ISFDB:Moderator noticeboard


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:::::::: Sorry, didn't read Annie's response properly [[User:MagicUnk|MagicUnk]] 11:37, 15 January 2020 (EST)
:::::::: Sorry, didn't read Annie's response properly [[User:MagicUnk|MagicUnk]] 11:37, 15 January 2020 (EST)
::::::::: If you look at [ SFE] and [ SFE again], you can see what they consider genre. We can differ from them if we have a reason to - with notes and so on (and their list may not be complete) but a lot of those borderline thrillers tend to sound non-SF on paper - partially because the publisher is a mainstream one and they do not want to scare the readers who think that genre is for kids. Read the description [ here] for example - nothing tells you it is one of our books - although it is. The more mainstream a publisher is, the more likely is that they will try to mask or outright forget to mention the SF elements so when you are looking to decide if it is genre, keep that in mind as well. Welcome to the fun :) [[User:Anniemod|Annie]] 12:25, 15 January 2020 (EST)
::::::::: If you look at [ SFE] and [ SFE again], you can see what they consider genre. We can differ from them if we have a reason to - with notes and so on (and their list may not be complete) but a lot of those borderline thrillers tend to sound non-SF on paper - partially because the publisher is a mainstream one and they do not want to scare the readers who think that genre is for kids. Read the description [ here] for example - nothing tells you it is one of our books - although it is. The more mainstream a publisher is, the more likely is that they will try to mask or outright forget to mention the SF elements so when you are looking to decide if it is genre, keep that in mind as well. Welcome to the fun :) [[User:Anniemod|Annie]] 12:25, 15 January 2020 (EST)
== Cemetery Dance #77 ==
I'm tired, so I submitted what I could of this issue. I'll finish the contents tomorrow. [[User:MLB|MLB]] 02:53, 16 January 2020 (EST)

Revision as of 07:53, 16 January 2020

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Moderator Availability (edit)
Moderator Current Availability Time Zone
AhasuerusTalk Daily. Mostly working on automated submissions and the software. US Eastern (UTC-5)
Steve Fernie: Albinoflea - Talk Typically late afternoon or late evenings. US Eastern (UTC-4)
Annie Yotova: Annie - Talk Most days, at all kinds of hours. US Mountain/AZ (UTC-7)
Bob Lumpkin: Bob - Talk Most days, primarily afternoon and evenings. US Central (UTC-6)
Bill: Bluesman - Talk Double-secret probation ... CDN Mountain (UTC-7)
Darrah Chavey: Chavey - Talk Effectively unavailable until Summer 2019 US Central (UTC-6)
Chris Jensen: Chris J - Talk Available sometime everyday. Pacific (UTC+12)
J. Clark: Clarkmci - Talk Intermittent. Most likely day-time (Australian time) Mon. - Fri. Pacific (UTC+10)
Desmond Warzel: Dwarzel - Talk Most days, wildly varying hours. US Eastern (UTC-5)
Dirk P Broer: Dirk P Broer - Talk Taking a three-week break, catch up some reading. Netherlands (UTC+2)
Jens: Hitspacebar - Talk Sporadically, a few hours per month, mostly on weekends. Germany (UTC+2)
JLaTondre - Talk Intermittent, mainly evenings. US Eastern (UTC-5)
John: JLochhas - Talk Intermittent, mainly evenings and weekends. Germany (UTC+2)
Kevin Pulliam: Kpulliam - Talk Often missing for weeks and months - Best to email US Central (UTC-6)
Kraang - Talk Most evenings CDN Eastern (UTC-5)
Dominique Fournier: Linguist - Talk Off and on most days, with occasional blackouts (like now); can help on French or other outlandish titles. France (UTC+1)
Marc Kupper: Marc KupperTalk Low but not quite zero US Pacific (UTC-8)
MartyD - Talk Sporadic, but most days. US Eastern (UTC-5)
Mhhutchins - Talk Self-moderating only US Eastern (UTC-5)
Nihonjoe - Talk Most days, various times US Mountain (UTC-7/UTC-6)
Pete Young: PeteYoung - Talk Most days, although time zone frequently varies. Thailand (UTC+7)
Ron Kihara: Rkihara - Talk Too busy to do much editing, but I try to check the boards daily. US Pacific (UTC-8)
Ron Maas Rtrace - Talk Most mornings and evenings. US Eastern (UTC-5)
Rudolf: Rudam - Talk Intermittent, mostly on weekends. Germany (UTC+2)
C. Steinbacher: Stonecreek - Talk Most days, thozgh hours may vary. Germany (UTC+2)
Tpi - Talk Intermittent, mostly evenings. EET (UTC+2)
Willem Hettinga: Willem H. - Talk Sporadic. May be away for days or weeks. Netherlands (UTC+2)
Currently unavailable


Castle Books

I suggest that ISFDB publisher Castle Books be split, disambiguating the publisher of the five latest books --all 2017 to 2019, all works by "Jack" or "J. R." Castle --perhaps "Castle Books (Jack)"?

Beside recent unrelated "Castle" publishers we have two related Castles:

  • Castle Books / Orchid Publishing Co. "Publisher of pornography which included some spec-fic titles. Do not merge with the publisher which specialized in reprinting older titles at discount prices."

Evidently that note refers to our Castle Books, except Jack.

That is Jack in some sense. --Pwendt|talk 18:37, 6 November 2019 (EST)

Yep,looks like we should split them. I would not call it Castle Books (Jack) though - maybe "Castle Books (Jack Castle)"? Let's give it a few hours and I will split them (and if we decide later on, merging is a one click solution. Annie 20:13, 6 November 2019 (EST)
A there seem to be no objections, I will split those later today. Thanks for posting about them. Annie 13:30, 12 November 2019 (EST)
This publisher split is still needed. --Pwendt|talk 17:44, 19 December 2019 (EST)
Done. The new publisher is here. Annie 17:55, 19 December 2019 (EST)

Adventure House Facsimile Reprints

This series was started before I joined this site, and so I continued it, and added dozens of books to this series. It was an attempt to put this series into somekind of order. Dozens and dozens of books where suddenly whiped off the site, and relisted in dozens of different series, making it impossible to track anything down. If I'm not wanted on this site then the petty little moderator, and yes, I think I know who, ought to just be man enough to tell me so. I thought I was contributing to this site, but, I guess not. I'll still add Analog and Asimov's, but for now, nothing else. Life is too short to do hours and hours of work for a bad boss who is so petty as to erase all of my work without so much as a warning or a comment. I can see why so many editors quit this site. This was just childish. MLB 12:09, 12 November 2019 (EST)

Discussion moved from the Help section. Annie 12:33, 12 November 2019 (EST)
It's hard to tell what has happened without more detailed information. I am in the middle of comparing what's currently on the main server with the data as of the last (Saturday morning) backup. I will post my findings as soon as I have them. I understand how frustrating it can be when the data that you have been working on is suddenly changed without notice or even deleted (I have experienced it myself), but let's keep the discussion civil. Ahasuerus 13:09, 12 November 2019 (EST)
It's frustrating that sometimes a moderator forgets that communication skills are mandatory here. The edits are from november 11, in the range 4465947 to 4465967 --Willem 13:15, 12 November 2019 (EST)
Yeah. Reorganizing the series is not the problem here. It does not matter if the old or the new organization is better. But on such a large scale, it should have been brought to the table (and that means the Community forum if there are no PVs although in that case anyone that had moderated in the last year should have known who the editor working on those is) and discussed before it was undertaken. Annie 13:29, 12 November 2019 (EST)

(unindent) OK, here is what I see. Originally, "Adventure House Facsimile Reprints" was a superseries which included the following series:

I am not 100% sure I am not missing something, but it's a start.

