User talk:BLongley/Archives/Archive08


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Vulcan's Forge

Could you double-check the page count for [this]. Seems low and two other sources [see the notes] have two higher, different counts. Thanks! [hopefully this is findable??] ;-) --~ Bill, Bluesman 03:49, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

Yes, I've got all the Novels unpacked now. You're right, this was too low - the differences come from all the bumf after the story ends on page 328. Fixed now. BLongley 13:57, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
"bumf"?? a peculiar British idiom, no doubt! [there is a CDN equivalent, but much less sublime...] ;-) Thanks for checking, have removed the note about disparate page counts. --~ Bill, Bluesman 03:15, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

Submission for Twilight Stories by Rhoda Broughton

Since Don Erikson has gone silent, though continuing to submit, I suggest we accept this submission, but change the note to read "First edition with a new title". According to Reginald1, the 1873 edition from the same publisher (Richard Bentley) was retitled and published in 1879 as Twilight Stories. Mhhutchins 18:28, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

Done. BLongley 16:38, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
Which brings up another point: would you have any idea why the British tell ghost stories at Christmas time, at least in the 19th century? Mhhutchins 18:32, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
I'd put it down to the lack of television. ;-) And long dark Winter evenings are better for ghost stories than bright Summer ones. BLongley 16:38, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
As good an explanation as I've ever heard! Mhhutchins 16:43, 8 January 2011 (UTC)

The Silmarillion

Just acquired what I think is a copy of [this], however, even though the jacket is not clipped, there is no price. No indication of a book club edition either. A GA & U edition, simply states "First published in 1977" on the copyright page. Has the ISBN on inside rear flap at the bottom as well as on the copyright page. Is this the same as yours? [fold-out map is existing as well]. Blue cloth binding with gold lettering on the spine. Thanks! --~ Bill, Bluesman 16:18, 8 January 2011 (UTC)

Not sure where mine is - in one of the "special books that may actually be valuable" boxes - but according to yours is probably the export edition. Apparently "The fun part is to collect all 1st editions from the different printers Billing & Sons, Clowes & Sons, University Press, Unwin Brothers and a Book Club Associates edition (BCA) also by Clawes and Sons. Next to all these books who look the same, yet have all minor differences, there exists also an export edition. This one differs because it lacks the price." BLongley 16:36, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
Most interesting. Know about all the newer TP Export editions, never considered it for a hardcover. Shall create a [new record], then. Scanned in a couple of nice images. Much thanks! --~ Bill, Bluesman 18:16, 8 January 2011 (UTC)

Eye Eye

Bill you might want to redo your Primary verification for Herbert's Eye, I managed to clear it while adding my Primary2 *grrr*. And yes I'm back again for a while, will try and make it more permanent this time :-) --Unapersson 00:11, 14 January 2011 (UTC)


The newest Century man!! What took you.....?? :-) --~ Bill, Bluesman 18:36, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

I had these things called "a Life" and "a Job" when I started, those slowed me down a bit. :-/ I must admit I did pause at 99,990 so I could make sure 100,000 was a Robert Reginald title rather than one of those annoying kid books Fixer keeps finding. BLongley 18:44, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
Amen to that! --~ Bill, Bluesman 22:44, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
Congratulations on the 100,000 milestone, Bill! BTW, I was going to say "I blame J. K. Rowling!", but then it occurred to me that juvenile fantasy has always been big (Nesbit, Lofting, etc). It's just that it used to live in a separate ghetto and then Rowling came and tore down the walls. Ahasuerus 23:53, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
It's never been separate for me - I encountered Asimov, Heinlein, Lewis, Lofting, Moore, Nesbit, Norton, Pratchett, Walters and many more in the children's section of the library when I was growing up and we didn't have TV. (And even when we did have TV, but Mum and/or Dad wouldn't let me watch Star Trek as I was too young. I even missed a lot of Doctor Who first time around, despite doing the dutiful "behind the sofa" bits.) BLongley 01:05, 15 January 2011 (UTC)
And speaking of juveniles and Fixer, the other day our indefatigable bot was munching on NZ catalogs and downloaded a bunch of juvenile fantasies published ca. 1920. Not only had I never heard of the (NZ) author, she is not even in Reginald-1! Ahasuerus 23:53, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
These things happen. There are many good juvenile SF books we're missing - I don't want to discourage those. Yet another Magic Pony/Kitten/Mermaid/whatever title does make me a little down though. BLongley 01:05, 15 January 2011 (UTC)

Goran Bengston / Bengtson

(This note is duplicated on the talk page for both Mhhutchins and BLongley)
Mhhutchins verified a Letter in Science Fiction Review, August 1976 as by Goran Bengtson. BLongly verified a Letter in Speculation #33 as by Goran Bengston. It seems very likely that one of these (probably Bengtson) is a spelling mistake of the other. Could you guys check your copies and see? Chavey 02:10, 15 January 2011 (UTC)

Bill, take a look at this. It might give a source for dating, editor and such for Speculation #33. Mhhutchins 03:21, 15 January 2011 (UTC)
Fixed now. BLongley 14:58, 15 January 2011 (UTC)

Serpent's Teeth

Can you take a gander at [this] discussion? Thanks. --~ Bill, Bluesman 20:09, 20 January 2011 (UTC)

Fixed. BLongley 23:17, 20 January 2011 (UTC)

IAFA Fall 1991

Can you check a couple of things in this pub when you get a chance and if it's still accessible? Does the review of Contours of the Fantastic give the author as "Michelle K. Langford" or "Michele K. Langford"? (The actual author is the latter.) Also, is the title of the book by Frederick Kirchhoff given as William Norris: The Construction of a Male Self or William Morris: The Construction of a Male Self (the actual title)? Thanks. Mhhutchins 17:31, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

Another one: Is the title of the book by Olena H. Saciuk titled The Shape of Fantasy or The Shape of the Fantastic (the actual title)? Mhhutchins 17:39, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
"Michelle" and "Fantasy" are their errors, "Norris" was mine. Fixed now. Thanks. BLongley 17:42, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
Sorry for bugging you again, but while you have the book out: Is the book by Thomas J. Roberts titled The Aesthetics of Junk Fiction or An Aesthetics of Junk Fiction (the actual title)? I've already linked it to the title record I just created. Thanks. Mhhutchins 17:45, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
It's "The". For academics, they seem to make a lot of mistakes, don't they? BLongley 17:51, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
I suppose there's not an editor in the whole bunch of 'em, nor someone brave enough to edit a fellow academician's work. Mhhutchins 18:13, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
A lot of them have Editorial credits though. Still, I've seen worse in some of the SFRA pubs - where they even get the names of their officers wrong. BLongley 18:25, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

Matrix 140

I'm wondering if you were the editor of this pub. If so, could you check the credit for the piece by Patrick Neilsen Hayden, who ordinarily goes as Patrick Nielsen Hayden. Thanks. Mhhutchins 23:41, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

The error is in the magazine, but it's not worth a pseudonym. I noted it instead. BLongley 13:29, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

One essay, fourteen authors?

Really? Mhhutchins 06:19, 4 February 2011 (UTC)

Yes: it's an edited/summarised version of a discussion on the Vector Editors blog. The discussion goes back and forth rather than being a list of 14 different viewpoints, or I'd have considered making it 14 essays with the same name. BLongley 15:06, 4 February 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the explanation. I was afraid it was one of those groups of essays that show up in the database with multiple authors. I've had to break down more than a few of those. Mhhutchins 15:59, 4 February 2011 (UTC)

Cover credit Smith's Henry Martyn

Is the cover credit for this pub based on the visible signature or a printed credit? I would think that if the former we should change the record's credit to Ron Walotsky. Thanks. Mhhutchins 18:33, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

As the note says: "No cover artist credit but cover is signed" - how could I make that clearer? I'm fine if it changes to a more canonical name. BLongley 18:39, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, I don't know how I missed your note...failing eyesight? I'm not sure if it's a stated policy, but IMHO if cover credit is based on a signature, and the artist is known by a more complete name, then the record should credit the full name. But I'll leave any decision about changes in the record to you. Thanks. Mhhutchins 20:31, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

cover artist for The Darfsteller and Other Stories

See this submission. Google turns up nothing confirming the attribution, so I think a look at the cover is required. I will cross-post to PV2 Hauck as well. --MartyD 11:21, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

Yes, that's him alright - see sig library. The only real question is whether to expand it fully or just to Peter A. Jones or even just Peter Jones. BLongley 13:06, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

Les Enfants de Dune

Hello. Regarding your proposed newpub, the date and publisher (which should be "Robert Laffont" and the series "Ailleurs & Demain" see there) are probably for this first edition but the image is for a later pb printing like this with a pub date is in the 2000+ range. Hauck 19:32, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

Thanks - I suspected me entering some European editions might cause some commenting. Now, who's going to tell me what I should have put instead of "คุณพ่อ"? ;-) BLongley 19:38, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
The terrible cost of internationalization ;-). Hauck 19:40, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
By the way, feel free to moderate any of my foreign publication additions and let me know where I went wrong. I appreciate that you probably won't be able to handle the Chinese either, for instance, but I'm experimenting with my bookmarklet for "Get Other ISBNs" and finding a lot of interesting problems. BLongley 19:50, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

Blish's The Devil's Day

I've just done a second check of my verification of the book club edition of this title, adding both an author's note and an author's foreword. Based on the placement, dating and text of these notes, it appears that the notes are specific to each of the two titles printed in the omnibus. Because this edition reprints this paperback edition which you verified, it's possible the notes are reprinted as well. Could you take a moment to see if my hunch is correct? Thanks. Mhhutchins 06:03, 14 February 2011 (UTC)

Yes, the afterword is present and is about the second title, stating that it's a sequel to the first. BLongley 17:06, 14 February 2011 (UTC)

Interzone dimension / format

Hello, Bill. Michael and I couldn't fix the exact pub format for the isues of IZ from 1999-2004 and he suggested your input for help. See our discussion. Have you any idea on the subject? Stonecreek 18:37, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

I don't own many, and have generally let the Locus designation stand - although you do have to avoid stating it as 8½" x 10¾" as the double-quotes cause truncation - I'm fine with "in" as an abbreviation for inch. I think Locus got issue 193 a bit wrong though - 812" x 1034" ? ;-) BLongley 19:05, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
The thing is that Michael seems to think it is false to use units of longitude. For me it would be okay, but if there is an exact format as i.e. 'quarto', that would be even better. (As a Continental, these formats don't come naturally to me).Stonecreek 19:27, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
ALL the magazine "Pub Format" or "Binding" guidelines in help are dimension-based. I note that Interzone is listed as an exception that can always just be called "bedsheet", but that's not a term that most UK readers would recognise. (It would probably be confused with "broadsheet", a newspaper size. As would "tabloid".) I'd prefer accuracy, but current help doesn't allow for that. Feel free to ask for a rule-change - if it doesn't affect the thousands of US titles, just some European ones, you might get it. "A4" and "A5" are comparatively new and mostly used for Fanzines that really were published that size. BLongley 19:42, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

Fred "V." Saberhagen

This review of Fred Saberhagen's Bram Stoker's Dracula in your verified Vector 173 calls him "Fred V. Saberhagen". I wonder if it borrowed its middle initial from James V. Hart, Saberhagen's co-author? Ahasuerus 15:17, 20 February 2011 (UTC)

i don't know how they did it, but he is credited with a middle V and a typoed last name. Moved to notes rather than have a stray author. BLongley 15:25, 20 February 2011 (UTC)

The Deep Fix in Spaced Out

The Moorcock story "The Deep Fix" in Spaced Out is in the database as by James Colvin. In the pub however, Colvin is not mentioned. I would like to change the credit from Colvin to Moorcock. Can you agree? Thanks, --Willem H. 16:04, 20 February 2011 (UTC)

Agreed - changed. BLongley 17:49, 20 February 2011 (UTC)


Do you have any clue what this is? I have been going through and cleaning wiki pub comments in preparation for more work on bug 3153982 (I already checked in code to stop using pub tags on links into pl.cgi from within the rest of the Python code but links to wiki pub comments are still using this) and have found a few lost comments. This one has only a single comment by you. Uzume 21:33, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

It must have been a Doctor Who title but I can't recall which one. There's no publication left that would generate that tag so I guess it was deleted as vapourware. BLongley 14:29, 23 February 2011 (UTC)

Tales of Horror and the Supernatural by Machen

I noticed that your submission adding a cover image to this record had been sitting in the queue for a couple of days, and then saw that I had done a primary verification of the book, a book I've never even seen! Well, that was a mistake. It should have been a Tuck verification. I've corrected my error, so please feel free to continue with the update. Sorry if this was the reason for the delay in approving the submission. Mhhutchins 21:54, 25 February 2011 (UTC)

Actually, it's because I run into Wiki-Editing time-outs almost daily now and didn't want to approve that if I couldn't leave you a note about it. Then I just forgot about it - I tend to look at the bottom of the queue rather than the top! BLongley 22:00, 25 February 2011 (UTC)

The Avengers: Deadline / Dead Duck

You are the primary verifier for one edition of each of The Avengers: Deadline and Dead Duck. The books are entered in ISFDB as by Patrick MacNee. Various sources, such as,, and Clute and Grant (1999) claim that these books are by Patrick MacNee and Peter Leslie. Can you verify that the authorship of Peter Leslie is uncredited in the editions you have (my suspicion)? Assuming this is the case, how do we handle this type of authorship? (I'm guessing we make a variant title with both authors, and then add a title note to the variant indicating that Leslie is uncredited.) Chavey 06:50, 26 February 2011 (UTC)

Found them at last! The title page credits only Macnee, copyright is to Macnee and Leslie. If we're convinced that both contributed, then we make the Macnee-only title a variant of a Canonical Macnee-and-Leslie title. I'm not sure that Macnee had any real contribution though. BLongley 17:51, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
Looking at old conversations, this seems to be one that was unfinished. I think we should change the books as you suggest, but I'd feel more comfortable about it if you were the one who did it, since you verified them. Chavey 17:29, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Done, but now I'm concerned about "Foreward (The Avengers: Too Many Targets)". The spelling looks wrong, but is probably really written by MacNee. BLongley 00:17, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
Uh, oh -- the old Forward, Foreward, Foreword spelling problem. Maybe you should make a VT for it. (Just kidding -- James Tiptree jr is getting me slap-happy.) Chavey 04:18, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

"Anonymous" vs. uncredited

According to the current standards, the name "Anonymous" should only be used if the work actually uses that term when crediting the work's authorship. In that case, this pub should be credited to "uncredited". Thanks. Mhhutchins 07:56, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

Publication dates for Interzone

Hello, Bill. I'd like to change the date of the double issues from the last phase of David Pringle's editorship into the latter of the two months. They all received the double-month treatment from time slippage, so that's seems a reasonable exception from the rule for me. What do you think? Stonecreek 10:47, 10 March 2011 (UTC)

Using Magazine cover dates has often been wildly different from actual publication dates so I don't think slipping a month is any more notable than publishing before the cover dates. BLongley 16:34, 11 March 2011 (UTC)

Roger Malisson

In dealing with pseudonyms listed in Locus1, I added some detail (and re-worded) the Bibliographic Comments you posted for Roger Malisson. I'm also going to set up the formal pseudonym links for Roger. Chavey 04:32, 11 March 2011 (UTC)

Looks fine by me. BLongley 16:34, 11 March 2011 (UTC)

Catherine Sefton / Martin Waddell

I've also done some more research on the pseudonym relation between Catherine Sefton & Martin Waddell, which you initiated (2008-09-09). As such, I've updated the "Bibliographic Comments" for Catherine Sefton, concluding that that is a pseudonym for the Martin Waddell we have, and that Martin S. Waddell is the same as Martin Waddell. So I'll be setting up those pseudonym links also. Chavey 17:10, 11 March 2011 (UTC)

Looks OK to me. I think the broken link can probably be replaced with this one? BLongley 17:40, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
Great link! I'm surprised I missed it. I'll replace the broken link with that one. Chavey 19:11, 11 March 2011 (UTC)

Serial as variant of a Novel

I have two submissions on hold that want to make two parts of a serial variants of a novel. I don't think this should be done, but I'm not sure why it shouldn't, or is my radar malfunctioning? --~ Bill, Bluesman 16:08, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

In general it's ok, e.g. "Children of Dune", but with Uzume's edits I don't think the serial episodes cover the entire novel, so it shouldn't be linked that way. I suppose they should be variants of some length of Shortfiction called "The Felled Star". BLongley 16:18, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
I am not familiar enough with Farmer's work to know. I'll ask Willem about that aspect, he's done quite a bit of work on Farmer. Thanks! --~ Bill, Bluesman 16:31, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
The PJF website seems quite clear that parts 1 and 2 comprise only chapters 1-14 of the novel. BLongley 16:35, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Bill (Longley). It's only confusing that the second half of the novel was serialized under a different title four years later. Since the second half (The Fabulous Riverboat Part 1 and 2) are already variants of the novel, I think in this case Uzume's edits are correct. --Willem H. 16:51, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, gentlemen! I'll approve the edits. --~ Bill, Bluesman 16:54, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
I'd missed the second serialisation. I agree it makes sense to have all 4 parts together even though the titles vary. BLongley 16:57, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

Bug 1820414 - "Page numbers are lost"

I am reviewing the changes in mod/ 1.6 and it would appear that only one page number will be saved off and then inserted into the new pub_content record. Wouldn't we want all of them to be carried over? Ahasuerus 01:35, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

Yes, we would. Reject the change if it's not an improvement. BLongley 01:42, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
No worries, I will tweak it a bit to get the whole crew over :-) Ahasuerus 02:05, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
OK, I see what's going on. Sorry, I was sick and didn't see it clearly. I was worried that the page numbers for other Contents items may be lost, but that's not an issue. Your changes are working fine, I will just build on them to clean up the code and also add a link to take the moderator to the main unmerged title. Thanks! Ahasuerus 05:56, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
Glad to hear I wasn't as careless as I first thought! BLongley 16:32, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
The deed is done. In addition to the changes mentioned above, I added database escaping to the SQL statement that files "storylen" since it's a free text field at the moment. Ahasuerus 04:34, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

This one turned out to be unexpectedly eventful. The changes that I made to the code were fairly trivial:

  1. Changed "Parent Title" to "Reviewed Title"
  2. Replaced global variables with their local counterparts (I have had nightmares about global variables since the days of Fortran II)

Everything worked fine on my test system, but when I installed the new version of the script on the live server, it errored out due to Windows/Linux "end of line" incompatibilities, which were extensive and couldn't be fixed by adding a CR/LF at the end of the script. Even going back to version 1.3 from CVS didn't fix the problem since it was missing the final carriage return, but at least I was able to get it to work by adding a CR manually. I then downloaded 1.3 to my local server and re-added all changes manually, which took care of the problem.

We are back to normal, but it makes me nervous about future changes. We'll have to think of ways to ensure that our Windows-based testing is representative of what happens under Linux. In theory, CVS is supposed to take care of these issues transparently, but there may be some glitches. Ahasuerus 06:10, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

I wonder what went wrong this time - I've managed to avoid such problems by doing all editing in Vim. It'll be interesting to see if any of the other things I've checked in since the Sourceforge reset are affected too. BLongley
I changed to avoid Global variables as well. BLongley 17:10, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
Thanks! I hope to spend some quality time testing it tomorrow. Things have been a little hectic on my end lately. Ahasuerus 05:47, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
Publisher Merge improvements went live a few minutes ago. The only non-trivial change that I made was the addition of an error handling block in case there is no Publisher ID in the submission. It should never happen, but it doesn't hurt to have additional safeguards. And I am happy to report that there were no Linux/Windows issues, so hopefully it was an one off problem. Ahasuerus 04:58, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

The Vintage Anthology of Science Fantasy

I think the date on this pub should probably be set to 0000-00-00. Tuck has the 1966 printing priced at $1.65, so I'm sure all the records we currently have are of an unknown date. I'm intending to add the original printing and correct the dates of the other records, once I hear back from other verifiers. Thanks. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 15:03, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

Agreed. Changed. BLongley 15:15, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
One other thing. "Bibliographical Notes" should be "Biographical Notes". I noticed this before, but forgot to include it when I was typing up the earlier question. Let me know if you concur, and we can just change the existing title record. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 15:31, 6 April 2011 (UTC)

Artist Jacks

I found who "Jacks" the unknown artist might be: Jeff Jacks: About The Artist, where is stated "During the early 1960s he completed a course of study in commercial art and illustration through the ‘Famous Artists School’ based in Connecticut, USA. This really lit the creative spark. Around the same time, Jeff went freelance, working for clients including Readers’ Digest and the US company Mayflower/Dell, designing science-fiction book covers.--Dirk P Broer 15:43, 6 April 2011 (UTC) "

Hi, I am at the point of changing all "Jacks" verified cover art into "Jeff Jacks", any objections? Saw almost all our verified covers come up during a query on ["Jeff Jacks" Mayflower Cover] on Google. Most were at AbeBooks pages.--Dirk P Broer 19:29, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

Interstellar Empire

Hi! I believe there is some confusion about your verification of this record:
1. Locus1 states that this 1987 edition was published by Arrow not Hamlyn, and this supported by abebooks records and BLIC.
2. WorldCat record that you cite: OCLC Number: 19354994 refers to different record, 1985 edition, indeed by Hamlyn.
Thank you! P-Brane 01:55, 7 April 2011 (UTC).

this record is a Hamlyn, this record is an Arrow. I have the Arrow edition in my collection, and just uploaded a scan for it. --Dirk P Broer 10:57, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

Award editing

I have enabled award editing on the development server and now I am checking it out to see if it would be safe to turn it on for developers on the live server. We'll see how it goes... Ahasuerus 04:22, 7 April 2011 (UTC)

I am finding bugs, some of them affecting the database, so probably not quite ready for prime time yet. Ahasuerus 03:37, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
Are you recording the bugs on Sourceforge? I'm happy to work on them if they're within my ability, or not far beyond. (Yes, I am trying to stretch myself.) BLongley 00:11, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
Good idea -- see Bug 3283930. Also, I wonder if should be displaying "[Edit This Award]" instead of "[Edit This Title]"? Ahasuerus 01:55, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
Well, it's correctly named for what it does, but we could add a link to edit\selecttitleaward.cgi as well. I guess that would be useful when we get to the stage of moderating of user's award edits rather than our own. BLongley 13:24, 11 April 2011 (UTC)

Ken Bulmer

I have set up a VT for "Time Binding Moebius Strip" in your verified Vector 41. Ahasuerus 03:37, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

