Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Novels/Archive 5

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Archive 4 Archive 5 Archive 6

Referencing and novels

Say I am quoting critism of a book, eg. critic saying that the book-A was XYZ and supporting this claim by brining a quote from another book by the same author, book-B. Would it be enough to list in the notes something like this:

The novel allowed the author to express her frustration with her dog, a tension that could already be seen in her earler book X in which she wrote I am tense.1
(Then in the Notes section)
1Jones pp23, quote referenced to Author ABC Ch3 etc.
(And then in the References section list the book by Jones, including all details, but not the book ABC. The logic behind this being that ABC is not really a reference in itself, plus, the person who is editing the article, never actually saw the book ABC).

???? If you go to To the Lighthouse look at notes and references, note that in the list of references are books by Woolf although that is not where I actually got the quotes from. ShaiM 15:44, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

One or two responses.
  • one of the basic rules of referencing is you always quote where "you" got the material from. You may say from "X" , quoted in "Y". But you need to give full details.
  • where at all possible give pages numbers, or at least chapter refs etc.
  • Also edition information is significant as often the material changes one edition to another. If only in the pagination.
  • Another convention is that the "footnote" is normally slightly fuller when first used and shorter subsequently. This is especially true when any ambiguity is possible.
Trust this helps :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 08:23, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for that. However re. your last point, I thought it might be more appropriate to use a short description (eg. Davies p23-4, as opposed to: Davies, R Title Edition info etc) due the dynamic nature of editing. Ie. another reference to the book may be made earlier in the article at a later date. I thought it might be enough just to have the full citation in the Reference section.ShaiM 03:18, 7 October 2006 (UTC)

Scanning pages and copyright

I've got a book that has a facsimile of the title page of the orginal edition. Is it permisable to upload it (after scanning) and what sort of tag should be attached to it (re. copyright status)?ShaiM 03:29, 7 October 2006 (UTC)

Tagging talk pages and assessing articles

Wikipedia Assessments within AWB. Click on the image to see it in better resolution

Hi. If you still have work to do tagging talk pages and assessing articles, my AWB plugin might be of interest to you.

The plugin has two main modes of operation:

  • Tagging talk pages, great for high-speed tagging
  • Assessments mode, for reviewing articles (pictured)

As of the current version, WikiProjects with simple "generic" templates are supported by the plugin without the need for any special programatic support by me. I've had a look at your project's template and you seem to qualify.

For more information see:

Hope that helps. If you have any questions or find any bugs please let me know on the plugin's talk page. --Kingboyk 14:39, 20 September 2006 (UTC)


I have been looking at The Chronicles of Narnia individual book articles. Some of them show chapter listings and some don't. I asked here if the books should have chapter listins and was refered here. Is there a standard about listing chapter titles?--roger6106 03:53, 7 October 2006 (UTC)

Personally I see no value in a listing of chapter headings. This is not included in our standard for articles. There might be the odd occasion when there could be a benefit to this but for now I can't think of one!. :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 08:46, 9 October 2006 (UTC)

Are book covers still allowed?

There has been a situation where the book cover for the semi-nonfiction work Cosmic Trigger I: Final Secret of the Illuminati was removed, apparently because it was felt posting the cover of a book violated fair use. I think this is ridiculous, but considering that Wikipedia users appear to change their interpretation of the copyright rules whenever the tide does, I have to ask the question -- are we still allowed to include book cover images with our Novels articles? (Incidentally in previous rants on this subject I've made the prediction that Wikipedia will eventually ban all images; I've actually seen people espousing the virtues of the German Wikipedia which has actually done just that; it's one of the dullest sites on the net now. I hope English Wiki doesn't go the same direction.) 23skidoo 13:53, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

I think the consensus is that book covers may only be used to illustrate an article on the book in question -- since Cosmic Trigger doesn't have an article, maybe the editors felt there was no rationale for the cover. Do you have a link to a deletion log or some correspondence regarding the deletion? TheronJ 14:00, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
I'm with 23skidoo on this one a picture is vital to gaining and retaining interest. If the copyright industry ever intended the silly debate we keep having here they may all go out and shoot there collective feet. I can sort of understand keeping the cover images to the novel articles themselves but only just. :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 14:16, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
Ah, now that I can see the article, it makes sense. You're clearly in the right, 23. This looks like a mistaken impression by the user who uploaded the original cover image. User_talk:Wiki_alf#Picture_licensing. TheronJ 16:58, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
No disrespect intended to the user who misinterpreted the rule, it's just that I really do see zero consistency with regards to the use of images on Wikipedia so it really would not have surprised me to learn that the rules had changed again regarding book covers. So I thought I would check, just in case. 23skidoo 17:04, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

This surely isn't a discussion for us, is it? If Wikipedia removes book covers, it'll do it globally and remove the fair use options. Until then, we soldier on. --Sordel 18:20, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

Just on a related note, there is currently a discussion going on at Talk:Frankenstein#Images about removing the book cover from that article because the poster claims it violates fair use to use book covers and constitutes "a free ad" for the publisher of the edition illustrated. Someone has suggested replacing the book cover with an image of Mary Shelley as well (though under the fair use rules for people images they can't be used for such things - though granted it's probably easy to find a public domain image of her). I've tried to set things straight, but it might be worth watching this discussion as this is the sort of thing that could lead to exactly what I'm concerned about. 23skidoo 21:14, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

Category:Uncategorised books

Please note the creation of this category - novels will be put in here too if they are found in Category:Category needed, so this may be helpful and relevant to this wikiproject. Aelfthrytha 13:06, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

summary of Tom Clancy's Net Force

any1 read that book? tell me about it —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .


I just noticed a banner for a BooksWikiproject starting to appear. Maybe it's been around for awhile, but I wonder if this might be duplicating some of the efforts being undertaken by this project? 23skidoo 19:52, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

No, the banner has just been written. By a fairly enthusiastic new "Books" member. I would agree there is protentinal of confusion, certainly overlap. What I would suggest is that we try to stay on good terms with all their efforts and encourage the "Novels" efforts to come our way. Novels, Novellas and maybe Short Stories that is (Short Stories issue is still to be resolved). :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 07:29, 16 October 2006 (UTC)
About short stories: where is that being discussed? I'm in favour of including them in this project, especially since there are so many instances of the short story collection that has a linear timeline and overlapping characters and the older format of the book of sketches which I discussed before. Since then I've found many many more examples of this ambiguity between short stories and novel. If they're all included, we won't have to have disputes about these types of books.--Ibis3 17:53, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

Frontispiece illustrations

Hi, I've added pics to two novels: The Talisman and Woodstock (novel). These are frontispieces scanned from an 1863 combined volume, and should do until we get the frontispieces of first editions. But my question is, what how should illustrations be cropped? I've put up the versions which show the cover and pages behind the illust page. But at Commons I've uploaded cleaner cropped versions.[1][2] It has also just now occurred to me that I could have photographed the book instead of laying it on the scanner.

What does the project prefer? (apologies if there are guidelines for this - I haven't been able to find them: perhaps mention at the Infobox template?) Cheers, JackyR | Talk 22:49, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

I don't know that there are guidelines to exactly what you mention, others may know differently. However it might be usefull to have a look at Wikipedia:Fair use for associated thinking, and I would tend to go with the better "commons" images. We tend to set the cover "or frontispiece alternatives" to "200px" sizing for the infobox. Does that help - a bit! :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 08:13, 19 October 2006 (UTC)
Very much. Thank you! JackyR | Talk 12:50, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

Which book cover?

