, then I assume that it was probably just a publisher's misprint. As I think I've mentioned somewhere, my own last name was misspelled on the cover of Galaxy once. I'll stick in the Latimers info on the various books now that you've got things sorted out. (Latimers are the lead characters in 3 of the books.)
Evidently you've now found a source that lists "The Far Traveller" as also being published by Francis Gaite. Hubin's "Crime Fiction, 1749-1980: A Comprehensive Bibliography" shows it as being published by Hodder in 1957 with the Gaite byline. And "Twentieth Century Crime and Mystery Writers" does the same. Hayford Peirce 12:13, 22 Feb 2007 (CST)

Messiah at the End of Time

Marc, I was massaging Moorcock's Messiah at the End of Time and changed the title of the 1978 DAW edition to include the subtitle -- see is . This information comes from OCLC, so it's possible that it's incorrect and I wanted to let you know because it's a DAW edition. Thanks, Ahasuerus 13:47, 1 Feb 2007 (CST)

Thank you for the heads up Ahasuerus. Mike C. has a copy and used the title "A Messiah at the End of Time or The Transformation of Miss Mavis Ming" though I like how OCLC formats it in terms of "canonical title" as "A Messiah at the End of Time, Or, The Transformation of Miss Mavis Ming." See these DAW publications to see how they format the titles:
Here's the rub - the cover image for DAW's Messiah at the End of Time only shows Messiah at the End of Time and so I'm assuming the full A Messiah at the End of Time or The Transformation of Miss Mavis Ming that Mike noted is stated on the title page. (I've added a link to Mike's talk about this) --Marc Kupper 14:10, 1 Feb 2007 (CST)
Marc's right; the title page says (with slashes to show carriage returns, and showing the actual capitalization used): "A MESSIAH/AT THE END OF TIME/or/The Transformation of/Miss Mavis Ming". I agree that the OCLC format is nice. I was thinking that perhaps the subtitle entry rules could be clarified in a couple of areas -- define that a colon plus space is used when typography implies a subtitle; define that commas surround an "or" in a case like this (this would be the same type of "regularization" that is being discussed on the community portal right now); and define that a subtitle capitalizes the first word of the subtitle even if it is on the list of words that don't get capitalized. In this case "The" gets capitalized after "or". However, I'll wait to make that update till the community portal discussion reaches consensus. Mike Christie (talk) 22:55, 1 Feb 2007 (CST)

Lovecraft's Revisions

All the stories in Horror at the Burying Ground and The Horror in the Museum were either revised or completely rewritten by Lovecraft. What is the best way to represent that? Few actually credit Lovecraft directly when they appear, i.e. in the contents lists.

--Unapersson 15:41, 1 Feb 2007 (CST)

Rictus Two clarification

Hello! I put a response on my own talk section, but to clarify on my submission for RICTUS TWO: if "Rictus" is today an online-only pub, it wasn't back in July 1994 when the saddle-stitched hard print issue #2 came out. I've got it here at my house and used it to make the submission (much as I did with the other submissions I made recently). Also, I inadvertently hit the "send" button early on the FIRST submission, and then when it didn't get picked up like the other submissions, I re-did it in a full, longer version and sent it again. So, ONE of the submissions should be a complete one. Hope that helps! Bill 07:03, 2 Feb 2007 (CST)

Count Brass

I created the other one to replace this entry for deletion, I can no other way to demerge a publication from a title.

--Unapersson 11:34, 2 Feb 2007 (CST)

One Million Tomorrows

I saw that you had the make-variant for 1 Million Tomorrows from BLongley on hold but there was no talk on his page about it. As I have the book I went ahead with dealing with this record by rejecting BLongley's entry and retitling the Pan Books publication from One Million Tomorrows to 1 Million Tomorrows, unmerging (it's very nice that unmerge-1-title is now available), and making the newly separated title the variant. Marc Kupper (talk) 20:05, 4 Feb 2007 (CST)

Ah, I see! I was about to leave a question on Blongley's page about this submission, but it looks like everything is already taken care of. Thanks! :-) Ahasuerus 20:10, 4 Feb 2007 (CST)
Yep - I was annoyed as I could see someone entering dozens of Bob Shaw books but I was in the middle of a rather delicate rearranging of a short story made into a variant, expanded into a novel, and made into another variant of the same name as the vt shortstory. Bob Shaw’s one of the few authors where I can say I have read nearly all of his work and so figured I should be looking at the submissions but did not want to get distracted while holding a surgical knife. :-) Marc Kupper (talk) 20:21, 4 Feb 2007 (CST)

Cosmic Kaleidoscope

I figured I'd verify the Bob Shaw books and am wondering if you have both editions of Cosmic Kaleidoscope? I have the Dell edition and the diff-pub thing tells me that a difference between the original Gollancz and this one is that the ss The Brink was dropped and the ss Deflation 2001 and Element of Chance were added. I'm wondering if there a vt at work or perhaps Bosh recycled a story a little.

  • Element of Chance - Galaxy Science Fiction, October 1969
  • The Brink - Fantastic, August 1972
  • Deflation 2001 - Amazing Stories, September 1972

spoiler alert

At the time I read Deflation 2001 I wrote a note about that I suspected it could be titled The Brink. Here's the capsule summary: Inflation has gotten completely out of hand plus unions are constantly going on strike to treble their wages. The pilot of an airplane goes on strike in mid-flight, jumps out of the plane, and then discovers the parachute riggers union is on strike.
My summary of Element of Chance has: Cytheron comes of age when he figures out to make himself transparent to light and other forms of energy/matter. At that moment the “old ones” appear and invite him to join/meld with their ways. Cytheron flees/skords into the middle of a black hole, and realizes he is trapped. The old ones show up and show how antimatter gets created to explode the black hole with a supernova which goes off a few light years from Earth but before life gets started here. Cytheron feels a little responsible though for the damage done to Earth and resolves to look after it.

you can open your eyes now Marc Kupper (talk) 00:06, 5 Feb 2007 (CST)

I'm painfully aware that we will never run out of bibliographic permutations. Three separate stories sounds fine for now and if needed we'll compare notes once you have physical access to the books. It looks like my Bob Shaw collection pretty much overlaps yours (29 books, some duplicates, missing the same stories and fan-fiction you are missing plus missing a couple more). Marc Kupper (talk) 02:15, 5 Feb 2007 (CST)

Clone/edit Bug

I think I've identified the clone/edit bug we discussed on my talk page a while back (re: MIRRORSHADES). If you are logged out, and try to perform some edit function, you will be redirected to the login screen. After logging in, there is a link "continue on to X" (where X is the page you were trying to get to). If, however, you clicked "clone this pub", after logging in X is the edit screen, rather than clone.Jefe 14:10, 13 Feb 2007 (CST)

The Chronicles of Pern: First Fall

I have checked the titles you had questions on in The Chronicles of Pern: First Fall. Except that the "c" at the end of the first title should be superscript (I couldn't figure out how to do that), both titles I submitted match the contents page and the individual title pages. The copyright page does not list the individual stories and, except for "Rescue Run", does not list any previous publication of the individual stories. Probably variant titles from the different publishers. rbh 08:33, 17 Feb 2007 (CST)

Amber/ Chalker

Ahasuerus-Yes this was my original intent, but ended up with two series titles because of a bug. The book has diff. titles, cover is diff. from title page in book, plus series titles are two diff. ways. The overall title "Amber" is probably not necessary just the "Dawn of Amber" would be fine. Thanks for the help on the Chalker titles it was quite a mess. I'am inputing my set of books which are mostly 1st but, Del was not consistent with pub. info. between ca.1980-ca.1988. there seems to be diff. between CDN & US printings. Hence my notes on printings & prices, for future ref. I'am working on a survey of Chalker's Del books to find all variation & if there is a pattern to the printings.Kraang 21:02, 17 Feb 2007 (CST)

Chalkers beef was that they let popular books go out of print,my comments on printings were more general.Between ca.1980-1990's, Del,Ace& Tor priced books for CDN higher, because of the 10-20% exchange rate. The Del are easy to spot because of the printing info. on the copyright page, but i have & have seen examples of identical books ie.(Printed in Canada) with two diff. prices but no indication of printing(see Niven's Intregal Tree $4.50 & $4.75). When dual pricing became standard this problem seems to disappear.I see "Lilith" is still in pending.Kraang 17:06, 18 Feb 2007 (CST)


Ahasuerus,the title info looks fine. I thought i was only adding a new publication, but maybe i might have accidentally changed the 1986 entry?Kraang 19:22, 18 Feb 2007 (CST)

Incorrect names published in magazines

Just finished adding Super-Science Fiction Feb, 1959. Beware the Robot! is listed as by Daniel L. Galouye on both TOC and as byline on story. Obviously should be Daniel F. Galouye. Best way to deal with this? Also, what about multiple pieces of interior art for a single story. It would seem redundant to list page number of every piece of art. Should I just list first page of story on which piece of art appears? Swfritter 19:00, 19 Feb 2007 (CST)

Newbie guide to publishing insantiy

Nice job on the newbie guide to printings! :) Ahasuerus 23:37, 19 Feb 2007 (CST)

Thank you Ahasuerus - It looking at it I keep thinking of things to add but doing so would turn it into a thick speculative fiction novel (fantasy+horror genre) of its own. The main idea would is to list each publisher's practices. From time to time I daydream of ways to get machine readable scans of the publication information (mostly the covers/spine/title page/copyright page) into a database. Marc Kupper (talk) 00:45, 20 Feb 2007 (CST)

RE:Forty Days and...

Ahauerus- My original intent was to have the 1978 version as the canonical name but it appears i got it reversed. Will go back and reread the info & see were i when wrong.Kraang 21:04, 24 Feb 2007 (CST)

I can't find the bug number but I'm sure I've seen it mentioned that there's an issue where the wrong title can be highlighted on the make variant approval screen. When approved and you look at the resultant title it comes through correctly. --Unapersson 17:43, 25 Feb 2007 (CST)
I brought up "Forty Days &..." ,clicked on Make Varient & put parent #50063 into box for "In the Wilderness". This is how i interpreted the instructions.Kraang 19:21, 25 Feb 2007 (CST)

The Three Who Died too Soon

Ahasuerus- Tried the same thing with this title. Found the 1982 magazine with this essay but it uses "Die" instead of "Died". The copyright page on my book lists it as "Died". Would the 1982 version be a typo?Kraang 22:12, 27 Feb 2007 (CST)

Now i know why a lot of the collections are blank:)Kraang 22:48, 27 Feb 2007 (CST)

Strange Seas and Shores

Ahasuerus - Did you ever have a chance to check your copy of this to see who wrote the intro?Jefe 15:23, 2 Mar 2007 (CST)

Ring Around the Sun

Good catch! I guess I must have forgotten I was editing rather than cloning that particular pub. :-/ If we had a "Moderator of the Week" award, you'd be nominated for it now. ;-) BLongley 16:36, 2 Mar 2007 (CST)

Niven's Scatterbrains Coll.

Ahasuerus- Larry takes short excerpts from novels like "Destiny's Road". Should i label these as short stories,ie:Destiny's Road(Excerpt)? Also should i copy contents pages verbatum. Example short story "Smut Talk" is "SMUT TALK A Draco Tavern Story", although he calls it by the shorter version in his story header notes?Kraang 23:22, 2 Mar 2007 (CST)

Russian issues


I saw you've done some massage to Ivan_Yefremov. However, now several of his stories remain duplicated in I._Efremov; I think they should be merged to move them from there to the main author page as variant-nymous, shouldn't they?

Done! Ahasuerus 01:15, 8 Mar 2007 (CST)

Also, Zvezdnye Korabli (btw, should all worlds in original titles be capitalized? it seems to me that Russian does not do this, at least not always; cf. wikipedia:ru:Звёздные корабли)

IIRC the official Russian biblio standard (see various implementations of GOST 7.1-84, 7.80-00, etc) says that you shouldn't capitalize words that you wouldn't normally capitalize, but it's not always followed -- see, e.g., this randomly selected biblio page. Ahasuerus 01:15, 8 Mar 2007 (CST)

is hardly a novel with 79 pp, and should be joined to its (shortfiction) trans Stellar Ships.

Done! Ahasuerus 01:15, 8 Mar 2007 (CST)

Moon Mountain will be yet another translation of "Golets Podlunnyj"

Added. Ahasuerus 01:15, 8 Mar 2007 (CST)

(um, should we use J in transliteration?).

That's a huge can of worms! There are more transliteration standards than there are trees in Siberia and some of them (e.g. the one used by the Library of Congress) are really ugly :( Ahasuerus 01:15, 8 Mar 2007 (CST)

What about making Stories a variant of Rasskazy? True, there's a difference of one story, but worse things often happened between editions to English-language collections which had the same title, and to me this seems to make more sense from the point of view of a common ISFDB user.

Isn't it more than one story, though? Ahasuerus 01:15, 8 Mar 2007 (CST)

And finally, how come there's no mention of Tumannost' Andromedy? :-)

Our coverage of old collections is somewhat better than our coverage of old novels, mostly thanks to Contento :)

I could start on this but don't want to clash with your potential further intentions; and anyway, you're in a better position to check the original publications. (Although who knows what could be found in the cellars of Prague's National Library, soon to gain a new, nicely sciencefictional building.)

The building is most impressive! :) I can try to check my collection when I have access to it circa March 30, but it will be a very brief reunion. With any luck, I will get to spend more time with it in early May, though. Ahasuerus 01:15, 8 Mar 2007 (CST)

Another thing: whenever I search for a number in the title, say, 99, I get two titles entered (experimentally?) in Cyrillic. Each has two copies, one credited to Edmond Hamilton and Sergei_Sukhinov, one only to Sukhinov; the publication entries say "novel by Sergei Sukhinov [as by Edmond Hamilton and Sergei Sukhinov]". Now, is this a feature, or bug? And is this an ordinary non-literal translation of an unlinked novel by Hamilton (cf the mess at Starwolf Series), or some weird plagiarism (a la "Harrison" and Ant Watsisname's Yet Further Planets of Death [translated even into Czech])? If so, an explanatory Note would probably be in place...

All the best, --JVjr 10:20, 5 Mar 2007 (CST)

We still need to decide how to handle Unicode characters in Publication, Title and (eek!) Author records. The last discussion was inconclusive and the subject clearly needs to be revisited. It's on my To Do list, but who knows when I may find time to do it justice. Feel free to chime in :) Ahasuerus 01:15, 8 Mar 2007 (CST)

Re: Quintet (1959)

Hi, I do not have a copy of this issue myself, but I referred to the copies in the stacks of the library of the University of Buffalo. (Actually, those were my copies once upon a time - I donated them to the University in 1967.) So, yes, I have verified that the three items I changed are stories, not poems. (There were two poems in the "quintet.")