Update submitted for Wolfbane

Can you look at this submission and let me know if if correctly updates your verified record, or if it is another printing? Thanks. Mhhutchins 14:13, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

As Dirk seems to agree on the prices, I'd say it was the same printing. BLongley 14:19, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

Darkover Landfall

I added a note to your verified 5th printing of this book regarding the date. Although I left it as a 0000-00-00, I realized that the DAW Darkover books advertised on the back cover narrowed the publication date to the range of 9-1977 to 5-1978, and so I added a note to that effect. Chavey 00:07, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

Looks good. We can't do indeterminate years or decades the way we can cope with indeterminate months or days, so that's probably the best we can do for now. BLongley 00:14, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

Interstellar Empire

Hi Bill, would you do me a favor and take a look at the submission that I have on hold? I think the submitter's information is ok, but I'm worried about your Locus1 and OCLC/Worldcat verifications. Locus1 lists the publisher as Arrow, not Hamlyn. And the OCLC number in the notes is for what seems to be a different edition. The only 1987 edition listed is published by Arrow and has ID 123108415, not 19354994 as cited in the notes. Can you tell what's going on with that entry? Thanks. --MartyD 11:04, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

I don't know what happened, but it looks like Dirk is right - let it through. BLongley 14:15, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. Fixed the OCLC number in the notes and redid the verifications. --MartyD 16:38, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

Moving Tags to the parent record

I wonder if we want to account for the situation when a user has the same tag(s) defined for the parent record and the child record? Ahasuerus 05:17, 11 April 2011 (UTC)

We could indeed code for that, although that situation doesn't appear to have occurred yet. A more common situation is where there are doubled-up tags on the same title, and we currently have no easy fix for those. BLongley 13:03, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
Oh, I didn't realize that you could use the same tag twice! Yes, we'll definitely need to improve to collapse multiple occurrences of the same tag. Ahasuerus 23:29, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
I think they might be more often caused by title merges, but I haven't investigated far. At the moment I'm thinking "Mod Notes" might be the best thing to work on, if Fixer is happy to use such. It might help encourage more moderators to work on Fixer submissions if they get to save an edit. BLongley 23:34, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
Agreed; duplicate tags are fairly harmless and can be easily fixed later on. Ahasuerus 23:37, 11 April 2011 (UTC)

A Sense of Wonder

I have a copy of this title, that states to be the december, 1974 edition (from the copyright page: First NEL edition February 1969 over This new edition, december 1974). The problem is, that this would make mine this edition, which you verified with a different ISBN (mine has 450-02247-1 on the backcover), a different price (mine is £0.40) and a different cover. It could be, that yours is the August 1977 edition. Can you check this? Thanks, --Willem H. 19:52, 11 April 2011 (UTC)

I'll double-check, but don't hold your breath - my anthologies are still unshelved since the move. BLongley 22:22, 11 April 2011 (UTC)

List of primary verifications

I am testing this feature and it looks useful, but a few questions have come up:

1 Changing the user ID in the URL allows you to see other users' verifications. Is it desirable? Is there an expectation of privacy since it's basically a personal library catalog (or at least a part thereof)? It should be easy to add a check at the top of the script to confirm that the requested user ID matches the ID of the currently signed in user, right? Ahasuerus 04:04, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

If there's a privacy problem, we've already got it. We show who verified each publication anyway, and anyone that downloads the backup files can deduce the user-id and run their own "X verified this" query. But yes, we could add the check to make it less trivial to bypass. Just don't assume it would actually add any security - we've got so many holes in that I wouldn't know where to start listing them. BLongley 04:27, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
A moderately curious individual could certainly extract this information from an ISFDB backup, it's just a question of making it harder for casual browsers to get to the data. Not something that we want to spend a great deal of time on, but when it's a question of adding a couple of lines of code, we might as well do it. Ahasuerus 03:37, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
I must be one of the moderately curious then, as I've run such scripts offline not only for "my library" purposes (which is not that satisfactory for me, as I did a load of books before we had multiple primary verifiers), but for other editors that wanted to find their early mistakes. I'm not sure what the "couple of lines of code" will be, but it could be useful to research so we can use it more effectively. BLongley 21:47, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
Check added in biblio\ 1.2. BLongley 18:39, 14 April 2011 (UTC)

2 If a book has N authors/editors, it appears N times, which is counter-intuitive when N is greater than 1 Ahasuerus 04:04, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

Agreed, that's sub-optimal. I'll have a look into it and see if I can improve that without introducing performance issues. BLongley 04:27, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
I'm now thinking it may not be that bad, given the way Chavey wants to use it. We can fix it for "By Date", but I don't know how he files Pohl/Kornbluth or Williamson/Pohl, and Ace doubles are anyone's guess. Even if we do list all authors, it may still be desirable to put them in twice or more, so that at least one will match where it appears on the user's bookshelves? BLongley 21:47, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
Multiple author/editor-handling added in biblio\ 1.3. It looks like performance does take a hit. Still awaiting your views about ordering by author before I create the "by author" version. BLongley 18:39, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
I think we have the same problem with some of the "data cleanup" scripts, but it's presumably less important since the displayed records are (hopefully) transient and will disappear once they are fixed. Ahasuerus 03:37, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
Yes, although we sometimes still have to find the underlying problems. And with current limitations, I can't see how (for instance) we'll ensure that missing editors (wave 1) and extra editors (wave 3) can be prevented. We may never solve that and never be able to retire the cleanup script. However, one enhancement that I thought of is that we could record and display the last time a cleanup script was run, so that they don't get run too often. BLongley 21:47, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
Besides, I didn't want to make changes to the scripts because they were committed in three waves. CVS is not very user-friendly, so it's tedious and error-prone to modify version N when versions N+1 and N+2 already exist in the repository. Ahasuerus 03:37, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
I deliberately kept each cleanup script separate so that shouldn't much of an issue, if one or more needs improvement. Adding or removing a script will remain a bit of a bottleneck though, unless we make that a separate option as to whether the script is in the menu or not. BLongley 21:47, 13 April 2011 (UTC)

3 There is no indication whether a book is a Novel, a Chapterbook or an Omnibus. This information may be useful because titles are often re-used. Ahasuerus 04:04, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

Agreed. That should be fairly easy to add. BLongley 04:27, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
Added in biblio\ 1.3 BLongley 18:39, 14 April 2011 (UTC)

4 The list is sorted by (the earliest?) verification date, but the date is not displayed. Hopefully, it should be easy to add. Ahasuerus 04:04, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

Yes, that's simple. Added in biblio\ 1.3 BLongley 18:39, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
Options to re-sort by author or title might be desirable, but without testers or even supporters of the Feature, I'm not sure what people want most. BLongley 04:27, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
Do you want me to work on this again or would you rather take over some of the improvements? I appreciate you have a lot of testing work to do if you can't farm it out, but sometimes I'm unsure what's acceptable to you. I think Mike wants this, so presumably he'll feed back on any issues - it doesn't sound like he's ever going to get to "tester" status. BLongley 04:27, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
Include me as a "Supporter of the Feature"! (It was one I was going to ask for.) For my own sake, I'd like to be able to sort both by date (e.g. to correct some early verifications) and by author. By author allows me to compare my verifications against my shelf list to see if I've missed anything. I doubt I, personally, would use a "Sort by Title". I would be willing to test, but I suspect that would require either downloading a beta version to a local server or else having moderator status, neither of which I'm quite ready for. Chavey 15:44, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

(unindent) The fix has been installed, but further testing and answering questions on Talk pages will have to wait until the body is back to normal or some approximation thereof. Ahasuerus 02:44, 20 April 2011 (UTC)

Understood. I hope you get well soon - in the meantime I think I'm occupying MHHutchins with enough other projects that he won't miss Fixer submissions. BLongley 00:52, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. I am mostly alive and even ambulatory, just not productive. If you find an elixir of youth lying around, feel free to send it my way. Ahasuerus 04:05, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

Publication dates

Hi Bill,

Using (which, according to Bill Bluesman, is much more accurate at this than its US counterpart) I found more precise publication dates for The streets of Ankh-Morepork and The Discworld Mapp. The submissions have been placed on hold by Mhhutchins until I've discussed the changes with the primary verifier, and that's you. --Dirk P Broer 18:14, 14 April 2011 (UTC)

With Discworld items, I think the most reliable source is from his agent. I'd be happy to change to those dates, which are slightly different from Amazon's. Have a look and see what you think. Obviously, if we're going to add detail from secondary sources that overrides what's in the primary source then it needs to be noted. (We can also note Amazon dates or Locus dates or any other source in notes, but we have to pick ONE for the title overall.) BLongley 21:38, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
The site from his agent looks like a authoritative site -at least, I did not discover any of C.M.O.T. Dibbler's relatives on the page..- so let's pick these dates, by all means. --Dirk P Broer 22:31, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
OK, let's go with that site. I guess we should mention that fact on all the relevant author/editor/collaborator/artist/etc pages before we do a mass update, but I've rarely seen a source as detailed as that. (Exact number of printed copies, and even how many were likely MIS-printed!) How many languages are you fluent in? As the site also has foreign translations that I cannot possibly cope with unaided. BLongley 23:31, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
Fluent: Dutch, German; Haltingly: French; Just bits: Italian, Spanish, Swedish and Norwegian. (But enough to provide the list of translations for this publication.--Dirk P Broer 18:31, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
So, should I reject the submissions, since you're going to go with another source? Mhhutchins 23:42, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
Keen on seeing an empty queue again? ;-) OK, but make sure Dirk submits a properly-noted replacement. He's an editor worth encouraging I think. BLongley 23:45, 14 April 2011 (UTC)

Data Consistency > Cleanup Scripts

I'm thinking it would be great to have the other scripts we used back in the Data Consistency project be available as links on the Cleanup Scripts page. Or is that even possible? Can any of these be placed on the list? Would it bog down the system while it's searching? Something I found while I was working on the current scripts is that the system was rather slow in returning results the first dozen or so times. The more I removed from the results, the faster it got. Or was I only imagining that? Mhhutchins 02:29, 15 April 2011 (UTC)

Yes, we can add most of the original scripts - some are there already, and some I don't have the SQL for as someone else created them, so would take me a bit longer to recreate. Which ones are highest priority? BLongley 13:38, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
As to speed, yes, some of them will get faster as the number of results get smaller. I haven't submitted any scripts that took more than a few seconds to run, and am actually a little surprised Ahasuerus let some of these through. Anything that would take minutes would be unacceptable. BLongley 13:38, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
I've checked a few for performance. "Duplicate ISBNs with different titles" takes 43 seconds on my machine so is probably a bit too heavy. "Duplicate title-publication records" is even worse at 1 minute 9 seconds. "Disallowed URLs" I don't have the SQL for - but I've submitted "Add URL search to Advanced Search" for review, so people can search for particular disallowed sites. "Date mismatches" took over 3 minutes. "Titles that point at themselves" was quick and did find a few problems like 92515, 1061940 and 1008943. "Titles that point at variants" is fast and points out issues like this being a variant of that which is in itself a variant of this. "Titles which are variants of non-existent titles" is also quick and finds problems like 340641. "Publess REVIEWs and INTERVIEWs" is quick and finds strays like 167453. "Series with variant titles only" is quick and finds things like this. "Pseudonym consistency" is quick but doesn't find anything so may be pointless. Do any of those appeal? BLongley 17:10, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
I made a list on my talk page in response to your request, before I saw this latest test results. BTW, what is "Pseudonym consistency"? Mhhutchins 18:29, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
See Data_Consistency#Pseudonym_consistency. I don't know if we've eliminated the chance of the problem reoccurring, but we have no problems like that in the last backup I've loaded. (Which I must admit is a bit out of date - it's a bit of a pain to refresh the backups and turn it back into a development database rather than an offline querying one.) BLongley 18:34, 15 April 2011 (UTC)

Shortfiction review links

I see you've completed the remaining check for the reviews that link to shortfiction. In case you may have missed it, or are not aware of the fanzine, Short Form (with its companion Green Sheets) was devoted to short fiction and reviewed magazines, anthologies, collections and occasional essay-length reviews of a single work. So if you stumbled across any of its reviews, you can mark them OK. Thanks. Mhhutchins 18:57, 20 April 2011 (UTC)

I came across one or two, and think I OKed them. Feel free to double-check anything I left with a "?" though - I'm looking into the code improvements now. BLongley 19:16, 20 April 2011 (UTC)

NYRSF, June 1991

Is the review on page 21 of this issue of the Woody Allen short story? Mhhutchins 19:47, 20 April 2011 (UTC)

Good question. Unfortunately, I can't find the magazine. BLongley 20:11, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
I've been in the same boat several times! Mhhutchins 20:30, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
I really must pause on editing, moderating and coding and tidy up this place sometime. :-/ BLongley 20:32, 20 April 2011 (UTC)

Up Your Asteroid

I ran across a chapterbook record that appears to be OK, but can't figure out why it's on the list. Can you help? Mhhutchins 16:54, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

It was broken as of the last time I loaded a backup, but it's been fixed since. Even if my backup was up-to-date, we'd still encounter some of these where we've fixed them in the last five days. There's been a bit of an overlap in the projects. BLongley 17:02, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
Good. Didn't want to think I was going a bit bonkers there. A few more may pop up in the process. Mhhutchins 17:03, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

The Best of Murray Leinster (Davis)

Hi, it is cited (by you?) in the notes of this publication "Do not trust the acknowledgements in this publication, at least three are wrong." I just checked them, the only fault I could find was that 'Sam, this is you' appeared in Galaxy May 1955 instead of the March 1955 issue. --Dirk P Broer 18:19, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

"Scrimshaw" is given as Astounding Feb 1956 whereas we believe it's Sep 1955. I'm not sure what I thought the third error was. BLongley 18:38, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
Symbiosis [as by Will F. Jenkins] · ss Colliers Jun 14 ’47 here.--Dirk P Broer 18:45, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
Ah yes - probably a Jan/Jun confusion. BLongley 19:04, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

Also, I would like to add Peter A. Jones as cover artist.--Dirk P Broer 18:19, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

That's fine - we hadn't identified the "PAJ" signature at the time I verified it. BLongley 18:38, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
And could the suspected editor be the same Brian G. Davis as in Reginald1 and Reginald3?--Dirk P Broer 18:24, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
I don't know, I don't have either Reginald. But the copyright is for "G. B. Davis" not "B. G. Davis"? BLongley 18:38, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
Considering the other errors this might be one as well, check here.--Dirk P Broer 18:45, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
I'm not sure where Phil got that data from. BLongley 19:04, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
BTW, there's a new user User talk:Philsp that may actually be him. Would you like to enquire? We're getting quite a few "celebrities" editing now. BLongley 19:09, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
Can we by now safely say that "The Best of Murray Leinster (UK)" was edited by Brian G. Davis?--Dirk P Broer 01:42, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
I still suspect it's actually "G. Brian Davis" but it's certainly worth noting that it's the same guy as the "Old Masters" editor. BLongley 12:21, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

Lieber or Leiber

Your verified Speculation, January 1967 contains the essay All About the Change War as by Fritz Lieber. Can you check if it's really credited like that? Thanks, --Willem H. 13:05, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

My typo. Fixed now. BLongley

Author credit for Susan's Journey

Can you confirm that your copy of this pub is not credited to an author? In working on the content-less chapterbooks I found this pub record for the US printing which is credited to Alison Sage. The OCLC record agrees. We might have to create a variant for one. Mhhutchins 16:51, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

Yes, mine is uncredited. BLongley 17:11, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
Variant making time. Mhhutchins 20:06, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

Come, Hunt an Earthman

Hi, can you please check your 1985 edition of this book, which you have stated as being an Arrow edition. According to me it is a Hamlyn, and that view gets supported here. I just uploaded the real Arrow edition (1987) here (may not have arrived yet). --Dirk P Broer 19:10, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

Checked and fixed. Thanks. BLongley 19:18, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

Find Stray Publication Authors

I have installed the latest bunch of cleanup scripts, but I have my doubts about "Find Stray Publication Authors". The list includes both appearances of Horrorstory, Volume Three by Karl Edward Wagner and Gerald W. Page even though all authors appear to match. I wonder if it is due to the fact that this Omnibus includes 3 anthologies, one by Page and two by Wagner? Ahasuerus 03:00, 24 April 2011 (UTC)

You're right - it's spotting that Page didn't edit Wagner's books and that Wagner didn't edit Page's. I'll see how easy that is to fix. BLongley 13:46, 24 April 2011 (UTC)

The Cloud Walker

Hi, are you sure your copy of this edition is indeed the 3rd? I have a third edition that is radically different, and has a red Coronet logo, more consistent with 1980.--Dirk P Broer 12:50, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

And by uploading my cover I accidentally replaced yours. Mine should be be the correct one though....--Dirk P Broer 13:18, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
I have both first and third impressions. I'm not sure what you saw as a problem, but that cover is right. BLongley 14:00, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

Eric by Pratchett and Kirby

The only way to fix this pub is to drop the Kirby credit or to give it a variant title record. I'll leave that up to you, the primary verifier. There appears to be some editions that don't include Kirby's interior art, but making Kirby co-author becomes a slippery slope. Considering the highly illustrated novels published by Ace (among others) in the 80s, giving artist's co-author credit would might set a precedent. Mhhutchins 16:15, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

We've already got such, particularly in Juvenile books - e.g. Tony DiTerlizzi. I'll see how the title-page credits Josh - it's definitely a collaboration in my eyes, but rules is rules. BLongley 16:38, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

Jonathan Gash

There is a link in the title notes for [this] pub that no longer works. Since you are the verifier I thought maybe you had put in the link. I know nothing of the series so have no idea where to look for a new link. Cheers! --~ Bill, Bluesman 01:54, 29 April 2011 (UTC)

It's an old ISFDB hosting-site link from when we were still at TAMU. We still have the page Series:Lovejoy. BLongley 11:14, 29 April 2011 (UTC)


In trying to be consequent I am changing all editions I own -or books that are listed within them- that have a "VGSF" logo from "Gollancz" of "VGSF / Gollancz" or "Gollancz / VGSF" in to "VGSF". I expect a big argument about it, at the least with User:Hauck.--Dirk P Broer 17:06, 30 April 2011 (UTC)

I'm fine with that. I prefer simplicity and as the "G" in "VGSF" stands for "Gollancz", "VGSF / Gollancz" looks like redundant typing to me. Even those that argued for "Imprint / Publisher" preferred that to "Publisher / Imprint" so "Gollancz / VGSF" should be right out. BLongley 17:17, 30 April 2011 (UTC)

Projects in progress

Hi Bill, I see lots of no pages but they have not been added to "Bibliographic projects in Progress"[1] off the main Wiki page. I've moved a couple of them over there to have easy access but I'm losing track of the new ones being created. Is there a new page to find them that I'm missing? Thanks!Kraang 02:12, 1 May 2011 (UTC)

No, it's just that Mike and Willem completed some of them before I'd even finished creating them all, so they're already redundant! I'll see how far they've got and add any still in progress. BLongley 12:12, 1 May 2011 (UTC)

Firefly Gadroo(m|n)

Hi Bill. User:P-Brane submitted an edit to your verified Firefly Gadroom, changing the "m" to "n". Since the cover image shows "Gadroon" with an "n", and the pub is linked to Firefly Gadroon also with an "n", I accepted it. Apologies in advance if that was a misguided decision. --MartyD 11:16, 1 May 2011 (UTC)

That's fine. BLongley 12:08, 1 May 2011 (UTC)

Showboat World by Vance

Because of the recent kerfuffle regarding VGSF, I'm going through all of the records under "Gollancz" and pulling out those that were published under the VGSF imprint. It appears that with few exceptions (horror novels) almost every mass-market sized paperback published between 1984 and 1995 used this imprint. They include your verified edition of this Vance novel. Mhhutchins 22:38, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

Yep, I'm happy to change that to VGSF. I was less confident in 2007. Are we going to have to argue imprints one-by-one? :-/ BLongley 22:47, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
No, I just wanted to make sure that when/if there's a separate field for imprint, as many titles as we can find will have already been indicated as one of those that need to be part of the global change. I found another here: Pohlstars, and I can't find any source that gives it as a VGSF title. Can you check? Mhhutchins 22:56, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
And another one: Narabedla Ltd. Mhhutchins 23:03, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
Both are VGSF. BLongley 23:32, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
How about this one? And this one? Mhhutchins 01:24, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
Both are VGSF. BLongley 12:27, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

The Last Hero

Hi, there! I've changed this verified pub's publisher to Gollancz / Orion to respect imprint / publisher covention! Thanks! P-Brane 11:45, 7 May 2011 (UTC).

And two more! This and this. Thanks! P-Brane 12:20, 7 May 2011 (UTC).
That was quick! Ta! P-Brane 10:49, 8 May 2011 (UTC).

