User talk:JVjr/Pre-moderatorship


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Introductory discussion

Hi hi! Were you the person who responded to Mike Arnautov's question about Czech SF some years ago when I couldn't help him? If so, then yes, I do remember your post :)

Yes, that was me. (I used to have pangs of conscience about not being able to write an updated version, or a scene/fandom overview like , or query whether NYRSF might be interested in anything I think I could write or translate - which reminds me, have you ever heard of this 1929 Russian emigré anti-communist dystopia?
Mikhail Gorelov aka Gakkebus (1874-1929) was a prominent Russian-Ukrainian editor who spent the last decade of his life in Prague. I wasn't familiar with this book, though, thanks! Ahasuerus 22:42, 2 Nov 2006 (CST)
- or at least return to rasf*, or possibly get a LiveJournal. However, currently it looks like I'll be able to have some input into the SFE3.) --JVjr 10:29, 2 Nov 2006 (CST)

Decisions, decisions :) Ahasuerus 22:42, 2 Nov 2006 (CST)

despite trying to read the help, I am still rather confused

Our current help system is somewhat, er, rudimentary, to say the least :(

what do I do when I find an error in the data ... How, where or to whom do I report it

There is quite a bit of history there. User submissions were enabled in 1996-1999, but they were often of low quality, resulting in the introduction of bad data into the database. They were subsequently disabled until a set of tools supporting submission moderation could be put together. Unfortunately, it took MUCH longer than expected, in part due to Al's very busy schedule in the early 2000s (he is the only real developer on the project, I just write silly side scripts that aspire to be borderline useful) and in part due to the migration of the ISFDB software from a proprietary platform to the current combination of MySQL, Python and other free tools that we call ISFDB2. The ISFDB1-to-ISFDB2 conversion was more or less complete in early 2006 and moderator editing was enabled on May 1, 2006. We are still beta-ing the software, though, and user submissions are still disabled. There will be a major bug cleanup push in late November and then, with luck, we will be able to enable user submissions around the end of the year.

All of the above is a roundabout way of saying that at this point you can't submit data corrections (or new data, for that matter) directly to the ISFDB unless you are a moderator (positions still open! great side benefits! people who speak foreign languages badly needed!), but that should change by the end of the year. Cthulhu willing, that is.

I doubt there's much Czech stuff in ISFDB (because, of course, not much more in English at all);
Well, the likes of Josef_Nesvadba and Karel_Capek were translated decades ago, but there haven't been many translations recently, I am afraid. Ahasuerus 22:42, 2 Nov 2006 (CST)
and my knowledge of Russian and German (for which the situation isn't much better anyway) is only rudimentary.
Don Wollheim spent a small fortune (emphasis on small) pushing European SF in the 1970s, but it never sold well. Lem was lucky in that he had a dedicated agent (until they had their famous quarrel) and a commited publisher who stuck with him regardless of profits or lack thereof. Mcmillan published a line of Russian SF in the late 1970s/early 1980s because they considered it Important (tm) during the Cold War and because Ted Sturgeon was enthusiastic about the idea. But other than that, not much has happened lately.
One interesting development earlier this year was the limited release of Night Watch, a Russian supernatural action/adventure movie based on a novel by Sergei_Lukyanenko. It cost just a few million dollars to make, but featured fairly respectable special effects (considering the budget) and MTV-lite editing. For a few months, Hollywood executives were wondering if it was something that they could capitalize on (cf. Chinese action movies) and Fox planned a major release in mid-2005. But then they had a severe case of cold feet (eek! subtitles! too risky!) and went with a limited release in February 2006 instead. The movie did only passably well on the silver screen, but quickly acquired a cult status and the release on video (July 2006) was much more lucrative, netting about $10 million in just a few weeks. They also published the novel in translation to capitalize on the movie's cult status and volume 2 is scheduled for publication in early 2007. If the whole thing pans out, then Lukyanenko may find a niche the way, say, Koji_Suzuki did a few years ago when a movie based on his series became something of a hit in the US. Ahasuerus 22:42, 2 Nov 2006 (CST)
(Still, good enough for spotting a few errors in SFE; I like how an early scholarly article on Perry Rhodan "Unser Mann im All" is translated as "Our Man in Everywhere".)
That's exactly what I had in mind! :) Ahasuerus 22:42, 2 Nov 2006 (CST)
Of course I'll be glad to help wherever I can contribute any special expertise; but it's up to you to decide whether appointing one more moderator is worth the trouble when I would do very little more but take care of my own finds within a limited perusal of the ISFDB. I suppose that I can as well wait a few months and in the meantime, use the wiki for reporting. --JVjr 10:29, 2 Nov 2006 (CST)
That works too :) Ahasuerus 22:42, 2 Nov 2006 (CST)
should I even bother with it, or is there no proper system in place to handle these efficiently except a few overworked developers, and is it better to wait?

For now, you can post your corrections on the Wiki pages associated with the erroneous records. Every Publication page should have a link to its Wiki page, e.g. "Bibliographic Comments: Publication:SNGMSTRLBR2006", and moderators routinely monitor the Recent Changes page, so the correction will be likely noticed and incorporated in a day or two.

Yes, I saw a few things like that just after I posted my question, and started to get the feeling that I should have looked just a bit harder. But the Publication pages are quite hidden from an ordinary view at the general bibliography, and in the following case (I remembered I came across this recently during another Wikipedia edit):
Short Works by Raphael Carter shows Congenital Agenesis of Gender Ideation with a publication in Starlight 2 and then Congenital Agenesis of Gender Ideation by K. N. Sirsi and Sandra Botkin with no publication (not even in THJMSTPTRW2005, which lacks contents listing) but awards attached. I am not sure whether they should really count as title variants, it seems most probable that the subtitle ("authors"' names) was present already in the first appearance (which, after all, got the awards) as well as the Tiptree Anthology 2 and only printed so ambiguously that it isn't clear whether to count it as a full part of the name. But I have no way to check the books. --JVjr 10:29, 2 Nov 2006 (CST)
Yes, it's a known problem. The ISFDB gets its data from many sources, including almost all lists of major award winners and nominees. The later can differ in various ways, sometimes significantly so, from what we tend to think as their actual titles. To make matters worse, when you merge the two versions of the same title, you can accidentlaly break the association between the title record and the award recod -- which is what happened in this case 5 minutes ago when I megred the two. It's a know software deficiency :( Ahasuerus 22:54, 2 Nov 2006 (CST)
But at least coming up with a wiki seems promising; years ago, when I tried to use the built-in "send corrections" feature or even e-mail Al von Ruff, nothing ever came out of that.

As noted above, Al was very busy at the time. Even now, when he is less busy, he still travels overseas multiple times per year, sometimes a couple of times a month.

shouldn't the ISFDB templates from Wikipedia be copied also here?

We have similar templates within the ISFDB Wiki, e.g. {{A}}, {{T}} and {{P}} -- see for more.

Shame on me: been there, but not seeing any called "ISFDB", I didn't investigate further. It won't happen again (I hope). --JVjr 10:29, 2 Nov 2006 (CST)

The latest case I came across was (hm, shouldn't the ISFDB templates from Wikipedia be copied also here?). It lists three novels, the last being - The Wild Swan (2001, Warner Aspect, 0446608475, $6.99, 450pp, pb). This is obviously a typo/oversight/whatever for the mass-market edition of her 1999 hardback TP The Wild Swans

Not any more :) It looks like Al saw your comment earlier today and zapped the bad title a few hours ago.

I'd be happy to report the errors found in any way and format required;

Děkuji! :)

I don't look things up on IMSFDB as often as I used to, and don't have much spare time, but I have this terrible wiki mentality...

Sounds painfully familiar! Ahasuerus 17:36, 1 Nov 2006 (CST)

A place to post blurbs

FYI, re: blurbs, here is what Marc Kupper wrote over at the Community Portal the other day in case you didn't catch it:

re “I don't know of any website that collects them.” Dave Wands at collects blurbs and shows them on his site. For example, see the “Arthur C Clarke recommends” section of Each of those is a blurb that also links to the book that Clarke recommended. Marc Kupper 15:57, 10 Nov 2006 (CST)

Ahasuerus 22:49, 11 Nov 2006 (CST)

Deleted page

It's gone. Thanks! Mike Christie 08:46, 14 Nov 2006 (CST)

The Starchild Trilogy

Thanks, I have fixed the obvious errors as per Publication:THSTRCHLDTA1992 (see the page for details), although it still needs works. Ahasuerus 11:04, 14 Nov 2006 (CST)

"Internal consistency pass"

Re: Well, I'm actually rather unsure what "internal consistency" means, here is what a Long Works bibliography looks like before its Titles have been massaged and merged into a semblance of order: Note all the duplicate Titles, lack of Series information, etc. An internal consistency pass simply takes what's already in the database and makes it more useful by organizing, deleting and merging Titles as appropriate. It's not glamorous, but somebody has to do it :) Ahasuerus 18:50, 29 Nov 2006 (CST)

ISFDB submissions enabled

Hi hi! Just to let you know that ISFDB submissions have been enabled, so please feel free to stop by and experiment. Well, within reason, of course :) Best, Ahasuerus 20:28, 26 Dec 2006 (CST)

Hello; I've neglected the ISFDB (and its wiki) for some time, but I've just come here to by chance report a bug. As it happens, just yesterday I left the Czech Wikipedia as unfixably broken, so I should have more time for some sensible fannish work here :-) (just after I deal with some immediate pressing responsibilities).
So please take a look at my first edits if I haven't made any errors (oops, I already see one: obviously I've mixed the short and long form of the Daniel Keyes memoir; stil, by it seems the magazine version also had the serial comma).
Obviously I have also much RTFM to do - isn't there an easier way to weed out duplicates from (or is it a feature and should ditors always use juset Advanced Search)? Where, if at all, does one put the "edit summary" explaining the edit to the reviewer and happily discardable (there's an empty "reason" in each edit, but I didn't find any field for it)? Will the Garfinkle review be properly joined to the book just through the capitalization change (I didn't find any explicit way)? How do I merge all of those Marys at once? Should be marked as Keys pseudonym, deleted altogether or what? Etc etc.; don't feel obliged to reply in detail, though a link to a tutorial would be welcome :-) --JVjr 06:46, 31 Jan 2007 (CST)
Hi, JVjr; I'm starting through your subs and will make separate sections below for each one to keep the conversations straight. You'd asked for a tutorial -- there are some links in the help pages that I hope will answer some questions; let me know what you don't find there and I'll answer your questions. Mike Christie (talk) 09:42, 31 Jan 2007 (CST)
I approved the cap change to the NYRSF review, and as you suspected it now shows up correctly in the title listing. The linking is lexical, not in the database, so capitalization must indeed match. Mike Christie (talk) 09:50, 31 Jan 2007 (CST)
To answer another of your questions: no, there's no edit summary at the moment -- the reason code is only for rejects. A feature request for an edit summary would be a good idea, I think. Mike Christie (talk) 10:30, 31 Jan 2007 (CST)