On the substantive side, it would be easy to restore the superseries if we decided to do it. Also, I think that the 2013 version of Tales of Magic and Mystery, March 1928 should be recorded as a separate ANTHOLOGY title, not as an EDITOR title.

On the procedural side, I agree that this was a significant change and needed to be discussed ahead of time. Ahasuerus 13:39, 12 November 2019 (EST)

This is just the last batch of changes. On 2019-11-09, a whole longer set of series were deleted as well (bottom now but you may need to go back). If we go back, I think there were a lot more than these as well. I do not think that any publications had been deleted but the whole structure had been overhauled. Annie 13:52, 12 November 2019 (EST)
Since I was the person who began with this project (and the other one with the Marvel reorganization too), I do think some explanatory notes will be necessary (and I do think it does matter if the old or the new organization is better. I will adress both projects and note where which project was problematic. The changes were perfectly in line with our policy (at least in my opinion):
1) In both fields there were title series with only one member. I do think that this contradicts the definiton of a series.
2) (Marvel): The initial organization of the Marvel universe was character-driven. Since the respective titles have defining character(s) (like 'Spider-Man') it has lead to a considerable mess that titles with the respective defining character(s) had been put into wholly different series (as stated above, many of them with only one member. As a result (since any overview was - and probably had to be lost - by our community) there were titles that would belong to the new series, but were listed in the character-defined initial series (Thor), and others that don't belong there (Who Is the Black Panther?). Not to speak of the mess concerning the title type, because many of them are really SHORTFICTIONs, not NOVELs, foremost the juvenile titles. This had also lead to installing a series Mighty Marvel Chapter Books, for which its title does give some hint towards the correct title type. I have left one of the formerly three titles left in the series for documentary reasons. Both the initial submitter and the approving moderator must have slept when entering this (not that this doesn't happen to me from time to time too).
3) (Adventure House and other upcoming ones): It is our policy to distinguish title series from publication series, which had been communicated with the initial supplier of this series in the past. Obviously he continued to mix them up, since 'Adventure House' is a publisher. Again, this has lead to a considerable mess, since - for example, along with others - this title had ended up in two different series, one titled 'Adventure House Facsimile Reprints', the other 'Pulp Tales Press Facsimile Reprints'. It has to be mentioned that 'Facsimile Reprints' also has nothing to do with a title, only with the publication the title is printed in. Stonecreek 14:17, 12 November 2019 (EST)
This is basically what the Adventure House series looked like. This is about the fourth time my edits have been erased or rewritten. Everything has been accepted since I first became an editor bace in 2012. If I had to, I don't even know if I can reconstruct it. MLB 14:30, 12 November 2019 (EST)
This was an effort to pick up all of the marbles that were scattered across the floor, in this case, across the site, and put them into one easily accessable container. Also, something like the reprint of Variety Novels Magazine is not a series, but part of a series. MLB 14:49, 12 November 2019 (EST)
Mark, I do concede that this was an effort, but you have been informed about it being not a good idea, mixing-up publication & title series. You have chosen to go that way further, and it has resulted (and it had to sometime) in the mess that we have multiple cases of the same title twice in the database, because it happens to have been put into two different title series, which were illefible by our way of organisation (a clear distinction between titles and publications) in the first place. Christian Stonecreek 02:03, 13 November 2019 (EST)
Christian, please realise that this is not a discussion on what is better, it's about making major changes without any form of discussion. It's the same thing as with changing the dates of variant art titles, the witchhunt for novels you think should be chapbooks, the editor for Armchair doubles and probably some more. It doesn’t matter if you’re right or wrong. Doing this without any discussion is always wrong. --Willem 15:55, 12 November 2019 (EST)
As for 3) (Adventure House and other upcoming ones), you say this had been communicated with the initial supplier of this series in the past. I can't find any discussion about this, except here. Can you point us there? --Willem 15:55, 12 November 2019 (EST)
I agree that this is primarily a process/procedural issue. I would encourage all moderators to keep in mind that reaching consensus before making significant structural changes preserves their work as much as it preserves other editors' work. Suppose I were to reorganize a nested series without explaining my reasoning to other editors/moderators and reaching consensus. Then, some weeks, months or even years later, another moderator would come across the same series, say "This doesn't look right" -- because she would be unaware of the reasons behind my changes -- and change everything back. It would be a waste of everyone's time and would only lead to frustration.
Granted, it's not realistic to have a discussion of every minor change, but with non-trivial changes it's always better to err on the side of caution and check in advance. Ahasuerus 16:21, 12 November 2019 (EST)
Sorry to say, but having two same titles ending up in two different series is obviously plain false, so it's really a matter of being right or wrong (better or worse); and in that regard this is a trivial change. That was bound to happen when putting possible publication series into a title series. The editor even put publication information (again, 'Facsimile Reprint') into the title note. Since obviously the copyrights for the magazines had expired it was bound to happen that different publishers took upon the idea to reprint them. But that's exactly the reason to avoid mixing-up publishers and their series with title series. Yes, we shall thank MLB for all the work he put into entering those publications, but on the title level his efforts of a few hours have lead to a chaotic and illogical state of the reprint business. Christian Stonecreek 00:30, 13 November 2019 (EST)
And concerning the 'witchhunt' for CHAPBOOKS, please take a look inside this publication, which was entered and approved as a NOVEL, and was if I remember right, the sole member of a one-title series. I would question if it was eligible in the first place. And please also note the invalid title series 'Mighty Marvel Chapter Books' noted above. Stonecreek 00:37, 13 November 2019 (EST)
Hundreds of hours and dozens of books is not trivial, and I kinda resent the dismissal of this volunteer work as trivial. Perhaps this mistake should have been caught early on when corrections could have been done. Chucking out all of my work, and all of those books were personally verified, seems a waste. I could have been doing something more useful, like sucking on rocks and staring at the sun until I went blind, instead of wasting my time listing these facsimiles on this site, which nobody else wanted to do. Sorry if I sound irritated, but the cavalier way in which my work was wiped out is irritating. MLB 02:31, 13 November 2019 (EST)

(unindent) Christian, you may want to reread this whole thread. The problem is not the reorganization in itself. It is the lack of communication. Why it was done became irrelevant the moment it happened silently and without communication - a moderator just decided and reorganized a big series because they did do not like its structure. Were there books that needed fixing? Sure. Were there subseries that needed some work? Probably. Are there more on the site? Certainly - we are all human. Pointing to an example here and there does not make the whole break in process look better. Had you bothered to post before you started and allowed people to agree (or disagree - and if the consensus disagreed to abide by it), we won't be having this thread. And a change that deleted multiple series, disconnected publications and connected them elsewhere cannot be called trivial. Annie 02:37, 13 November 2019 (EST)