Delightful unintended consequence or not, I love it

Did you realize that the recent change in the unmerge function created a bonus benefit? Previously all pubs were listed when you tried to unmerge from the parent record. Now you are provided a list of only those pubs under the title record for which you choose the unmerge function. I can't tell you how many times I've unmerged pubs to realize only when I get to the moderator screen that I tried to unmerge them from the parent title record when they should have been unmerged from one of the variant title records. Whether this was intended or not, I am grateful for the results. Thanks. Mhhutchins 21:36, 8 May 2011 (UTC)

It was indeed intended - fixing Bug 3293839 "Unmerge titles offers you the chance to unmerge Variants" was supposed to go live before FR 3294454 "Unmerge Titles should preserve publication authors", but Ahasuerus didn't implement it quite right the first time around. Which goes to show that even a single-line change to code is not necessarily simple. Glad to hear you like it though - Ahasuerus doesn't seem to be announcing the changes he puts in. BLongley 22:08, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
I was thinking that the changes were too minor to mention, but apparently not. I'll try to make sure to announce even trivial changes in the future. And please don't hesitate to bug me about it: I am still not entirely well, so I may forget. Ahasuerus 05:31, 12 May 2011 (UTC)

The Ultimate Dragon

Does this printing drop the co-editor credits of the first printing, which gave John Gregory Betancourt and Keith R. A. DeCandido as co-editors? Thanks for checking. Mhhutchins 23:20, 8 May 2011 (UTC)

Not sure what the earlier printing says, but mine does indeed give co-authors on the title page - I guess in 2007 I still used the spine credits. However, there's no "Gregory" listed for Betancourt, so variant created. (Why do I keep posting clean-up projects that point out my errors? ;-) ) BLongley 23:50, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
Don't worry too much about that. I've come across my own fair share of goofs. Good thing is I'm fixing them before anyone else can point them out to me! Mhhutchins 00:01, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
Well, when I added "My Primary Verifications" recently it was mainly so people could go back and check their earliest mistakes. Bluesman admits he's doing that, but deliberately doesn't re-verify so it looks like he got it right first time! (That's also why I fixed "Top Verifiers" - we can't have these Johnny-come-lately's looking better than us old hands. ;-) ) BLongley 00:11, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
This is the first I've heard of the Top Verifiers fix, so I checked it out. I like. I wonder though, do you recall how we once used "Primary (Transient)" as a second Primary Verification? Are these added to "Primary" or "Secondary" verifications? You gave me a list once of my "Primary (Transient)" pubs and I think I fixed them all. Would it be too much to ask for a recheck to see if I've transferred them to Primary Verification 2? Mhhutchins 00:36, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
Good question - I had to recheck, as I'd forgotten myself. Transients are counted as Secondary - not sure if that's right, but that's what's there now. As is fairly usual now, I submit it, Ahasuerus tests it, and then if people don't like it we improve it. It saves going through a lot of unending arguments or lack of responses. :-/ BLongley 01:00, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
I'll see if I still have the SQL to re-do your Transients - where should I put the results? BLongley 01:00, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
I found the SQL faster than you could respond, it seems: look here User_talk:Mhhutchins/Transients. I can do this for others that were caught in the gap between Primary (Transient) and Primarys 2-5. (I'm still waiting to see which people request primary 6, 7, 8, 9....) BLongley 01:44, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
That was fast. Thanks. All but two are true transients. One I changed to Primary 2, and the other I kept as transient even though the book is on my shelf. It's shrink-wrapped and I didn't want to "open" it to do a true verification of the data currently stated in the record. Mhhutchins 03:18, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

Advanced search changes

I have been testing the accumulated Advanced Search changes and here is what I have found so far:

  1. Title Search looks OK. "OR"s cause delays and duplicate lines, but that's a larger problem which we are not going to fix here.
  2. Pub Search uses "pub_note_id" as the name of the new index, but the SQL script uses "note_id". One or the other will need to change so that they match.
  3. Once I fixed #2 above and executed an Advanced Pub Search for "Notes contains des AND Author contains hand", I ran into the following error:

QUERY: select pubs.* from pubs USE INDEX(note_id),notes IGNORE INDEX (PRIMARY),pubs,authors,pub_authors USE INDEX(author_id) where ((notes.note_note like '%des%') AND (authors.author_canonical like '%hand%')) and pubs.note_id = notes.note_id and authors.author_id=pub_authors.author_id and pubs.pub_id=pub_authors.pub_id order by pub_title limit 100

A problem occurred in a Python script. Here is the sequence of function calls leading up to the error, in the order they occurred.

C:\Program Files\Apache Software Foundation\Apache2.2\cgi-bin\edit\pp_search.cgi in ()
 327         db = dbConnect()
 328         db.select_db(DBASE)
 329         db.query(query)
 330         result = db.store_result()
 331         num = result.num_rows()
db = <_mysql.connection open to 'localhost' at fe5630>, db.query = <built-in method query of Connection object at 0x00FE5630>, query = 'select pubs.* from pubs USE INDEX(note_id),notes...d=pub_authors.pub_id order by pub_title limit 100'
<class '_mysql_exceptions.OperationalError'>: (1066, "Not unique table/alias: 'pubs'")
     args = (1066, "Not unique table/alias: 'pubs'")
     message =  

Ahasuerus 05:09, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

I can see the problem, but I'm not sure of the solution. The problem causing the Python error is that the code that checks to see if a table is already used counts "pubs USE INDEX(note_id)" as different from "pubs". We can drop the "USE INDEX(note_id)" (which also neatly solves my cock-up about naming the index), but mixing an author search and a notes search then becomes impossibly slow. If somebody with more Python skills than me could look into adding the appropriate hints depending on the mixture of search clauses, we may be back in business, but otherwise I'd say we have to ban certain combinations that just cannot perform well. :-( BLongley 18:20, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
Hi guys. I'll try to take a look at this tonight (+3-4 hours) and see if I can help. --MartyD 21:04, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
I sent you both a via email. Let me know if you didn't get it. --MartyD 01:27, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
Received and looks good. We'll want the same for of course. If we can get the hints right then it could also be time to fix the Cover Artist Search - it's simple to correct the SQL to use the right column names, but then it locks up my machine for ages if I try it, which is why I haven't fixed it in the past. And beware - sending it via email seems to have introduced the CR/LF Windows/Linux differences which caused so much trouble with r2011-12. BLongley 15:37, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
Doh! The performance problem with Cover Artist Search is obvious - there's a missing join between pubs and pub_contents. BLongley 16:24, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

Development effort

I have cleaned up the testing queue and moved some of my incomplete changes out of the way; we can always finish them later. This should help structure testing in a more linear fashion. Ahasuerus 05:50, 12 May 2011 (UTC)

I have been testing FR 3042002 "Support for multiple web links at title level". The changed scripts look pretty good and the problems that they have are minor and shared with other similar scripts, e.g. blanking out Webpage 2 when Webpage 1 and 3 are present results in Webpage 3 disappearing. We will need to create a separate Bug for this problem which also exists in Edit Publisher, Edit Pub Series etc.
However, the Title Delete logic hasn't been updated and that's going to be a problem, in part because web pages for deleted Titles won't be deleted from the database and in part because the approving moderator won't see this (potentially important) information.
Also, Title Merge needs to be updated. I just found that Author Merge currently ignores Webpages (another Bug to file!), but I think this functionality is much more important for Titles because Title Merges happen all the time and Author merges are fairly rare. Would you agree? If so, all we need to add is an extra HTML table which will show "Webpage1;Webpage2;etc" for the affected titles. Ahasuerus 05:14, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
I should have thought about the blanking out problem, it's only recently I added Bug 3267292 for the same thing with authors. I'll look into the deletion and merge issues, they sound within my capability. Thanks for pointing them out. BLongley 11:54, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
Title deletion sorted, will look at merge next. I was just going to pinch the code from publisher merge but have found a problem in there already - duplicates can be created. Another bug to fix. BLongley 13:32, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
The Publisher merge change has been tested and installed. The approval logic works fine, although I suspect that it could be made faster by retrieving all URLs ahead of time. Since we don't merge publishers very often, it's not worth spending a great deal of time on, but it may be something to keep in mind when implementing the same fix in the Title merge script. Once the latter is done, I will re-test the whole batch and install FR 3042002. Thanks! Ahasuerus 04:41, 16 May 2011 (UTC)
The FR that adds Web Pages to Titles is almost ready to go. There is only one minor glitch: when deleting a Title, the moderator approval screen doesn't show the Webpage row if there is no Web page associated with the Title record. If you get a chance to fix it during the day while I am away from the development server, I could install the whole enchilada at night. Ahasuerus 06:07, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
Is that really an issue? It seems a rather pointless row if it's blank. BLongley 14:09, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
I think we want to keep the behavior of all pages and fields as consistent as possible and other fields are displayed if there is no data. I also noticed that the code was retrieving the URLs from the disk even though they were available in the Title class, so I made both changes at the same time. Everything has been installed, now we can stand back and watch the fireworks :-) Ahasuerus 06:24, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
That's fine, and thanks for showing me "split" - not something I was aware of before. We might want to document some general coding/design principles while it's comparatively quiet on the development front, so that when other developers join in the fun we're working in mostly the same direction. But you've also pointed out that Help needs updating - I hope we can find a volunteer for that. And that makes me think that we're missing a lot of links to the help pages on various submission screens... and for Moderators, I think we have only ONE page "Help on moderating: Help:Screen:Moderator". All candidates for improvement, I think. I'd put them on my "to-do" list but I can keep busy enough already by borrowing ideas from other people. By the way, can you clean up your "Data Cleanup and Scripting" and "Coding" sections? I think I've made quite a few improvements in those areas, and how can I steal more ideas if I don't know what I've stolen already? ;-) BLongley 14:02, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
Sure, will do! I am once again "sleep indebted", so I am not sure how much I will be able to do before I turn into a pumpkin tonight, but we'll see. Ahasuerus 01:31, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
Wait, do they say "the whole enchilada" in England? :) Ahasuerus 06:07, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
Not a lot. I think "the whole shebang" is a bit more common, or just "the whole thing", if you don't know what a "shebang" is. BLongley 14:09, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
It's a song by Ricky Martin, right?  :-) Chavey 21:22, 18 May 2011 (UTC)


Hi Bill, I added in the note field: First NEL Paperback Edition May 1982
Illustration: Tim White; Design: Cecil Smith, and changed the publication date accordingly from 1982-00-00 to 1982-05-00.--Dirk P Broer 12:17, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

Nancy Kress - Kwiaty więzienia Aulit

If you're willing to enter them, I'm happy to send you loads of stuff. How proficient are you in Polish, for instance? I'm stuck with one magazine that says on the cover "Nancy Kress - Kwiaty wi" because the next character is an "e" with a funny accent under it, and I can barely cope with accents above letters. BLongley 00:10, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

You mean like so: Kwiaty wię. According to wikipedia it's called an ogonek.
Yep, that's the one: "Nancy Kress - Kwiaty więzienia Aulit". No idea what it means. I think I can figure out it's a 1997 publication, but the price seems to be "CENA 4 ZL 30 GR". (I seem to recall Poland has the zloty and groszy, which is why I guess it's a price). But if it takes that much effort to decipher the top two inches of the front cover, I'm not going to spend my time deciphering the full 82 pages! BLongley 15:33, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
I'm going to assume this is your suspect here :
That is indeed it. BLongley 14:10, 16 May 2011 (UTC)
The Nancy Kress story is The Flowers of Aulit Prison.
I have a few Polish magazines sitting around too, and a bunch more on my list to acquire. But after the discussion on non-English short fiction collections, I suspect non-English magazines will fall into the same trap, so for now (language barrier issues aside) I've held off adding them to the database... but when that day comes and the floodgates open, I've already got my cover scans ready to upload. Albinoflea 05:45, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

The Doomsday Brain

Hi, I see you hold a copy of The Doomsday Brain. Did you know it is part one of a trilogy? --Dirk P Broer 11:19, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

The cover made me think there may be more books in the series, I didn't know how many. BLongley 11:33, 16 May 2011 (UTC)
Confirmed by Reginald-1; Part 2, The Invisible Eye , added. Ahasuerus 05:42, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

Solution to the PR English pub problems

I believe I've come up with a workable solution for reconciling the differences between the American Perry Rhodan magazine series (published by Ace) and the British book series (published by Orbit). Because the "novels" in the US pubs have been changed to SHORTFICTION as novellas and varianted to the German original pubs, the British books are now no longer connected to the series at all. The main reason for this was because they were entered as and being treated as novels. Most of the Orbit paperbacks were no more than 125 pages and reproduced exactly the novellas of the American magazines. The only difference was the dropping of the extraneous material that was added to the Ace paperbacks to make them into "magazines." I propose that we make the pub records of the Orbit paperbacks into CHAPTERBOOKS with a content record for the title novellas. Then we can merge those novellas with the American titles, which places the stories into the Perry Rhodan series. Here is an example of a pub that I've converted: The Ghosts of Gol. (I've done several more and they all seem to work out pretty good.) I've not touched any of the books that you have verified. Looking at your record for PR #9 (Quest Through Time and Space), and its title record, you can see it is not part of the Perry Rhodan series, and there's no way of making it a variant of the German original in its present state. I'd be willing to make these changes if you agree it's a good solution to the problem. Mhhutchins 22:59, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

I've converted all but the four pubs that you have verified: #9, #11, #13, and #34. Mhhutchins 03:20, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
Go ahead and convert those too. CHAPTERBOOK is far more acceptable than MAGAZINE for the British publications. BLongley 12:41, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
Done. And the books were placed into their own series. I usually place the contents of chapterbooks into series, not the chapterbook title record. But in this case the stories were already in their own series because they were variants of the German originals. Do you know if there were only 39 titles in the UK series? Mhhutchins 19:49, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
Thanks! I think putting the contents in series is wise for now - see Bug 3291479 "CHAPTERBOOK Series do not display". BLongley 21:07, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
Yes, this is the only time I've placed chapterbooks into series, even though I'm sure there's others in the db (sounds like a new search script!) If or ever we get the ability to place a title into two different series, then I could change them. The only reason these display at all is because the first six books were doubles and entered as anthologies. Before I placed them into the series (I started working from the middle), none of the titles would display on a author's summary page. Mhhutchins 21:29, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
"sounds like a new search script" is appealing - I think I can do that. "ability to place a title into two different series" is trickier, but I understand why it's desired. I'm leaning more towards coding for other people than entering my own books now, I must be getting soft. There's a dozen books beside me and I'm still looking for bigger challenges. BLongley 21:50, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
I'll fix the display to show chapterbook series this weekend. Shouldn't be too hard. --MartyD 01:10, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
Thanks! That's one area I'm really unclear about, so I'm happy to leave it with you. We're getting closer to "Language" support for titles as well (only 4 more changes to go, if Ahasuerus is doing them in order), which will need a lot more display changes afterwards. (Actually, I think we might need you even sooner for "sub-series ordering" - looking at it now, I think I missed out a lot of display changes.) BLongley 11:26, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
I have checked this in, for Ahasuerus' deploying pleasure. It seems to work fine, but if it does not do what you gents need it to, let me know. --MartyD 11:00, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
As to numbering - I've only got the ones you've seen I've verified, and number 34 only lists the other 33. I have to admit I've not yet read a single one of them, and there's probably a few "Rules and Standards" questions that will be particularly important when we get better Editor and Translator support. BLongley 21:07, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure I could acquire a few more Perry Rhodan British editions, but I'm not actually keen on paying for them. I think I'm going to have to relearn some swapping/trading skills. BLongley 21:50, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

The Badger of Ghissi

Hi Bill, I was working on stray authors using the "cleanup script" and found this [2]. The author appears to be fine. Any ideas? Thanks!Kraang 02:45, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

Just did a search of his name and it gets 2 matches linked to the same page but the same search in Advance Search found no matches. I then dropped the last three letters of his name and got the 2 matches. The accent appears to mess up the search. The advance search still links the name to the same page but the author number results in to different pages. I didn't want to merge or delete the incomplete name without knowing how they've been created.Kraang 03:00, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

Excerpt in Mind Meld

Can you confirm that the co-author of the novel excerpt in this pub is credited as "Susan Schwartz" or as the novel is credited "Susan Shwartz"? Thanks. Mhhutchins 16:13, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

No "c", fixed now. I don't know why I keep putting it in, it just looks more right to me. Maybe it's time for me to ask Ahasuerus to remove all my 2007 and 2008 verifications, I seem to have been fairly incompetent then. :-( BLongley 16:48, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

The Planet Dweller

Hi, from Locus1 a have a month by the year of publication for The Planet Dweller, June 1985.--Dirk P Broer 20:54, 21 May 2011 (UTC)

Changes to the review autolinkage logic

I am in the middle of testing your changes to SQLFindReviewParent and everything looks good, but do we really want to auto-link reviews to Chapterbooks? I am thinking that most of the time a review of "shortfiction" (even if it appeared in a chapterbook) will concentrate on the text rather than on the chapterbook. What do you think? (Not that it will prevent me from installing version 1.48 of the script tonight.) Ahasuerus 22:19, 21 May 2011 (UTC)

I'm not an expert, most "Chapterbooks" I own I'd be happy to keep as "Novels" of "jvn" length, and I would say the reviews of such are of the book rather than the contents. I'm sure people have benefited from the Shortfiction matching whilst dealing with Bleiler for instance, but I really couldn't be sure what the common consensus is. BLongley 00:58, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
I haven't checked the database, but I am reasonably sure that reviews of chapterbooks are very rare at the moment. Based on what I have seen (a limited sample, of course), if a novella first appeared as a chapterbook and was later expanded to novel length, then eight times out of ten a review should be linked to the novel title and the other 1.9 times to the novella title. There are always exceptions, but I don't think we want to link chapterbooks automatically. Ahasuerus 05:25, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
I suspect the final solution is on the lines of "If the review is in a NONFICTION title, then it might be more likely to be SHORTFICTION, and if in a MAGAZINE it's more likely to be of a book". Then we add the exceptions for things like Tangent. BLongley 00:58, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
Hm, that's possible, but I have seen numerous chapterbook reviews in some magazines. Ahasuerus 05:25, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
We're never going to get it 100% correct, are we? BLongley 00:58, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
As Vince Lombardi, a famous US football coach (as in "US football"), supposedly said, "Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence" :-) Ahasuerus 05:25, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
I believe the reason why 8.1 out of 10 are linked to the shortfiction record and not the chapterbook record is because editors are permitting the system to auto-link and not following-up. It's my experience that the system links to the title record which was first entered into the database, which is usually the shortfiction record. That's why a few years ago I relinked every review of this novel from the shortfiction record to which they were originally linked. After adding 50+ reviews in each of more than 300 issues of Locus, I can tell you that most of the reviews are of the specific book. Just today I corrected the review linked to this title. Go to page 123 of this PDF of the publication in which the review appears. At least half of the review is about the book itself. Mhhutchins 20:49, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
I suspect we have the balance fairly right now, but we can recheck after the new feature has been used in anger for a while. BLongley 21:15, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

Publisher - Wiki template

If my understanding is correct, the Wiki link on publisher pages should be passing the publisher ID to the Wiki. Is that right? I don't think it's happening at the moment. Ahasuerus 05:12, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

That would indeed be an improvement, but I don't know how to do that. BLongley 13:17, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

Catfantastic IV

Added some notes to the publication record, nothing spectacular. Patrick -- Herzbube Talk 19:10, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

Sub-series ordering

I think I got it working on the Summary page now. There is a conflict with a subsequent commit, but it's not a big deal.

There is another bug in the submission screen -- it lets things like "5f" through, which results in an error at approval time -- so I will need to do a bit more testing and hopefully install everything tomorrow. Ahasuerus 04:04, 23 May 2011 (UTC)

Be careful what you update to. The change removed functions called from, so a latest-and-greatest update of everything will end up with python errors on the author summary pages. --MartyD 10:33, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the heads up! Revision juggling/merging is a pain, but we still have a manageable number of competing versions, at least or now. However, going forward, we will need to try to make sure that significant changes are well tested and self-contained before they are committed in order to minimize the impact on the testing/reconciliation/installation process. (Gee, I feel like I am writing a report to Congress!) Ahasuerus 15:50, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
True - you could have done it like my School Reports - "William must try harder". :-/ BLongley 23:31, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
I think you could preserve the 1.12 additions with little risk. They won't work without the other changes, but nothing's going to call them, so there's no real harm in having them along for the ride. That would allow the most recent version of everything to continue working. --MartyD 17:09, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, I'll take a look! Ahasuerus 02:27, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
I'm holding off on further coding improvements at present, now that Marty's back on board. And some further comments on User_talk:Ahasuerus#Award_Editing would help, when you have time. BLongley 23:31, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, I was mostly AWOL for a couple of days, had to deal with humans. I will work on sub-series ordering tonight and try to answer the award questions. Ahasuerus 02:01, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
I didn't get as much accomplished as I hoped (why do we have only 24 hours in each day? we ought to do something about it), but I made some comments re: Awards -- see my Talk page and the Community Portal. Ahasuerus 06:09, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
I didn't realize the earlier code changes might require additional modifications, so I'm sorry about stepping into the middle of active development work. I won't do anything else until the current batch of changes gets cleared up. --MartyD 09:42, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
No worries, revision juggling is the name of the game here :-) I hope to install sub-series ordering later today and then work on further testing installation over the long weekend. Ahasuerus 14:33, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
There's always some areas that can be worked on without stepping on someone else's toes. I usually look at the outstanding changes and find something completely different to work on - unless it's just me building on my previous changes that I'm pretty sure are solid. Which is becoming less frequent as I push myself into trickier areas - but if I don't push myself then we're never going to make much of an inroad into the backlog of FRs and bugs. Some of them have passed their fifth birthday now! BLongley 16:52, 27 May 2011 (UTC)

Missing Bio and Author Header templates

I noticed that two wiki pages for Bio:Angelique_LaFontaine and Author:Angelique_LaFontaine, but neither one have the auto-installed header templates. Did the person who created them do something differently that prevented the headers from being automatically written onto the pages? Mhhutchins 18:03, 23 May 2011 (UTC)

Possibly, or she deleted the templates before submission. BLongley 18:09, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
That thought occurred to me. The template wasn't included on the first version of the page, which means she deleted when she first created the page. Damn, that throws a wrench into the works. How can we keep editors from doing that, or at least letting them know it would be a stupid thing to do? Mhhutchins 18:13, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
I don't think we can, that would require MediaWiki changes not ISFDB ones. BLongley 18:19, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
You both may already know this, but just in case.... Do the pages get generated somehow? If so, you can include comments. E.g.,
<!-- DO NOT DELETE - From Here... -->
<!-- ...To Here - DO NOT DELETE -->
You can do the same within a template (make it provide comments). It won't stop anyone, of course, but it might help avoid unknowing deletion. --MartyD 00:47, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
A great idea! Chavey 01:15, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
I don't want to mess with the templates - I didn't create them and don't fully understand them, and don't have a local Mediawiki to test them on. Do you? If not, the "/preload" templates were created by me alone and might be fiddleable-with. FR 2805093 "Templates for wiki pages created from database pages" should be safe to play with at the moment. And do you know how to pass parameters to such? See User_talk:BLongley#Publisher_-_Wiki_template. BLongley 23:11, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
Let me see if I can pass these comments from the ISFDB side as embedded text. Ahasuerus 06:10, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
OK, it seems simple enough to adjust the preload templates to put the "DO NOT DELETE" messages in, so I've done that. If nobody can figure out how to pass parameters for linkbacks, then we could also add comments explaining what else needs to be done manually. BLongley 15:52, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
I poked around a bit but couldn't find a way to pass a template parameter within a URL :-( I'll go ahead and install the publisher change since it's well tested and harmless. Ahasuerus 04:29, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
Done in r2011-39. Since we are unable to pass parameters to templates at this time, we may want to add some language to the template to indicate that the editor needs to add "|1234" to the body of the template in order to make the backlink work. Ahasuerus 04:39, 27 May 2011 (UTC)

(unindent) I'm happy to edit templates. If someone gives me a list of the ones that should have such comments put into them, I will do it. --MartyD 09:39, 27 May 2011 (UTC)

The Rod of Light

Hi, about The Rod of Light (Methuen, 1985) Clute/Nicholls just says 1985, Locus1 gives Methuen, October 1985, Reginald3 however says London: Allison & Busby, 1984 as 1st publication. I changed your verified publication to October 1985.--Dirk P Broer 23:09, 23 May 2011 (UTC)

Locus1 dates are fine by me, if noted as the source. I wonder why we don't have the Allison & Busby edition though? BLongley 23:17, 25 May 2011 (UTC)

The Garments of Caean (Fontana, 1978)

Hi, I added price (per back cover) and month of publication (per for The Garments of Caean (Fontana, 1978).--Dirk P Broer 09:12, 24 May 2011 (UTC)

Callahan's Legacy

Fyi, I cloned your 2nd printing of Callahan's Legacy to add my 1st printing. Looks like one of your (very) early verifications. I think the publication date of your printing should be zeroed, and in my pub there's an essay on page 213/214. Thanks, --Willem H. 15:31, 24 May 2011 (UTC)

Have done until I can get back to it. BLongley 15:52, 24 May 2011 (UTC)

Extra Authors

I've completed work on the Extra Authors list, leaving three books that are verified and have conflicts between the pub records and their title records. When you get a chance, could you run the script again, but after the next download? Much appreciated. Mhhutchins 17:46, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

No problem, will do. I've been neglecting the small projects, "Awards" has been a major time-sink recently. BLongley 01:46, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

Vector 206

Can you confirm the spelling of the author who review the novel by Barnes on page 34 of this publication? Her name is usually spelled "Mendlesohn". Thanks for checking. Mhhutchins 22:53, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

Good question, with a long answer. The name given is "Mendelsohn", but the review is actually an uncredited "Particles" mini-review repeating some parts of the review from Vector 201, and miscredits Farah for the original. I don't think we can cope with "excerpts" of a review can we? BLongley 00:49, 3 June 2011 (UTC)

Chesterton on Dickens

I'd appreciate your thoughts on this. Thanks. --MartyD 10:49, 3 June 2011 (UTC)

Update on Local Install

Spent a few hours yesterday and today on this, but sad to say that I have not yet been able to get it to work. MySQLdb didn't seem to take, and MySQL in general is giving me problems, I think because of an earlier install for a different project. The posted version of Tortoise wasn't compatible with my version of Windows, but I have that part straightened out at least.

