User talk:Mhhutchins/Archive/2011Jan-Apr


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Michael R. A. Cobley

I wonder if there is internal evidence in your verified Science Fiction Eye, August 1988 to suggest that Michael R. A. Cobley is a nom de plume of the much better know Michael Cobley? We know that Mike Cobley is the same person since his only story was later reprinted as by "Michael Cobley", but I am not 100% sure about "Michael R. A. Cobley". TIA! Ahasuerus 03:30, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

The timeline matches (he was having letters published in Vector around the same time), but give me some time to find that issue to see if there's any other corroborative evidence. Mhhutchins 03:33, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
The timeline is extremely tight. Michael R. A. Cobley wrote a letter to Matrix published in the Dec. 1986 issue; Michael Cobley wrote a letter to Matrix that was published in the Feb. 1987 issue. Source is here. Chavey 05:52, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
This slipped my mind, and I didn't notice it again until responding to the next inquiry. I checked and it gives his home as Glasgow Scotland, so it's the same person. I'll create the pseudonym and make a variant of the title. Sorry for not getting back sooner. Mhhutchins 03:11, 15 January 2011 (UTC)
No worries, thanks! Ahasuerus 06:06, 15 January 2011 (UTC)

Goran Bengston / Bengtson

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

Mine is correctly entered as "Goran Bengtson". Mhhutchins 03:06, 15 January 2011 (UTC)
The spelling in Speculations 33 is also Bengtson according to this scan. Mhhutchins 03:18, 15 January 2011 (UTC)

Mike Deck[l]inger in Locus

Might Mike Decklinger be a typo for Mike Deckinger? (Or vice versa?) BLongley 18:18, 16 January 2011 (UTC)

Should be "Deckinger". Thanks for catching the typo. Mhhutchins 19:30, 16 January 2011 (UTC)

Locus #378

I found a duplicate essay in Fritz Leiber's bibliograpgy, which led me to Locus 378. All entries referring to the issue number have Locus #377 in the title. Do you want me to change this? --Willem H. 19:34, 16 January 2011 (UTC)

I got it. Thanks for catching the goof! Mhhutchins 19:43, 16 January 2011 (UTC)

Hold on Perry Rhodan Jubiläumsband

Hi Michael, can you release the hold on this pub, so I can do my thing with it? Thanks, --Willem H. 21:31, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

Gladly. Thanks for taking it over. Mhhutchins 21:32, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

Gutter codes

Quick question: Shouldn't it be "explicit" rather than "implicit" in "do not contain implicit statements" over on Gutter Codes? Ahasuerus 07:52, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

You're absolutely correct. Thanks for catching the goof. I'll fix it. Mhhutchins 17:38, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
Incremental improvements are the name of the game! :-) BTW, I run periodic Web searches for "ISFDB" and I just noticed a post referring to our Gutter Code page as the authority on the subject :-) Ahasuerus 19:19, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
I would expect that after all the work that Bluesman and I did on researching gutter codes on SFBC editions. A few examples can only give you an hypothesis, thousands of them give you absolute proof. Filling in the blanks gave us a definite pattern. After that, it was gravy. I believe we have the gutter codes on more than 90% of all SFBC editions. Mhhutchins 05:15, 20 January 2011 (UTC)
You're also the second highest placed Google result - only this comes higher, and that looks far less certain. You really should consider publishing your research (if we haven't obsoleted print bibliographies already). BLongley 18:25, 24 January 2011 (UTC)
Well, we do have an acquaintance in the business of publishing bibliographies. :) Mhhutchins 18:38, 24 January 2011 (UTC)
WAS in might be more accurate. But he would certainly give you better advice on whether it's worth the effort than I would. BLongley 19:55, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

c. W. Sullivan, II

In this issue, might "c. W. Sullivan, II" actually be "C. W. Sullivan, III"? Or have we found his dad at last? (The "c" should probably be capitalised at least.) BLongley 18:17, 24 January 2011 (UTC)

Typos all around. Poppa's still missing. Thanks. Mhhutchins 18:38, 24 January 2011 (UTC)

BP 300

Congrats on completing the integration with Bill Longley. Uzume 19:18, 24 January 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for the acknowledgement but it's not finished yet. I'm only up through A40. Bill started at A200 and looks like he's up to around A265 or so (at that point Borgo was publishing a lot more non-spec-fic material). It's one of my minor projects, so I only work on it between moderating and other tasks. Most of my free time lately has been spent on the Locus project. But after an issue or two I get burned out, and go back to less tasking projects. The Tuck and Reginald1 projects seem to have been slipping away from me, but every blue moon or so I'll work on one of those. It seems like every time I start working on one, two more come along. And I've still not completed a second pass of my primary verifications to add notes and cover images (only authors A-B remain though). Mhhutchins 19:42, 24 January 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I paused on BP300 when it got a little tedious - I switch projects whenever I find I'm getting bored. And I'm still working on Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Review - just because Robert Reginald gave it up doesn't mean that Neil Barron did. Unfortunately, apart from issue 9, I only have Neil's Index to Issues 1-10 of the SFRA version - and having to search the Author Index for all entries for a particular Issue, then find the Reviewer by looking up the Initials in the Reviewer index, is much slower than working from primary sources. Then linking the reviews, or even entering the obscure title under review and linking to it, means I usually only do one a day before I'm fed up enough to go work on Fixer entries for a bit. BLongley 19:40, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
I'm usually at my wits' end before I start working on Fixer submissions. But, yes, I entered a lot of Delap's based on a review index published in a later issue, and yes, it's quite taskful, to coin a word. Mhhutchins 19:55, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
I know what you mean. I haven't yet even made a minor dent in the first pass of what should be my primary verifications. I wish there was a good feature to search for verifications. I also wanted to work on the programming side of things here and help with that backlog. Perhaps one day I shall get to adding a good way to search by verifications too. Uzume 14:41, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
I've got scripts to search for Verifications by Verifier if you want them, or want me to run them for you. A few people have asked me to run such when they realise how poor or mistaken early entries were - nobody's immune to those problems. BLongley 19:40, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

Magazine editor changes mid-year

OMNI 1986. Jan-May editors are different that Jun-Dec [Williams leaves, Adcroft takes his place, Datlow remains]. I changed the existing Editor record to reflect the first five months. Unmerged the remaining issues and put them under a new editorial combination, then put that back into the OMNI Magazine series. The Jun-Dec issues are now showing as a sub-series. Checked the Help and there is nothing to explain how to do this. I will run into this again before finishing with OMNI, so need to know what I did wrong and how to do it properly. Thanks! --~ Bill, Bluesman 17:00, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

Got it. You changed the editor record into a series, which was unnecessary. It should remain an editor record. Go to Patricia Adcroft's page (somehow I thought is was Patrice?), click on "Show All Titles", check all seven boxes, which will merge the editor records into one. It doesn't matter how you reconcile them, because you're going to change the title and date of the newly merged editor record to "Omni - June-December 1986" and "1986-06-00", and place it into the series "Omni Magazine". After that I'll look at it to see if it works. You'll then have to delete the series Omni - June-December 1986. Mhhutchins 17:11, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
Knew creating the sub-series was the mistake, but didn't see how to un-do the 'damage'. Everything seems to be fine now. Corrected the name as well. Much thanks! --~ Bill, Bluesman 17:26, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
Looks fine. I've removed my primary verifications of a few later issues because I only entered the fiction. Once you've completed all of the issues in your collection, I'll see which remaining ones I may have in mine in order to do a full entry. Mhhutchins 17:35, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

Andrea or Andria

There is a [novel] as by Andria Cardarelle and the story in [this] anthology as by Andrea Cardarelle. Since both are in the Ravenloft universe one might be a misspelling of the other. Locus has Andria. --~ Bill, Bluesman 21:31, 4 February 2011 (UTC)

I'm unable to find my copy of the pub. It was a convention freebie years ago, and it may have been placed in a donation pile after I verified it. I'm going to change it based on the Locus listing, and remove my verification. Thanks. Mhhutchins 02:35, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

The Dreams Our Stuff Is Made Of

Hi. Since you verified the publication of this book, I'd like to check my proposal with you. For German publication the individual chapters were divided into several essays for 'Das Science Fiction Jahr' (see here, for one of those). Since you can read 'Dreams' as collection of essays, each of them on a different theme, I could enter them into the pub. What do you think? Stonecreek 15:35, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

Sounds like a good plan. I know some of these chapters originally appeared as F&SF review columns by Disch. I'll try to figure out which. In the meantime, you can update the pub adding the essay contents. Mhhutchins 02:44, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
I was mistaken. His F&SF review columns were reprinted in his other nonfiction book, On SF. Mhhutchins 03:51, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

Another thing: The jacket of my copy mentions Geoff Spear as photographer, whereas Tom Stvan is the jacket designer. Shouldn't Spear at least not be mentioned, too? Stonecreek 15:35, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

The Artist field should only contain one name, unless the work was a piece of collaborative art in which case you create a second Artist field. If there are two different roles in the creation of the cover (in this case, a photographer and a designer), a choice has to be made about which person to give the main credit. Here it appears the designer should receive the credit. In most cases, I add the cover designer in the notes field (until or if we have get an additional field for that role). I've been doing this on my second round of verifications, so I'll do that now. All of this is a personal preference as there is no specific policy about this situation. Mhhutchins 02:44, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

Just to inform you (what you already know), that I added the titles of the individual chapters/essays and added the cover image of the book. Thanks for a speedy edit. Stonecreek 18:31, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

Looks good. I just merged the two titles that were reprinted in the German yearbooks. Do you know of any other reprinting of the chapters? Mhhutchins 18:33, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

Yes, the main load of them were published in 'Das Science Fiction Jahr' - I think from 2001 onwards. They will appear as I enter them. Stonecreek 15:43, 9 February 2011 (UTC)

Weird Tales, January 1942

You've got a primary verification for the Miller/Contento reference. I was hoping you could tell me whether it has an entry for the cover artist for the January 1942 issue of Weird Tales. I'm entering from an actual copy which doesn't have a credit for cover artist. We currently have it listed as "Gretta" which matches Collector's Showcase. There is a signature on the cover which looks to me like "atta". Jaffery & Cook credit it to "Etta". I was hoping that maybe with Miller/Contento we could end up with a preponderance of the sources. Thanks. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 03:14, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

