Author aliases - no method of crediting works under pseudonym/s

There is no way to credit a Work or Edition by the pseudonym it was written and published under.

For example, Stephen King has published under two pseudonyms: Richard Bachman and Beryl Evans.

The only way I can credit these works in the database is to use Stephen King and then detail the pseudonym in the Annotation section. The result is the works published under Richard Bach or Beryl Evans can’t be separated in the Stephen King database.

This problem will be compounded when an author has written under numerous pseudonyms: the Hungarian writer Nemere István is a good example:

Then you have a situation like husband and wife writers: Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore who wrote under their individual names, wrote as individuals under various pseudonyms, wrote collaboratively as Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore, wrote collaboratively under various pseudonyms, and also used these collaborative pseudonyms to publish their own individual works. It will be impossible to make sense of the works published under any of these pseudonyms.

Another scenario is the house pseudonym. A house pseudonym could consist of any number of writers producing works, either as individuals or in collaboration. This happened a lot during the Golden Age of Science Fiction, and many of these works have been subsequently republished and credited to the true author/s. There is no way to reflect any of these nuances.

Some author’s can use a pseudonym for a particular genre: Iain Banks wrote main stream fiction under this name, and used Iain M. Banks for science fiction works.

There are examples where a person hasn’t published anything under their real name, but has published works using multiple pseudonyms that are genre specific. Lumping all of these works under one name might not be helpful in the long term.

This is a thorny one, but absolutely essential.

The way we intend to solve these cases in BookBrainz is to have one single Author (with their pseudonyms as aliases for search purposes), and Author Credits applied to Editions in order to represent that a book was published under a pseudonym. This only solves the question of “who is this book from”, AKA who is on the cover, but does not solve all our problems.

It has been suggested to allow specifying a name in “Author wrote Work” relationships, meaning entering a relationship as "Author X wrote Work Y credited as ‘MyPenName’ " like this (using MusicBrainz as an example):

This is the ticket where we’re tracking all this:


I found another way via “legal name of”/“pen name of” relationship

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Very interesting, I wasn’t aware of that relationship.

Interesting, indeed. But that means we have different profiles for the pen names. I’m not sute, if that is intended.

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I think it’s a remnant from an earlier concept. Monkey didn’t mention it and I think it wouldn’t work.
Since later editions are in many cases published with the original name, we would have big problems to get this together. And we would have to decide: What’s a pen name, what’s an alias. Difficult.


That is certainly a major problem. In the case of King’s Richard Bachman novels, most later editions credit both King and Bachman. Some translations only credit King.

Essentially they are same thing (at least they were treated that way on Bookogs by creating separate Credits). In English there are various names that all mean the same thing: pseudonym, pen name, alias, nom de plume.

Alias just means an assumed name.

That raises the issue of adding full legal names as an Alias to an author’s page, e.g. Stephen Edwin King. By definition it is not an alias.

Ok I wasn’t precise enough.

The alias in BB comprises aliases and name variations like abbreviations. So if we create new profiles for a pen name, alias would stay for the name variations (could be renamed then of course).
Buth then we have to define exactly: what’s a name variation and what’s a pen name / alias.

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That is correct, they are two different things.

I did an exercise with the Stephen King database and created separate Author credits for Richard Bachman and Beryl Evans: and

I found it was optimal to retain Richard Bachman and Beryl Evans as Aliases of Stephen King.

It aids as a prompt if you search for Richard Bachman or Beryl Evans, because Stephen King is also listed with his aliases: and

Otherwise, the only way you would know there is connection with Stephen King is by reading the Annotation section or finding the Relationship link.

I have now added most of Stephen King’s entire body of work as unique Works. In amongst the list of Relationships are links to his children, his pen names and various translation title Works:

It is not easy to quickly identify that he uses the aliases of Richard Bachman and Beryl Evans just by looking at the Relationship list.

If that is correct then the ability to add relationship links in this manner needs to be nipped in the bud!

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