• “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

UK Mass-market edition of ECHO – Sept. 30

Now, let me note that the UK readers are not left out of the paperback ECHO celebrations! True, British/Australian/New Zealand fans don’t get the famous Green Slime trade paperback, nor do they get the EXILE eight-page full-color excerpt. Nor do you get THE EXILE itself, unless you can convince Orion Books that there is indeed a market for graphic novels on your side the pond. [g] On the other hand…

September 30th heralds the publication of the UK mass-market paperback edition (that’s the smaller size) of AN ECHO IN THE BONE! Besides the very snazzy cover shown above (it’s actually covered with gold flakes, not just yellow; very eye-catching, though not green [g]), you also get a nice chunk of what the UK publisher tantalizingly describes as “end-matter.” [cough]

This is stuff they put at the end of the book, in hopes of providing new purchasers with something special. In this case, UK fans will get:
1) Potted biographies of a number of prominent characters,
2) An essay on the Life and Times of Scotland in the 18th century (not written by me, but a nice job by whoever did write it),
3) _Beautiful_ (and geographically correct!) maps, both of the Scottish Highlands, and of the American Colonies, circa 1776. Aaaannnnddd…

4) An excerpt from Book Eight, which tells you What Happened to Jem in the Tunnel. Which I will give you a small taste of here….

Copyright Diana Gabaldon 2010

He must be getting near the end of the tunnel. Jem could tell by the way the air pushed back against his face. All he could see was the little red light on the train’s dashboard–did you call it a dashboard on a train? he wondered. He didn’t want to stop, because that meant he’d have to get out of the train, into the dark. But the train was running out of track, so there wasn’t much else he could do.

He pulled back a little bit on the lever that made the train go, and it slowed down. More. Just a little more, and the lever clicked into a kind of slot and the train stopped with a little jerk that made him stumble and grab the edge of the cab.

An electric train didn’t make any engine noise, but the wheels rattled on the track and the train made squeaks and clunks as it moved. When it stopped, the noise stopped too. It was really quiet.

“Hey!” he said out loud, because he didn’t want to listen to his heart beating. The sound echoed, and he looked up, startled. Mum had said the tunnel was really high, more than thirty feet, but he’d forgot that. The idea that there was a lot of empty space hanging over him that he couldn’t see bothered him a lot. He swallowed, and stepped out of the tiny engine, holding on to the frame with one hand.

“Hey!” he shouted at the invisible ceiling. “Are there any bats up there?”

Silence. He’d kind of been hoping there were bats. He wasn’t afraid of them–there were bats in the old broch, and he liked to sit and watch them come out to hunt in the summer evenings. But he was alone. Except for the dark.

His hands were sweating. He let go of the metal cab and scrubbed both hands on his jeans. Now he could hear himself breathing, too.

“Crap,” he whispered under his breath. That made him feel better, so he said it again. Maybe he ought to be praying, instead, but he didn’t feel like that, not yet.

There was a door, Mum said. At the end of the tunnel. It led into the service chamber, where the big turbines could be lifted up from the dam if they needed fixing. Would the door be locked?

Suddenly he realized that he’d stepped away from the train and he didn’t know whether he was facing the end of the tunnel or back the way he’d come. In a panic, he blundered to and fro, hands out, looking for the train. He tripped over part of the track and fell sprawling. He lay there for a second saying “Crap-crap-crap-crap-crap!” because he’d skinned both knees and the palm of his hand, but he was OK, really, and now he knew where the track was, so he could follow it and not get lost.

He got up, wiped his nose, and shuffled slowly along, kicking the track every few steps to be sure he stayed with it. He thought he was in front of where the train had stopped, so it didn’t really matter which way he was going–either he’d find the train or he’d find the end of the tunnel. And then the door. If it was locked, maybe–

Something like an electric shock ran right through him. He gasped and fell over backward. …

(You _were_ paying attention, weren’t you, when I told you I was really Black Jack Randall…?)



www.poisonedpen.com or call them at 480-947-2974. Normally, they can get UK books without much trouble, and I’d be delighted to stop by the bookstore and sign them for you.

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65 Responses »

  1. thanks Diana – I'll keep an eye out for the UK edition to see the rest of the teaser as I can't get that poor child out of my head. And one final question, as I don't want to distract you from your work/life but you're coming to Ireland? Will you do a reading? Or is it just a holiday?

    - Siobhán

  2. Dear Siobhan–

    Really quick holiday/research trip. [g] Ireland has something to do with LORD JOHN AND THE SCOTTISH PRISONER.

  3. Can you pleeeease post the rest of the excerpt? Or will it be in the US mass market edition? And when will that be out?