A. Spedding/Alison Spedding

I approved the Make Pseudonym, but the title merge seems wrong -- do you have a copy of both to hand? We use variant titles if the title or the author is listed on the title page differently. If she's listed as "A. Spedding" on one, and "Alison Spedding" on the other, we don't want to merge them. Instead one title should be a variant title of the other, using Make Variant. I've held the merge submission till I hear from you; let me know. Mike Christie (talk) 09:42, 31 Jan 2007 (CST)

No (I'm from Central Europe and my book collection is very limited) but there are scans of the covers available at Alison it is on all; obviously another automatic import from poor-quality source. Well, I can't rule that the 80es first edition had just the initial, but Locus disagrees and it seems so absurd I'm willing to bet it didn't. --JVjr 03:26, 1 Feb 2007 (CST)

I'm convinced. Through it goes; at least until someone gets hold of a first edition. Mike Christie (talk) 19:05, 1 Feb 2007 (CST)

Bending the Landscape

Same question about this merge: per, there appears to be a 1998 title with the long subtitle, and a 2003 title with the "Horror" subtitle. Do you have the books at hand to verify the actual titles on the title page? If not, we should probably leave these -- there's no evidence they're wrong, though we don't yet know they're right either. Mike Christie (talk) 09:47, 31 Jan 2007 (CST)

Another obvious nonsense (perhaps mixed up with a later reprint): see trustworthy N.B. that I wanted only to merge 36727 with 36720, which are entries about the book's nomination for awards, obviously imported from sources like and since there's no other, primary bibliographic data about the book in ISFDB (how come?!). As should be clear, they concern the same book and should be merged ; but now from Locus as well as where you can Look Inside!TM at the copyright page, I'd recommend not using the "Original Gay and Lesbian writing" bit which seems to be just another cover slogan, not a part of the official title. --JVjr 11:01, 1 Feb 2007 (CST)

In fact it's often not true that two entries that relate to the same book should be merged. We go by the title on the title page; if that differs (even down in the subtitle) then we regard it as a "variant title" of the book. "Looking inside" via Amazon I found the title listed multiple ways: "Bending the Landscape: Original Gay and Lesbian Writing: Horror" (from the front cover); "Bending the Landscape: Original Gay and Lesbian Writing: Volume II: Horror" (from the inside flap); and "Bending the Landscape" (from the copyright page). The back flap image is actually from another book, "Bending the Landscape: Science Fiction", but by analogy one might expect "Bending the Landscape: Horror". The result is that I don't feel any confidence at all in what the title page says. This wouldn't matter if it were easy to "unmerge" two titles that have been merged, but for the moment it's not easy to do -- though Al is working on that.

So having said all that I really don't want to approve the merge; let's just leave it the way it is for now. In fact, the merge is not in the direction you intended anyway, I believe; the target is "Bending the Landscape: Original Gay and Lesbian Horror Writing" which I agree is less likely to be the actual title. I'll leave it there for a bit in case you respond and change my mind, but right now I don't think this should be merged. Mike Christie (talk) 19:23, 1 Feb 2007 (CST)

Let me reiterate: currently ISFDB has NO publication data about the anthology. The only reasons it knows of its existence at all are those two entries, each imported from an award nomination list, whose creators certainly don't have ISFDB's fastidiousness about finding a canonical title (see the #Introductory discussion with Ahasuerus above on this topic with Raphael Carter's short story - hah, now I see that [probably] he misunderstood and reassigned the story to "K. N. Sirsi" and "Sandra Botkin" :-) I'll merge it back at once. Incredibly, this keeps floating around the web...). The nominations were for the same book, therefore they should be both mentioned together at one page and not like now, creating the impression that Griffith and Pagel edited two books with subtly differing titles in one year. Potential title variants in various editions may be solved separately when any real publication data are added.
If you wish, reject my edit and merge them yourself on the shorter title, or I'll submit a new request for somebody else; though it might be more effective to merge them anyway and then change the title manually when adding publication data.
As for under what actual title the book should be, I'm sure that you have much more bibliographic experience to decide. However to my common sense it seems that when a book gives the title differently in various places, and it probably won't be that rare an occurence, one just has to choose somehow. I wouldn't rely too much on the title page, where frex a subtitle might be typeset above the main title; I find the copyright page most authoritative, as it contains the Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data, giving the title as "Bending the landscape/horror" - I think that IFDB can change it to its own capitalization and punctuation conventions, which just fit the previous parts of the series. Also, the back flap (I think you meant the back cover is NOT "actually from another book, Bending the Landscape: Science Fiction" (but note I've amended the Amazon link above, as without the leading "www." the LookInside didn't work for me; Evil Amazon! no cookie!): it just follows the quite common American publishing practice that when a first edition of a new book is published, for which there are no blurb-worthy review quotes available yet (and the book is not that much of a big deal for them to solicit "advance praise"), they use reviews of the author's previous book.
--JVjr 06:31, 2 Feb 2007 (CST)
OK, the point about there being no existing publication convinced me. I've approved it and updated to the shorter version.
As far as picking which form of the title to use, I think you're right to say "one just has to choose somehow". One reason for having a well-defined rule for picking that form is definiteness: we want a rule that every editor can agree on, so that we don't have to debate about it too much. The point you make about subtitles above main titles is a good one -- I have seen that style in the past, though I haven't yet entered a book that looked that way. I have been trying to use the relevant help files to capture these odd cases as they come up, so when one of these rears its head we can look at it and see what the sensible solution is. As for using the title page: the title page tends to be used by bibliographers more than the copyright page -- part of the reason is that the copyright page quite often does not give any form of the title at all. Mike Christie (talk) 08:21, 2 Feb 2007 (CST)

Algernon, Charlie and I

But let me repeat here that the edit # 235951, TitleMerge to 103639 you've approved was, in fact, mistaken: The award is for the expanded book version which, again, isn't mentioned anywhere else on ISFDB (also note that both editions seem to differ in the serial comma: the horror! the horror!). As I don't want to mess things up even more by inept cloning, I won't try to correct this myself. --JVjr 11:01, 1 Feb 2007 (CST)

OK, I'll have a go at this. This is going to be a little tricky, as award editing is not currently available, so I'll need to do some fancy manoeuvring with the title. It was my mistaken approval in the first place, so it's only fair . . . . Mike Christie (talk) 19:23, 1 Feb 2007 (CST)

I think this is now sorted out. The ESSAY title is now converted back to a NONFICTION title, with the award, and has been removed from the May 2000 FSF. That title is 103639. The FSF issue now shows 337401. For future reference, the sequence (not necessarily in this order) was to create a fresh entry in FSF for the ESSAY, then do a Remove Title for the version with the award attached, then Edit Title to change it back to NONFICTION. I think that's all that was needed. A pain if you're not a moderator, of course, because of having to wait for approval at each step, so if something like that comes up again please feel free to ask me or another moderator to take care of it. Mike Christie (talk) 19:35, 1 Feb 2007 (CST)


On the update to this publication, can you explain what's going on with the authorship here? I don't know this work at all, so I'm not sure I understand it, but it appears to be a translation -- by Campbell? The title change you submitted is fine (the addition of the accents), but the authorship change is less clear to me. To start with, the publication record says this is by Stephen King -- is that in error? Judging from the cover, he's just one of the authors in the anthology. So is Sarrantonio the editor? Finally, if Campbell is really just a translator on this, he gets recorded only in the notes, and Sarrantonio (or whoever the editor is) gets the "author" record. The contents would be added via "Edit this Pub" and using the "Add Title" button. I've held this for now; let me know what's going on and I can unhold and/or fix it. Mike Christie (talk) 09:57, 31 Jan 2007 (CST)

Note that beside the accents, I changed a typo "Mlllenaire" to correct "Millenaire" (misreading of uppercase I from , or what?) which was the original reason why I edited the entry.
See frex It is obviously the French translation of Sarrantonio's anthology 35401, imported automatically from some Amazon-like source. Campbell is just a contributor, so he was apparently listed as an author; ditto for King, who, being the best-known, gets the top billing like in the listing above. Compare also the German translation 177602 which lists several of the authors, but apparently ISDB import takes them as co-editors.
So yes, rewrite with extreme prejudice as required by the style guide. ISTR Ahasuerus mentioning this problem of handling translations before; should they be recorded as a title/publication variant, or is the software not ready yet for these matters at all? --JVjr 03:14, 1 Feb 2007 (CST)

OK, I think this is now cleaned up -- the titles are corrected, and the editor is now given as "Al Sarrantonio" on both the title and the publication. Next steps, if you want to follow up on this, would be to merge the title to the English version, since we currently record translations as direct children of the English parent, rather than as variant titles; and to add contents. However, it'll do as it is till someone has time to work on it. Mike Christie (talk) 20:30, 1 Feb 2007 (CST)

Just to make sure I won't make a mistake: You mean simply merging the titles, and the translated one will be kept in the appropriate publication? OK, I'll do it, and start doing it on sight: there seems quite a lot of Western-European translations from recent years imported in the DB (Sarrantonio displays also a German one of this, but with several contributors entered like co-authors). --JVjr 06:31, 2 Feb 2007 (CST)
When you merge two Title records and their titles are different (in this case one will be in the language of the original publication and the other in a different language), you are given the choice of which title is used in the resulting merged Title record. (And yes, the fact that we use the term "title" to describe two different things can be confusing :-( ) The titles of the Publications (i.e. editions) that the merged Title records are contained within are not affected by this process. The end result is that the final Title record looks something like The Long Loud Silence or, for a Title that originally appeared in a foreign language, Nochnoi Dozor.
The only catch is that at this point we don't create Variant Titles for foreign language translations of English Titles, but we do create English language Variant Titles for English translations of Titles originally published in other languages -- see the Lukyanenko novel linked above. We will likely start creating Variant Titles for foreign language translations of English language Titles once we have language support beefed up. Does this make sense? Ahasuerus 13:43, 2 Feb 2007 (CST)

"Kevin Teixera"

Welcome back, JVjr, and thanks for the heads up re: "Kevin Teixera"! I have deleted the offending Publication and Title records. Once the last Title/Publication record has been deleted, the Author record is deleted automatically, so "Kevin Teixera" is gone now.

