• “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.”
    —ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY
  • “These books have to be word-of-mouth books because they're too weird to describe to anybody.”
    —Jackie Cantor, Diana's first editor

SEVEN STONES in 2017


Book Nine—aka GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE—is coming along nicely, and thank you for your kind inquiries! I think it’s gonna be good.

You may, however, have noticed that the main books of the OUTLANDER series are Rather Large, Somewhat Complex, and Lavishly Furnished with detail, context and other research-dependent appurtenances. All of which take time. So does running around the world talking to people and signing their books…

Now, I mean no moral reproach, but will never understand why people are so insistent on WHEN will this (or any) book be out? Mostly because I’m not like that myself, at all — I have a couple of dozen authors whose work I buy on sight and with joyous anticipation of reading, but never once has it occurred to me to even think about when a new book will be published, let alone go and pester the author about it.

I mean, It’s like standing over the site of a tulip bulb, shouting “When?” at the barren ground. What the heck difference does it make? A book and a flower each bloom in their proper time. That’s just how it works.

Still, I’m sure y’all have your reasons, and far be it from me to denigrate the operations of y’all’s separate and collective minds. People are just wired up differently.

HOWEVER, A) you’re not getting BEES in 2017 because it’s not done yet, but B) you are, in fact, getting a nice, solid book in the coming year.

On June 27th, 2017.

To wit:

SEVEN STONES TO STAND OR FALL

sevenstones-cover1What this is, is a “Collection of Outlander Fiction,” as the cover states. SEVEN STONES TO STAND OR FALL contains seven novellas, all written by me, and all dealing with the interesting side-stories and lacunae of the Outlander universe.

Five of these novellas were originally published in various anthologies, and in the US/Canada, have then been published singly as ebooks. (Not, however, in the UK/Australia/NewZealand, Germany, etc.)

The final two novellas of SEVEN STONES, though, are brand-new, never published before. <g>

In order, these are the novellas included in this collection, with a brief description of each:

1. “The Custom of the Army”

All things considered, it was probably the fault of the electric eel.

Warriors-cover-hbIn which, Lord John Grey’s encounter with said eel (to say nothing of a belligerent poet and Dr. John Hunter (a real surgeon, known for his great contributions to medicine, but known more colloquially in his own time as “the body-snatcher”) leads to him being sent to the wilds of Canada (pretty wild at the time), where he joins General James Wolfe, has sex on a sandbar (though not with General Wolfe), repels Indian attacks (though not necessarily all Indians…) and (among other things) climbs a sheer cliff at night with a number of Scottish Highlanders, in order to attack the Citadel of Quebec.

“The Custom of the Army” was first published in WARRIORS, an anthology edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois, released in the U.S.A. on March 16, 2010.

2. “The Space Between”

He still didn’t know why the frog hadn’t killed him.

mad-scientistIn which, the Comte St. Germain explores the mysteries of the universe. Meanwhile, a grief-stricken Michael Murray (middle son of Jenny and Ian Murray) returns to his wine business in Paris, following the death of his father (and the earlier death of his young wife). Given into his charge on the journey is Joan MacKimmie (younger sister of Marsali, younger daughter of Laoghaire), a young woman on her way to join a French convent, in hopes of shutting up the voices in her head. And then there’s Master Raymond…

“The Space Between” was first published on February 19, 2013 in the anthology titled THE MAD SCIENTIST’S GUIDE TO WORLD DOMINATION, edited by John Joseph Adams.

3. “A Plague of Zombies”

There was a snake on the drawing-room table. A small snake, but still. Lord John Grey wondered whether to say anything about it.

Cover art for Down These Strange StreetsIn which, Lord John is sent to Jamaica, charged with putting down a slave rebellion. Snakes and slaves are the least of it, and when the Governor of the island is found in his bedroom, dead and partially gnawed, Lord John finds himself the temporary military governor of Jamaica. He also finds himself in the midst of something much more frightening than a slave revolt—something to be faced alone, barefoot and weaponless, in a lightless cave where the dripping of water hides the sussurus of scales.

