Sunday, October 10, 2010

Franco regime seized and destroyed copies of Heinlein’s 1961 novel Stranger in a Strange Land

While I was aware that Robert A. Heinlein’s influential but controversial Hugo Award-winning best-selling science fiction novel Stranger in a Strange Land was cut and excised significantly by the editor before it was first published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons in 1961 (and was not published as Heinlein intended the original manuscript to be until 1991), I just learned that the novel suffered even more in the late 1960’s in Spain under the fascist regime of Francisco Franco. According to the website HispaRAH, the first Spanish edition, titled Forastero en tierra extraña (Géminis, 1968), was seized under the prevailing "Ley de Prensa" of 1966 and most of the copies were destroyed. Apparently, this brazen act of censorship had dire consequences for the young publisher, Géminis, which ended up declaring bankruptcy and closing shop just months later. Interestingly, there appears to be two copies of Forastero en tierra extraña (Géminis, 1968) for sale over on AbeBooks.

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