Well, reread the whole thing too, please. This series was not a community effort, it was only installed by one misguided editor, whom - as posted above - we really have to thank for all the workhours he put into entering the publications. These efforts are in no way wasted since the publications will stay in the database.
But he has been advised to not mix up title series and publication series. I'm not going to stroll through more than six years worth of communication to find these. I do admit that recent notes were only communicated via rejections, but these are also valid, I'd think. The point is that he decided to use a title series for directing to specific publications.
If you still think that this all would better have been discussed before, I am sorry for the fuss, but I don't see how the outcome would have been different, since there seems to be no objection to the fundamental flaw that we have at the moment. Christian Stonecreek 09:13, 13 November 2019 (EST)
Let me take a step back and add some background information. Most moderators are probably aware of some or most of it, but hopefully a review should help get all of us, especially newer editors, on the same page.
Originally, the ISFDB software only supported "title series", which are used to organize works set in the same universe and display them together. Pretty soon we noticed that certain publications were also linked in some fashion even though the titles that they contained were not linked, e.g. see Gollancz 50. At the time, there was nothing in the software to support these "publication series", so some editors used regular title series as a workaround. It was a rather ugly "kludge" because different editions of the same book could belong to different publication series, not to mention the fact that the title itself might be a part of a real "title series".
Eventually the software was changed to add support for "publication series" -- see Help:How to work with series for details. At that point we went back, identified a bunch of title series which were really publication series and converted them. It took a long time and we still have a few series which need to be converted, e.g. Jules Verne's Voyages extraordinaires.
While working on converting title series to publication series, we noticed that series consisting of anthologies and collections were a gray area. For example, the works in The Collected Stories of Robert Silverberg (Subterranean Press) are mostly unrelated, so you could argue that it should really be a publication series rather than a title series. However, if you were to convert it to a publication series, the 9 volumes comprising the series would no longer appear together on Silverberg's Summary page, which would be unfortunate. Similar issues arose when dealing with anthology series -- converting them to publication series would mean that they would no longer be grouped on their editors' Summary pages. There are multiple ways to deal with this issue, e.g. some anthology/collection series have been entered as both a title series and a publication series, but they are all somewhat awkward.
Given the complexities involved, I would urge all editors working in this area to discuss proposed changes on the Community Portal and/or with other editors working in the same area before making significant changes. It's always better to err on the side of caution. Ahasuerus 12:33, 13 November 2019 (EST)
And to the other point that - I think - refers to the Marvel problem: I cited specific examples (and there were many more: titles within the same character-driven anthology part of two different, though nested, series; having at the same time a The Ultimate ... series and other The Ultimate ... anthologies in other series), to show that there were fundamental mistakes made that needed fixing. There also wasn't any discussion as far as I know concerning the deviation from the initial instalment as a character-organized metaverse in the first place. I didn't touch the initial organization. Instead, this was an attempt to have it anew. I do think that this initial structure needs a discussion, but that would have happened in a second phase. Christian Stonecreek 09:46, 13 November 2019 (EST)
I am not familiar with the prose novels set in the Marvel universe, so I can't comment on the specifics. However, I would like to point out that Template:TitleFields:SeriesNum says:
  • Please note that some series are very linear (e.g. Harry Potter) and it's easy to tell how to assign series number to individual entries. Other series can have multiple possible numbering schemes reflecting the series' publication order, internal chronological order, intended publication order, "author recommended" order, etc. Please don't change pre-existing numbering schemes unless you are sure that they are in error. Any series with this sort of ambiguity in internal ordering should have the sequence worked out on the Series project page. This includes prequels, which can be listed first in the series, before the main entries; or listed after the main entries; or even split into a separate series which then becomes a subseries in a superseries comprising both the original series and the prequels.
We no longer rely on Wiki-based series-specific pages, so the Help text needs to be updated to read "on the Community Portal", but the general idea still stands. Ahasuerus 12:42, 13 November 2019 (EST)
Christian, is your argument really “no one discussed it last time so why should I”? And series do change with time. Deciding if they need to finish evolving or be brought back to a previous organization should be community decision. Not one person making a decision based on his own preference. If the idea is for this project to succeed as a team effort anyway. That is still the goal of everyone in this discussion, right? So are we done with the “I will just do what I want because I believe I am right so no point even asking anyone” and moving back to “oh, this looks weird. Let me post that I want to clean it up and ask if someone has a reason for it to look different from what I want”? Annie 13:12, 13 November 2019 (EST)
Yes, I am perfectly fine with the latter approach. But since the first deviation from the initial structure has lead to a considerable mess and was seemingly undiscussed with the community, I really don't understand why there's the need to bash the attempt to clean-up. I can imagine people taking on us as a laughing stock with a considerable bunch of messed-up series, 'novels' with 10,000 - 30,000 words, and 'series' with only one member. I know some people who will satirize this in the manner of 'Oh, they got one-volume series! This reminds me (and would have been placed well) in Dostoyevski's prominent series "The Idiot"'. Christian Stonecreek 00:04, 14 November 2019 (EST)
You as moderator should know better. To add something in the same vein: People will laugh even louder about shortfiction with a length of 50.000 to 60.000 words. See Operation Interstellar (Project Gutenberg wordcount 50.767) and Der Ursprung der Welt (your own example, real wordcount fram amazon look inside approx. 200 words per page x 300 pages is around 60.000 words) --Willem 08:00, 14 November 2019 (EST)
Yep, because we are 3 years olds who believe that of someone does something, we can do the same as well. :) and your attempted cleanup may be in the middle of another editor trying to cleanup in the other direction. This is exactly why you should have communicated first. And not playing the injured party at the moment just because people ask you to do what you (among other moderators) taught me to do long time ago - talk with editors and work with them. Want to find that old self and let him replace back whatever has replaced him lately?
I hope you are not destroying every 1 title series you see. I do not know for Germany, but in the US it is common to sell trilogies so it is clear when the first one is out that it starts a series. Sometimes the latter never get published. More often they do. Not marking that as a series is a disservice and does not show the truth. These are not standalone novels. Showing them as standalones is showing that we are sloppy and we cannot be relied on for series information. And in a lot of cases we have 1 because we had not entered the rest yet. So if you are destroying these series, please stop. If you want to disallow one title series, start a discussion and get consensus. But stop making changes because you think that some imaginary people will laugh at us or because you think you know better. We record the data, we do not judge the data. Series of 1 ARE valid series sometimes. :) Annie 08:20, 14 November 2019 (EST)
Re: "people taking on us as a laughing stock", I don't think it's a viable criterion for deciding whether to change ISFDB data. Our data entry rules are fairly complex and certain users may not like them. For example, a few months ago a new editor submitted a magazine and was told about the "(Complete Novel)" rule. He thought that it was a ridiculous concept even after we had explained the reasons behind it, so he stopped contributing to the project. It was unfortunate, but we can't change our rules just because some people do not like them.
Re: single-title series, the vast majority of series start with a single title. Sometimes volume 2 appears within months. Other times it appears years or decades later (see To Halt Armageddon for a recent example.) And in certain cases it never appears, e.g. see Omnitopia.) That doesn't mean that we should delete the series information. (We had this discussion about 10 years ago.)
Re: general cleanup issues and the need for notifying other editors. The amount of communication depends on the scope and the nature of the changes. If I come across an isolated error like an unverified publication with a missing currency symbol, I simply add the missing symbol and move on. If I come across a pattern (a title series, a publication series, a way to organize an imprint/publisher, etc) -- which was presumably created as a conscious decision by someone -- and I don't think it's the right pattern, I try to communicate with the person behind the pattern (if known) or raise the issue on the Community Portal (if the pattern originator is unknown.) Granted, there have been times when I failed to recognize a pattern, but that's the general idea.
Again, no one is perfect and sometimes we fail to consider the implications of what we do. The Contents sorting changes which I made a few weeks ago and then had to revert based on user feedback are a recent example. But we should do our best to keep the communication channels open. Ahasuerus 09:23, 14 November 2019 (EST)
And when it is a minor change (small/capital letters, price formats and so on), please use the moderator notes. Editors can see these in their "Changed primary verified" so they can see what exactly what you changed and why. Takes a second to write and also helps you remember what you fixed exactly... Annie 09:29, 14 November 2019 (EST)
Okay, that was a bit harsh from me, I did mean the ones that were identified already as invalid ('Publisher' & 'Publication information') or not to be ever expected to grow (movie novelizations). There seems to have crept in a certain carelessness to approve many submissions and not question the pattern (and both the adressed fields of 'Facsimile Reprints' and Marvel are examples for that; there are more). I don't know exactly what was the cause for this, there likely are more than one: 1) A shortage of moderators that do more than the occasional not-self-moderating, combined with the still great number of submissions and the flow-in of new editors (which are welcome, but need some attending care). 2) A missing review of submissions (especially for title series, because it's true that every series has to start with a first member): maybe it would be possible to implement a list of new title series with only one member at the end of a month that were implemented during the preceding month. This way there shouldn't be many titles in the list.
Regarding "Operation Interstellar": Willem, why don't you add this information (and a valid link to it) to the record? I will take on the Tukur title, thanks for that one! Nevertheless, there surely are many more mistakenly titles marked as novels (especially juveniles that are nowadays printed with few big letters per page).
And on a final note: How to proceed with the still mistakenly marked tilte series by the facsimile reprint houses? (Marvel has been adressed on the Community Portal) Christian Stonecreek 10:21, 14 November 2019 (EST)