“A Plague of Zombies” was first released on October 4, 2011 in DOWN THESE STRANGE STREETS, an anthology of urban fantasy stories edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois. This novella was nominated for an Edgar award by the Mystery Writers of America for “Best Short Mystery Story” in 2011.

4. “A Leaf On The Wind of All Hallows”

It was two weeks yet to Hallowe’en, but the gremlins were already at work.

songs-love-deathIn which, the gremlins in the engine of his Spitfire temporarily ground Captain Jerry MacKenzie, but mechanical difficulties and German machine guns are nothing to what awaits him in a circle of standing stones in Northumbria. This is the story of Roger MacKenzie’s parents, Jerry and Dolly; a story Roger never knew.

This novella was first published in November, 2010, in the anthology SONGS OF LOVE AND DEATH: ALL-ORIGINAL TALES OF STAR-CROSSED LOVE, edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois.

5. “Virgins”

Ian Murray knew from the moment he saw his best friend’s face that something terrible had happened. The fact that he was seeing Jamie Fraser’s face at all was evidence enough of that, never mind the look of the man.

Cover for U.S.A. hardcover editionIn which we follow the adventures of Jamie Fraser (aged 19) and his best friend Ian Murray (aged 20), as young mercenaries in France in 1740. Neither young man has yet killed a man nor bedded a woman, and they’re both rather worried about going to hell. The possibilities for all three rise abruptly when they’re hired to see a young Jewish bride and the priceless Torah that is her dowry from Bordeaux to Paris, and find much more along the road than they bargained for.

“Virgins” was first published on December 3, 2013, in DANGEROUS WOMEN, an anthology of original stories about dangerous women, heroines and villains alike, edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois.

6. “A Fugitive Green”

New! Minnie Rennie had secrets. Some were for sale and some were strictly her own. She touched the bosom of her dress and glanced toward the lattice-work door at the rear of the shop. Still closed, the blue curtains behind it drawn firmly shut.

In which, a 17-year-old apprentice dealer in rare books is sent from Paris to England by her father, to obtain incunabula and medieval books of devotion—and whatever secrets of political intrigue or finance may come to hand in the process. In the course of her business, though, Minnie meets Harold Grey (Lord John’s elder brother), the newly-widowed (and alarmingly deranged) Duke of Pardloe, and things Fall Out.

7. “Besieged”

New! Lord John Gray dipped a finger gingerly into the little stone pot, withdrew it, glistening, and sniffed cautiously.

“Jesus!”

“Yes, me lord. That’s what I said.” His valet, Tom Byrd, face carefully averted, put the lid back on the pot. “Was you to rub yourself with that stuff, you’d be drawing flies in their hundreds, same as if you were summat that was dead. Long dead,” he added, and muffled the pot in a napkin for additional protection.

“Well, in justice,” Grey said dubiously, “I suppose the whale is long dead.” He looked at the far wall of his office. There were a number of flies resting along the wainscoting, as usual, fat and black as currants against the white plaster. Sure enough, a couple of them had already risen into the air, circling lazily toward the pot of whale oil. “Where did you get that stuff?”

In which Lord John, anticipating a voyage home to England after his brief stint as military Governor of Jamaica, instead finds himself on his way to Cuba, where the British navy is preparing to lay siege to Havana-—and where the Dowager Duchess of Pardloe (aka John’s mother) is a guest (and potential hostage) of Governor Juan de Prado.

So, those of you with a calendar obsession can circle JUNE 27th, 2017. The rest of you can just enjoy it whenever you happen to find it. <g>

Click here to visit my webpage for SEVEN STONES, which lists news and current information about this collection of my short fiction.

-Diana

This information was initially posted by Diana on her official Facebook page on November 22, 2016.