Here's a question I've asked before, but probably not where anyone was likely to respond. Somewhere in the guidelines I read that the preferred image for a novel's article (and infobox) is that of the first edition hardback, if any. But what, if anything, is to be done about articles that instead feature a paperback cover or a later edition hardcover one? Should these be left alone, so as not to "orphan" the fair use images someone took the trouble to upload and place there? Or should they be supplanted and the paperpack images deleted (or used elsewhere)? I'm thinking mostly of certain Madeleine L'Engle articles such as A Ring of Endless Light, A Wrinkle in Time and A Wind in the Door. Every time I go to those articles, I resist the temptation to upload my hardcover dustjacket images. (No, I don't have a first of Wrinkle, but my 1965 copy does have the original cover art.) Should I continue to resist, or just do it? Karen | Talk | contribs 05:38, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

What I tend to do is to replace the cover with the "first" (not necessarily hardback, but very often) and move the existing image if worthwhile elsewhere in the article. Usually lower down, slightly smaller (e.g. 150px), with "thumb" marker and caption to explain it's use and then often aligned to the "left". Some larger novels / article possibly warrant a set of covers which illustrate a "publication history". This is used in some cases already. :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 07:44, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

Griffin (The Invisible Man)

I have merged some articles into this but its looking a little messy, as I have no experience in the "novel department", can someone help me make it neat please?--SGCommand (talkcontribs) 20:44, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

Disambiguation link repair - I can't help!

While disambiguating Dan Gordon (please forgive the lack of wikilink) I came across a couple of lists from Category:Lists of Ace Books (please forgive the lack of wikilink, again). There are 24 such lists in the category, and the ones I've seen are huge and in a complete mess, riddled with redlinks (forgivable), links to dab pages (unfortunate) and links to completely unrelated subjects (oh dear....). As obsessive as I am, I'm not touching this. I thought I'd draw the lists to somebody's attention, and you guys are the novels project. Admittedly, the bad links are (supposed to be) authors, not novels. So feel free to completely ignore them. I know I will.

Interestingly, Ace Books is a featured article.... TheMadBaron 06:18, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

Wow a hugh task, however having had a brief look I con only find good links (and the red links, of course). Do you have a few examples so we can have some idea where to start. :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 08:20, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

If I knew where to start, I wouldn't be shirking the task! Still, since Kevin seems to be taking the bait (like he's not busy enough already), I shall elaborate.

As I said, I was disambiguating Dan Gordon - that's one example of a link to a disambiguation page, albeit one I created myself. The disambiguation effort led me to List of Ace double novels, List of Ace Western Double Titles, and List of Ace Titles in first DGS series, all of which feature links to Dan Gordon, but not one of my three Dan Gordons.

Clicking nearby links, I found several other examples of bad links. I can't remember which ones. It seemed as if any name I didn't recognise was a bad link.

I shall repeat the experiment now to demonstrate the point, choosing common sounding names with no initials. Thank heavens for popups.

Names from List of Ace double novels, and details of the articles they point at:

  • Harry Whittington is lawyer who was shot in the face by Dick Cheney in 2006
  • Tom West is the protagonist of The Soul of a New Machine
  • Roy Manning is an American football linebacker
  • Ken Murray is a dab page
  • Brad Ward is a politician, born two years after his novel was published
  • Robert Turner is an American professional poker player. (Whether he deserves the page, I don't know. That has to be a very common name. I know a guy called Robert Turner.)
  • Frank Castle is The Punisher, a fictional vigilante and anti-hero in the Marvel Comics Universe
  • Lee Correy redirects to G. Harry Stine, widely regarded as the father of model rocketry
  • Ben Smith is an English cricketer
  • John Callahan is an American actor
  • Edwin Booth was a famous 19th century American actor
  • James White is a dab page
  • Jack Webb..... is.... is an achievable disambiguation task.
  • TheMadBaron has barely scratched the surface here, and has just found something better to do with his time.

Cheers. TheMadBaron 23:52, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

Ouch! I'll give it a go. Grey Shadow 01:20, 24 October 2006 (UTC)
Way to go, Grey! :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 14:21, 24 October 2006 (UTC)
Thanks! I've just noticed that Lee Correy correctly redirects to G. Harry Stine, so it's not actually an error. Others are a different matter. Grey Shadow 15:57, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

I've had an insight as to how this can be (more) easily done. I propose that Grey Shadow and I work together on this, and so rather than bore you with the details here, I'll bore him with the details on his talk page. TheMadBaron 19:13, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

I have done Ben Smith for you lot Kingjamie 15:05, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

Project Directory

Hello. The WikiProject Council is currently in the process of developing a master directory of the existing WikiProjects to replace and update the existing Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Directory. These WikiProjects are of vital importance in helping wikipedia achieve its goal of becoming truly encyclopedic. Please review the following pages:

and make any changes to the entries for your project that you see fit. There is also a directory of portals, at User:B2T2/Portal, listing all the existing portals. Feel free to add any of them to the portals or comments section of your entries in the directory. The three columns regarding assessment, peer review, and collaboration are included in the directory for both the use of the projects themselves and for that of others. Having such departments will allow a project to more quickly and easily identify its most important articles and its articles in greatest need of improvement. If you have not already done so, please consider whether your project would benefit from having departments which deal in these matters. It is my hope to have the existing directory replaced by the updated and corrected version of the directory above by November 1. Please feel free to make any changes you see fit to the entries for your project before then. If you should have any questions regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to contact me. Thank you. B2T2 22:17, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

Sorry if you tried to update it before, and the corrections were gone. I have now moved the new draft in the old directory pages, so the links should work better. My apologies for any confusion this may have caused you. B2T2 14:03, 24 October 2006 (UTC)
Have updated the Novels, Books and Spooks project entries. :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 15:59, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

Moving (maybe) Novel Page w/ Lots of Links to It

This page needs moved to change its title, or so I think, which should be Tender Is the Night, not Tender is the Night, but I don't understand if moving it will accomplish the move of all the links, or if they will have to individually be changed? Is there someone more experienced at WikiNovels who can do this?

Although it may fit the case of "capitalization of all words, except for internal articles, prepositions, conjunctions and forms of to be," that is neither the Wikipedia nor the American publishing convention. Maybe this was how it was originally published? Was this a style used by American publishers? I'm not real familiar with this style and its usage.

So I post it in this forum, instead of on its page, in case there is some convention adopted by Wikipedia for book titles that I don't know, or if it is a function of the time frame of publishing, instead of just an internal convention adopted by the publisher for this book.

KP Botany 15:44, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

Personally, I would never normally capitalize is any more than I would capitalize the. I might be wrong in this, and I would happily bow to Wikipedia naming conventions, but I'm not sure that there is one in this case. List of books by title: S includes The Singularity is Near, though this redirects to The Singularity Is Near, and The Sky is Falling (novel). Amazon uses both Tender Is the Night and Tender is the Night.
If you do decide to move the page, Tender is the Night will automatically become a redirect to the new title, so don't worry about breaking links. If you move the book article, I'd very much appreciate it if you'd move the film article, Tender is the Night (1962 film) as well. I created it, and in naming it, I followed the example of the book article. In fact, the year disambiguation isn't necessary, and I should have created it at Tender is the Night (film). TheMadBaron 18:44, 24 October 2006 (UTC)
I have never seen the convention, until I went to check it, that "forms of to be" not be capitalized. And I've never noticed it done that way, forms of 'to be' not capitalized, (in addition to the articles, prepositions and conjunctions). I own 3 copies of Tender Is the Night, so I'll have to go look at them, not the covers, but the copyright pages and such. I'm American, so maybe it's that it isn't done in America, but is the norm elsewhere in the English-speaking world? I haven't seen the film yet. Is it good? I'll read the page. KP Botany 19:13, 24 October 2006 (UTC)
The convention seems to be more honoured in the breach than in the observance....
As strange as this may seem, of the seventeen film articles I've started, I've seen 1.5 of the actual films. Tender is the Night isn't one of them. Or even half of one. I'm just a disambiguation junkie.
I read one Fitzgerald novel, The Great Gatsby (on John Braine's recommendation). It's superb. I've never felt remotely inclined to read another. TheMadBaron 20:26, 24 October 2006 (UTC)
The norm is to only capitalise where the original work has that convention. SO the particial captilization should be cited and proven "first" before any move. The film article is a different peice of the work and should be seperately cited and proven. (n.b. they often use different conventions to the novels). :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 08:20, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
Also the guidance for any move is to check for links to the resultant redirection page and such double redirects found "corrected" to point them to the new page, creating only single redirects. :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 08:20, 26 October 2006 (UTC)