(unindent) And yet after all of this writing, nobody has yet to explain how I was causing an unholy armageddon, a zombie plague, and the complete unraveling of reality as we know it by creating such a series. Find one facsimile, find them all, browse through each. Now they are scattered throughout the site, and many will never be seen, or be found, by anybody. This is wasted man hours by me. This is about the fourth time somebody has erased, or greatly altered, my work by this site's naybobs of negative nitpicking. First time-shame on you, second time-shame on me. Fourth time points to some people with a bone to pick. I edit on this page to get away from my pain, but this doesn't help, and it has hints of maliciousness. Especially when I'm doing work nobody else wants to do. This goes beyond frustration, and I don't think I'm being petty about this. MLB 15:32, 15 November 2019 (EST)

MLB, I am pulling that last thread below the whole mess so we can start working on a plan. If they are not connected in any way or form, then we are failing as a DB indeed. I wonder if a simple publication series for the reprints won't help here - I honestly had not looked at most of this since we started the conversation. So let's step back and see where we are and formulate a plan for these. Because this won't be the first reprint series - we live in the era of the reprints. Let me check over the weekend and then I will post a proposal for a plan going forward?
MLB, as you did a lot of research on those, I may ping you for an opinion if something does not make sense while I am thinking on a plan. Anyone with a constructive idea - which will keep the reprints connected in some way - is welcome to post ideas as well... Annie 17:17, 15 November 2019 (EST)
Sorry MLB, but you are still missing the point in some way. You obviously have a love for facsimile reprints, and I personally thank you for adding all those publications! However, a facsimile reprint is a form of publication, not a form of the title; the title in this case can take many forms, a newly set reprint, a facsimile reprint, an ebook, and even an audio book is possible (provided one takes out the pieces of art). And you took the publisher into the title series. Since titles are bound to be published by different houses, this is also not a good idea. The publication series approach would have been a correct way (if it turns out to be possible). Christian Stonecreek 01:55, 16 November 2019 (EST)
Christian, sorry, but you are missing the point as well. The series should not have been destroyed without a plan on how the titles can be kept together. The DB has some quirks and sometimes uncommon ways need to be employed to get the information to look as it should. The main point of the DB is for people to find things, isn't it? Scattering related editions to the wind is not really productive even if you find it orderly. So next time, before you destroy someone else's work, stop and either come up with a solution and explain it or come to the Community forums and seek help in finding the solutions. Just deleting everything because you think it was wrong and then blaming the editor for trying to find a solution for a hard problem to start with is plain rude. The fact that the editor had ALSO verified all of those and we specifically ask editors to notify verifiers for series changes when it is a big change makes that even more rude. Annie 14:59, 17 November 2019 (EST)
Christian, due to your inconsiderate editing and moderating and overall lack of upfront communication, and your stubbornness to refuse to do so even after multiple requests to change your behavior, is greatly damaging ISFDB. YOU made me quit adding books. I -may- be coming back, but it's unlikely given that I don't want to deal with your rude manners anymore. MagicUnk 23:52, 17 November 2019 (EST)
As per Moderator Qualifications, all moderators should possess:
  • Good communications skills. A moderator will often have to explain to an editor why an edit is incorrect or needs to be changed in some way. Doing this in a supportive and friendly way is critical to making the ISFDB a successful cooperative venture. Moderators should be able to manage these communications without offending editors, particularly newcomers.
If an editor believes that a moderator is not treating him or her in a "supportive and friendly way" and/or not enforcing the rules and the consensus correctly, s/he is encouraged to raise the issue on the Moderator Noticeboard. It will be reviewed by other Moderators. If necessary, it will be escalated to a "bureaucrat" who can impose administrative sanctions to ensure that all moderators follow the consensus and treat editors fairly. Ahasuerus 10:56, 18 November 2019 (EST)
Sorry to have pissed you off. I hope you come back. But, as stated above, the rude manners for the Marvel metaverse were employed by someone else before me by splitting this character-driven series into a mess and not discussing it. Looking back, it might have been that you weren't the sole proprietor for this, and it just seemed to me to be that way from your statement. If so, I'd like to apologize. Christian Stonecreek 00:24, 18 November 2019 (EST)

Adventure House Facsimile Reprints Proposal

(unindent) So I have an idea. The pub series number does not need to be a number. So if we use a pub series called "Adventure House Reprints", then we can use a Pub series number which contains abbreviated name for the magazine and then the issue. So "Thrilling Wonder Stories, March 1940" will be "TWS-1940-03". That way they all will be on the same page and if you order by Series number, it will group them per magazine. See sorted by number and sorted by default for an example. The numbers may need tweaking but... thoughts? MLB, if we decide not to do it, I will clean up the few issues I added for this proof of concept. Annie 14:59, 17 November 2019 (EST)

What a hornet's nest this has stirred up. Well, as a child, my parents taught me that part of being an adult is being able to comprimise. So, if it means compromising to save my work, then yes, let's do it. You seem to have put a lot of thought of behind this, so I'll go with it. Now if we can just get this "wordage" thing cleaned up. MLB 20:54, 17 November 2019 (EST)
(Splitting this section because my phone hates me when I try to edit it). Anything that we are losing? We may be able to tweak some more if you voice your concerns? I am willing to think some more and see if we cannot make it better (and then will go and do the changes needed - no need to redo it twice). I know you spent a lot of time on the organization so I am trying to get as close as I can without getting us into a civil war between series and subseries and pub series... I thought about splitting into multiple pub series but as we cannot build a superseries for them, they will be all over the place and unconnected. This way if one finds one reprint, they can click on the pub series and find all (and I will also be adding notes explaining how they can group to see the issues of one magazine together). We can always build a wiki page and attach it as well - with a nice table and or tree inside. What do you think? Annie 21:12, 17 November 2019 (EST)

(unindent) I finally got around to working on those and had yet another idea. The Pub series will cover the "per publisher". An external title series will combine the "per magazine" reprints (with the separate reprints of the same magazine merged together). Example of the series: Spicy Mystery Stories and of a single issues with two reprints Spicy Mystery Stories, August 1935. This way, we have:

  • All reprints in a single series (the parent of the series for this magazine - name yet to be determined :) Possibly "Magazines Reprints".
  • All reprints of a single magazine run - in the title series per magazine. And the link to that series can be added to the magazine series (and vice versa) so someone can find them from the other.
  • All reprints per publisher grouped together and ordered - in the pub series per publisher (using the pub series number to allow the grouping). Splitting this into multiple pub series will lose us the ability to look into the whole set of reprints from a publisher and will end up with a ton of very small pub series.

