• “The smartest historical sci-fi adventure-romance story ever written by a science Ph.D. with a background in scripting 'Scrooge McDuck' comics.”—Salon.com
  • A time-hopping, continent-spanning salmagundi of genres.”
  • “These books have to be word-of-mouth books because they're too weird to describe to anybody.”
    —Jackie Cantor, Diana's first editor

WARRIORS on the way!

Warriors-cover-hbJust got word from the editor of the WARRIORS anthology that it will be released March 10! (In case you’re beginning to cast round for new things to read.)

This is an anthology, edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois, with short stories and novellas by a lot of very talented people. I have a novella in this book, a Lord John story titled “The Custom of the Army” (and before a lot of you write, demanding that I stop wasting time writing about Lord John…I wrote this novella last year, _while_ finishing AN ECHO IN THE BONE. I normally do work on multiple projects at once; I get a lot farther, a lot faster that way). There’s a longish excerpt from this story on my website (www.dianagabaldon.com ), and here’s a further short one.

“The Custom of the Army” (in WARRIORS)
Copyright 2010 Diana Gabaldon

A month later, Grey found himself, Tom Byrd at his side, climbing off the Harwood and into one of the small boats that would land them and the battalion of Louisbourg grenadiers with whom they had been traveling on a large island near the mouth of the St. Lawrence River.

He had never seen anything like it. The river itself was larger than any he had ever seen, nearly half a mile across, running wide and deep, a dark blue-black under the sun. Great cliffs and undulating hills rose on either side of the river, so thickly forested that the underlying stone was nearly invisible. It was hot, and the sky arched brilliant overhead, much brighter and much wider than any sky he had seen before. A loud hum echoed from the lush growth—insects, he supposed, birds, and the rush of the water, though it felt as though the wilderness were singing to itself, in a voice heard only in his blood. Beside him, Tom was fairly vibrating with excitement, his eyes out on stalks, not to miss anything.

“Cor, is that a Red Indian?” he whispered, leaning close to Grey in the boat.

“I don’t suppose he can be anything else,” Grey replied, as the gentleman loitering by the landing was naked save for a breech-clout, a striped blanket slung over one shoulder, and a coating of what—from the shimmer of his limbs—appeared to be grease of some kind.

“I thought they’d be redder,” Tom said, echoing Grey’s own thought. The Indian’s skin was considerably darker than Grey’s own, to be sure, but a rather pleasant soft brown in color, something like dried oak leaves. The Indian appeared to find them nearly as interesting as they had found him; he was eyeing Grey in particular with intent consideration.

“It’s your hair, me lord,” Tom hissed in Grey’s ear. “I told you you ought to have worn a wig.”

“Nonsense, Tom.” At the same time, Grey experienced an odd frisson up the back of the neck, constricting his scalp. Vain of his hair, which was blond and thick, he didn’t commonly wear a wig, choosing instead to bind and powder his own for formal occasions. The present occasion wasn’t formal in the least. With the advent of fresh water aboard, Tom had insisted upon washing his hair that morning, and it was still spread loose upon his shoulders, though it had long since dried.

The boat crunched on the shingle, and the Indian flung aside his blanket and came to help the men run it up the shore. Grey found himself next the man, close enough to smell him. He smelt quite unlike anyone Grey had ever encountered; gamy, certainly—he wondered, with a small thrill, whether the grease the man wore might be bear-fat—but with the tang of herbs and a sweat like fresh-sheared copper.

Straightening up from the gunwale, the Indian caught Grey’s eye and smiled.

“You be careful, Englishman,” he said, in a voice with a noticeable French accent, and reaching out, ran his fingers quite casually through Grey’s loose hair. “Your scalp would look good on an Huron’s belt.”

This made the soldiers from the boat all laugh, and the Indian, still smiling, turned to them.

“They are not so particular, the Abenaki who work for the French. A scalp is a scalp—and the French pay well for one, no matter what color.” He nodded genially to the grenadiers, who had stopped laughing. “You come with me.”

[end section]

You can pre-order the book at amazon.com, though if you’d like a signed copy, you can also order it from The Poisoned Pen (www.poisonedpen.com); I go by the store every week or so to sign their orders.

Last updated on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018 by Diana’s Webmistress

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40 Responses »

  1. Hello, Diana!

    I don't know if you've already seen it. It looks like THE EXILE is also being offered this early by Amazon for pre-order.

    Here's the link for it. I'll probably have my cousin pre-order it for me from the U.S.


  2. Diana, when I was listening to Breath of Snow and Ashes on audio the other day, I observed that your books seem to work especially well when read out loud. Your dialogues have such a natural feel to them, in fact, one of the characteristics I appreciate most about your style of writing. This leads me to ask:

    Do you yourself read out loud what you write as you go?

  3. Dear Anette–

    No, but I can hear the characters talk in my head. [g]

  4. *g* well, I won't tell anyone if you don't ;-)

  5. I don't want to clutter your message box, I just wanted to comment on the drawings I had seen on your 'main' website. I of course am always fearful of seeing images that might differ from those I have acquired in my mind. (10 years worth of images to be exact) I almost did not look, but I am glad I did. I know they are just roughs, but I really think you (or Hoang?) captured the essence of Claire and Jamie. I know once more sketches come out you will be bombarded with both positive and negative (because people always critique when they shouldn't), so I just wanted you to know that at least one fan of the books enjoys seeing these two in the flesh and agrees with your capture of them!
    p.s. I am glad I could send some luck over to that root canal of yours!
    Take care-

  6. I am new Outlander fan (i'm 19), I haven't read all the books yet, because I live in Brazil, and I am ordering the books from Amazon US (I prefer when they aren't translated) and it takes about 2 months to get here from the United States. My bigger problem is that I am not fluent in English, so I have to read it with the dictionary by my side lol :)

    I just wanted to say that I agree with the other comments. I believe that you have to take your time and not care about what people say over your writing speed. To write believable stories and characters like Lord John and Outlander must take a lot of time!