A friend suggested to me that we could do ratings for the books such as 'adult' 'teenage fiction' children fiction', that sort of thing. I thought it pretty interesting, and it would be neat if that appeared onto every book thingummy, so I thought I'd just ask about it here. Lady Nimue of the Lake 07:19, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

Personnal ratings is out of the scope of wikipedia, certainly the main namespace. :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 08:20, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
I guess. Lady Nimue of the Lake 06:12, 5 November 2006 (UTC) template request

Howdy all - Since so many articles use external links to, I put in a request for an template here. Is anyone good at this? Thanks for any help - Pegship 16:24, 28 October 2006 (UTC)

The main problem is that Amazon links usually link to products. The guidelines state we should use ISBN instead of bookstore linking, as ISBN are handled directly by the server, giving the possibility to choose between many different bookstores. -- ReyBrujo 17:27, 28 October 2006 (UTC)
So I think the response to, "so many articles use external links to" is that they shouldn't! :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 09:32, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps they shouldn't, but inevitably they will, and as such, the template sounds like a good idea to me. Amazon is a useful resource, if not very reliable. A lot of older books don't have ISBNs.... the problem with the Amazon ID is that it isn't really used elsewhere, and certainly shouldn't be considered as a substitute for an ISBN where one is available. TheMadBaron 14:30, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
It occurs to me that a Library of Congress template would be more accurate, but less descriptive. Frequently LOC gives the bare bones, and it doesn't include a cover image or a synopsis (unless a cataloger has written one). We have a template for LCC and LCCN; do we need one to search LOC for an ISBN? Pegship 00:23, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
WikiProject Spam is setting up a bot to revert determined links. Amazon products may be one of them. So, you would not need to worry about this a lot if it is considered blacklisted in the external links section. I have seen people link directly to the Search inside feature, though. But from what I remember, that requires a registration, so it may be considered an invalid link as well. -- ReyBrujo 02:45, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

Separate articles for different editions???

I've opened a potential pandora's box at The Castle. Someone has created separate articles for different editions/translations of the book. I'm aware of no other work so treated and in my personal opinion the translations should be nominated for AFD. Right now I'm suggesting merging instead. Anyone who wants to comment for or against the idea are invited to comment at the main article and the three spin-off articles (accessed via the merge tags on the main). Personally I think it sets a dangerous and confusing precedent. Anything noteworthy about a translation can be summed up in a paragraph in the main article. Or, if there really is scholarly noteworthiness about the different translations, then ONE article on the topic should suffice. 23skidoo 15:06, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

Agreed ... there are exceptionally few cases in which a translation is so important as to merit a separate article, and comment on translations should have been restricted in this case to the original article. I actually think that an article on translations of The Bible, Homer or Dante would be appropriate to the English wikipedia (just as translations of Shakespeare might be appropriate to the wikipedia in another language), but in such a case the article should be a synoptic overview of the subject rather than an article on a single translation. If someone wanted to fold the three articles into a single one on translations of The Castle, I suppose that would be fine as well. --Sordel 09:16, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
Agree with Sordel there would have to be a damn good reason for different articles for translations or editions - Merge ahead Lethaniol 18:04, 2 November 2006 (UTC)


We have a project structure that allows for the formation of special interest task forces (al la "WP:MILHIST".) This is useful for identifying groups of "Novels" editors who have a common interest. (i.e. Science fiction novels, Crime Novels, Children's novels, Classic literature, Russian novels etc.) Would there be interest out there in setting one or more of these up. Comments please! :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 10:50, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

The obvious groupings could be considered along the lines of "Novels" categories, Novels by country, Novels by genre, Novels by century? or even Novels by award (major literary prize: Booker, Newbery etc.). :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 10:55, 1 November 2006 (UTC)
This sounds like it could be quite useful and I would have no objections to participating in appropriate taskforces. Whilst I'm interested in literature in general, a lot of my additions have been in more 'genre' novels to date: crime (particularly historical), horror and fantasy. Silverthorn 17:13, 2 November 2006 (UTC)
I could participate with Russian novels. Errabee 00:57, 9 December 2006 (UTC)


Um . . . this is so confusing, and I don't know where to ask. Total newcomer (at least in this end of wikipedia). I'm interested in working on the articles on the Jose Saramago novels. What should I do? Is anyone else interested or already working on them?DianaW 19:29, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

Welcome, no one particular is working on them that I know of, so just get started. Jose Saramago is not an author than I know so my envolvement will be just oversight. To start have a look at Master and Commander as a good example, and Wikipedia:WikiProject Novels/ArticleTemplate for a basic article starting pattern. :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 09:22, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

The wording of assessments

I continue to be uncomfortable with the assessing of novels as "low", "medium" and "high" importance. Aside from the fact (expressed before) that I feel assessing on this level violates WP:NPOV, the use of the terms "low-importance", for example, in describing a book is, in my POV, somewhat insulting. At the risk of opening a pandora's box on this issue, can we not perhaps drop the actual wording and instead, perhaps work with a scale of 1 to 10 or 1, 2, 3 or something like that. It doesn't change the POV of assessing novels, but at least it doesn't make it as blatantly POV as labelling a book as "high importance" or as "low importance" which is bound to create some controversy. Thoughts? 23skidoo 03:05, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

Bear in mind this is not an assessment of the novels / books, but an assessment of the articles. The "importance" is a gauge of it's priority in the encyclopedia. Also the Low, Mid, High, Top are Wikipedia wide, WP:1.0 namings. The "currently" approved alternative titles for this element is between "importance" or "priority", which speaks more of the sequence of attention that the WikiProject associated should be giving to the article in preparing it for inclusion in the WP:1.0 and WP:0.5. If you consider that the change of "importance" to "priority" is worth doing it could be with AWB and considerable effort, then consider how much would be envolved changing the other elements to numbers, especially when the automation tools don't know anything of such a scheme. The NPOV issue I have some understanding of, but consider that this tagging is restriced to the "Talk" namespace (which is open to all sorts of POV). :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 09:22, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

Book cover image

Hello, it's nice that there is some sort of organisation going on here - i would like to help out, my first edit in this direction was fattening out The Stars' Tennis Balls. Most editing information is available here, but i seem not to find any info on adding a book cover. Therefore i will ask some questions, if someone can answer me here or point me in the right direction, i would be most grateful.

  • 1 the info box directions say "~cover image of novel fair use~" which i presume means that i can scan/fotograph a book cover and upload as a wikicommons image, but i would like to have that idea confirmed before i do it.
  • 2 what is a good image? any specific guidelines here on size, resolution or type?
  • 3 i presume a scanned image is best, failing that is a digital foto ok? i have seen some, but i dont know if it is encouraged policy (otherwise i can leave it for someone to do it who has a scanner)
  • 4 the copy should be the first edition if possible?
  • 5 would copying a library book be ok if there is a small metal strip present on the cover?

