Thursday, August 29, 2019

Season 5 will premiere on Feb. 16!

It's official: Season 5 of the OUTLANDER TV series will premiere on STARZ on Sunday, February 16, 2020!

Season 5 will be 12 episodes long, so it will run from mid-February until early May.

Please note, this announcement is for the US only. I have no information about premiere dates in other countries.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Outlandish Observations is 11 years old!

Outlandish Observations turns 11 years old today!!

Wow. That's hard to believe, even for me. Eleven years?! But it's true.

I started this blog on August 28, 2008, with two goals in mind. The first was simply to learn about blogging. The second was to create a central repository for news and information for OUTLANDER fans, a place where people could go to find answers to commonly asked questions, links to other OUTLANDER-related sites, and the latest information on Diana Gabaldon's new and upcoming releases.

To say that this blog has succeeded far beyond my wildest imaginings is a severe understatement! In the beginning, I never expected anyone to visit my site except a few dozen of my friends from the Compuserve Books and Writers Community (now and the Ladies of Lallybroch fan-site.  I didn't talk about it on Compuserve for the first couple of years, because I was very reluctant to draw attention to it where Diana Gabaldon could see -- which seems silly in retrospect, but it's true.  Suffice it to say that I did get over that shyness, eventually. <g>

Special thanks to all of my followers on the Outlandish Observations Facebook page! Last year at this time I had 10,876 followers on Facebook. Today that number is 11,345, an increase of 4.31%. I'm delighted that so many new people have found my site over the past year. Welcome! I hope you take some time to look around and see what else is available here.

Outlandish Observations was one of the first successful OUTLANDER-related blogs. These days there are innumerable fan-sites, Facebook groups, and so on. The more the merrier, as far as I'm concerned! <g> I'm proud to be a part of such a thriving, creative, and enthusiastic worldwide community of fans, united in our passion for these books and characters and this amazing story Diana Gabaldon has created, that is now being brought to life on TV.

Speaking of which...I'm delighted to see so many new people discovering OUTLANDER as a result of the TV series!  Thanks to all of you who've enjoyed my episode recaps for Seasons 1-4. I plan to continue posting them for Season 5 when the time comes.

And of course I can't wait for GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE, Book 9 of the OUTLANDER series. We don't yet have a publication date, or cover art, or pre-order links, but as soon as I hear anything definite, I will post it here.

Many, many thanks to all of you who've visited Outlandish Observations over the past eleven years. It's been an amazing journey, and I'm so glad you've come along for the ride.


Thursday, August 22, 2019

Diana Gabaldon talks about the shape of BEES

As some of you may know, Diana Gabaldon says all of her books have a "shape" to them.
All my books have an internal geometric shape that emerges in the course of the work, and once I’ve seen it, the writing goes much faster. I may have no idea exactly what happens, what’s said, etc.--but I do know approximately what the missing pieces look like (e.g., I need a scene here that involves these three people, and it has a sense of rising tension and a conclusion that will lead into that scene over there …).

These internal shapes are normally invisible to the reader--who isn’t looking for them in the first place--but if pointed out, the reader can certainly see them.

(From THE OUTLANDISH COMPANION Volume 1 (Revised and Expanded), Copyright© 2015 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
If you have access to the OC Volume 1 (Revised and Expanded Edition) or the OUTLANDER 20th Anniversary Edition, you can read the full explanation in an essay called "The Shape of Things". If not, you can read a version of it that Diana posted on her blog in 2008.

Naturally, as Book 9, GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE, gets closer and closer to completion, many fans are curious about what the shape of BEES will turn out to be. For some time now, Diana has described it as a honeycomb, a six-sided structure, because there will be six major storylines.

Well, today she said something completely new and unexpected on Twitter, when someone asked about the shape of BEES.

A snake?? My first reaction on reading that was, "What an intriguing image!"  And it is. But then someone asked about it on (formerly the Compuserve Books and Writers Community), the online forum where Diana hangs out.

Diana made the following comment:
"Honeycomb" refers to the six main characters (or pairs) whose stories we're following through the book; the internal, cellular structure, if you will.   "Snake" is the overall shape of the book. It glides, it coils, it slithers, it climbs (and then drops out of a tree on you), it turns back on itself at the same time it goes forward, it has occasional bulges where it's swallowed something large...and it has fangs.
I love this description on so many levels, but that "it has fangs" strikes me as a warning to all of us, in much the same way that the painfully sharp spikes on the caltrop on ECHO's cover (representing its shape) were a warning, of sorts, to her readers.  Snakes are dangerous and unpredictable and sometimes deadly, and I think we'd all do well to keep that in mind. <g>

This description of the shape of BEES is making me really excited about this book! It sounds like it's going to be a very entertaining and suspenseful roller-coaster ride, with plenty of twists and turns -- but watch out for the snakes!

If you'd like to join in the discussion on TheLitForum, you can find it here. You have to sign up to read or post on the forum, but it's free.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

OUTLANDER fan art contest!

If you create OUTLANDER fan art or know someone who does, check this out!

STARZ is running a fan art contest on Twitter through August 30, and the prize is a trip to NY Comic Con!

The contest is open to US residents only, and you must be 18 or older to enter.

Look here for more information and contest rules. Good luck!

Friday, August 2, 2019

What's your favorite way to enjoy OUTLANDER?

This month's poll asks, "What's your favorite way to enjoy OUTLANDER?"

What do you prefer? Hardcover, paperback, e-book, audiobook, or watching the TV show? Or some combination of all of those?

I'm a longtime OUTLANDER-audiobook-addict myself (since 2007), and that is my preferred method most of the time. For new releases, I collect the hardcovers, but I prefer to read the e-books on my tablet. (The photo above shows part of my OUTLANDER collection.)

What about the rest of you? Please take a moment to vote, and then come back and leave a comment here or on my Outlandish Observations Facebook page.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

July poll results

Here are the results of the July poll, which asked the question, "How did you discover the OUTLANDER books?"
  • 37.32% - I started reading the books as a result of watching, or hearing about, the OUTLANDER TV series.
  • 25.02% - A friend or family member recommended the books to me.
  • 18.62% - I stumbled across them while browsing in a bookstore or library.
  • 7.02% - A friend or family member gave me a copy of OUTLANDER, saying, "Read this, you'll love it!"
  • 1.95% - A librarian or bookstore employee recommended them.
  • 1.81% - I read a review in a newspaper, magazine, or online.
  • 1.67% - Someone on Facebook, Goodreads, or another online site recommended them.
  • 1.32% - I saw OUTLANDER on a "Recommended for You" list on Amazon or elsewhere online.
  • 0.76% - I haven't yet read any of Diana Gabaldon's books, but I've watched the OUTLANDER TV series.
  • 0.49% - Someone at my book club mentioned them.
  • 4.03% - Other
There were 1439 responses to this month's poll. Thanks very much to everyone who participated!

I didn't vote in the poll myself, but I discovered OUTLANDER completely by accident, browsing in Barnes & Noble in 2006. The full story is here if you're interested.

I've done variations of this same poll about once a year since 2009, and this is the first time that the "I found the OUTLANDER books as a result of the TV series" option got the most votes. Even though this wasn't a scientific poll by any means, I think that's interesting.

Please take a moment to vote in the August poll, which asks, "What's your favorite way to enjoy OUTLANDER?"