Here are some of the frequently asked questions about Diana Gabaldon's story collection, SEVEN STONES TO STAND OR FALL. (Last updated January 28, 2017)
1) What is SEVEN STONES TO STAND OR FALL?
SEVEN STONES TO STAND OR FALL is a collection of seven stories by Diana Gabaldon that will be published in the US and Canada on June 27, 2017. Five of these stories have been previously published in anthologies or as standalone e-books, but two of the stories are brand new.
Diana Gabaldon described it as "a collection of novellas and short stories, all of which deal with people from the Outlander universe."
2) Which stories are included in this collection?
The brief descriptions below were written by Diana Gabaldon.
"The Custom of the Army" (originally published in 2010)
Lord John – electric eels and the Battle of Quebec."A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows" (originally published in 2010)
The story of Roger MacKenzie’s parents in WWII. This one will make you cry."A Plague of Zombies" (originally published in 2011)
Lord John ends up unexpectedly as the military governor of Jamaica when the original governor is gnawed by what probably wasn’t a giant rat."The Space Between" (originally published in 2012)
In which the Comte St. Germain is not dead after all, and a widowed young wine dealer ends up escorting a would-be novice to a convent in Paris. Oh, yes, and Master Raymond’s in it, too."Virgins" (originally published in 2013)
In which Jamie Fraser, aged 19 and Ian Murray, aged 20, become mercenaries in France, despite the fact that neither has yet bedded a lass nor killed a man. But they’re trying..."A Fugitive Green" (NEW STORY!)
The story of Hal Grey (Lord John’s elder brother) and his not-yet-wife, Minerva, a 17-year-old dealer in rare books, theft, forgery and blackmail. This one is brand-new, and the longest of the batch, at 50,000 words. Pretty much a short novel by itself."Besieged" (NEW STORY!)
Lord John is informed that his mother is in Havana. This would be fine, save that the British Navy is on its way to lay siege to the city. Also never before published.3) Where can I find this book?
SEVEN STONES TO STAND OR FALL will be available in hardcover and e-book format. You can pre-order from Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
4) I live outside the US. How can I get a copy of this book?
The UK edition of SEVEN STONES TO STAND OR FALL (pictured above) will be published on June 29, 2017. You can pre-order here.
5) What does the title mean?
I asked Diana that question on Compuserve in November 2016, and here is part of her response:
I wanted a title that at least suggested that there were a number of elements in this book (hence the "Seven") and "Seven Stones" just came naturally, and was nice, ("stone" is always a weighty word <g>) but not a complete poetic thought (or rhythm).6) How can I get an autographed copy of this book?
[The] "stand or fall" has to do with people's response to grief and adversity: to wit, if you aren't killed outright by whatever happened, you have a choice in how the rest of your life is lived--you keep standing, though battered and worn by time and elements, still a buttress and a signpost....or you fall and return quietly to the earth from which you sprang, your elements giving succor to those who come after you.
You can order an autographed copy of SEVEN STONES TO STAND OR FALL from the Poisoned Pen bookstore in Arizona. This is Diana Gabaldon's local independent bookstore, and they ship all over the world.
7) I already have some of these stories in print and/or e-book format. Why are they being re-published now?
The answer to that question is complicated, and I would really encourage you to read through Diana Gabaldon's detailed explanation, posted on Facebook on January 27, 2017.
8) Will the two new stories, "A Fugitive Green" and "Besieged", be available as standalone e-books?
Not at this time. It's possible that they may be released as standalone e-books at some point in the future, but I have no information on when that might happen. For now, the only way to read these two new stories is in SEVEN STONES TO STAND OR FALL.
9) What about audio versions?
Audiobooks of the first five stories in this collection are already available for download via Audible.com:
A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows
The Custom of the Army
A Plague of Zombies
The Space Between
I have no information yet about the audio versions of "A Fugitive Green" or "Besieged". I also don't know if Recorded Books or Audible plan to release an audiobook containing all seven stories. I will update this page if I find out more.
10) What about Book 9?
In case you're wondering, yes, of course Diana is still working on GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE, Book 9 of the OUTLANDER series! Keep in mind that it takes her 3-4 years to write one of the Big Books, and as she said recently on Facebook, "it’s not anywhere near finished".
The fact that Diana has two new stories in this collection is not slowing down or delaying her progress on Book 9. She often says that she likes to work on multiple projects at once, because it keeps her from getting writer's block.
That's all the information I have right now. Please check back later for further updates.