Miller/Contento credits "Gretta" for that issue. I believe Collectors Showcase used Miller/Contento as their source for the credit, so that still leaves it split (their listing is identical). It seems though that Jaffery & Cook based their credit solely on the visible signature. Mhhutchins 03:21, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for checking. I'll leave it as "Gretta" and note the sources and discrepancies. I've just ordered Cockcroft magazine guide. I've no idea if it details cover artists. We'll see when it arrives. I keep considering buying Miller/Contento, but have yet to pull the trigger on it. After my Bleiler1 arrives (another recent order), it will be the last of our verification sources that I don't have. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 03:54, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
Until you get a copy of Miller/Contento, don't hesitate to ask me if there's anything you're looking for. BTW, they also mention that the cover was reprinted from Star Novels Spring 1932, which I'm assuming is a non-genre magazine. Mhhutchins 04:21, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps the seller of this ebay item can tell you if the cover is credited in this original version of the art. Mhhutchins 04:24, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

Correction to verified publication

In the thrice verified 1973 Annual World's Best SF by Wollheim, Vernor Vinge's "Long Shot" is listed as being on p. 9. It isn't. My copy pretty clearly has it on p. 239, while everything else is on the same pages as listed. I have submitted a correction to this page number. Chavey 03:50, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

You're correct. Thanks for spotting the error. I didn't see your submission in the queue, so I made a correction to the record. Mhhutchins 04:27, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

[The] Weed of Time

In The 1974 Annual World's Best SF, by Wollheim, Book Club edition, the ToC and the story title page list "Weed of Time", but the ISFDB contents list "The Weed of Time". I noticed that these are already variants of the same story, and that the original non-BCE edition is listed as "Weed of Time". So it seems that this title should be corrected. However, since it's a "grayed out item", and I can't change the entire Title record data, I don't know how to correct this. Could you do that? Chavey 03:59, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

It's grayed out because it appears in more than one publication. If you had the ability to change the title in this publication you would have changed it's title in all other publications, even if it did actually appear as "The Weed of Time". But there is a way that any editor can correct such an error. There's a message below the Content section header which explains the color-codes and a link to a help page about how to correct any mistakes. Unless you're uncomfortable with learning how to do it, I strongly suggest that you take a little time to read the help page and attempt to make the correction. It would greatly increase your awareness of the database and how title records and pub records are related, and something every editor should learn eventually. If you would rather not do it, just let me know and I'm make the correction. Mhhutchins 04:36, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
I knew about the stuff on the first half of that page, but hadn't tried the second half yet. But there's a first time for everything, so I'll learn one more tactic in the db. Chavey 17:12, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

"The Ballad of the Quick Levars" in "Liavek: The Players of Luck"

I verified my copy of this book, but couldn't find any mention of Adam Stemple as co-creator of the Jane Yolen story. He might deserve credit, but shouldn't the poem be credited to Yolen in this pub, and made a variant of the other? Thanks, --Willem H. 20:25, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

You're right that Stemple isn't credited, because only Jane Yolen's poem appears in The Players of Luck. Stemple's music appears with it in Wizard's Row making it a song instead of a poem. The question is: are they the same work? If we had a SONG type, it would be easy to handle them as two different works. As it is, there's various ways to approach it. Making them variants with the Yolen record being the parent makes it appear that Stemple's credit was mistakenly omitted from the first publication, and that he actually was a co-author. I suggest making them two separate records and adding "(song)" after the title of the Yolen and Stemple version. Then note that the latter was the Yolen's poem set to music by Stemple, and requesting that the two not be merged. Mhhutchins 20:44, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
That sounds logical. I don't own a copy of Wizard's Row, so couldn't check. Made the changes, result is a song and a poem. I'll notify Marc Kupper an Chavey. Thanks, --Willem H. 21:07, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
Looks good except the note for the song states "Stemple lyrics" when it should be "Stemple music". Mhhutchins 21:34, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
You're right, my English is leaving me again. I just copied "lyrics" from the original note. I'll change them. --Willem H. 21:39, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
Willem, I have Wizard's Row, and re-verified that as a song. I also added links to the two notes you wrote linking the two versions of Quick Levars to each other. Chavey 03:04, 11 February 2011 (UTC)


All issues I have are now entered. Still a bunch of work to do as OMNI often changed the artists' names, even from issue to issue so have some merging/pseudonyms to do. Even a lot of the contributors had their names changed/abbreviated/initialed - all sorts of oddities. But the basics are in. Hope you can fill in some of the holes! Cheers! --~ Bill, Bluesman 01:51, 20 February 2011 (UTC)

The only other issue that I had which wasn't entered is October 1990. Looking at my collection, the last issue is July 1991, which is strange. I thought I had a few stragglers purchased sporadically throughout Omni's last years. Maybe they've become separated from the main collection. I'll do some more digging to see if I can uncover them. I discovered a few online sources for later issues, if you choose to enter the data from them: here, here, and here. Mhhutchins 16:22, 21 February 2011 (UTC)

John Costello

There appear to be two different authors by this name, John Costello and John H. Costello. It looks, offhand, like all of the Soviet stuff is written by John H., who (according to Locus1) does Russian translation. So my guess is that all of the Russian-related essays and interview listed under "John Costello" (and all verified by you) are actually by the person we call "John H. Costello". Could you check some of these (mostly issues of Locus) and verify how they're attributed? Locus1 also says that there is another person named "John Costello", who has written other things under the pseudonym "J. L. Hanna", and may be the person who wrote The Pocket Essential Science Fiction Films, which we list under "John Costello". Certainly the cover of that book lists the name without an "H.", but Locus1 doesn't appear to list it at all. So I can't tell if these two authors should be merged, or if all but "SF Films" should be moved to "John H." while leaving "John" with that one book (and the pseudonymous stories, which I can handle later). Suggestions? Chavey 01:47, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

They're all entered as credited, so we'll make the Locus reporter into variants for John H. Costello. I suggest we also make "John Costello" a pseudonym for J. L. Hanna and make the film book into a variant of his. This means there will be no titles listed on the John Costello page, and there will be two canonical authors which use it as a pseudonym. I'll do the submissions to save time. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. Mhhutchins 01:52, 22 February 2011 (UTC)
Further research shows that John H. Costello, the Russian translator/Locus guy, uses "J. L. Hanna" as a pseudonym for his fiction, so we're back to square one with the film book guy. Because that book was only published in the UK, and reviewed in Interzone, I'm going to assume he's a British author and that's his real name. I'll leave that title as is. Mhhutchins 02:20, 22 February 2011 (UTC)
That's interesting. Locus1 claims here that there are two different authors named "John" and "John H." Costello who wrote those works we now attribute to John H. (and they don't have the film book). You'd think that since it was one of their own writers that they could have gotten that detail correct. Well, it wouldn't be the first mistake we've found in Locus1. Chavey 02:52, 22 February 2011 (UTC)
Yes, the discrepancy sucks. Here's another source that claims the Russian translator/expert writes fiction as Hanna. Mhhutchins 03:05, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

The Windscreen Weepers and Other Tales of Horror and Suspense

You Reginald1-verified this pub but it doesn't seem to have all the contents. (See here). Are the remaining titles non-genre? I think we have 9 more titles present in ISFDB in other collections and 5 not present.BLongley 13:44, 26 February 2011 (UTC)

Reginald1 doesn't give contents, See here. I would think all contents should be included regardless of genre. (Robert Bloch's Psycho is "suspense" but no one would question its place in the database.) Mhhutchins 16:37, 26 February 2011 (UTC)
BTW, I don't remember entering the contents for that pub, so I can't say why some titles are missing. Maybe the person who entered them made a judgment but failed to note that? Mhhutchins 16:39, 26 February 2011 (UTC)
Additional contents added and merged. BLongley 18:52, 26 February 2011 (UTC)

IZ 134

Added the usual "Interaction" feature and replaced scan for this issue. Hauck 16:22, 28 February 2011 (UTC)

I'm puzzled why only one letter was entered. Also why is the piece "Interaction" credited to "The Readers" (not credited as such on the piece itself.) Whenever I add letter columns I usually credit the column to "various" (which means that several persons participated in creating the column and each of their contributions are individually credited.) And I create records for each of the letters. If it's a value judgment, both Dennis Lien and Jim Goddard are both relatively well-known sf fans. Mhhutchins 18:13, 28 February 2011 (UTC)
See with Christian (Stonecreek) about this, personaly I don't enter individual letters (a simple problem of choosing the allocation of my ISFDB time). For "The Readers", it was already entered as such when I started to verify the magazine and as letters of readers it made sense. Hauck 18:44, 28 February 2011 (UTC)
I'll ask him, but giving credit to "The Readers" asserts that's the way the piece is actually credited. Following this logic all uncredited editorials would be credited to "The Editor" instead of as by "uncredited". Mhhutchins 18:47, 28 February 2011 (UTC)
Just saw this and will shortly explain my policy: I enter individual letters but only by people who have published fiction or reviews or non-fiction or art. My main reference is the ISFDB. Stonecreek 10:37, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
Deciding whether to create individual records for letters is your option as an editor, but why change ISFDB standards for how records are credited? Mhhutchins 20:34, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
And I verified your verified IZ 184 (added Books Received and some comments). Also changed the letter from James Bacon into the genuine essay 'The James White Award', because the winning story by Julian West is included in this issue and so it seems to be quite an official announcement.
One more thing: I'd like to change the date of those double issues from the last phase of David Pringle's editorship into the latter of the two months. They all received the double-month treatment from time slippage, so that's seems a reasonable exception from the rule. What do you think? Stonecreek 10:37, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
Which specific issues do you want to change? All issues dated, for example, November-December are entered with a November publication date, per ISFDB standards. What would be the rationale for changing the date to December? I don't understand "time slippage" except as a sfnal term. The "important announcement" in #184 talks about a "slippage in our schedule" but denies there was an actual "skippage" in issues. I'm thinking "time slippage" means the "time slipped away and before we realized it we had missed publishing last month's issue". :) Mhhutchins 20:34, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
Yes, your definition of "time slippage" hits the nail on the head! The magazines in question would include all double-month issues from the years 2002 and 2003 (with the possible exception of #190, which seems from the commentary as planned as bi-monthly). They reached the subscribers way too late, sometimes even in the month after the time covered by issue dates. Stonecreek 16:25, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
Unfortunately, the record's date of publication must reflect the issue's stated date. Newsstand or mailbox appearance can't be used to adjust these stated dates in the periodical's ISFDB record. For example, I received the April-May 2011 issue of Asimov's on February 22, 2011, but the record is dated as April per ISFDB standards. You can present your case for adjusting the dates of these issues of Interzone before the group on the Rules & Standards page, but I wouldn't hold my breath. A similar case could be made for hundreds of issues of other titles that appeared months before or after their stated date, and I don't see the magazine editors rushing to adjust those. I call this "the Robert A. W. Lowndes argument" because he was one of the few people in SF who insisted that we acknowledge the dates of magazines and their contents as the newsstand date. Mhhutchins 18:38, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
The difference between Asimov's or MFSF and Interzone is that Interzone in the years 2002 and 2003 was never intended as bi-monthly. For example, #184 was expected by all participants as the November 2002 issues and became the Nov./Dec. issue only because the pub. schedule could not be held up and not to skip November completely. (This is what David Pringle comments on in his Important Announcements.) Stonecreek 10:12, 14 March 2011 (UTC)
That knowledge doesn't support making an exception to the ISFDB standards. Whether a publication intends to be monthly, bi-monthly and quarterly, is not the basis for the db's dating of an issue. The stated date should be considered the prime source of a pub's date. Redating of an issue has occurred countless numbers of time for many magazine titles because the publisher had difficulties publishing the issue. I reiterate: newsstand and mailbox appearance is not the basis for dating a magazine issue. If you have hard evidence of the date you can add that info to the notes.
This is my stand. Others may disagree. I'm not the final arbiter. Bring it up before the group if you disagree. Mhhutchins 18:13, 14 March 2011 (UTC)