Anything I am missing here? If noone disagrees in a few weeks, I will chase down all the reprints we have over the Christmas break and get them under their appropriate series, subseries and what's not. Annie 19:28, 9 December 2019 (EST)

Handling of "Split novels"

There is an ongoing Community Portal discussion of books which were subsequently reprinted in multiple volumes. I don't want to replicate the substantive issues being discussed there, but it raises a process question that I don't know the answer to.

At least some German novel-length texts which have been split across multiple books -- see Atomvulkan Golkonda and Gäste aus dem Weltall -- are currently listed in a very unusual way. Individual publications are listed as "Atomvulkan Golkonda (part 1 of 3)", "Atomvulkan Golkonda (part 2 of 3)", etc, but they all contain the same NOVEL title. This is highly irregular because, based on our standard data entry rules, it suggests that each publication contains the same text, which isn't the case. Here is what Template:PublicationFields:PubType says about the "split novel" scenario:

The question that I have is how did the alternative approach to entering "split novels" become institutionalized? Has there been a Community Portal, Rules & Standards or Moderator Noticeboard discussion of this approach? I see this September 2018 User Talk discussion, which was linked in the original Community Portal post, but I am not aware of any public discussions outside of editors' Talk pages. Ahasuerus 17:00, 17 November 2019 (EST)

I did some digging before I posted the Talk page link in my message and did not find anything anywhere - but might have missed it. I remember when a lot of chapbooks were getting converted to novels (early 2018?) (a lot of German split novels were chapbooks) - I deleted a metric ton of ejected chapbooks both post approval of the type change and based on our titles with no pubs report for the ones I did not approve) which was making these compliant with the rules. I (and probably everyone else moderating these) either missed completely or misunderstood the merges happening at the same time (if they were at the same time or if there were merges?) but then we do tend to give a wider berth to seasoned editors working on a project (and it does not account for the new ones or for the idea that this is the standard). Annie 17:42, 17 November 2019 (EST)
Indeed, how did this originate as a method -but I like to add each and every other German 'novel' with less than 80 pages too to the pile of 'entered in error'. If the original nbvel has 200+ pages and there is another version with less than 80 pages it really should be checked for containing the same title and content. Most likely the much shorter version isn't a novel at all, but in fact an excerpt, so short fiction of novella size. --Dirk P Broer 15:46, 19 November 2019 (EST)
Now that we allow SERIAL titles inside of CHAPBOOK publications (see Rules and standards changelog, 2018-11-29), I assume that we will want to convert these NOVEL pubs to CHAPBOOKs, each with one SERIAL title record.
For longer, novel-length, publications we may want to wait until we decided whether we want to expand the use of the SERIAL title type to "split novels" as per this Community Portal Discussion. Ahasuerus 16:59, 19 November 2019 (EST)
We need to be careful when something is an abridgment and if we need to really keep it varainted or not... And some of those 80 pages ones may be complete novels - bigger pages, smaller letters, small abridgments. So yeah - we need to cleanup but I would say that we should get our German editors to do some counting in a few books per publisher and to check for abridgements... Annie 19:11, 19 November 2019 (EST)

Moderator notes

The moderator notes are a great way to note when one is changing in a record -- especially when it is not obvious and considering that we cannot see "old" state anyway. Even if it looks like writing a note to yourself, these are visible both in the Recent Changes master list and in the "Changed Primary Verified" lists.

Can we start using them as a policy - when a moderator changes a PVd record, no matter how trivial it seems, a moderaror note should be added to at least hint at the change (and its reason if it is not clear). Technically, it won't be a bad idea to do that on any submission that changes data (easier to track and someone can see why something is changed) but when we talk about PVd records, changing the name or price or notes, even when it is due to format problems, should not be causing an editor to wonder what is going on.

Ideally, all editors should do that. But one step at a time. And that does not replace real notifications for serious problems or when coaching a new editor - it is just for those trivial ones that we just do to improve the data.

So... thoughts?Annie 16:12, 20 November 2019 (EST)

I think it would be a move in the right direction. As a point of reference, we have FR 1281, Add an "Approval Note" field; change "Moderator Note" to "Submission Note", created back in May, which currently reads:
  • Add an "Approval Note" field to moderator review pages. The new field will be in addition to the currently existing "Rejection Reason" field. Also change the name of the "Moderator Note" field which is displayed on most edit pages to "Submission Note". Once done, display the value of the Approval Note field side by side with the value of the Submission Note field on submission history pages.
BTW, originally the "Moderator Note" field, like the rest of our submission data, was not accessible to non-moderators. It limited what we could usefully do with the field and also created an expectation of privacy. Neither consideration applies these days, which makes it possible to improve it in various ways. Ahasuerus 16:25, 20 November 2019 (EST)
We could even steal "Edit summary" from Wikipedia. It might be a more-clear way to indicate what we want with the field, especially if we make it mandatory. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 18:44, 20 November 2019 (EST)
I agree that "Edit Summary" may be better than "Submission Note". Ahasuerus 08:44, 21 November 2019 (EST)
Maybe add a description of something like "A brief summary of what was changed in this edit (e.g., 'fixed typo in publisher name')." ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 18:44, 20 November 2019 (EST)
We can change/clarify the language in Template:ModNote without waiting for the software change. Ahasuerus 08:44, 21 November 2019 (EST)
Sure. But this will require some software changes. Just agreeing on a policy will allow us to start doing it now without waiting for a change in software. Why would we delay it? A lot of our more active editors already do it after a nudge here or there or seeing other people doing it. So why not lead by example? :) Annie 21:40, 20 November 2019 (EST)
PS: In case it is not clear, I like the idea of renaming the field and making it mandatory and/or adding a new one. But I do not think we need to wait for that in order to start writing the notes. Annie 22:01, 20 November 2019 (EST)
Oh, sure, we don't have to wait for the proposed software changes to be implemented before we change the policy. I was just providing additional background information. Ahasuerus 08:39, 21 November 2019 (EST)
Adding this as a policy is definitely a good idea. Moreover, making the field mandatory (per software change) at least for PV'd publication records would help "enforce" the policy. Jens Hitspacebar 05:13, 21 November 2019 (EST)
Making the "Moderator Note" field mandatory when editing PV'd publications is a very interesting point. We can make it a separate, higher priority Feature Request. Ahasuerus 09:06, 21 November 2019 (EST)
Yes! Please... I keep forgetting to add a note before submitting. --Willem 09:33, 21 November 2019 (EST)
Yep. Annie 09:54, 21 November 2019 (EST)
OK, FR 1321 has been created. Ahasuerus 15:25, 21 November 2019 (EST)
I agree this would be a good change. One nit, though: If the editor is the sole verifier, I don't think it's necessary. -- JLaTondre (talk) 18:11, 21 November 2019 (EST)
I still would say to ask for it - we had a couple cases through the years where moderators deleted notes from their verified pubs because they thought they are trash we do not need for PVd books (various IDs both in the external ID and in the notes (Reginald IDs for example). We all hope it will never happen again but just because you are the verifier does not mean you can remove all the details you prefer not to record or do not think relevant, especially when they are there. Or that you can decide to just change data to some new standard because you do not like the old one (pb vs tp or how you count pages). A PV'd record with an inactive PV is a lot more useful if we do have the other IDs... or if we know why the format is different. It does not take that long to add a note. But if everyone agrees not to ask PVs to do that, I'd abide by the opinion. Although once it becomes a habit, I suspect that most people will write those regardless of the software forcing you to do it or not :) Annie 18:29, 21 November 2019 (EST)
If someone is going to do that, why do you think they would bother stating they did it in the edit summary? A mandatory field is not going to stop someone from being malicious. It's easy to say one thing and do another. To combat what you describe, we need a true pre- and post-edit history (which I believe is an existing feature request). -- JLaTondre (talk) 18:36, 21 November 2019 (EST)
I agree that a malicious edit by a moderator wouldn't be thwarted by the proposed FR.
Thinking back to the time when I was actively verifying publications in my collection, I recall frequently editing the same pub record multiple times. Entering something in the Moderator Note field every time I added or changed something minor would have become tedious rather quickly, so I agree with JLaTondre'd suggestion. Ahasuerus 11:37, 23 November 2019 (EST)
I won’t argue the point. :) plus one can always write a note even if it is not mandatory. As for why I think that may help - maybe people will stop to think or it will make it easier to spot it happening. Either way is fine with me. Annie 11:43, 23 November 2019 (EST)