I'm going to uninstall some stuff, then try, try again from a totally blank slate. Just wanted to keep you posted. Albinoflea 05:51, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

So I slogged through the reinstall tonight, and can report that I am up and running. The MySQLdb install needed to be run as an Administrator (even though I was logged in as an admin), and getting that straightened out paved the way for the rest. There were a few other hiccups, and I think I'll add some notes and clarification to some of the Windows install instructions, but the old seems functional.
What would you recommend I do next? Albinoflea 06:37, 11 June 2011 (UTC)
Well, testing the outstanding changes in the Development queue would be helpful. BLongley 15:07, 11 June 2011 (UTC)

Aurora awards

Hi Bill,

I don't know if you got my reply the other day (I'm still not familiar with the wiki messaging system), so here's a dual-post just in case:

  • I didn't know about the Aurora stuff (I'm from France), so I had a look, and the whole thing really is a headache!
  • It looks like the French Aurora awards were indeed (a) split from the English ones, and (b) merged with another series of awards (Prix Boréal).
  • The merger are either called the "Prix Aurora/Boréal"
  • Some Boréal awards which had no Aurora counterpart keep their previous name "Prix Boréal"
  • For the 2011 English awards, the nominees are available at [3], and the winners will be announced at SFContario, November 18-20, 2011
  • For the 2011 Aurora/Boréal awards, the winners were recently announced during the Congrès Boréal (Boréal Convention), Mai 13-15, and are available at [4] (French-speaking page):
    • Best Novel: Héloïse Côté, La tueuse de dragons [5]
    • Best Short Fiction: Philippe-Aubert Côté, Pour l’honneur d’un Nohaum, in Solaris #176 ([6])
    • Best Graphic Novel : [Ineligible – not enough nominations]
    • Best Poetry/Song : [Ineligible – not enough nominations]
    • Best Related Work: Solaris (magazine, Joël Champetier chief editor, [7])

As I said, I could enter the French award winners... but I must admit I didn't see how to do it, so I guess this feature is mod-only. Let me know if there's anything I can do. Regards,JuggleDan 19:19, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

Sorry for the delay, Real Life (TM) intruded. Award-entry is still fairly restricted due to it being a bit buggy and non-intuitive still (we've gone several years with only the founder able to do it, and since we opened it up a few weeks ago we've found all sorts of issues that need some work.) You could certainly help by adding any missing French titles - and if you really want a lot of work, it seems that we'll need to add a LOT of issues of "Solaris". BLongley 00:57, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

Submission changing birthdate for Jody Lynn Nye

Re this submission: Wikipedia gives the month, but not the day. That's about as public as it gets. Why not compromise and remove the day, but keep the month? Mhhutchins 00:25, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

Googling "Jody Lynn Nye" "birthday" gives you the exact date in 0.19 seconds - I don't think it's that secret. But I've unheld the submission and will leave it up to you - are you trying to see an empty submission queue again? ;-) (It has been some time since we last had one.) BLongley 00:28, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
Guilty. I guess I get some perverse pleasure from seeing an empty queue. Mhhutchins 01:04, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

Glynn Barrass

Re this submission: his own website gives only the first and last name. I suggest rejecting the submission and make "Glynn Owen Barrass" into the pseudonym. (It's been almost a month and he's still not found his talk page.) Mhhutchins 00:29, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

I'm not in the mood to go chase him down so I've Unheld that submission. I think you're right that it should go the other way. BLongley 00:32, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
I rejected the submission, but reversed the parent/pseudonym relationship. BTW, what are those two award submissions in the queue, one with an XML PARSE ERROR? Mhhutchins 01:11, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
They're a couple of examples of interesting bugs with Award Editing - I'm not sure anyone else is going to look at them from a Developer point of view anytime soon, so feel free to hardreject them. If you do want a look, then the "dumpxml" script will show that the first has an ampersand in the Award Category which confuses the software. The second has an apostrophe, and is even more confusing as you CAN approve it but it silently errors out halfway through and the update won't take, and you don't get an error message either. I will get round to fixing those but it's been a very strange week for me so far and coding has gone on the back-burner for a bit. BLongley 01:33, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
Unfortunately, I am in the same boat this week. 16 hour days and all that goes with them. Hopefully things will improve by the weekend. Ahasuerus 02:36, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
There's a third interesting submission now, "Captain Raptor and the Moon Mystery". Due to the apostrophe in the additional Author this time. We really must clarify the Bugs and Feature Requests for Awards soon: I think we're getting more volunteers to work on them, and Darrah Chavey has a HUGE list of potential NEW Awards, so improving the process is quite high priority. And I'm exhausting my linguistic abilities on the current awards. It might be useful to start creating project pages for each award so that people can expand on the status - for instance, I know I've only added 5 "Imaginaire Award" categories for our missing years, which leaves 5 more to do by someone more skillful than me. Although they might want to wait for better Translator support first. As I think I said elsewhere, this might be the biggest can of worms we've opened in years. BLongley 23:22, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

The Wrong End of Time

Hi, this might be a very apt title. You verified The Wrong End of Time as published in June 1975. says 9 April 1976 and, what carries more weight, the book itself states
"First published in Great Britain by Eyre Methuen Ltd 1975
Methuen Paperbacks edition first published 1976". Eyre Methuen being the hardcover publisher, while this is definitely the paperback.--Dirk P Broer 11:21, 12 June 2011 (UTC)

You're right in that it's 1976 - I'm not sure you're right that I verified the date as I don't leave like comments like "Month of date information on this book from The Whole Science Fiction Data Base No.4." So we need to change the date - I'd lean toward 1976-00-00 still, but people seem to trust Amazon UK dates for some reason. BLongley 22:41, 18 June 2011 (UTC)


Hi. I've just noticed that the two latest issues of Jupiter - XXXI and XXXII - haven't appeared in the Jupiter magazine series. But checking those that do appear in the series, I don't see anything different or any missing data in XXXI or XXXIII.Iansales 11:34, 16 June 2011 (UTC)

They don't appear automatically, you have to edit the titles and put them into the "Jupiter (magazine)" series. I've done that for you now. BLongley 14:28, 16 June 2011 (UTC)

Rite of Passage

Hi, I want to change this title to a supposed 2nd edition, on account of the higher UK price.--Dirk P Broer 14:44, 18 June 2011 (UTC)

Submission has been placed on hold awaiting Bill's response. Mhhutchins 16:02, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, I still think that's the first. Prices do sometimes go down rather than up, and that period of UK publishing was particularly turbulent due to decimalisation. And look at the catalogue numbers - 66834 is surely earlier than 66842? BLongley 22:16, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
I've rejected the submission. Mhhutchins 16:39, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. I really must look at "Publication Diff" as it doesn't show the notes and even more surprisingly doesn't spot the different catalogue numbers. We really could improve both areas easily, for both Editors and Moderators. Of course, such might overlap with "printing number" support, and that's going to be another family-sized can-of-worms, but there may be a small change with big benefits to have first. BLongley 18:11, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
In four plus years I've never used that function. I just don't know what it's supposed to do and how to use it. Mhhutchins 19:35, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
"How to use it" is simple - look at the menu under "Editing Tools" and choose "Diff Publications" and select two to compare. It has been mildly useful for comparing Collections and Anthologies that actually have different contents. But it is no longer good enough at distinguishing things that some of us now consider important - US versus Canadian printings, printing numbers, etc. The Catalogue/ISBN number differences being missed is a major concern for me, but I'd need to look at how Marty sorted out ISBN-10s and ISBN-13s. Or let Marty continue that line, and I'll continue on "Notes" work or something else that doesn't cause conflicts on the Development front. BLongley 19:53, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
Maybe I'm dense, but I don't get it. I just checked the two publications of Michael Bishop's first novel, and it shows no difference between the two, although everything but their name and author credit is different. So is the purpose to find what fields they have in common??? Mhhutchins 20:08, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
I can't say what the purpose was, but if we are going to keep it we should define what the purpose is now. And yes, I think it should show what fields they have in common and which are different - or maybe just which are different, as we're adding even more stuff that Al didn't think of. And we show stuff he DID think of but that doesn't work - ever noticed the "translator" field on merges? Doesn't work, never has done, although Ahasuerus might be working on it. BLongley 22:15, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

Mission of Gravity

I have the June 1976 edition of A Mission of Gravity, which you've Primary Verified. In the ISFDB entry for the Foreword by Robert Conquest, the copyright date is given as 1976, but in my edition it is given as 1975 on the copyright page. Could you please check your edition to see which is correct? Thanks. Nimravus 18:09, 18 June 2011 (UTC)

We don't use copyright dates, we use printing dates, so June 1976 is correct. You can always note additional dates - in this case, you might want to note that the introduction ends with October 1974. There might be a hardcover earlier edition - there were some in that Publication Series - in which case the Introduction should be dated for its earliest publication. BLongley 22:33, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for clarifying. Nimravus 11:51, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

Analog 3 and Seven Trips Through Time and Space

I have started a mini project at Author:Randall Garrett#Johnathan vs. Jonathan and MacKenzie vs. Mac Kenzie. You have two of the publications involved. --Marc Kupper|talk 01:48, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

The Wandering Worlds (Terry Greenhough)

Hi, I slightly altered your notes for The Wandering Worlds, to give information about the publication date of the two NEL paperback editions.--Dirk P Broer 11:26, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

That's fine. BLongley 23:01, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

Tove Jansson

I am afraid you have run into a shiny new can of worms that we recently opened with the last batch of language enhancements. Tove Jansson lived in Finland, but Finland has an active Swedish speaking minority and her books were written in Swedish. BTW, if you haven't read them, they are quite charming, but make sure to start with the second one in the series, Comet in Moominland. Ahasuerus 17:13, 23 June 2011 (UTC)

I only saw the TV series I'm afraid. I'll change them and stick to languages I'm less incompetent in. BLongley 17:16, 23 June 2011 (UTC)

Award links in Recent Integrations

I think I may be missing something. I am testing FR 3305564 ("Link to new or edited awards in Recent Integrations") and the added code in common/ 1.35 tries to link to title.cgi. However, the only record ID for Edit Award submissions in the submissions table is for award IDs, so the link goes to a random Title record.

There is no display page for individual awards, is there? If not, then we'll probably need to add a "Title ID" XML element to the sub_data field in the submissions table. We'll also have to decide what to do when the award is not Title-specific. Ahasuerus 02:40, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

Ouch, that's a pretty bad mistake. :-( I guess I assumed that Editing a Title Award used the same ID as Adding one. Poor testing on my part, thanks for catching it. I knew that untitled awards wouldn't work, but those seem to show up safely as a non-linking "Untitled Award" subject for now and can be left for later improvements. BLongley 14:39, 25 June 2011 (UTC)
Change reduced to the bits that do work. (I hope.) BLongley 15:06, 25 June 2011 (UTC)
I've also spotted a typo that propagated over seven other scripts, and fixed those. That really should be centralised, I guess. BLongley 16:09, 25 June 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for fixing it! I'll try to test/install the change later today. Ahasuerus 20:21, 25 June 2011 (UTC)
I don't think anyone considers it a high priority BLongley 20:36, 25 June 2011 (UTC)
Right, just trying to clean up the development queue. Ahasuerus 06:58, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
- although our people are really bad at prioritising anything it seems! But with such a long list of outstanding module changes I'd really like it if we can close the gap between coding and testing. If we get Award Types out of the way, then we can keep Darrah Chavey busy a bit longer and maybe encourage a few of his students to join as Editors. The Language improvements don't seem to have attracted as much work as I thought - maybe they're waiting for some fix scripts rather than attempting to do it all manually? If we can clarify what's needed I could have a go at such - after all, you're making ME share the blame for them! BLongley 20:36, 25 June 2011 (UTC)
Speaking of language improvements... with the Title Language field in place, does that mean we're ready for this shift in methodology to occur:
Change Help to tell users to enter foreign language translations as Titles (rather than as Pubs under the canonical Title) and then create VTs. Albinoflea 22:22, 25 June 2011 (UTC)
I'd say so, but then again I'm not an expert on such matters - I may have got an "A" for English but I failed at Latin and didn't even attempt French qualifications despite six years of tuition. (Well, three years at Primary School and three more at Secondary School - I consider it my least-worst second language, which is why I've attempted fixing "Imaginaire Awards"). I haven't found any major bugs with Ahasuerus' improvements to my improvements, but I also haven't seen many editors use them. :-( I'd say "Try some, and see if our other Moderators can cope". We have multi-language Mods, although I suspect Other Alphabet titles will still be beyond most of us. But if that's what's needed, I can try and help those and finally retire to just editing stuff I can do. Or learn a few other languages. BLongley 23:30, 25 June 2011 (UTC)
As I mentioned on the Community Portal, there are still a number of software changes that need to be implemented before we can change the data entry rules. The most important change is suppressing foreign language VTs that the user has no interest in -- i.e. leveraging the My languages preferences page. Without this ability the Summary pages of popular writers will become completely unmanageable. Ahasuerus 23:38, 25 June 2011 (UTC)
OK, I'll have a look at that. I thought you'd probably already done it with the many fixes you made to my fixes - I haven't really tested those. Again, it needs a bit of a design discussion BLongley 00:05, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
Yes, there are still some unresolved issues, although we are getting closer. The thorniest question is how do you suppress canonical titles that have no analog in the original language? Suppressing foreign language VTs that the user has no interest in is fairly easy, but what if a Japanese publisher puts together an original collection of Philip K. Dick stories? Presumably we don't want to display it unless the user has indicated that he is interested in Japanese language titles, but it's not as simple as it may sound. We will need to add a "Working Language" field to the Author table, but even that may not do the trick since some author write in 2+ languages, e.g. Sam Lundwall. I am thinking that we may need to add a Language field to the Author table and add a special flag to the Title table to indicate that the title shouldn't be suppressed even if its language doesn't match the author's working language, but it's still shaky. Alternatively, we could have more than one working language per author, but that's a bigger pain to implement. For now, a quick and easy solution may be to add a Language field to the Author table and display "[<Language>]" for any canonical titles that do not match the author's working language. Ahasuerus 02:10, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
- Moderators are going to need to look at ALL the titles affected aren't they? Or should we admit that most moderators aren't qualified for such and make them only approvable if the Mod admits to understanding all languages involved? BLongley 00:05, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
There is an option to "Show translations in all languages (overrides individual choices below)" on that page, so all you have to do is click on it and you will see all VTs regardless of their language. I expect that most moderators will want it checked unless they are allergic to foreign languages :) Ahasuerus 02:10, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
I'm allergic to foreign alphabets - and as you recently saw, I can't tell some European languages apart, so I'd prefer to recuse myself from moderating some things. BLongley 19:13, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
P.S. And happy birthday! You and Daryl Gregory, I take it? Ahasuerus 04:14, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
Yep, that's the same date. I've never heard of him, but I guess he's never heard of me either. BLongley 19:13, 26 June 2011 (UTC)

Time and Timothy Grenville

I've left a note on an editor's page concerning changes in your verified record. I've placed the submission on hold. (BTW, I have that book also, but never got around doing Primary 2 verifications on a lot of paperbacks that are stored away. Just thought it wasn't necessary. That way anybody having any questions about it will bug you and not me...) Mhhutchins 00:18, 25 June 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for holding. It seems Jane Frank agrees, but it might be Ray Feibush - perhaps Herve could check? BLongley 13:33, 25 June 2011 (UTC)
It's not Ray Feibush, his cover (as shown in SFM) is this one (I suppose it's the HC). Hauck 15:34, 25 June 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for checking. I guess we need a verification check on the hc. BLongley 16:16, 25 June 2011 (UTC)

Happy Birthday!

...and Many Happy Returns. (from your moderator availability update) Mhhutchins 13:42, 26 June 2011 (UTC)

Thanks! It turned out good in the end, after a slow start. BLongley 22:32, 26 June 2011 (UTC)

Shared Birthday Weekend

I just noticed by your status that we share a birthday weekend. (I'm a day before you... but the alcohol lasted for both days.. so I'm sure it was very similar experience)... Cheers! - Kevin 15:01, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

Astrologically, my birthday is actually on the 25th - it's only due to British Summer Time that it's officially the 26th. I usually celebrate the most convenient one - or occasionally, both! :-) A belated Happy Birthday to you too. BLongley 17:55, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

The Eighth Fontana Book of Great Horror Stories

Hi, I'm trying to figure out the Russian original for this story by Tolstoy. If it's not too much trouble, could you please have a look at this text and let me know if whether it's the same (up to translation variations) story as in this verified pub or not. Thanks! P-Brane 02:36, 28 June 2011 (UTC).

I will do, when I can find it. My anthologies are in a bit of a mess still. BLongley 15:40, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
No worries, P-Brane 23:15, 28 June 2011 (UTC).

The Adversary, by Julian May

I'm verifying this book, the Pan edition you verified earlier. I have two questions:

  1. Since there are several pages of maps after the numbered pages, if I understand the current policies correctly, it seems that "Pages" should be listed as either "470+[6]" or "470+[7]" (although I'm not sure which), instead of the current "470".
  2. It also seems that the maps are significant enough that they should be included as an InteriorArt content item. (Although I'm less inclined to list them when there's no credit attached, as here.)

I see that this is an earlier verification of yours, so I'm not sure if the book's status reflects your current opinions on these points. Chavey 13:47, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

Feel free to make the changes. I'm still not too worried about recording maps or interior art, I'm far more meticulous about the text. Although I have been having fun with cover art recently. BLongley 16:03, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I noticed that! It certainly is the case that after the text, the cover art is the next most important thing. For an author I collect, it's rare that I would buy a second version because it has different maps, or appendices, but I usually will buy one that has a different cover.
I noticed your comment on "extracts" of cover art in the Moderator's wiki. A similar problem is how to handle art such as the US Starry Rift (from five editions of the book) and the British Starry Rift, from the Sphere edition. They're the same piece of art, but the book design has changed them so much that they don't initially look like the same piece. So they can't really be merged, but it seems there should be some way to make the link. (Can a cover be a VT of another cover?) Chavey 17:06, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
Yes, it can. One of the proposed changes will allow a moderator to see

Image:Starry Rift.jpg

and decide whether to approve a Variant or ask for a merge. I see another Rules and Standards discussion coming if/when Ahasuerus puts the changes live! BLongley 17:23, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

Outpost Mars, by Cyril Judd

I added a cover artist credit for your verified book. The photographer credit was listed in the notes, but recent discussions seem to validate putting photographer credits in the cover artist field, so I moved it there from the notes. Chavey 04:57, 2 July 2011 (UTC)

I would approve this (and the edit for Gunner Cade also), but you're the primary verifier for both, so I left the edits in the queue. --Willem H. 08:33, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
I'm OK with that. It's only when people put companies in there that I get annoyed - I believe we should keep it to people. BLongley 15:39, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
Agreed! Chavey 18:03, 2 July 2011 (UTC)

Re: Contents for Tales of Wonder #5

You're right, it should be "Coblentz". I didn't give him his "t". Farrago 16:56, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

OK, fixed. BLongley 17:07, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

Silver Snakes

Thanks for editing that synopsis. I meant to do it, forgot, then when I remembered I found I had been imagining it needed fixing.... :-) --MartyD 20:59, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

No problem. I see we still haven't really settled the "Kindle Editions" question yet, so this is probably the best compromise for now. And there's other oddities about pricing that I think I must throw into the discussion... :-( BLongley 23:01, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

Nebula Science Fiction, Number 21

Thanks for your note. I shall have to read a bit more of the instructions to find out how to do what you suggest. Farrago 11:59, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

Merry Men, by Robert Louis Stevenson

Looks like I might have put in a publication record when I needed to put in a title record. I was trying to make the collection Merry Men to be a variant of The Merry Men and Other Tales and Fables, the initial publication of which contains all of the stories of "Merry Men" (plus one more). I've tried again, hopefully the right way now. Chavey 19:40, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

Last and First Men

Hi, I have a bit elaborated a bit on the entry for Last and First Men, adding the preface to the contents.--Dirk P Broer 20:33, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

The Safe-Keeper's Secret, by Sharon Shinn

I'm updating the existing "Firebird" published books to "Firebird / Penguin" to follow the ISFDB standard of "imprint / publisher". This changes the publisher of your verified edition of The Safe-Keeper's Secret. But I'm a little concerned about this. Amazon's "Look Inside" feature for this book claims that it was published by "Viking / Penguin" (although Amazon says later on that page that it's from Firebird). I am unable to find a reference to "Firebird" in the "Look Inside". That may mean that (1) the publishing credit is in error; (2) "Look Inside" doesn't show me enough (e.g. the spine); (3) you have a different edition than Amazon does; (4) the book cover listed with this book is not the one on your book; (5) or various other possibilities. Can you please check what's going on with this publisher credit? Thanks, Chavey 02:07, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

Amazon's "Look Inside" is showing you the hardcover. This is the mmpb which is Firebird / Penguin. Always check the top of the look inside page to see if there's a "Just so you know" message: in this case it says "This view is of the Hardcover edition (2004) from Viking Juvenile. The Paperback edition (2005) from Firebird that you originally viewed is the one you'll receive if you click the Add to Cart button at left." BLongley 12:00, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
Ah ha, thanks! That explains my confusion. I usually note that message, but missed it this time. Chavey 14:42, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

Demon Apocalypse by Shan

I'm wanting to merge the few records (about a dozen or so) that gives the publisher as "HarperCollins UK" with the more accurately named "HarperCollins (UK)" (which has much more records). The only verified record under the former name is yours for this pub. According to both OCLC and, the publisher is "HarperCollins Children's Books", a UK imprint under which we have many pub records. Can you recheck your copy of the book and consider changing the publisher credit, and then I can proceed to merge the remaining "HarperCollns UK" records without having to update each record? Thanks for checking. Mhhutchins 16:11, 15 July 2011 (UTC)

Publisher changed. Go ahead with the rest. BLongley 16:15, 15 July 2011 (UTC)
Done. Thanks. Mhhutchins 17:17, 15 July 2011 (UTC)

Bug 3161128

Reviewing your changes, it would appear that they will also affect, and in /edit. Was that intentional or do we need to add a new parameter to this SQLparsing call in order to distinguish between award lists for the "given title record only" vs. award lists for "this title and all of its VTs"? Ahasuerus 07:59, 16 July 2011 (UTC)

I thought of and it seemed to be useful there. (Although I might reconsider that if/when we add "Link Award to Title".) But you're right, the deletion logic should probably remain "given title record only". BLongley 15:12, 16 July 2011 (UTC)
Changes committed so that and still exclude variants. BLongley 18:20, 16 July 2011 (UTC)

Author languages

Let me try a different tack. In the past I took your changes and then layered additional changes on top of them. Given my limited availability, perhaps you could try to implement the changes that I have identified? Here are a few thoughts after looking at the code:

  1. There doesn't appear to be anything in place to support Author merges
  2. In we need to use AUTHOR_LANG rather than 14 -- we will need to add an appropriate constant to the list of constants
  3. In, we need to use a call to SQLparsing rather than a direct SQL query. Ideally, all SQL calls should be encapsulated in SQLParsing -- and, eventually, all SQLParsing calls will be encapsulated in the class-to-SQL layer, but we are not there yet.
  4. Similarly, we want to move all occurrences of SQLLoadAllLanguages to SQLparsing. I was going to do it during an earlier iteration, but there was a conflict with an outstanding SQLparsing change. Also, I think there was one SQL*lang* call that was not quite like the other ones, so we will need to be careful.