Thanks! Mujinga 16:03, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

Try looking around wikipedia for the general image upload guidelines.
  • 2. Specific responses nothing beyond 200px should be necessary from an infobox bookcover
  • 3. I tend to use imaged found on the web. Load them to image: name space on wikipedia and quote the origin and decalir use under fair use terms.
  • 4. first edition if possible? Yes the First edition is the general focus of the infobox being the most notable issue of the novel or book.
  • 5. ideally as good a quality source as possible. :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 16:14, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
thanks for the prompt reply - if i can take an image off the net then that simplifies things considerably Mujinga 17:25, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
Be careful where you get the image from as some files are electronically watermarked. I believe it's a bit risky getting the images from, say, Amazon, even though they couldn't claim copyright of the book cover. 23skidoo 18:19, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
If you upload such image, remember to tag it with {{imagewatermark}} so that users are able to locate and replace it. -- ReyBrujo 18:40, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
Not all images are obviously watermarked, though. I uploaded one (admittedly taken from a website; this was in the early days), and there was no URL printed on the image or other graphic, yet apparently it was watermarked in some other way (maybe in the metadata) and as a result it was flagged and replaced. I'm not sure how that works. 23skidoo 22:01, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
Note that many fair use images are being tagged as replaceable because they can be replaced (in example, images about personalities). -- ReyBrujo 22:30, 27 November 2006 (UTC)


The article Book has the absurd box saying it's in the wikiproject Novel;s--how does it get temoved.?DGG 07:26, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

now removed - how it got there I don't know. :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 14:51, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

James Joyce

James Joyce is up for a featured article review. Detailed concerns may be found here. Please leave your comments and help us address and maintain this article's featured quality. Sandy (Talk) 21:47, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

Harry Potter dates?!

WHY do so many of the entries about Harry Potter and events in the novels have dates (e.g. Harry Potter, born 31st July, 1980 (or whatever))? All that needs to be assumed is that the stories take place "in the present" and certain events happened a number of years ago "in the past". J.K. Rowling rightly hasn't bothered herself with exact dates for anything, and neither should anyone writing for Wikipedia, IMO.

Actually, she provides one date, and from that fans have derived all of the other dates. In the second book, when Nearly-Headless Nick has has 500th deathday celebration on Halloween, the date of his death is given as being October 31, 1492. That means that the current date was October 31, 1992, and since she provides plenty of relative dates, the rest fall in place rather easily.Crispus 03:42, 17 December 2006 (UTC)

Newbie question - Novels & WP:NPOV

Since some of the main tenants of writing an article are no original research and adherence to objectivity, is it necessary to read the book before submitting an article about it? WesHoskins 06:39, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

Good question!! Short answer is obviously no! However this is an interesting point. Strictly given the tenets of WP:NPOV we should not us any information from the personal experience of the subject in question. However in the case of books, literature and in this case "Novels" this appear (in my view) to be slightly absurd. The book is to some degree its own reference. However it is worth saying that most editors appear to take this view and lose track of the needs for verifiable sources of information, particularly critical comment, reviews & issues directly relating to an understanding of the novel's notability. More references and citations from everyone please.!!! :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 09:29, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
As I see it, this is a question of motivation: why would anyone want to write an article on a book they have not read? Okay, you can write a stub saying "Under the Palm Trees is a novel by Flora Kleinbaum first published in 2004. It won the Jungle Prize for Fiction in 2005", but anything beyond that should be written by those who know what they are writing about. Too many novel articles distort the facts about a book because people who have only watched the movie add things which are simply absent from the novel. <KF> 16:43, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
I can think of several reasons why one might write an article despite not having read the book. One might be to get the stub out there so that others will find it when searching and perhaps be inclined to add to it...another might be that the title sounds intriguing and so you decide you want to find out a little more about it...yet a third might be a simple desire to help by chipping away at the list of as-yet-unwritten articles... OTOH I do agree that the movie version of a work should NOT be used as a source for solid information on the book! --Bookgrrl 16:14, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
This can wind up being problematic, though. It's easy to see The Good Soldier Švejk article was written by someone who had gotten information from reviewers who had not read the book. This occurs, also in some other novel articles I run across now and then. Inaccuracy is, imo, worse than no article. KP Botany 17:34, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

New policy on sources might affect novels articles

A discussion has begun regarding the issue of making it mandatory for Wikipedia articles to have third-party sources and allowing speedy deletion of articles that do not. The proposed policy is at Wikipedia:Speedy deletion criterion for unsourced articles. This has me concerned because aside from the fact that it's apparently going to require every edit to be sourced (which is unreasonable and unworkable), it also appears to suggest that articles without a third-party source may be also subject to deletion. Which, IMO means a good 75% if not more of the articles in this WikiProject will be endangered. I'm not saying that it's a bad thing to require sources if you make a statement about a book such as "This book inspired Oscar Wilde to get into writing" or whatever ... however when the subject of the article is the only source, and the only real content is a plot summary, a few general words about the book, and the infobox, this policy on the surface would appear to render such articles unusable. Example: I just created a stub article on the Martin Caidin novel Cyborg IV. I can tell you with 100% certainty that you will not find a third-party source providing information about this book. The only information I have for this book is what is between the pages and on the cover; yet as I understand the proposed policy, this article could be deleted. Maybe I'm misreading the policy, but if it goes through I think the members of this wikiproject should be concerned. 23skidoo 21:56, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

Similarly concerned! This is a one size fits all policy that has not concidered other issues. :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 09:02, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
It doesn't help when Jimbo Wales has taken a "zero information is better than wrong information" attitude according to the discussion. I've "quit" Wikipedia on several occasions over the last few months because of -- and I don't care if this offends anyone -- zealots who are so paranoid of something incorrect getting into an article that they are basically forcing people like me to do unpaid research for them. I do this for free as a fun time-filler when I'm not doing my paid work. If they want me to cross-reference everything (and the way this thing reads that could mean everything from adding a publishing date or ISBN to the infobox to adding in an article that America became a country in 1776) then my rates as a professional writer start at $50 Cdn. plus GST per hour. Let me know where to send the invoice. I have a few "trigger" articles -- ones that, while I know no one "owns" articles here, have nonetheless been pretty much "my baby". Specifically any of the Simon Templar articles or things related to Bill Haley. Too much disruption to any of those could be enough for me to leave the project for good. 23skidoo 03:28, 2 December 2006 (UTC)
Fortunately for Wikipedia and society at large, there are still a handful of individuals left (such as 23skidoo) who are neither stricken with paranoia nor other people's willing executioners. It's a sad fact that obedience to authority is deeply ingrained in society and that many people only see the letters of the law but fail to grasp its spirit. The abovementioned Wikipedia:Speedy deletion criterion for unsourced articles is a case in point. As Wikipedia grows and progresses, new dangers, never thought of before, appear, but I do hope this project will be strong enough to face them. <KF> 16:08, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the support. I am of the view that Wikipedia probably has another year or less before the paranoia takes over completely and we see a rather drastic reduction in content. Certainly I don't expect images to remain on Wikipedia for too much longer beyond maybe the most basic ones. Some wikiprojects have virtually eliminated them (the German Wiki is often cited), and there are those who seem to think the lack of images has made those sites somehow better. (I'm reminded of the early days of the Internet when there were a group of users who eschewed graphical interfaces (i.e. browsers) in favor of non-graphical all-text access because they liked it better that way; true, most computers didn't have the guts to handle something like Netscape or I.E. in those days, but still...) There's also the occasional user who comes around who believes we should only cover academically notable subjects. For example, this WikiProject, in their view, should only be about stuff like Dickens and Moby Dick, and not articles on Cyborg or The Da Vinci Code. I agree, I hope this project (and similar ones) get strong enough to mount a defense against these sorts of things. 23skidoo 17:47, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
One other thing happening, although I tend to agree that no information is preferable to wrong information, is that editors are tending towards almost entirely web resources, which aren't necessarily the most reliable. This is, imo, going to downgrade the quality of articles on Wikipedia overall. Also folks don't seem to understand how to use sources. Articles are copying sentences from sources and stringing them together, rather than writing an aritcle based upon sourced information. And, yes, I've noticed those folks who think that Jaws (film) is unworthy of an article as it is just a popular movie--what will anthropologists study 1000 years from now if we ignore our popular culture? KP Botany 18:16, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
Yes, the default source for everything seems to be the Internet, which is highly variable in reliability and really has a short memory, i.e., it has relatively little data on anything that happened before 1990. Fortunately, there's a fair amount of printed material about many (if not most) novels, notable short stories and their authors. I've started trying to use "search inside this book" to help track down some of this, but most of the time there's no substitute for thumbing through pages. Another problem I'm seeing in Wikipedia generally is a push for inline citations, to the point where references previously entered as links or in the References heading are ignored, and the material is thought to be "unsourced". I can see myself going through Madeleine L'Engle and citing the same sources five times each just to satisfy the mania for inline citations only. Karen | Talk | contribs 18:49, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
Ah, this explains why so many articles are starting to look like someone strung the sources together as if links on a chain--then called the chain an article, when trying to build a fence. In the old days, when we used to write material on index cards, then an outline, then write the article from the two, a warning to all was to not let the article sound like that is what you did. In-line sources mania is attempting to do the converse: make it look like you strung together a bunch of sources instead of writing a coherent article. Thanks for the insight. KP Botany 18:59, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
Even when relying solely on web resources and the novel in question itself (which is the primary source, for Christ's sake) one can write a well-rounded and good article. While it's virtually impossible to get hold of a hard copy of an essay in, say, The Albuquerque Literary Quarterly, Vol. XVII (1962) pp.241-253, it's very easy to access the same article if it has been made available online, so there's definitely no decrease in quality there. As with any kind of source, you have to use it wisely. And if we had all academic material ever published on Charles Dickens at our disposal, we would never get the Dickens article written.You have to work carefully and responsibly, that's all, which includes checking facts, using more than just one source, and ignoring those who claim that neither copying an outline of the plot -- a copyvio and thus against Wikipedia policy, which is true -- nor writing your own plot outline -- "original research" and thus also against Wikipedia policy -- is possible. <KF> 22:46, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