Since Publication deletion and Title deletion options are available in the navigation bar, anybody should be able to do the same thing, although you have to wait for submission approval. The only caveat is that you have to delete all Publications for a Title before you can delete that Title. Happy weeding! :) Ahasuerus 16:38, 1 Feb 2007 (CST)

Well yes, but it means too much drudgework (and waiting). If the moderators don't have "nuke all related" option available, well, they should, and deserve to be punished for not getting one from the developers ;-)
The set of "developers" consists of one overworked programmer, Al, who also has to make a living in his plentiful spare time :) Moreover, a "nuke all related" option could -- like some other nuclear options -- prove to have unexpected side effects. Better safe than sorry :) Ahasuerus 14:12, 2 Feb 2007 (CST)
But I have a question re automatic deletion of Author records: so publication-less misspellings like Daniel_Keyes_Moran are a feature and not a bug, and I shouldn't try to have them deleted (for which seems to be no instrument in the editing panel anyway)? --JVjr 06:31, 2 Feb 2007 (CST)
As a general rule, publication-less Author records should be automatically deleted by the software when the last associated Publication or Title record is deleted. I suspect that in this case there is something pointing to it behind the scenes, perhaps a book review record. I'll check it out, thanks for the heads up! Ahasuerus 14:12, 2 Feb 2007 (CST)

The New York Review of Science Fiction, July 1991

I see that you have submitted a request to remove A Review of "The World Beyond The Hill: Science Fiction and the Quest for Transcendence" by Alexei and Cory Panshin from The New York Review of Science Fiction, July 1991. I am not sure what the reason behind the removal is, but I was wondering if you were trying to remove it first and then re-add it as a "book review" as opposed to an "essay"? If so, I'd like to point out that according to the Help:Screen:NewPub:

Review columns and interviews are also entered as ESSAYs. If an interview column contains only one interview (as is usually the case), then the interview column does not need to be entered at all; instead, just enter the interview information in the Interview section. The details of what was reviewed, or who was interviewed, are recorded with REVIEW and INTERVIEW types, which are entered via the special Review and Interview sections described below.

This is done due to the fact that a single ESSAY may include multiple reviews as well as unrelated material. There are so many different reviews-related permutations in SF magazines that we eventually decided to have a separate ESSAY record and a separate REVIEW record(s). Does this make sense? Thanks! Ahasuerus 17:49, 1 Feb 2007 (CST)

I didn't want to try to add it anew, as the issue already had both "A Review of "The World Beyond The Hill: Science Fiction and the Quest for Transcendence" by Alexei and Cory Panshin • essay by John Clute" AND "The World Beyond the Hill: Science Fiction and the Quest for Transcendence • Alexei Panshin and Cory Panshin • book review by John Clute" which seemed a mistaken duplication to me. Of course I have no access to the NYRSF (now that I think of it, I do own Look at the Evidence, although still pristine in the shrinkwrap after a year and half :-) but from, Clute's own bibliography online etc. I feel sure that he reviewed just that one book.
As for whether this makes sense, I'll take whichever-Amendment-it-is ;-) No, I quite understand that several books can be reviewed within one essay, and documenting its bibliographic data and review content separately is reasonable. However in a case of a free-standing review, I think that the duplication appearing both in the publication contents and author's bibliography doesn't add any value, rather the opposite, and avoiding it would be better, just like it seems to be in a case of a single interview you quote above. Anyway, I'll do my best to abide by the local rules; sorry for the growing pains. --JVjr 06:31, 2 Feb 2007 (CST)
Hey, nothing is cast in stone in the world of genre bibliography, especially this early in the game! If you think that it makes more sense to have a single book review record when a review covers only one book, then go ahead and propose it on the ISFDB:Community Portal. I agree that it would make biblios more readable, but on the other hand it would make the rules for entering book reviews more convoluted and corner cases would be a headache. A tough call... Ahasuerus 14:18, 2 Feb 2007 (CST)

Ian McDonald

Welcome back, Jan! :) Re: "Evolution's Shore (US 1995)" vs. just plain "Evolution's Shore", we are still debating whether to use parentheses in Title records to explain the nature of Variant Title records, i.e. "abridged", "revised", "expanded", "UK", etc. Publication level records use the exact title as it appears on the title page, so there is no ambiguity there.

Let's leave this Title record as is until we have reached some kind of consensus :) Thanks! Ahasuerus

I went by the majority practice, which seemed to be not to: while some explanation in cases of changes in the text would certainly be useful, and I'm even quite used to SFE's format "The Queen of Springtime (1989 UK; vt The New Springtime 1990 US)", I don't think that this should be handled by the title field, to be displayed in the highest-level bibliography view. Anyway, let me know where the debate is taking place; the longer I dig in ISFDB, the stronger opinions I get ;-)
This question has come up a number of times, most recently in ISFDB:Community Portal#Lord Darcy. I will likely add my 2 cents on Monday when I have more time to comment. Ahasuerus 13:38, 24 Feb 2007 (CST)
Re 45183 and your explanation As far as I can tell by looking at the Locus Index, Contento, etc, this story has only appeared as "The Last Super Bowl Game".: I used title variant and not plain merge (even though it would be easier) because claimed (as did the ISFDB pre-merge) that PRTRLDRN171987 had "The Last Super Bowl"; but it might be just their error, copied from there to ISFDB. --JVjr 08:38, 24 Feb 2007 (CST)
Oops, you are right, I misread the Locus page! It's somewhat likely that their entry is in error since they typically list all variant titles if they are aware of a title change, but for now I have changed things to reflect what they claim. I don't have this limited edition collection, so I can't check, but we can ask around on the Community Portal. Ahasuerus 13:38, 24 Feb 2007 (CST)

Illuminatus: The Widow's Son

JVjr, I approved the deletion of this pub, but I wasn't sure what you meant by "Please delete the title as well", so I left it. Mike Christie (talk) 18:23, 25 Feb 2007 (CST)

Same thing with "All About the Future"; your delete note indicated the title was a dupe too, but I can only find one title for that anthology. Mike Christie (talk) 18:36, 25 Feb 2007 (CST)

Well, these were cases of duplicate titles, each with just one publication, which was actually already covered in the duplicated title. To delete the duplicate title (which turns up in searches or author bibliographies), first one has to delete its publication, but then an empty title shell remains and has to be deleted too. See Robert Anton Wilson: besides the proper Fiction Series - Illuminatus - The Historical Illuminatus Chronicles - 2 The Widow's Son (1985) it also displays in Novels Illuminatus: The Widow's Son (1989), 13901 with no publications. That should be deleted/merged now.
As for Martin Greeberg's anthology "All About the Future", I can't find other title for it now either: possibly I made a mistake among all those other duplicates. Sorry about that. --JVjr 19:37, 25 Feb 2007 (CST)
OK, I figured you must mean something like that; I just couldn't find the right titles. I merged the Wilsons. Thanks. Mike Christie (talk) 20:22, 25 Feb 2007 (CST)

Starship Soldier and Starship Troopers

Jvr - I saw that you tried to make a variant title request for Starship Troopers (the novel) and Starship Soldier (Part 1 of 2) (a serial).

What you wanted to do would not have worked and at the moment there is not a “good” way to make this work.

First – The mechanism that links novels to the magazine serials uses the story titles. At the moment the Starship Soldier (part 1 of 2) and Starship Soldier (part 2 of 2) stories are filed under Serials. If a title-record for a novel called Starship Soldier existed then the two serials would get displayed just underneath and indented as Magazine/Serials.

If the novel had been called Starship Soldier then it would have been easy and the serialized titles would already be listed in the correct place. But since the novel was published as Starship Troopers (see note below) we need to use the variant title mechanism. The title Starship Troopers is very well known and thus should be the canonical title. This means the title Starship Soldier would be the variant title. No problem – go to Starship Troopers and click on “Add a Variant Title or Pseudonymous Work to This Title” (down near the bottom). Change the title to Starship Soldier and once approved you will see

  • Starship Troopers (1959)
    • Variant Title: Starship Soldier (1959)

But, the magazine serials will not be displayed with the main title. The reason is because the bibliographic display only goes two-deep and the serials would be a three-deep item. If you click on Starship Soldier you will see the serials listed. Thus the only value so far is that we have linked the two titles together.

One option is to flip the variant relationship around and the display would be

  • Starship Soldier (1959)
    • Variant Title: Starship Troopers (1959)
    • Magazine/Anthology Appearances:
    • Starship Soldier (Part 1 of 2) (1959)
    • Starship Soldier (Part 2 of 2) (1959)

In this case the magazine serials got linked up because this time it’s a two-deep display. The bad thing about this is that a very common title, Starship Troopers, is now displayed as a variant title. That’s not good because when creating a general use bibliography we usually list the well known title as the canonical version and other titles are the variants.

Finally, it’s not really clear if Starship Troopers should be classified as a variant title of Starship Soldier. wikipedia:Starship Troopers says that Starship Soldier was an abridged version of Starship Troopers. The implication is that Starship Troopers was published and Starship Soldier may be classified as “advertising” for the book rather than that the story was serialized and then expanded and published as Starship Troopers. Marc Kupper (talk) 01:34, 27 Feb 2007 (CST)

Yup, sorry about that: I was just learning about how serials are handled and started to suspect that there's no real database link to enter and that the connection is handled lexically only when I saw that an omnibus of 4 Heinlein Juveniles was serialized in 1950 Astounding as by L. Ron Hubbard... High time to do something about that; now I see that serialization of Varley's Titan is assigned also to Baxter's one.
IMAO there should be (when the database allows it) a connection displaying Starship Soldier serialization under Starship Troopers, as well as Star Lummox under The Star Beast. According to Gifford's NHOL several other of Heinlein serializations were cut, and after all it was a common practice in serializations and ISFDB doesn't as a standard practice consider this. --JVjr 10:14, 27 Feb 2007 (CST)
I think I'm the one that added the variant "Star Lummox" to "The Star Beast" to get the series links in. Also "Star Beast" as a variant to make the UK publication links work too. Adding or removing a "The" is a common problem with US versus UK publications, and a lot of people are either lazy or not concerned with the variants. I'm still doing mostly primary verifications and so only do those corrections when I have a source at hand, when I run out of books I may go do some more. By then we may have a consensus over whether "Title (revised XXXX)" is a suitable solution for extended/trimmed versions. BLongley 15:03, 4 Mar 2007 (CST)

Changing titles in Contents

I'll need to reject your update to Thrilling Wonder Stories, October 1947

  • The change of "Year" from 1947-00-00 to 1947-10-00 is fine
  • Adding the image URL is normally fine though I should note that Template:PublicationFields:ImageURL was updated recently to remind us to not use images from external sources without permission of the hosting web site and also that the image you used, [1], seems to be of a copy of the magazine that’s for sale meaning the image could be taken down any day.
  • What causes a problem is changing the title of the story Jerry Was a Man to Jerry Is a Man. If you click on the story link you will see that the story reference by four other publications under the title Jerry Was a Man and we don't want to break the contents lists for those. Please take a look at Help:Screen:EditPub#General contents.