What do you think? Ahasuerus 09:26, 22 July 2011 (UTC)

1 - Good point - it's been so long since I did one I'd completely forgotten we have that capability! 2 - OK: I was a bit concerned about having two offset 14s, but if you think that's OK I'll do it. 3 and 4 - I can move them in, but there's outstanding changes to that for Bug 3161128. Can you deal with that first or should I try and relearn CVS branching? BLongley 15:29, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
1, 2 and 3 done - I'll look at 4 at some point but I suspect that there are other, existing problems with author merges - see the comments about author_emails and author_webpages in the code! I did fix up author_image while I was in there. BLongley 20:15, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
I appreciate that there's some suspect additions: "common/ 1.37" has a "Foreign Title unmerge" clash and "common/ 1.58" has a "Translator" clash - but I don't think they cause any problems, and can either be used later or removed if we decide to do things differently. I'm trying to keep on top of the changes that I haven't committed yet, and that's almost as long a list as the "Outstanding changes" section! BLongley 16:44, 23 July 2011 (UTC)


...for fixing my typo in the message to new editor Reanimus. Must've been past my bedtime, or the "m" and "n" on my keyboard switched places. At the moment, keys "e", "d", "c", "n", and "m" on my keyboard are blank, the identifying letters having been worn off the keys. "o", "l", ">" and "s" are on they way to obscurity. And the board is less than two years old! Guess it's time to get a new keyboard. Mhhutchins 15:04, 27 July 2011 (UTC)

I'm still wondering why you wore off those particular keys. Do you type "Medic!" or "Medicine!" a lot? ;-) And why ">" but not "<"? On my keyboard that could be explained by them being on the "," and "." keys, commas might be bibliographically more significant and if you're not so IT savvy as me then the HTML mark-ups might be lower... BLongley 00:21, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
My keyboard is about 10 years old and is one of the few branded IT things I still use. And I have two spares still (somewhere!) Compaq keyboards were going for a quid a time at an IT fair many years back, and although this one is severely dirty the letters are still clear. Punctuation, less so. :-/ And who knows what the "Alt Gr" key does anyway? BLongley 00:21, 29 July 2011 (UTC)

Lambe credit on review in SF&F Book Review, July 1979

Would you check the reviewer credit on Lambe's review of Haining's The H. G. Wells Scrapbook in your verified Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Review, July 1979? I have on hold a submission that wants to change the author title-wide to remove the "Dr.". Thanks. --MartyD 10:13, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

The "Dr." is definitely present. BLongley 15:00, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for checking. --MartyD 23:28, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

Granada hc of The Caves of Steel

I'm trying to determine if this edition was offset from an earlier printing, and your book appears to be the only edition with the same page count. Can you look on page 122 and see if the first line starts "ganization of Earthmen..." and ends with "...up a ramp, and". Thanks for checking. Mhhutchins 02:58, 30 July 2011 (UTC)

I will when I can find it. Those pesky hardcovers keep hiding from me... BLongley 17:23, 30 July 2011 (UTC)

Granada ed. of Rhialto the Marvelous

Can you check out this held submission from Don Erikson and see if perhaps his is the same as your verified record? Same title, author, date, ISBN and price. The only difference is the publisher: Panther v. Granada. I know they're associated, but not sure how the two publishers related to each other in 1985. Thanks for checking. Mhhutchins 19:34, 30 July 2011 (UTC)

I'm going to remove the hold and let another moderator handle it. Mhhutchins 02:29, 3 August 2011 (UTC) (See I remembered the tildes!)

Vector 249

Can you check the attributions of the "Buddha:" books reviewed in your verified pub Vector 249. Some are credited to "Osama Tezuka" while others are credited to "Osamu Tezuka," which I believe is the correct spelling. Thanks.--Rkihara 17:16, 7 August 2011 (UTC)

Correct, they're all actually Osamu Tezuka. Fixed now. BLongley 17:23, 7 August 2011 (UTC)

Tales from Planet Earth

Hello, Bill. I thought I might ask you about something you have verified. I would like to add few comments about the structure of the book, including expanding the contents with all notes (marked "Introduction") with which Clarke supplied the volume; I think these contain important biographical and bibliographical information. The only thing I would like to change is the pages numbers for all stories and the number of pages with Roman numbers. If Asimov's preface is on "i", then my edition have altogether seven (not three) such pages until the title page of the first story which is apparently p. 1; none of the preceding pages is marked with "i-vii", something which I would also like make a note of. If you do not agree with these changes, please let me know and I won't submit anything. Regards. Waldstein 16:46, 10 August 2011 (UTC)

Go ahead - I'm not too bothered about the notes but don't object to them. I stuck with "iii" as that is all the relevant text - "v" would be the contents page, which we don't usually list. It seems standards have evolved and "[iii]" might be more accurate as they don't actually have any numbers on. BLongley 17:48, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
All right. To save another thread, to this pub I will add only short publication history from the copyright page and verify later. No other changes whatsoever. Waldstein 18:41, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

Tolkien Lord of The Rings - SBNs

I have a set of these that I bought in '71 that do not show on the database, they are all 2nd edition 4th reprint. From George Allen & Unwin. However the SBNs are there for a different date and publisher.

Should I just add them anyway, and what about the existing issues with these sbns? PeterKlancic 15:12, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

Please add them - an SBN or ISBN is not unique to a printing, and may in fact be used on several different editions and even across changes of publisher. We want every printing of every edition, if possible. BLongley 17:53, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

Our new friend from Thailand

Hello Bill. What do you think we should do about this page or this this one. Personally I'm tempted to consider all this as a kind of advertising and to be frank I find the lot quite surreal (A post doctorate in Telepathy, indeed). Hauck 17:34, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

His grasp of English is far better than my Thai, but I haven't managed to establish communications with him. I don't think he's spamming and the links he's providing may be of use to someone with better language skills than me. BLongley 18:03, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
And we really need to add pubs by the Prince of Sci-Fi. Mhhutchins 18:25, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

Penguin World Omnibus of SF

Does the story by Bertil Martensson in this anthology credit the author with a diacritical mark in his last name? Thanks. Mhhutchins 16:52, 20 August 2011 (UTC)

It does. Fixed. (Now I know where to copy it from.) BLongley 16:59, 20 August 2011 (UTC)
Alt-134 gives å. --Dirk P Broer 22:46, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
Not on my keyboard. BLongley 22:51, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
Press alt, hold it pressed and use the numeric island, not the digits on the upper side of the keybord. :) --Dirk P Broer 22:55, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
Ah, I see. You neglected to mention that it also needs "Num-Lock" on. (Otherwise I type it and after the third digit, get taken back a page.) I will almost certainly forget this before I need to use this information again, though. BLongley 23:02, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
I always have the numlock on, just for this feature. I navigate with the arrow keys next tø the numëriç isländ. --Dirk P Broer 23:08, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
I'm old enough that I remember keyboards without such luxuries, so never learned to use them. (In fact, I remember keyboards where we didn't have "1" and "0" - as "l" and "O" would do.) Anyway, now we're getting more "foreign" editors on board, I can leave such things up to you, can't I? ;-) BLongley 23:31, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

When HARLIE Was One, Release 2.0

In this verified pub I changed the publication date from 1988-00-00 to 1988-07-00 (stated on the copyright page), pages from 287 to xiii+287 and added the essay on page vii and notes. --Willem H. 09:36, 21 August 2011 (UTC)

One more thing, the title is on the titlepage as When HARLIE Was One (Release 2.0). Should this be changed also? --Willem H. 09:46, 21 August 2011 (UTC)

The Venus Belt

Made some adjustements to your verified here, added scan, added article on pub title, added interior art on page 78. Hope it suits you. Hauck 14:51, 21 August 2011 (UTC)

"Tell Steven Baxter Not to Worry": Poem or Shortstory?

Hi Bill. I have on hold this submission that would change the type of the title in your verified Focus, November 2001 from POEM to SHORTFICTION/ss. Does that look right? --MartyD 15:40, 21 August 2011 (UTC)

Yes, it's an ultra-short fiction piece. BLongley 16:05, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
Also, the spelling of '"Steven" needs to be corrected to "Stephen". PeteYoung 19:05, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
Done. BLongley 19:14, 21 August 2011 (UTC)

A typo on your verified publication

Just letting you know Mhhutchins has put on hold my correction to your verified Vector 206, re. a review by Farah Mendlesohn of 'Earth Made of Glass' by John Barnes, which you would like to be notified about. The page states her surname as 'Mendelsohn', yet 'Mendlesohn' is the correct spelling, so it's a typo either with the page data or in the publication itself. It's a common error with Farah's name and I've even made it myself today (I'm in good company, though: China Miéville often gets it wrong as well). PeteYoung 20:21, 21 August 2011 (UTC)

It's an error in Vector 206. We could make it go away by removing the credits from these "Particle" reviews, as the overall author isn't given, but the text does refer back to Farah Mendelsohn's review in Vector 201. BLongley 20:25, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
Will you be creating a pseudonym and variant? Or will you be removing the credits for the short reviews? Either way, I'll reject the submission and let you deal with it. Thanks. Mhhutchins 23:04, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
Let me think about it. If I tried to decide at this time of night, I'd take the easy option and just merge this pair of reviews. But I can't promise to start a full R&S discussion over "excerpts of earlier reviews" either. BLongley 00:56, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

An update to your verified publication

I've submitted a clearer cover scan and added the other prices listed on the back cover of Swords in the Mist: Nimravus 23:43, 21 August 2011 (UTC)

Enemies of the System

Could you please check your copy of Enemies of the System (Triad Granada, 1981) whether the complete title on the title page is "Enemies of the System: A Tale of Homo Uniformis" as given in Clute/Nicholls and Reginald3? --Dirk P Broer 15:19, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

Not quite. There is definitely no colon, and "A Tale of Homo Uniformis" is separated by a large vertical space and is in much smaller type, so I chose to consider it a description rather than a sub-title. I routinely ignore extra verbiage around a title in a publication, e.g. when they tell you that this a "Star Trek" title, trademarked by "Paramount", in such-and-such a series. If you have the same edition feel free to explain that there is the extra text on the page. Please don't go as far as things like Aliens™ Book 1: Earth Hive as one former editor did... that was just getting ridiculous, IMNSHO. :-/ BLongley 23:20, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
Colons are rarely used to separate a title from its subtitle on a printed page. OCLC uses colons (as does the ISFDB and most bibliographers, for that matter) because it's the only way to visually indicate the start of the subtitle, which is usually done in print as a change in font size (sometimes even font type.) Reginald1 uses a semicolon to separate title from subtitle, which may have been the standard in 1979. Without a character to separate them, there's no other way to indicate when the subtitle begins (double spaces don't work in this environment). Mhhutchins 00:09, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
I'm not against it being added as a sub-title, I'm just explaining why I didn't originally choose to add such and hopefully I've made it clear that Dirk can edit the same pub for such? I see Bluesman has confirmed a printing without such a sub-title, so I would be against changing the Overall title record, but I'm fine with it being added to this printing if Dirk views the same printing a different way. BLongley 00:37, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
A quick search for ""A Tale of Homo Uniformis" suggests that this isn't part of a series of such tales, so my warnings about not including series titles or trademark information do not apply in this case. It probably IS a sub-title in some editions, and I'm fine with that. BLongley 00:37, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
It's just that Clute/Nicholls and Reginald3 both mention the title in this way (Enemies of the System: A tale of Homo Uniformis), and I saw that same text (A tale of Homo Uniformis) as subtitle in my edition. I think we can let "Enemies of the System" be the cannonical name for this publication, but where the sub-title appears on the title page it should be noted. --Dirk P Broer 00:57, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
The problem with using Clute/Nicholls is that they don't list publications. They list titles, and as such, is practically useless when it comes to the ISFDB. I wonder why we even use them as a reference for publications. Now if we had to verify titles... Mhhutchins 01:11, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
But what exactly are we doing with the data on the title page? Verifying titles IMHO...♬♬♬ :) --Dirk P Broer 01:20, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
This is another case of miscommunication, both in language and concept. I'm not talking about the titles used on the title page of a book (that title would go in the "title field" of the "publication record"). I'm using the word "title" in the ISDFB sense: the title record, meaning the intrinsic title of the work (the author's brainchild), not any publication of the work (the publisher's product). This concept has stumped many an ISFDB editor, and I would wager most of the current editors have problems conceptualizing the difference. This is not a dig at you, Dirk. English is my native language and there are times when it frustrates me, too. You are much more fluent in English than I would ever be in ANY language. Mhhutchins 01:47, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
This is going to be the next big hurdle, I think. Ahasuerus and I are trying to improve Language Support, coding-wise, but I for one cannot pretend to be competent in any other language apart from English. (And American English, Canadian English, Australian English... ;-) ) I think I can recognise French and German (but might get confused by Dutch and Belgian titles), but can't tell Spanish from Portuguese, or Finnish from Swedish or Norwegian. We are basically cutting our own throats and unleashing more competent "foreign" editors on our data, which is scary. But if it means I can go back to stuff I DO know, I'm happy to help. But I'm not going to be able to provide "Help screens" in any other languages either, so there's a lot of Wiki work to do, and that's why we need to encourage more Editors that aren't as limited as me. BLongley 02:19, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
I think we're not very clear about how to interpret title pages. We can normally agree on a MAIN title, sub-titles can be another can of worms that I choose not to get into. And please do NOT get me started on the Publisher for this edition! ;-) BLongley 01:29, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
By the way, your "♬♬♬" just shows as squares of hex codes to me, what are they supposed to mean? BLongley 01:29, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
They are very lovely musical notes on my screen. Mhhutchins 01:47, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
Ah! Ok, that's beyond me. I'm the only non-musical (-playing) person in my immediate family, though I do listen to music. Something like "Dum de dum, dum de dum, diddly dum; ooooooo eeeeeee oooooo" means a lot more to me than musical notation. ;-) BLongley 02:01, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
That's fine by me. Go ahead. BLongley 01:01, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
But I cannot change the title of an edition you have verified and that I do not own. I already changed the title of my verified edition. --Dirk P Broer 01:08, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
Ah, I see. I added a note to mine, but will leave it to the next primary verifier of that particular edition to see how they consider it. It's not a big issue for me really, thanks for asking though. BLongley 01:23, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

Foreign language display issue

Can you join in this discussion when you get a chance? Thanks. Mhhutchins 02:34, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

Will do, it looks interesting. But not just right now, it's getting on for 4AM and I really ought to do that nocturnal thing mammals are supposed to do - what was it called? Ah yes, SLEEP! ;-) BLongley 02:45, 23 August 2011 (UTC)


Scanned a new image, expanded the notes slightly for [this]. Do you think the Introductions to each story belong in the contents? Each, though short, is titled. --~ Bill, Bluesman 22:30, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

Help Desk question

Hi BLongley, it seems that you missed my answer to you in the thread ISFDB:Help_desk#Total_Number_of_titles_per_Author I would really like to hear your opinion to my last two answers / questions there. Thanks, Qshadow 08:33, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

Sorry, I can't pretend to be always available, I do have a life outside of ISFDB (not a great one, but it still counts). Quick answers: "J. D. Robb was not marked as pseudonym" - yes, there was certainly a time that that was the case. I don't know how long it lasted for and I really don't know how "views" are counted. BLongley 00:36, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
Re: "new field for Pseudonym Schema" - it's definitely possible but may not be worth the hassle. Real authors that get taken over by house names are just one of many problems we'll have. BLongley 00:36, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
Please keep questioning, though - I like new ideas. BLongley 00:36, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, for answers! Qshadow 08:43, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

Christopher Priest's birthplace

Re Christopher Priest: would not Cheadle in 1943 be in the county of Cheshire, and not Greater Manchester, a county that wasn't formed until 1974 (if Wikipedia is to be believed)? I asked you this because you're the expert when it comes to British counties. Mhhutchins 17:38, 28 August 2011 (UTC)

A bit before my time, but such a change seems to be in keeping with the Author's preference. Counties have got a bit trickier over the years as some cities have effectively become counties in their own right, some have been amalgamated, others have been created, some were renamed, etc. And some abbreviations just don't make any sense even to me - e.g. "Hants" for "Hampshire". Still, it's not quite as bad as trying to figure out which country certain towns or cities in Eastern Europe were in as of such and such a date. BLongley 17:48, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
Seems clear then, especially after seeing his bio. Mhhutchins 18:04, 28 August 2011 (UTC)

A Circus of Hells

Hi! Could you check the price on this pub? It's listed as £2.99, but my copy and Locus give it as £2.50. Cheers. Jcameron 19:14, 28 August 2011 (UTC)

Definitely £2.99. Is there any other edition information in yours? Do the foreign prices match? BLongley 19:22, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
Not that I can see. It just has "First published in Great Britain by Sphere Books Ltd 1978", "Reprinted 1984, 1987" and the copyright notice. The foreign prices are the same, it's just the UK price that is different. Jcameron 22:02, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
Strange. I guess there must be two 1987 editions, although normally Sphere were pretty good at recording reprints within the same year. Please add your own - I think I might have to adjust the notes on mine, as Locus now seems to have correctly recorded your printing, not mine. BLongley 22:16, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
Curiouser and curiouser, cried Alice. Locus gives the date as December but the price as £2.50, which doesn't give them a lot of time to bring out a new printing if they wanted to put the price up. If I were to hazard a guess, I might suggest that they just redid the cover with the new price but left the insides the same. Jcameron 23:55, 28 August 2011 (UTC)

BCA edition of Patterson's School's Out

You have a verified record of the BCA edition and there appears to be another one as well. Do you think they're duplicates? The latter record gives the trade ISBN instead of the club's ID, and the discounted price. I don't think it's likely that they would have two different editions. Or would they? Mhhutchins 18:32, 29 August 2011 (UTC)

I suspect they're duplicates, but I really don't know enough about BCA editions. I've never bought one from the club direct. BLongley 18:51, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
If your copy doesn't have the ISBN I may delete the second one. Isn't it strange that a BCA edition would be sold on Amazon? And I see it has the same price and ISBN as the Headline edition. So both records link to the same (BCA) edition on Mhhutchins 19:12, 29 August 2011 (UTC)

Dan Girard vs. Dian Girard

A question has arisen regarding the correct attribution for the author of "No Home-Like Place" in your verified copy of Laughing Space, specifically whether the author is listed as "Dan Girard" or "Dian Girard". Could you check on this please? Thanks, Chavey 03:28, 30 August 2011 (UTC)

Mhhutchin, as one of the other verifiers, has concluded that only one entry (in the first appearance of the story) was a typo, leading to the others being handled as if they were by "Dan" instead of "Dian", and has corrected the entry to "Dian". Thus you should probably not have to re-verify this. Chavey 03:42, 30 August 2011 (UTC)

Fredric Brown's Contact

There are two title records for Fredric Brown's Contact. The first one lists it as its own story and has publications. The second one lists it as a variant of Earthmen Bearing Gifts and doesn't have any publications. As you have verified publications with both the first Contact (Nightmares and Geezenstacks) and with the variant parent (The Seventh Galaxy Reader), would you mind if these are truly variants and the two Contact records should be merged? Or if they are not and the empty record should be deleted? Thanks. --JLaTondre 22:46, 30 August 2011 (UTC)


...for taking over Dirk's Tom Swift submissions. I'm still not sure if he knows what was going on, as he's not responded to the message I left. When I came back to see if he had, I saw that you'd stepped in. Hopefully, you'll be able to explain to him what you had to go through to straighten out the records. I understand that at a certain point you just have to give in and do it yourself. Mhhutchins 17:48, 2 September 2011 (UTC)