If you're going to ask me as an editor to fill in a field where I explain my change, could you please give me the option (or automatically) to post that on the wiki page(s) of the PVs? This may mean giving the other editors the ability to direct such notifications to a particular page or opt out, possibly on the basis of whether their PV was permanent or transient. I don't consider it a necessary condition before adopting the use of the Moderator Notes field though. ../Doug H 11:42, 23 November 2019 (EST)
We already have a notification system that notifies primary verifiers about submissions against their verifications, so I question the value of being forced to make additional wiki posts about such actions if we attempt to enforce the existing "Moderator Note" aka new "Edit Summary" upon editors. One can just provide the reason there. The entire concept of PV is sort of like an additional layer of moderation. I am not sure if we want to go so far as allowing/making PVers sign-off on submissions before they get to moderation and/or approved/committed to the main DB records, but it is something to think about/consider. That said, this thread was started about requiring the existing "Moderator Note" (however we decide to re-name it) for all submissions (other than for existing PVers and perhaps in cases that are not directly related to PVs like author change submissions, etc.). To that end, I can see some situations where requiring our existing "Moderator Note" for even all pub edit submissions against PVed pub records, might not be the best approach. For example, I only want to add/fix external identifiers for a pub record. These normally have little to no bearing on the actual physical publications and I do not see why a PVer need be much involved with such a change. I expect a PVer to probably know about the same as others on that front. —Uzume 16:00, 15 January 2020 (EST)

Comments about PVs in notes

An editor was adding "since PV1 refuses to give any details" to the notes of publications which I called them on and requested that to be left out from the field here as it is not neutral and for someone finding the record, the reason why the PV1 did not provide the information is irrelevant for the most part. Apparently, a moderator advised them to start adding it.

What would be our policy on that? I believe that adding a note such as "Price clipped so PV1 did not verify the price" or "PV's copy is missing pages x-x so the content there not verified" can and should be part of the record (price clipping is common and neither of those is a personal statement on the editor). However a note about the refusal to disclose details is not really neutral as long as we note which details do not come from the PV -- a note such as (PV refused, PV stopped communicating, PV decided he does not want to count, PV dropped from the face of the Earth, PV is not with us anymore and so on) should be kept neutral and the exact reason is irrelevant. "Cover from Goodreads" or "Cover from Goodreads (not verified by PV1)" is okey; "Cover from Goodreads because the PV refuses to provide details" is not even close to neutral and as such should not be in the notes.

I would love to hear any opinion on that matter. Or am I overthinking this? Thanks! Annie 14:24, 21 November 2019 (EST)

I see that this is in reference to User:C1's verified publications. The banner at the top of his Talk page says "it's useless to ask me anything about my PVed publications", so something like "PV1 no longer participates in the project and doesn't respond to queries" would be appropriate in the Moderator Notes field.
Re: the Note field, I think something like "Cover from Goodreads (not verified by PV1)" would be a reasonable compromise. Ahasuerus 15:24, 21 November 2019 (EST)
While keeping it civil in the moderator notes is important (as people can find them), I am not that concerned about the "refusing" in the moderator notes -- it is what it is and if you are looking at these notes, you had done some digging around the site (usually). But for someone that just found the DB, finding the internal squabbles and disagreements bleeding into the notes does not make a good first impression. And may give them an idea that it actually is a good idea to be a PV without helping with the details - while we cannot make C1 update the records, we really do not want other people to follow their example.
Plus this will also help with a policy on updating other PV'd pubs on missing editors (so it is clear what comes from where and if a PV had actually confirmed and never cleaned the note or we added it later. Annie 15:32, 21 November 2019 (EST)
I agree with notes should be neutral. I'm not seeing any difference in practical effect between this case or a truly inactive verifier. If a secondary source is added after the fact, there is no way to know whether the verifier missed the information or it wasn't present. -- JLaTondre (talk) 18:29, 21 November 2019 (EST)
True, there may be any number of reasons why a primary verifier is not responding. The reasons may also change over time as circumstances change: health, free time, degree of involvement, collection availability and so on. Some kind of generic language that would cover all possible scenarios would be best. Ahasuerus 11:29, 23 November 2019 (EST)

Mise au point

As I seem to be the vilain of the show, a few hard facts may be in order. I am quite an old hand at such projects and I have frequently encountered a tendency in such outfits as yours to generate a caste of contributors that are usually not constricted by their (self or community imposed) rules (Wikipedia being a quite telling example). To gauge your frame of mind, I've started by simply PVing some titles that I own and seeing what happened then.

So, to take the first 100 changes to my verified publications (I stopped my gathering of the data at this point because I then voiced my concerns), I can say that :

24% of the changes are for publications that are also PVed by the changer (mostly Linguist)
76% of the changes are based only on secondary sources or simple whims

78% of the changes were self moderated (32% by DirkPBroer, 34% By Linguist)

A whooping 6% were communicated on my talk page (with some insults mixed in)

20% had something in the "Note to Moderator", sometimes a text as clear and informative as "notes updates", sometimes more detailed data (generally by Zapp)

As the two previous category overlaps, it means that about 4 out of 5 changes were made without any sort of notification and that 19 out of 20 changes were made without discussion or even some pretence of communication.

So I'll ask two questions :

1) What's the use of being a PV in a bibliographical sense as 95% of the changes are done without concertation and in their vast majority are self-moderated (no questions asked)?

2) AFAIC, why should I loose my time entering correct data that may be changed without consulting me? Normally, I stand by my data (and usually assume my mistakes) but how can I stand for this change made by an ingorant person? or the entering of a pseudonym instead of the canonical name from a secondary source -a breach of your own rules-

IMHO such lack of communication and such hubris create bad feelings and have already driven away some potential contributors. Concerning me, I rest my case and will continue to PV publications for my own purposes but will not add new ones (too bad) and correct data.

That said, bonjour chez vous ! (as said number 6). C1 08:31, 22 November 2019 (EST)

We moderators do not normally see other moderators' submissions or their handling of other editors' submissions. So if you or someone else thinks rules are not being followed, it's important to raise the issue here or directly with one or more moderators. Moderators should be following the same rules with their self-moderated submissions that also apply to everyone else's submissions. That said, a note such as the one at the top of your talk page makes moderation and rule enforcement difficult, both in terms of deciding what to do with a submission that did not follow proper notification/checking procedure and in terms of instructing and encouraging the editor in proper procedure. I know I ran into that. --MartyD 07:31, 26 November 2019 (EST)
That said, the note on top of my page has been posted AFTER I've reached the above conclusions. My point stays. C1 09:07, 26 November 2019 (EST)
Perhaps some answers: 1) "What's the use of being a PV": In your case nothing. Perhaps you haven't read this? It's in the links that come with the welcome message at the top of your talkpage under 'help: Getting Started'. The crucial line is 'If you are confident that every field in the publication record is accurate, based on the book you are holding, then you can check the "Verified" button against "Primary".' Obvously you haven't done this, your talk page is full of notifications of missing data, and your answers, if any are rude. A primary verification does not mean you own the record. 2) "AFAIC, why should I loose my time entering correct data": See 1). If you do a primary verification you're supposed to check the existing data and correct/add to them if the're wrong or missing. If you consider that a waste of time, you shouldn't be here.
I'm not surprised people don't inform you of anything with responses like here, 4 months before you posted the note on top of your page. --Willem 10:28, 26 November 2019 (EST)

please merge

Hi. "Harry Stubbs" #142574 (two records, both 1989) is obviously Hal Clement. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Frink (talkcontribs) .

