A Russian publisher is under fire for censoring a gay storyline in a popular fantasy novel series without permission from the US-based author.
Victoria Schwab is the author of the Shades of Magic series, which features a number of LGBT characters, including a bisexual prince who has a same-sex romance. The bestselling books were translated into Russian as part of a deal with Russia-based publisher Rosmen.
However, the author was horrified to discover via a reader that the story had been doctored for the Russian translation, in order to omit the gay relationship.
She tweeted: “The Russian edition of Shades of Magic has been my favorite. This week I learned that they redacted the entire queer plot w/out permission.
“I was absolutely horrified. Wouldn’t have known if not for a Russian reader who read both editions. Publisher in total breach of contract.
“I’m positively devastated.”
She added: “As a reader: I’m frustrated. As an LGBTQ+ human: I’m hurt. As an author: I’m indignant.”
The author continued: “It’s important to me that the books be available to Russian readers, but with all their content.”
She added that she would “give [the publisher] opportunity to correct the work”.
According to the Moscow Times, the Russian publisher – which is not connected to the author’s US publisher Tor Books – admitted it had made the changes.However, it insisted the change was required to comply with the country’s ‘gay propaganda’ law.