Molly & the Angel

Can you have a look at this story in your verified pub to see if it's _Molly & the Angel_ (as in Interzone) or _Molly and the Angel_, if the titles are different, I don't know which one should be the variant. Hauck 18:06, 28 February 2011 (UTC)

The title is correct as entered. The variant relation has already been established. It was published as "Molly and the Angel" under the parent author's name, so that should be considered the parent title record. "Molly & the Angel" was published by a pseudonym, which should remain as the variant. Because the latter was its first appearance shouldn't make a difference. If sometime in the future the story is reprinted as "Molly & the Angel" by Brian Stableford, we can then make that the parent title. Mhhutchins 18:11, 28 February 2011 (UTC)

I replied to "Question about entering a new novel"

Sorry for the delay, I missed your question, originally. But in case you quit checking it, I replied to your question at the Help Desk for Question about entering a new novel. AndonSage 03:32, 5 March 2011 (UTC)

The Donkey Planet by Scott Corbet(t)

Could you please check whether The Donkey Planet is listed by Locus as by "Scott Corbett" or as by "Scott Corbet"? The OCLC record and use two "t"s and we have numerous other books by "Corbett". TIA! Ahasuerus 04:08, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

It was an entry error on my part. I'll make the correction. Mhhutchins 16:17, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
Thanks! Ahasuerus 16:38, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
BTW, the link doesn't work. It appears to be to an IP address and not the ISFDB URL. Mhhutchins 16:17, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
Oops, it was a link to my development server! "" is always the IP of the computer that your browser is running on, so you won't see anything when you connect to it unless you install the ISFDB application on your PC :) Ahasuerus 16:38, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

Block log

Hi Michael, with our latest crop of spambots you also blocked user Blyoung. Bryan may not be a regular contributor, but I can't see anything wrong with his submissions/contributions. Was the block intentional? --Willem H. 14:55, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

No, it was a big fat mistake. I was going over the upload log the other night to see if any new spam images had been uploaded and blocked this user by mistake. The block has been lifted, and I was going to contact him through email, but he didn't provide one. (Which brings up a question: why don't we require users to provide us with an email address?) Thanks for catching this. Mhhutchins 15:36, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
The original idea was that requiring an e-mail address would make some potential contributors hesitate to create an account for fear of spamming and what now. Ahasuerus 16:08, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
It really limits our ability to communicate with new editors who haven't figured out the wiki yet. I can't imagine any other website doing the same. Shouldn't there be a statement that tells new editors that we will not spam their email? Mhhutchins 16:14, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
Actually, a number of sites do just that -- I think Al mentioned Wikipedia as an example when this issue was discussed. Perhaps we could change the account creation page to "strongly encourage" new users to provide an e-mail address and promise that we won't make it available to third parties or otherwise expose it? Ahasuerus 16:42, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
Wikipedia shouldn't be used as a role model, because it allows you to edit without even opening an account. But I like the idea of strongly encouraging editors to provide an email addresses. Mhhutchins 16:47, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

Strange Relations (omnibus)

I noticed you accepted my submission for adding the omnibus length of "/2N/1C" to this (and similarly to a few others) but then followed that up with an addition edit changing the length again to "/2N,1C". I hardly have any concern for this sort of thing short of the fact that your change does not follow the example given on Help:Screen:EditTitle#Length where it says Other possible uses include "/1N/2C" to indicate the omnibus contains a novel and two collections. I believe the standard should be adhered to or changed to meet de facto usage. My understanding is that comma is used to denote items from a single series in the same omnibus and slash was used to denote disjoint items in the same omnibus. Thanks. Uzume

In all my years here, I've never seen the use of the second slash to separate novel count from collection count. I'm not sure about the idea that there's a difference between the use of a comma or a slash, when designating the number of each type. If that were the case "/1N,2C" would indicate both are in the same series and "/1N/2C" would mean there's no connection between the books. What if one of the collections were part of the same series as the single novel? How would that be designated? I don't believe the phrase "Other possible uses..." is exclusionary. Regardless, I've changed it back to the way you originally entered it. Look at the way the other multi-type omnibus is displayed on Farmer's summary page. Mhhutchins 06:42, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
Actually, I was more suggesting the example be changed. I just noticed your edit went against example. I frankly believe what you did was cleaner. Uzume 08:27, 15 March 2011 (UTC)


You're right; it's "First TOR printing, June 1984". I must have looked at the cover copyright date by mistake. Mike Christie (talk) 02:26, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

Syndic, by C. M. Kornbluth, pub 1953, question about printing history from 1955 edition

Hi Mike, Per your question, "You want to remove the notes in this pub record that state "Published October 1953/ 1st printing August 1953. Printing history from 1955 Bantam ed.(#1317)" Do you have a copy of the 1955 Bantam edition and can attest that the information in that printing contradicts this statement? Also, the number in the ISBN/Catalog field appears to be an Library of Congress Catalog Number. If so, it should not go in that field, but should be entered in the note field. I'll hold your submission until I hear back from you. You can respond on this page. Thanks. Mhhutchins 07:16, 24 February 2011 (UTC)"

Sorry about the non-response; I don't check for messages often enough.

To answer your question: what I have is a copy of this 1953 first edition, so stated. Therefore, the note

Printing history from 1955 Bantam ed.(#1317)

is no longer needed, since the printing history comes from copyright page on the primary (this edition). In fact, the publishing statement reads simply "Copyright 1953" and "First Edition". Thus the other part of the existing note,

Published October 1953/ 1st printing August 1953.

is simply wrong, since no such information appears in this 1953 edition. If the 1955 Bantam edition does say differently, I believe we should default to the primary (this edition).

As to the "Catalog ID", you're right, that is an LOC number. My mistake, if I put it there. However, if memory serves, it was already in the "Catalog ID" field and just needs to be moved to the notes.

Should I make another submission with these changes?

Thanks for your time, Big Al Mintaka 01:21, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

The purpose of the note field is to add information that can not be easily placed into the other fields of the record. There is nothing wrong about adding information from a secondary source as long as the source is cited. If there is a statement in the 1955 Bantam paperback that adds vital information to the record of this first edition, there is no reason why it should not be part of the record. Many hardcover publishers do not give specific publication dates within the publication itself, but quite often later editions will give a publishing history of the title. Bantam is very good about this (or was for the first 50 years of its existence.) Noting in this record that the Bantam printing's publishing history states the edition was "Published October 1953/ 1st printing August 1953." is a true statement. It doesn't state that the statement is true, only that the statement exists. There is nothing in the book itself, according to what you've said above, that contradicts this statement. I do admit that the current note may be ambiguous, so I will update the record to make it clear that the statement is from the secondary source and not in the book itself. I will also remove the LCCN from the catalog number field and place it into the note field. Please look the record over when you get a chance. Thanks. Mhhutchins 03:39, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
Hi Mike, I checked the record and it lists the facts as they are for the 1953 first edition. The Bantam edition printing history reference is clear enough now, though one question may remain: does the Bantam printing history refer to a 1953 Bantam edition, or to this 1953 Doubleday edition? Bantam could very well have published its own first edition in 10/1953, with a first printing of August 1953. Unless that Bantam edition also says that its printing history is referring to the Doubleday edition by name, there's really no way to know what edition(s) Bantam is talking about. And if the Bantam printing history is referring to a 1953 Bantam edition, then the note has even less relevance for this Doubleday edition. Unfortunately I don't have that Bantam edition so I can't say. Clute/Nicholls doesn't mention a publisher name, just a date in parens: (1953).
"Doubleday edition published October 1953/1st printing ... August 1953" is the exact statement. I left off the reference to Doubleday as the note was for the Doubleday edition's pub record and seemed redundant. It would have been pointless to put such a note in a record if the reference wasn't direct. There are hundreds, if not thousands of pub records in the DB that have been created from printing histories found in later editions/printings, most of which note the source. As Mike says, Bantam was great for listing previous printings with specific dates. Hope this helps! I will add the name Doubleday to the printing history for the '55 edition. Cheers! --~ Bill, Bluesman 15:10, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
In the interest of leaving the dead horse in peace, I'll agree that the note is fine as it is. Sorry for stirring the pot on this one. Big Al Mintaka 05:11, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
The first Bantam edition was published in 1955. Here's a link to the record. I'm pretty sure the publishing history printed in this Bantam edition and noted in the record for the Doubleday edition referred to the 1953 Doubleday first edition. I've left a note on the talk page of the verifier of the Bantam edition to confirm this. Thanks. Mhhutchins 05:19, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
It does say that the first Bantam edition was 1955, so the 1953 history must refer to another publisher's edition, at any rate. The following is waste of trees and your time, but when I was at UMass-Amherst in 1972, my creative writing prof was Richard Gid Powers, the son of Richard Powers the cover illustrator for this Bantam edition - and many, many other Science Fiction book covers and jackets. Unfortunately I never got to meet his father, who was living at the time, but I did get to see a lot of his prints in his son's office. I never thought to beg or buy a copy of one. Big sigh. OK, I'll give the Amazon basin a rest now. Have a good one, Big Al Mintaka 05:36, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

Zirn Left Unguarded, the Jenghik Palace in Flames, Jon Westerl(e)y Dead

The Sheckley story in this verified pub drops the last "e" from Westerley on the contents- and titlepage. In the story itself the name is spelled correctly. Do you think this is worth a variant? Thanks, --Willem H. 20:36, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

If it were up to me, no. But the standards require it, so a variant should be created. There are those editors who feel "obvious" errors should be corrected, but that's a subjective decision that rubs against the db standards. Mhhutchins 20:42, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
I agree totally, and created the variant. Thanks, --Willem H. 21:24, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

PKD co-author?