Harry Stubbs. We do not merge - we make pseudonyms in such cases. :) Can you clarify how it is obvious - any links? or correspondence? I know he used "Harry C. Stubbs" but that does not necessarily mean he also used "Harry Stubbs" although it is likely indeed. I will be more than happy to connect them but let's find some supporting evidence. Annie 05:48, 1 December 2019 (EST)
In these two cases it's very likely that this "Harry Stubbs" was indeed Hal Clement. The "Strangers" essay was published as part of this series of articles about the "Stranger" fan club, the first SF fan organization in Boston during the pulp era. Hal Clement was a member of the "Stranger" club during his fan days.
Response to "The New Generation Gap" was one of many responses to Kathryn Cramer's article "The New Generation Gap: A Study of Science Fiction Writers' Ages of Professional Entry into the Science Fiction Field for Six Decades of SF", which had been published a few months earlier. All of the responses were by major authors and editors: Clarke, Aldiss, Asimov, Zelazny, Le Guin, Andersosn, Pohl, Niven, Williamson, etc. Ahasuerus 18:15, 2 December 2019 (EST)
Yeah, I had been looking at it as well some more and it does look very very likely indeed. If noone objects, I will connect them in a few days. Thanks for checking! Annie 18:27, 2 December 2019 (EST)
Ahasuerus, thank you for those details. Annie, I can confirm from directly checking that NYRSF issue that it's Clement: the piece is signed "Harry Stubbs (Hal Clement)". Frink 17:23, 6 December 2019 (EST)
And connected. :) Thanks for finding this one. Annie 17:31, 6 December 2019 (EST)


Just to let you know that 3 of the 'Name variants are:' links are invalid here [1]. Thanks, Kev. BanjoKev 20:09, 8 December 2019 (EST)

We are in the process of cleaning up/deleting the wiki pages and moving the data into the main DB. So yes - we have a lot of invalid links because pages were deleted. I will finish migrating this one and delete the wiki page as soon as I am in front do a proper computer today. The only cases when we will still have a wiki page is when it is too complex to move them into the dB. Annie 20:22, 8 December 2019 (EST)
Got it, thanks. Kev. BanjoKev 20:34, 8 December 2019 (EST)
And done. All data moved to the DB, wiki page removed. I need to get back to the wiki cleanup one of those days (she said while looking at her TODO list and realizing that War and Peace is a short novel in comparison...) :) Annie 11:22, 9 December 2019 (EST)

Year of birth for Julie Phillips

The year 1943 seems highly suspect, considering the author's image at her home page and the fact that she lives today with her husband and two children in Amsterdam. I can't find any concrete year, but this one seems to be erroneous. Is there any other information available? Christian Stonecreek 02:33, 13 December 2019 (EST)

I think you are right - LOC has two separate records and the one that is born in 1943 is not ours see this - ours is referenced differently). It is possible that the records were mixed up at some point so we ended up with the wrong date. Annie 03:35, 13 December 2019 (EST)
Thanks for the rersearch, Annie. I have deleted the erroneous year. Christian Stonecreek 05:30, 13 December 2019 (EST)

Asimov's The Story Behind the "Foundation"

Thanks to query from BanjoKev and Anniemod, I recently discovered that the copy of this essay appearing my copy of Asimov's Foundation was incorrectly titled in the database and was missing the quotation marks around the word "Foundation". Consequently, I created this title. I also noticed that Miller/Contento listed the essay with the quotes in its original publication while we did not. As the verifiers for that issue of Asimov's are mostly inactive, I was able to acquire a copy and verify that the quotes should be there. As all other appearances of this essay but one are in Del Rey publications of the Foundation trilogy, I suspect they all likely have the quotes. I've left messages on the the two potentially active verifiers and sent an email to another who has requested contact in that manner. Unfortunately, 7 additional verified copies where all of the verifiers are inactive. Assuming that we get responses from those contacted and their titles show the quotes, should we assume that the essay has always been published that way, and correct the remaining appearances? Thanks. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 19:54, 15 December 2019 (EST)

The 2003 unsigned reprint of this one has the quotes (I really need to work through my library and add my books here). It lacks them on the copyright page but they are there on the title page and in the contents. Easton Press does not usually change anything besides end papers and covers so I suspect the original signed one also have them - everything else in the book matches the signed edition. Annie 21:15, 15 December 2019 (EST)

Merge 'De Piramide' with 'Piramide'

Can a kind moderator merge publisher 'De Piramide' with 'Piramide'? They're effectively the same publisher [2]. Thanks! MagicUnk 17:11, 19 December 2019 (EST)

Done. Annie 17:20, 19 December 2019 (EST)

Merge 'Macc' and 'Uitgeverij Macc'

Hello, can a moderator merge publishers 'Macc' with 'Uitgeverij Macc' please (and keep 'Uitgeverij Macc')? Thanks! MagicUnk 12:10, 27 December 2019 (EST)

Done, result is here. --Willem 14:01, 27 December 2019 (EST)

Delete/fix wrong author picture

Image:Josef Čapek.jpg is the canonical visage of Karel. Josef is actually the one cropped out from the original pair pic: the elder graying gentleman with staid suit, incipient baldness, round face and eyeglasses. So please

  1. Stop the image from displaying at Josef Čapek
  2. I guess purge it altogether from the system as of no real use (the current Image:Karel Capek.jpg is rather better)
  3. Ideally, assign Josef with a real face of his own: there are several solo photos available at with little chance of confusion.

--JVjr 15:44, 7 January 2020 (EST)

I can easily remove the picture but as we know who uploaded it, let me ping Linguist for an opinion as well. Other from that, I agree with you. Annie 16:53, 7 January 2020 (EST)
I just don't remember doing that, but since my name appears, it must be me (which weirdly reminds me of « But I must have said it before, since I say it now » in Luciano Berio's Sinfonia) ! Please do whatever you think fit. Linguist 04:51, 8 January 2020 (EST).
OK. Image is removed from the author and deleted from the server :) If someone wants to add a new picture, please go ahead and do that and submit an EditAuthor submission to add it. Annie 12:20, 8 January 2020 (EST)
I have uploaded the picture of the aforesaid elder graying gentleman, in the hope it will meet less disapproval :o). Linguist 08:34, 9 January 2020 (EST).
Uhm - this is still the younger brother - the one you just uploaded is the same one I deleted. Did you mean to upload another one maybe? Annie 22:24, 9 January 2020 (EST)
Annie, this might be the old problem we encounter: you have to refresh your browsed sitepage: after I had done this, Josef appeared. Christian Stonecreek 02:57, 10 January 2020 (EST)
Ah, I see. I thought I never opened the old one from this browser but apparently I had. Thanks! Annie 11:06, 10 January 2020 (EST)

The Death of Ahasuerus

Should this book be added to the works of Pär Lagerkvist? It claims to be the third novel in a series that began with Barabbas and The Sibyl. We have the latter but not the former. ../Doug H 22:20, 9 January 2020 (EST) (P.S. I'm mostly asking for the shock value of the subject line).