List of literary works with eponymous heroes

This list was started some time ago by a certain Nick Carraway. I'd like to invite you all to expand it by adding any title that crosses your mind while you are working on other things. <KF> 16:26, 3 December 2006 (UTC)


I'm trying to build my first article, I want to know where exactly I paste the article template. The instructions say "new article page" but I can't find that link anywahere. Is it the user page? Thanks, WesHoskins 05:39, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

Here's how I do it. Find a related article, such as a page about your book's author. The novel (if that's what it is you're about to write about) should be mentioned in it somewhere. Put brackets around that mention, creating a Wikilink. When you save, it will be a "redlink", indicating there is no article by that name. (If it's not red, then there already is an article after all.) Click on the redlink, and you will be taken to a page that says there is no such article yet, with a big empty box in which to write the article. Paste your template in there and get started! (I really should use that template myself.) Karen | Talk | contribs 06:14, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

Project Scope and Short Stories

Okay, lets take this one head on. Short stories and Short story collections have come up a number of times as being part of this project. Novellas and novelettes are defined as included. So what about it everyone - should Short stories and/or Short story collections be concidered "in scope". In which case the definition of "novel" as a project title will need to change to mean all narrative prose stories. (excluding graphical and picture comic forms of course) :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 15:05, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

Yeah this one is a toughie. Some short story collections nonetheless have links between them (such as the Saint ones I worked on), and I've also seen some short story collections such as William Burroughs' Exterminator! promoted and listed as novels, making one wonder if the author's intentions should be considered. On top of all this there needs to be a clear definition of where a short story ends and a novella/noveltte begins. I've seen, for example Jonathan Livingston Seagull defined as a novel and a novella, when in fact its word count is closer to a short story. Same with James Clavell's The Children's Story. And we can't even take the stand that a novel/novella is something that has been published independently because those previous two examples have been published as books. Perhaps one possibility is to allow short story collections featuring connected story elements -- as in they take place within the same fictional universe, with recurring characters? 23skidoo 21:44, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
I can see why some short stories have been included. Besides the examples quoted by 23skidoo, I have run into the situation on a number of occasions now where an author has a main series which genuinely are novels, but who uses the novella format (often as part of an anthology with other writers) to explore the stories of minor characters and give them a starring role. This obviously do fit within the main series and are often worked on by the same editors as are dealing with the articles for the main series, so they sort of get lumped together under this project.
I do wonder whether it might be worth having a 'short stories wikiproject' at times. One that is perhaps a subsidary of this project maybe? I remember someone asking once before about article templates for short story collections, and it strikes me that it would be useful to develop one. Yes, the novel article template can be adapted, but if each editor does it separately then there's the risk of disparities. It would probably be easier, certainly for new editors, if there was a standard agreed-upon framework. That sort of thing, as well as the other quirks unique to short stories, could be something a group could work upon. Silverthorn 08:55, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
We could just take the approach that all short stories are in scope and just deal with the project naming anomaly by making the descriptions read something like "we include all novel-like narratives regardless of length". Just an idea! :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 09:03, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
Or we could just go ahead and make it Wikiproject Fiction, regardless of length. It would be a mot more work,potentially, but then the only judgment calls are fiction vs. non-fiction, and notable or not. Karen | Talk | contribs 09:51, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
Although a name change is another way to solve that, I can see two problems. The first is the extraordinary amount of work needed to effect the change (all sorts of interdependancies etc.) and the second is the name "fiction" doesn't quite hack it either, that would tend to wind in "plays, poetry, etc" all of which leave behind the prose narrative basic fair of this project. :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 08:53, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
What about WikiProject Prose? I agree we can't just be a Fiction Wikiproject because that's too broad and would also have to include film and TV and plays, all of which have their own wikiprojects. Similarly I think poetry has one too. Literature Wikiproject might be a good alternative, but literature can also include poetry and plays. And how do we handle things like The Canterbury Tales which is both a novel and a poem -- and for that matter, a short story collection in some interpretations? My eyes are crossing... 23skidoo 17:41, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
Although I agree the name might lead to "some" confusion I think leaving it alone and providing good scope descriptions would be better. Two reasons, current familiarity with the project name, and secondly the enormous amount of work to effect a change, I'm not sure I fancy doing all that grunt.!! :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 11:00, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
Another possibility. At this point, I'm fairly good at creating project pages that at least don't make people cringe upon seeing them; I hope so anyway; if I'm wrong, please let me know very, very politely, OK? :) Maybe it would be possible to set up one or more sister projects, each with their own pages, for short stories, plays, and so on. Alternately, we could create a parent WikiProject Fiction, and possibly create descendant projects or subprojects for Short Stories, Drama, Sagas, and whatever else. In either event, the name of this project would not have to be changed, and separate groups dealing with the other aspects could exist as well. Personally, I would probably favor one of these options, as I imagine that there would be different criteria for notability for several of these works, and we wouldn't want to add all those criteria to just this one page. If anyone is in favor of this proposal, though, I probably wouldn't be able to do all the set-up until at least this weekend. Badbilltucker 15:18, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
(Replying to Badbilltucker, but I'm starting a new "row" for the thread). I believe there is such a "spin-off hierarchy" at the Television WikiProject, as there is a secondary project for British Television. The only problem is that you end up with people (like me) adding the main project banner as well as the subproject (sort of like listing parent categories along with sub categories). It might be worth comparing notes to see how the "sister project" approach has worked for them. If there are poetry and plays wikiprojects, would they be willing to go under one umbrella, though? 23skidoo 15:59, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
There already is a poetry project, Wikipedia:WikiProject Poetry, which has it's own banner. That project only has around fifteen total members, and doesn't have any departments, so they might be willing to join a larger group which does have more specialized activities, like assessment, collaboration, and peer review. As for any of the projects which haven't yet been created, whether they'd be willing to accept work group/task force status largely depends on who creates them. I know I certainly would be willing to have pages, banners, userboxes, and so on I created be for a group which is a part of a larger project; actually, that makes them kind of easier. And, of course, any members who join an existing group more or less by definition accept the current status of the group. Badbilltucker 16:20, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
The way to do this would be in the style of WP:MILHIST where anything military and history is included and the particular interests are supported by specialist "task forces". see Wikipedia:WikiProject_Military_history#Task_forces which work extremely well for them. :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 16:47, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
The question is now whether a new "parent" project (maybe WikiProject Fiction?) should be created, whether Novels will be renamed Fiction or something else, or some other arrangement. Personally, I'd prefer creation of a new Fiction project, as I think it would be easier to implement, with the other new subprojects being created as work groups of the new parent project. But that's just my opinion. Badbilltucker 17:16, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
I think "Fiction" is just too broad, "Theatre, Film, Opera, Rock Opera, Poetry, Manga, Graphic novels" oh th elist just goes on. I still thick leave as is with the sope defined something like :-
"Novels - all works of narrative fiction that exhibit novel like structure, regardless of length (this includes full novels, novellas, novelettes and short stories)."