Since Dick is not only the subject but is a partner in conversation in this pub, shouldn't he be credited also? Stonecreek 15:55, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

PKD is not credited as the co-author anywhere in the book. Yes, he's the subject and is interviewed throughout the book (chapters 3-5, 7, 8, 10), but that doesn't make him the author of the work. By ISFDB standards (and apparently OCLC standards), he should not be credited as the co-author. Just as we don't consider the subject of free-standing interviews as a co-author of the work. Mhhutchins 17:00, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
Sometimes I ignore the rules on things like this though in this case there's a way to do it without ignoring, or breaking, the rules. If a work is about a person, let's say a biography of PKD, it makes sense to credit him as an author at the title level and then in the title notes explain that he's not credited as an author in the publication but you did so so that the biography would appear in PKD's author bibliography. The other option is to record it as an interview of PKD in the publication. In that case I'd have a note in both the publication and resulting title record explaining why we recorded an interview in the DB. Absent either of those, I'm not sure how we'd get Only Apparently Real: The World of Philip K. Dick to appear on Philip K. Dick's bibliography. Fortunately, in this case he was interviewed extensively meaning no rule ignoring (or breaking) is needed to justify adding an interview to the publication contents.
Ideally, we'd add new title record types, BIOGRAPHY, and BIOGRAPHICAL ESSAY, to ISFDB to record works about a person. The data entry for both would be similar to the existing Review and Interview entry screens. --Marc Kupper|talk 23:44, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
If the entire book were interviews with Dick, then I would consider bending the rules, even though he's not credited as a co-author. Nevertheless, interviewees are never considered a co-author of a work, even when you consider that up to 90% of the printed work came from the mouth of the interviewee. I would like the database to have other roles in order to credit "co-authors" who aren't really (i.e. editors, translators, adaptors), but until then, we deal with what we got. I would consider entering the individual chapters wherein Dick is interviewed as content essays. These will at least appear on Dick's summary page as individual interviews that link back to the publication. Mhhutchins 00:13, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

New Pathways into Science Fiction & Fantasy, January-February 1987

You are the primary verifier for this issue. In the issue grid for this publication, it shows up as "No month", although it's listed as the "January-February" issue. To be consistent with the way that the Nov-Dec 1986 issue was handled, and to make the grid look right, I've submitted a change of the date for your issue from "1987-00-00" to "1987-01-00". Chavey 16:01, 19 March 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for doing this and bringing it to my attention. It was an early verification and I've gone back to add the interior art and further notes. Mhhutchins 17:58, 19 March 2011 (UTC)

Fantasy Magazine

Do you want me to finish this one off? I will be entering future issues; I think John Joseph Adams is substantially less interested in being an ISFDB editor than he is being a magazine editor/publisher. I noticed a couple of items in his entry that were not as credited in the magazine and I can fix those up also.--swfritter 00:06, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

Yes, please proceed to fix it. Just leave a note on Adams' page to let him know that the record has been corrected to ISFDB standards. Thanks. Mhhutchins 03:02, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
Will do. We should definitely consider it a compliment when the pros think it is important to be on the ISFDB.--swfritter 13:41, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

Data Cleanup Scripts

I've overdosed a little on these recently, and have left Ahasuerus a lot of new scripts to check before they go live. You're right in that Missing Editors are still being created though. I haven't created anything for disallowed URLs though as I don't know what the original script was. BLongley 23:49, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

I believe that last script was written by Ahasuerus. I'm looking forward to working on several of the scripts that you've previewed over on the Moderator page. Mhhutchins 00:04, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
Glad to hear it - recent software improvements have gone by almost unnoticed at times. (Have you tried unmerging content titles yet? I think you were someone that noticed the page-number and length-loss we used to have. I think there was a PKD Notes essay that needed some fixing, but searching for "Notes" found 1144 matches - I think there's a FR to improve that as well that I might work on.) I'm afraid that most of the scripts I've shown a preview of are not nice searches with follow-on "100-199" pages - as they're all intended to end up with zero results after people work on them. But please keep suggesting others. BLongley 00:18, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
I've not done any unmerging of content, but I should test it out. It's only that it's so antithetical to my training here, and I'll have to break some automatic patterns first. The posting about the PKD notes is here. I've removed all of the non-verified records, using the old remove titles/update with new contents method. And yes, Wiki search is almost useless. I had to depend on "My Contributions" link to find it. Mhhutchins 00:33, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

Blockade Billy - nongenre?

I woke up this morning and remembered why I had held off on verifying Blockade Billy. It seems to be a non-genre story. Do you think it's an alternative history? The main speculative fiction element seem to be that Stephen King set it in 1957 and used a fictional major league baseball team. Blockade Billy is not mentioned on,,,, nor --Marc Kupper|talk 18:33, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

Although I've not read it, I'm not sure how it would be entered into the database if it were determined to be non-genre. Neither the CHAPTERBOOK record nor the SHORTFICTION record can be changed to NON-GENRE. But then again, many Stephen King novels are not spec-fic: Misery, Dolores Claiborne, Gerald's Game, Lisey's Story, etc. Defining them as "psychological horror" might make them qualify (just as the novels of Robert Bloch, Richard Laymon, Rex Miller, Thomas Harris and others). Going back to the problem of non-genre shortfiction, three of the four stories in Different Seasons have no spec-fic element at all: " Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption", "Apt Pupil", and "The Body". This may be a case of letting sleeping dogs lie. (And for some odd reason, the db types two of them as NOVELs.) I hate to think about the chore of purging or reclassification of thousands of titles in the database. Mhhutchins 19:13, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
For now, I tagged both the shortfiction and chapbook titles non-genre and also appended "(non-genre)" to the titles. That will allow people looking at the bibliographies to spot that it's non-genre work and when we get better support for non-genre works then it'll be easy to track these down.
Blockade Billy is a baseball story. During the story you realize you are not getting the full story and at the end you realize that was probably a good thing. :-) --Marc Kupper|talk 22:52, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
Frankly, I don't like the appendage in the title records. It rubs against the ISFDB standard that title records should reflect the exact title as published, with the one exception of disambiguating common titles by the same author. Would this not set a precedent that all non-genre short fiction titles be changed? The non-genre tag should be sufficient to track them when or if the db is ever modified to record and display non-genre short fiction. Mhhutchins 23:08, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
Adding the appendage to the interior artwork? Now that's just downright ridiculous. Don't you think the person who actually does a primary verification of the record has some say in how it's displayed? I don't want to answer a lot of questions about why I did it this way when I actually didn't. Mhhutchins 02:26, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
I don't like the appendage either but felt it was less messy than following the rules. Per Template:TitleFields:Length and Template:TitleFields:EntryType we should be using NONGENRE and so changed the shortfiction title to NONGENRE. I'd also update the CHAPTERBOOK and publication records but edit-pub does not offer NONGENRE in the drop-down list and having a mis-match of record types between the title and pub seemed worse than the current CHAPTERBOOK setting. I put in a feature request to add NONGENRE to the edit-pub drop-down.
That "rule" is wrong, because it was subsequently decided that shortfiction should not be typed as NONGENRE. If I had time to check all the "rules" against the standards I'd not have time to do any moderating or entry of my own. BTW, the record for the CHAPTERBOOK title record does have the option to change it to NONGENRE, that I'd rather leave it be. Mhhutchins 20:02, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
It might be time for us both to step back and review the help. Do you realise that the two us alone account for over a third of Moderation since the records began? Add in Chris J, Ahasuerus, Bluesman, Swfritter, Kraang, Alvonruff and Marc Kupper and we're over 85%. Prevention is better than a cure, they say. BLongley 20:32, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
I guess we should add a pub note but it's late. --Marc Kupper|talk 11:24, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

"No submissions present"

A phrase I haven't seen for weeks, thanks for pitching in. BLongley 19:52, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

Yes, it's nice to see that message again. I had some spare minutes last night and was able to knock out a chunk of Fixer's May submissions. For once, it wasn't so bad, 'cause it had titles by authors I'd actually heard of! Mhhutchins 19:55, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Yes, this lot was a bit easier than most - which is why I want Mods to give more feedback to Ahasuerus/Fixer as to what they feel comfortable moderating. My Amazon recommendations list has been severely screwed up. :-( There might be some other improvements made as well - you spotted a load of Tor Books that are Tor UK, I spotted a load of Puffin books that should be US - I normally spot them from odd pricing, but that's obviously going to change over time - e.g. £4.32 looks odd, so $6.99 is probably more likely. I don't think Fixer is programmed to learn current currency conversion rates, but there might be a possibility of a warning flag when a non-Library-Binding gets an odd price? BLongley 20:13, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Fixer's "country auto-assignment algorithm" is based on publisher names. As more and more publishers open offices on the other side of the Atlantic (and now the Pacific), it becomes less and less reliable. I'll take Tor and Puffin off the list and handle them manually from now on. Ahasuerus 20:52, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

Our Loves so Truly Meridional

Hello, can you have a look at your copy of this pub to confirm that this story's title is spelled "Meridional" (as in french for "Southly") or "Meridonal". Thanks. Hauck 16:30, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

It's given as "...Meridional" on both the contents page and the story's title page. Strangely there is no acknowledgement of an earlier publication of this story, unlike other stories in the collection. Mhhutchins 16:47, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, as it was entered as "Meridonal" in your verified pub, I've done the changes. Hauck 17:05, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

For the sake of possible completeness...

... could you check your verified pub if it incorporates the following item: Author’s Note (The Merman’s Children), because it seems to be included in the other editions? Stonecreek 13:57, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

Yes, it does. At the time that record was verified we weren't as fastidious about completeness as we are now. I'll update the record and merge the note with the other record. Thanks. Mhhutchins 14:11, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

Can I ask you for more FRs?