I do eat sometimes, and I am not using my computer while eating. Dinner was in the Hague today, while I live in Leiden, so I had some travel time as well. I checked isfdb before I left, and checked it again when I returned. After all, it is GMT +1 here...--Dirk P Broer 20:31, 2 September 2011 (UTC)
Dinner??? Clearly we are paying our editors too much if they can afford dinner! Ahasuerus 21:23, 2 September 2011 (UTC)
Paying? Where? It is just as with those anti-nuke demonstrations that were said to be paid by the Russians: I've never seen a rouble in my life. Doing everything here for free as well (Stands to reason, I do not get paid to read either). --Dirk P Broer 23:44, 2 September 2011 (UTC)
"Nothing" is actually quite a good salary here. Ahasuerus edits, moderates, codes, tests, implements, and looks after our most-active bot and pays for the privilege! BLongley 23:59, 2 September 2011 (UTC)
Service above and beyond the call of duty, should be rewarded with a wooden rocket at some con in the future. --Dirk P Broer 12:19, 3 September 2011 (UTC)
Al already has one: see Section 14. I don't know if he split it with Ahasuerus, but us Johnny-Come-Lately's haven't even got a nomination yet. (Sod's Law says we'll get nominated just as SFE3 goes online, and we'd lose to them.) BLongley 23:49, 3 September 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I'll let him know - I thought it best to do it myself as Unmerging is a bit complex (and dangerous, till Ahasuerus implements my fix). BLongley 18:00, 2 September 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for sorting it out, it looks just as I had intended. --Dirk P Broer 08:29, 3 September 2011 (UTC)
As your reward, I'll work on some of the Fixer submissions. Mhhutchins 17:49, 2 September 2011 (UTC)
Thanks muchly. That "115,000" figure Ahasuerus posted worries me - if they're all relevant, Fixer will overtake me! Although that's 5 times more than he's currently submitted so presumably we're months or years away from that at the moment. BLongley 18:00, 2 September 2011 (UTC)
It's a mixed bag. There are many comics that will be filtered out early in the process, so no submission will be created. There are also 8888-00-00 ISBNs which will have to be researched manually, library editions and so on. Fixer is not ready to start submitting them, though, I was just trying to grab everything potentially relevant before Amazon changes its API and makes these books "invisible".
I am also making substantial changes to the way Fixer works so that it could handle other sources like WorldCat,, Australian bookstores, etc. When the changes are completed, a submission may say something like "Publication date and price from Page count from the Library of Congress LCCN 92-04442", but it's a bigger effort than I realized. It was a good exercise while I was on the road, but now I need to go back to testing the Python code that is sitting in the queue... Ahasuerus 21:30, 2 September 2011 (UTC)

Artemis Fowl

Hi, I just made a new entry for a Puffin edition of Artemis Fowl. It is a possible 12th printing: "Published in Puffin Books 2002" (over) "12" on copyright page, and costs £4.99. How is your £5.99 copy? Locus1 also gives £4.99 for the 1st printing/edition. --Dirk P Broer 23:42, 3 September 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for reminding me about how incompetent I was in 2007. :-/ I have found the WH Smith Edition and the data on that stands, but I guess you're talking about this one? That's tucked away somewhere still (I ran out of bookshelves before I finished unpacking my tps, hcs and non-genre books) so I can't confirm it easily, but in hindsight it must be wrong. Not that yours looks any more right - if I were you I'd clone your current one to one that can be personally verified as an unknown 12th printing date, and adjust the one you're currently verifying to one that can be verified against Locus. Currently linked here, but unstable. BLongley 00:12, 4 September 2011 (UTC)
I am most interested in the strange "Published in Puffin Books 2002" (over) "12" on the copyright page. current one already is my personal copy that I am verifying. I've changed the publication date already to 0000-00-00 on MartyD's advice. --Dirk P Broer 14:00, 4 September 2011 (UTC)

Complete Robot

Can you confirm that the story on page 605 of this pub has an exclamation point in its title? For context, see this message about a later printing of the same collection. Thanks. Mhhutchins 17:31, 4 September 2011 (UTC)

No, it doesn't. Fixed now. BLongley 17:41, 4 September 2011 (UTC)
One more thing. Can you check the page count? It's not consistent with the other reprints by HarperCollins and Voyager, and there's a content record that starts after the page count ends. I see this is one of your early verifications, and I dread the ghosts of my earlier ones haunting me. Mhhutchins 18:19, 4 September 2011 (UTC)
The fiction ends on 682. There's one uncredited paragraph labelled "A Last Word" on 683. Pages 685-688 are Acknowledgements. BLongley 18:24, 4 September 2011 (UTC)
From here: "For books, the general convention is to use the last printed page number." Mhhutchins 23:16, 4 September 2011 (UTC)
Quoting Help? That's unusual for you! ;-) OK, try here and see "Acknowledgments. Generally do not include." I'll give you "Forewords, introductions, prefaces, afterwords, endnotes, etc. These should all be included" - in 2007 I didn't consider a single paragraph worth recording, but "However, a good rule is that anything listed in the table of contents should be included" applies here too. 2-1 to the Rule-abiding, and I have no objection if people want to change that publication. BLongley 01:20, 5 September 2011 (UTC)
I only quote when I can actually find it! I'm not saying that you should include the acknowledgements as a content, and what you're quoting from is whether to include such peripheral material as content records. Apples and oranges. I talking about another field entirely, the page count field, and that is the help section which I'm quoting from. We don't include everything in a magazine either, but we do count every page, including the covers, in the page count. Mhhutchins 02:02, 5 September 2011 (UTC)
I don't separate the two rules, I think they go together. Half my pubs must be affected by the exception It is fairly common for the last page of text in a book to have a different graphic layout which may not include a page number. The "last printed page number" rule would then use a page number before the end of the work. In these cases, count forward to the end of the text and use that as the last page number. I also count backwards when I'm excluding content so that it doesn't make the fiction look longer than it is. If I'd included "A Last Word" I'd count it as 683 pages, if I'd included the Acknowledgements I'd have made it 688. BLongley 18:01, 5 September 2011 (UTC)

British Fantasy Journal

I added the Zoë Sharp novel, but it looks like she's a crime writer. What's the policy on that?Iansales 22:41, 4 September 2011 (UTC)

We mostly make them a NONGENRE Novel just so we don't get dead-end links to Author or Pub. If it's something really unwanted like a Comic collection published as a trade paperback, or a Film or Video Review, we convert the Review to an Essay. We're aware that we aren't totally consistent about what's in and what's out, for instance Neil Gaiman and Alan Moore have stuff not normally allowed but they are mostly considered above the "certain threshold". My own policy for Reviews is that if it's a review in a Genre Publication for something IN or borderline, it's worth recording what was being reviewed, but we're not consistent. Welcome to the Woolly Side of the Force! ;-) BLongley 01:33, 5 September 2011 (UTC)

Hints of Failure....

Hi, I think this must be a typo: . R. Nicholson-Morton as author of Hints of failure.... (Focus, Spring 1981 (especially because a R. Nicholson-Morton already exists). --Dirk P Broer 09:08, 6 September 2011 (UTC)

Sorry, I don't see what you're getting at? BLongley 18:45, 6 September 2011 (UTC)
. R. (point-dash-R-point-dash-Nicholson-Morton). --Dirk P Broer 19:09, 6 September 2011 (UTC)
Ah, OK. It seems to have been corrected already, which confused me. BLongley 19:18, 6 September 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, I accepted the submission without realizing it was needed as an example.... :-) --MartyD 00:37, 7 September 2011 (UTC)
No problem: as we train more and more Editors and Mods, these clashes will happen. Do we need a warning about prior verifications on content Title Edits rather than just Publication edits? BLongley 00:47, 7 September 2011 (UTC)

The View from Serendip

Hello. I have verified again this pub but am rather puzzled by many of the years and would like to change them according to Clarke's own notes in the book - with your permission of course. In case you agree, should I suggest edits in the entries for each separate piece? I would be glad to do that, especially if it will affect all publications in which this piece appears or will appear. And one last question: what is the rationale of so many of these essays to be dated "1978" when the book was apparently first published in the end of 1977? I see this edition is not verified but it seems rather unlikely that it did not contain some half of the next one, including the several pieces which were written especially for the book or, apparently, were written much earlier but had never appeared anywhere before. Regards, Waldstein 18:33, 6 September 2011 (UTC)

It's probably worth checking with Bluesman, who has the earlier SFBC edition which almost certainly has the same contents as the first edition. I don't mind if the original appearances are noted and the dates changed - we'd probably have done it before but non-fiction pieces are often under-checked compared to fiction ones. BLongley 18:41, 6 September 2011 (UTC)
Have updated the dates for most of the records. Some of the essays quote much earlier material but the essays themselves are new to the '77 edition. --~ Bill, Bluesman 01:17, 7 September 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. I will check with Bluesman and, if the contents are identical, will change all "1978" to "1977" and few other years according to Clarke's own (and often vague) information what, when and why he wrote and publish. I will try to make these things clear in the entry of each piece. Regards, Waldstein 19:01, 6 September 2011 (UTC)
When entering a book with content records, the system will automatically date these records the exact same date as the book's publication date. If the contents from this book were entered from a later edition, it's possible the editor left the content records' date fields blank, and the system dated them the book's pub date. If you have a good source for earlier publication of any of these essays, feel free to update the individual content records. You can't update them from a pub edit, because they're contents in at least two pub records. In most cases, the oldest date won't be later than October 1977, the date of the first edition. Mhhutchins 01:04, 7 September 2011 (UTC)
I daresay it might be wiser to leave the contents as they are now, just edited by Bluesman as I see. It's a little tricky because many of those pieces, according to Clarke, were written for, and published in, various magazines and newspapers during the 1960s and early 1970s, yet all of them have here extensive prefatory and/or concluding remarks and the versions in the book may thus be regarded as independent pieces. Nevertheless, I will submit few new years and notes; if too pedantic, you may reject them. Waldstein 14:40, 7 September 2011 (UTC)
We used to have the ability to change all content dates from one pub-edit, but found it too dangerous and disabled it. Each one will have to be done one by one - which is a pain when we only have contents for one publication, and it's not the first! On the good side, it does mean we consider each title more carefully: e.g. 925753 has notes about first publication, which is valuable. Even if we haven't got round to recording "Detroit Athletic Club News", Dec 1964" as a non-genre Magazine yet. ;-) BLongley 01:16, 7 September 2011 (UTC)
Someone will get around to it eventually (he says as he secretly hopes people will be more productive with their ISFDB time.) You know my stance on pub records for non-genre magazines (as in "waste of time and effort"), but take a look at this submission that's been sitting in the queue since early this morning and which no one will touch. Mhhutchins 01:43, 7 September 2011 (UTC)
A 362 page 'Magazine'? .... from 1828? Good thing the 'posties' from back then were slaves! ;-)) glad I never do mags...... --~ Bill, Bluesman 01:59, 7 September 2011 (UTC)
I didn't know there was a Belgian Google Books. :-/ We need more non-English European Moderators I think (to most of us in England, Europe is "that big island over there, across the sea - you can see it from Dover on a clear day"). I see Michael is going on holiday soon, I may do the same myself. But Michael can take Fixer with him, I don't think I could share a room with Fixer. ;-) BLongley 02:26, 7 September 2011 (UTC)

Richard Chopping

There are numerous obituaries on the net. They clearly identify him as being one and the same. In particular the Guardian's 14 Jun 2008 article which can be googled. The Catalog of Copyright Entries, Third Series, July-December 1967 is one of several sources for the Boyde pseudonym. Zxcvbnm 20:27, 10 September 2011 (UTC)

Answered on your talk page. (We like to keep the conversations in one thread.) BLongley 20:41, 10 September 2011 (UTC)

Submission warning

Could you look at submission 1678868 by Zxcvbnm please. There is a warning to hard-reject it citing an invalid record # but it's not the number of the record being edited. Haven't seen this before and don't know what to tell the editor for a reason the submission is being rejected. Not even an option to Hold is available. Thanks! --~ Bill, Bluesman 15:26, 15 September 2011 (UTC)

Interesting. Looking at the Raw XML shows that the error is in a content record 1032067 for "A Sharp Attack of Something or Other" in this pub - however that title doesn't exist anymore. There is this version though. You apparently approved a merge of the two here. BLongley 16:00, 15 September 2011 (UTC)
Shouldn't that merge have simply given the title in the pub being edited a new number? --~ Bill, Bluesman 16:26, 15 September 2011 (UTC)
No it doesn't create a new record number, it kept 734449 and deleted 1032067. So 1032067 doesn't exist anymore, although it did when Zxcvbnm submitted the second edit. BLongley 16:31, 15 September 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, kind of figured that, though I've done edits in the past that kind of overlapped and found the new information in the record even though the edit [usually a merge] was submitted before the other edit was accepted [usually a date change in one of the records to be merged]. Sidebar: you have a submission on hold from B00jum, an image addition, that I thought he/she had fixed?? Thanks! --~ Bill, Bluesman 16:57, 15 September 2011 (UTC)
It depends on whether you edit the Kept Title or the Dropped Title as to whether the later edit still works. If you look ahead at the Submission queue, you can sometimes spot the problems in advance, but I don't think many of us do. BLongley 17:54, 15 September 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the B00jum reminder, I've rejected that now as he doesn't seem to have learned to cancel yet. BLongley 17:54, 15 September 2011 (UTC)
(I've deleted part of my original comment. I thought the "he doesn't seem to have learned to cancel yet" comment was directed at me. Many apologies!) As for my initial "error", I had deleted an incorrect date in the to-be-deleted file to avoid any conflict with the remaining entry. As this was not a traditional merge, I wasn't asked to reconcile conflicting information. Zxcvbnm 23:13, 19 September 2011 (UTC)
No need to apologise! This wiki communication does lead to misunderstandings at times, and the timing problems with multiple edits catches everyone at some point - even for self-approving Moderators. Thanks for bearing with us despite our obvious failings. BLongley 02:50, 20 September 2011 (UTC)


Hello BLongley

thanks and yes they do match perfectly, just didn't know if all the information i could add would be in the right query. thank you very much, hope I can help you guys in the future--WolfMan90 02:27, 16 September 2011 (UTC)

Vector, Autumn 1959

Do you have a copy of this issue? If so, can you check to see if the editor should be "George Lock" or the better known George Locke. According to this wiki article, it was Locke. Thanks. Mhhutchins 16:43, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

I'm afraid the Stableford collection doesn't go back that far. The error (which I suspect it is) probably comes from here. BLongley 16:53, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
I also feel comfortable enough that the current listing is in error that I'm going to change the credit, at least until we get a primary verifier. Thanks. Mhhutchins 16:59, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
The chances of getting a primary verifier are pretty low. :-( The BSFA didn't have a lot of members at the time, and 62 years later I'd be surprised if more than half were still alive, and members having kept an issue for that long is pretty unlikely. If someone has donated their copy to a more general Fannish archive we may be in luck. But it is issues like this that make me treasure the Stableford Collection - I might actually be the last custodian of the last copies of some of these. A responsibility I didn't ask for, but one I bear. BLongley 00:32, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
Look at the cover art credit. It appears that someone took the "e" from Locke and gave it to Jim Cawthorn. :) Mhhutchins 17:01, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
I'm not sure where Michael J. Cross got the data from - we had a brief correspondence over email about adding such publications to ISFDB, and he seemed enthusiastic until his father died. I haven't stayed in touch. (Not because I'm heartless, just because I'm clueless about dealing with grief.) BLongley 00:32, 22 September 2011 (UTC)

Come, Hunt An Earthman

The link to in your verified Venture SF edtion will be going dead shortly - problems with the ISP. I have set up a new version of the page here if you want to update your link. The data is derived from Amazon so you might want to quote that instead. Deagol 19:46, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for the heads-up - I updated to point to the new URL. BLongley 19:52, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

Venture SF series

Hi Bill, I just received a message from Deagol, saying "I noticed you have verified most of the books in the Venture SF series. The missing artist name is Eddie Jones. He did the illustrations for all 25 books in the series. See this page - down near the bottom of the page. Deagol 20:17, 21 September 2011 (UTC). I've left yours to judge for yourself because there is some difference in style, maybe caused by difference in years between the original artworks. --Dirk P Broer 20:40, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

I'm not sure Dave Langford's older posts are the most reliable source - particularly when he's writing about somebody else (Rog Peyton) entirely. But it's a good starting point - Dave Langford has been a major contributor for some NONFICTION works we can verify against. And you have to laugh at comments like "several sf classics were saved from the oblivion of Robert Hale & Co". ;-) BLongley 00:44, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
It's a small world -- back ca. 1995-1996 I helped Dave put together a bunch of bibliographies for the Encyclopedia of Fantasy :-) Ahasuerus 07:31, 22 September 2011 (UTC)

New Writings in SF

Several of our records for books in this series may have incorrect titles, including some that you have verified. Please see this discussion for full details. The following books are the ones where I suspect the title is incorrect. I'd appreciate it if you could double check the form of the title in your copy.

  • Corgi reprint (1970) as "New Writings in SF 1", should it be "New Writings in S.F.—1"?
  • Corgi reprint (1970) as "New Writings in S.F.-- 2". Is it really a double dash and space? Can it be merged with "New Writings in S.F.—2"?
  • Corgi reprint (1970) as "New Writings in S.F.-- 3". Is it really a double dash and space? Can it be merged with "New Writings in S.F.—3"?
  • Corgi edition as "New Writings in S.F.-4", should it be "New Writings in S.F.—4"? (hyphen vs em-dash)
  • Corgi reprint (1971) as "New Writings in S.F.-- 5". Is it really a double dash? Can it be merged with "New Writings in S.F.—5"?
  • Corgi edition as "New Writings in S.F.-7", should it be "New Writings in S.F.—7"? (hyphen vs em-dash)
  • Corgi edition as "New Writings in S.F.-- 8", should it be "New Writings in S.F.—8"? (double dash vs em-dash)
  • Corgi edition as "New Writings in S.F.-9", should it be "New Writings in S.F.—9"? (hyphen vs em-dash)
  • Corgi edition as "New Writings in SF 11", should it be "New Writings in S.F.—11"? As this is the first printing I have already set up the canonical title assuming an answer of yes, but not the publication record.
  • Corgi edition as "New Writings in S.F.--14", should it be "New Writings in S.F.—14"? (double dash vs em-dash)
  • Corgi edition as "New Writings in SF-16", should it be "New Writings in SF—16"? (hyphen vs em-dash)
  • Corgi edition as "New Writings in SF 19". should it be "New Writings in SF—19"?
  • Corgi edition as "New Writings in SF -- 20". Only a question of the double dash and spacing. This is the first edition and I've set up the canonical title of this volume as "New Writings in SF—20", but not the publication record.
  • Corgi edition as "New Writings in SF - 22". Only a question of the spacing around the dash and em-dash. should it be "New Writings in SF—22"?
  • Corgi edition as "New Writings in SF -- 23", should it be "New Writings in SF — 23"?

Thanks. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 21:10, 24 September 2011 (UTC)

Cowboy Feng's Space Bar and Grille

In your verified Cowboy Feng's Space Bar and Grille, you list the number of pages as 223. However, in my copy, the last page number is 224, which is a listing of the Songs Quoted. By the way, PJF stands for "Pre-Joycean Fellowship," which is a group of writers that includes Brust. It's mostly a joke. Read about it here.