How about that :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 17:22, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Fine by me. Currently updating the Project Directory with all the new departments and projects from a list Martinp23 created a bot to create. I think, given the amount of work he had to do to get the thing together, that should remain my top priority for the next few days. (It has around 10000 pages listed). As soon as I'm done with that, I'll create at least the Short Stories task force. If there are any other specific task forces wanted, please specify them below. Badbilltucker 17:27, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
Great idea for the first Task Force I have asked via the next newsletter about support for Task Forces and was concidering myself the idea of starting with "Crime Novels" and "Children's Novels". :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 09:42, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
I would be willing to contribute to the proposed crime novels taskforce. Silverthorn 14:52, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
That's an excellent definition. It might be worth adding something like "for the purposes of this project" since I'm sure someone might take umbrage at us trying to redefine short stories as novels. Otherwise it works for me. 23skidoo 20:43, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
That would work, although I would still favor a "daughter" project for short stories. On the other hand, one then gets into definitional problems with word count and so on. Karen | Talk | contribs 21:16, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
I've run out of expletives to describe the number of categories involved, but the Wikipedia:WikiProject Novels/Short story work group page is now in at least rundimentary existence. Some of the categories included clearly do not belong, but I included all the categories within the basic category so that we would know which ones should be relocated. Badbilltucker 22:11, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

List of fictional books

Just wanted to advise members of this project of the existence of List of fictional books. This is a list of invented or imaginary books created as part of piece of fiction -- for example, Jorge Luis Borges did several short stories that were reviews of books that he made up (these were published in Ficciones). Another famous example is H.P. Lovecraft's Necronomicon , an imaginary book of black magic and necromancy which appears in a number of his Cthulhu mythos stories. If anyone in this project is intrigued by this literary device, we invite your participation, edits, additions, comments etc. Thanks :) --Bookgrrl 16:10, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Naming conventions for categories

Just FYI a discussion is currently underway at Naming Conventions here about creating a naming standard for categories since there are so many different variations of "Books by X", "X books", "Books written by X", "Novels by X", etc etc. I agree there should be a standard for this. My personaly vote is for "Books by X" since not all authors publish exclusively fiction novels (i.e. Asimov) so this would cover all an author's book releases; "X books" is problematic as that category could also include books written about a subject by others ... 23skidoo 16:14, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

I am aware of the debate, just. Although I don't have strong views on the subject I would support consistency of format if not in term used. Bear in mind that plenty of people write novels but not books, particularly those who write to the Web. A Book is a particular delivery format (i.e. a codex) whereas the term novel relates for a writing style or narrative prose, normally implying a certain length. but of course you knew all that! :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 16:19, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
Considering that the category for Madeleine L'Engle's characters was just changed by CFD to Characters from Madeleine L'Engle works, I'm wondering whether the cat for the books should be Works by Madeleine L'Engle or Books by Madeleine L'Engle. It could be Novels by Madeleine L'Engle, but since she has written a number of books that are not novels, a broader category might be better. Karen | Talk | contribs 21:14, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
We would need to see how the overall debate pans out then apply the principle to this one. :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 09:35, 8 December 2006 (UTC)


Never before in my life have I come across that notice, but I found it today on my talk page. True, Sick Puppy is "only" a plot summary, but now we're really working against each other. That guy might end up tagging hundreds if not thousands of articles on individual novels declaring them "indiscriminate information". Comments, please! <KF> 21:54, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

