The FictionMags Index Family
User Guide


The FictionMags Index Family is only possible thanks to the contributions of an ever-growing list of contributors (and new contributors are always welcome). As there is a wide variety of material in different magazines, and several different ways of describing any given item, this set of documentation is intended to help answer some of the most common questions that come up. It must be stressed that the guidelines discussed herein are precisely that – guidelines – not hard-and-fast rules and we welcome index information of any kind even if it doesn't precisely follow the guidelines – the last thing we want is for people to be put off contributing by a long list of rules. At the same time, if you are unsure how to represent a particular item, hopefully this will help provide some answers.

If you have any queries related to this documentation, or to the index(es) in general, please contact .

A fuller description of the entry format can be found here. There are also detailed descriptions of the different item types and the trigraphs used for coding accented and special characters.

For those who just wish to know more about using the indexes, there is also a discussion of the index structure used for each index and a section of notes looking at some of the more technical aspects of the indexes (such as variant names and pseudonym usage). For more information on any of the specific magazines indexed, a good starting point is the Fiction Magazines Database which gives a brief description of each magazine and, where relevant, links to more detailed discussions.

Currently the software used to create the indexes is under active development so there is a change log listing recent changes as well as discussing some known issues and some possible future enhancements.

Lastly, there is a small section of Frequently Asked Questions – please check these before e-mailing us with questions.

How to Add to the Index:

Fiction magazine table-of-contents lists may be submitted in any of the following formats, although #1 is preferred:

1. E-Mail: Send contents lists to in the format described below.

2. Scan: E-mail a readable scan of the contents page to the above address.

3. Mail: Send a photocopy of the contents page to:

William G. Contento
802 Katrina St.
CA 94550,

Sample Entry Format

At its simplest, a sample entry might be just something like:

Thrilling Ranch Stories [August 1935]
* Boss of the Lazy D * Lee Bond * na
* Murder Range * Gunnison Steele * nv
* Restless Ranny * Jackson Cole * nv
* Night Riders * L. P. Holmes * nv
* Rustler Roundup * Sam Brant * ss
* Ghost Bullets * W. Ryerson Johnson * ss
* Shearing of Shasta * A. T. Locke * ss
* Blood on the Sheriff's Star * Ralph Cummins * ss

where the title and issue of the magazine is identified, followed by a list of the stories in the magazine.

Such entries are always welcome, but for those who are interested in supplying more detailed entries, a fuller description of the entry format can be found here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. "I have this magazine, how much is it worth?"
A. It's worth what someone's willing to pay for it. Check the used magazines section on eBay to see what people are paying for magazines like yours. You can also check sites that have magazines for sale such as and A number of other magazine dealers are also listed here.

Q. "Where can I get a copy of the magazine/article I saw on your site?"
A. We don't have copies of the magazines indexed. To purchase magazines you can check sites that have magazines for sale such as the used magazines section on eBay, and Other magazine dealers are listed here. For copies of articles contact the reference librarian at your local public library. They can locate libraries with holdings of the requested magazine and have photocopies of articles sent to you.

Q. "I have this magazine that seems appropriate for your site, would you like me to send you the contents?"
A. YES! Methods for sending contents information are given above. Science fiction and mystery magazines are for the most part indexed elsewhere, as are significant chunks of many other magazines, particularly pulp magazines. For the main indexes in the FictionMags Index Family a list of missing issues can be found here – for other magazines it is worth checking the entry in the Fiction Magazines Database which will indicate if the magazine has been indexed and, if so, where (and to what degree).

Q. "How can I get my stories listed on your site?"
A. Send us the table of contents from magazines printing your stories as discussed above.

Q. "Can you tell me the author and title of this story...?"
A. It's possible, particularly if it is science fiction, fantasy or similar. Your best bet is to post your question on a usenet newsgroup where many people with an interest in a given genre can see it such as rec.arts.sf.written but if all else fails feel free to send us an e-mail and we'll see what we can do.

Q. "Is it OK if I add a link to your site?"
A. Links are always welcome. If you are just referencing the index(es) then we would ask that you link to which provides an introduction to the indexes to those who are unfamiliar with them. It is also possible to link directly to an individual magazine in the index(es) but this must be done carefully as discussed below.

Linking to specific magazines

Each time a new version of the Fictionmags Index(es) are created, all the pages are generated anew and the contents of each page will change. The same is true of the magazine pages on the Galactic Central site. As such, direct links to any parts of these pages should not be used as they will not persist across new versions of the sites. At the moment it is not possible to provide persistent links to individual magazine issues or to author entries in the indexes. However, persistent links may be created to an individual magazine in either the indexes or in the Galactic Central magazine pages.

Persistent links to a magazine in the Indexes

These are of the form:

where the SFI might be FMI, AFI or whatever depending on the index you wish to reference and the xxx is a magic internal code. To find the link for any magazine navigate to either the relevant magazine list or magazine data entry on the main Galactic Central site and look for the index hyperlink.

Thus, for ABADDON, for example, the second entry on has a link labelled SFI, and the same link appears in (now labelled "Science Fiction Index") each of which point to:

For 99% of magazines this will always point to the SFI index entry for Abaddon wherever it lives.

Persistent links to a magazine on the Galactic Central site

Although links can be added to point to a specific index, a better approach would always be to add a link to the entry on the Galactic Central website which then potentially points to multiple indexes and can, of course, be used for magazines that have not (yet) been indexed. This uses a similar format and for ABADDON becomes:

The ID to be used at the end of the string is the same as that used at the end of the GCP link mentioned above - - but avoids the problem that the contents of the datannn.html pages are also fluid.

For the full link for any indexed magazine, look at the magazine entry in the relevant magazine index and you will see a link labelled "about" - for ABADDON this is currently at - and copy the shortcut from there.