Also, thank you for clearing up the duplicated publication of The Man Who Lost The Sea.

Imagination editorship - first two issues

According to Transformations, Mike Ashley's recent history of 50's & 60's SF mags, it was actually Bea Mahaffey who did the bulk of the editorial work for the first two issues, with Hamling not coming on board until the third issue. Do not know his source. The second half of the editorial is signed with the initials "Rap". Perhaps it's best to leave editorial credit one way or the other and make an entry in the Notes field with the information that the editorship is in question. Might help to avoid a future wiki-change battle. Since Palmer has his initials on the editorial I think he should be credited as one of the authors of the editorial irrespective of whether he actually did the editing.

Another issue. Letters to the Editor. The three in this issue are well-known names but is there any reason not to put in any and all letters to the editor I might find?

--Swfritter 16:51, 6 Mar 2007 (CST)

Thunderhead and The Last Command dates

Source is the copyright page of the book I have. The book, Knight of Delusions, was copyrighted 1982 but indicates the novel version was published in 1972. This edition was printed in Nov 82. Looking at the individual copyrights under Acknowledgements. they list 1972 for Knight of Delusions, 1963 for Thunderhead, and 1971 for The Last Command. Since one of the dates in the listing I edited was before the copyright, I felt the dates in the book were a more reliable source. rbh 19:43, 10 Mar 2007 (CST)

The Paths of the Perambulator

It does have "The" on both the cover and title page. It has a "First Printing: February, 1986" but this is the 2nd printing. rbh 22:05, 10 Mar 2007 (CST)

Cosmic Stories

Will fix title, dates. Wollheim is actually credited as the editor and and also the author of the story (which I also thought was odd) and signed the editorial. --Swfritter 17:00, 16 Mar 2007 (CDT)

Three Hearts and Three Lions

Title was cloned today and before I could enter all data I hit the virtual "submit before you are finished button". I'm still trying to find out where that button is on my keyboard. Cover data is accurate based upon dustcover entry. --Swfritter 21:28, 17 Mar 2007 (CDT)

Limekiller! by Avram Davidson

I made a few edits in the book info, and added contents for Limekiller!. The changes in the book info showed up but the contents didn't. I just can't figure out why. Can you help? Mhhutchins 21:42, 17 Mar 2007 (CDT)

Re: Wonder Stories 1951

Had a good look and there is no credited editor, its just signed "The Editor" nor is the cover artist credited.Kraang 22:12, 17 Mar 2007 (CDT)

Re: Space Platform

A lot of the early Pocket Books seem to have a printing date and a publishing date. The printing date on all the ones i have are allways before the publishing date. In this case printing is Jan, 1953 & publishing is Mar, 1953. I've seen this on other early pb. , i think one was an Avon. Thanks for the info on adding translated books i will follow your advice on future books.:)Kraang 16:30, 18 Mar 2007 (CDT)

Avram Davidson's Doctor Eszterhazy series

I updated the title data to indicate all of the stories in this series. The info is on each title page, a new series page was created, but there are no changes on Davidson's summary page. Stories are still scattered in the Short Fiction listing, and not grouped (a la the Jack Limekiller series, the Pergrine series, etc.) Have I failed to do something to make this happen? Mhhutchins 17:08, 18 Mar 2007 (CDT)

Brin1 footsteps

I think we just stepped on each other reviewing/approving Brin1 entries as I hit a couple of "Not in New state" and a few things I had on hold vanished. (I was holding some author updates to figure out why the image URL was changing). Marc Kupper (talk) 12:42, 4 Apr 2007 (CDT)

Yes, looks like there have been a few collisions within the last hour. Sorry about that, didn't see the HOLD tags :(
I believe I approved Brin1's submissions of author data/photos for Brian W. Aldiss, Maggie Furey and Edmund Crispin, then stopped, scratched my head and went back to fix Furey's data. Now that I am thinking about it, are we sure that author pics are covered by the same rules as cover scans? The latter are works of art while I think that the former are typically not unless there are special circumstances present. Ahasuerus 13:09, 4 Apr 2007 (CDT)
Usually author photo copyrights are owned by the photographer and so I treat them the same as book covers. Marc Kupper (talk) 13:37, 4 Apr 2007 (CDT)
I was looking up some stuff related to Amazon images and found [1] which is an interesting approach to snagging photos off other sites in that they blurred the images but you can still get a sense of what's pictured and you then click to see the original on the originating site. Be forewarned that the subject is human rights violations meaning some images are graphic. Marc Kupper (talk) 14:52, 4 Apr 2007 (CDT)
I thought the entire site was human rights - they snag many related categories that have less (depending on your POV) graphic images and so we have Bush (Prez of USA), US foreign policy, etc. and a home page plus faq. Marc Kupper (talk) 15:00, 4 Apr 2007 (CDT)
Very interesting! I think Al has been using author photos for a number of years, so we should probably ask him what his experience has been. As far as image blurring goes, it looks like a promising alternative if we have to nix the current image links. Ahasuerus 22:31, 4 Apr 2007 (CDT)

Vance's mysteries

Yeah, I know, this input interface really baffles me sometimes about where info should be put. In many cases it just doesn't seem intuitive to me, but what do *I* know about it, hehe? Sorry, however, for any confusion (and trouble) that I may be causing you. I think that the only solution would be a science-fiction one: a time machine to take us back 10 or 11 years, so that the input page could be *greatly* expanded, so that *all* the pertinent info could be entered in one swell foop.... Best, Hayford Peirce 23:01, 4 Apr 2007 (CDT)

Okay, I think I've now finally understood (or, more likely, remembered after a month or so of not editing) the vital distinction between TITLES and PUBLICATIONS -- and that the plot synopsis, author info, etc., goes into the Title editing and NOT the Publications. I'll try to remember in the future. Thanks for being patient! Hayford Peirce 12:34, 5 Apr 2007 (CDT)

Canadian Prices

I did not edit the price field, both US and Canadian prices were both there already. I will remove that in the future when I see it. rbh 06:25, 6 Apr 2007 (CDT)

Silverberg pseudonyms

Burke attribution as Silverberg is from the quasi-official Silverberg site as are all others for the magazine entries. Since about half the stories in Science Fiction Adventures are by Silverberg it seemed like a good time to do them. Emsh is art. Now it's time for a dupe and double check pass. Also need to apply psuedonym status for calvin m. knox book reviews. --Swfritter 17:03, 6 Apr 2007 (CDT)

Dorothy E. Skinkle

Cover does not have the "E" but the title page(and the copyright page)does. rbh 15:06, 7 Apr 2007 (CDT)

Novelets of Science Fiction

In case you're not watching my talk page, I have a question or three about some problems I'm having with this pub for you there. Thanks. CoachPaul 01:32, 8 Apr 2007 (CDT)

Hearts and Soldiers

Hi, my intention was to link all the "Hearts & Soldiers' (1964) - Starswarm titles to the parent "Soldiers Running"(1960) - New Worlds - 1960,the rejection of my edit has left "Hearts and Soldiers" with a 1960 & 1964 date. "How to be a Soldier" appears in The Airs of Earth (1963). Looking back I still don't see what was wrong, except maybe the order that I did things in. :-)Kraang 19:53, 11 Apr 2007 (CDT)

There are two Signet #D2411 entries of Starswarm, one with W's and without. the entry with W's is an error, i have a copy. Cover and copyright page both listed "Brian Aldiss". This i beleive is were the confusion is coming from. Aldiss is a pain! Regarding Mirror, Mirror there are two Mckay hc entries,one Mirror, Mirror and the other The Mirror. I looked at one and assumed they were both the same. Somewhat more confusing is that both titles appear in The Spear of Mars?:-)Kraang 21:43, 11 Apr 2007 (CDT)
Anyone looking at Starswarm would assume all the stories by "Brian Aldiss" so delete the erroneous edition. The Mirror/ Mirror, Mirror looks right now. Thankfully not all edits are this complicated.:-)Kraang 23:03, 11 Apr 2007 (CDT)


I based the novel designation on the EditPub help screen. The story takes up a full 150 pages of the magazine and is at least 50k words long. The SHORTFICTION and NOVEL sections probably need an update to reflect the current policy. Toffee was published under a different title in Fantastic Adventures. I tried to use a record number rather than entering the title. I'm going to a test to make sure I've got the process right using titles rather than record numbers then I will do the change. --Swfritter 16:04, 12 Apr 2007 (CDT)

Black Magic Holiday

It's a variant title for "the devil with you". I must have been hitting the wrong submit button. Finally realized that the reason some data was being submitted to soon was that I was hitting the enter key when I was trying to hit the shift button. Found a freeware keyboard macro key that allows me to disable the enter button. Thanks.--Swfritter 19:23, 12 Apr 2007 (CDT)

Mr. Margate's Mermaid

Accidentally defined artwork as variant title for story rather than Bloch's story. Artwork should just be the artist. Thanks for info on merging Howard/de Camp story. Did not merge story credited only to Howard, just the variant Howard/de Camp credited story.--Swfritter 13:24, 13 Apr 2007 (CDT)

Zap it. Thanks. Concise listing will come in handy when I'm only interested in stories from magazines.--Swfritter 15:40, 13 Apr 2007 (CDT)

Imaginative Tales

Oops, did not notice the Imaginative Tales entry because it was under a headline I had already read. More discussion on cartoons on Standards page.--Swfritter 12:39, 14 Apr 2007 (CDT)

Lord Demon

Yes, silly as it seems there is an excerpt from the novel. Go figure? Sorry about the software. Next time i run into the same situation i will do thing in a more structured order.Kraang 22:01, 14 Apr 2007 (CDT)

Re:Starborne/Berserker/Sex and...

Ahasuerus, i generally don't like to second guess a mods. rejection but is it possible to have a look at the three rejected edits. The sticking point seems to be my changing the title date in contents page In Starborne for example from 1996-00-00 to 1996-06-00. I've done this in the past were i thought it safe. Thanks :-)Kraang 00:39, 15 Apr 2007 (CDT)

Section moved

Hi -- just to let you know that I moved Grendelkhan's merge question from the Community Portal to the help desk. Mike Christie (talk) 06:51, 16 Apr 2007 (CDT)


I thought I'd go back and do some fixing of the early Editor mistakes I made, the main one being the verifying of a load of British "Robert A. Heinlein" books that are definitely by "Robert Heinlein" (No "A.") I suddenly noticed I'm causing those to appear in the Robert A. Heinlein bibliography "as by Robert Heinlein" when obviously it's only my single pub that's under his name. I've stopped that now, but if you can explain where I went wrong as a Mod this time I'd be grateful! (I thought I understood real variants now, but it seems I don't understand display logic yet.  :-/ ) BLongley 16:31, 16 Apr 2007 (CDT)

Space Science Fiction

Yes it is Norse. And I probably should have spelled out the month. I have entered all 8 issues and will be making clean-up passes through them.--Swfritter 20:24, 17 Apr 2007 (CDT)

Five Galaxy

Hi, i want to change the pb title from "Five" to "5". Should i unmerge the pb title from the parent title them edit pb publication and parent title? Then make new 5 Galaxy..title a variant.Kraang 23:45, 18 Apr 2007 (CDT)

L. E. Modesitt bibliography question

Thanks for the welcome! I've been working my way through all the help topics since I created my login, but I haven't found anything so far on how to edit an author's Summary Bibliography. I noticed that in the main ISFDB, the bibliography for L. E. Modesitt, Jr. has a formatting error in the list of series: the Ecolitan Envoy series is indented one level too far, making it look as if it's a subseries of the Corean Chronicles series, when they're not even in the same genre.

On Wikipedia, which I'm pretty familiar with (I have the same username there), fixing something like this would have been a very quick, easy edit, but here I can't even find what page to edit -- searching the ISFDB wiki for "Modesitt" only turns up Author:L._E._Modesitt,_Jr., which contains nothing but a note from you about its "internal consistency pass". Is this something only moderators can fix? -- CWesling 23:42, 23 Apr 2007 (CDT)

Thanks for cleaning that up, and for the detailed explanation on the differences between Wikipedia and ISFDB -- many things I noticed make a lot more sense now. Response speed doesn't matter much to me, as I tend to log in very sporadically to things like this, but I'll be happy to use the help desk in future.

