2015 Year in Review

2015 has been an unforgettable year for OUTLANDER fans all over the world! Here are some of my favorite moments from the past year:

January 7 - OUTLANDER wins the 2015 People's Choice Award for Favorite Cable Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Show!

January 12 - Episode titles for the second half of Season 1 are revealed. Lots of speculation ensues! <g>

February 9 - The first 8 episodes of OUTLANDER Season 1 become available for download via iTunes and Amazon Instant Video in the US.

February 21 - I posted an OUTLANDISH COMPANION FAQ page about the two upcoming OUTLANDISH COMPANION books. Diana Gabaldon's reaction on Compuserve: "Beautifully organized and clearly expressed, as always!" I hope you've found it useful!

March 3 - OUTLANDER Season 1, Volume 1 (covering the first 8 episodes) is released on DVD and Blu-ray! You can see my review of the Blu-ray special features here (Disk 1) and here (Disk 2).

March 26 - At long last, OUTLANDER premieres in the UK! Although many fans in the UK were (understandably) disappointed with the decision to show the series on Amazon Prime Instant Video, rather than on a regular TV channel, I'm delighted that people in the UK finally have a chance to watch the show.

March 31 - Diana Gabaldon's OUTLANDISH COMPANION Volume One (Revised and Updated Edition) is published!

April 4 - After six long months of #Droughtlander, Season 1 of OUTLANDER resumes with Episode 109, "The Reckoning".  Like many fans of Diana Gabaldon's books, I had assumed that the "spanking" scene would be the most controversial part of this episode. WRONG!! Almost as soon as the episode premiered, the fandom exploded with talk about the infamous "boobs-on-the-bank" scene between Jamie and Laoghaire. (No, he didn't actually kiss her! Diana Gabaldon posted a detailed explanation of this scene on Compuserve here, and it's definitely worth reading.)

April 4 - early June - I refer to this period as the "Great Thread Explosion of 2015". <g> Keeping up with all of the discussion of Episodes 109 - 116 on the Compuserve Books and Writers Community (which is the online forum where Diana Gabaldon hangs out) was quite a challenge for me personally.  It turned into a full-time job for a while, and by the time the season came to an end, I was quite exhausted. But I'm delighted with the way it all worked out, and I was very gratified to see this message from Diana Gabaldon:
Dear Karen--

   It certainly wouldn't happen without _you_! <g>  Many, MANY thanks, from all of us!

-- Diana
If you want to see the episode discussions on Compuserve, look here for the complete list.

Here are my reactions to Episodes 109-116:

Episode 109: "The Reckoning"
Episode 110: "By the Pricking of My Thumbs"
Episode 111: "The Devil's Mark"
Episode 112: "Lallybroch"
Episode 113: "The Watch"
Episode 114: "The Search"
Episode 115: "Wentworth Prison"
Episode 116: "To Ransom a Man's Soul"

Look here for my recaps of the first 8 episodes of Season 1.

June 3 - Diana Gabaldon's WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART'S BLOOD (Book 8 in the OUTLANDER series) is released in trade-paperback format -- that's the large size paperback -- in the US and Canada.

June 30 - STARZ announces that the part of Mother Hildegarde will be played by Frances de la Tour!  I've been saying for years that she would be perfect for the role (as you can see from this post on Compuserve dated May 15, 2009) and I was both delighted to hear that it's going to happen, and flabbergasted that one of my casting speculations actually turned out to be correct! <vbg> Can't wait to see her in Season 2!

July 5 - I won this near-life-size cardboard Jamie at an OUTLANDER event at Barnes & Noble!

August 17 - My Outlandish Observations Facebook page reaches 7,000 followers!!

September 29 - The second half of OUTLANDER Season 1 (covering episodes 109-116) is released on DVD and Blu-ray! You can see my reactions to the "extras" and special features here.

October 11 - November 7 - The Droughtlander Photo Contest was a tremendous success, as well as a lot of fun! You can see a slideshow of the contest photos here. Thanks so much to everyone who participated!