Marc Kupper (talk) 11:43, 27 Feb 2007 (CST)

Right, image leeching is Bad, so I'll limit myself to the approved sources in the future. The picture was only a side effect of my bibliography googling anyway.
As for whether the image may be taken down any day, well, the risk is there with any external link. ISTR recently replacing an Amazon image which has disappeared from the original location as well.
But re changing the story title: I actually had clicked to the story link, and did some more bibliographic research. The matter is this: Besides the title entry for Heinlein's Jerry Was a Man, ISFDB also has one for his "Jerry Is a Man", noted as a variant title, but with no publication listed currently. Apparently, RAH wrote it as Jerry Was a Man, but this was changed by the magazine editor to "Is", while further publications returned to RAH's title. It seems common sense that a bibliographic source like ISFDB should note this in some form. However, currently the magazine entry claims it contained a story called "Jerry Was a Man", which it patently did not, with no mention of the title variant. My experience with ISFDB (just staying at RAH, compare how his The Elephant Circuit and the variant The Man Who Traveled in Elephants are handled - BTW the publications radio is 1:3, so shouldn't the relation be turned around?) suggests this is wrong, and rather a correctable mistake in the data than a system feature. So I thought that by changing the title in the magazine contents, I should achieve the desired state. Or might the system not be able to recognize newly entered "Jerry Is a Man" by Heinlein as the one it already has in the database, and create a new duplicate entry which would have to be merged somehow? In which case, what is the correct procedure? --JVjr 10:20, 28 Feb 2007 (CST)

Linking publications to titles is at present a rather messy thing to manage. You use “unmerge titles” and “merge titles.” It seems from what you wrote that only the magazine used Jerry Is a Man and so from Jerry Was a Man I clicked on “unmerge titles” and selected Thrilling Wonder Stories, October 1947 for the unmerge. That will create a new title record for Jerry Was a Man. I then did an advanced search for title=Jerry and author=Heinlein which found three records. I selected the Jerry Is a Man record and the new Jerry Was a Man for merging and after approval everything is set.

Ideally you should have been able to just change the title in the magazine publication view and ISFDB would relink to the correct title record without needing think about this stuff.

Yes, the Elephant story variant title relationship looks backwards – but since both titles are rather obscure, and it’s a shortfiction, I probably would not bother with flipping them around. Marc Kupper (talk) 23:44, 1 Mar 2007 (CST)

I'd flip the Elephant titles, particularly as only the variant is verified (OK, by me, twice). But if people take care in verifying we may even discover that one title is actually vapour-ware. But sure, it can wait till a lot more verifying is done. BLongley 14:47, 4 Mar 2007 (CST)
Um, I'm not a particular RAHophile, but I thought this is quite well known, or easy to find: see wikipedia:The Man Who Traveled in Elephants, and Gifford's bibliography. So yes, "The Man Who" is Heinlein's title, and it was renamed to "Circuit" just for the first magazine publication. I also don't think it's that obscure - see the Spider Robinson anecdote (mentioned on Wikipedia and quoted online); I read the story several years ago when it was online somewhere, apparently legally.
So I guess I'll flip the relation myself, if nobody else will bother (for a moderator it would be quicker). --JVjr 07:21, 5 Mar 2007 (CST)

A Short, Sharp Shock

I see that you want to merge A Short, Sharp Shock (Novel) into A Short, Sharp Shock (shortfiction). My concern is that the shortfiction is described as a novella (Roughly 50 to 100 pages) while the standalone publications of the same name run from 147 to 180 pages. I decided to approve the merge but also edited the title record to call it a Novel plus added a note explaining the magazine version may not be the same. Marc Kupper (talk) 12:10, 27 Feb 2007 (CST)

You're right, accordding to the magazine version fit into mere 48 pages; while the typesetting of the book version is quite padded (I own the Spectra one, somewhere), and IASFM tends to be efficiently packed, I'm not sure if the ratio could be 1:3 with text unchanged.
However, before the merge, some of the standalone book publications were assigned to the novella title and others to the novel, which seems nonsensical.
Also I see that after the merge (which just made it visible), there are duplicate records for both the Ziesing and Bantam Spectra editions. Unfortunately, none has data that would be a pure superset of the other, so I won't try to have them deleted yet. --JVjr 10:20, 28 Feb 2007 (CST)
I went ahead with unmerging the magazine - I would have had you do it but the resulting edit looks so strange that a moderator is bound to hold it up. From A Short, Sharp Shock I clicked "Unmerge Titles" and selected Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, Nov 1990. After approval I searched for and renamed the new title to be a shortfiction A Short, Sharp Shock - of course, as I was just wrapping that up we had a nice California style A Short, Sharp Shock (also known as an earthquake) (reminder to self - figure out how to secure the video display). Marc Kupper (talk) 23:04, 1 Mar 2007 (CST)

Arbor House Treasury of Great SF Short Novels

Jan, re: the proposed deltion of this version of Arbor House Treasury of Great SF Short Novels, if you click on "Diff Publications" for this Title record, you will notice that there is a Damon Knight story that is entered differently. We will want to find out which version is correct and delete the other one. It's a very well know anthology, so it should be easy to track down. I would do it myself if I were anywhere near my collection at the moment. Ahasuerus 14:50, 27 Feb 2007 (CST)

Ah, so that's what Diff Publications is for - and it isn't even that hard to use! I will, it certainly beats comparing by eye. :-)
Anyway: the title with "SF Novels" is certainly wrong: only 10 Google hits, half of which on ISFDB; OTOH it's not that hard to find cover which indeed spells out "Science Fiction". So does Contento, who also says the book does contain Knight's Dio (so the shortened pub is indeed incomplete and can be deleted without further edits. --JVjr 10:20, 28 Feb 2007 (CST)
Sure, that would be the way to bet, especially with Contento concurring, but why bet when we can usually arrange for physical Verification of common books? :) In the unlikely event that nobody chimes in a couple of days, we can go with Contento and then I can do verification when I get back to my collection around March 30. Ahasuerus 18:48, 28 Feb 2007 (CST)
Just to let you know that I have verified the publication (it's amazing how much faster these things go when you check the right shelves!) and made some minor adjustments to the Publication record. And yes, it was "Dio" :) Ahasuerus 15:04, 30 Apr 2007 (CDT)

Optimising your signature

Jvjr, Thank you for the heads up on User_talk:Marc_Kupper#Optimising_your_signature. I just realized in replying back do you that you had the "jr" as the talk link. That's slick and I'll think about doing that myself. I probably won't as I suspect people new to MediaWiki will not see it but perhaps if I deleted my user page so that "Marc" shows in red that would be a good enough hint.

It turned out that a Unicode non-break space did not work. It worked in the edit window but when I saved the settings MediaWiki must have converted it into a normal space. I used   instead.

You had said "(note the underscore)" but I did not see the underscore(s) in your example. I did replace the spaces in the left side of the links with underscore but perhaps you also meant that I could do it on the right side between my first and last name instead of a  ?

> (obsessive nitpicker and if not proud, at least not too ashamed of it - after all, otherwise I wouldn't be editing ISFDB) I'm happy to have the nits picked. I still think my expanded signature (what you see in edit-mode) is messy but also still wanted the style box as that allows for a fast visual scan of talk threads. I'll need to think about more ways to tweak this.

re: the sandbox and ref tags - that stuff is leftover from when I was new to Mediawiki and I left it on my page as a reminder to myself to look into upgrading ISFDB's wiki as it's beyond obsolete. Marc Kupper (talk) 14:03, 1 Mar 2007 (CST)

Optimising your signature (revised)

I'm doing an experiment with the signature as a template and would like feedback on if you think this is a good or bad idea. Thank you. Marc Kupper (talk) 18:50, 7 Mar 2007 (CST)

Nebula Award Stories 11

One of your clean ups is to remove a duplicate for this one. I have found several online booksellers selling a 1977 edition, Amazon mentions February 1977 as the publication date. Do you have the book to hand or are you going by another source? --Unapersson 16:34, 1 Mar 2007 (CST)

No, sorry. I might have a Bantam pb (unknown to ISFDB), perhaps even excavable during the weekend, and it might mention copyright date / 1st publication, but I went just by secondary sources online - and now I realize I might even have overlooked the 1976/7 difference and considered it a duplicate plain and simple. says 1977, but SF Encyclopedia and a few unreliable mentions online 1976; the surest thing might be the Locus award nomination, obviously for 1976 books. Meaning we can't rule a 1977 reprint; so best think will be to reject this. --JVjr 07:16, 2 Mar 2007 (CST)

Author order

Jan, in a recent submission you reversed the order of two editors, Martin H. Greenberg and Charles G. Waugh. I approved the submission, but I am afraid the ISFDB doesn't support ordering Authors at this time. We hadn't thought it necessary until Hayford Peirce brought it up some time last year. For now, a note like the one that you added to this Title ("Greenberg listed first on the cover") is the only way to document the author/editor order, although things may change in the future. Ahasuerus 18:58, 1 Mar 2007 (CST)

Things on hold

Some of the updates made me nervous - they are on hold at the moment but I don't have time to research them this morning.

  1. MakeVariant Armageddon - 2419 A.D. and Armageddon - 2419 - what got my attention is that the date is changing. My understanding of Template:TitleFields:Date is that the date would be the same for a VT.
  2. MakeVariant The Time Jumpers - I can't see what is different about the variant other than the date changing 1934 vs 1965
  3. TitleMerge Armageddon 2419 A.D. (held by Ahasuerus) - this is probably a variant title candidate as the author names are "Philip Francis Nowlan" and "F. Nowlan" - have you dug into all the publications to see that "F. Nowlan" was never used?
  4. TitleMerge The Airlords of Han - you want to merge a shortfiction with a novel - that always raises a flag.
  5. TitleUpdate The Word for World Is Forest - I want to look into this as I may have the stories.

