Detailed Entry Format

The FictionMags Index Family
Detailed Entry Format

Specifying Author Names
Specifying Item Titles


A detailed sample entry might be along the lines of:

Short Stories [v188 #6, whole number 930, September 25, 1944] ed. D. McIlwraith (Short Stories, Inc., 25¢, 144pp+, standard pulp, cover by Benton Clark)
Details taken from scan of Table of Contents.
6 * The Story Tellers' Circle * [The Readers] * lc
_6 * [letter] * William R. Cox * lt
_107 * [letter] * George Armin Shaftel * lt
10 * Job on the Beach * Richard Howells Watkins * nv; illus. Andre Castaigne
37 * From the Neck Up * William R. Cox * ss; illus. Charles Henry White
45 * In the Devil's Wigwam * George Bruce Marquis * ss
53 * Curioddities * Irwin J. Weill * ia
54 * Winged Firebrands * Neil Martin * nv
81 * A Proved Crook * Ray Palmer Tracy * ss
88 * The Thousand Deaths of Burma [Part 2 of 4] * H. Bedford-Jones * sl; illus. Elizabeth Shippen Green
108 * Wotta Spot! Wotta Spot! [Clarence Goode] * Frank Richardson Pierce * ss
112 * Dry Rot * James B. Hendryx, * nv; illus. William Hurd Lawrence * Short Stories, Nov 1912
128 * Cargo of Show Business * George Armin Shaftel * ss
140 * The Shooter's Corner| The New .45s * Pete Kuhlhoff * cl
145 * The Big Man * Mike Tomkies * ex (r) [John Wayne]; condensed


One exception to the guideline about listing items in the order in which they appear in the issue is when you are listing subsidiary items in a "container type" such as a letter column or a group (see the discussion of the lc and gp item types). In this case an underscore (_) is prefixed to the page number of each subsidiary item (as shown in the example above) and all such items should be listed consecutively, even if the letter column or group is split across multiple sections of the issue.

Conversely, there are times when a single item is spread across multiple pages in the magazine, or where another item (such as a poem) is embedded in the middle of an item, in which case you may, at your discretion, extend the description of the page number to be more detailed, as in:

45-53 * In the Devil's Wigwam * George Bruce Marquis * ss
51 * Cowboy Sal * S. Omar Barker * pm
54-67, 94-96 * Winged Firebrands * Neil Martin * nv

although there is no requirement to use such detailed formats as a general approach.

One common problem that might arise in any part of the issue is the specification of "accented characters" such as é, ö and ç as these are coded in different ways in different systems and will not necessarily survive being sent by e-mail (technically these are "8-bit" characters and e-mail, and the Internet in general, is basically a "7-bit" medium). To address this a series of three-character trigraphs have been developed to identify such characters such that, for example, é is represented by ^e' and ç by ^c, – a full list of such trigraphs can be found here.

Specifying Author Names

If an item is written by multiple authors, the author names should be separated by "&" in the usual way as in:

22 * Partly Primitive * Luther Davis & John Cleveland, Jr. * ss

If it is written by a husband and wife (or two other related authors with the same surname) it would be helpful if the surname is repeated on each name, thus:

22 * The Way Out West * Bob Smith & Sue Smith * ar
rather than
22 * The Way Out West * Bob & Sue Smith * ar

even though the latter is the way it will be displayed in the index itself.

Quite often an item is written by one (or more) author(s) and translated by a different author. In this case it is desirable to indicator the translator as follows:

22 * Partly Primitive * Luther Davis, tr:John Cleveland, Jr. * ss

In such cases it is desirable, if possible, to add some details about the original appearance of the item in an added note such as:

translated from the French ("Stan Le Tueur", {Police-Roman}, December 23, 1938)

Similarly, some items are by-lined as being by "XXX, as told to YYY" or, less commonly, "XXX, as told by YYY". These may be specified in much the same way:

22 * Partly Primitive * Luther Davis, as told to:John Cleveland, Jr.* ss

There are also a number of "special" author names that may/should be used as follows:

Specifying Item Titles

As mentioned above, if an item is part of a serial then this should be indicated in the title inside square brackets, such as:

The Thousand Deaths of Burma [Part 2 of 4]

where either (or both) number may be replaced by "?" if it is not known. As a special case, if an item is known to be the conclusion of a serial, but the number of parts is not known, it may be specified as:

The Thousand Deaths of Burma [Part last of ?]

Another case where a special format may be used is where the issue contains an instance of a regular column which also has a formal subtitle, as in the Pete Kuhlhoff column in the example above. As shown there, the column title should be specified, followed by a vertical bar ("|"), followed by the subtitle, as in:

140 * The Shooter's Corner| The New .45s * Pete Kuhlhoff * cl

This may also be used for a series of items that are identified with an overall "series prefix" and individual item names. As an extension of this, if the series numbers the items in a particular order, then it is useful to isolate the "numeric part" and provide a 4-digit numeric equaivalent for it so that the items are sorted into order correctly. This uses an additional double vertical bar to identify the numeric sequence, with the title constructed as follows:

Thus, a story by Richard H. Hart called "The Exploits of a French Detective No. 13, The Man from Guiana" would be coded as:

37 * The Exploits of a French Detective||0013 No. 13, |The Man from Guiana * Richard H. Hart * ss

One complication that arises with titles in particular relates to capitalisation. The way in which titles are presented in a magazine are generally the result of the magazine's "house style" and these vary dramatically from magazine to magazine – some put all titles in upper case; some put all titles in lower case; some use one approach for fiction and another for non-fiction; and so on. As such, attempting to replicate the precise capitalisation used in a magazine is rarely necessary and can be undesirable. Instead, as with the magazines themselves, the FictionMags Format has its own house style which is based on traditional guides like The Gregg Reference Manual. Put simply, the FictionMags house style says that, except when used at the beginning of a title:

Note that some attention must also be paid to the exact syntax of the title. For example:

A similar guideline is used for hyphenated words for which, again, many different styles exist. The FictionMags approach is to capitalise the hyphenated word exactly as if it wasn't hyphenated, thus:

48 * Four-Foot Frameup * Jack Archer * ss
15 * Little-Girl-Afraid-of-a-Dog * Mary E. Wilkins Freeman * ss

Generally speaking these guidelines are only to resolve any queries an indexer might have – in general just entering the title as shown in the magazine will suffice for most purposes.

There are two exceptions to these guidelines. Firstly, when the author has a clear intent for the capitalisation of an item (e.g. Don Marquis' Archy & Mehitabel poems, or Fred Saberhagen's "WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO TO PROVE IM HUMAN STOP") then that capitalisation should be followed.

Secondly, if the item has no formal title, it may either be indicated by the item type, in lower case, enclosed in square brackets, or by the word "untitled" (or similar), in lower case, followed by the first part of the item in bracketted quotes – the former is most commonly used for letters and such-like and the latter for poetry. Thus some examples might be:

_6 * [letter] * William R. Cox * lt
44 * untitled ("The wind from the Mediterranean^._") * Robert E. Howard * uw
29 * untitled ("I will tell you what always has frightened me most") * William Fryer Harvey * pm