  • I think it's a fair PROD nomination. Under prod rules, you can always delete the PROD notice and explain why you don't think it should be deleted, but it would be even better to (1) shorten the plot summary substantially and (2) include a bunch of the other information in the novel template page. Thanks, and feel free to let me know if you want some help with the technical stuff, TheronJ 22:02, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
    • I've just said everything I have to say at User_talk:Justanother#Sick_Puppy. And again: (1) Wherever there is a short plot summary, someone is bound to come along and label the article a "stub" begging to be expanded. (2) What "other information"??? (3) What "technical stuff"??? This time, I admit, I'm completely flabbergasted. <KF> 22:25, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
      • See Wikipedia:WikiProject_Novels/ArticleTemplate or one of the featured novel articles like The Old Man and the Sea for an example of the "other information" that accompanies plot summaries.
      • There are a variety of WP policies that argue against plot summaries by themselves, including most importantly number 7 of this section of Wikipedia is not . . .", which reads: "Wikipedia articles on works of fiction should contain real-world context and sourced analysis, offering detail on a work's achievements, impact or historical significance, not solely a summary of that work's plot. A plot summary may be appropriate as an aspect of a larger topic."
      • As for "technical stuff," if you wanted me to help you in creating sections for the other information suggested by the Article Template or creating an infobox, I would be happy to do it, but you would need to take the lead in filling all those sections in. Thanks, TheronJ 22:33, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
  • All due respect but can we please do without the outrage and indignation. If you cannot imagine what might added to make the article noteworthy in addition to a plot summary then I submit that it is you, not I, that should "carefully read" something. The article is a clear example of what wikipedia is not. At least according to my read of WP:NOT. Who cares if I never edited on the literature pages in my life, I happen to be sufficiently literate to have read and understood that policy. Of course, I am not on any campaign to cull books from the encyclopedia. It just seems that WP:NOT specifies that they should be notable for more than simply having a plot. In fact, I am sure that there are notable books that have no plot. I did not write WP:NOT. It has broad consensus. What is exactly your point? (Please excuse the tone of this post but the tone of the remarks here and on my talk page "got my dander up" - it is back down now). --Justanother 22:45, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
    • I have another question. This whole thing started because I was answering a question on the Ref Desk - Misc about aphrodisiacs and noticed what I thought was an off-topic inline book plug so I pulled it (here) Then I looked at the book (I like Carl Hiaasen's writing) and saw it was nothing but a plot summary so I checked WP:NOT and put the PROD. Now I see that User:KF put that inline plug in the aphrodisiac article in the first place (here). So I see her investment as she also created the Sick Puppy article in the first place. I am not really sure I see the point of going around to every article that the book relates to and sticking a link to the book there. Seems crufty to me. Is that the norm? Imagine if we did that with World War II; it would have thousands of books listed. Talk about cruft. --Justanother 23:28, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
      • I have a couple of suggestions right off the bat. First, the introduction provides almost no information. Is it a crime novel, a spy novel, a literary novel, a dark comedy, a suspense novel, or something else? Is it the author's first book, or sixth, or 27th? Who is the protagonist, and does he appear in other books by this author? I don't even know by looking at this whether it was first published in the US, UK or Canada. What is the ISBN? Is it part of a series, and does the series have a name? The other major suggestion is that you add an infobox, as TheronJ suggested. That has a place for quite a few pieces of information that make the article useful to readers - and it's a good source of ideas for the body of the article. The other thing that would be good is to find reviews of the book, and cite what critics said about it. (This is something I need to do more of myself in the articles I'm working on.) Go to it - you can do this, and then everyone will be happy. Oh, and aside to Justanother - it's common for novel articles to be linked to other novel articles if they were related in some specific way. For example, a novel specifically about the bombing of Dresden might not be linked to all war novels, but the article might legitimately mention Slaughterhouse 5. --Karen | Talk | contribs 23:39, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
(Preliminary note: I'm afraid outrage and indignation are the right words. Sorry for that, but they adequately describe my current state of mind. I guess we agree that the important thing in a discussion is the absence of personal attacks, and I hope none will be found in or between these lines.)
In 2002 (!), when I wrote that summary as one of my first Wikipedia articles -- that should suffice to explain my clumsy "off-topic inline book plug" mentioned by Justanother -- , it had an introduction that went far beyond the mere plot of the novel. It was later deleted -- for whatever reason. The article also contains a "Read on" section pointing out references to other authors and similar literary motifs. In addition, the outline of the plot itself contains heavy references / links to other areas of knowledge, in particular environmental topics (and vice versa). To sum up, it has always been more than just a mere plot summary. Those section headers were introduced later and indiscriminately imposed on anything that resembled a summary.
Let me digress for a second: In an article on aphrodisiac, why not mention literary works where aphrodisiacs are a plot element? To me, it's exactly these cross-references that make knowledge -- encyclopaedic knowledge -- so exciting.
"should" is the magic word in the passage quoted from "What Wikipedia is not". "should" refers to something desirable rather than to a prerequisite. "should" is not synonymous with "must". I agree that an article on a novel should contain more than a plot summary. If it doesn't, it should be expanded rather than shortened, let alone deleted.
What is more important: form or content? Are you, or some of you, claiming that the article would be worth keeping if the plot summary were drastically shortened (which would mean loss of information) but an infobox containing banalities such as "Language: English" or "Genre: Novel" were added? Aren't all those pieces of information -- explicitly or implicitly -- contained in the article as it is?
A careful look at the star-spangled article on The Old Man and the Sea shows me the kind of "other information" whose conspicuous absence at Sick Puppy some of us seem to deplore: inspiration for characters, literary significance, awards, film and television adaptations. Now this raises a question whose scope may well go far beyond the scope of our ailing dog: Is a recent novel which has not (yet) won a literary award or which has not (yet) been adapted for the big screen worth a Wikipedia article or not? Is the worth of a novel an inherent value or dependent on external factors such as the above? What if a novel has never been awarded the Pulitzer Prize? What if it has never been filmed? What if we do not know what inspired the author to create his/her characters? What if we do know but cannot prove it? (Cite sources!! Cite sources!!)
Good night, I'm going to bed now. <KF> 23:54, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
OK, goodnight. Final word, I will leave it up to you'all. If you pull the PROD, I, for one, will not AfD it. KF is correct, in that this is not my bailiwick. My main thing was the inline mention and I do not think anyone disagrees there. If you'all think a mention belongs in a more appropriate spot in the aphrodisiac article then fine by me. No hard feelings, OK? --Justanother 00:01, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
I'm sure I've seen a guideline on notability that gives us at least a vague idea whether a novel is notable enough for inclusion. My impression is that if it's not self-published or vanity published, it's probably notable enough to include (if it is one of the two cases I just mentioned, the hurdle for notability is higher). For example, I don't know whether Diane Duane or Patricia C. Wrede has ever won a major award or had a book made into a movie (although both have written novelizations), but each has written a number of books in more than one series each, and every one of those books is IMO notable enough to have an article. Judy Nobody's book about her dog, which she had printed on Fourth Avenue and sells out of her truck, not so much. The point is that even if it's not a literary blockbuster, there's more to say about a book than what happens in it. Chances are good that some crtic somewhere has written about Sick Puppy, and with a 2000 publication date there may well be at least one review available online. Karen | Talk | contribs 00:42, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
Well, see, I did not have that viewpoint (OK, I lied about final words - sorry). I just didn't figure every book ever written as notable for this encyclopedia so, IMO, I figured that you gotta give more if you want it here. So your idea, Karen, would make KF's meta-issue about "what if - not yet" moot. And that is the one I came back here to address. Wikipedia is not paper so if you'all have consensus that every book deserves its own article then there you have it. Though I must say that it would help to clarify WP:NOT as that policy specifically says no plot summaries. Not a paradox as you can just take it as "do not include a book if all you have to write about it is a plot summary" but that kinda goes against KF's other valid point about what if it is a stub. Sigh. Well, at least that is not my conundrum. --Justanother 00:57, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
Hey, I did say "probably". I can certainly imagine cases in which a major publisher put out a book in 1937, it sold 126 copies, and the author never published another word; or a small press published a book in 1992 that sold 31 copies, and the author has never written anything else and is completely unremarkable in other ways (not a noted scholar, celebrity, etc.). In both of those cases, there probably shouldn't be an article - but who would even write one, except maybe author A's grandson or author B herself?
Plus there's another issue to the whole more-than-a-summary guideline. I could write a plot summary of the novel See the Pretty Flowers by Judy Ydobon, or the obscure Hemingway novel I'll Eat My Hat. If there is no ISBN, no citation of any kind, no publisher name, then how does anyone else know that the book exists at all? In fact I ran into this situation on Sunday with the spin-off article about A Wrinkle in Time (film). Whoever cut it from the novel's article and created a film article stub did not copy over the IMDB link. Someone else came along less than two days later and slapped an unreferenced tag on it, which I thought was premature for a brand new stub until he or she pointed out that there was nothing on the new article (except for an image, one could argue, but I won't) to prove that the made-for-tv movie was ever made. This was easily fixed, though, so it's all cool and groovy now. And it's a fair point, because someone did once claim in that same article that a movie was made of it in (if I recall correctly) 1987, despite all evidence to the contrary. When I asked for the names of the director, the screenwriter, the studio and the stars, the spurious claim magically evaporated. Karen | Talk | contribs 01:37, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
  • The proposed criteria for book notability are very broad -- assuming that we want to apply them, Sick Puppy would easily qualify as notable under criteria 1 and/or 6, although it needs some cites to establish that it meets the criteria. Where it primarily runs into trouble is that it's currently a naked plot summary, which is strongly discouraged by various policies and guidelines. TheronJ 01:00, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
    • I got it. Thanks! --Justanother 01:03, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
The article it self (Sick Puppy) has moved on - generally the best defence is attack, in this case add information to the article. :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 09:33, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Links to Project Gutenberg

Can we get a standard block added where people who know a book exists in Project Gutenberg ( can easily add just that reference? There are a number of PG books which have WP entries and it would be nice to have links going both directions on this.