By the way, I remember seeing your posts in rec.arts.sf.written since back when I first started lurking (and occasionally posting, though not recently) there, many years ago. Nice to see a familiar name here. -- CWesling 21:48, 24 Apr 2007 (CDT)

Your Welcome Message

Hi, and thanks for the welcome. I've already posted a message asking for help from another editor, but hopefully you're right here and can help me out. I surfed into the database and saw a couple of author names where I'd like to add to the list of publications. How can I do this? Pkeets 20:39, 4 May 2007 (CDT)

I see you've posted a response to my first message. I do know what authors I want to add to, but my first attempt to search for them (once logged in) didn't bring them up. What gives with that? Anyhow, if I go back to the non-logged in state, then I can find them easily. All this seems a bit unintuitive, and I was trying to read up on how to do the edits. Any suggestions? Pkeets 20:43, 4 May 2007 (CDT)

These will be short stories I'm adding. It's looking like you have to enter everything from the publication, year, issue? Right? Dang. That's a pain. Can't I just add a bibliography of publications to an author's page? Pkeets 20:45, 4 May 2007 (CDT)

Well, now I've located another bug. These authors have other publications listed, but they don't show up when you search for a name. I'm looking at Lela Buis and Lee Crittenden. When I search for the publications, the stories are listed there, but then they don't show up on the author's page. (also posted at my discussion page) Pkeets 20:52, 4 May 2007 (CDT)

Okay, I see what some of the problem is: the middle initial. Is there a way to set up a redirect page to get all these listed under the correct name? Pkeets 20:54, 4 May 2007 (CDT)

Many thanks for the info; it got me started. However, now I have another question. I looked at the edit function, and I thought I could just go into the publication listings and change the "Lela Buis" to "Lela E. Buis" and all would be on the same page. So it didn't work. Could you tell me why not? Pkeets 23:34, 4 May 2007 (CDT)

Jonathan Wylie & Julia Gray

I think I've got the hang of it now: have a look, and if so, feel free to delete "Clean up Jonathan Wylie and related pseudonyms" from your to-do list. I'm going to add "fix series under series of the same name" to my "might-do list". ;-) BLongley 17:47, 6 May 2007 (CDT)


The notation previously stated that all issues through April 1958 had been verified and merged. Oct and Nov data had not been entered. I have June, Oct, Nov 1958 issues so I added missing issues and completed the first three processes for all three. So only August 1958 needs to be verified/merged. Haven't noticed anymore orphan issues. Quickest way to find them is to do a lookup of a single story title before I enter a magazine.--Swfritter 16:12, 8 May 2007 (CDT)

Sounds good. Always nice to have somebody else to verify.--Swfritter 17:06, 8 May 2007 (CDT)

swf editor

Will kill. --Swfritter 11:14, 9 May 2007 (CDT)

Digital bread crumbs

That's why I like to move the threads onto one page though in this case I was not sure what was meant by "Yesso." :-( Marc Kupper (talk) 00:18, 11 May 2007 (CDT)

I can understand swfritter's comments, but I agree it's a lot simpler if the whole thread is in the same place. (Says I, not attempting to gather them all together for this response!) Perhaps that should be a convention of some sort? BLongley 16:45, 13 May 2007 (CDT)

M81 / Intruders

Hi, yes the first was a typo ment to put in #198379 & missed the "9", & yes to the 2nd question. The titles i believe should be the other way around. I'm not certain if the differences in some titles in the ballantine 275K & my overprinted 279K are real or typos. I don't want to make unnecessary variants.Kraang 21:45, 12 May 2007 (CDT)

I noticed this and went to have a look, and discovered my "M18" variant didn't have a publication entry any more. Fixed now, but can you remember if it was there when you redid the variants? I know I did a lot of edits that I left unverified until I got a bit more experienced, but I don't know if it's my memory failing me as to whether I entered it, or if people are undoing some edits unwittingly. BLongley 16:41, 13 May 2007 (CDT)


Lowndes never actually identifies himself (even by initials) in the letter column so it's possible (but not likely) somebody else on the staff is making the replies. It was a 50/50 choice for me. I was actually inclined to go with Lowndes but I seem to remember some of the help documentation suggesting that "The Editor" or "The Editors" should be used if there is ambiguity. Would rather have used Lowndes myself. Am not sure what happened with the Knight thing but it seems to look OK the way it is.--Swfritter 08:48, 13 May 2007 (CDT)

Further look at documentation - Should have used uncredited for letter column.--Swfritter 11:11, 13 May 2007 (CDT)

Ray Bradbury's "The Jack-In-The-Box"

Dark Carnival,The Stories of Ray Bradbury & The Small Assassins these collections list it as "The Jack-In-The-Box" but Contento list all of the above as "Jack-In-The-Box". The verified publications also only list it as "Jack-In-The-Box". The only listing i could find was a french web site that lists it "The Jack-In-The-Box" as a stand alone title. The french add Le & La to half there words and if translated back from french the word "The" could easily get left in. What i'am proposing is to delete the title "The Jack-In-The-Box" and list only as "Jack-In-The-Box" with no variant. Also all listings of Dark Carnival on AbeBooks that included a listing of short stories list it as "Jack-In-The-Box". Don't like to delete titles unless there is agreement from higher up. Let me know what you think. Thanks :)Kraang 20:23, 14 May 2007 (CDT)

Fill in titles you might have

As per our conversation about issues related moderatership nomination. Just purchased some short run titles that will help fill in the magazine database. Paid some dastardly prices to Abebooks stores and they are on the way. I will have complete runs of the following: Cosmos, Dream World, Fantasy Fiction/Fantasy Magazine, Marvel Science Stories/Fiction (50's revival), Satellite, Science Fiction Adventures (first series), Spaceway (50's series), Space SF Magazine, and Universe. Should be missing only the following for complete runs of the following: Saturn Oct 1957, Two Complete SF Adventure Books Win 1952, and Space Stories Apr 1953. If you have any of them I would appreciate it if you would add them. I can do the menu entries, dup, and psuedonym verifications if you can just let me know the tags. As soon as those are in I would be more than willing to accept a nomination as a moderator. My next big projects are filling in the holes in Fantastic and adding Other Worlds titles. Considering the lack of quality of the latter magazine that is not a high priority.--Swfritter 16:43, 19 May 2007 (CDT)

Also Space Stories Feb 1953 - the dealer's inventory was in error. Please do not bother if you have other things to do (and I am sure you do). I have plenty on my plate and I will be getting these issues sooner or later. I completed my runs of nearly all the titles I mention above. Have a nice Memorial Day.--Swfritter 18:42, 25 May 2007 (CDT)
Thanks!--Swfritter 08:06, 26 May 2007 (CDT)
Data all entered for Space Stories, dups, psuedonyms done. But was wondering whether "Gears of Time" in April 1953 issue should be classified as a complete novel. Word count for pulps seems to be a maximum of about 600 (absolute max 700) words/page and at 45 pages the story does not seem to cross the 40k word threshhold. I have a real iffy one in June, 1953 by Merwin which I may change to complete novel. At 60 pages it is right at the borderline. Thanks for allowing me to hold off on spending the $40 it was going to take to get the two issues.--Swfritter 13:47, 28 May 2007 (CDT)
And I should have noticed it was a cartoon. Same thing in one of my mags. A cartoon in the middle of the page in the middle of a story. I am going to change the Merwin to complete novel and

set everything to complete.--Swfritter 17:13, 28 May 2007 (CDT)

Missing magazines

Thanks. If things go right, I think nearly every U. S. magazine from the 50's and 60's will be in the database this year.--Swfritter 08:10, 21 May 2007 (CDT)

Finlay shortfiction

Yes, it should have been interiorart. Have changed. Thanks! --Swfritter 13:26, 21 May 2007 (CDT)

Dates for reviews

I hope you can settle this matter. Last night Alibrarian and I went back and forth several times about the dating of reviews in periodicals. He was updating them with the publication date of the books under review instead of the date of the periodical in which the reviews appear. He pointed out that the Help page contradicted what I was saying. Actually, the instructions are confusing and strangely worded. I wouldn't have been able to figure it out from these instructions, if I had not already been familiar with it. Can you check out that part of the Help page and see if I'm just dense or drunk? (I did have a glass of wine last night, but I don't think it affected my editing!) Mhhutchins 18:07, 21 May 2007 (CDT)

Analog Anthology #1

Sorry I didn't get back to you earlier, I just caught the note on my talk page about it tonight. I'm glad you had me go back and look at this one again. I'm not happy with what I did. I'm going to un-verify the one that I verified. On the Title page of my copy it says "The Analog Anthology #1", There is no mention on the title page of "Fifty Years of the Best", that is only mentioned on the cover. It is also on the cover that it says "1981 Edition". That date is nowhere to be found on the inside. The only date on "Fifty Years of the Best Science Fiction" is 1980. The Copyright page says "Second Edition" on it. I have changed the 1981 Edition to have a pub date of 1980-00-00 since it is nowhere to be found on the inside, and changed the title to "The Analog Anthology #1" to coincide with the title page. I will remove the "Fifty Years of Science Fiction" from the Analog Anthology #1 Title since it was made a variant. CoachPaul 21:50, 22 May 2007 (CDT)

I'm still not happy with the way these entries turned out. I did some more searching this morning. According to Locus, it's called "Analog Anthology #1", and has a date of December 1980, was printed in hc (Dial Mar ’81) as "Analog’s Golden Anniversary Anthology", and then again as "Fifty Years of the Best Science Fiction from Analog" (Davis 1982). This leads me to believe that the only place that "The Analog Anthology #1: Fifty Years of the Best" appears is on the cover. I have added a note to both printings about the dates found on the Locus website comments, and added a comment about the hc to the 1980 publication. Should I change the date of the Second Printing 1982-00-00 to reflect the date from Locus, or just leave it as 0000-00-00? Also, can we change the "Analog Anthology #1", without the page numbers to "Analog’s Golden Anniversary Anthology" and make it a hc with a 1981 date based on the evidence from Locus? There is already a Title in the series with that name, but it has very little information in it. This would require making it another variant title I think. I'm sure that there's more still to do here. I'm sorry, my information came from Contento and not Locus. here is the url. I'll need to edit the pubs again because I put Locus and not Contento. CoachPaul 08:40, 23 May 2007 (CDT)
I've got to admit it's getting better. Is there a way to take this pub "Publication:THNLHLGY681980", and merge it with this pub "Publication:NLGSHLGY1A1981"? So that the contents cam be found in the second pubs record. The first of the pubs I just mentioned is the one that we can get rid of. CoachPaul 15:40, 23 May 2007 (CDT)
Sorry about the delayed response! At this point there is no way to merge Publications since it would make a mess of Verification flags and other things. Marc has an outstanding request for a similar feature, though, so things may change in the foreseeable future.
The easiest way to do what you are trying to accomplish is to clone the first Publication record, change the resulting clone's date/page count/etc to what the second record currently has and then delete the second Publications. Ahasuerus 00:48, 24 May 2007 (CDT)

No Star Shall Fall

That's a big duh! for met. I will fix it.--Swfritter 12:11, 24 May 2007 (CDT)

Schenck's early work in F&SF

I received a submission from Alibrarian including a poem in an early issue of F&SF by Schenck as "Hilbert Schenck, Jr." I went ahead and accepted it, but went back through the process of creating a variant. Noticing there were several more poems as by Schenck, Jr. I created variants for all of them. My sources are Strauss and Ray Lovell's F&SF Bibliography. In doing so, I screwed up an earlier submission about the April 1960 issue which you had placed on hold. I was able to reconstruct all of the edits which Alibrarian had made in the original submission (using Strauss for the page numbers). In the meantime the held submission is in limbo. Mhhutchins 18:45, 24 May 2007 (CDT)

Keith Laumer

I've been looking at the short stories of Laumer and a lot of them that have variants are messed up(so far everyone i looked at). Some are set to one title or another with one of the titles empty.The dates are mostly set to the first title. Some are just plain screwed up(my recent edits). Should i park myself here for awhile and clean some of it up from contendo or leave it and let others sort it out title by title?Kraang 23:03, 28 May 2007 (CDT)

Okay i'll put pen to paper and sort out the right parent and variant order. The errors seem to follow a certain pattern.Kraang 23:30, 28 May 2007 (CDT)

Wiki user blocking

Thanks for getting back with. Everything seems to be back to normal now. Funny thing is, the message told me to get with you, but wouldn't let me actually leave you a message! That's when I hunted down your e-mail address. Again, thanks. 20:32, 30 May 2007 (CDT) —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Mhhutchins (talkcontribs) .

Retief: Diplomat at Arms

Ten titles down eleven to go.

I verified a few dozen Laumer Publications last night and this morning, but I am running out of time :(

Do you have the Baen 1987 edition of the above title?

Nope, only the Timescape/Pocket edition, which I verified yesterday.
Got Retief: Diplomat at Arms Baen 1987 0-671-65358-x still need it? Have a bunch of Laumer books. Only paperbacks and some multiple publication of the same title. Ray 16:25, 16 Jun 2007 (CDT)

Also how accurate is Contento when it comes to the parent and variant titles from magazines?

About 95% accurate, which is a decent rate, but by no means a guarantee.

An example is Clear as Mud Contento lists it 1st appearing inIf aug 1967, but the current entry in the data base has it listed as Grime and Punishment. Should i change it or get someone with a magazine to verify or change it(there are ten other titles like this)?Kraang 00:08, 3 Jun 2007 (CDT)

I have all Ifs in my collection, let me see if I can find that issue before I have to run. Ahasuerus 11:29, 3 Jun 2007 (CDT)
I have an off topic Retief question. I am looking for a Retief story. It is different from the rest where Retief is by himself apparently going to his home world to remove the current false ruler. Something with a gem and starts with him on a horse. I read it once but now I can't find it. I think it is a shortstory included in compilation of other Laumer stories and not a Retief book. Even a title of the story would help. Thanks Ray 12:22, 10 Aug 2007 (CDT)

Beyond Infinity page count change

Changed to 164 to account for wraps - as per documentation. Probably should have asked verifier first but change was so minor I changed it anyway so I can file the mag away in my own collection as finished. As you noted, I do read the documentation. Don't fret about those magazines you were looking for that I needed. I want them for my collection and I will track them down sometime this year. Thanks!--swfritter 14:37, 7 Jun 2007 (CDT)


... is getting a bit tiring. From a quick check of the deletion log, I see that the same pages are getting attacked by the same user-ids - should we consider blocking and see if they give up? I know there's a LOT of userids involved, which is why I ask first. (And also because I've not blocked anyone yet and so don't know the other pitfalls that I normally encounter each time I try something new.) BLongley 14:54, 14 Jun 2007 (CDT)