You mentioned "I had thought how nice it would be to go back to the review record, but just never got around to asking for it!" - can I please encourage you to ask? The Sourceforge system isn't too user-vicious and at the moment I've given so much work to Ahasuerus to test that it would be safer to work on small changes to avoid conflicts with others already submitted. BLongley 21:33, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

And feel free to criticise completed changes as well - I saw Stonecreek's request for someone to fix an Award Link, which I did via some back-door methods that probably shouldn't be allowed, but when reviewing the other work-around we might still want to look at retaining even more title information when unmerging contents. BLongley 21:33, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

Sure thing. I've started a notepad file just to jot things down as I go along. They seem to disappear from my head once I've gone past them and this will remind me. Thanks. (And I've used that same work-around to fix award links.) Mhhutchins 21:42, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

The Book of Skaith: The Adventures of Eric John Stark

You are the primary verifier for this book. You noted that you verified from a later gutter code; I added a note that my Primary2 verification was off a copy of the 1st printing gutter code. I also added a content item for the essay "Guide to Characters and Locale" at the end of the book. Chavey 18:42, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

I've accepted the submission, disambiguated the essay (and dating it the same as the book) and added extended notes. Thanks. Mhhutchins 18:55, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

The Best of Leigh Brackett

Could you please approve the The Best of Leigh Brackett updates? [1] and [2]. There's a couple of things I'll hash out with Chavey but his version matches what's stated in the publication. Thank you. --Marc Kupper|talk 08:31, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

Things We Are Not: M-Brane ...

It looks like our Things We Are Not edits inadvertently collided. Sorry about that! Ahasuerus 03:35, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

No problem. I'm deleting mine now. I was in the process of removing all of those unnecessary wiki pages, and will leave a note on Shapter's talk page about why. Mhhutchins 03:37, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
Thanks! Ahasuerus 03:40, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

The Vintage Anthology of Science Fantasy

You have the Tuck verification of this publication of The Vintage Anthology of Science Fantasy. CoachPaul has the primary verification, but he doesn't have any wiki contributions since last October. I just acquired the same edition with a cover price of $1.95. However, the Tuck listing has the cover price as $1.65. I think what CoachPaul and I have is a later printing for which we can't determine the date. I also think all the other pubs of this title, that we currently have, should have the 0000-00-00 date. I'd like clone this pub changing it to $1.65 price and move the Tuck verification to the new pub record. Then I'll correct the date on the other pubs, and ask Bill to change the one he has verified. I'll leave a note on CoachPaul's page, but I don't expect he'll respond. I'm sure Tuck is correct, since in looking for images with the $1.95 cover price, I found some with the $1.65 price. Anyway, I didn't want to move the Tuck verification without checking with you first. Thanks. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 14:59, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

Sounds like a good plan. Please proceed. Mhhutchins 13:36, 6 April 2011 (UTC)

Hiroshi Sakurazaka/Hiroshi Sakurazawa

It would appear that the author of this book is misspelled in the review; your entry is correct - I have my copy of Locus. This pub exists and is listed on I have another review to add from Strange Horizons under the Sakurazaka name.--swfritter 13:59, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for finding the error. I'll correct the spelling on the record and note Locus's error, and correct the pub record as well. Mhhutchins 14:02, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. I need to get my issues of Locus organized in a more efficient manner.--swfritter 14:27, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
That would be great. There really needs to be second verification on those Locus issues I've entered, just to catch any entry errors and omissions I may have made. Mhhutchins 14:30, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

Science Against Man

I changed the credit for "The Hunter at His Ease" in this verified pub from Brian W. Aldiss to Brian Aldiss, as it is in the book, and added notes. --Willem H. 14:12, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

Good catch. Maybe one day I'll get a chance to go back over those early verifications! Thanks. Mhhutchins 14:15, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

Grolier Science Fiction: The Multimedia Encyclopedia of Science Fiction

Hi, Mhhutchins, Consider it done! (making three individual authors)--Dirk P Broer 14:49, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for responding. It's better to keep discussions on the same page to avoid the ping-ponging effects of jumping back and forth between user pages. I monitor all the pages so I would know when you would respond the message I left on your page. Thanks again. Mhhutchins 17:36, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for the development comments

I appreciate that "Alphabetical and Chronological bibliographies" being fixed will probably not impress many people - swfritter didn't even notice the latter existed until a few weeks ago! But there's quite a backlog of features and bug fixes now - see Development#Outstanding_changes - and we don't seem to have established a good way of prioritising new stuff yet. Direct messages to Ahasuerus might be best if there's something really wanted, like "My Primary Verifications", but what we really need are more testers that Ahasuerus will trust, or he'll just do all the testing himself as and when he gets time, which he is sorely lacking. I could also do with more feedback on proposed changes before submitting them, to avoid rework if I go in the wrong direction. I must admit I have an ulterior motive, as I intend to put my ISFDB editing, moderating, mentoring, analysis, programming and data quality expertise on my CV soon - I will need to return to full time work soon and will have to explain why I took a year off. BLongley 00:12, 11 April 2011 (UTC)

Ulterior motive or not, your expertise in development is appreciated. It's an area in which I have nil knowledge, or otherwise I'd be right in there with you. I don't even have a local copy of the db, which goes to show how little I'm aware of the behind the scenes working of the database. But as a user I'll try my best to let you know how things are working from this POV. As such, my feedback might not be as forthcoming or even very useful until I'm actually using a working model of the applied changes. For awhile there seemed to be quite a number of people working on development but that seems to have petered out in the last few months. I'll take a look at the Outstanding Changes to see if I can assist in prioritizing or at least give some opinions on the proposed changes. Mhhutchins 00:26, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. Any feedback is good - even some suggestions as to where and how I should best post proposed changes would help. I've tried to demonstrate Mod-affecting changes on the Moderators page and general changes on the Community Portal, but people do seem to go quiet when it's anything technical. BLongley 00:39, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
I probably wouldn't notice if a comet landed in my backyard.--swfritter 00:24, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
I wouldn't either. I don't have time to look at the back-yard when there's ISFDB work to be done. (Surprisingly, my landlord doesn't complain about me ignoring it.) BLongley 00:39, 11 April 2011 (UTC)

Paw Prints

I see Fixer has submitted another set of blank publisher submissions that I'm pretty sure you and I would be confident are Paw Prints' ISBN prefixes. Are you confident enough that we could tell Fixer to do that automatically? BLongley 03:59, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

It would save me a lot of typing! If it can be programmed, I say go for it. I usually check a couple each time I see a run with this ISBN string against the OCLC record, and they've all been Paw Prints. They're almost always only stub records as well. Mhhutchins 04:03, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
So, what's the ISBN prefix (or leading digits) that Fixer can use to determine that the publisher is Paw Prints? Is there just one or are there multiple permutations? Ahasuerus 04:17, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
The latest round all were in the 978-1-4395 range. Mhhutchins 04:19, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
Older ones used 1-4352 or 1-4395 ISBN-10 ranges. BLongley 04:41, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

Change to verified pub Asimov's Science Fiction, July 2009

This pub. "Shoe-to-Run" should have been "Shoes-to-Run". You may want to double-check this one since I have a digital copy.--swfritter 14:13, 13 April 2011 (UTC)

I was wrong. It should have been "Shoes-to-Run". Thanks for the correction. Mhhutchins 14:16, 13 April 2011 (UTC)

N00b Alert

That's me, jmward14, in case it wasn't obvious. Sigh. I'm just trying to make sure my stories, and those of friends who aren't aware of th ISFDB are listed. Sorry to accidentally cause duplication. At least I've learned to start searching by titles instead of just assuming they aren't in the DB just because I'm not included. The next step is figuring how to verify things. I've got the books I'm adding beside me, so how do I verify the data? I can't quite parse it out from the interface. Thanks so much for your help and patience! Jean Marie —The preceding unsigned comment was added by jmward14 (talkcontribs) .

There's always going to be a period of learning when you've just started doing something. The moderators are here to help you as much as we're able to. About verifying: here's a link to the help page. Basically, you're checking that each of the fields matches your physical copy of the book. Once that's done, click on the "Verify This Pub" link on the pub record's page, under the "Editing Tools" menu. The first item is the Primary verification, meaning you are verifying from a pub in hand. Click on the middle bullet (under the "Verified" column) across from "Primary" then "Submit Data". Here's another list of links that will help as well. Another thing, you should sign your Wiki comments with four tildes (~~~~) and the system will automatically sign and date your comment. Mhhutchins 01:33, 14 April 2011 (UTC)

Data Consistency > Cleanup Scripts

I've identified five that may be useful and that perform well. There's two others currently submitted for testing: "Find Extra Editor Records" and "Find Unused Publication Tags" - but Ahasuerus has already shown concern over the way I proposed dealing with the latter, so that may be removed while we discuss the way forward. If you point out the ones that most appeal I can prioritise those - nobody else has actually asked for more (yet), but I think some of them have been well-utilised, for which I'm glad. BLongley 17:44, 15 April 2011 (UTC)