  4. You're right about the Black Jack Randall thing. The tension is steadily mounting, my eyes are plastered to the screen and my hands are balled into fists of anxiety as I'm fearing for poor Jem, and then the excerpt stops.

    Oh well, I'd rather have a good cliffhanger(or, you know, 3) to ponder until the next book than nothing. I hope you have a speedy recovery, and enjoy your trip overseas :)

  5. Diana,
    Thanks for the updates on Book Eight! I'm glad your knee is feeling better…that surgery sounded and looked horribly intense. I'm even gladder (if that's a word) & excited for the pieces you will be coming up with in meantime. I was wondering if you've heard of or read Juliet Marillier's Sevenwaters series? And if you have what you thought of it? It has the whole Celtic fantasy thing going on…I'm so desperate to find a new series to read!

  6. Just when I thought we would have a small reprieve from the tension of all these cliffhangers, you ramp it up again.
    Thankfully, not only do you have intelligent readers, we are resourceful as well. I'll call my mother-in-law when the paperback comes out. She is also enamoured with the Outlander series, and she happens to live in the U.K.!
    The jig is up, Black Jack! :)

    Also, noting that Lord John has been to Quebec and Ireland, will he be stopping by my home island of Newfoundland, which was a large part of shipping, piracy, and immigration, and owned by the English? Amazing location. Colourful people. Rich history.

  7. Dear malzination–

    No, I haven't come across the Sevenwaters series; I'll keep an eye out for it!

  8. Oh, crap – Jem! Now I have something to think about for the next while. Speedy recovery to you!

  9. Poor wee Jem. I'm worried for him but he is a very resourceful little boy and I think will find his way. You are Black Jack!

  10. Where in Ireland will you be Diana? I just returned from a 17 day trip with my sister and it was so wonderful. I just want to know if I was in a place that Lord John would have been, crazy I know, but you know how us fans are. :)

    By the way, thank you for the excerpt! OMG Jem!!

  11. Dear Lisa–

    I'm not actually sure, yet. A day in Dublin, but then I need to see a couple of places that would have been Jacobite hangouts in the mid-18th century, and not quite sure of those yet.

  12. This is all so exciting, Diana! Thank you for everything!


  13. Hello Diana,
    Thank you for all the information that you have provided us yesterday.
    I hope you have enough energy, and good health to handle all these commitments.
    Have a wondeful time in Scotland and Ireland.
    …but 4 years of waiting for the eight book…that is a long time time. [sad]
    I discovered the series this year, and devoured the 7 books! I felt hanging, lonely, anxious and frustrated at the end.
    Still, I'll stick around, waiting…
    I hope there will be good news in the future about the movie and everything else interesting that you're 'cooking' over there.

  14. I absolutely loved the excerpt, Diana. My best friend began reading the Outlander series just after Voyager was published and, though she is an avid reader, this series remains her favorite. She had been trying to get me to read your books forever, but I was working, going to school and raising a family at the time. I had no time for any reading beyond required texts or kids' books. I finished with my degree last May, and immediately began reading the Outlander series. I immediately fell in love with your books and spent last summer (my first summer of freedom) with Jamie and Claire. I have since read the rest of your books and love them all. I have always loved to read, and desperately missed reading for enjoyment. Your books have re-awakened that part of me and I am truly thankful to you because of it.

  15. Thanks for the excerpt Diana. I had been worrying about wee Jem *g*

    In the meantime, I'm hurtling through Phil Rickman's Bones of Avalon (thanks for that recommendation!) and then next on the pile is a book by a Sam Sykes. I hear that's pretty good too. *g*

    Thanks so much for the book recommendations. Christopher Brookmeyer has turned out to be very enjoyable too.


  16. Dear Deanna–

    Thank you! I'm really glad the series has been your pathway back into 'real' reading! [g]

  17. Dear Helen–

    Great! I'm glad you've been enjoying Rickman (try his Merrily Watkins series, too–those are excellent) and Brookmyre; two of my favorites!

    I'll put up some more Methadone items in the next few days.

  18. I was so excited to see the new excerpt, can't wait to see the rest of it.

    I am recently sidelined also, with a broken ankle. Fortunately I enjoy rereading and your books are my favorite reread!

    Looking forward to the next installment!


  19. Why yes, you _are_ BJR! *g* You really are all the characters and all the characters are you, so just from idle curiosity – I remember from the Books that Jem knows how to pick locks, is this another skill of yours?

    Waiting patiently for the next Big Book, and the Exile!

    Maria in Jackson

  20. Thanks for the excerp, love it. Can not wait to see what else you have in store for us. :D I need to convince my 5 month old to sleep more and my 4 year old to make believe more so that I can have them trained to entertain themselves when your next book comes out. LOL!!

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