16 Responses »

  1. Thanks for mentioning that people should just leave you alone about any upcoming book will be published. It’s just plain rude! I think in the time of instant gratification, people have forgotten how to be patient. I’ve taken a break after reading them all at least three times, and have enjoyed reading other books your recommend. (I’ve now fallen for Inspector Gamache!) I’ll look forward to reading anything you write when it’s published, and in the meantime, I’ll anticipate discovering new books to enjoy. Thank you for your work, however long it takes.
    -Jen

  2. Diana, if people bug you about when the next Outlander book is coming out, it’s only because we really love your books! So, please forgive us our impatience, as we would probably not love them as much if you didn’t do all the research! I am loving the Outlander series, by the way! The costumes, make-up, special effects, scenery and settings are awesome, but the cast is amazing! Canceled my house phone service so I can afford to have cable, just to watch this series! The next book will be snatched up and read within days of being published, then another longish wait till the next…sigh. It must be quite a burden, knowing people actually change their lives for your books! Be blessed and don’t let us rush you! Your books are worth waiting for, and typically the first I recommend to anyone looking for a new series to read!

  3. I believe that digital books are to blame for your reader’s insistence. I remember when it was typical to have to wait a year or two for an author to release a book. It seems since digital books have become so popular that the instant gratification factor for the fans has grown as well. Think about it. No driving to the book store, waiting in line, or hoping that they won’t be sold out. Furthermore, there are MANY authors who are now producing a book every few months or so.

    I am impatient for Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone, but I truly appreciate the time and effort you are putting into it. The history that is heavily woven into your stories is intriguing and on point. I’d rather have your rich words than a quick, significantly less detailed tale on any given day.

  4. Sounds so cool! Something to look forward to. But I am curious as to how your story about Mr. Raymond is coming along? Will it be novella or a stand alone novel??

    • From my FAQ about characters (http://www.dianagabaldon.com/resources/faq/faq-about-the-characters/):

      Who/What is Master Raymond? What is his significance? (SPOILERS!)

      Well, he’s a prehistoric time traveler. I think he came from somewhere about 400 B.C. or perhaps a bit earlier (not technically “prehistoric,” but they certainly weren’t using written records where he started out), and the 18th century is not his first stop.

      He is—or was—a shaman, born with the ability to heal through empathy. He sees auras plainly; those with his power all have the blue light he has—born warriors, on the other hand, are red (so yes, “the red man” is iconic). He has a rather strong aversion to Vikings, owing to events that happened in his own time; hence his nervousness when he sees Jamie. He’s afraid of them, but he also realizes just what a strong life-force they have—that’s why he makes Claire invoke it (using the sexual and emotional link between her and Jamie) to heal her.

      His descendants—a few of whom he meets now and then in his travels—have the blue light about them, too; in large degree or small, depending on their talents. So he knows Claire, when he sees her, as one of his great-great, etc. grand-daughters. And Gillian/Geillis is another—you notice she has Claire’s sense of plants, though she tends naturally to poison, rather than medicines.

      We’ll see him again—though not in Jamie and Claire’s story, I don’t think. Master Raymond should get his own series of books, eventually. So in fact, we’ll see Claire, Jamie, and Geillis again, then—but as secondary characters in Master Raymond’s story (you recall, Geillis mentions having met “one other” (time-traveler) in VOYAGER, but doesn’t tell Claire who it is).

      -Diana

  5. I can wait for however long it takes. I am happy you are taking time to give us readers a story we can enjoy and remember. Thanks for being true to yourself and to us.

  6. As one of the many dedicated readers/fans, I have searched out each of the novellas and short stories in order to have more the Outlander/etc. universe to enjoy. Having done so, SEVEN STONES TO STAND OR FALL is a frustration since it only offers two new stories. Maybe your publisher is being greedy here, but I resent the full price of the book/electronic edition for only two unpublished stories.