In order of priority (IMHO):
  1. Stray publications (pub author mismatches title author)
  2. Pub-less review records (this would also help clear up the stray authors list)
  3. Pseudonyms in collections
  4. Title/pub type mismatches (the pub type differs from the title type)
  5. Date mismatches (pub dates that are earlier than title dates)
  6. Variants in series (both the variant and its parent are in a series)
  7. Disallowed URLs in the cover link field
This one isn't a consistency problem but I'd like a script which will find publishers with only one pub record. Another one to consider is pub records with blank publisher fields. Thanks. Mhhutchins 18:26, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
OK, I've started work on these. "Stray publications" is easy to do if we make it "publication author not present in the list of title authors". That finds several thousand records, lots of them are things like "Martin Harry Greenberg" under a "Martin H. Greenberg" title, or "Robert Lynn Asprin" under "Robert Asprin" titles. That could keep you busy for a while! "Pub-less review records" is something Roglo provided the SQL for, and does find errors. He also covered pub-less Interviews so I'll make it do both. I should get those two scripts over to Ahasuerus later today. BLongley 15:45, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
And I've just overloaded him with those two and a few others. Previews are available on the Moderator Noticeboard. BLongley 19:03, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
OK, we seem to have cleared the submission queue again, and it seems Ahasuerus is busy elsewhere (I presume he hasn't died on us, unless Fixer has achieved independent sentience), so I've had a look at the next set of requests. BLongley 22:56, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
  1. I'm going to leave "Pseudonyms in collections" for later as I'm not sure we've resolved the "author on title-page of an entry in a collection trumps author of the entire collection" issue. Also, I think we need to have a better resolution of problems like "Brian Aldiss" actually being the author of a version of a collection that is elsewhere credited to "Brian W. Aldiss". Remove titles/add titles on entire collections is a major pain and I think we could do better. BLongley 22:56, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
  2. "Title/pub type mismatches" we can do something with, but I think it's going to have to be a subset. A pub type of 'NOVEL' and title type of 'NONGENRE' is not actually an error, for instance. And we have an awful lot of COLLECTIONs that are one NOVEL and extra short stories. ANTHOLOGY/COLLECTION mismatches should be easy though, is that a good start? BLongley 22:56, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
    I thought it would just be a direct query: does PUB TYPE = TITLE TYPE (regardless of the TYPE), and the NONGENRE type could be the exception. It would not be a query against the content (as collections or omnibuses contain SHORTFICTION, ESSAY, NOVEL, INTERIORART, etc.) Or am I over-simplifying? Mhhutchins 23:16, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
    I tried it, and there were thousands of "errors" that actually weren't. So I excluded OMNIBUS and tried to exclude NOVEL/NONGENRE mismatches. Then NOVEL/COLLECTION mismatches. I may be able to refine it a bit more, but that will take some time. BLongley 23:43, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
  3. "Date mismatches" performs very badly and I'd be reluctant to let it loose on the live database lest we render it unavailable while the script is running. I can run such against the latest backup and post the results to the wiki, if it's something you want to work on? BLongley 22:56, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
    No rush on this. I didn't even think of this until the software changes that warns moderators that an added pub is dated earlier than its title record. Not as big a priority as I first thought. Mhhutchins 23:16, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
    We could probably improve that as well - allow us to approve a pub addition, OR approve a pub addition and change the title date too. I'm keen to make moderating easier, but that has to be balanced with safeguarding existing data. BLongley 23:43, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
  4. "Variants in series" looks do-able, but for performance reasons I think we'll have to break it down into Title types. Leave that with me for further testing. BLongley 22:56, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
  5. "Disallowed URLs in the cover link field" - as I mentioned on my own talk page, I've submitted search improvements that allow you to search for particular URLs, so that we could for instance search for "wikimedia" links we don't want to have. However, it's difficult to search for disallowed URLs without anything in the database that says what IS allowed. I think this should be expanded to a Feature Request that allows Mods to enter Allowed URL prefixes as and when we get permission - preferably with a big note available to explain how we got permission. We can populate it with the major existing allowed sources fairly easily - once we've got that, then Mods should be able to add entire sites that grant permission, or single images we're allowed to use (there are some really gorgeous women that write Paranormal Romances that I wouldn't mind having an Author Image for.) BLongley 22:56, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
    I can see the problems with this. It's like disproving a negative, there are millions of possibilities that are NOT. Mhhutchins 23:16, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
  6. "Publishers with only one pub record" - can be done, but I suspect it will not perform well. I'll test it out and let you know if it's feasible. BLongley 22:59, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
  7. "Pub records with blank publisher fields" - definitely a good new candidate, especially for titles that should have been published by now. BLongley 22:56, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
And despite the long list above, keep suggesting! BLongley 22:59, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for any and all efforts on those areas I suggested, and thanks for explaining the reasons why some would not work so well. I look forward to seeing these and any other scripts going live. Mhhutchins 23:16, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
Well, Ahasuerus has thanked me for submitting the latest set, although I suspect he's secretly thinking "Oh no, MORE work!" ;-) Expect more waves of Fixer submissions to keep us busy... BLongley 23:43, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
Or look at it this way: the more you keep him busy with these scripts, the less we'll see of Fixer... Mhhutchins 23:51, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
I had a look at missing publishers, and it performs reasonably well. It didn't find many with ISBNs though, and I've fixed most of those apart from this, which looks like it may actually be an SFBC book. What's the reasoning behind the search? If it's that we could use the ISBN to determine the publisher, as with Paw Prints, it looks fairly useless. If you have other things in mind then I can create a wiki page of examples for you to try. BLongley 17:28, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
Simple reason: to have as few incomplete records as possible. The same logic would apply to searching for pubs without ISBN or catalog numbers, prices, page counts... But I thought that would overload the system (especially pubs before 1970). Just as the example you give here (which research has shown is an original SFBC publication), it would be great to fill in the missing data. Another example, if a user wants to see all the books published by DAW Books in 1989, the search would return a more complete listing, if we have no missing publisher fields. How many records did the script return when you tried it on your local version of the db? Even if many don't have ISBNs to help in researching the publisher, it may not be that hard to look through OCLC records to find a matching book that identifies the publisher. And it may even reveal some records that should be deleted, being stub records for books that were later added in a more complete record. Mhhutchins 17:42, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
654. See ISFDB:Missing_Publishers. BLongley 18:16, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
Wow. Didn't expect that many. I'll see what I can do to bring that number down. Thanks. Mhhutchins 18:18, 17 April 2011 (UTC)

PKD, a Philip K. Dick bibliography

I'm filling in information on the revised edition of PKD, a Philip K. Dick bibliography and the Afterword is credited to Dick, although he had passed away by the time this edition was published. I noticed that you were the primary verifier for the pb version of the first edition, and was curious if there was any mention of the source of the afterword mentioned there; the Copyright info page lists © 1970 , 1981 for the Afterword, so presumably it is not original to the first edition either. Thanks Albinoflea 18:27, 17 April 2011 (UTC)

Stated on the copyright page of my copy: "Afterword copyright © 1970, 1981 by Philip K. Dick." (over) "Originally published in a letter to SF Commentary No. 17". Mhhutchins 18:34, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
(That was quick...) Thanks for the info; ironically it is not listed in the bibliography itself... Albinoflea 18:48, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
True, except that the bibliography doesn't include any published letters. Perhaps the compiler felt that was outside his scope. I wonder how prolific Dick was as a letter-writer to magazines. Mhhutchins 18:54, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
An interesting question, which will need to be answered by a bibliographer other than myself. Given Dick's popularity I'd be surprised if doesn't get answered eventually by someone.
Given the situation, should I leave the date of the Afterword as 1981, or change it to 1970? I'll add the note from your edition that you quote above to the pub notes for the revised edition. Albinoflea 21:52, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
I think it should be dated 1970. I'll update the record of my copy, add this afterword, and then merge it with your record. Thanks. Mhhutchins 21:55, 17 April 2011 (UTC)

Best of Omni SF

Scanned in an image for [this], added a couple of notes and then noticed that the price in the record is different than the price on my copy. No indication of a later printing, no dual pricing. Can you check your edition? The copyright notes simultaneous US/CDN publishing, it's possible the CDN publication has a different price [my copy has $3.75]. Thanks! --~ Bill, Bluesman 19:54, 17 April 2011 (UTC)

Strange. My copy's cover is identical to the one you scanned...except for the price which is $3.50 in the same place where yours is $3.75. Page 2 of my copy has the table of contents and below the copyright statement. After the LCCN, there's the statement "First Edition" followed by "Omni is a registered trademark..." Does your copy follow the same order? The spine is white with "THE BEST OF OMNI SCIENCE FICTION" and "OMNI SOCIETY". Other than the text in the center on the back cover, there is nothing else: no price, no barcode, no catalog # or ISBN. Mhhutchins 20:59, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
Identical in every way. I did go searching and found a cover with the $3.50 but thought i'd wait to hear from you. I'll clone the existing record and assume it's the CDN pub. Thanks for checking! --~ Bill, Bluesman 21:15, 17 April 2011 (UTC)


In this review, is it Horripliations or Horripilations? BLongley 00:50, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

Typo on my part. But it's linked to the correct title. Mhhutchins 01:27, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
I know, I linked it! But of course I couldn't know if it was your typo or the magazine's. BLongley 02:05, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. I can't say why I didn't catch that. I'm usually pretty good about linking all reviews in each magazine that I enter, sometimes up to 50 or more records. Thanks for catching the slip-up. Mhhutchins 02:16, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
I've been experimenting with an "Unlinked Reviews" script, which is how I found that. It finds too many results (for now) to add to the general Cleanup Scripts menu, and could lead to some Policy discussions - e.g. swfritter is checking with Ron to see if a music album review is OK to be left as a REVIEW type. There may be enough problems to make it worth a new feature that allows people to change a Book Review, that actually isn't, into an ESSAY in one step. Title Edits on such don't really work well. BLongley 02:58, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

Bishop "Scholar"

Just opened an e-mail from Subterranean about the upcoming collection, which describes you as above! Congrats on the volume, which I'm going to order right away. Do you get to sign them too?¿?¿?  ;-) --~ Bill, Bluesman 01:03, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

If Michael gets to sign all 750, we might start catching up on "Top Contributors"! ;-) BLongley 01:11, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
They'll only be signed by MB, not MH. But if I had to, it wouldn't be so bad (not long enough for anyone to catch up.) It took me one night to sign the 200 copies of this, (actually signed the sheets which the publisher later bound into the book). As for being a "Bishop scholar", that's debatable. I prefer "bibliographer". Mhhutchins 01:54, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
Curses! We must find another way to slow you down. ;-) How are you getting on with ISFDB:Missing_Publishers? I see you haven't even fixed this SFBC edition yet. BLongley 02:10, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
I've done just a couple, but plan to get to them a few at a time when I've become bored with other projects. At the moment, I'm only a few issues away from completing entry and verification of all issues of Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone Magazine. Then again, I don't see myself ever running out of projects. About that SFBC edition you linked to: queer duck, that one. It doesn't have a title record so it's not linked to the other pubs, and there's already a record for the SFBC edition. Look likes we're gonna have to take that first record out of its misery. Which brings up another matter: can we search for titleless pubs??? Mhhutchins 02:24, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
I'm sure we can. What I would like to know is how these are being created - are they from old problems now fixed, or ones we will continue to have to watch out for? Are they easy fixes, or could we end up with stray COVERART for instance? One thing I'm very tempted to do is develop a "Submission search" by Title or Publication - not so that we can identify the perpetrators, but so we can figure out how data got so corrupted. Unfortunately there's no submission data in the backups to test with. I don't know if that's because of privacy concerns or just sheer volume. BLongley 02:51, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
Both. It's a HUGE table, which is why the "New Submissions" page could take a long time to load before I added an index. Ahasuerus 03:50, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
OK, if it's both, can you explain the privacy concerns? Would it be OK to search and review past submissions (if such can be made to perform well) if the "who did it" and/or "who approved it" was not shown? Or are one or both OK for the submitter and/or approver? Or should Mods be allowed a bit more leeway, as they can currently do via dumpxml? BLongley 22:06, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
It's mostly an Al question. The submissions table was not a part of the publicly available backups when I took them over in 2006 and I don't think I asked Al what his concerns when I took over the backup process in 2006. It certainly wasn't size since the table was still small at the time, so I assume it was some kind of privacy issue(s). We can ask Al where he think submissions fall under ISFDB:Privacy policy since one of the sections on that page says "Data on users, such as the times at which they edited and the number of edits they have made are publicly available via "user contributions" lists, and occasionally in aggregated forms published by other users." Ahasuerus 04:01, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