Did you get a chance to check your copy of the book yet? I noticed you were approving edits, so was hoping you had seen this message. Thanks. AndonSage 05:41, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
As I didn't include the songs list, I didn't include that in the page count - the fiction ends on 223. If you want to enter the extra "essay" and make it 224 then that's fine by me too. BLongley 13:13, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
Alrighty, I've edited the record, and added some notes, along with a link to the explanation of PJF. AndonSage 21:54, 1 October 2011 (UTC)


I had entered the first issue as a guideline for the new editor who submitted the original record that covers the whole run, without realizing you were working on entering all of them! So I've deleted my records. The submission had been sitting in the queue a couple of days, without anyone making an attempt to handle it, and when I did, boy, what an onslaught of activity! (See the responses on my talk page.) Now I'm going to merge all of those title records that were duplicated when I entered the first issue. By the way, there's a story ("Little Green Men") by the editor (Fred Coppersmith) in the first issue that was missing from the contents given on the website. (See this review.) Thanks. Mhhutchins 17:31, 3 October 2011 (UTC)

I thought I'd do the latest as an example, but that looked so inadequate I went back and did the previous one, and then got carried away. :-/ Hopefully the editor will return to add the final bells and whistles. If not then it appears we could still do a bit more (steal the covers, read the reviews, add the artists even if we're not sure what they illustrated, etc). But I want to leave something for him or her to do! BLongley 17:53, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
I wonder where the latest editors are coming from? On the ISFDB Livejournal account I've been talking about Spec-Fic Poetry, and we seem to have started getting more editors interested in such. We may yet get "Mythic Delirium" finished. BLongley 17:53, 3 October 2011 (UTC)

Re: Level 7

On the book I processed here:, you added (aka Level Seven) to the novel I listed in the "Contents" section. I cannot find any reference anywhere showing that Mordecai Roshwald ever used anything but the #7. Amazon arbitrarily uses the entire word when it prints the title of certain editions. Also, the movie by J. B. Priestley is entitled, "Level Seven". If the author doesn't use it why does isfdb?Trisha 19:33, 7 October 2011 (UTC)

I don't recall moderating such an edit. I guess the reason we have "aka Level Seven" is because the first Heinemann edition has it spelt out in full. Or maybe because Magill's "Survey of science fiction literature" records it that way. BLongley 12:36, 8 October 2011 (UTC)
It's not moderated. The aka is displayed automatically when a variant title is used in a publication. In this case. Level 7 is the variant title. It may have to be reversed as it appears to be the most common title. Mhhutchins 19:15, 8 October 2011 (UTC)
I presume the explanation was for Trisha's benefit rather than mine? ;-) I meant that I don't recall approving a title merge or variant creation that would have done this. I might have done - I do sometimes work here when I should be sleeping instead. (That's probably the case right now, in fact.) Trisha has made some very good points about the new-user experience to me in email, which I picked up only 5 days late, and will attempt to address. BLongley 02:28, 9 October 2011 (UTC)
Yes, it was intended for the new editor, as I was sure you were aware that variant display is automatic. Mhhutchins 02:59, 9 October 2011 (UTC)
The first edition, published by Heinemann in 1959 was titled Level Seven according to the OCLC record. It may be incorrect, as it's never been verified. Tuck titles it that way. Reginald says the McGraw-Hill edition was the first edition and it was titled Level 7. Mhhutchins 19:13, 8 October 2011 (UTC)
I'm not that concerned about first editions - nowadays it's a matter of hours between an Australian, UK, or US first edition. But I appreciate that some people do care and will let them argue about such if they want. BLongley 02:28, 9 October 2011 (UTC)
I only pointed out the "first" because it seems that was how it was determined which of the titles would be the parent and which the variant. Since Reginald gives the US edition as the first (and most editions are published as Level 7 anyway), I'm going to reverse the parent/variant relationship. That way the "aka" won't be displayed for most publications. Thanks. Mhhutchins 02:59, 9 October 2011 (UTC)

Sub-series/embedded series placement

Star Trek needs a major overhaul, as regards embedded sub-series. Tried it with the Double-Helix set but for some reason it won't display in the proper 'slot'. Did I do something wrong? --~ Bill, Bluesman 23:03, 8 October 2011 (UTC)

No, the developers (OK, I think it was only me in this case) just didn't envisage how people would try to use it. Sub-series ordering numbers only apply to sub-series and it doesn't try to maintain a position in the super-series. Having seen how people are attempting to use it suggests that we could improve things a bit, but I really can't see a final solution that would allow people to see, for instance, the Tiffany Aching sub-series in order and yet see the full Discworld series in order. And if we did solve that then we'd still have all the Moorcock bibliography to confuse us (maybe that's why Unapersson doesn't work here much any more?) BLongley 02:11, 9 October 2011 (UTC)
And yet the editing screen asks for just that, the 'position' in the super-series. Is it a lot of work to get the position to display 'correctly'? --~ Bill, Bluesman 16:43, 9 October 2011 (UTC)
It's very difficult even to define what "correctly" is! We may be able to do something for the particular case where the whole sub-series consists of consecutive titles within the super-series, but non-consecutive titles or different numberings in different countries will remain next to impossible. BLongley 16:55, 9 October 2011 (UTC)
Hadn't thought of that! With ST it's nearly always a distinct, short sub-series, and even just being able to position/slot those would be great. Star Wars tends to keep just timeline distinctions, though there are a few subseries as well. Not quite as many as Trek, though. Might even be able to fix the silly way we have the Bantam ones. --~ Bill, Bluesman 17:05, 9 October 2011 (UTC)
Well, there's sets like Rihannsu which don't even stay in the same order in different countries. BLongley 17:18, 9 October 2011 (UTC)


I went through this title the other day, and changed dozens (literally) of records where the month was entered incorrectly as "Jan./Feb." or "Jan/Feb" or "January/February". The correct form is "January-February". There was no way of knowing who may have entered the records and none of them were sourced, so I was unable to notify the original editor. I'm not saying you're the one who entered them, but I noticed that you're adding more issues today with the incorrect dating. Thanks. Mhhutchins 17:50, 10 October 2011 (UTC)

Copy 'n' Paste errors I guess - I'm not manually typing any of them. Thanks for doing the cosmetic work. BLongley 17:53, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
Well, it's only "cosmetic" if you consider following standards as cosmetic. I'll leave the remaining records for other editors to clean-up. Considering the time and effort that went into making the corrections manually the other day, I'm going to find something more substantial and less "cosmetic" to work on. (Sorry, but that word really bugs me and I had to let off steam as I've become too old to keep it in. Forgive my frankness.) Mhhutchins 18:07, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. I think the Magazine naming format standards are out-of-date, incomplete and controversial - why don't we stick with "exactly as stated" like most things, for instance? But it's not worth an argument over, and unless you for example want to rename "Autumn" to "Fall" for standardisation purposes, I'm not going to start one. By all means go work on something more substantial - I'm only working on these because some Locus data is available (note I have verified all the ones I entered from there now) and know I can get some more from the SFPA website, and there will be more available from reviews, and maybe if I leave it in a not-too-incomplete state then I can get the Editors and authors (many of whom are "friends" on Livejournal) to fill in the details. I know it's not the way you'd like me to work, but it's the only way I can work so fast. BLongley 18:50, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
The magazine date-formatting standards were discussed, debated and fixed years ago, by the editors who went through the effort of adding thousands of issues based on those standards. Ask Swfritter, Rkihara, and the other magazine editors what was the rationale behind the standardization and I'm sure they'll give you a good argument. I can't and won't. I'm not going to second-guess their decision now. And the issue here is the format (months completely spelled out, with a dash between the months in bimonthly issues), not titles, so the question of whether "Autumn" should be changed to "Fall" is a nonstarter. Mhhutchins 19:09, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
I've been here a few years now and don't recall much of a discussion or debate. And nothing is ever "fixed" here - you seem to have got the "A writing as B" rules changed, for instance. The important bit of Magazine Dating (IMO) is that we go by the first month stated for multiple-month issues. The Pub Title can have abbreviations, periods, slashes or dashes, and there won't be anything that I can see wrong. If I cared about such I'd be arguing over how to record cross-year entries. But I don't care, and suggest you don't either. We both have better things to work on. BLongley 00:44, 11 October 2011 (UTC)
One question I'd appreciate your opinion on - when Locus admits it has incomplete data, is it worth verifying against such? Our coverage should now be better than Locus. BLongley 18:50, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
Good question. I'd note that the source of the incomplete data is Locus (with an "as of" date), but I would not actually do a Locus verification, as it's possible that eventually it might add further data (being as mutable as the ISFDB). Mhhutchins 19:09, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. I've resisted verifying their obvious incompleteness, as I think we can do better. Let me work on these Star*Line entries a bit longer and I think we can possibly agree on this aspect at least. BLongley 00:44, 11 October 2011 (UTC)

"The Coming of Enkidu", by Geoff Ryman

I'm constructing a "Novacon" publication series from the chapbooks published for those conventions. (Actually, I'm converting a Novacon title series, which these certainly aren't, to a publication series, then adding other books as appropriate.) In filling out this publication series, I'm adding your verified copy of this pub to the series. Chavey 22:21, 10 October 2011 (UTC)

Thanks, looks OK by me. I've not attended many Novacons but might be on the verge of acquiring another set of Magazines, Fanzines and Con Programs - not that I've got through the first lot yet. BLongley 00:49, 11 October 2011 (UTC)

Award Help screen

I'm returning to do some additional Award entries, and began with the first uncompleted award: Asimov's Undergraduate Writing Award. There are lots of awards to stories that have never been published, so I was referring to the Award Help Screen, which includes a note:

"For non-bibliographic titles, you may only enter awards information from an awards page. That means you must either enter at least one bibliographic award for that year (and add the non-bibliographic ones from that new display page), or you must enter the non-bibliographic title from a previous year for that award, and update the year to the new award year."

So, I followed this advice until 2006. From 2006 on, there are no winners, runner-ups, or honorable mentions that have been published (at least that we have a record of), so we have to start a year with a non-bibliographic award. I, apparently, misinterpreted the Help page to mean that I had to enter the first 2006 award as a 2005 award to get it in the system, and then change the year of the award to 2006, and I did that for the first 2006 award. When I got to 2007, I decided to ignore my previous interpretation of the statement, and from the 2006 award page, enter a 2007 award. That worked fine. I concluded that I was misunderstanding the sentence above. Since I figure others will as well, I have re-worded the phrasing of that sentence, and invite you to evaluate that. I also added a 3rd note, which has been important to me in working on this particular award. Chavey 19:08, 11 October 2011 (UTC)

Yes, "update the year" can be done in the first step, it doesn't need to be entered wrongly and corrected in a subsequent step. BLongley 19:22, 11 October 2011 (UTC)

Additionally, I'll mention that the awards up to 2003 all include an "Honorable Mention" separator to distinguish that category from the winners and runner-ups. So far as I can tell, there's no way for me to get that added. (I've listed all honorable mentions as "Nominated", but that doesn't show up in the annual award pages.) I suspect that is hard-coded, or otherwise special-cased, and if you could get those separators added to the later years, it would improve their appearance. Chavey 19:08, 11 October 2011 (UTC)

'Honorable Mention' is award level 93. We must address the special cases sometime, but as you know, the Awards changes are on the back-burner while Ahasuerus wrestles with Amazon's API changes. :-/ BLongley 19:22, 11 October 2011 (UTC)
That makes sense. For the 2004 awards, I changed all of the "Honorable Mentions" to "Level 93". But they still don't show up as Honorable Mentions. The only change seems to be that now if I try to "Edit an Award" on that page, those 4 books don't show up at all! So, was that not what I was supposed to do? Chavey 19:54, 11 October 2011 (UTC)
They do show up, but only on certain pages: Author Award Bibliography for instance. BLongley 13:08, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
The thing that I find frustrating is that if I go to the 2003 page for Asimov's undergraduate award, I see the three top places, then a line that reads --- Honorable Mention -------, then the honorable mentions. But if I go to the equivalent page for the 2004 awards, I do not see that line, hence lose that information. Is there a way to correct that? Chavey 23:33, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
Quick answer - yes. Realistic answer, yes, but I don't know quite how to do so yet. I'm reluctant to work on anything that already has submitted changes applied to it - I'm not perfect by any means and Ahasuerus often sends things back to me for improvement. And we aren't that good at branching CVS versions or suchlike. But I'll bear it in mind when I next find myself trying to avoid housework or going for blood-tests or other unpleasantness. :-/ BLongley 00:41, 13 October 2011 (UTC)
Just so it's on the "To Do" list. Although I'm tempted to create an artificial story title "--- Honorable Mention -------", by the author "-" and put it in as a 9th runner-up for all of these later Asimov's awards :-) Chavey 02:03, 13 October 2011 (UTC)
In fact, that's what I just did. If you have a chance to look at the Asimov's Undergraduate Award, specifically for any of the years from 2004-2011, you'll see what it looks like. I think it's a reasonable workaround for now. Chavey 01:50, 14 October 2011 (UTC)
I changed how I handled the "Honorable Mention" separator, using dummy awards instead of a dummy book (with lots of awards!). I can't make it italic, but at least it's not clickable, so I think it looks better. Chavey 17:17, 17 October 2011 (UTC)

Great Escape

Can we regularise this pub from a one-pub-only publisher to Simon & Schuster UK? Or does the fact that it comes in a cereal box make a difference? :) BTW, I'm taking on one publisher at a time to regularize/...ise and I thought I'd start with the major hardcover (but not genre-heavy) publishers. Those pesky paperbacks are going to be much tougher. Mhhutchins 03:21, 13 October 2011 (UTC)

We can indeed. I think the Lost chapter is more notable than the way it arrived. BLongley 14:05, 13 October 2011 (UTC)

Gold: The Final Science Fiction Collection

You verified this pub. I have the 9th printing, and can confirm all your page numbers – with one exception: In my copy, the acknowledgments start on page 431, not 434. Could you check this with your copy? Thanks, Darkday 22:32, 21 October 2011 (UTC)

"To Hell with the Stars"

As one of the verifiers of this pub, could you please review this discussion? TIA! Ahasuerus 07:38, 24 October 2011 (UTC)

I had a quick look but couldn't find the pub. I really must take some time off and finish unpacking, it's been almost two years since I moved here! (Hopefully I'll finish that before they kick me out and mean I have to RE-pack...) BLongley 01:22, 25 October 2011 (UTC)
No problem, thanks for checking! Ahasuerus 22:55, 25 October 2011 (UTC)

Review of The World of Oz in Fantasy Review #87

The review of Allen Eyles The World of Oz in Fantasy Review #87 has the author's name misspelled as "Allan Eyles". I've got the reviewed book in front of me as well as the issue of FR. I'm going to make the changes on the record for the review and remove the title of the book under the bad name. I'll also put a note on the magazine issue. Thanks. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 21:09, 26 October 2011 (UTC)

Fine by me, thanks for the notification though. BLongley 00:34, 27 October 2011 (UTC)

Wiki searches

Is it currently possible to do content/text searches for the Wiki side of the db? It would make finding older discussions so much easier. Forgive if it's a stupid question, software guru/geek I are definitely not!  ;-) --~ Bill, Bluesman 00:50, 28 October 2011 (UTC)

To be honest, I'm barely beginning to understand all the implications involved in the ISFDB database itself. The Wiki side is even worse, and as I can't fix it, less of a priority for me. For now, the best I can suggest is to use Google and add "site:" to the search. (Yes, I know I used to be a software guru/geek but I've been unemployed for a year and a half now and am probably a bit rusty.) BLongley 01:28, 28 October 2011 (UTC)

New Verification types: 'Online Catalog' and 'Scanned Images'

I've been considering the benefit of a couple new verification types... We have several bibliography specific verification flags, but I've been thinking (Especially with more catalog identifiers being accessible) that we might want a generic flag to state "Checked against the obvious catalog". Smash words against that catalog, ASIN items against the Amazon listing, Gutenberg e-books against the Gutenberg catalog, Baen ebooks against, etc so on, and so forth. Kevin 03:45, 28 October 2011 (UTC)

I was thinking similar while looking into "Noting Sources made easy" - "Data from Publisher website" seemed to be a nice generic solution. BLongley 12:45, 28 October 2011 (UTC)

I've also been wanting the ability to do a 'Primary' verification against online scanned images, as in Google books, or I've done some of these as actually primary verifications, but would rather indicate 'I Found this online, and you can too'. As Chief coder defacto at the moment, I was wondering if you had any thoughts on these types of verification. Thanks Kevin 03:45, 28 October 2011 (UTC)

It doesn't actually need any coding to add a new Verification Source, that's what the mod-only "Edit Ref List" is for. When I invented "Primary (Transient)" it was just one edit to add. (There are issues with the coding behind verifications that meant when I invented Primaries 2-5 I did it via software to fix a few things, but it wasn't strictly necessary.) If we add more then we should adjust the "Top Verifiers" code to reflect the new ones, but it's more of a Rules and Standards discussion than a coding one. I imagine there would be some resistance to more Secondary Source verifications - but probably a lot of support for noting sources. Why not bring it up for a full discussion? BLongley 12:45, 28 October 2011 (UTC)

Cerberus: A Wolf in the Fold

First of all, I hope I'm responding in the correct place! Isfdbwords 02:30, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

Pretty much, I did invite you to use my talk page after all! We normally keep questions and answers on the same page so that people can follow the full discussion, but new questions can be started almost anywhere, although the Help Desk or Rules & Standards are the preferred places if you want more than one opinion. BLongley 03:23, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

You were kind enough to approve my addition of a publication to this title, but you also had some questions. The publisher is Arc Manor and the publisher's science fiction imprint is Phoenix Pick. Arc Manor publishes non-science-fiction books, Phoenix Pick handles the SF.

I do freelance editing work for Phoenix Pick, and I noticed that several of their recent publications were not listed here, so I thought I'd fill in the gaps. I anticipate adding more information in the coming weeks. Isfdbwords 02:30, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

Glad to hear we haven't put you off! Yes, we could certainly do with more information, I don't think we have any editors specialising in that imprint/publisher. Unlike Wikipedia, we do like to have primary sources. BLongley 03:23, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

Regarding the price, I didn't put one in because the price can sometimes vary on Amazon. They currently have it listed at $9.99. Isfdbwords 02:30, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

If the publications have a price printed on them, that's the one we want. If they have multiple prices for different countries, put the main one in the price field and list the others in notes. BLongley 03:23, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

Questions: (1) Should I go ahead and put in the current (at time of edit) Amazon price for books? Isfdbwords 02:30, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

See above - we started with dead-tree publications and haven't yet totally got to grips with the vagaries of ebook pricing and suchlike. BLongley 03:23, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

(2) Do you prefer a specific date of publication (as opposed to just the month and year)? Isfdbwords 02:30, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

We value accuracy, so if you're sure of a day then use it and explain why you know the day. Working from physical books often only gives you the Year and sometimes the Month, and we rely on secondary sources to narrow the dates down. BLongley 03:23, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

Thank you for your help. Isfdbwords 02:30, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

You're welcome. I can't retire from this and get back to coding until we have far more editors up-to-speed, so willing editors are always good. I hope you stay with us! BLongley 03:23, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

Duplicate cover

Added a note and cover artist to [this] with link to original cover. --~ Bill, Bluesman 22:14, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

Good spot, although I'm not sure how you know which is the original? BLongley 01:20, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Both books did come out the same year, but with Ace and Valigursky both American I'd vote for the Ace cover to be proprietary [then again maybe Ed sold to both sides of the Atlantic????]. And I can't think of an instance where Ace used someone else's art [doesn't mean there isn't one... ]. Co-ownership??? --~ Bill, Bluesman 16:30, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

New Award: Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Award

I added a new award to the "Awards" page. Of course we can't yet set the award links quite the way we would like to, since it's not in our short list of awards, but since there's only one category for this Award (that we care about), I just did a direct link to the winning book, instead of to an "Award Page", and then added the award mention to the Notes (since it's not generated automatically). Of course we'll be able to fix that eventually. But another point is that this award is an example where the award is not a "Spec Fic Award", but has often been given to a spec fic book. So I think we'd eventually like to include such awards, and I was hoping you could take a look at what I did and see if you think this is a reasonable approach (and goal). Chavey 06:37, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

I think this is reasonable, and would be a good example of how to deal with awards that we don't want to cover exhaustively, like "Newbery medal" or "Smarties Award". BLongley 22:20, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

Non-English variants - what went wrong

I think I found out what went wrong with Negenhonderd Grootmoeders. This weekend I switched my method of adding Dutch pubs from "Add New Collection" (or novel etc), and varianting everything afterwards to "Add a Variant Title or Pseudonymous Work to This Title", then "Add Publication to This Title" adding the contents in a follow-up edit since "Add Publication to This Title" has no option of adding contents. It seems the first method (adding the publication and contents in one edit) links the contents to the right language while the second (adding the contents later) links no language, so everything becomes English by default. The best solution for me would be adding the pub's language to added contents if that's possible of course. For now I'll return to the first method. I corrected everything that went wrong of course. Thanks! --Willem H. 20:05, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

It would probably be a pain to require each added content record to have a language associated with it: maybe defaulting such to the container title's language would be an improvement? Of course, this does assume that the container title's language is correctly set, which is not yet the case for many titles. But it's something definitely worth looking into. Thanks for checking! BLongley 22:14, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
I've already stumbled on a variant of this little problem : "add new" then multiple "edit pub" (to avoid loosing all in case of problem, I vts the titles next) seems to default the language of each item to "english" (perhaps because of my preferences) instead of the language of the publication. So I've to change each item's title separately.Hauck 06:19, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
FR 2823394 "Let users choose a default language" should help, when Ahasuerus gets time to test it. BLongley 17:40, 8 November 2011 (UTC)

Pseudonym question

Adobe James and James McArdwell are pseudonyms for James Moss Cardwell. I've verified that they are indeed all the same person. I'm not sure how to proceed. Thought better to run it past you before attempting it myself and getting it wrong. I've read the help page on pseudonyms but they don't address this tricky situation. So far as I can tell James Moss Cardwell wrote no genre fiction under his actual name. To complicate matters, some sources claim that the second pseudonym should be "Jamie", not "James". As there is conflicting information on this point and I don't have the book myself where the story appears I think we should refrain from changing the second pseudonym. Zxcvbnm 21:56, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

Agreed. "Adobe James" looks to be the best choice for canonical name, but until the second sighting is confirmed I'd not make a pseudonym. BLongley 22:22, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

David Tocher

It looks like you linked David Tocher's page to this discussion of his behavior at SF cons a few days ago. Since it's not an "official" or "author-authorized" site (and the author is apparently alive), I doubt we want to link to it, especially considering that there are reportedly two "David Tochers" in the SF world. Ahasuerus 02:04, 8 November 2011 (UTC)

I did indeed (and have been complimented for such knavery). But feel free to remove the link (although I did check which one it was before doing adding it). It seemed to be a nice balance between us hosting defamatory material and letting "Nihilistic Kid" take the flak for it. BLongley 02:23, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
Done! And some authors don't need our help with defamation, they do a great job on their own :) Ahasuerus 03:36, 8 November 2011 (UTC)

Possible bug

Can you take a look at this discussion when you get a chance? It looks similar to the bug we discovered about a month ago where a content title was duplicated yet was "missing". Thanks. Mhhutchins 23:57, 9 November 2011 (UTC)

Interesting. I don't have a solution (yet - and it may be that only Ahasuerus has the power to fix it) but I suspect that the capitalisation or otherwise of "Is" or "is" is the underlying problem. Thanks for the pointer, it gives me something to do in my copious free time (of which I have none). BLongley 01:41, 10 November 2011 (UTC)
Well, I worked a little on it, and now, at least, the problems aren't visible. I merged the two records into one, and then "unmerged" them from the pub record, which as we both know has a bug of its own. It turned into an essay record titled "Amazing Stories, November 1968" with Barry N. Malzberg as the author. So I changed them into editor records, which means the issue now has three editor records, which can't be removed (nothing can be removed from the record). They're hidden from the record as displayed...a band-aid, I admit, until we find out what's causing the bug and how to repair the affected records. Mhhutchins 03:15, 10 November 2011 (UTC)

Paperback Inferno 49

There are six unlinked reviews in this issue, all for books that together create six stray authors because they don't have titles in the database (yes, I'm tackling that monster again!). None of the titles seem to be explicitly spec-fic related. Do you plan on changing the reviews into essays, creating pub records for the titles, or simply removing them from the db? I ask because, unlike the other titles, they haven't been paged. Thanks. Mhhutchins 16:26, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

I'm not sure why I left them like that. I'll see if I can find it again and will read the reviews. BLongley 16:55, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

Fischer Orbit

Hi Bill. I've just saw you enter editions from this series. I edit it also from my own copies. They are now pending edits. Rudam 22:33, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

Ah, OK. If you have primary copies then go ahead. I would add them as new publications under the German title though - that will save rework later. BLongley 22:42, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

The Thief of Always

Hi Bill. Should the title of this pub not be "The Thief of Always: A Fable" rather than just "The Thief of Always"? This entry includes the subtitle, and the title page on my (and hence presumably your) copy does have the words "A Fable" under the main title. Cheers. Jcameron 13:00, 26 November 2011 (UTC)

You can add it if you like. I considered it more of a description than a sub-title. BLongley 17:48, 28 November 2011 (UTC)

"[The] Survival Kit", by Frederick Pohl

You are the primary verifier for this collection. We have it listed as "Survival Kit," which is also the title on the cover. Locus1 has it listed as "The Survival Kit". Could you recheck the title page, to see who has the error? Thanks, Chavey 22:43, 26 November 2011 (UTC)

Locus is in error, there's no "The". BLongley 17:49, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
That's one of the things I like about ISFDB; we eventually will get all the errors out of all the other sources :-) Note added to the title record about the mistake (which is actually Contento1, not Locus1 -- my mistake). Chavey 18:40, 28 November 2011 (UTC)


The Smashwords changes include biblio/, so I will need to test/install them before I change the way foreign language VTs are done (see the discussion on the Moderator Noticeboard.) There was a minor issue with line 480 of the script, where "Unmerge Foreign Titles" managed to sneak in, but that's been resolved now. I have also removed the referral from the URL as per our discussion earlier.

