Monday, January 31, 2011

DRAGONFLY imagery



I've been listening to DRAGONFLY IN AMBER lately, and I was intrigued by a comment on Compuserve about the fact that there are many references in that book to things that are "stuck" or "frozen" somehow, unchanging, unmoving.  I thought it might be interesting to compile a list. (Many thanks to Sheila on Compuserve for the inspiration for this blog post!)

Please note, all quotes used below are copyright © 1992 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.

The dragonfly in amber that Hugh Munro gave Claire as a wedding present.  (And the chunk of amber that Jamie gave to Claire as a gift for their first anniversary.)



The skeletons that Jamie and Claire discover in a cave in France, with their arms locked about one another.  I was stunned to discover that there really was such a Neolithic couple, discovered in a cave in Italy in 2007 -- a full fifteen years after DRAGONFLY was published!  I think the picture below is just amazing.



The clan stones at Culloden, weathered by more than two centuries of exposure to the elements, but otherwise unchanging.

Fraser clan stone at Culloden

The objects -- including Roger's genealogical chart -- pinned to the giant cork-board in the Rev. Wakefield's study. (I always imagine the cork-lined wall as looking something like this, only much larger and more crammed with papers.)



The miniature portraits of Claire and Jamie.  Claire's dream (nightmare?) of being trapped inside the portrait always makes a shiver go up my spine:
"A Lady," he said softly, cradling the last of the portraits in his palm, shielding it for the moment. "With brown hair curling luxuriantly to her shoulders, and a necklace of pearls. Undated. The artist unknown."

It was a mirror, not a miniature.  My cheeks were flushed, and my lips trembled as Frank's finger gently traced the edge of my jaw, the graceful line of my neck.  The tears welled in my eyes and spilled down my cheeks as I heard his voice, still lecturing, as he laid down the miniature, and I stared upward at the timbered ceiling.

"Undated. Unknown. But once...once, she was real."

(DRAGONFLY Chapter 10, "A Lady, With Brown Hair Curling Luxuriantly", p. 152 in the hardcover)
I like to imagine that this miniature portrait was what Frank was holding.



Claire's description of the way a child's personality is fixed at a very early age.
But from the very start, there is that small streak of steel within each child.  That thing that says "I am," and forms the core of personality.

In the second year, the bone hardens and the child stands upright, skull wide and solid, a helmet protecting the softness within. And "I am" grows, too. Looking at them, you can almost see it, sturdy as heartwood, glowing through the translucent flesh.

The bones of the face emerge at six, and the soul within is fixed at seven.  The process of encapsulation goes on, to reach its peak in the glossy shell of adolescence, when all softness then is hidden under the nacreous layers of the multiple new personalities that teenagers try on to guard themselves.

(DRAGONFLY Chapter 4, "Culloden", p. 55 in the hardcover)
Claire waiting for Jamie when he's taken away for questioning following the incident at the dinner party after Mary's rape:
But for the hours of the night, I was helpless; powerless to move as a dragonfly in amber.

(DRAGONFLY Chapter 19, "An Oath is Sworn", p. 270 in the hardcover)
The stillborn baby, Faith, who will always remain exactly as she was when Claire saw her.
"She was perfect," I said softly, as though to myself.  "So small.  I could cup her head in the palm of my hand.  Her ears stuck out just a little--I could see the light shine through them."

The light had shone through her skin as well, glowing in the roundness of cheek and buttock with the light that pearls have; still and cool, with the strange touch of the water world still on them.

"Mother Hildegarde wrapped her in a length of white satin," I said, looking down at my fists, clenched in my lap.  "Her eyes were closed.  She hadn't any lashes yet, but her eyes were slanted.  I said they were like yours, but they said all babies' eyes are like that."

(DRAGONFLY Chapter 28, "The Coming of the Light", p. 398 in the hardcover)
And finally, heartbreakingly...the twenty-year separation that left Claire and Jamie "frozen" in each other's memories, not dead, but trapped in time, unchanging through all their years apart.
He was slow, and careful; so was I.  Each touch, each moment must be savored, remembered--treasured as a talisman against a future empty of him.