    Wish you well, and hope you are better from your teeth pain

    Ps: LOVED the sketches from Outlander Graphic Novel on your site

  7. Just read the excerpt and can't wait to read the rest. I enjoy the Lord John stories. Just had a question . . . with the long list of projects you're presently working on, is "Lord John and the Scottish Prisoner" on of them? I won't ask when it's coming out . . . just want to know that it's simmering somewhere. Thanks, DG! You're the best.

  8. Dear Jovita–

    Yes, the main projects for this year (provided I can stay home and actually _work_ on them) are

    1. Book Eight

    2. Lord John and the Scottish Prisoner

    3. RED ANT'S HEAD (or whatever the contemporary crime novel ends up being called), and


  9. Pretty ambitious program, Diana.

    Hope you'll be able to schedule them so that we get something every year rather than all of them at once in four years time *pretty please, with sugar on*

    I know the crime novel is one of you pets but have to admit I am not sure that even your amazing talent will entice me to that one. I have never been much of a fan of crime fiction… still, I'll wait and see what the story is about, before making up my mind.

    I am definitely looking forward to more of Lord John. Must admit, he is one character whom I would love to see time travelling. He'd be fascinated by the way society has changed in the last two hundred years. I see him as a thoroughly honourable man, in the benevolent rather than the pig headed way, and keeping everything crossed that he'll eventually find real personal happiness beyond Jamie.

  10. Dear Anette–

    Well, I'll post a few excerpts from the crime novel over time, so you'll be able to sample the style and character and see if you like it. [g]

  11. Dear Diana,

    I promise to keep an open mind about it, after all, you are one of a handful of authors to whom I assign the ability of make washing machine instructions sound interesting.

    Back to Outlander though… I have always been interested in music and loved your nod to Hildegard von Bingen, even though you have said that it was unintended. If you are still looking for things to put into the next book… how about some American music history. Being from across the pond, I know very little about it but I am sure there are some interesting stories you could dig up for us :)

  12. Dear Diana,
    It was lovely to get the chance to "look at you" in Sheffield and hear you speak about your transformation from bird dissector to novelist (g!). Thank you so much for your recommendation of Mike Carey's "Felix Castor" novels, I'm now enthralled and terrified in equal measure! Like the majority of your fans, I love all the books you've written, although I have my favourites, and will continue to devour everything you send our way but it's great to have something witty, dark and clever to keep me going in the meantime! I'm in the middle of a root canal treatment myself, courtesy of our good old NHS, so can sympathise with the pain you were suffering, hope it's all OK now.

  13. Just started reading the LJ books, almost done with Lord John and the Hand of Devils and I am a little disconcerted in that I can't stop reading things in the English accent that lives in my head now. Odds are very good that it's not even a good accent but I can't seem to stop reading everyday things in my own imagined LJ accent. lol has absolutely nothing to do with anything but just thought I'd add it in. =)

  14. You may this this is odd, but i'm only 13years old and i've read all your books and love them! i am unable to wait until your book Warriors comes out!

  15. Dear Andrea–

    I'm delighted that you like the books! [smile]

    WARRIORS is an anthology–I just have a novella in it–but I hope you'll enjoy "The Custom of the Army," which is the title of said novella.

  16. Dear Diana,

    I love the Outlander series! My Mum and I are rereading all of the books to relive how it all started. Jamie, such a man!, and Claire's relationship aside, the writing is brilliant and so intelligent and thoughtful. Reading the books makes me so curious about that time in history and I want to see everything that I have imagined when reading.

    It goes without saying that I am anxiously awaiting the next book in the series!! Really.

    Thank you for providing such a rich and yummy story and full bodied characters to become slightly obessed with.

    Well done, you!

    Resa :)

  17. Hi Diana,
    I moved 6 hours away from my husband to go to school this year, and decided to get your books as audiobooks to listen to on my long, *boring* drive and they have been a lifesaver! Although I tend to keep listening when I get home, which doesn't help the homework situation…..worth it though! So thank you for your wonderfully looong books!

  18. Will "The Custom of the Army" appear in a Lord John book or solely in "Warriors"?

  19. Diana I just have to say that LJG is not a waste!

    I feel that Jamie’s is partly who is because of John! They have helped each other in dire straights and have trusted each other wholly. Jamie has only had a few people in his life to trust. Clansmen out of the question! Uncles in it for their own reasons! Big Ian… he’s dead now but John has never asked Jamie for anything ever with the exception of help of John’s own father. That meant so much to John but something he could not trust to just anybody. Jamie did so for him. They have a huge friendship based on silence. And you do not get that with everyone. I feel in order for me to love Jamie unconditionally I have to love John unconditionally too. LJG was introduced right after Randall and I think it just set things off on the left foot for John and many READERS but I think you have established, just because a man has tastes for a man doesn’t mean they are not the same.

    Wow… I guess I had a lot to say and didn't know it!

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