Latest experiment

I know that we haven't finished dealing with them all, but I'm already convinced that "go for book title match before looking for ESSAY, POEM or SHORTFICTION title matches" is going to be an improvement. In fact, I'm already leaning towards NEVER auto-matching with ESSAY or POEM types - there were so few right I don't think it would be a major hardship for editors. However, with SHORTFICTION I recall the amount of work Harry did with Bleiler, so I'd suggest we keep the auto-match, but make book-length works the preferred option. Or we could restrict the auto-match to known short fiction reviewers like Bleiler, Damon Knight and William Atheling. What do you think the Feature Request should be? BLongley 21:40, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

Matching book title first should be the priority. And I agree, any matching of of reviews to ESSAY or POEM types should be suppressed. Those can be manually linked, being so rare. If the system can not find a matching title in NOVEL, COLLECTION, ANTHOLOGY, OMNIBUS, CHAPTERBOOK and NONFICTION types, it should then proceed to look for a SHORTFICTION match. Mhhutchins 21:50, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
The deed is done: FR 3290541"Improve Auto-Linking of Reviews. Never link to POEM or ESSAY, prioritise Books over Shortfiction" created and code submitted. BLongley 20:44, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for creating the FR. Mhhutchins 21:54, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
You're welcome. Sorry I can't show screen-shots of this improvement: you'll just have to take my word for it for now, all of our testers (well, Ahasuerus) are off sick. :-/ BTW, is Sourceforge too technical for you? That's the preferred venue for Feature Requests now, but if it's too much for people then we need to give them alternatives. (Bugging me directly is one option for now, while there's just me coding, but it's not ideal in the long run.) BLongley 22:44, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
I'm afraid I'll have to continue to bug you, or make the requests here on the community pages of the ISFDB wiki. I've looked over Sourceforge a couple of times, and most of it has been over my head. Mhhutchins 22:47, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
Community pages will probably be fine, although we might want to resurrect ISFDB_Feature_List and ISFDB_Bug_List if Sourceforge is too awkward. Or maybe we just haven't written enough Help to deal with Sourceforge yet. I'm really bad at writing Help Pages, even if it's something that I've only recently figured out myself and it should be fresh in my mind. (Subconscious says: "I figured it out in the end, so everyone else can too.") And experienced people do get very complacent and stop referring to help even when it's been updated. We ought to have a FR for notifying existing experienced people when Rules and/or Standards have changed, or if something new has gone live. BLongley 23:09, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
BTW, in fixing some of the reviews, I've had to fix more than a few chapterbooks that didn't contain a chapterbook title record. I'd assumed these were fixed in the past during the Data Consistency project. The system now automatically creates a chapterbook record, but I still have to tell new editors to add a content record. Do you know if all moderators are on the same page with this? Mhhutchins 21:50, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
I don't know if everyone is on the same page, and unless you catch other moderators fixing a chapterbook in recent edits then we're not going to spot them - from Ahasuerus' response above, it looks like he considers WHO did something on a submission to be a privacy issue. :-/ I can look into a search for Chapterbook pubs without Chapterbook title contents: I know DES was happily breaking the pubs when we experimented with "Escape Pod" submissions before Chapterbook support was reenabled, it may be some people haven't learned. BLongley 22:00, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
It's a depressingly long list: ISFDB:Chapterbooks_with_Missing_Chapterbook_Contents, even if you and I have been cleaning them up as we worked on other stuff. It may be wise to split them up again and call for volunteers, IF people do understand how a Chapterbook title should work. BLongley 22:27, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
I've started splitting it into parts of 25 records each. Once I'm done, I'll put out a call on the moderator noticeboard for volunteers to work on both the Chapterbook list and the Shortfiction Reviews list. Thanks for your efforts here. Mhhutchins 22:37, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
No problem, I much prefer to work on software improvements or data-quality checks than working on "Daisy Meadows" submissions or suchlike. If we leave enough Fixer submissions around then maybe Ahasuerus will implement FR 2811812 and make moderating a little easier. BLongley 23:01, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
I wholeheartedly agree, working on these quality issues is more important than the latest book about vampire-shaggers. It really depresses me to what extent the field has evolved in the past few years. Nine out of ten novels is part of a series, and fantasy has overwhelmed sf. Sturgeon's Law is in full force without any equivocation. Mhhutchins 23:28, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
Sturgeon was an optimist. :-/ If we look at Fixer submissions, 90% is crud. And then 90% of the rest is not of interest. When I first started work on ISFDB, I was buying a book a day based on what I'd learned here. Now I can't get interested more than about once a week. :-( BLongley 00:15, 20 April 2011 (UTC)

At the City Limits of Fate Review

Not sure where best to leave this, but while trawling for KSR reviews I came across this review of At the City Limits of Fate that isn't listed on the MB site you maintain... relatively minor, less than 100 words:

Rocky Mountain News, May 11 1997; p. 4E (Mark Graham) Albinoflea 07:22, 20 April 2011 (UTC)

Thanks. I'll include it in my next upload. Mhhutchins 15:14, 20 April 2011 (UTC)

If you want a change....

There is now ISFDB:Chapterbooks with No Other Contents to look at. Personally, I'm less worried about those. BLongley 16:56, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

Yep, looks like something to do in my spare time. There aren't as many as I thought there would be. Mhhutchins 16:58, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

Intangibles Inc. And Other Stories

Hi. I changed 'PAT' into 'PAJ' and so identified Peter A. Jones. I also made it a 'pb' instead of a 'hc' (which, for a mere 45p, would be cutting my own throath).--Dirk P Broer 21:48, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

Yes, I agree. Thanks for catching the mistake and identifying the cover artist. I'd already accepted the submission. Mhhutchins 20:16, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

Stray Authors 1/2

I've given you the option of which one to keep - I suspect neither will actually appeal to many other editors. :-/ There wasn't much in the other three projects I posted. (And the last was so pitiful with one result that I just fixed it myself!) Do you have any suggestions for a list of something else that needs fixing, while I have a fresh backup? BLongley 23:43, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

I think our plates are pretty full now, and these last should keep us busy for awhile. And right now, my brain's too jumbled to think of any other quality control issues. I appreciate the work you're doing here. Hopefully we'll get more editors pitching in. (I've started splitting the Stray Authors 2 list into parts, so you can get rid of the first listing.) Mhhutchins 01:33, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
SA1 deleted, and Ahasuerus has very rapidly approved my improved (well, "fixed" to be honest) Data Cleanup script for such so people that would rather work from a Mod Script than a Project Page should get a better view. Instead of a lot of false positives, it will now miss a few true ones - I cleaned up 24 NONGENRE/NOVEL author mismatches, and will reserve fixing those for offline work, as it took over 4 minutes on my PC. Hopefully those will stay rare. BLongley 23:12, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
If it would help, I can run the improved script and post the results for the sections that nobody has claimed yet. Although I'd probably leave it to you to break them up again - I dislike Wiki-Editing more than you dislike SQL! ;-) BLongley 23:12, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I do...but we need to replace the current list with the revised. Please do so, and I'll break it into parts. It shouldn't be as hard because the new script should remove several hundred omnibuses and anthologies that appeared incorrectly on the original list. Thanks. Mhhutchins 04:51, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
ISFDB:Stray Authors3 created - I've removed the six blocks that were completed, but it still needs splitting. I didn't want to replace ISFDB:Stray Authors2 just yet as that appears to have some WIP notes still. BLongley 13:34, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

Famous Utopias

You probably entered this pub from Tuck. It shows on the "Stray Authors2" list, and I wonder what should be done. According to the rules (An omnibus should show the names of the the authors of all included fiction), Charles M. Andrews should be replaced by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Sir Thomas More, Francis Bacon and Tommaso Campanella, but this would delete Charles M. Andrews from the database. Is that the right way? Thanks, --Willem H. 18:49, 24 April 2011 (UTC)

I'm not sure where the rule you state comes from, but it's not the standard. (If it were true, imagine how many authors would be credited in this omnibus which contains 3 novels and 8 shorter pieces.) Editors are as responsible for the OMNIBUS type as they are for the ANTHOLOGY type or the MAGAZINE type. The only reason that Famous Utopias appears on the list (along with several hundred others) was because of a bug in the original script that tried to match the authors credited to novels within an omnibus or an anthology with that of the editor credited in the title record. These aren't going to match 99% of the time. Bill Longley is working on (probably finished by now) a revision of the script which will remove all of these "false positives". I assume he will be replacing the first version with the fixed one. When he does, Famous Utopias will not come up as an error. Mhhutchins 04:49, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
I hope so. The "rule" is here, under author, and should be changed??? It sounded reasonable, because the ANTHOLOGY and MAGAZINE type have editors, but the OMNIBUS type has authors, but things like your example made me suspicious, plus the fact that the editor would disappear if I followed the rules. Thanks for cclearing this up for me, I won't touch the pub. --Willem H. 08:19, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

Duplicate records

Two Eye of Cat [Zelazny] records, [1] and [2]. Since DES is MIA I bring it to your attention. Also the artwork is the same as the hardcover which is credited. Cheers! --~ Bill, Bluesman 14:19, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

I'll move the image to DES's record, do a second primary verification of it, and delete the record I've verified (even though it was done a year before DES created his record). I'll also credit the artists from the hardcover for this paperback edition and note the source. Thanks. Mhhutchins 15:27, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

I'd forgotten you asked for this

A big list here: ISFDB:Single_Publication_Publishers, for when you're bored with other projects. BLongley 17:18, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