(DRAGONFLY Chapter 46, "Timor Mortis Conturbat Me", p. 698 in the hardcover)

Friday, January 28, 2011

ECHO in mass-market paperback!

Browsing around on Amazon this morning, I discovered something unexpected.

The mass-market paperback (that's the small size) edition of AN ECHO IN THE BONE will be published on May 24, 2011.  You can pre-order from Amazon here, or by clicking on the picture below.



The Amazon listing says it is 1168 pages.  (Which may sound like a lot, but compared to, say, ABOSAA and FIERY CROSS at 1400+ pages each, it's really not so bad. <g>)

I think it's interesting that the cover is showing a very much "toned down" version of the trade-paperback edition of ECHO (shown below), the one that Diana refers to jokingly as "the Green Slime".



Personally, I have always hated that fluorescent lime-green color on the trade-paperback, so if they are toning it down on purpose, I think that's a good thing.  The "Green Slime" may be good for visibility on bookstore shelves (and I admit that I once spotted the book from 30 feet away, in a small independent bookstore, just by the color alone!), but I think it's a hideous color, myself.  If we can't have the very classy and elegant gold-on-black of the hardcover edition (which I thought was a terrific cover!), then I think the more subdued pale green of the mass-market paperback is a good idea.

I have no idea if the mass-market paperback will include excerpts from Book 8, or LORD JOHN AND THE SCOTTISH PRISONER.  If I find out the answer to that question, I'll post it here.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Poll weirdness

I noticed this morning that a great many responses from the January poll seem to have disappeared.  I could have sworn that there were far more than 111 votes showing yesterday!  I think this is probably a Blogger issue, not something I have any control over.

There's still time to cast your vote in this month's poll, if you haven't already.  It will be open until midnight Pacific time on Monday, January 31.

If you think you've already voted, can you please check to see if the poll will let you vote again?  Sorry for the inconvenience.

If you have any suggestions for future poll topics, please let me know.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

An article about haggis

I just saw this article on Salon.com and thought some of you might be interested:

Is haggis really that disgusting?

Don't blame me; that's the actual title of the Salon article!

I have very little personal experience of the stuff myself.  The only time I've ever tasted it was last summer, when I had haggis and chips from a Scottish food vendor at the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games.  And it wasn't bad, really, if you didn't think too hard about what's in it or how it's made. <g>

Monday, January 24, 2011

Jamie and Claire: real or fictional?

I think it's interesting to see all the various ways that people have found this blog.  Many of you have come here because you saw the link on Compuserve, or on Diana's new web site, or on another OUTLANDER fan-site.  Some of you follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or various RSS feeds.  But I also get a fair number of hits every day from people using Google and other search engines.

This morning I happened to be looking at the site that tracks usage statistics for my blog, and I noticed that someone had visited (briefly) as a result of a Bing search on "jamie and claire fraser fictional or real".

Well, I'll be honest with you; my first reaction on seeing that was to burst out laughing.  I mean, it's one thing to say that these characters seem like real people -- and I have said that myself, many times! -- but seriously, how could you not notice you were reading fiction?!?

On the other hand....maybe Jamie, Claire, et al., are indeed real people, just living in an alternate universe where time-travel is possible?

Maybe there really is a time-travel gene, and the people who mapped the human genome a few years ago just haven't figured out what its purpose is, yet.

Maybe those who have traveled through the stones have just been very, very quiet about it. <g>

And consider:
  • Eric Linklater's book about the Jacobites, THE PRINCE IN THE HEATHER, is real, including the quote about the "Fraser of the Master of Lovat's regiment" who survived Culloden.  (Look here.)
  • Andrew Bell really did print the first edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica in Edinburgh between 1768 and 1771, while Jamie Fraser was in America.

  • The Bethnal Green tube station disaster in London in 1943 (in which Roger's mother was killed) is a real historical event.  It's not difficult to imagine that Roger was there, as a small child, among the survivors.