However, after taking a closer look at Smashwords, I am not sure that they are worth linking to, at least as a default option. They don't seem to have more than a small fraction of the current ISBNs, so clicking on the link will presumably give you an "ISBN not found" page 99% (?) of the time. Is it really something that we want to spend our electronic real estate on rather than, say, Book Depository, which has over 100,000 SF titles on file? Or do they have better coverage of the ISBN universe than I realize? Ahasuerus 06:10, 28 November 2011 (UTC)

Well, I was hoping we'd be able to grab all their ISBNs Fixer-style, but as I mentioned before that's turned out to be a bit beyond my current abilities. We can leave it until it's achieved a certain critical mass I guess, although when a Collection or Anthology IS from there it's a far better way to find contents than Amazon look-inside, as you can copy and paste. Alternatively we could put it in but OFF by default? (Insert a row for each user into user_sites.) However, leaving it out for now means we don't need to change biblio/ yet, I think the only change was meant to be to allow links by ISBN-13 and none of the other sites need that. BLongley 16:13, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
And sorry about the "Unmerge Foreign Titles" sneaking in, it's been difficult to resist ploughing ahead now we have such enthusiastic European editors. But I don't think it's safe to let them loose with that tool just yet. BLongley 16:13, 28 November 2011 (UTC)

"Publication Listing" page

There seem to have been a number of additions to the "Other Sites" section on the left side. In and of itself, not a problem. In the future I'm sure the list will grow and grow. At some time could the "Editing Tools" and "Add New Data" sections be listed above the "Other Sites"? At the moment it's just a minor annoyance to continually have to scroll past to get to the data/editing sections. If/when the list doubles ..... ! Personally, I'd like to see the editing/data sections at the top [pretty sure there's no way to customize the page for an individual??]. Cheers! --~ Bill, Bluesman 18:43, 4 December 2011 (UTC)

Well, you can certainly switch off any "Other Sites" you're not interested in - just go to "My Preferences", "My Web Sites" and uncheck the ones you're never going to be interested in. Customising the order by user preference is doable too, in the long run, but Ahasuerus wants me to stop submitting more changes until he's caught up. BLongley 18:49, 4 December 2011 (UTC)
I've just found this by myself ;-). I also agree with the first Bill, I've never found an use for this section. Hauck 18:56, 4 December 2011 (UTC)
Turning them off works just as well. Don't bury Ahasuerus! We might never find the body!  ;-) --~ Bill, Bluesman 19:05, 4 December 2011 (UTC)
We wouldn't even search for the body, we'd search for the secret location of his bibliographical treasure trove! BLongley 23:57, 4 December 2011 (UTC)
Much better! And in your honour I selected Amazon.UK as the one necessary site!! Cheerio! --~ Bill, Bluesman 19:08, 4 December 2011 (UTC)
Well, maybe the addition of so many sites at once will encourage people to use their preferences page! :-) I have most of the US bookseller sites turned off as I'm never going to buy from them, and will probably switch off a few of the new ones as well after verifying that they've gone live as I submitted them. I hope that the "European Library" addition at least is going to be useful for both of you, as I haven't yet been able to link directly to the British or French national libraries. BLongley 19:11, 4 December 2011 (UTC)
Wow, Canadian Bill. I thought your one site would be the WorldCat link, considering the number of records that you've OCLC verified. I've personally found it to be the most important "Other Sites" link. For any ISBNed pubs you don't have to add a link in the record's note field (unless you want to link a specific OCLC record.) Just my 2 cents. Mhhutchins 20:08, 4 December 2011 (UTC)
I always go for the 'specific' record, so much chaff on OCLC. Though wading through several hundred for any given Burroughs title [for example] to find a 'best' is a little overwhelming at times; but then that's how one finds editions not in the DB or that elusive one in Swahili!! ;-) --~ Bill, Bluesman 16:35, 5 December 2011 (UTC)
I always have 14 'tabs' active/open, one of which is OCLC and Abe.UK/LOC/BLIC/Locus [twice]/two Amazons/three ISFDB pages and a few that 'float'. I have never used the links listed on the biblio page. --~ Bill, Bluesman 05:08, 5 December 2011 (UTC)
Fourteen? How wide a screen do you have? I normally shut down a few when it gets above seven or eight. I've probably forgotten what I opened some of them for by then. (Two Amazons and three ISFDB pages does sound familiar though, but after that it's my "Speaker-to-LJ role" and a Google for anything else I need.) BLongley 05:24, 5 December 2011 (UTC)
44 cm [27cm high], but with the main 'dashboard' on one side and a separate window for images/documents peeking out the other side about 40 usable for the main window. Before a long-gone update the screen would handle 18 tabs. It's the second largest MAC screen, though by now maybe there's more than one size larger. --~ Bill, Bluesman 16:30, 5 December 2011 (UTC)
I will probably leave most if not all of them in, as I often visit bookseller sites to try to get/verify info. I would like to have this section below "editing tools" personally, but it isn't a huge deal for me, surely not urgent, and for ordinary non-editing users of the ISFDB, these are probably more useful than the editing tools. Eventually making this ordering a user preference would be nice IMO. -DES Talk 20:28, 4 December 2011 (UTC)
I have been thinking that in the long run we will want to convert the navigation bar into a collection of drop-down menus at the top of each page. It can be done in a number of ways, but the one that is compatible with almost old browsers (including ancient 20th century ones) would involve leveraging CSS. Unfortunately, I don't know enough about CSS to do it quickly and I don't have the time to learn it right now, but if some other developer has CSS skills, it could be a useful side project. We could start with the "Other Sites" section, which as Bill said, is likely to grow and become unwieldy. Since it's only displayed on the Publication page, it will be a limited change that won't affect anything else. Ahasuerus 21:35, 4 December 2011 (UTC)
I am moderately good with CSS. I'm not sure That I would prefer drop down menus along the top, but maybe they would be better. -DES Talk 23:28, 4 December 2011 (UTC)
I have played-about with CSS before and may do so again. But my experiences have mostly resulted in "two or three steps forward, one step back" results, so a good testing regime would be important. I think one of the things that most non-developers don't understand is that it's not just "learn the computer language" - here you have to learn the Python to generate the HTML and the Javascript that will use CSS and MySQL DML to process the XML. And sometimes a bit of DDL, although we don't have to dip into DCL or TCL yet, although such might be useful in improving security and data integrity. It would be nice to include some AJAX features too. But we can wait a bit longer for all that, surely? Recent changes seem to have led to a lot of controversy and some plain old MediaWiki updates to help pages would be good. BLongley 23:32, 4 December 2011 (UTC)

The Houses of Iszm - Novel or Chapterbook

The notes of the title record of "The Houses of Iszm" make it clear that someone decided to change the novel to a novella. Probably over a year ago, the French editions were added as chapterbooks. This leaves the 3 English publications of this title as novels with short fiction contents, among them your edition. Should they be changed to chapterbooks, or should this have been discussed before changing the title? --Willem H. 20:23, 4 December 2011 (UTC)

I would incline to changing them to chapterbooks, but of course verifiers should be consulted. IMO that work should be a novella. -DES Talk 20:30, 4 December 2011 (UTC)
I think they can safely be changed to Chapterbooks, and I'll let someone else do it. Yes, I may have helped update the software to allow such, but haven't felt the desire to go and rework my affected titles. It was all done in the interests of peace and harmony among editors, not because it was my preference. I think the trouble started with "The Trouble with Tycho" - which still needs some work for the recent rule change on capitalisation of "with". :-( This is a never-ending project, isn't it? BLongley 23:53, 4 December 2011 (UTC)
No problem. I created the chapterbook title and varianted the French translation. I was just wondering about this, will correct any others I find. --Willem H. 19:43, 5 December 2011 (UTC)

Testing the Unmerge change

I will be testing the Unmerge change tonight. It's been a while since the original discussion, so I'd like to make sure that I still remember the intent. The goal is to get the functionality working correctly when unmerging Shortfiction and Essay titles, right? Ahasuerus 21:37, 4 December 2011 (UTC)

Yes - they're currently getting the container title rather than the content title. It's been so long that I can't recall exactly what I tested, but I'd double-check Reviews, Interviews and Poems as well, for instance. I don't think I've made things worse but I'm also pretty sure I've not fixed every conceivable use - feel free to point out ones I'd not considered that I might be able to fix. BLongley 23:00, 4 December 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, I'll poke around... Ahasuerus 23:47, 7 December 2011 (UTC)


So, when are you going to upload the covers for the 'new' mags?? When you've finished reading the 'articles'??¿??  ;-)) --~ Bill, Bluesman 20:10, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

Non-genre magazines don't get covers, unless they illustrate the SF content. Which I will happily check on the second pass. BLongley 20:12, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

Variants when title is the same in two languages?

Could you have a look at [this] discussion please? Any comments appreciated. --~ Bill, Bluesman 22:15, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

The Oceans of Venus

Added a cover image to [this]. The previous link was broken, but that link was to Brin's database. If one is broken then likely all are and I think there were a couple of hundred images he/she had added. Any way to list them so they can be replaced? --~ Bill, Bluesman 17:35, 13 December 2011 (UTC)

Of course. It's so simple even you can do it! ;-) Go to Advanced Search, ISFDB Publication Search Form, enter "brin1" as the search term and "Image URL" in the drop-down box. There's actually just under a hundred. BLongley 20:49, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
It has to be simple for my computer 'skills'. Thanks! :-)) --~ Bill, Bluesman 23:18, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
That addition went live back in May, I believe. I wonder what other goodies we've added that have gone unnoticed? :-/ BLongley 05:55, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

"AddTranslation" screen

OMG that would certainly be the most straightforward method from a user's point of view, though I have no idea how easy it is to implement behind the scenes (I have seen apparently straightforward things turn out to be really messed up in other projects, and I'm no programmer myself). Here's some further developed thoughts:

Wouldn't it be simpler to have the "add title variant" controlled from "add publication"? I mean the only field that is absent in the publication screen is "Storylen" (which I still cannot process, since I am not sure a variant can be a different form entirely without being treated as a different publication? But maybe I'm not versed enough in the specifics of ISFDB). Circeus 05:42, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

There's various options: it's simplest to extend an existing screen rather than create an entirely new one. But all that has to be done behind the scenes is to combine "Add New Pub" and "Make Variant" into one step, or "Add variant to title" and "Add Pub to Title" in one step. "Storylen" doesn't really come into it, that's only (mis)used at publication level for omnibuses. Rework for publications entered the old way is closer: see ISFDB:Proposed_Design_Changes#Unmerge_Foreign_Title.28s.29. BLongley 17:28, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

Basically you'd have the AddPub screen load as usual with the title, if the title is changed, you create a prospective "add variant" (and there are ways to approach it, like making the Title Variant parts controlled by a checkbox, for example?), which may be rejected by the reviewer (i.e. because the title is not different enough, or because it exists as a variant title, but add translation is used instead of addpub to the title in question) and the publication assigned to the correct title. I have to say it is a sad thing that translators still cannot be used anywhere even though we have language data now. I have to fight the urge to plug them as coauthors whenever I enter a title. Circeus 05:42, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

Yes, I have some ideas on those lines too, but that's going to take a lot of display rework too, and pseudonymous translations are going to be a nightmare. BLongley 17:28, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
Regarding translation: I note the database currently treats artists exactly as authors, right? (if only because there's no reason that an artist can't be an author!), Circeus 00:54, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
In some areas - a simple "Name" search will cover editors, artists and authors. The Author Directory doesn't distinguish them. There have been many times when I've wanted them separated, e.g. looking up an artist from the initials on a signature shouldn't (IMNSHO) bring up matches among people that have never even coloured-in the B&W illustrations in some of their books. Yes, there are people that are artists, editors AND authors, and those few can appear in all three categories. Or four categories when we get translator implemented. Or five when we get editors of collections in. Or six when the next category I haven't thought of goes in. ;-) BLongley 04:05, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
they are merely attached to a different type of object (art), itself not treated much differently from anything else. Here's an experiment of the mind: variant titles can be assigned different authors (or is that field in the form just for show?), as such they can be assigned authors just like any other "object". If so, isn't it possible we assign translators as an author field specific to alternate titles? I think this is similar to the proposed "create translation+pub" screen, i.e. a variant title can get a "hidden" translation "object" attached to it (identified as "title (translation)" in the lists), with a separate author, which can then be treated just like any other author (so that translators can still be authors of normal texts, have pseudonyms etc.). The only difference might be in how it displays on the author page. Circeus 00:54, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
The start I've made is to add a "Translator" field available on any title. For a translation variant, that can be filled in, and if it isn't we just assume it's a new title, is self-translated, or has a different way of crediting the author(s). I've also taken it to the next stage where multiple translators can be credited, although so far you have to add them one at a time. This might be enough to put forward as a software change so that people can capture the data, even if I haven't figured out how to do a "Translations" section on an author page yet. I know people are getting quite good at capturing Translator credits in notes, and I have developed the capability to search notes when we are ready for the rework, but I don't think we'll ever be able to take the free-form notes and fix the data. BLongley 04:05, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
Incidentally, suppressing translators as co-authors is something I had to look at - "Interviewers" and "Reviewers" are coped with, and I think "Translators" should go on those lines. But I'm still experimenting, and waiting for guidance from the final arbiter of all changes and the people that want to use such. BLongley 04:05, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

As a final note, wouldn't it be useful to have a built-in way to signal what is the source of the original data? Maybe not as detailedly as the verification is, but maybe a checkbox "entered from a physical copy"? Circeus 05:42, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

Yes, we've thought of that already: ISFDB:Community_Portal#Noting_Sources_made_easy_-_Attempt_3. BLongley 17:28, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

I'm voicing this as an humble user suggestion, prefaced with the previous caveat of not being a programer and unable to judge how easy it is to put in place. Circeus 05:42, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

Suggestions are always welcome - I'm afraid they can take a long time to be implemented, but as you can see from Development/Recent_Patches we do try and improve things! Thanks for your comments. BLongley 17:28, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

[unindent] These developments all look quite interesting! Regarding the discussion at Hervé's talk page, can I take away from it that for the time being, still entering French translations as new pubs won't get me yelled at too badly? Circeus 00:54, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

If you get yelled at, let me know, we should be much more helpful than that! :-/ BLongley 04:27, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
Either way is good for now, we're just glad of the data. The old way (foreign pub under English title) is quickest to enter (one step) but doesn't record the language, and at present is a three-step process to fix (unmerge title, change title language, make variant). I have an improvement in the pipeline that will make that (usually) a one-step process. If you enter new publications under the French title, and then make them variants of the English (or other Language) title that's just two steps and no rework - and allows other editions in French to be added in one step. As mentioned above, I might be able to reduce the "Add translation" to one step, but that's a way off still. (We have far more editors than moderators, and more moderators than programmers, and there's only one Ahasuerus!) For now, I'd recommend you learn the current limitations, keep pointing out where things can be improved, and maybe we'll have you self-moderating or moderating French titles before us mere software guys catch up! :-) BLongley 04:27, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
Let's see if I get this right: You're saying ideally I'd enter a variant title first, then create publications under it, but an alternate approach with the same result is create it as a wholy new book (with "add new novel"), that is THEN converted to an alternate title (basically the same in reverse, but at least the data is entered on the first step, which is more intuitive). Those are two-steps approaches, whereas entering the publication directly is simplest on my side, but requires three steps behind the scenes. If that is all correct, I think I'll be happy with taking the NewNovel approach as a compromise. Circeus 05:38, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
Yes, that's correct. BLongley 17:40, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

Who is Bob Parkinson?

Hello, Bill! I am on the heels of this author of whom nothing is to be found in wikipedia or the sf encyclopedia. I have found a possible candidate for him though, of whom it may be possible to find out some biographical data: see here - a member of the British Interplanetary Society has some potential to be 'our' Bob Parkinson. And since you are verifier of some of the publications he was a contributor for (for example 'Vector'), I wondered if you could shed some light into his mysterious identity. Stonecreek 15:17, 22 December 2011 (UTC)

Possibly the same guy - Fanac confirms he was at Nottingham University. BLongley 15:56, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
Then again, there's no trace of his supposed sf publications on the homepage of the BIS Bob Parkinson: here. I'm still in identity doubt. Stonecreek 21:32, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
You missed one. On his "publications" page he includes:
"Is Nuclear Propulsion Necessary? (Or Mars in 1995!)"
AIAA Paper 80-1234 AIAA/SAE/ASME 16th Joint Propulsion Conference, Hartford, July 1980 
And "our" Bob Parkinson published "Mars in 1995!" in the June 22, 1981 issue of Analog. That looks like pretty substantive evidence that they're the same person. If you want to be sure, write the BIS guy at his email address Chavey 02:56, 23 December 2011 (UTC)
I'm not sure why we're so adverse to just asking people. :-/ I've never yet found an author (or artist, or editor) that entirely disapproves of what we do. Even if they don't want to contribute here, they're often good at pointing us at their own preferred bibliography, or separating their works from a similarly-named author. Which might be the case here - it might yet be a question of "Who are the Bob Parkinsons"? BLongley 05:58, 23 December 2011 (UTC)
I'm not per se against writing to authors, but was a bit sceptical about the right tone of my writing and if I could accomplish this, but by now a night's worth of sleep has done a bit towards this task. So, OK, I'll write and ask him. Thanks, for your input and Happy Christmas to you two Bills (though one of you seems to stay by the pen-name 'Darrah' ;-) ). Stonecreek 16:29, 23 December 2011 (UTC)
Only Mr. Longley is a Bill, the other frequently contributing "Bill" being Mr. Bluesman. "Chavey" is the last name for "Darrah Chavey", and all of my writing (SF, Dance, Math, and Computer Science) is under either that or some variation involving my initials. (Yes, I know, I should probably get "Janus" contents listed in here so that my name actually shows up, but getting to those things is why this is a lifetime commitment :-). And Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Joyful Saturnalia, and Merry Newtonmas to all of you! (And yes, members of my extended family celebrate all of those at this time of year.) Chavey 19:06, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

"The Proud Robot", Kuttner & Moore

I added a note to your verified publication that "Contento1 notes that this is a reprint of "Robots Have No Tails" (Gnome, 1952)." It might be possible to combine the previous last sentence of those notes with mine. Chavey 04:19, 25 December 2011 (UTC)

Adam Troy, Astroman

After approving a recent addition of a cover scan to this Tuck-verified pub and checking Worldcat, I changed the author from "Mary Patchett" to M. E. Patchett. It would appear that she always used her initials when writing SF, but Tuck listed her under the best known form of her name, which she used on her non-SF juveniles. Ahasuerus 04:23, 26 December 2011 (UTC)

Fine by me. I'm using my Tuck less and less now, and not just because Jaak sent me 8 volumes of Contento and Brown. It would be nice to make sure we covered all Tuck and Reginald (etc) listed books but we're getting to the stage where working through the references doesn't turn up much new data. We're actually becoming quite good. BLongley 06:14, 26 December 2011 (UTC)
I've gone through half of the collections in Contento, and have turned up NO books yet that we didn't already have listed. I have discovered some new data Contento had that I added to the notes, and a couple of publication months, but no new publications. So for this era of books (at least) we're getting pretty thorough. Chavey 06:26, 26 December 2011 (UTC)
I'm glad to see my opinions are somewhat confirmed. Of course, when we're complete (ha!) and people can download our data and search for "Tuck-verified" pubs we'll kill the market for second-hand editions of those books. I think Jaak only parted with his handsome volumes because the data is available online now. I still love my physical books but understand we're killing the opportunities for more dead-tree Bibliographies... :-/ BLongley 06:42, 26 December 2011 (UTC)

Panther books

Well, once again I thought I had found a book in Contento not in ISFDB, because they list a 1980 Panther edition of "The Venus Hunters", by J. G. Ballard. But looking more closely, I discovered that we already had it listed, but as a Granada publication, verified by you about 4 years ago. You have a note there saying: Internal comments: "A Panther book". That seems to me like it should probably be listed as "Panther / Granada". You also verified Bearing an Hourglass, by Piers Anthony, as "Granada (Panther Books)", which also seems like it should be "Panther / Granada". And we have 46 books listed as "Panther Granada", primarily 39 books verified by you: Eye of the Heron, Brainfix, Steppe, Get Out of My Sky, A Handful of Darkness, Blackpool Vanishes, Word For World Is Forest, The Winter of the World, Bloodstar Conspiracy, Lathe of Heaven, The Naked Sun, Earthworks, Hothouse, The Dark Design, Son of Man, The Bicentennial Man, Sex in the 21st Century, Dying of the Light, Alien Embassy, Master of Life and Death, The Genocides, The Puppies of Terra, Earth's Other Shadow, The World Inside, Orsinian Tales, The Wind's Twelve Quarters Volume II, A Scanner Darkly, Q: The Gods Look Down, The Purity Plot, Traitor to the Living, The Early Asimov, Volume 3, City of Illusions, Ubik, Under Compulsion, Keep the Giraffe Burning, The Space Vampires, Spaced Out, Triplanetary, and Camp Concentration. Should these also be listed as "Panther / Granada"? Or do I misunderstand something about these books, or this convention? Chavey 16:24, 26 December 2011 (UTC)

Publisher and Imprint support has changed quite a bit in the last few years. With British Publications, I eventually decided to stick with the name as give on the spine rather than try and extrapolate from cover, copyright page and maybe part of a title page. So "Panther Granada" is what the book actually says - "Panther / Granada" would be derived information. I'm not sure whether other people find the distinction useful but there are pubs with just "Panther" that also were issued as "Granada" and even "Grafton" at times, along with all the "Triad" joint publications. I suspect that if recorded accurately and consistently we might see the pattern(s). However, "Granada (Panther Books)" looks like I hadn't yet settled on a pattern and should be changed when I find it to check. BLongley 17:59, 26 December 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. And please check on The Venus Hunters as well. Chavey 18:09, 26 December 2011 (UTC)

"Sleepers of Mars", by John Wyndham

I added a month of publication, from Contento, for your verified publication. Chavey 05:41, 28 December 2011 (UTC)

That's fine. I wish I had remembered this pub when discussing the recent "writing as" rule change. "John Wyndham writing as John Beynon Harris" or "John Wyndham writing as John Beynon"? BLongley 05:50, 28 December 2011 (UTC)
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