Marc Kupper (talk) 11:56, 2 Mar 2007 (CST)

Re 1: I attribute this to mere data inconsistency in ISFDB rather than any deeper reason. Apparently April 1961 Amazing Stories was some kind of reprint/retrospective (35th anniversary?) issue (note that the rest of contents has proper years of 1st publication assigned), and Nowlan had been dead over 20 years; what else would they print than his most famous story for their mag?
Re 3: Well, I dug thus: "Armageddon 2419 A D by F. Nowlan" is Ace 1978, ISBN 0-441-02941-8, $2.25, tp (sic!). In the Ace SF Singles Image library, there are three covers of various later (five-digit, not lettered) editions of Armageddon 2419 A. D. (the page misspells author's name as Philip Francis Nowland); "the later printings" 2936 and number 2938 have the same cover, differing only by the cost of $0.75 and $1.25. I have no doubt that a later, a dollar more expensive reprint would not misspell the author's name as outrageously - see also (indeed the same) cover of purportedly this ISBN on eBay. This seems a good enough argument for merging to me.
I approved #3 - I have a copy of the #02938 $1.25 edition and your comments about the $2.25 edition made perfect sense and so I also went ahead with updating the publication record. Marc Kupper (talk) 03:16, 4 Mar 2007 (CST)
Will look into the others ASAP (pity one hasn't access to details of submitted edits, so I have to look things up again.) --JVjr 12:54, 2 Mar 2007 (CST)
Re 2: The 1934 publication is under his full name, while the 1965 one as by Phil Nowlan. I thought that in such cases the proper process is to Makevariant and not to merge, so that the form of author's name is kept. --JVjr 15:39, 2 Mar 2007 (CST)
Just a quick note to the effect that your Ivan Efremov changes are also on hold. I seem to recall that the Library of Congress has his early collections in both Russian and English. I'd like to check their catalog first and make sure that we have Publications for the Titles that we are massaging. Ahasuerus 12:29, 2 Mar 2007 (CST)
I'm back briefly but realize I really don't have time to deal with these today and possibly not until late Sunday. I have thought about asking that the moderator's queue and the details be made public and the only thing editors and the public could not do would be to approve, reject, hold things. I think it would be cool if anyone could append notes as shifting back and forth between the wiki and database is a PITA at times.
basically - my biggest concern as a reviewer is unrecoverable data loss and so with that in mind I'll approved #1 (make variant) and #2 (make variant) as those can be reversed. For #5 (title update for The Word for World Is Forest) where you want to change
  • Series (blank) -> Hainish
  • Storylen (blank) -> nv
  • Wikipedia (blank) ->
  • Note (blank) -> It's unclear whether the Again, Dangerous Visions novella was expanded for the book publication: Wikipedia claims it was, but SF Encyclopedia doesn't mention it.
It would have been a no-brainer approval except for the change of the title type. I went ahead with approval but as there are novels in the publication list called The Word for World Is Forest I believe this should be recorded as a novel and the thing to research is when it's printed as part of a collection/anthology if there needs to be is both a novel and short story version of this title.
  • Title merges take a lot of research/work to undo and so I'd like to hold off on these until someone has time to research/understand them.
Marc Kupper (talk) 17:58, 2 Mar 2007 (CST)
Airlords of Han has been merged as I could not find any evidence of a standalone novel.
At this point the only things from you on hold are
  • 345261 ON HOLD (Ahasuerus) PubDelete 2007-02-25 20:50:49 JVjr Arbor House Treasury of Great SF Short N
  • 357901 ON HOLD (Ahasuerus) MakeVariant 2007-03-01 06:30:01 JVjr Meeting Over the Tuscarora
  • 357911 ON HOLD (Ahasuerus) MakeVariant 2007-03-01 06:30:41 JVjr Cor Serpentis
  • 357981 ON HOLD (Ahasuerus) MakeVariant 2007-03-01 06:44:47 JVjr Allergorkhoy-Khorkhov
  • 368341 ON HOLD (Unapersson) MakeVariant 2007-03-03 06:34:00 JVjr The Truth About Mrs. Chauncey and Her TV
Marc Kupper (talk) 03:35, 4 Mar 2007 (CST)


I have rejected the proposed change from "Muchausen" to "Münchausen" and changed it to "Munchausen", the more common English spelling, instead. We will need to create a whole bunch of Variant Titles and derivative works for this one: "Singular adventures of Baron Munchausen", "Adventures of Baron Munchausen", "12 adventures of the celebrated Baron Munchausen", "Children's Munchausen", "Baron Munchausen; fifteen truly tall tales", etc. My "rejection comment" that the the primary Title will need to be in German was incorrrect, btw -- the language of the first edition was English. Ahasuerus 13:42, 2 Mar 2007 (CST)

IIRC I wanted to change it to Münchhausen, but as I google now it seems that those perfidious Britons really didn't bother with double H (or actually recognizing a proper CH). Still, I think that keeping as a variant "Muchausen" even without the N is too much: only 3 Google hits (for the book-title phrase, not by itself), 1 of them at ISFDB. But I don't have Encyclopedia of Fantasy handy... --JVjr 15:39, 2 Mar 2007 (CST)
Absolutely! That's why I wrote that I "changed it to "Munchausen", the more common English spelling, instead" above :) Granted, it's entirely possible that there have been English language editions that spelled the Baron's name "Münchausen" or "Münchhausen", so we'll need to do more digging. Ahasuerus 16:08, 2 Mar 2007 (CST)

The Truth About Mrs. Chauncy and Her TV Set

Are you sure this is a variant title and not just one of the titles being misspelled in the database? --Unapersson 09:32, 3 Mar 2007 (CST)

If it's a misspelling, then copied from The links to the two publications there are confusing and there's no explicit warning that yes, the title was indeed different between the two, but it can't be ruled out. So without a chance to verify it (both are quite obscure), just a variant seems the best thing to do. --JVjr 04:18, 4 Mar 2007 (CST)

Yefremov and other Russians

Good questions, Jan! In Yefremov's case, I was in the middle of changing Zvezdnye Korabli from a novel to a chapbook when my connection decided to take a nap. As far as Skalandis and Sukhinov go, see Bibliographic Rules#Foreign Language Sequels by Other Hands for details. It's still very much an open can of worms.

More responses when I have a few minutes :) Ahasuerus 11:38, 5 Mar 2007 (CST)

I see - will have to start trying wiki search as well (though it often doesn't work too well). Feel free to reply at your page, so that the discussion is kept in on piece. --JVjr 06:22, 6 Mar 2007 (CST)
Answered on my Talk page. Ahasuerus 01:16, 8 Mar 2007 (CST)

Merging novel with shortfiction

In the past I would have approved your merges of novel and shortfiction where it’s the same story that gets published as either part of a larger work (magazine, anthology, collection, etc.) or as a standalone work (novel). However, over on User talk:Scott Latham#Date changes is a ongoing discussion that’s relevant. Marc Kupper (talk) 11:48, 5 Mar 2007 (CST)

I have some other things on hold but don't have time to research them. Here's the current hold list and a summary of why - sorry - but converting these into links to the affected titles is really painful as the moderator review pages don't have links:

  • 379121 2007-03-05 04:01:32 JVjr Bully! - NOVEL+SHORTFICTION
15462 - I approved this but keep an eye on ISFDB:Community_Portal#Question_about_serials as I believe what will happen is we will unmerge the magazine publication and make that a type SERIAL title record. The date of the Pulphouse/Axolotl publication looks odd. I imagine that's the story copyright date and not the publication date.
  • 379311 2007-03-05 04:21:56 JVjr Seven Views of Olduvai Gorge - NOVEL+SHORTFICTION
15458 - I approved this one and it'll be handled the same as Bully!.
  • 379811 2007-03-05 07:53:56 JVjr The Winter Beach - NOVEL+SHORTFICTION
11458 - I approved this one - no further action needed as it's a shortfiction never published as a novel (at least per ISFDB).
  • 379831 2007-03-05 07:59:57 JVjr An Old Man's Summer - Dropping vt reationship during a merge?
84403 - I approved this - I had not seen that the VT relationship was recursive and that's why you were deleting it.
  • 379851 2007-03-05 08:06:08 JVjr Conjure Wife - NOVEL+SHORTFICTION
2203 - I approved this and it'll be handled the same as Bully!.
  • 379871 2007-03-05 08:09:59 JVjr Chronicles of the Lensmen, Vol. 1 - Dropping vt reationship during a merge?
84403 - I approved this - I had not seen that the VT relationship was recursive and that's why you were deleting it.
  • 379921 2007-03-05 08:22:22 JVjr Fantasy: The 100 Best Books - Approved but a heads up that ISFDB does not maintain the author order (your edit was to try to flip the author names around) - there is a request in the queue to fix this. At the moment ISFDB tends to reverse what you put in as a "correction."
  • 380081 2007-03-05 08:57:15 JVjr Destiny Times Three - NOVEL+SHORTFICTION
8262 - It looks like no further action is needed. The standalone novel is 126 pages while it uses 94 and 143 pages respectively in the anthologies.

Marc Kupper (talk) 12:02, 5 Mar 2007 (CST)

Yup, adding links is painful, so sorry to others that I won't - mostly they should be a few clicks from a title search, if anybody wants to look into it.
Re Fantasy: 100 best - the point of the edit was merging the two title records. They had authors in reverse order, so I had to select one of them, and chose the one that seemed better.
In general I go with other sources when their evidence is strong enough that the magazine and book version is the same (Clute's SFE seems quite good and reliable about this in older titles). In recent titles like Resnick it is often obvious (again sorry that I won't link either to ISFDB and googleable external sources - really pity that there isn!t some kind of edit summary for other edits than delete!) that the "novel" publication is a chapbook, or even a small press hardback of a novella, but of the same, non-expanded text.
Re Conjure Wife, see frex; as for Destiny Times Three, I've just given details at Author:Fritz Leiber.
Chronicles of the Lensmen Vol. 1 as well as Old Man's Summer are among those not too rare records which for some crazy reason have vt/pseudonymous relationship but to the author's canonical name again! So yes, of course I want to drop it and make them appear normally; I've already found that merging the "parent" and "variant" entry, leaving out the vt link (which would otherwise become circular) works exactly the right way for this.
More details possibly later, if needed; am out to lunch. --JVjr 06:22, 6 Mar 2007 (CST)
I have approved all of the pending items but added notes to the list of items that were on hold as there may be publication unmerges depending on how the discussion about SERIALs pans out.
In rereading the thread to make sure there are no loose ends I saw your thing about messages to the moderator. You can send messages for publication edits in the notes field. Just make it clear it's a message to the moderator. After approval of publication adds/clones/edits moderators are taken to a page that offers links to edit-pub and view-pub meaning it's very easy for us to approve the edit and then to remove your note. On the other hand. I often like to leave the notes in as it's a bibliographic record of research done to substantiate what's in the publication record. Someone else coming along may be wondering the same things you did and if they see your research that may satisfy them or they me see a hole in the reasoning and would add their own note. Marc Kupper (talk) 21:51, 7 Mar 2007 (CST)

The Omnibus

If you change the type of this one from COLLECTION to OMNIBUS then the title reference should disappear in the contents list. It's listed as the title it's connected with is inconsistant with its type. You don't want to lose it's connection with that title. I hope that makes sense. --Unapersson 15:49, 7 Mar 2007 (CST)


I have approved your The Number of the Beast and Magic, Inc. submissions, but I had to massage the latter a bit. Unfortunately, RAH's bibliography is currently very messy since many, perhaps most, reprint collections use the pseudonymous versions of his stories. It will take some time to get everything in shape :( Ahasuerus 00:10, 8 Mar 2007 (CST)