So, what do you think?  Are Jamie, Claire, and the rest real or fictional?  Does it matter?  All opinions welcome, whether you want to be serious about this or not. <g>

For myself, I'm very entertained by the idea that Jamie and Claire do (did?) really exist.  But I'd be perfectly happy if Black Jack Randall and Stephen Bonnet did not. <g>

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Viewing my blog on mobile devices

I recently discovered that Blogger has introduced a new option (currently in beta testing, available in Blogger in Draft) that will automatically reformat a blog so that it's more convenient to access on a mobile device.

I've set up the option to do this for my blog, but I don't have Internet access on my mobile phone so I can't test it myself.  (I can text on my phone, and access email, but I can't access the web.)  So....I'm looking for somebody to help me try this out.  Are any of you using a mobile device to access this blog?  And if so:
  • What do you think?  Is it readable?  Easy to navigate?

  • Blogger says the layout is supposed to switch automatically from the "regular" view to the "mobile" view when it detects that the site is being accessed from a mobile device.  Can anybody confirm that this actually works?

  • What type of mobile device are you using to access my blog?  (Don't worry, I'm not going to do anything with that information!  Just curious.)
If you want to see a preview of what the mobile layout for this site looks like, go here.  (This will work even if you are accessing the site from a desktop or laptop.)

Please note that I have no control over the colors and fonts in the mobile version.  Maybe there will be a way to customize them in the future, but I don't know how to do that right now.  What you're seeing in the mobile version are the default fonts and colors.

Thanks in advance for your help with this!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Stylish Blogger Award



Thanks very much to Deniz Bevan at The Girdle of Melian for giving me the Stylish Blogger Award!

I first got to know Deniz on the Compuserve Books and Writers Community (in fact, if I'm not mistaken, she was the one who responded to my first-ever post on the forum, back in March 2007) and I always enjoy reading her comments on the forum.

The rules for the Stylish Blogger Award:
  • Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this award
  • Share things about yourself
  • Award recently discovered great bloggers
  • Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award
Well, here are a few things about myself.

1) I enjoy doing needlepoint as a hobby (often while listening to OUTLANDER audiobooks on my iPod). My latest project is about 80% complete, and I'll post a picture when it's done. In the meantime, here's one I did last year.



2) I don't have a Kindle, Nook, iPad, or similar device. I'm starting to feel like a bit of a Luddite. <g> Maybe this will be the year I finally break down and join the e-reading craze?

3) And speaking of technological gadgets....I have no sense of direction, NONE! I can't imagine how I got along for so many years without a GPS. I've had my Garmin for a little more than a year now, and I love it.

4) I've been living in North Carolina for more than 25 years, but I grew up in New Providence, New Jersey. I don't get back to NJ very often these days, only occasionally to visit my cousin's family. My parents moved to Raleigh, NC, in 2005 to be closer to me. Which has its advantages and disadvantages. <wry g>

5) I'm a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and of course that means I'm also a fan of Carolina basketball. <g> (Hoping for a better season this year than last!) Go Heels!



Now, time to pass on this award. I don't do as much following of other blogs as I used to. ("Had we but world enough and time," as Diana is fond of saying. <g>) But here are two OUTLANDER-related blogs that I follow on a regular basis, and enjoy very much:

My Outlander Purgatory - Carol blogs, Tracey tweets, and on Monday nights a bunch of us get together to chat about All Things Outlander. It's been about a year since I discovered this site, and I love it. Carol and Tracey are very entertaining, and frequently hilarious. (Oh, and thoroughly addicted to Diana Gabaldon's books, of course. <g>) If you haven't yet visited the site, I highly recommend it!

Blue Moon Magnolia - Bri runs a very entertaining blog, which is a pleasure to read. I still laugh every time I think about the Pumpkin Homage to THE EXILE, which was her creation. If you haven't yet checked out this site, you really should. I think you'll like it.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

OUTLANDER Reading Challenge 2011

For those of you who are looking for an excuse to re-read the OUTLANDER books <g>.....