Unfortunately, they are not always the same user IDs. Our friendly spammers are using an automated system that bypasses any regular blocks by simply creating a new user name. The names are typically 6 characters long and follow the NnnNnn pattern, where "N" is an uppercase letter and "n" is a lowercase letter. Therefore, blocking "known spammer user names" wouldn't accomplish anything and, besides, there is a bug in our (ancient - 1.4.5) version of MediaWiki which can result in totally unrelated users getting blocked :(
Oh, I know there's a pattern, I was just pointing out that the same IDs seem to be used to spam the same pages a couple of days apart, e.g.
   * 17:11, 14 Jun 2007 Ahasuerus deleted "Talk:Author:Diana Wynne Jones" (Spam)
   * 14:31, 12 Jun 2007 Ahasuerus deleted "Talk:Author:Diana Wynne Jones" (Spam)
   * 17:00, 14 Jun 2007 . . MwuI7e ()
   * 10:57, 12 Jun 2007 . . MwuI7e ()
   * 14:56, 14 Jun 2007 Ahasuerus deleted "Talk:Magazine:Fantastic Science Fiction Stories" (Spam)
   * 14:30, 12 Jun 2007 Ahasuerus deleted "Talk:Magazine:Fantastic Science Fiction Stories" (Spam)
   * 14:44, 14 Jun 2007 . . Pc9Ll5 ()
   * 09:13, 12 Jun 2007 . . Pc9Ll5 ()
   * 12:19, 14 Jun 2007 BLongley deleted "Talk:Magazine:New Worlds" (Spam)
   * 06:58, 12 Jun 2007 Ahasuerus deleted "Talk:Magazine:New Worlds" (Spam)
   * 10:37, 14 Jun 2007 . . JihGgf ()
   * 05:52, 12 Jun 2007 . . JihGgf ()
   * 12:18, 14 Jun 2007 BLongley deleted "Talk:Author:Arthur Conan Doyle" (Spam)
   * 06:58, 12 Jun 2007 Ahasuerus deleted "Talk:Author:Arthur Conan Doyle" (Spam)
   * 10:34, 14 Jun 2007 . . Gp6Oj5 ()
   * 05:50, 12 Jun 2007 . . Gp6Oj5 ()
I don't know how much inconvenience a block causes the spammer, compared with how much it causes us: if it means they have to make some MANUAL intervention at least, then it might be worthwhile. If it's totally automated then it might not be. BLongley 17:26, 14 Jun 2007 (CDT)
Unless we want to play the whack-a-mole game forever, we may have to (finally!) upgrade our MediaWiki software to 1.5/1.6 and start using captchas -- see this discussion on Al's Talk page. Ahasuerus 15:10, 14 Jun 2007 (CDT)
Seen the discussions, and I'm in favour of an upgrade anyway. I'm just getting tired of fighting for upgrades at work at the moment, where fixing some bugs might lead to actually saving LIVES, I hate to be too pushy here where it just saves us a little time and maybe some user from being a bit upset. BLongley 17:26, 14 Jun 2007 (CDT)
Actually, has anyone checked the spammed links? I haven't, but if any are illegal then it might just be easier to turn the server logs over to the cops and/or the sites hosting them. BLongley 17:26, 14 Jun 2007 (CDT)
Spambots are mostly automated these days. Many are run by companies, not individuals as well. As far as the links go, I have spot checked some and they were all to .edu domains, which suggests that there may be more than meets the eye here. Some kind of second level scam, perhaps :) Ahasuerus 18:46, 14 Jun 2007 (CDT)
I tracked a bit deeper. I'm not sure why .edu was targeted: maybe to keep the stuff hidden from non-educational-organisation spam-hunters though? A lot of sites were off-limits to me, coming from a non-edu address. Anyway, although a lot of the links are now broken, those that aren't tend to automatically redirect again, and one target site keeps coming up: "". It's not new, we're probably part of a web that's been around over a month and a half at least: see here. BLongley 15:52, 15 Jun 2007 (CDT)
Good job, Detective Longley! :) I checked out the current host that these spammers are using ( and it appears to be owned by the Russian affiliate of a large international company specializing in VoIP, outsourcing, integration, etc. The parent company lists as their Webmaster's e-mail address, so I'll post it on Spamhuntress and see what happens. Thanks! Ahasuerus 17:02, 15 Jun 2007 (CDT)
""? It's a small world here on the internet... I'm currently assigned to work at a company that's a subsidiary of the company trying to buy the Dutch subsidiary of that brand. There's no mention of Russian involvement at work yet though... perhaps they're still trying to figure out how Kevin Bacon is involved. ;-) BLongley 17:35, 15 Jun 2007 (CDT)
Let me check: Bill Longley -> CTG -> T-Mobile UK -> T-Mobile -> Deutsche Telekom -> France Telecom -> Orange -> Orange NL... OK, 7 links, there's no room for Kevin Bacon. Unless I AM Kevin Bacon and haven't realised it yet? Or maybe he's a former State Monopoly Telco... BLongley 17:35, 15 Jun 2007 (CDT)

(unindent)I've just helped setup several space related wikis, Lunar wiki, Mars wiki, general space wiki, space dictionary. So I have recent experience and would be glad to help. Dana Carson 00:04, 16 Jun 2007 (CDT)

Thanks, Dana! The person to contact would be User:Alvonruff, since he is the only one who has programmer level access to the database and to the Wiki at this time. If we could get the Wiki upgraded to a version that supports captchas, that would help solve our immediate spam problem. Ahasuerus 02:24, 17 Jun 2007 (CDT)

Blackjack time again?

I freely admit it's not my speciality (Terry Pratchett is probably the largest series tree I've done yet, and don't really want to go bigger at the moment), but whenever Chris J tries to fix a Ultra-Mega-Super-Series tree, it seems to look better afterwards. He did do well on Doctor Who, where I can vouch for 50 pubs or so: he seems to be dealing with the RPG game-books vs RPG Novelisations as well, where Lorenzr is deleting RPG stuff faster than Chris adds or organizes the remainder. Chris is stepping on a few toes when he picks up on what other people are working on before they've finished their own edits, but seeing the submission queue might help him avoid that. Again, this is a selfish suggestion - I don't want to have to approve his edits! - and I'd like another opinion before I suggest he gets to do his own series-organising approvals as a Mod, but I've seen a lot of his submissions and they seem to make sense in the end. BLongley 19:12, 15 Jun 2007 (CDT)

I have thought about it myself. Most of Chris' edits are fine, but there are occasional "Wow, I am sure glad I caught this one!", e.g. a recent accidental series/superseries flip-flop submission or some other ones on Chris' Talk page, that give me a pause. On the other hand, Chris is very prolific, so making him a moderator would help with the submissions queue. On the gripping hand, we do have quite a few moderators now, so it's not as bad as it was a couple of months ago. Perhaps give it another month and see how it goes? Ahasuerus 02:43, 17 Jun 2007 (CDT)
Well, the series errors are less severe than many other mistakes would be, I tend to worry more about the raw data more than the categorisation. And you're right, we do have quite a few mods now - not as many active ones as I'd like though. The Bureaucrats seem less active now compared to when I first started here, and weekends do seem to be a particularly busy time for me. Still, Kraang is nicely active today so maybe I'll get my Sunday evenings back soon? BLongley 17:10, 17 Jun 2007 (CDT)

Ray/Lorenzr also seems to know what he's doing, but this is the first time I've seen a lot of his edits so just count that as a recent plus-point rather than a potential nomination from me. I seem to see bursts of high activity rather than a constant presence though? BLongley 19:12, 15 Jun 2007 (CDT)

Like Wim Lewis, Ray pops in and out as circumstances permit, which makes it difficult to remember all of our (sometimes arcane) rules and exceptions. If you check his Talk page, he is still working on Unmerge vs. Change Title issues. Ahasuerus 02:43, 17 Jun 2007 (CDT)
P.S. I am not firing on all cylinders at the moment, so a bit slow to respond. Ahasuerus 02:43, 17 Jun 2007 (CDT)
No worries, I'm used to communications crossing a light-day or two before they arrive. That seems to be where the voices in my head come from anyway... ;-) BLongley 17:10, 17 Jun 2007 (CDT)


As the vandalbots seem to be hitting the same pages I've protected those with the thinking the majority of the users are moderators. Your user page is one of the targets but as it's "yours" I'll leave it up to you on if you want it protected. Marc Kupper (talk) 02:25, 19 Jun 2007 (CDT)

Power Laz/org?

Some of Richard Powers covers are signed Powers Laz/org does this qualify as a pseudonym? Can't make my mind about it, what do you think? Thank. :-)Kraang 22:16, 20 Jun 2007 (CDT)

Google to the rescue - [2]
Another one of his detestations -- Pop art, inspired a continuing example of his keen sense of humor. In the early 1960's, he began signing his paintings "Powers LAZ/org" which stood for the Lazarus Organization. LAZ/org was a fictional organization created by Powers to lampoon the "artists" associated with the Pop art movement. He would hand out brochures at his gallery shows (which occurred yearly at the Rehn Gallery in New York), describing such pseudonymous contributors as "Lemming Legal Phleeble, whose 'Newsculp' technique involved wrapping models, wax-museum style, in gauze and plaster, [who] was George Segal."2 He also used the LAZ/org signature to differentiate his illustration from his fine art work.
Marc Kupper (talk) 13:44, 23 Jun 2007 (CDT)
Ray put in a link to this in the authors page. Just found a cover with only the LAZ/org part showing.Kraang 17:56, 23 Jun 2007 (CDT)

New Kid at School Title Unmerge

When you approved this edit did you massage it in any way? CoachPaul 00:06, 23 Jun 2007 (CDT)

Never mind, it's late and I've lost my mind. Have you seen it? CoachPaul 00:10, 23 Jun 2007 (CDT)
Have you checked between the pages of the last book you were reading? That's where I usually leave mine late at night... Ahasuerus 00:31, 23 Jun 2007 (CDT)
I can never remember which was the last book. :-( I normally have four or five underway at the same time - one left next to the loo, one or two by the bath, a couple by the bed, and I'm always at risk of diving into a pub I'm adding here. As for my mind - I think that's in a former British Rail Lost Property office somewhere. BLongley 05:44, 23 Jun 2007 (CDT)

Dynamic Science Stories, Feb 1939

I updated your verified DYNSSFEB1939 to add "on the front cover" at the end of the pub notes based on your comment on User_talk:Don_Erikson#The_Gods_Laughed. One thing that's still not clear is what the author credit was in the body of the magazine though the implication is that it was Hubert Mavity.

You had used '' around the titles in the pub-notes. I assume the intent was italics and so changed these to HTML style italics. Marc Kupper (talk) 17:29, 23 Jun 2007 (CDT)

Hm... Now that you mention it, I am not 100% sure if the accidental attribution appeared on the cover or in the ToC. I will double check next Saturday, thanks for the heads up! :) Ahasuerus 17:28, 23 Jun 2007 (CDT)
Turns out the pseudonym was disclosed on page 59. Thanks for the heads up! Ahasuerus 19:34, 30 Jun 2007 (CDT)

You did not stop at 30,000?

Ahasuerus, earlier in the week I saw that you were nearing 30,000 edits approved and figured you would stop at exactly that number for a while. :-)

Congratulations on hitting and exceeding 30k!

Marc Kupper (talk) 23:56, 24 Jun 2007 (CDT)

Thanks! I think I stopped for a minute, grabbed another can of hydrofluoric acid (or whatever they put in soft drinks these days) and went back to work on ChrisJ's submissions. I was the only moderator online that night and the queue was getting long.
By the way, where are all these new editors coming from? I have checked and we haven't been slashdotted (yet). Perhaps it's my recent cross-posting of the "ISFDB as a replacement for the SF side of Wikipedia" meme on Ahasuerus 00:49, 25 Jun 2007 (CDT)
Be careful with that hydrofluoric acid as it'll cause the lettering on the tubes to come off (and then the glass of the tubes will disappear). I used to be able to recognize most tubes on sight but am long out of practice in that area.
Maybe we should start a thread on how people heard of ISFDB and/or what prompted them to start contributing. In my case I'd find ISFDB regularly when putting together bibliographies but the project always looked dead plus it was not clear where the real home was. I suspect many people also felt the project was dead and are starting to notice it's active again plus the quality of sites like Amazon is going down. Marc Kupper (talk) 01:54, 25 Jun 2007 (CDT)

Talk Page Archiving

Thanks. Good info. The stuff I got rid of was all basic stuff, although it probably did not seem like that to me at first.--swfritter 20:05, 26 Jun 2007 (CDT)


Since the warning from Al I've only been blocking by username, but it seems there's some automatic IP blocking added behind the scenes? If my activity today has locked YOU out, feel free to email me with the fix instructions! BLongley 16:00, 30 Jun 2007 (CDT)


OK, it's been my busiest day ever with that game, I hope it's sorted tomorrow. But I need sleep in the meantime. If the upgrade goes ahead and I get blocked out, do email me the workaround instructions. I'm trying to give Scott a fair race, but Mike is catching up:

Top ISFDB Verifiers (Against Primary Source)
BLongley 	1391
Scott Latham 	1391
Mhhutchins 	1332

I'm not sure if Mike knows or cares, but if he overtakes me I'm not holding back! BLongley 19:38, 30 Jun 2007 (CDT)

Sure, will do! However, the most likely "oops" scenario is the upgrade process messing something up in the Wiki tables, at which point Al will have to keep the Wiki down for a bit while sorting things out or, worst case scenario, going back to the backups. By the way, do you want to subscribe to , our backup discussions board? That's where we usually post about downtime issues. Ahasuerus 19:43, 30 Jun 2007 (CDT)
I don't really want to "subscribe" - I asked about the email-address requirements a while back and never got an answer, but as I've achieved spam-free email at last I don't want to ruin it by having the latest arrangements posted on the web. I can read the group OK if I get blocked out, that's enough for now. And now I really MUST sleep, or I won't be awake enough to go rescue some more books from British weather tomorrow. ;-) BLongley 20:01, 30 Jun 2007 (CDT)
No worries, "read only" access is fine for our pirposes :) Ahasuerus 20:12, 30 Jun 2007 (CDT)
Ironically, it was my account that was blocked earlier this evening (for some values of "evening") when a "block by IP" managed to slip by :) Oh well, another 6 hours or so to go... Ahasuerus 23:34, 30 Jun 2007 (CDT)
Busy again... I'm still not sure where the unintentional "Block by IP" comes from, but it seems that we can keep on top of the repeated activity by blocking the users that vandalise the same page again and again: it's not quite so bad today. I think the spambot is unleashed at certain times, it's not a constant nuisance, it's an irregular one. BLongley 18:18, 3 Jul 2007 (CDT)
But tonight was one of the worst attacks I've seen. :-( BLongley 17:04, 10 Jul 2007 (CDT)
Oh, and I reached the 1500 verifications mark: "Yay, Go Me"! - but as some are under my alternate ID Mike might make the official 1500 first. Shame Scott's not around at the moment, I know he wanted it. :-( BLongley 18:18, 3 Jul 2007 (CDT)

Book Review Dates

It's possible that the recent change that cascades the magazine metadata date to the stories may have had unintended consequences. That date also goes to the review dates if they aren't filled in. As a result, I think editors and moderators may have then gotten the impression that this should be the standard even though the help screens specifically state that the date should be "Date - The date of the publication being reviewed; not the original date for its first publication. This should match the date on the publication record for the item being reviewed". This is particularly frustrating for me. When entering reviews for the 50's magazines that I added I spent at least 20 hours verifying release dates of the works being reviewed. I have also tried to step up my role as a moderator and it is also frustrating to tell Editors that there submissions are incorrect and then find out that there is a new undocumented standard. If there is a new standard that's O.K. I will even go out and change the Help because it's a community issue. But if this was an unintended consequence then this is more of a design issue.--swfritter 07:33, 6 Jul 2007 (CDT)