Reading the description on Amazon, it doesn't sound like it meets the inclusion criteria. Descriptions have been known to be wrong, though. Are there speculative fiction elements in it? ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 13:24, 10 January 2020 (EST)
Though we do have Sibyllan, which is kind of a prequel to it, so maybe? ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 13:46, 10 January 2020 (EST)
To me it sounds like it should perfectly fit into our little database. Lagerkvist's work per Wiukipedia thematizes the eternal conflict between Good and Evil, and using the speculative character of Ahasuerus should make the novel speculative. I for one have added some similar titles to the database. Christian Stonecreek 13:49, 10 January 2020 (EST)
The Swedish Wikipedia says that:
  • Sibyllan is a 1956 novel by Nobel Laureate Pär Lagerkvist. It begins Lagerkvist's religious epic in four parts: Sibyllan, Ahasuerus's Death [The Death of Ahasuerus], Pilgrim at Sea and The Holy Land.
According to the Encyclopedia of Fantasy, "[Ahasuerus was] allowed to die in the second volume as reward for abandoning his obsessive religious concerns".
It sounds like we want to include at least the second volume. The Encyclopedia of Fantasy refers to volumes 3 and 4 as "tales of interest", but it's not clear how much speculative content they have. Might as well add them and include a note about what we know about them. Ahasuerus 16:26, 10 January 2020 (EST)

Asimov's January-February 2020

First day back on the job and I made a mistake already. When I entered the recent Asimov's I misspelled Paul Di Filippo's name. When/if my submission is accepted, I'll correct. MLB 19:51, 11 January 2020 (EST)

Removing erroneous tags -- software changed

As per this 2019-09 discussion and FR 1303 "Allow the removal of erroneous tags", the software has been changed to allow the removal of erroneous tags.

The Title page has been enhanced to display a new blue link, "View Tag Breakdown", next to the "Current Tags" line if (and only if) the current user is a moderator. Clicking the link on the Title page for Jules Verne's De la Terre à la Lune takes you to the "Tag Breakdown by User" page for the title. The page shows which users are responsible for which tag. As we discussed last September, it "will let moderators contact taggers and ask them about questionable tags". If you are a bureaucrat, the page will also let you remove one or more tags.

For now, if you determine that a tag is erroneous and the tagger is not responding to you queries, please let me know and I will remove the offending tag. Hopefully this will let us address the most egregious cases. Depending on how it goes over the next few months, I may make the "remove" functionality available to all moderators. Ahasuerus 17:47, 14 January 2020 (EST)

Superb, Ahasuerus! Many thanks for the work! Christian Stonecreek 02:21, 15 January 2020 (EST)
Sure thing! It's so nice not to be sick any more and to be able to work on development again :-) (Keeping my fingers crossed.) Ahasuerus 10:56, 15 January 2020 (EST)
Now there's already the first case that might become a topic: we have the following tags that I recently stumbled over: 'classic werewolf anthology', 'werewolf', 'werewolves', 'werewolf anthology', 'werewolf romance' & 'Young-adult werewolf', with only 'werewolf' and 'werewolves' having a considerable amount of numbers behind them. I'd say that all others could be subsumed under one of those two. And would it better to apply the new feature or should those that were installed by users no longer active better be set to 'Private'?. Christian Stonecreek 02:21, 15 January 2020 (EST)
It looks like there are two separate issues here. The first one is how to handle clearly erroneous data, e.g. a title that has no time travel elements getting tagged with "time travel". The second one is how to handle duplicate or overlapping tags like "werewolf" and "werewolves".
FR 1303 only covered the first issue and that's what the latest software patch addressed. Duplicate and overlapping tags, on the other hand, were discussed in FR 911, "Allow moderators to edit and merge tags". FR 911 is not ready for implementation because we still need to reach consensus re: which (if any) types of tags can be merged by moderators. My personal inclination would be to allow merging misspelled and almost-identical tags like "werewolf"/"werewolves" and "near-future"/"near future". I wouldn't use very specific tags like "classic werewolf anthology" or "powerful young adolescent female character" myself, but I wouldn't be in favor of merging them either. Different users use tags differently and that's fine.
Then we have users whose tags are perfectly fine except for the messed-up format. For example, consider "futurist, science fiction, dark energy, dark matter, clockworks horse, clockworks people", which needs to be broken up into 6 separate tags. I haven't given it much thought yet. Ahasuerus 10:55, 15 January 2020 (EST)

Old Bones

I recently recieved Old Bones by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child while at the rehab facility that I was "visiting", and while it seems, so far, not to have any fantastic content, it IS a sub-series of Preston & Child's Pendergast series, which is listed here. Should I list this book, link it to the Pendergast series, and note that it is non-genre? I'm asking on the moderator board because the moderators have to okay it. MLB 17:48, 14 January 2020 (EST)

Unless one of the authors makes it to the "above threshold" status (which none of them is IMO), it is not eligible. We do not list non-SF series books in the series we list unless they qualify in a different way. Annie 18:43, 14 January 2020 (EST)
Okay, just thought I'd ask as one auther has about forty books on this site, and the other has about thirty. But, less work for me. :) MLB 20:01, 14 January 2020 (EST)
Hm... if at least one of them can be considered above threshold, it will be in - I do not consider either of them genre but a lot of their books are borderline I guess thinking about them. Let me go check some numbers on their ineligible titles. :) Annie 20:11, 14 January 2020 (EST)
Reading the wikipedia entry for Still Life with Crows it is definately NOT spec fic imo. Makes me wonder if there's a single book in the Pendergast series that is? MagicUnk 00:12, 15 January 2020 (EST)
Doing some more reading, The Cabinet of Curiosities has spec fic elements, so at least that volume belongs MagicUnk 00:23, 15 January 2020 (EST)
SFE has them as well as books of interest under the author record - so most are in. Also - the whole series is set in a slightly alternate world if I remember correctly - just different enough to make them SF (although I would admit that I had not read any in more than a decade and my memories are a bit murky). So let’s not rush into deleting and/or marking anything as non genre based on descriptions. :) Annie 02:18, 15 January 2020 (EST)
I haven't read any of their books in quite some time, decades in fact, but Relic and Reliquary were definitely speculative, as Relic had a monster, and was made into a monster/horror/action movie The Relic in 1997 and Reliquary was a direct sequel. MLB 07:18, 15 January 2020 (EST)
Yeah, I did some further reading, and you're right. These are eligible all right. Reading some more wikipedia entries, I have strong doubts about Brimstone and Dance of Death, whereas The Book of the Dead as third volume in the Diogenes trilogy seems to be eligible again. Should we keep them all in and update the non-eligible titles and flag them non genre? MagicUnk 07:46, 15 January 2020 (EST)
Sorry, didn't read Annie's response properly MagicUnk 11:37, 15 January 2020 (EST)
If you look at SFE and SFE again, you can see what they consider genre. We can differ from them if we have a reason to - with notes and so on (and their list may not be complete) but a lot of those borderline thrillers tend to sound non-SF on paper - partially because the publisher is a mainstream one and they do not want to scare the readers who think that genre is for kids. Read the description here for example - nothing tells you it is one of our books - although it is. The more mainstream a publisher is, the more likely is that they will try to mask or outright forget to mention the SF elements so when you are looking to decide if it is genre, keep that in mind as well. Welcome to the fun :) Annie 12:25, 15 January 2020 (EST)

Cemetery Dance #77

I'm tired, so I submitted what I could of this issue. I'll finish the contents tomorrow. MLB 02:53, 16 January 2020 (EST)

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