OUTLANDER Reading Challenge 2011 - sponsored by TheLitBitch

The rules, from the post above:
  • Timeline: 01 Jan 2011 - 31 Dec 2011 (SIGN UP ANYTIME BETWEEN NOW AND THEN!!)
  • Rules -- Read all SEVEN (7) books in the Outlander Series
  • The reading challenge can crossover into other challenges
  • You can join anytime between now and the later part of 2011
Please forward this link to anyone else who might be interested.

By the way, I asked about audiobooks and was assured that the unabridged audiobooks do indeed count toward this challenge!

I'm not affiliated with the above site in any way at all, just happened to stumble across this tonight and thought some of you might be interested. <g> Good luck!

If you have questions about this challenge, or issues with the site itself, you can contact TheLitBitch at thelitbitch@me.com. Please note, you don't have to have a blog to sign up for this challenge! Just send her an email and she'll get you signed up.

UPDATE 1/21/2011 6:45 am: If you're having trouble copying the "OUTLANDER Challenge 2011" badge from TheLitBitch's site, here is the code I used to put the badge on my blog.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A possible Lord John candidate?

I've been watching the PBS series "Downton Abbey" recently (great show, btw, sort of like "Upstairs Downstairs", wonderfully written and acted), and I think I've found a new candidate to play Lord John.



One of the characters in "Downton Abbey" is a young man named Matthew Crawley, played by Dan Stevens. IMDB says Dan Stevens was born in 1982, which makes him exactly the age that Lord John is in BOTB. He may be a little too tall for Lord John's 5'6", but otherwise I think he fits my mental image pretty well. And his voice is very much like what I think Lord John sounds like, too.

Here are some more pictures. What do you think? The one shown above is my favorite.

If any of you have seen "Downton Abbey", I would be interested to know what you think about it. I'm really enjoying it so far!

UPDATE 2/15/2012 7:00 pm: Check out my blog post comparing "Downton Abbey" and OUTLANDER.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Diana's new blog

Some of you may have noticed that Diana's blog, Voyages of the Artemis, has been integrated into the all-new Diana Gabaldon official web site, which was just launched last week. (If you haven't yet seen the new site, I would really encourage you to take a look at it! I think it's terrific.)

Go to www.dianagabaldon.com and you'll see the blog on the right-hand side of the new home page. Or you can click here to go directly to it.

There is an RSS feed for the new blog, if you're interested. (You can access it by clicking on the RSS icon, located at the bottom of the site's main page, or in the "Follow Diana Online" box at the upper right of all the other pages.)

Most of Diana's old blog posts are still available on the new site. Go here and scroll all the way to the bottom of the page. The blog posts are listed in chronological order, with the newest entries first. You'll see a series of numbers across the bottom of the screen. Click on the numbers to browse through Diana's older blog posts.

I suggested to Diana that she add some sort of "blog archive" widget, like what she had on the old blog, but she said that's something her web designer would have to look into. In the meantime, the search button at the very top of the site seems to be pretty effective, if you're looking for something specific.

I have gone through my old blog entries to change all of the (many!) references to Diana's blog so that they point to the new web site. I may have missed a few, so if you see any links here that still point to Diana's old blog at voyagesoftheartemis.blogspot.com, please let me know. Thanks!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Thank you, Diana!

Diana Gabaldon's new web site was unveiled yesterday, and I really couldn't be happier with the results! It looks beautiful.

The site is well laid out, visually appealing, and easy to navigate. I like the fonts and colors. (I like the little DG "monogram" that shows up when it's in a tab, too. Very nice. <g>) The focus is back where it should be -- on Diana, her books, and topics of interest to readers and fans. That's a vast, vast improvement over the old site!

The best part, for me personally, was discovering my picture at the top of the Links page!



I had offered, at the last minute, to let Diana use this picture if she wanted to, and I'm just delighted to see it on the site! (My mom is pretty pleased, too. She's the one who took the photo, at the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games in July, 2010.)