Thanks, but I'm afraid you might have done the extra work uselessly. That is, the current state still isn't what I intended (and thought I'll achieve by a simple merge).
Oh, there is no doubt that "Magic, Inc." is still a mess since I had to stop working on it half way through :) In part it was due to running out of time, but I also found a problem that we may want to address before we go any further -- see below. Ahasuerus 22:38, 8 Mar 2007 (CST)
My reasoning is:
RAH wrote the story as Magic, Inc. For the Weird Tales first publication, he used the pseudonym, and Campbell changed the title (just because the previous issue's lead also had "magic" in the title, I found now on Wikipedia).
Actually, it was Unknown that the story first appeared in :) What's less clear is whether it was published under his real name or as by Anson MacDonald. Neither Jim Gifford nor Contento makes a reference to the MacDonald byline in the case of this novella. Also, I think I checked all of RAH's pulp appearances for Jim when I was helping him in the mid-1990s. I will look it up again ca. March 30 when I briefly have access to my pulps; then we can clean up the current mess and be sure that we are not creating an even bigger one :) ObSF: Laumer's Dinosaur Beach. Ahasuerus 22:38, 8 Mar 2007 (CST)
However each of the following publications was (as usual with Heinlein :-) under his, original and preferred title ("Waldo and Magic, Inc.", QED), and of course his authorship was admitted as well. So: I think that there should be only two entries - one for Magic, Inc. by RAH, and a variant "Devil Makes the Law as by Anson MacDonald" just for the WT publication - and there's no reason for half-way combinations like current 190858.
Or am I wrong? I do admit that other cases where republications under author's own name used both title variants may be more complicated (and Robert_A._Heinlein is currently messy indeed: for example, Waldo, The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag, Successful Operation and who knows what else have only one entry with the original pseudonym, although by the same logic they should have a variant with RAH's authorship; however I already dislike ISFDB's logic in these matters enough that nothing would force me to start adding it) but this one seems really clear-cut. --JVjr 05:48, 8 Mar 2007 (CST)
Something I see that's missing from the half-way combinations like 190858 are notes. It sure does not sense to me, the bystander, that you have a 1975 collection [2] reported as by "Robert A. Heinlein" containing stories by Anson MacDonald (pseudonym). The publication note that is there adds to the confusion as it mentions a third story but that story is not in the contents and a 1969 first edition but there's no publication record for that edition. It's a rather delicate construction... It's possible the rules are vague on how far you need to hunt before you note a story under the real vs. pseudonym. It seems I have seen this particular collection and the introduction says the pseudonym was used and the story lead-ins say "originally published under the name Anson MacDonald." I suspect though that the ISFDB record should only mention this in the notes as it is citable evidence of the pseudonym's use and not the ISFDB linkage. Marc Kupper (talk) 12:31, 8 Mar 2007 (CST)
Yeah, that area is unfinished and needs some more research I didn't get round to. The notes from the book do refer to a pub we don't have listed yet, but if it exists it's probably a variant of "Three by Heinlein (1965)" and maybe "A Heinlein Trio (1980)". If you look at this pub you'll see notes relating to the other part of the trio - this is a "one volume reprinted in two volumes for the UK" problem, and I want to find out things like whether they were reprinted in pairs or not, or if they went their own separate ways. I double checked the credits though, and they should be "Robert A. Heinlein", there's no mention of "Anson McDonald" at all - sorry, I should have corrected that earlier but I got bored with RAH and wandered off on a tangent. There are a LOT of attributions to correct - I'm not sure if ANY UK pubs were credited to Anson McDonald, I'd certainly never heard of him before I found US publications. I think every UK pub I have uses the Heinlein name. Sometimes the 'A' goes missing on spines and contents pages too, and if we want to insist on title page name rather than copyright name there's another variant to come too: but as nobody's done that yet despite it being quoted as an example in the help, maybe nobody really wants that? BLongley 15:40, 10 Mar 2007 (CST)

John Frederick Burke's The Censors

This title has been published as by "J. F. Burke" as well as by "Jonathan F. Burke". We had two vt pairs, "A is a vt of B" and "C is a vt of D", in the ISFDB, which caused the story to be displayed twice. To fix the problem, I merged D into B, so now we have "A is a vt of B" and "C is a vt of B" on file, which looks much nicer :) Ahasuerus 23:17, 8 Mar 2007 (CST)

Absolutely. I might have been trying to achieve the same in a wrong way. --JVjr 04:49, 9 Mar 2007 (CST)

Infinity Science Fiction, January 1958

I have put the proposed removal of the second Silverberg article on hold and will leave a note on Mike Christie's Talk page since he did most of the work on Infinity earlier this year. It's probably best to have him check the issue in question when he gets back from Singapore in a few days. In the unlikely event that this submission is still outstanding by the end of the month, I can check the magazine when I am (briefly) reunited with my collection. Ahasuerus 23:36, 8 Mar 2007 (CST)

The removal of the bogus title has been approved as per Mike's review. I have also merged the resulting orphan Title record with the main Title, so we should be all set :) Ahasuerus 10:38, 9 Mar 2007 (CST)

William Elliott/William Elliot

Re: this proposed pseudonym merge, how confident are we that Bradbury has used one but not the other? A little Googling finds this page, which claims that "William Elliott [was used in] (The Californian, June 1946 and August 1946)" and doesn't mention the alternative spelling at all. Ahasuerus 23:51, 8 Mar 2007 (CST)

I'm quite certain that it is one or the other and the variation in the number of Ts is just a mutated meme spreading on the internet; though I must admit I am now in doubts which one it should be and might prefer the -tt while IIRC originally I opted for -t. SFE says: "RB used occasional pseudonyms in those early years; in non-sf magazines he appeared as Edward Banks, William Elliott, D.R. Banat, Leonard Douglas and Leonard Spaulding, and he wrote one story, "Referent" (1948), in TWS under the house name Brett STERLING". Ray_Bradbury's only story as any William that ISFDB has is The Electrocution, with single T, apparently copied from Contento / Locus; they sadly don't mention the other story. Googling is unconclusive: mentions of The Electrocution appear to be copies of the above sources, while OTOH there are several (and when trying terms like ["William Elliot/tt" Ray Bradbury], more frequent) general lists of Bradbury pseudonyms with -tt like the one you found. --JVjr 04:49, 9 Mar 2007 (CST)
After checking the online updates to Clute/Nicholls, I decided to go with the two t's as well. Probably worth e-mailing Bill Contento about the discrepancy, though. Ahasuerus 23:44, 14 Mar 2007 (CDT)


In case you are wondering why your Liavek submission has been on hold for so long, here is an explanation. Basically, a software quirk due to a timing issue :) Ahasuerus 16:27, 10 Mar 2007 (CST)

Moderatorial delays

Sorry about the delays with reviewing your submissions! We are a little low on Moderator manhours at the moment and your submissions tend to be more thought provoking than usual since you often handle Title and Author records as opposed to Publications. Hopefully we will catch up on Tuesday :) Ahasuerus 01:30, 13 Mar 2007 (CDT)

No problem, I can understand that nobody has as much time as he'd like - if I get too angry, I can always run for moderator too ;-)
Feel free to ask if I can help clarify anything, although the issues seemed quite straightforward to me. --JVjr 07:37, 13 Mar 2007 (CDT)
Whew, I think we are pretty much caught up for a change modulo a few badly mangled submissions that require programmer intevention. As to whether the issues involved are "straightforward", well, most submissions typically have to do with Publications: corrections to the page count, additions of the price/artist data, creation of entirely new Publication records, etc. These types of submissions usually take a few seconds to review, perhaps a minute if the editor submitted a brand new collection/anthology. Your submissions, on the other hand, are often PubDeletes, TitleMerges, AuthorMerges, MakeVariant, MakePseudonym, etc. Each one requires looking up and comparing various ISFDB records and sometimes running outside searches against Contento/Locus/LOC/OCLC/sigla/etc. And that takes time and a modicum of mental alertness that not all moderators possess late at night :) Ahasuerus 00:26, 20 Mar 2007 (CDT)

The Xeelee Sequence and The Godel Sunflowers

The Xeelee Sequence - Timeline and The Xeelee Sequence: Timeline are both Titles in verified Publications, so it's probably safer to leave them as is instead of merging them. Ditto re: "The Godel Sunflowers" and "The Gödel Sunflowers" :) Ahasuerus 01:50, 15 Mar 2007 (CDT)

By all means; I try to give anything VERIFIED a wide berth (or merge to its version if difference seems unsubstantial/tated), but AFAIRC I just didn't see the second verification. And checking it now, The Go/ödel Sunflower has only one publication of three verified - in 2001 Vacuum Diagrams, of course with the umlaut. It stands to reason that an earlier pub of the same collection would have it too, and while Interzone might be capable of losing it, that doesn't seem really likely - and anyway, none of these two is given as verified! Similarly, The Xeelee Sequence Timeline with colon and dash are just two different pubs of the collection, only one of them (which I thus wanted to make the only) verified. So, what's the situation really? --JVjr 13:53, 17 Mar 2007 (CDT)
Good points! I looked "The Gödel Sunflower" up in the Locus Index and they show the umlaut in the original Intezone publication as well as in the hardcover edition, so it's pretty safe to assume that it's present throughout. Your point about the two versions of the "The Xeelee Sequence Timeline" appearing in two separate printings of the same collection is also well taken. I have now merged both Titles - thanks for all the hard work! Ahasuerus 00:39, 20 Mar 2007 (CDT)

"Three Go Back"

FYI, the Three Go Back submission is currently on hold since it has been apparently published under three different names and we need to do some research to figure out what happened when. Ahasuerus 01:54, 15 Mar 2007 (CDT)

I had to create a bunch of pseudonym records and variant titles, but everything seems to be OK now -- take a look at Lewis_Grassic_Gibbon when you get a chance. We will need to add more Publications at some point, but that can wait. Ahasuerus 23:47, 19 Mar 2007 (CDT)