I knew that I had added something to a discussion somewhere and I finally found it so I guess something is on the back burner (hopefully it didn't fall off the back of the stove). As was mentioned in the discussion that I found on a user page which I happened to find when I was doing a search for something else this issue should have probably been more widely discussed. If a resolution results in the need of someone working on a data entry fixup let me know.--swfritter 11:19, 6 Jul 2007 (CDT)
Ouch! Cascading-edit consequences from a "No-Brainer" change worries me. :-( I know the "Review" link to "Publication being reviewed " is fundamentally broken, so supported the move to "date of review" instead, but if people are putting major effort into research then this definitely needs to be more widely publicized, if only to make people use their time more productively elsewhere. BLongley 14:44, 6 Jul 2007 (CDT)
I'm only guessing that the perception of the standard changed when the cascading date implementation was made. That could explain why editors adopted it as the standard. Either way is OK by me. The more important issue is that Help wasn't updated. Maybe on the standards page we can have a discussion of a more formal method for resolving issues, perhaps a step by step process with check-offs.--swfritter 16:12, 6 Jul 2007 (CDT)
Mods can update Help pages, but most Mods try and discuss it first. Which usually leads to nowhere near a conclusion. :-( I've updated Help Pages once (over Verification), and had no complaints. It may be that a more aggressive attitude in your field of expertise is the way to go. You change all the magazine/review Help to the way YOU want it to be, I go change the "fix-up/collection" Help to the way I want it to be, and let's see if we can actually get a conclusion on some matters. I'm close to finishing my Verifications (until I get another database backup made available) so methods/rules will be my next target. BLongley 16:49, 6 Jul 2007 (CDT)
Sorry about the Help-vs.-current practices confusion, folks :( Admittedly, we don't have a good decision making mechanism that would translate discussions into policy. One of the reasons for it is that in the past any discussion without Al's input was inconclusive. He had a habit of showing up and explaining why an apparently wonderful proposal would mess something up in the software and/or why a proposed new convention would become obsolete the following week once he implements a new feature.
In the case of reviews, Al has been planning to upgrade them to link to a specific record in the database (as opposed to the currently implemented lexical match) for some time, but the Motorola reorganization and the impending move to Austin have messed things up. In the meantime, we really need an agreed upon approach and I suggest we revive the old "reviews" discussion on the standards board. I am not sure how much I contribute at the moment since I am not feeling well. To quote John W. Campbell, Jr., nobody is getting any younger... Ahasuerus 22:02, 6 Jul 2007 (CDT)
Thanks. The only reason I placed a query on your talk page was that I figured there had to be a design issue involved somehow and I knew you were likely to have a concise and logical answer. Now I can carry the discussion back to Standards where it should be.--swfritter 07:35, 7 Jul 2007 (CDT)

ConSensual collections

Hi, Ahasuerus. You were after more information about the three ConSensual collections? My co-editors were Cathy Cupitt and my wife Elaine Kemp, and yes, it was a fan production, with proceeds going to AIDS research and the WA Science Fiction Foundation.

If you want any more information about the collections, or my more recent short fiction publications, etc., let me know.


Stephen Dedman

Answered on Stephen's Talk page. Ahasuerus 16:52, 9 Jul 2007 (CDT)

Doctor to the Stars

I think this is our first verification overlap! I've added coverart to your verified pub if you'd like to double-check it. (I got bored with overlapping with Unapersson, went elsewhere tonight.) ;-) BLongley 16:11, 9 Jul 2007 (CDT)

That looks about right, I will double check when I have access to my collection on 2007-07-28. I had a couple of hours before I had to resume my wanderings on 2007-07-01 and decided to verify a stack of Leinsters since they were, unlike most of my books, sorted by author. Kraang had already done a pass, so it went reasonably quickly. 3 more stacks to go :) Ahasuerus 16:28, 9 Jul 2007 (CDT)
It looks like my mere 2000 paperbacks will never all be verified, a few hundred seem to be already covered. :-/ Mike Hutchins got to 1500 on the Top Verifiers List first - it seems like it was a close run race, but I can't be bothered to check what I was at when he reached 1500. (I think I was in the 1490s but was concentrating on the large number of grotty Eddings books I was scanning and verifying at the time.) He'll probably race ahead now - I'm going to scan the books I want to discard, and REALLY discard them at last. I'll need the space for Brian Stableford's fanzines... :-) BLongley 16:54, 9 Jul 2007 (CDT)
I am glad you folks are taking the lead while I am mostly on the road. By the time I get to spend more time with my collection, you will have (likely) verified at least 30-50% of my copies, which should make the other 10-13,000 feel like less of a chore to verify :) Ahasuerus 16:17, 10 Jul 2007 (CDT)
Just leave us the location and the keys and we'll have a big Verification party there? ;-) BLongley 16:20, 10 Jul 2007 (CDT)
Well, that might help with verifications, but then my secure undisclosed location would become insecure and disclosed :)
As if we'd talk.... ;-) BLongley 17:19, 10 Jul 2007 (CDT)
By the way, Bill, you have protected 3 Talk pages in the last hour or so -- yours, Marc's and Mike's -- which will make it impossible for non-moderators to leave messages for the 3 of you. Are you sure that's what you meant to do? Ahasuerus 17:06, 10 Jul 2007 (CDT)
A day with no messages: ah, bliss indeed! :-) Yes, I'm quite sure that's what I meant to do. The spambots seem to come in short bursts - today, particularly badly - 3 ids on the same page in a minute, for instance - so if it gives me a breather and causes the spambots problems, fine. I'll revert all but mine before I go to sleep if you think that's wise. BLongley 17:19, 10 Jul 2007 (CDT)
Well, the potential problem that I see is that an editor may want to leave a message for one of the affected moderators. When a Talk page is protected, non-moderators can't edit it, which rather defeats the purpose of a "Talk" page :) Ahasuerus 17:23, 10 Jul 2007 (CDT)
Of course: but hopefully most moderators will read the Community Portal pages as well, for the "I wanted to ask Bill about X but his talk page is blocked?" type messages (if any). It's just to cause problems for the spambots, I HOPE we're making some scum's spamming activity more difficult by it. And in times of high "Whack-a-Mole" activity I don't really want to talk to the non-Mods that can't help as much just right now... BLongley 17:40, 10 Jul 2007 (CDT)
Undone now, apart from mine. I have to supervise a new software version roll-out tomorrow, and as some of our users DO have people point machine-guns at me when I visit them, I'd rather keep THEM happy for the meantime. Good Night. BLongley 18:02, 10 Jul 2007 (CDT)

(unindent) The cover art image added to Doctor to the Stars was indeed correct. Interestingly enough, the crease in that image is in the exact same place as the crease in my (otherwise better preserved) copy. Must have been a manufacturing defect at the printers used by Pyramid! Ahasuerus 20:38, 28 Jul 2007 (CDT)

Tina Spelling Error

So when do we get the spell-checker? I probably should start editing official date in a word-processor and then pasting it.--swfritter 17:46, 11 Jul 2007 (CDT)

Firefox, aside from being a superior browser, comes with a fairly intelligent built-in spell checker, which helps quite a bit :) Ahasuerus 18:03, 11 Jul 2007 (CDT)
Pretty cool. Kind of wish they had a voice warning - something like "Danger, Will Robinson, you may have misspelled a word."--swfritter 20:15, 11 Jul 2007 (CDT)
It's not a voice-warning but Firefox does underline the misspelled words in red and you right click on the word to see the list of spelling suggestions. You can also add words such as Ahasuerus to the Firefox dictionary. I often edit notes in Microsoft Word and/or Notepad and copy/paste into ISFDB. I use Word for the spelling/grammar plus I can increase the zoom to something my eyes are happy with. Notepad is only needed because Word tends to try and outsmart me when I'm entering HTML <tags>. Marc Kupper (talk) 20:16, 16 Jul 2007 (CDT)

The Pirates of Zan

I added an image URL to your verified pub The Pirates of Zan. Hope that's OK. Herzbube 16:57, 16 Jul 2007 (CDT)

Yes, that's the right image, thanks! Ahasuerus 17:03, 16 Jul 2007 (CDT)

Another New User

Thanks for the warm welcome. I came across this site some time ago but only recently decided to actively participate. I'm hoping I can't get into too much trouble. I'm still feeling my way around the various pages and help topics. TFRANK 23:44, 26 Jul 2007 (CDT)

Question on Cover Art Attributions

One on the items I wished to verify specifies who the cover was drawn by. I can not determine from the copy I have in hand whether that is correct or not. There is no signature or initials on the cover nor notation within the book. Does that affect my ability to verify the entry?TFRANK 23:57, 26 Jul 2007 (CDT)

Rkihara submission On Hold

And I see the issues you are concerned with. Might note that Jungle in the Sky is neither a complete novel/serial or a novel - at 50 pages it is at most only 25,000 words and should be classified as a novella. John Jakes actually uses the John W. Jakes form. The second set of changes should probably have not been done until the first had been approved. If you want, I can approve the submission, make appropriate changes and let Rkihara know what I've done and why.--swfritter 09:17, 18 Aug 2007 (CDT)

Thanks for the offer :) I am still fighting my bug(s), so I am not terribly productive at the moment and any help would be appreciated! Ahasuerus 18:01, 18 Aug 2007 (CDT)
Rkihara seems to have the skill set required to be an excellent editor so I will probably try to do a lot of one on one with him. It would be great if you could check in on our progress every once in a while and monitor my advice to him.--swfritter 18:42, 18 Aug 2007 (CDT)
I'll do my best :) Ahasuerus 19:31, 18 Aug 2007 (CDT)

Witch Bank

Ahasuerus, can you have a look at the above submission I have on hold. You will also find a further discussion on Clarkmci's page [3]. Thanks :-)Kraang 20:14, 24 Aug 2007 (CDT)

Cleaned up to the best of my ability and answered on Clarkmci's Talk page :) Ahasuerus 22:26, 24 Aug 2007 (CDT)
Thanks for the fix. I had in mind that the zero didn't work for names. Most have mixed it up with something else.Kraang 22:36, 24 Aug 2007 (CDT)
You can't delete a pseudonym record directly, but you can break all vt relationships for "its" titles and then merge the resulting titles with their former parents the way I did it. It still leaves "dangling pointers" in its wake and it's rather time consuming, but one does what one can :) Ahasuerus 22:46, 24 Aug 2007 (CDT)

The Arbor House Treasury of Great Science Fiction Short Novels (SFBC)

I made a couple of changes in your verified copy of this pub. I provided the price and month of publication from the SFBC announcement. Mhhutchins 20:55, 30 Aug 2007 (CDT)

Excellent, thanks! :) Ahasuerus 22:08, 30 Aug 2007 (CDT)

Filling in mising Editor titles

Has there been any discussion about automating the process? I revisited the wonderful world of Left Joins and have a list of magazines that are not linked to Editor titles. More than 2000. I am going to go ahead and start working through them a few minutes every day using the last posted backup. Practical experience tells me that sometimes the brute force method is sometimes more efficient.--swfritter 11:21, 4 Sep 2007 (CDT)

IIRC, the last time we discussed this issue in Al's presence, his response was noncommittal, so the manual approach may be best for now. Ahasuerus 12:56, 4 Sep 2007 (CDT)
Ok. It's a relatively simple process that I can do with the one brain cell still working at the end of a session. I will also be merging and updating the appropriate Editor series data.--swfritter 13:37, 4 Sep 2007 (CDT)
Sounds good! As an aside, my brain cells are still kicking, but my optical receptors are having trouble with long ISFDB sessions :-( Ahasuerus 14:09, 4 Sep 2007 (CDT)
If you need some help, leave the original British magazines and point them out to me. I've fixed some Bonfiglioli, Carnell and Moorcock so far, just on the grounds of ONE magazine I owned that led me into a mire of recorded but pretty unfindable British pubs. I think I'm responsible for at least two series now, as they're easily organisable from Visco alone. BLongley 17:24, 4 Sep 2007 (CDT)
For the British REPRINT magazines - bug Al into allowing cloning of magazines. For instance, The December 1955 US Astounding is so nearly the May 1956 UK edition that I refuse to enter all the details again and go through merges. I'd feel slightly more inclined to help if people gave some answers to questions like this though. BLongley 17:24, 4 Sep 2007 (CDT)

No responses from Editor

I have five submissions by Alibrarian on hold in the submission queue while I wait for responses to my questions. Is there any possibility that he cannot access them? He has made entries on other pages so he is capable of using the editing system. I have also noted that he seems to be leaving temp notes on magazine entries such as Hopefully he has a list and will be updating them.--swfritter 10:44, 11 Sep 2007 (CDT)

Alibrarian's response times have been sporadic in the past, but in this case I suspect that he may be having problems accessing the Wiki the way, say, Dgeiser13 has been having problems. ISFDB moderators and frequent Wiki users are aware of the .org/.edu problem, but a casual editor who doesn't follow our discussions here closely may well think that the Wiki is completely down. We probably need to add a big banner explaining our current problems to the Main Page. Ahasuerus 12:28, 11 Sep 2007 (CDT)

Italo Calvino - t zero

There is a verified entry for the volume I have (Colliers 1970) but it doesn't show the contents. Is there a best-practice for resolving that?TFRANK 00:46, 16 Sep 2007 (CDT)

Ideally, all verified publications would have their contents entered, but new and/or inexperienced editors have been known to verify a publication without entering the stories. I would go ahead and enter the contents and leave a note on the verifier's Talk page (User talk:Scott Latham). Thanks for editing! Ahasuerus 01:19, 16 Sep 2007 (CDT)
Thanks for the response. I was going to go to Scott first but for some reason I could not get to his talk page. Finally I put it in explicitly and have now got there. I'll leave him a note before proceeding.TFRANK 01:24, 16 Sep 2007 (CDT)
The Wiki has been experiencing technical difficulties for over a week now. All links that refer to "" (which should be automatically redirected to "") are currently flaky. Sometimes they work, but most of the time they don't, so we need to make sure that we are only using "" pages. Ahasuerus 01:29, 16 Sep 2007 (CDT)

Arthur H. Landis - Camelot in Orbit

I updated your verified entry for this pub with the publication date. Mhhutchins 15:44, 16 Sep 2007 (CDT)

Looks good, thanks! Ahasuerus 18:07, 16 Sep 2007 (CDT)

ezines with ISSN's (Baen's Universe revisted)

There is support for ebooks with ISBN numbers: ISBN policy. Magazines with ISSN numbers are supported: ISFDB:Policy. So doesn't it follow that ezines with ISSN numbers should also be supported? The distributed forms of Jim Baen's Universe, in my case the mobipocket reader edition, have ISSN numbers. The main reason this issue bugs me is that it gives the printed mags an unfair competitive advantage. Note the advertising info for F&SF.--swfritter 11:27, 18 Sep 2007 (CDT)

It's bugged me for other reasons - such as us refusing to record award-winning stories. Still, all the arguments are here already, and the only things holding me back are that 1) it's not ME holding them:
584561 	ON HOLD (Marc Kupper) 	NewPub 	2007-05-14 15:33:59 	Paula Goodlett 	Jim Baen’s Universe
584565 	ON HOLD (Marc Kupper) 	NewPub 	2007-05-14 15:37:01 	Paula Goodlett 	Jim Baen’s Universe
and 2) If I approve them I may get the job of approving, or worse, ENTERING all the other editions. :-(
I feel fairly strongly that such should be included, but as I don't own any I haven't used Mod Status to approve or reject them. I do think this is a situation where someone should "just do it" (FOR or AGAINST) and we'll cope with the consequences later. Six months is a ridiculous waiting time. And it's not Ahasuerus's problem in Al's absence, it's "whoever cares about it enough"'s problem. BLongley 16:29, 18 Sep 2007 (CDT)
The main reason I did not continue with that other bloated mess of correspondence is to determine whether there is a technical reason for not including them. I think the ground rules clearly support their inclusion. I have all the distributable issues and would be willing to enter past and future data.--swfritter 17:25, 18 Sep 2007 (CDT)
I think the last time we discussed the issue, the consensus was that it was a good idea and the only stumbling block was implementation/data import. If you want to re-post the discussion (or a pointer to it) on the Community Portal, I think we can make a decision to change the policy quickly, especially now that Al has internet access -- he tends to be an inclusionist :) Ahasuerus 22:30, 18 Sep 2007 (CDT)
I will do so. I primarily wanted to make sure there were no outstanding technical issues.--swfritter 11:34, 19 Sep 2007 (CDT)

Re: The compleat Boucher

I have finished adding the rest of the stories, and a poem, and a recipe (!) to this publication. Thank you for merging the stories with their other entries in the DB.