Not sure what you mean here - surely we just add the reference as most do to the External links section. :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 09:16, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

New WikiProject: Wikipedia:WikiProject Science Fiction

To give some coherency to the many little sf-oriented communities on Wikipedia.--ragesoss 20:11, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

as a genre which is strongly represented in narractive prose (Novels) we may well partner with this project in a "Task Force" at some stage. :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 09:14, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Book cover replacement project

(Sorry for some cross-posting, but I'm hoping to get the word out.) I've started WikiProject Free book covers, which used to be in my user space, as a project to replace fair use images of old books with public domain ones. All of these images are affected by the replaceable clause of the fair use policy, so this is a crucial task. We've gotten a lot done while it was in user space but there's still a lot of work to be done, so please come lend a hand. Every replacement advertises the project, so even doing one or two will help. Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks! Chick Bowen 21:03, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

From an aesthetics standpoint, it isn't advantageous to always replace a book cover with one that is effectively blank (which is the case for many books published prior to 1923). I would counsel that if we're going to replace illustrated covers with non-illustrated covers, it might be better from a display standpoint to instead recommend that the title page instead be used in those cases. An example is the awful image that is now used for Green Mansions; to be honest, no cover is preferable to what is being used. If a dustjacket illustration can be located for the 1904 issue, that's great. Otherwise I'd rather see the title page used. Thoughts? 23skidoo 21:16, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
I agree that title pages are preferable to book covers, and actually most of the ones there are indeed title pages. I'll make that clearer at the project. Thanks. Chick Bowen 21:19, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
That's cool. As I say there are some very attractive covers from the pre-1923 era -- I have a bunch in my library -- but it's good to have an alternative if the cover itself isn't so hot. Incidentally are we stuck with pre-1923 or does it become pre-1924 once we hit 2007? 23skidoo 00:18, 15 December 2006 (UTC)
Sadly, the U.S. Congress has decreed that 1923 is it for quite a while (until 2019). They did this on behalf of Disney, hence it's known as the Mickey Mouse Protection Act. Chick Bowen 00:33, 15 December 2006 (UTC)
All the above being taken as read - just to say that we prefer the 1st edition as the most significant of any title published, so 1st illustrated cover or 1st title page (if the cover is nothing to write home about) is the way to go. Then we need as many "Free" images as possible to show these. Sounds good! :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 09:11, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

Edgar Allan Poe works infobox

There should be an entire template for infoboxes for everysingle literature piece of each composer, just like tries to do, however that should be seperated in years as one user suggested. Lets get to it! 19:31, 16 December 2006 (UTC)

ISBNs & Serial Publications

Hi all. About a week ago I started a long-term project with the goal of adding infoboxes (with first edition covers, where possible) to all winners and nominees listed at Hugo Award for Best Novel. (Only where articles already exist; I'm not crazy.) Working from the bottom up, I've already run into two separate dilemmas. 1) Many older (1950s) SF novels began their lives as Serial Publications in mags such as Astounding Science Fiction, and in several cases appear to have actually won or been nominated for the Hugo before being condensed and published as a novel, sometimes years later. Is the year of serial publication considered the overall "year of publication?" Does the mag then become the publisher? For an example of where this is a problem (and how I'm currently handling it), click here. 2) It is my understanding that prior to 1967, ISBNs basically didn't exist. However, time and again I run into infoboxes for pre-1967 books already outfitted with an ISBN, which cannot possibly be first edition (right?). I also find these ISBNs sprinkled in the first paragraph, on occasion. How should this be handled? Currently, when a novel is published prior to 1967, I enter "NA" for the ISBN field. Thanks for any and all suggestions. -- Antepenultimate 22:58, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

  • My understanding is the year of publication for the purposes of the infobox and the "YEAR Novels" category is based upon the first actual book publication. Obviously the article can indicate when the original magazine publication occurred. This is also the case where a novel that was written decades ago is only now being published (that upcoming lost Phil Dick novel from the 1940s, for example, will correctly belong in the "2007 novels" category. The ISBNs are pretty much all over the board. Technically speaking NA is correct in all pre-67 cases, but in cases where novels have been republished, the ISBN is helpful for people looking for a copy of the book, not just the first edition. So ISBNs can be used, though the edition should be indicated. That doesn't always happen. 23skidoo 23:08, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
I would think that in most cases, novels notable enough for inclusion here have been published at least once since 1967, sometimes by the modern equivalent of the original publisher. In such cases at least, it's better to have the ISBN than not. Generally I've been including the ISBN (sometimes labeled SBN in older books) from the oldest hardback edition that has such a number (and that I can find), or failing that, the paperback's ISBN. If there's none, there's none, obviously. The tricky case is something PD like Robinson Crusoe, which may have several hardback editions extant, or worse, a novel with several English translations. We might need to identify and list several editions in such cases. As for the Hugo-winning serials, I agree with 23skidoo that first book publication is the one by Doubleday or Ace or whatever, not Astounding or some other magazine that serialized it. Karen | Talk | contribs 00:08, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
Wow, talk about prompt responses! Thanks for your input. I mostly agree with these suggestions, but I suppose I wonder how much better it is to include an ISBN for a later out-of-print edition than to simply not include one. Consistency seems to be a real issue here - to me, all infobox information should be from the same edition (preferably first, of course) to avoid unneccessary confusion. (This is still for instances where the original first edition did not have an ISBN. It makes sense to include first edition ISBNs for post-1967 books for the same reasons we strive to have all other infobox data reflect the first edition, as it is the most "notable.") Are there any general infobox guidelines banging around? I know when I first got started, the only place I found any instructions on using the infobox were within the infobox template itself, and it took me a while to find that. -- Antepenultimate 00:29, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
There are a number of points here - let me deal with just three - in reverse order.
Infobox guidelines are specific to the individual parameters and might be a little too focused. If someone would like to take the bear bones and make them more "simple" and more easily found that would be helpful.
Next the general ISBN etc issues. The overriding principle is that the data should generally refer to the "1st edition" or "1st publication". Where this is serial then serial should come first with "1st book form" added next. One exception I tend to work with is the "media-type" which seems always to have been a range of what is or has been available.
Finally the specific ISBN issue. I don't think anything other than first edition ISBN should appear in the infobox. this is the literary convention to treat 1st edition as the "edition of note". So what to do with later and for many to more relevant ISBNs. These should appear in the "==References==" section as part of any eiditions cited in the construction of the article text. (strongly encouraged). Then numbers of ISBNs can be included in a "==Release details==" section also toward the end of the article. See the project "article pattern template" for the format of this. It is worth bearing in mind here that the aim is to produce something encyclopedic in character not an advert for any particular publishing house. :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 10:47, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

CfD: Simon & Schuster

This isn't about novels per se, but I thought that this WikiProject might be interested nonetheless. I have proposed Category:Simon & Schuster for deletion because, if I understand correctly, subcategories of Category:Book publishing companies of the United States are meant to contain subsidiaries and imprints, not books published by the company. This subcategory conatins only the latter, so I don't see it as having much value. But I thought it would be wise to solicit other opinions, either for or against. Thanks for your time. --GentlemanGhost 20:59, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

Added my reaction to the WP:CFD page and I can't see it's value either. :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 09:14, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

Web novels

are web novels considered novels? even though they are published a chapter at a time? Avyfain 08:20, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

I would say yes - as long as they are narrative prose, the only thing is they are notoriously difficult to establish notability for. They must be notable to appear here. :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 09:27, 28 December 2006 (UTC)


Found a few book/films Sonar Kella,Sounder and Susannah of the Mounties that need to be split and was wondering were they go? Also found this Star Trek: Titan and I was hoping that someone would split that too Jask99 18:17, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia Day Awards

Hello, all. It was initially my hope to try to have this done as part of Esperanza's proposal for an appreciation week to end on Wikipedia Day, January 15. However, several people have once again proposed the entirety of Esperanza for deletion, so that might not work. It was the intention of the Appreciation Week proposal to set aside a given time when the various individuals who have made significant, valuable contributions to the encyclopedia would be recognized and honored. I believe that, with some effort, this could still be done. My proposal is to, with luck, try to organize the various WikiProjects and other entities of wikipedia to take part in a larger celebrartion of its contributors to take place in January, probably beginning January 15, 2007. I have created yet another new subpage for myself (a weakness of mine, I'm afraid) at User talk:Badbilltucker/Appreciation Week where I would greatly appreciate any indications from the members of this project as to whether and how they might be willing and/or able to assist in recognizing the contributions of our editors. Thank you for your attention. Badbilltucker 17:29, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Peter Pan

Peter Pan needs help. In theory it is about the book, but the article today includes character descriptions from other books, bits about copyright, etc. It needs to be split into several article I think, but it would be great if a few editors had a view of the best thing to do. Obina 00:18, 31 December 2006 (UTC)