Well; it currently looks like this:
(and Magazine Appearance, which I'll neglect as it would look the same in any situation)
The title shows 3 publications: 1932 (probably not true first, as it is in Indianapolis and Locus 1 says "Jarrolds 1932 as by James Leslie Mitchell";
Yes, the first edition was published, not entirely surprisingly, in London. The Library of Congress has a copy and we can enter it at our leisure. Ahasuerus 23:08, 20 Mar 2007 (CDT)
SFE's entry for MITCHELL, J(AMES) LESLIE has "Under his own name he wrote popular archaeology and fiction (...) Three Go Back (1932; bowdlerized 1953 USA) is sf".)
That would be the Galaxy Novels reprint. I don't know how "bowdlerized" it was, but Galaxy Novels did abridge many/most of their reprints. Ahasuerus 23:08, 20 Mar 2007 (CDT)
and 1986 as by J. Leslie Mitchell and 1996 as by Gibbon (which I've researched and added notes to a while ago; maybe it should actually be 1995). So I'd expect the nest to look like this:
  • Three Go Back (1932) [as by J. Leslie Mitchell ] (or James, depending on what pub data we have)
    • Variant Title: Three Go Back (1996)
(with the second of J./James dichotomy added when there's a publication for it). Or am I wrong about how these name variants should be handled, and dates assigned?
Yes, that's how you would expect the summary bibliography page to appear if everything worked right. Unfortunately, there are some bugs in the Variant Title logic and one of them results in incorrect handling of pseudonym attributions when there is more than one variant Title record. A related problem causes subsequent reprints under a different name not to be displayed properly, e.g. Dave Wolverton's The Golden Queen first appeared under his real name and wasn't reprinted as by "David Farland" until 2005, but the way it is currently display suggests that it was originally published as by Farland. If and when I start playing with the code, these bugs will be at the top of my list of priorities, but at the moment we have only one programmer and he has only so much time to spend on these issues :( Ahasuerus 23:08, 20 Mar 2007 (CDT)
Also, possibly this can't actually be achieved; I tried search and there are only 5 title records for Three Go Back - 2 for the SERIAL (as by Gibbon and J. Lewis) and 3 for the novel, one for each of the 3 names; does this mean that when there are more than 1 different "as by" alternate names for a title, it will always show like above, without "as by" as the root entry and with alternates only as children, no matter what the original publication was? I guess I could discover this by careful analysis of the scripts, but don't have the time now; where's the help page for these matters?
Anyway, note that the title record for the variant as by J. Leslie shows the two earlier publications indeed with J., while the "as by James" one has the 1996 publication under Gibbon's name: this seems really wrong. --JVjr 06:14, 20 Mar 2007 (CDT)

Kornbluth delete on hold

Hi, I wanted to confirm not so much the deletion, which is fine, as the remaining publication. I don't have a copy of this publication, but L. W. Currey show the title as "Best SF Stories of C. M. Kornbluth," not "Best Science Fiction..." Can you shed any light on this? (Scott Latham 19:36, 21 Mar 2007 (CDT))

OCLC and LOC both show "Best SF Stories of C. M. Kornbluth" if we are talking about the 1968 collection that Edmund Crispin did for Faber. According to my catalog, I don't have this book, so I can't verify when I get back to my collection. Ahasuerus 20:12, 21 Mar 2007 (CDT)
I have a first of this; it's "Best SF Stories of C. M. Kornbluth" on the title page, "with an introduction by Edmund Crispin". (Sorry I haven't been very active; real life is catching up and will probably do so for a bit longer.) Mike Christie (talk) 22:03, 21 Mar 2007 (CDT)
I can't add anything really: it was obvious that the titles were duplicate, but as for deciding which is correct, I was left in fog: SFE has "Best SF Stories of Cyril M. Kornbluth (coll 1968)" while has "Best Science Fiction Stories of C.M. Kornbluth (Faber and Faber, 1968, 25/-, 277pp, hc)". These seem to be the sources for ISFDB's duplicity. There were very few mentions online, and no cover scan. Sorry for the confusion; I have yet to master the art of checking in huge catalogs. --JVjr 05:55, 22 Mar 2007 (CDT)

Koontz/House of Thunder

JV, you submitted a make variant for "The House of Thunder" by Koontz. However, the only difference I can see between the child and parent is the date, which is 1982 for the child and 1992 for the parent. Surely this isn't what you meant to happen? Mike Christie (talk) 17:47, 24 Mar 2007 (CDT)

The 1982 first edition was under a pseudonym, so I was afraid to merge it with a later publication under his own name and thought that keeping it separately would be better. I might have been wrong about how pseudonyms (should) work in ISFDB; and anyway it seems somebody has merged it meanwhile, so feel free to reject the edit. --JVjr 08:53, 26 Mar 2007 (CDT)

Comment on "Fondly Fahrenheit"

JV, I've rejected your merge of Comment on "Fondly Fahrenheit" into Comment on Fondly Fahrenheit because there are publications that use the version of the title with the quotes. Locus/Contendo list:

  • The Light Fantastic Alfred Bester (Berkley/Putnam, 1976, hc)
  • Starlight Alfred Bester (Nelson Doubleday, 1976, hc)
  • The SFWA Grand Masters, Volume 2 ed. Frederik Pohl (Tor 0-312-86879-0, Apr 2000, $25.95, 432pp, hc)

In fact, I'm wondering if the title Comment on "Fondly Fahrenheit (without the quotes) should exist. User:Scott Latham has verified STRLGHTTJM1977 using this title and so I've asked him to double check this. Marc Kupper (talk) 11:54, 26 Mar 2007 (CDT)

And I have replied here. User talk:Scott Latham#Comment on "Fondly Fahrenheit" (Scott Latham 19:57, 26 Mar 2007 (CDT))

Thank you Scott - I guess that means there's at least one confirmed sighting of the version without the quotes but, as you can see on Scott's page, that when translating the partially italicized title into plain text people could use quotes. JVjr, I'm sorry - I should have left your submission on hold rather than rejecting it as I decided to deal with this by re-doing your original merge (the title with quote marks had no publications) and adding a title note to 119129 about the quote marks. Marc Kupper (talk) 13:46, 28 Mar 2007 (CDT)

The Hugo Winners, Volumes One and Two

Thank you for adding the date details for 41821 The Hugo Winners, Volumes One and Two. You had added the "both are same; is this a typo?" comment at the end of

  • The appendix is listed as "Hugo Awards 1962-70" in the table of contents and as "Hugo Awards 1962-1970" in the body of the book. (i. e. both are same; is this a typo?

What I was trying to show there is that the wording of title is slightly different. Sites such as Locus tend to use what's on the table of contents and ISFDB uses what's in the body of the book. Thus when I'm verifying a book I first check against the table of contents and then go to each story and double check that it's on the right page, that the title matches, and that the author name matches. If there are variations, usually they will be quite small such as adding or dropping an author's middle initial or in this case it's "70" vs. "1970", then I make note of that and also make sure the ISFDB record matches what's in the body of the book. I probably should add that comment to the title record so that others verifying against a table of contents will understand why the title is different.

Thank you for tracking down a better image. The big white border was bothersome. I should scan my cover in as the one on Amazon is not terribly useful. Marc Kupper (talk) 11:33, 28 Mar 2007 (CDT)

OMG, it took me several readings even now to see the difference between "1970" and "70"; I may be getting too tired. Sorry.
Re image - I've found that deleting the superfluous "_500_" from Amazon URLs usually gets a clear picture no matter what (are they generating them dynamically?). I'll add it to the appropriate help page, as soon as I have the time to do it :-( --JVjr 11:49, 29 Mar 2007 (CDT)

The Heaven Makers

You want to merge 97659 The Heaven Makers (Excerpt) into 57203 The Heaven Makers.

I would like to keep 97659 The Heaven Makers (Excerpt) as a separate title record. Contendo has which says

  • 242 • The Heaven Makers • ex Amazing Apr ’67 (+1)

The implication here is that this is an Excerpt (the "ex" in that listing line) of a story that was serialized in Amazing Apr ’67 plus one other issue (Amazing Stories, June 1967 per ISFDB's 113298). Do you know if the entire story was published in the The Best of Frank Herbert THBSRBRT2F1975 collection? If so, then yes, we should merge the records and add a note that there's an error in Contendo's listing (and to e-mail him about this). Marc Kupper (talk) 13:21, 28 Mar 2007 (CDT)

I never heard back on this and so did a little more research. The title records are
  • 852 (Novel) - contains three publications of the story as a novel
  • 113299 (SERIAL) (part 1 of 2) - links to Amazing Stories, April 1967
  • 113298 (SERIAL) (part 2 of 2) - links to Amazing Stories, June 1967
  • 57203 (SHORTFICTION) - No publications
  • 97659 (SHORTFICTION) (Excerpt) - links to one publication - The Best of Frank Herbert
I merged 97659 into 57203 to get rid of that extra shortfiction and located another title, The Best of Frank Herbert 1965-1970 that contains The Heaven Makers. Google seems to find it consistently listed as an excerpt or extract when it's in this collection which also includes excerpts/extracts of longer works such as Dune and Dragon in the Sea and so I rejected your original merge. Marc Kupper (talk) 21:21, 6 Apr 2007 (CDT)

Mugwump Four/4

I've approved the variant, but also regularized the case of the original title and put the date of the variant back to first publication date under that title (my fault, it seems as if my first moderator duties are to fix all my past mistakes!) Let me know if anything looks wrong. BLongley 15:55, 30 Mar 2007 (CDT)

But seems to suggest that "MU" was capitalized on purpose. Each version had a verified publication; I recommend asking the verifier/s about this. --JVjr 14:42, 1 Apr 2007 (CDT)

Interesting link, thanks, I've added it in the notes for the title. I asked one verifier (ok, me!) to check his pub and the capitalization is not retained there. But that's the "4" variant and possibly all the "Four" variants are as you mention. If so, "Case. Titles should have case regularized unless there is some specific evidence that the author intended certain letters to be in a specific case" from Help:Screen:NewPub - Title, Case could apply but there's no guidance on where to record that evidence: presumably where I did. I have no problem either way - but if you want to do it for this title I suggest we make it the first example of when and where to do so. Mike Christie is the one I normally talk to if I want to change the help text. BLongley 14:59, 5 Apr 2007 (CDT)

But your publication contains the "Mugwump 4" version, which hasn't been changed. You changed the other one, "MUgwump Four" to "Mugwump Four", so we must ask the verifier of that - but I have to leave it for tomorrow, I've run out of time now. --JVjr 19:03, 5 Apr 2007 (CDT)

Yes, I did, so blame me if that's in error. Or Mike for the help page guidance. Or chase all the Verifiers. It's an interesting example and this might become the canonical example of the exceptions! Unfortunately you can't add notes at every level (or even Bibliographical notes on a connected Wiki page at times) so I stopped at the "Title" level and haven't touched the "Four" publications since. Feel free to change them all back!