Yes, 535+viii is an appropriate page count.

This is off-topic, but ... My Firefox browser ( can't deal with some aspects of the ISFDB web pages, especially the ISFDB wiki. gif's are not being displayed, e.g. the "ISFDB logo." Also, most of the styling with tabs and so on is not shown. The pages look right under Safari (2.0.4) (but, as before, I cannot log in using Safari). Something, somewhere, changed since the last time I did any editing, which was Sept. 8.

You're right, the title of "Q.U.R." is givwn with periods in the contents page and at the beginning of the story. I have submitted a change in the publication data.

The page count should be 531+viii.

The notes on "The Greatest Tertian" and "The Very Model of a Science Fiction Editor" look OK as far as I can tell. --Chenrich 20:49, 2 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Re Chenrich's remarks concerning Firefox: I use the same version to access ISFDB and everything seems to be working fine. Go to Tools - Options - Contents tab to make sure that "load images automatically" box is checked. Also check to see if JavaScript is enabled (but I'm not sure if that will affect the styling/tabs issue.) Otherwise I'm not sure why your browser is acting differently. Mhhutchins 22:30, 2 Oct 2007 (CDT)
Oh yes, I forgot to mention that I use Firefox almost exclusively and I haven't encountered any unusual problems lately. Ahasuerus 00:51, 3 Oct 2007 (CDT)


It's been an interesting day - thanks!

It's probably opened up a few old worm-cans again, so I've suggested a few "live and let live" options for "Novels with an extra bit" and more importantly how to deal with a fix-up with clear associations to Shortfiction that we want to preserve. That's going to be a bit difficult to explain to some editors though. :-/

Still, I tried - hopefully I've fixed more than I broke - I suspect I've lost the Fahrenheit 451 COLLECTION for good, I think two titles pointed to the same pub - and "Northern Stars" took a lot of rescuing. But I think I've rescued some original data that wasn't visible due to missing Collection or Anthology records: there were consecutive titles in the low thousands that I fixed. The ones I didn't mess with were the ones where people seem very definitely to have an opinion (time to reopen discussions) or titles I couldn't judge from data here or Amazon alone - there's a lot more fixable with wider research though, I'm sure. BLongley 18:16, 4 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Thanks for all the work! It's pretty much a given that any attempt to clean up old data in the basement will unearth ugly artifacts :) Your point about fixups on the cleanup Talk page is well taken, but I think the ultimate solution would be to have a new field in the database for "based on" relationships between Title records. I think I mentioned it in a discussion with Al shortly before he disappeared. Ahasuerus 19:38, 4 Oct 2007 (CDT)
Yes, that would be far better, I just suspect it's a while away. My workaround breaks very easily unless you've really nailed-down the Shortfiction and people always keep the lowest numbered record during the inevitable later merges. BLongley 04:32, 5 Oct 2007 (CDT)


At least they both start with an A. I long for the days of a thousand years ago when the English language had no punctuation.--swfritter 20:33, 4 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Would certainly make a bibliographer's life easier! :) Ahasuerus 21:34, 4 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Magnum edition of Kuttner's "Fury"

William Denholm III, in his Lancer Checklist (Megavore #10, 1980), states that the printing date (11-75) of this edition can be found on page 224 (last page) of the book. If you have access to your verified copy, can you check to see if he's correct. Of course, the printing date and publication date may be off by a month or so, but at least we can give the year of publication. Thanks. Mhhutchins 08:08, 6 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Another thing, he gives sole credit to Henry Kuttner. Someone has placed a note on the first Lancer edition that C. L. Moore's introduction states that she had very little to do with the finished work. Mhhutchins 08:13, 6 Oct 2007 (CDT)
Yes, "11-75" is clearly visible on the last page and I have updated the record accordingly. I also added Moore's introduction, which I cleverly forgot to enter the first time around. As far as the authorship goes, Moore's intro says "Fury was written by about one and an eighth persons". I wonder if we should credit her at all, either at the title level or at the publication level? Hm... Ahasuerus 13:26, 6 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Thinking ahead to next blackjack situation

The contribution stats suggest we should be looking at these people:

Alibrarian 	2510
Rudam 	2436
Brin1 	2272

Alibrarian doesn't seem to be very good at communicating, and Brin1 seems to have been inactive for a while, but Rudam seems to be working quite well now, and responding rapidly if not exactly being proactive. I think he's going to be worth consideration soon if people talk to him more often and get him involved a bit more. (We threatened him with Perry Rhodan at one point, so maybe he's hiding a bit?) Still, I don't speak German (although I've been working for Deutsche Telekom for a few years now!) so maybe it's a language barrier thing - but I'd like to get a few more multi-lingual mods on board, and this seems the best of the current crop. Have a look at his work, at least. (I'm back to work tomorrow, hopefully: although if my father doesn't get out of hospital soon then everything's up in the air again and I may not have internet access at all, but either way someone else can do approvals for a bit.) BLongley 14:51, 7 Oct 2007 (CDT)

I think Rkihara is ready. His submission count is less than a 1000 but submission counts for editors working primarily in magazines is deceptive. A single magazine submission can modify twenty or more records. Alibrarian's count is at the higher level because he has been doing valuable work in the series and author area where a submission may only involve a small amount of data. Rkihara is a good communicator and he asks questions. He reads the documentation. More importantly he is meticulous about not corrupting multi-pub entries. I asked him if he is willing and he seems to be. He need not do anymore initially than self-moderate and perhaps moderate other magazine submissions with which he feels comfortable. This might leave me a little more time to moderate some of the less complex book entries.--swfritter 13:45, 8 Oct 2007 (CDT)
Rudam's name has come up before. The last time around my main concern was his communications skills. For example, he once wrote "I control the submission" when he presumably meant something like "I am keeping an eye on this record". It's not a major problem for an editor, but it can conceivably cause problems for a moderator trying to communicate with editors, especially new editors. Am I being just a tad too paranoid? :)
Ron seems to be getting quite close to self-sufficiency, so if he wants to accept the nomination, I will be in favor. And speaking of foreign languages, Ron is interested in Japanese and Russian, which can be an asset to us. My Russian is quite good and I have corrected dozens of Russian language titles in the database, but my Japanese is virtually non-existent, so any help in that area would be great. Not that it has anything to do with moderatorizing either editor, of course :) Ahasuerus 14:16, 8 Oct 2007 (CDT)
Many of the moderators may not be familiar with Ron's work because he is working in magazines. I only voted on one of the last two moderators and that was based upon my single interchange with an editor which convinced me that he understood multi-pub entries. I will probably get a final OK from him tomorrow and then nominate him.--swfritter 14:33, 8 Oct 2007 (CDT)
Rkihara does seem nearly ready to me too - I don't often look at his submissions as there seems to have been a good Mentoring relationship built up, but the ones I've looked at when I've been the only active Mod online have been nearly faultless and his discussions seem now to be more positive, talking as an equal rather than as a "help me!" editor. I'd support his nomination too, but I'd be reluctant to propose him myself as that's not my speciality by any means. He's more ready than Rudam, I think, but as I pointed out Rudam probably needs a bit more stimulation into active communication: my German is not going to improve from its current non-existence, his English might. The problem is that when an editor becomes worthy of self-approving without a long history of discussions, we're likely to overlook them: do we have any mods that are German and English fluent that could help? BLongley 15:14, 8 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Leiber's Ships to the Stars

Are you close enough to your collection to verify the catalog number of your verified copy of this edition? Dgeiser13 just submitted a new pub record that is very similar but with the catalog number of 76110. Checking my back issues of Locus, I found this title listed among the October releases in Locus #196 (November 30, 1976) with the same price ($1.50), and a catalog number of 76110. Thanks. Mhhutchins 16:26, 9 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Unfortunately, I am a few thousand miles away from my collection and my teleportation skills have deteriorated over the last few centuries :( Chances are that I was wrong and that it should be a "6", but I will double check my copy when I get back to the collection on November 1. Thanks for the heads up! Ahasuerus 16:30, 9 Oct 2007 (CDT)
Yes, it was a typo on my part. I have corrected the Catalog ID, added the publication month from Locus and the cover art URL from Dgeiser13's pub and deleted the duplicate. Thanks, good catch! Ahasuerus 23:59, 31 Oct 2007 (CDT)

New user

Mhhutchins was the first to contact Davecat and you can imagine I am pretty excited to see a magazine editor who seems to be catching on pretty quick on his first day. I had some ideas about Mentoring which got no comment so I wonder if I was totally off base. Do you think any of these ideas are worthwhile as pertains to the new user. I might note that my suggestion about initially having a single contact does not apply to you to any comments you might have. I have approved some of the new users submissions but left notes on them on Mhhutchins Talk.--swfritter 14:53, 18 Oct 2007 (CDT)

I am all for continuing our "Mentoring Program", I just haven't had a chance to comment on your thoughts yet. I am currently torn between testing different library search engines, writing my own version of the same, creating database cleanup scripts, trying to keep the Wiki a reasonably peaceful/productive place and all that pesky RL stuff. As far as your specific proposals go, the underlying idea appears to be the need to avoid conflicting advice and overlapping moderation. Ideally, we would have some kind of software support for this, e.g. displaying "mentored" editors' submissions differently so that they wouldn't be approved by accident, but I think that your proposals are a good starting point. Ahasuerus 15:10, 18 Oct 2007 (CDT)
I actually intended to respond to Swfritter's ideas about a mentoring program but got caught up in the Data Inconsistencies track, and never got back. I like his ideas and have agreed to take on new editor Davecat. My one concern is that his (Davecat) and my hours might not coincide, and that his edits won't clog up the queue. Mhhutchins 15:53, 18 Oct 2007 (CDT)
I think the initial phase of primary moderator may last a fairly short time. It has been a learning process for me to broaden my moderation areas and you may get some idea of some of the difficult to document issues that can occur with magazines.--swfritter 16:35, 18 Oct 2007 (CDT)
I think this mentoring example has been a great success, although I don't mean to put down the multiple advisors/mentors I had when I first started. It may be that all we really need is to make sure new editors don't go it alone, but don't get multiple people discussing possible variations on what to do on the newcomer's talk page! And please let's not stop at new Editors: new Moderators may like to pair off with a more experienced one, and as we're getting more specialised "just self-approving for now" moderators that are obviously advancing beyond that level in their speciality, it doesn't have to be a "you're the boss" relationship - for instance, at some point I want someone to advise me on how to deal with British Magazines I have where the canonical version is US, and am willing to teach British Publisher Imprints or British pre-decimal pricing policies or even how I deal with Dissembler submissions of future publications. There's always something to learn, and I'm still willing to BE Mentored, AND/OR Mentor someone else, there's just still quite a few subjects where nobody is stepping up as AN expert, let alone THE expert. I think Swfritter has also been good at pushing an issue that hasn't been resolved over several months into a resolution (probably at risk of being lumbered as "the expert" in such things as E-magazines for instance) and I should probably try some of that again too. BLongley 17:02, 18 Oct 2007 (CDT)
In many ways this will help replicate the environment that was in existence when I joined. There was a smaller moderator base and my initial contact was with only a few moderators.--swfritter 17:13, 18 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Alibrarian will not communicate

I really do not not know what to do. He is continuing to add the same invalid legal name data and will not communicate. I approved and cleaned up his last batch but he has started again. Considering how quickly the new users have learned how to communicate I don't think the Wiki problems can be used as an excuse. I have tried everything I can to make him feel comfortable with communicating with me. I hate bugging you with this but luckily this is the sort of problme that rarely comes up.--swfritter 14:21, 20 Oct 2007 (CDT)

I know we've tried leaving messages in rejection notes, but does he still make any publication edits that suggest he'll be returning to the publication again? E.g. Adding new content that's a variant of an existing entry that he'll want to remove? Any "temp notes"? If so, leaving a message in the Pub notes might be something else to try. Other than that, the only other thing I can think of is hacking the Squid server at, grabbing his IP address, and work back from there... :-/ BLongley 15:09, 20 Oct 2007 (CDT)
Unfortunately, I don't have any other ideas :-( As far as the notion that "Wiki problems can['t] be used as an excuse", well... I once saw a retired engineer (!) blame the internet provider for a dead modem (!), so anything is possible :-\ Ahasuerus 19:43, 20 Oct 2007 (CDT)
I'd like to try the "communicate via pub notes" IF he is making any pub edits, but otherwise I'd have to say we should reject ALL his edits, and make the good ones ourselves until he gets peeved enough to complain we're stealing his edits. It looks as though he's concentrating on Titles and Authors for the moment though. BLongley 20:34, 20 Oct 2007 (CDT)
I think he has a tendency to resubmit rejected edits. I think the thing to do right now is reject incorrect submissions and perhaps even submissions that might take research time while accepting obviously correct ones.--swfritter 10:55, 21 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Is the new help helpful?