Thanks. Maybe I'll get a chance to do a few at a time, when I get bored with the other projects. Mhhutchins
There's some obvious quick wins - e.g. "1995-00-00" must be due to somebody mixing up fields. It's probably best to download the whole list and examine it in some other software that can find near matches. (I'm not sure what to recommend for that though.) It's also probably time to ask Marc if we can fix his "printing" experiments. BLongley 14:24, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

Morrow's The Cat's Pajamas

thanks for closing my submission. getting used to the system here. left details on my talk page. hope that's ok! Siznax 20:47, 25 April 2011 (UTC)Siznax

Yes, that was OK. It's best to complete all discussions about the same subject on the same page. I'd placed a watch on your page, so I know that you had updated it and then had read your response. Thanks. Mhhutchins 20:52, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

The Joy Makers

Hi, Am I right in thinking that the introduction of the Crown edition must have been done by George Zebrowski, like he did in the Robson Books edition, which I just cloned from the Crown?.--Dirk P Broer 09:46, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

You're absolutely correct. Thanks for catching the error. I mistakenly gave Asimov the credit for both the preface and the introduction. I've corrected the record directly, so the credit was changed in both or our editions. Thanks again. Mhhutchins 16:33, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

Tales of the Slayer, Vol. 1

Hi, All the stories in Tales of the Slayer, Vol. 1 are listed as being part of The Lost Slayer series. In my opinion, they have nothing to do with that series and I couldn't find anything suggesting that from the internet either. Could you check, why they are marked as being part of The Lost Slayer series and remove them from the series if you see fit? --Jorssi 12:07, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

I neither created nor updated the record, and it has not been verified by another editor. I'm assuming from the note that the contents came from the Wikipedia article. I can't tell you who was the editor who placed them into the series, but if it's a mistake, it can be easily fixed. You can update the individual stories by clicking on their title record (on the pub's record page, displayed under Contents). Once you're on the story's record page, choose "Edit Title Data" from the editing tools menu. Then either remove the series name or replace it with the correct one. Thanks. Mhhutchins 16:43, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

Free Live Free

If the image for [this] is the correct one, then the artwork is a portion of the [Tor] hardcover's art which is credited to Enric. Cheers! --~ Bill, Bluesman 17:17, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

Yes, that's the correct image. I'll credit it to Enric. Thanks. Mhhutchins 17:19, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

M. H. Srin[ara|i]hari

Might M. H. Srinarahari and M. H. Srinihari be the same person? BLongley 14:38, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

I'm certain they are. Let me check to see if it was my error or the Locus staff's. Mhhutchins 14:40, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
The last piece (April 2010) is credited to "M H. Srinihari" at the end of the piece, which is where most contributors are credited and from where I get 99% of the Locus credits. But in this case they give the author a byline at the front of the piece as well, but it's given as "M. H. Srinarahari". I suppose they ran out of "a"s by the end of the essay. I'm going to change the record and note the two credits. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. Mhhutchins 14:45, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

6th Signet printing of The Sands of Mars

Could you look into merging these two publications as they look like the same thing to me: yours, Phileas'. Thanks. Uzume 18:17, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

Pub records can't be merged, only title records. They can only be edited or deleted. And looking at the one verified by Phileas, it's obvious he gave the date of the first printing, not the 6th. (Signet would state the date of the first printing and remove numbers from a number line to indicate the printing.) I'll leave a note on his page, asking him to delete the record and do a second Primary Verification of mine, or I could delete mine, correct the date of his record and do a second Primary Verification of it. Since he hasn't responded to his talk page in almost a year, I may just do the second option. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. Mhhutchins 02:25, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
I realize there is no publication merge submission and any such merge would be to manually create edit and delete submissions. That is what I meant. I assumed you would edit Phileas' record and delete your own to keep as much as possible since he has not been around for a spell. Whatever you decide to do is probably fine though. Uzume 12:37, 1 May 2011 (UTC)

Asimov's, April-May 2011

Just pointing out that that a partial ISFDB image url seems to have been placed by mistake in the Catalog ID field of this pub. BrendanMoody 18:35, 30 April 2011 (UTC)

I corrected it. Another editor who had updated the record with the cover image must have placed the partial URL in the catalog field. Thanks for finding it. Mhhutchins 18:51, 30 April 2011 (UTC)

Stray Authors

I've had a look, and this does seem to be an interesting project, but with many frustrations. I can see reasons for improving "Unmerge titles", and for putting a flag or two on "Authors" that indicates which are pure authors, and which are illustrators, editors, translators, reviewers, etc (or any combination if they're that versatile) - could save a bit of searching by "Author". And mass-changing of contents to a pseudonym. (Or even doing it one at a time, rather than add and remove and merge.) There seems to be a lot of issues that this project throws up, so I'd appreciate your comments - I'll happily convert them into Feature Requests, and may even be able to code some of them. Or is it just me that gets frustrated? BLongley 16:04, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

I'm discovering the same problems as you, the reasons why a pub record would show up on the list. The biggest problem is editors entering pub records under the wrong title record when there's a variant involved. That can only be solved at the source. Can we add a flag to the submission page when the author of the created (or updated) pub doesn't match the author of the title record under which it is being entered (or updated)? Mhhutchins 17:02, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
Sounds quite possible, I'll check. BLongley 18:38, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
Another problem is the acceptance of Dissembler (and a few Fixer) submitted pubs which included artist and narrators. That can only be corrected by greater diligence by those moderator robot submissions (and it seems there's very few of us doing it these days.) Still yet another problem is the database's inability to handle properly the role of an adapter. We give them credit on the pub record, but place the pub under the original title record (e.g. an adaptation of Alice in Wonderland that credits the adapter in the pub record and is placed under the title record only crediting Lewis Carroll). That problem really won't be solved until we can assign roles and relationships between titles. Mhhutchins 17:02, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
That's a big issue - translator support seems to be hinted at in the database schema, but at title level, whereas I think it needs to be at publication level. (It should probably actually be at "edition" level but we don't have such.) "Narrator" or "Reader" is something I keep coming across too, and should be better represented here. BLongley 18:38, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
Still and all, I'm glad that your script has brought so many of these hidden errors to the light, and happy to work on them when I get a chance. Do you think the reluctance (or reticence) to work on the list by other editors has to do with the tedious and sometimes multiple submissions necessary to repair a record? (It's taken 4 or 5 submissions to fix some of them.) Mhhutchins 17:02, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
I'm sure that's part of it. If it's frustrating for a moderator, it must be far worse for non-mod editors. So quicker fixes (while balanced with checks to make sure we don't easily ruin data) would be good. BLongley 18:38, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
It also takes an "executive" decision to determine which to change: either the pub or the title record. Most are pretty obvious, while a few require a little research. It's a long list, but I look no further than the 25 or so in the part I'm working. Otherwise it might overwhelm me. Mhhutchins 17:02, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
Thinking about the "Unmerge Titles" function, I'm thinking we could change the results of the unmerge by having the new title record (for the unmerged records) match the title and author of the pub record. That would save an extra submission itself. Right now, the title record of the unmerged pub record retains the credits of the original title record which defeats the purpose of the unmerge. Is this re-crediting of an unmerged title record possible? Mhhutchins 17:06, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
Yes, that certainly looks possible, and desirable. Thanks for the comments! BLongley 18:38, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
I think I'm going to leave this project until at least after the next backup is posted (I've gone astray so many times I've probably crossed over into several other sub-pages), or maybe even until Bug 3293839 "Unmerge titles offers you the chance to unmerge Variants" is fixed and FR 3294454 "Unmerge Titles should preserve publication authors" is implemented. I was going to ask Ahasuerus for some idea on when those might happen, but then I noticed User:Ahasuerus#Data_Cleanup_and_Scripting is a bit out of date and there might be some other projects available there that I can do without forcing him to rise from his sick-bed. Does anything in there appeal? (I'm sure I've at least partially covered some of them already.) BLongley 22:44, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
I find something interesting in all of them, but nothing in particular stands out. As you said, several of them were covered in your recent clean-up scripts. Do you plan on re-running the Stray Author script when the next backup is posted? I want to continue working on Stray Authors 3 list, but will gladly jump to an updated list if you're going to post one. Mhhutchins 22:57, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
If there's a new backup posted, I'll rerun the script and post Stray Authors 4. (I don't want to over-write any Work-in-Progress Notes on 3). (We will beat it down to the stage where the Mod Clean-Up script will suffice as an occasional task, but that's a way off yet.) In the meantime, little projects like ISFDB:ISFDB1_Notes are easy to find, code, post, and fix. BLongley 23:15, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
And this: ISFDB:Dup_Shortfiction. Might be a nice small side-project for when others get frustrating. Meanwhile, I'm going to go sleep and see if I need to edit, moderate, code, or argue tomorrow. Goodnight! BLongley 01:43, 30 April 2011 (UTC)

Latest Scripts

I see you and Willem have completed many of the new projects before I could even tell people they existed - well done! ISFDB:Variant_Title_Type_Mismatches looks a bit longer, and it does flag up several Michael Bishop "ESSAY / REVIEW" mismatches. Do you consider those need adjusting or should I make an exception for them? BLongley 23:52, 30 April 2011 (UTC)

When I entered them into the db this way I knew they were mismatched, but felt it was the best way to handle them. The titles on your list were all originally published as reviews, but when Michael and I were putting the collection together, he revised most of them to one degree or another. They essentially became essays, and many of them were retitled. Because the db doesn't handle variants in text, I made variants for those that had been retitled and typed them as essays. I couldn't think of another way of doing it. These are not unique, as it happens more frequently than you might think, when authors collect their reviews. Once the contents of John Clute's review collections are properly entered you'll find more of these popping up. (Look at this pub and you'll see none of the essays have been linked to their original publications, making it a less than optimal record of the book.) I'm not sure that a exception should be made for these records, but feel they are not really errors. Mhhutchins 00:19, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
No problem - just mark them as "OK" (if you're going to work on this mini-project). If we want to turn these into more permanent (but hopefully infrequently-needed) Moderator Clean-Up scripts then we'll probably want to add exceptions, or at least push them further down the list. I see there's been little work on "Authors with invalid spaces" recently for instance, which probably means that needs an update when people tell me which other suffixes are acceptable. I hope these scripts are still considered "advisory" rather than "prescriptive". I've had to go back and check several of my own entries so far, or there'd have been even more projects posted by now... BLongley 00:36, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
It appears that all of the ESSAY / REVIEW mismatches were of my doing, so perhaps that particular combination can be screened from the script before it's run again. Thanks. Mhhutchins 01:29, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
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