As if that wasn't enough....it gets better. <g> Here's what Diana had to say about that picture.
The photo above is of Karen Henry, the irreplaceable "Czarina of Traffic," who manages all of the threads, topics, and general chaos in the Diana Gabaldon folder. This photo was taken at a Highland Games, where she was meeting a number of other Forumites who didn't know each other by sight.
That title, "Czarina of Traffic", always makes me laugh. As for "irreplaceable", well, what can I say? I'm flattered, of course! <g>

My homemade sign was extremely effective at the Highland Games, and Diana was kind enough to autograph it for me when I saw her in September in Winston-Salem, NC.



Every once in a while, people ask me if Diana reads my blog. My usual response is, "I have no idea, but she certainly knows it exists." Well, yesterday I got the answer to that question. I was thrilled to see that Diana mentioned Outlandish Observations on the Links page, calling it "a beautifully done, entertaining blog". Wow. Thank you so much, Diana! That means a lot to me.

Finally, I was glad to see that the new web site prominently features a link to the Compuserve Books and Writers Community. For those of you who don't know, that's the online community where Diana hangs out, and I am Section Leader of the Diana Gabaldon folder there. If you have a question or a comment about anything relating to the books, feel free to post on Compuserve. We're always happy to see new people on the forum, and Diana likes to hear from her readers.

Congratulations to Diana on the launch of the new web site! It looks terrific, and I'm having a lot of fun exploring it. I would really encourage the rest of you to do the same.

UPDATE 1/12/2011 11:45 am: Diana did indeed see this blog post, at least. Her response to me on Twitter was "Thanks, Karen! That's great--much appreciated! <g>"

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

New Diana Gabaldon web site!

The new Diana Gabaldon web site is now LIVE! You can see it at www.dianagabaldon.com.

I haven't had time yet to do more than glance at it. I'll post detailed comments here as soon as I get a chance to absorb it all.

If you have comments or questions about the site, you can post them on Diana's blog (at the top right-hand side of the new site) or on Compuserve, here.

Congratulations to Diana! What a huge birthday treat she's given all of her readers and fans today!

Now I'm off to explore the new site....

EDIT to add: Check out the Links page! Some of you may remember that photo of me, taken last July at the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games in North Carolina. I'm delighted (and flattered) that Diana chose to include it. And extremely pleased by Diana's comments about this blog, too!

OUTLANDER 20th Anniversary Edition



I found out today that the special 20th Anniversary hardcover edition of OUTLANDER is now available for pre-order on Amazon. Release date is July 5, 2011.

I think the cover is beautiful, especially the "textured" look of the background.

There's a thread on Compuserve here if you have questions or comments for Diana about this special edition.

Thanks to oorjanie on LOL for the heads-up!

UPDATE 1/16/2011 3:30 PM: Diana provided some more details about the special edition today on Compuserve:
I think the 20th-anniversary edition will be Very Cool. Let's see...in addition to the text <g>, it will include (at least at last discussion) a Letter from me (not that I think _that's_ very cool, but they asked for it), and a very luxurious back-matter section, containing a) a map of the locations in OUTLANDER (a more accurate one than the one from the COMPANION), b) a timeline of historical and fictional events, c) the bibliography from the COMPANION, d) something else I forget from the COMPANION, e) an essay by me on "The Shape of Things," which is all about how I write this stuff. Oh--and a "sampler" CD from OUTLANDER:The Musical, including three songs from the regular CD and one "bonus" song from the complete libretto that _isn't_ on the regular CD.

The whole thing to be bound not only in hardcover, but in a rather cool faux-leather binding _and_ slipcase, with a ribbon bookmarker.
Sounds positively luxurious, doesn't it? <g> I had to look up what a "slipcase" was. I've seen them before, but I didn't know that's what they were called.

Happy Birthday Diana!

Happy Birthday

Today, January 11, is Diana Gabaldon's birthday. She's 59 years old today. I hope she has a wonderful day!

For those of you on Twitter: you can help celebrate Diana's birthday by tagging your tweets on the 11th with #HappyBdayDG. We did something similar for Claire's birthday in October, and it was a lot of fun. Let's see how many people we can get to participate this time! You can address your tweets to Diana directly if you want -- she uses the id Writer_DG. (Credit for this idea goes to Tracey from My Outlander Purgatory. <g>)

If you're not on Twitter, or you want to leave a longer message, there is a "Happy Birthday Diana!" thread on Compuserve here.