Rather than try creating a working local ISFDB from scratch (I hope we can get Wim to do that again and tell us how), I thought I'd be more useful posting some of the things you can do even if you have only got the MySQL stuff sorted. You've probably already noticed them as I think you too try and see all Wiki recent changes, but for anyone else watching, they're here as that place seemed logical when I started. IF it's useful then it probably needs to move elsewhere, but I thought I'd ask for a sanity check first - I know there's gaps in my knowledge (as I'm not Al) but I'm not trying to explain everything and hopefully have got a few little bits sorted. Is this useful stuff, do you think, or a case of "a LITTLE knowledge is a dangerous thing"? BLongley 16:50, 21 Oct 2007 (CDT)

This looks potentially very helpful (thanks for tackling it!) with two caveats:
  1. The page is generally targeted at new editors like Dave Sorgen, who already know SQL and who would be in a position to absorb the text easily. However, there are also very useful bits of advise on that page that are not technical at all and that all new editors could benefit from regardless of their familiarity (or lack thereof) with SQL. I wonder if the latter could be separated from the former so that our non-technical editors wouldn't have to struggle with the SQL stuff to get to the parts that they could understand?
  2. I am not the best person to ask about the readability of the SQL part of the page since a few weeks ago I gave up on Python and SQL, converted the database to a format that I was comfortable with and haven't looked back since. I can run SQL queries if I have to, but my fingers know the other format so much better...
Also, since I do think that this is a useful thing to pursue, do you want to cut and paste this discussion to the Community Portal or some other higher visibility page? Ahasuerus 22:51, 21 Oct 2007 (CDT)
1) Sure, the non-technical bits can be extracted but I'll need to put some extra thought into "if you're not using SQL, how would you come across/recognise this problem?" - you're right, I started writing this from a "SQL is useful, don't be scared of it" POV and the examples of things to fix just keep cropping up naturally. I think I'll continue from the SQL side for a bit, find out what I've learnt, and THEN try to clarify it for the non-SQL users, and tidy up the SQL bits too. This is pretty much "stream-of-consciousness" brain-dumping at the moment, but as I'm brain-dumping in public I thought I'd run it past a few wiser heads before I draw too much attention to it, just in case I advise something and haven't got round to covering the "oh, EXCEPT when {something}, that would be disastrous" bit.
2) I've asked for comments from Dave Sorgen and Swfritter too, but I'm intrigued as to what you're using now - a Hierarchical database rather than Relational? Or something even more obscure, like APL?
I'll leave the move to Higher Visibility for a bit, unless you think some of it is urgently needed already, I want to see how long this "documenting things" buzz lasts - it's not often I get the urge to buckle down and do something THOROUGHLY. BLongley 14:01, 22 Oct 2007 (CDT)
No hurry, take your time! As far as my database goes, I don't know if I am authorized to disclosed this vital national security information. After all, when aliens invade, we may need something even more sophisticated than PDP-11 Assembly in reserve to defeat them! Ahasuerus 21:34, 22 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Gunner Cade

Correct cover? BLongley 11:30, 27 Oct 2007 (CDT)

Yes, it looks about right, I will double check on Thursday when I get to see my collection. Ahasuerus 13:06, 27 Oct 2007 (CDT)
Also Masters of Evolution / Fire in the Heavens and Mister Justice / Hierarchies and Off Center / The Rithian Terror and The Mad Metropolis / Space Captain. BLongley 07:23, 28 Oct 2007 (CDT)
The covers look right and I will double check on Thursday. Ahasuerus 10:11, 28 Oct 2007 (CDT)
I'm told there was only ever one printing of an Ace Double under the same reference number, if so I guess I can stop asking people to check? BLongley 07:23, 28 Oct 2007 (CDT)
You know, it's embarrassing, but I don't believe I have ever thought about it. Upon reflection, it seems to be right, but I am not positive. Mike Christie would likely know the answer since Ace is one of his areas of specialization. Ahasuerus 10:11, 28 Oct 2007 (CDT)
Or Jim Gardner maybe... he seems to have, or had, well over half of the titles I've looked at so far. All of the ones he's recorded as second printing have different reference numbers. BLongley 12:23, 28 Oct 2007 (CDT)

(unindent)Gunner Cade confirmed, although I have to say that I find the whole "X writing as Y" convention vaguely condescending. Ahasuerus 20:28, 1 Nov 2007 (CDT)

And the pseudonym made the Ace Double Omnibus entry a bit of a pain. Perhaps that's why help says to leave them blank? (We should probably decide soon, the actuality is now out of step with the help.) BLongley 13:52, 2 Nov 2007 (CDT)
IIRC -- and I may be misremembering -- Mike Christie, who wrote that Help page, didn't like the idea of dos-a-dos books appearing on Summary Bibliography pages. I see his point, but I think that it's a small price to pay for consistency. I believe we are ready to make the decision and would post on the Standards page if it wasn't for my feverish attempts to verify a bunch of books before I hit the road again on Sunday. Ahasuerus 19:51, 2 Nov 2007 (CDT)
Leave that to me then. I have researched this extensively (basically EVERY Ace Double identifiable by publisher from last backup - I know that doesn't cover them all), messed with a lot of other people's verified pubs in the name of superior cover-art, and don't mind if we need another pass to remove a third of my edits if that's the way we want to go. I usually added coverart URL, fixed binding and title type, and added the OMNIBUS record when missing - adding the variants made me wonder whether adding authors when we already had those on all contents was worthwhile. Still, I can post some examples of what it's done to various authors now. Examples are GOOD. (But so is SLEEP, and I'll try that for a while too now.) BLongley 20:09, 2 Nov 2007 (CDT)
My vote will be for the Omnibus and a listing of the authors. Any with a single novel title I'm changing to the Omnibus style title, most are that way now. When I'm finished all Ace Double titles will be consistant. Bill,if you like you can leave the rest to me, but keep adding the cover art. I've gotten fairly quick at fixing them.Kraang 20:18, 2 Nov 2007 (CDT)
Go for it, folks! :) Ahasuerus 20:48, 2 Nov 2007 (CDT)
I haven't forgotten this, just found that The FAQ for dos-a-dos books such as Ace Doubles is inconsistent with some other help, notably that for Omnibus records in Editpub help. I will need to find some good examples to justify this. Don't worry, I know we HAVE them now, I just can't instantly recall examples of two novellas, different interiorart for each side, etc. I'll find them shortly, just run out of time for today. BLongley 18:26, 3 Nov 2007 (CDT)
No worries, sleep is good too! Or so I hear -- I should really try it some time soon. Ahasuerus 19:11, 3 Nov 2007 (CDT)

A simpler method for solving the merged story issue?

All of our discussion have involved a fix that would involve data manipulation. Is it possible Al could find the time in the next few months to merely modify the code so that there would be an indicator in Publication Editor and Submission screens that a particular entry is involved in a merged or variant situation. Since this would eliminate any coding for updates to the database it would require substantially less coding and testing. The primary thing we would have to test for is false negatives - an entry that should have been flagged but wasn't. What's in this for Al? I will start putting in multiple artwork. Starting first with F&SF.--swfritter 17:14, 31 Oct 2007 (CDT)

An interesting thought... Give me a few days to think about it since I am trying to concentrate on Verifications while I have access to my collection. I'll probably have something to say by Monday :) Ahasuerus 23:42, 31 Oct 2007 (CDT)
I'll even offer to do the multiple illustrations in Fantastic Universe.--swfritter 16:18, 1 Nov 2007 (CDT)

Breakdown of 1950's issues

As you can see we are in pretty good shape. This list can serve as a beginning point for inclusion of other magazines that Ashley did not list and as a model for analyzing other decades and other continents.--swfritter 18:03, 1 Nov 2007 (CDT)

Looks good! We are missing a bunch of 1960s magazines, including pretty much all the reprint digests, but otherwise our post-pulp data is in better shape than I suspected. I'll take the magazine checklist that I mentioned the other day with me when I leave on Sunday and will try to identify additional missing titles in November. So many projects, so little time... Ahasuerus 19:05, 1 Nov 2007 (CDT)

Changes to magazine template

I noticed that you emboldened some of the headers for Imagination. I have been using Template:Magazine for the magazine wiki's. Perhaps that should updated also? That also means that 30 or 40 wiki pages where I have used the template should be updated? I have a pretty good idea which ones I have used the template on and I can work on them.--swfritter 17:12, 27 Nov 2007 (CST)

I see that the Magazine template was created by me some 11 months ago. I am trying to recall why I decided not to bold these words at the time and, um, not having much success. I am quite sure that I have used bolding on some Wiki pages since then, but apparently not as consistently as I thought :( . Would you say that it looks better bolded? Ahasuerus 22:34, 27 Nov 2007 (CST)
Definitely like the bolded better. Fixing up the existing ones is a pretty trivial task. I've also been thinking about where the current and future mini-essays should go. It seems to me that the primary reason for going to the magazine wiki pages is to access the grids to view the contents of a particular issue. I am thinking that any extraneous information for a magazine should be after the grids or saved elsewhere with an access link.--swfritter 14:08, 28 Nov 2007 (CST)
Bolding it is then! :) As far as various non-grid data goes, I think that certain types of information, e.g. title changes and the names of editors, may be important enough to list before the grid. (We may also want to link to the magazine's Wikipedia page, if available.)
Also, keep in mind that the grid format was created years ago, long before Al added support for Magazine Series to the application. Once we add EDITOR records to all Magazine pubs and organize them in Series, much of the grid's functionality will be superseded by what we have in the database. I am even thinking that we could generate similar HTML grids programmatically once all Magazine records have been updated. Food for thought... Ahasuerus 11:22, 29 Nov 2007 (CST)

Reviewers reviewing their own works

You may remember commenting on George O. Smith's review of his own book. In the August 1954 issue of Science Fiction Quarterly Robert A. W. Lowndes gives a favorable review of one his books. His rationalization for such self-adulation - George O. Smith did it. I also might note that Lowndes initials a few of the "It Says Here" columns with most of them being unsigned. My assumption was that he probably wrote them but later on in the series there are indexes to fiction and essays - and the only "It Says Here" columns that are credited to Lowndes are the ones he initialed. So maybe someone else did write them and our policy of not assigning authorship to such columns has even further justification.--swfritter 17:22, 27 Nov 2007 (CST)

IIRC, Doc Lowndes had a bunch of assistants who helped him with editing his stable of magazines, including Bob Madle whom I mentioned a few minutes ago on your Talk page. Doc wasn't the greatest editor who ever lived, but he was a pleasant guy and his magazines covered fandom quite throughly (for prozines), so there were always folks willing to help. I wouldn't be surprised if a higher than normal percentage of unsigned articles in his magazines were contributed by other people. For example, see the Notes field in my verified Dynamic Science Fiction, June 1953, which we may want to revisit in light of this discussion. Overall, I agree that the "non-predetermination policy" (to steal a term from a totally different field) is probably our best bet. Ahasuerus 22:49, 27 Nov 2007 (CST)

Science Fiction March 1939

Apologies for the mistakes I made entering the data for this issue, but the help pages were not working for me at the time, and I guessed a bit. Actually, I guessed a lot :) The cover was done by Paul alone, not Paul and Binder. I've made the correction (I think) to the magazine data.

I've had a look at the help files, and I'll have a stab at entering the next issue of this magazine. Sadly, that's all I have of this particular run, but I'll take a look and see if I have anything else that's missing here. I've used this resource a's nice to be able ot help out a bit.


Gorgon776 23:36, 27 Nov 2007 (CST)

Answered on your Talk page. Ahasuerus 22:18, 28 Nov 2007 (CST)
Thanks for the input. The Manly Wade Wellman story was credited to Manly, not "Manley". That was my typo. Gorgon776 05:16, 30 Nov 2007 (CST)
Thanks, looks like our publication record is in good shape then! :) Ahasuerus 14:57, 30 Nov 2007 (CST)

The Einstein Intersection by Delany

I added the cover artist credit to your verified edition of this novel. (Credit is on the title verso page.) Mhhutchins 22:07, 4 Dec 2007 (CST)

Those sneaky artists! :) Ahasuerus 23:05, 4 Dec 2007 (CST)
Yeah, every once in awhile one of them manages to receive an acknowledgment of their work. I'm going through my paperbacks now, and it's fairly common for the cover artist not to be credited. Mhhutchins 23:24, 4 Dec 2007 (CST)
... and then they get frustrated and "sign" their work with microscopic illegible initials and/or hide them in the picture :( I have Double Your Pleasure: The Ace SF Double here and some of the attributions are tentative even though the author had spent man years on research. I'll have to add notes whenever there is doubt as I reconcile his data with ours. Ahasuerus 00:39, 5 Dec 2007 (CST)

Rite of Passage by Panshin

I added the month of publication of your verified edition of this novel based on info printed in my 1973 third printing. Mhhutchins 09:36, 5 Dec 2007 (CST)

Paraworld Zero

In response to your questions: yes, I am the author of Paraworld Zero and you have permission to use the image link I provided (Amazon should also have the cover image in the next week or so.). If you have permission to use book images, then please use this link instead of the one I gave: 23661121.JPG

Blue Works is an imprint of Windstorm Creative. The reason there was a duplicate entry, by the way, is because I only put 2008 as the year. The second one that you rejected was correct: Published 2008-01-01. Please make that change if you haven't already. THANKS! Paraworlds 23:57, 6 Dec 2007 (CST)

Answered on your Talk page a minute ago :) BTW, the reason why you may be seeing blank page after hitting the Submit button is that, as we mention on the Main Page, "all links that start with "" are currently unstable. You can still access all Wiki and Help pages by manually replacing "" with "" in the affected URLs." All changes go through, but then the software cleverly redirects you to the broken "" site. It's a bit of a mess :( Ahasuerus 00:03, 7 Dec 2007 (CST)

Images from Galactic Central

I've been entering data for Amazing Stories, and I've noticed some images linked from Galactic Central. In a posting about starting a Checklist of image hosting sites you said that we had permission to use the images, but needed to post a credit and a link to Galactic Central. Has this credit and link already been posted, or should I enter the credit and link somewhere on the main page for Amazing Stories?--Rkihara 14:26, 9 Dec 2007 (CST)

Thanks for the heads up! I forgot to update our ImageURL Template when we received Phil's permission to use his images. All fixed now. I am sure adding a link to his site from the main Amazing Stories Wiki page wouldn't hurt either :) Ahasuerus 14:54, 9 Dec 2007 (CST)
Added a credit and a link to Galactic Central on the Amazing Stories page, under heading Image Sources--Rkihara 16:28, 9 Dec 2007 (CST)

Tracking relationship of magazine cover art to interior story

Hi! I'm new. Question for you - are we tracking whether or not publications were illustrated in the original, and especially which stories inside a magazine have associated cover and interior illustrations, by what artists?