October 27 - Diana Gabaldon's OUTLANDISH COMPANION Volume 2 (aka OC II) is published!

I was thrilled to see that my name was mentioned twice in this book.

First, in the Cast of Characters section, referring to a character in THE SCOTTISH PRISONER who was named for me:
Keren-happuch -- A Welsh kitchen maid employed at Helwater, who carries a message from Jamie to Betty. (A Real Person, named in compliment to my friend Karen Henry, Queen of the Nitpickers.) [SP]
And also in the Acknowledgements at the end of the book:
  ...Karen Henry, Chief of Eyeball-Numbing Nitpickery, who kindly read all of the manuscript pieces for this book, with the exception of the "Cast of Characters" (only Kathy the copy editor had the guts to deal with that one). Her catches and suggestions saved me innumerable hours in the later phases of copyediting and proofreading.
That phrase, "Chief of Eyeball-Numbing Nitpickery", makes me laugh, but it's really very apt. Thank you, Diana!! The effort was totally worth it, and I'm so glad I was able to help!

October 27 - The Official OUTLANDER Coloring Book is published! I was frankly skeptical about the idea of a "coloring book for adults", but I've been surprised at how popular the OUTLANDER Coloring Book has been.

Mid-November - The Pop! Vinyl OUTLANDER figures from Funko inspire some very funny and clever photos.  Check out OUTLANDER Pop! Photography on Instagram for more!

December 1 - STARZ releases the first official OUTLANDER Season 2 trailer!

December 9 - Amazon Video announces a new streaming service that will enable viewers in the US to watch STARZ programs (including OUTLANDER) without cable TV or a STARZ subscription. Look here for details.

December 14 - We have our "Singing Thrush" at long last! STARZ announces that Richard Rankin has been cast as Roger Wakefield in the OUTLANDER TV series. Look here for more information.

December 30 - Diana Gabaldon sends me this DRAGONFLY IN AMBER book charm as a gift. This is one of a set of OUTLANDER book charms available on the Author's Attic site. Isn't it beautiful? (Click on the photo for a bigger view.) Diana sent me the OUTLANDER book charm several years ago. And the DRAGONFLY charm is so appropriate, with Season 2 of the OUTLANDER TV series coming in spring 2016. Thank you, Diana!! (And many thanks to Michelle Moore, who runs the Author's Attic site.)

What an incredible year this has been! I'm delighted to see all the new people who've found their way here in recent months.  Thanks to ALL of you who take the time to visit Outlandish Observations, and I wish you all the best in 2016!


Anonymous said...

Dear Karen, Thank you, thank you, thank you for ALL you've done for Outlander Fans! I'm so appreciative of your talent and the time you've given to this endeavor. Looking forward to MANY more years of reading your blog! -- Jan from Deep in the Heart of Texas!

Unknown said...

Ditto to Texas from the magnificent Pacific NW. Thanks Karen for many chuckles and some deep insight.

Susanlynn♥ said...

Thank you, Karen. I appreciate all that you do to keep the fans informed about all the latest happenings regarding Outlander. I am so glad that I found this site.

Mary Tormey said...

Hi Karen this is my second year as an Outlander Fans , and I feel that the more I read the books and watch the Tv Show , it becomes deeper , I have a great Outlander Collection, I wish I could have entered the photo contest , but I was in The hospital when it was going on , but the Outlander series helped me a lot this year , I went through a tough year and the books and TV Show helped a lot, I hope the New Year will be even better for you and Fans of the books and TV Show , God Bless and Happy 2016, Sincerely Yours . Mary Tormey.

Anonymous said...

its only a bit of fun, but 'Outlander' falls into the familiar stereotype of the romantic Scots underdogs against the wicked, sadistic English. It's unhistorical as well, more Scots were on the English at Colloden. The Jacobites wanted to Install a Catholic, absolute monarchy on a democratic country and in this most Scots opposed them.

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