Friday, January 7, 2011

OUTLANDER Links, Part 12: Standing Stones

As an OUTLANDER fan, I can't help but be fascinated by the many ancient stone circles found throughout the world. Before I read Diana Gabaldon's books, I'd heard of Stonehenge, of course, but I had no idea that there were so many other formations of standing stones throughout the UK and elsewhere.

I have never had the opportunity to see any of these places in person. (Still hoping to go to Scotland some day!) If any of you have seen a stone circle, feel free to post here and tell us what it was like.

Here are some pictures and links I've collected about stone circles around the world. Hope you enjoy them!

England


Stonehenge


Another view of Stonehenge

Here's a recent episode of the PBS program "Nova", called "Secrets of Stonehenge", which explores one theory about the origins and construction of Stonehenge. It's almost an hour long, but pretty interesting, especially when they try to recreate how the ancient builders of Stonehenge managed to move those huge stones over long distances.


Castlerigg, England


The stone circle shown above is known as Long Meg and Her Daughters, located near Penrith, Cumbria, England. To get a better view, look at the panorama here. (Note: requires Java in order to see it!)

For those of you who have read "A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows": I am convinced that this is where Jerry MacKenzie's plane went down in October, 1941. It's in more or less the right location, it's unmistakably a stone circle, and it's clearly visible from the air. Just speculating, of course, but it works for me. <g>

Scotland


Callanish, Isle of Lewis, Scotland. The logo for my blog shows another view of the Callanish stones. I think they're beautiful, in an eerie and mysterious sort of way. <g> And the closest thing I've ever seen to what I imagine Craigh na Dun might look like.



Clava Cairns, Scotland

This picture reminds me of Claire's reaction when she visits Corrimony Cairn, where General Simon Fraser will be buried.
No buzzing, no screaming, no sensation at all. It was just a rock. After all, I thought, there was no reason why all standing stones should be assumed to mark time portals. Presumably the ancient builders had used stones to mark any place of significance— and surely a cairn like this one must have been significant. I wondered what sort of man--or woman, perhaps?--had lain here, leaving no more than an echo of their bones, so much more fragile than the enduring rocks that sheltered them.

(From An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 75 ("Sic Transit Gloria Mundi"). Copyright© 2009 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
Around the World


Drombeg, County Cork, Ireland


Megaliths of Almendres, Portugal


Wassu, Gambia, West Africa

Just for Fun

This collection of Wild and Wacky Stonehenge Replicas is good for a laugh. I like "Foamhenge" (pictured below) the best.



More Information

There is a lot more information about stone circles here. (Check out their picture gallery!)

Here is an interactive map showing the location of all the various stone circles and similar formations throught the UK. You can zoom in to see the exact location, as well as pictures of the standing stones.

If you find these links interesting, check out my previous "OUTLANDER Links" blog entries:

OUTLANDER Links, Part 14: 18th Century Clothing
OUTLANDER Links, Part 13: Plants and Herbs
OUTLANDER Links, Part 11: Science and Technology
OUTLANDER Links, Part 10: Weaponry
OUTLANDER Links, Part 9: Historical Events
OUTLANDER Links, Part 8: 18th Century Medicine
OUTLANDER Links, Part VII: Gemstones
OUTLANDER Links, Part VI: Wildlife
OUTLANDER Links, Part V: Castles and Palaces
OUTLANDER Links, Part IV: Native Americans
OUTLANDER Links, Part III: All Things Scottish
OUTLANDER Links, Part II: Colonial North Carolina
OUTLANDER Links, Part I: Culloden
What Do These Things Look Like?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Release dates

[UPDATE 9/9/2011 11:23 am:  If you are looking for CURRENT information on release dates for Diana Gabaldon's books, please see the Release Dates FAQ.  Thanks.]