I'm particularly interested in the question of tracking printings, reprintings, and online availability of short fiction and am in conversation with some folks about automatically saving TOC - related info for collections that are being digitally scanned. Would love to coordinate efforts.

Netmouse 13:10, 10 Dec 2007 (CST)

Answered on your Talk page. Ahasuerus 16:07, 10 Dec 2007 (CST)

Future Mar 1953

Before I make any changes to your verified pub. The only significant issues: "Down to Earth" is not credited. "Readin' and Writhin'" is listed as "essay by Robert A. W. Lowndes [as by uncredited ]". Although the actual title page of the column is not credited Robert W. Lowndes is credited as the author in the table of contents which seems to me to justify dropping the uncredited part as is done in the actual reviews. I also need to add series qualifiers to the columns. I have been putting the date of the issue being reckoned in "The Reckoning" in previous issues. See the January 1953 issue for the basic template I am using.--swfritter 18:30, 11 Dec 2007 (CST)

Hm, I wonder why I attributed "Down to Earth" to Lowndes even though I used "uncredited" elsewhere in this issue? Feel free to make the proposed changes and I'll check my copy for microscopic initials and other ethereal emanations when I get back to my collection on December 29 :) Ahasuerus 18:45, 11 Dec 2007 (CST)
Thanks. As soon as I am done with "Future" (although I am missing two later issues) I will take a look at "Dynamic" (I have all the issues) and then my entries for "(Original) Science Fiction Stories" where I think I can format the series data more consistently. I also need to jump through the hoops required to change the editor series entries for Lowndes who was almost always entered in the ISFDb by the canonical name Robert A. W. Lowndes rather than Robert W. Lowndes.--swfritter 19:38, 11 Dec 2007 (CST)
That's what happens when you have too many middle initials :( BTW, I believe that my stack of Futures is readily accessible, so I may be able to verify the missing ones on 12/29. Of course, with our magazine luck, they will be squirreled away in some unmarked box along with the only known copy of Jaw Dropping Stories... Ahasuerus 22:04, 11 Dec 2007 (CST)
I have re-verified the issue and added a missing de Camp letter. I also added this issue's instances of "Down to Earth" and "The Reckoning" to their respective "The Reckoning (Future Science Fiction)" and "Down To Earth (Future Science Fiction)" series. As far as "Down to Earth" goes, I agree that it is "uncredited", but I made it into a pseudonymous Lowndes article based on the following reasoning that I added to Notes: ""Down to Earth" is not explicitly credited, but clearly written by Robert A. W. Lowndes since the author is directly responding to numerous letter all addressed to Lowndes." Would you say that it's a reasonable compromise? Ahasuerus 23:13, 29 Dec 2007 (CST)

Dates of Interzone

Interzone is still a bimonthly magazine, however Interzone, May/June 2005 seems to be the last issue with bimonthly date N/N+1 printer on the cover. In Greg Egan's index after #198, May/Jun 05 there is #199, Aug 05 and the issues I have (from Oct 06 to Dec 07) also are dated this way. Initially the new dates were printed in small letters next to the barcode, only from April 07 became more visible. As they are published quite late (Interzone Dec 2007 issue was mailed to subscribers on 8th November according to TTA, i.e. later then F&SF Dec 2007), I think we should use the printed month as the publication date, i.e. I will change Sep/Oct 06 to Oct 06 and the date from 2006-09-00 to 2006-10-00 and edit following issues accordingly. Is it OK?

Another question: from Dec 2006 there are 4 unnumbered pages printed on different paper in the middle of Interzone; they contain subscription forms but also ads, info on future issues, readers' polls etc. Should I add them to the page count or mark as 68+4? Roglo 08:14, 14 Dec 2007 (CST)

Good questions! I am in a rush at the moment, so let me repost them on the ISFDB:Help desk board and hopefully somebody will chime in shortly :) Ahasuerus 14:19, 14 Dec 2007 (CST)

Space VIking by Piper

Locus #198 (January 30, 1977) has a listing of books released in January, including your verified edition of this novel. Mhhutchins 17:58, 19 Dec 2007 (CST)

Thanks, will fix momentarily! :) Ahasuerus 17:59, 19 Dec 2007 (CST)

Titus Alone by Peake

I was entering my copy of this novel, and noticed the similarity between it and the one you verified. Yours shows a date of October, 1970 and noted as the fourth printing. The print history in my copy indicates that the fourth printing was in September, 1973 which makes more sense if it has the same catalog number and price as my fifth printing. (Though it does list the third printing as October, 1970.) Mhhutchins 18:40, 19 Dec 2007 (CST)

I happen to have this edition of Titus Alone on the road with me (what were the chances?), so I should be able to double check in a couple of hours :) Ahasuerus 18:59, 19 Dec 2007 (CST)
Turns out you were absolutely right, my fourth printing appeared in September 1973. I must have copied the date from the "Third printing" line of the copyright page. Good catch, thanks! Ahasuerus 00:00, 20 Dec 2007 (CST)

The Well of the Unicorn by Pratt

I've added a link to the cover art to your verified edition of this novel. As I have the same edition, I'm sure it's the correct cover. Thanks. Mhhutchins 19:09, 20 Dec 2007 (CST)

Yup, that's the one, I remember it well! Ahasuerus 19:16, 20 Dec 2007 (CST)


I noticed you updated the help template with some good news about ISBN-13s. I'm wondering if you have an opinion on what to do with "correct", as in "that's what's stated" versus "correct" as in "this will get you to other reference sources"? We had a little discussion here earlier. Whichever option is preferred, we could probably do with adding that to the help. (And maybe a link to Marc Kupper's utility, if people find it as useful as me? BLongley 19:17, 23 Dec 2007 (CST)

It's not an easy call to make, but I agree that at some point we want to decide one way or the other and update our Help pages accordingly. If we decide to record these "bad checksum ISBNs" in the main ISBN field, then we will want some kind of mechanism to let our validation scripts know to ignore them. Perhaps a separate Wiki page where the "bad" ISBNs would be listed? That way we could cut-and-paste it into a file before running the validation script against a local copy of the backup. Ahasuerus 19:41, 23 Dec 2007 (CST)

Narrators & Translators "entry type" in contents

This is just a thought, but would it be possible to include these two headings in the "entry type" of the contents section? This way the names get recorded under a proper heading and are not lost in notes or confused in the authors section.Kraang 16:52, 26 Dec 2007 (CST)

Support for translators happens to be item number 2 on the Major Feature Roadmap :) Of course, our schedule slipped rather badly earlier this year when Al's ISFDB time plummeted, but with luck the feature should be added one of these days. My personal preference would be for us to adopt the standard MARC-21 methodology, which allows "roles" like "cover design", "narrator", "editor", etc, but I am not sure how much work it would involve. Ahasuerus 18:16, 26 Dec 2007 (CST)
I've been moving a lot of these people around recently, to notes as there's nowhere else to go. I know there's a translator field at title level, but that's not available or useful, as most are of use at an edition or publication level. But I'd support both these for inclusion as a new field, somewhere. I'd have said at publication level, but after entering this one then it might be necessary to make it content level. BLongley 18:23, 26 Dec 2007 (CST)

Future Science Fiction, No. 38, October 1958

The only issue of the 50's series that hasn't gone through Bibliographic Tasks. I will wait to update the wiki in the hopes that you can track down this issue at the end of the month. But there are some questions.

  • Nearly all of the Lowndes mags that were attributed to Robert A. Lowndes as editor were entered as Robert A. W. Lowndes in the database. I figured I would be less likely to make mistakes if I changed them to Robert A. Lowndes at one time but I want to make sure that any potential changes to the Edit displays might not have some impact. As I mentioned before it would be nice if the pseudonym attribution showed up in pub listings.
  • A number of the wiki pages have names and email addresses of the editors who originally entered data. Would it be a good idea to give them credit for "initial data entry" and remove their email addresses?
  • Essays signed with initials. I got a few responses to my query in Rules and standards. RAWL and RWL initials in these mags are, to my mind, clearly the initials of the Lowndes and are much less ambiguous than attributions like "The Editor". Rkihara and I have not been assigning wlh as a pseudonym for William l. Hamling while doing the Imagination series. Of course, that means I have been ignoring some of the first piece of advice I received which is probably why I left off doing Imagination until now.--swfritter 20:54, 26 Dec 2007 (CST)
I asked Rkihara for an opinion and he also seemed to agree with my position. If you find the policy of not assigning pseudonyms for initials that clearly refer to a specific individual to be an acceptable policy I will update Help. I think the only place where this method has been used are a few issues of Dynamic and Infinity and I can fix them up to be consistent. Dynamic mags might also need some relatively simple modifications to make them consistent with the other Lowndes mags. I will probably make a "Readin' and Writhin'" series for each mag and group them under a master "Readin' and Writhin'" series.--swfritter 12:09, 28 Dec 2007 (CST)
Yes, I saw that discussion the other day. I don't have a strong opinion one way or the other. If anything, I am inclined to agree that we are better off not creating pseudonymous variant titles for articles signed with initials, so if there are no other objections, we can update Help and post on the Standards board. As far as the Dynamics go, I entered and verified them relatively early in the game and our standards have evolved since then, so feel free to update the data.
P.S. I will be traveling today and will be busy with verifications next week, but I will check the Wiki periodically in case anything interesting happens. Ahasuerus 12:39, 28 Dec 2007 (CST)
Sure, I'll see what I can do. By the way, have we considered marking individual magazine titles on the Magazines page as "Bibliographic Tasks done" (or some similar) once the whole run has been reconciled? Ahasuerus 21:26, 26 Dec 2007 (CST)
I had considered using a bold Complete and then putting in a legend to indicate that Complete indicates data for all issues has been completed from either primary or secondary sources and Complete means that the six bibliographic tasks have been completed. Another option would be to but separate notation in another set of parenthesis - example:
  • Imaginative Tales (Complete. 1954-1958) (Bibliographical Tasks Complete)
The second solution creates a little more clutter but the first is not as obvious. In the case of Future I would currently have to make some kind of notation indicating the number of issues that have not been tasked.--swfritter 15:54, 27 Dec 2007 (CST)
True, it's hard to achieve clarity and brevity at the same time, so we may want to post a proposal on the Community Portal. How about something like "All Issues Entered" vs. "All Issues verified"?
As far as removing the e-mail addresses goes, most of them were entered ca. 1996, before e-mail harvesting and commercial spamming became a major issue. I doubt many of them of them are still active a decade+ later, but we may want to bring it up with Al, who added most of them. Ahasuerus 16:13, 27 Dec 2007 (CST)

(unindent) The October 1958 issue of Future was actually No. 39. Just to be on the safe side, I pulled out both and here is what I found:

Future Science Fiction, No. 38, August 1958, previously verified by Alibrarian. 6 reviews and 1 letter (from Robert "Buck" Coulson) added, one previously "uncredited" essay attributed to Lowndes based on (well hidden) initials, bunch of notes added. My copy is missing 60% of the final page with a part of Lowndes' response to Coulson't letter -- and perhaps a previously unnoticed brief letter from Heinlein comprehensively explaining his philosophy -- so take it with a grain of salt. As an added bonus, I found and fixed a bunch of bad records from the late 1920s and early 1930s, which presumably makes writing some of the data cleansing scripts that I had been planning to write even more urgent.

Future Science Fiction, No. 39, October 1958 was lacking essays and reviews, so I added them. I suspect that we need to go back to earlier 1958 issues and add Lowndes' reviews of various 1928 Amazing stories that Alibrarian missed the first time around. Ahasuerus 21:57, 29 Dec 2007 (CST)

Since we apparently don't have any 1941-1943 Futures in the database, I figured I might as well take care of this lacuna this week while I have access to my collection. Lack of coverage in the case of a reasonably well known magazine like Future is rather unfortunate considering how comprehensive our coverage of some other areas has become lately. Ahasuerus 00:06, 30 Dec 2007 (CST)
My collection lacks only issues 1, 7, 10 of Science Fiction Quarterly from the 40's. All the issues are in the database, presumably from secondary sources. So if they happen to be nearby. If I remember there is very little editorial content in them.--swfritter 15:16, 31 Dec 2007 (CST)
OK, I'll add these three issues to my verification list for this week. Once I am done with the Futures and this stack of Nortons, that is. Ahasuerus 15:26, 31 Dec 2007 (CST)
Future Oct 1958. Both pieces of artwork for 'Feuling Stop' have a subscript of [1]. Also, I have been suggesting the format found in this issue without a subscript for the first piece of artwork. I believe this was based upon an example Al did but I can't remember where it is. So far Davecat is the only one entering multiple pieces of interior art on a regular basis. Don't know if you have seen this site or not but there is at least one other person besides myself who thinks are displays are getting a little cluttered. I did not notice that Lowndes was reviewing short fiction (valid as book reviews? I agree) but in the interests of getting data entered I often turn a blind eye to the contents of essays. I will go back and check the other issues. I have gotten no more responses about substituting non-equivocal initials with actual name and will probably update Help tomorrow.--swfritter 16:05, 31 Dec 2007 (CST)
Changes made, thanks! As far as Mike Cross' site goes, I remember it. He was involved a couple of years ago when Al was still moving ISFDB from the original proprietary database format to MySQL. I don't think he has been around lately, i.e. post-2005-02-00, but Al would be the person to ask. Re: short fiction reviews, well, there were precious few genre books in the late 1920s -- unless you count Verne, Wells, Thorne Smith, etc -- so any new stf appeared in the pulps. If we don't list these reviews, then we will have a huge gap in genre coverage. Besides, some of the stories/serials (like Doc Smith's work) were quite long, so one could argue that we would want to include their reviews anyway. Ahasuerus 16:51, 31 Dec 2007 (CST)

Chiefta(i)n of Andor

I've been checking why so many review links in a Delap F&SF review I entered are broken, and see you verified this pub. The picture in the magazine shows "Chieftain" on the cover (like this) (and is apparently by Michael Mariano) - is it different on title page? If so, a note is in order and I can update the review to link correctly. BLongley 16:38, 27 Dec 2007 (CST)

Probably just a typo, but I will verify on Saturday. Thanks for the heads up! Ahasuerus 16:41, 27 Dec 2007 (CST)
Yup, it was a typo. All fixed now, thanks! Ahasuerus 22:23, 29 Dec 2007 (CST)
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