I trust your experience enough to support you as a Moderator, but becoming one doesn't mean you won't have to justify some edits or approvals still: I'm just pointing out that we still have some "rules" that can be questioned (well, I do anyway) and currently this isn't one I feel like challenging. I'm already involved in a "Regularization" question for Author Names on the Community Portal and am not getting much feedback: I'd prefer a consensus before changing large amounts of data, but sometimes you just have to go ahead and do it to get the attention to the issue. I will have no objection whatsoever if "MUgwump Four" returns and my edits are reversed: I'd just like it made clearer in the Help as well if we go that way, or someone else will read the help and mess it up the same way as I did! BLongley 21:26, 5 Apr 2007 (CDT)

No problem with having a little talk - well, I would rather spend the time editing, or at least bugreporting elsewhere, but this still beats Wikipedia :-)
It is just my opinion that any non-standard, meaning-bearing capitalization in the title should be kept. First, it seems a matter of common sense - compare eXistenZ, Burstein's TeleAbsence and I can't offhand think of any but I'm sure I've seen many other titles that employ CamelCasing or otherwise nonstandard capitalization. (Oh, I found this beauty: I-C-a-BeM.) What's more, it actually fits the part of the rules you quote "unless there is some specific evidence that the author intended certain letters to be in a specific case". As examples for regularization, the rules give only an ALL-CAPS TITLE and the opposite of a magazine that used lowercase font for titles; but this just is not such a case.
So I think that if the story was printed as "MUgwump" (for which we have at least strong supporting evidence; I've asked Scott Latham to check his publication, so we'll know for sure), referring to the phone-number mnemonic, we should return that form (of course there's no need to delete the explanatory note) but the Help page can be kept as is - except perhaps re-phrasing it, but that would be just to make its (IMHO) original intent more clear and wouldn't mean changing the policy.
It occured to me only now: you have the story as well, even if in a variant publication. Can you check whether the word "Mugwump" appears in it, and in what context, or it is one of those titles whose meaning is implicit? --JVjr 06:33, 6 Apr 2007 (CDT)
Skimming: I don't think it appears as "Mugwump" except in copyright page, Contents, Story title, and at the top of every page the story is printed on. (I.e. everywhere we tell people to check and more!) It does appear as "MUgwump 4" in the story - the protagonist tries to dial a "Murray Hill" number and gets as far as "MU-4" when the "MUgwump 4" operator replies. It's mentioned three times in total - the last when it's revealed to be a code word for "MUtant 4". It's irrelevant to the plot - any coincidental phone number would do. It's about mutants, which would explain the preference for a "MU" prefix though. I agree, Silverberg probably had the intention, Pinnacle just didn't follow it for my publication. BLongley 11:34, 6 Apr 2007 (CDT)
Re: editing the help - yes, I'd keep the policy as it is, just make it clearer WHERE the evidence is to be recorded. I didn't see any warnings not to change it in this case, it looked like a stuck Shift-key problem! BLongley 11:34, 6 Apr 2007 (CDT)

Wink/Wind of an Eye

I rejected this merge as it looked as though you were making "Wink of an Eye" the main title - sorry, my mistake, I'll go and get some coffee. :-( Keep up the good work on the Blish, I had a run at it recently and found it very frustrating! BLongley 07:32, 31 Mar 2007 (CDT)

To be honest, I think I'm done with Blish for now. I've merged all the duplicities; a lot of Trek shortstoryzations are still marked as essays (why is that anyway? aha hah, might my observation from #The Well of Baln below hold here as well? they're marked "sa" in Contento), but changing them all manually is annoying mechanical work. Of course, I might use those EditPubs for segregating them into some series, and possibly including links to Wikipedia articles about the appropriate episodes, but that would be even more work, and I don't love Blish that much. Shuffling the remaining uncategorized Trek Readers is about all I might do in reasonable future; and you've reminded me I have to ask about the problems with duplicate series names that are in Blish's enrythere. --JVjr 11:35, 5 Apr 2007 (CDT)
Yes, that's exactly the annoyance I had with "essays". I did a lot with my deduplication merges, but I'm missing a few of the British pubs so there's still some essays left undone: I don't love him enough to buy the missing ones! All mine came from when I was still a kid and hadn't SEEN the episodes, so had to buy the books for the missing stories! I added some notes about Authors of the original episodes but the Wikipedia links were too much for me too. Feel free to leave them, we'll make you work hard enough soon enough! ;-) BLongley 15:11, 5 Apr 2007 (CDT)

Robert Louis Stevenson

Re: the proposed merge of A lodging for the night: A story of Francis Villon, A lodging for the night: A story of mediaeval Paris and A lodging for the night: Being a tale concerning one of life's lesser hardships--commonly called trouble, would we want to make them into variant titles instead? I haven't checked any of the major sources (or even my edition of Stevenson's Collected Works) yet, so perhaps some of the titles are bogus. Ahasuerus 11:17, 31 Mar 2007 (CDT)

Well, from the point of preliminary caution, variants would be better, of course. OTOH, it is doubtlessly the same story, and quite possibly around 1900 all those differing subtitles were rather their equivalents of "Newest instalment in The Magical Artifact Polylogy. 'Great!' - J. Big-Name Blurber"; and we'll hardly be able to verify the books physically in the foreseeable future, if ever. But again, I don't care much either way - and certainly don't want to get too close to mucking out the mess that is Stevenson's bibliography; those three appeared in an unrelated search, so I just clicked on "merge", but will save expending any more energy for worthier causes. --JVjr 11:35, 5 Apr 2007 (CDT)
I spent some time poking around earlier today and it turns out that this is a novella extracted from Stevenson's New Arabian Nights (1882). It was first published as a standalone in 1902 and was reprinted a number of times in the 1900s-1920s. I have cleaned things up a bit, but there are still many missing editions. Oh well, as you said, not exactly a priority :) And yes, Stevenson's biblio is a complete mess and a perfect example of what happens when you let webbots run wild. Ahasuerus 23:30, 6 Apr 2007 (CDT)

Knox/Silverberg's essays

This Title record was a bit messed up since it covered 2 "Knox"/Silverberg pieces, one in Future Science Fiction #41 and one in Future Science Fiction #44. I have split the record into two separate records and they seem to look OK now. Please take a look when you have a chance to make sure that the end result matches your understanding. Thanks! Ahasuerus 13:57, 2 Apr 2007 (CDT)

Of course. I noticed the erroneous merge and wanted to unravel this, but what with 4 or how many entries, I may have started tugging the wrong thread. Thanks for taking it over. --JVjr 11:35, 5 Apr 2007 (CDT)

The Well of Baln

You want to merge 109440 (Poem) and 133822 (Essay). The wee little thing that bugs me is that 133822 is in a publication titled Hard Words and Other Poems (HRDWRPMSAF1981) and is the only story in that publication that's not a poem. Contendo [3] has this listed as

  • 71 • The Well of Baln • gp *; Count Baln, pm; Baln’s Wife, pm; Baln’s Daughter, pm

Code gp turns out to be "group of related stories." I decided to deal with this by approving your submission and then editing 109440 to add a note about that it contains three poems. Ideally we'd have ISFDB title records for each of these sub-poems but at the moment there's no way to group them under The Well of Baln in the bibliography and publication displays. Marc Kupper (talk) 13:29, 3 Apr 2007 (CDT)

Yup. I think that the essay entry must come from automated import of data from Contento/Locus1 some time back, when the system didn't recognize any other abbreviations than the shortfiction length; I keep finding such cases again and again. (There seem to have been 2 phases: one, when anything not shortfiction was ignored, and later it got imported but changed to essay as default.) --JVjr 11:35, 5 Apr 2007 (CDT)


JV, would you be willing to be nominated to be a moderator? You're prolific and communicative, and I think you understand most of the oddities in the ISFDB now, and know when to ask about the rest. Let me know if you would like me to nominate you. Mike Christie (talk) 07:11, 4 Apr 2007 (CDT)

I'll be honoured! I haven't been as communicative lately as I'd like to (been busy, and the wiki is even slower than the main system, and it does take me rather long to compose a thoroughly argued post with all those links etc.), but I agree about the rest - at the very least, it saves the others time approving my edits, and I should have no problems handling the common edits, or finding/asking about the uncommon ones, or undoing effects of my mistakes. --JVjr 11:35, 5 Apr 2007 (CDT)
Congrats; you're a moderator. Mike Christie (talk) 14:40, 10 Apr 2007 (CDT)

Tomorrow and Tomorrow

I'm not sure if you have further plans after merging 9649 (novel) and 98316 (shortfiction). I decided to approve this as it seems like the "least amount of work" path in that there is one publication TMRWATMR1963 in the merged result that will need to get split out to the novel version of the title. A title search for Tomorrow and Tomorrow reveals plenty of opportunity for ISFDB fun in an area where I'm not even certain as to the best course... Marc Kupper (talk) 13:05, 4 Apr 2007 (CDT)

Actually I think I'm done. Kuttner and Moore co-wrote a short novel / novella, which was published under their joint pseudonym Lewis Padgett first in 2 instalments in Astounding and then in a book together with one more like that, but in an original form, without expansion. So the thing to do was to merge the two titles; also, the book Tomorrow and Tomorrow & The Fairy Chessmen was listed twice as an omnibus and collection (once I think even with one co-author missing), so I took care of that. About the only thing that can be done now is to rename Tomorrow And Tomorrow (Part 2 of 2) to "Tomorrow and Tomorrow", so that linking-by-title works and it is displayed in the "Magazine appearances" under the Part 1. "Tomorrow and Tomorrow" is a popular title, so the entries come from different authors (one seems to be a much-reviewed novel); but these are completely unrelated. --JVjr 06:33, 6 Apr 2007 (CDT)
I saw your edits and approved them earlier today. I then did another pass and corrected the case while making other changes in Kuttner/Moore's biblios. Seems to look OK now. Ahasuerus 22:45, 6 Apr 2007 (CDT)

The Scalehunter's Beautiful Daughter

You want to merge 40969 (SHORTFICTION) into 14979 (NOVEL). These should be kept as separate title records. If they are the same story published in magazines, collections, anthologies, and standalone novels then I believe we put all of the included versions (magazine, collection, anthology) under a type SERIAL title record and also change the title to The Scalehunter's Beautiful Daughter (complete novel). The standalone novels and halves of a dos-a-dos get filed under a type NOVEL entry. We have a couple of ways to go about this.

  1. Approve your merge, unmerge the two type novel publications, and merge those two records. That will get is one title for the novels and another for the (complete novel).
  2. Reject the merge, unmerge that novel that's under the shortfiction, and merge that into the type novel record.

In either case the type SHORTFICTION title record would need to be changed to type SERIAL and the title changed to The Scalehunter's Beautiful Daughter (complete novel). Marc Kupper (talk) 01:44, 6 Apr 2007 (CDT)

Yes, per and other sources it is a case of yet another (though early) novella published first in a small press hardback, and then reprinted in more usual mass markets - IASFM, Dozois's Best SF (sic) and Shepard's later collection (I have the UK pb somewhere). So the obvious thing is to merge them, but I thought I wanted to make it a SHORTFICTION, not NOVEL. It is generally called novella; ISFDB is full of similar cases of novellas which, even though they might have a publication as a standalone volume, are listed as SHORTFICTION - ading the "(complete novel)" into title would complicate it needlessly, let's keep that for that Goldne Age magazines. So, if I chose the wrong direction, reject it, but I wouldn't unmerge the Ziesing book and just merge the two titles. --JVjr 02:44, 6 Apr 2007 (CDT)
ok - I went ahead with the merge into 14979. You are right - the resulting record is a SHORTFICTION. I would recommend playing with a type SERIAL title record and you will see how it get connected up with type NOVEL titles. ISFDB does not have a type NOVELLA title though there's the rarely used CHAPTERBOOK which I believe is supposed to be CHAPBOOK. Marc Kupper (talk) 12:16, 6 Apr 2007 (CDT)
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