There have been a lot of questions on Compuserve, Facebook, and various fan sites lately about when Diana's next book(s) will be coming out. We don't have a lot of information. To the best of my knowledge -- and keeping in mind that I have NO inside information whatsoever! -- this is where things stand right now:

1) Book Eight

Diana says it takes 2-3 years to write one of the "big books". (Why does it take so long? Look here for the explanation in Diana's own words.) She only started working on Book Eight in 2010, so it will be a while.

We might see Book Eight in 2012 or 2013, but we are only guessing! Keep watching Diana's blog and web site for further updates. And if I find out anything more specific, I will certainly post it here.

2) LORD JOHN AND THE SCOTTISH PRISONER

Diana has said that she's hoping to finish writing SCOTTISH PRISONER sometime in the spring of 2011, with a possible release date of Fall 2011. When she was asked the other day on Compuserve if the release date for SCOTTISH PRISONER had been decided on yet, Diana had this to say:
Nothing quite so formal--but my UK editor says they're scheduling the book for November. That being so, the US will almost certainly release it at their usual time, which is late September. (Always assuming it's finished up in a timely manner. <xxxxx <--crossed fingers>)
Keep in mind that it's the publisher, not Diana, who determines the release date for her books. As Diana commented today on Compuserve:
Basically, book-publishing dates are chosen by some secret process that defies rationality. <g> I think they do it by sacrificing pigeons in Times Square and reading the entrails, myself.
Again, keep watching Diana's blog and web site for further updates. I'll post here as soon as I have any more specific information.

3) "Lord John and the Plague of Zombies"

This novella was completed in 2010, but we still have no information on a possible release date. The name of the anthology is DOWN THESE STRANGE STREETS, and it's edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois, the same people who brought us WARRIORS and SONGS OF LOVE AND DEATH. I will post here as soon as the release date for DOWN THESE STRANGE STREETS is announced.

4) WARRIORS paperback and audio versions

Amazon.com is now showing the unabridged audio version of WARRIORS (the anthology containing Diana Gabaldon's Lord John story, "The Custom of the Army") as being available for pre-order, with a release date of March 29, 2011.

It appears that the mass-market paperback edition of WARRIORS will be split into three volumes. From what I can tell, it seems that WARRIORS 3, due out in August 2011, will be the one that contains "The Custom of the Army", but I have not yet been able to confirm that. I'll post here with more information as soon as it becomes available.

5) THE OUTLANDISH COMPANION, Volume 2

We have very little information about the OC II, other than the fact that Diana has been collecting a lot of things to put in it. <g> Last I heard, she was still hoping this book would be released in 2011, but we are really only guessing. If I find out anything more specific, I'll post it here.

6) OUTLANDER 20th Anniversary Edition



This is a special hardcover edition of OUTLANDER, to be published July 5, 2011. Look here for the details.

7. ECHO mass-market paperback edition



The mass-market (small size) paperback edition of AN ECHO IN THE BONE will be published on May 24, 2011.  Look here for the details.

And that's it. For the most part, what this boils down to is....



(That's "wait and see" in Gaelic. One of Diana's favorite phrases.)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

December poll results

Happy New Year! Here are the results from the December poll:

What is your favorite gift from the OUTLANDER books?
  • 35.3% - Claire's silver wedding ring
  • 16.6% - The medicine box Jamie gives Claire
  • 16.2% - Adso the kitten
  • 10.8% - The cherrywood snake Willie carved for Jamie
  • 10.0% - The poison ivy bouquet
  • 3.7% - The boar's-tusk bracelets
  • 3.7% - Hugh Munro's dragonfly in amber
  • 1.2% - Brianna's bracelet
  • 0.4% - The sapphire ring Lord John got from his first lover, Hector
  • 2.1% - Other

There were 241 votes in the poll. Thanks so much to everyone who participated!

I didn't vote in the poll, but I would have gone with the plurality on this one. The scene where Jamie gives Claire the ring is one of my favorites in OUTLANDER.

The January poll is about your favorite opening line from the OUTLANDER books. (It's a new year, after all, so I thought a poll about beginnings would be appropriate. <g>) All quotes used in the poll are copyright© Diana Gabaldon, of course. Please take a moment to vote. Thanks!