    This is just another piece of evidence that you are a most extraordinary writer and I for one of probably many delight in going to live in the Outlander worlds as often as possible. Gratefully, Caroline

    • Hi, Caroline,

      It’s not publisher greed that inspired SEVEN STONES TO STAND OR FALL, but requests from Diana’s readers from around the globe. The five previously published novellas in SEVEN STONES were scattered through both space and time, appearing first in various multi-author anthologies by different publishers in different years. All are becoming harder to find, month by month. A few stories were made available as ebooks in some countries, not in other areas. So this book collects five of Diana’s beloved works of short fiction into one volume, plus adds two brand new stories.

      A short description of each story included in SEVEN STONES is detailed here:

      http://www.dianagabaldon.com/books/novellas-and-short-fiction/seven-stones-to-stand-or-fall-2/

      Cheers,
      Loretta

      PS – Diana’s “Chronology of the Outlander Series” explains how her books and short fiction are interwoven through time:

      http://www.dianagabaldon.com/books/chronology-of-the-outlander-series/

      Diana’s Webmistress

  7. Hi Diana,

    I picked up your books for the first time in March 2016, and sped read through all of the major Outlander books in just a few short months. I am now starting the Lord John series. Needless to say, I am enthralled.

    What first drew me to the books is that I am a Fraser! My grandmother was Nancy Fraser, and she hailed from Canada. Since reading your books I have a new appreciation for our family history; and, my husband and I are heading to Scotland this spring to learn more about my Fraser heritage. I want to thank you for writing these amazing novels, and sparking my interest in the Scottish Frasers, i.e. my family!

    Another interesting note (that I think you might find intriguing) is that my husband’s name is Sam Sykes! – Too many coincidences to handle!

    I love all of your work, and I am looking forward to the next novel!

    -LPS

  8. Looking forward to the details of Minnie and Hal meeting.

  9. I daresay it is rude and frustrating for you. I’ve never asked and won’t be as I get the difficulties of writing and frankly cannot imagine how you do it. But keep in mind that for many of us Claire and Jamie live and you are more like the post person delivering the letters that tell us what they are up to now. We are metaphorically at the front gate asking the post person “Is there a letter for me yet?” In the meantime, I have just re-read all the books once again and am thrilled to know that there is a new book with two new stories. In spite of living in Australia I have read all but the two unpublished but will definitley be buying the new book.

    Thank you for years of pleasure and pain, of sitting up all nights (even for re-reads), for so much thought provoking information and so many ideas to ponder. Thanks for touching my heart so many times. Many people have said it much better than I. Many blessings upon you and those who support and assist you. And all the blessings of the season to you all and to those you love.

  10. Diana, love your books ever since my mother introduced me to Crosstitch as Outlander was released as in Australia. I apologise for being one of those people who is forever wanting to know when ‘The Bees’ will be released. I needed this information for my mother who is now 84 and is concerned that she will not get to enjoy the next chapter of Jamie and Claire’s story. Keep on doing what you are doing. You are a powerful storyteller.

    • Dear Sharon–

      Please give your mother my regards! Books evolve organically–I don’t plan them ahead of time and I don’t write with an outline or in a straight line. Ergo, I have no idea how long a new book may take to write, but I hope you and your mother will both enjoy GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE.

      Best,

      –Diana

  11. When I was about 25, I lived in a little tiny town in Illinois and the library was an old Victorian home where each room had book shelves full of various books. I went to the “new books” section and found the first of the Outlander series. I have been hooked since then, I have aged at much the same rate as Claire, and I have truly enjoyed following such a strong protagonist and the wonderful love she shares with Jamie. I especially love the detail with the history woven throughout every book. I’ve read the entire series several times and often make myself read slowly so that I can appreciate the rich detail you meticulously research and accurately portray so that the reader gets to enjoy every word within each book. I’m fine with the time it takes for each book and I appreciate them when they come, when they’re ready.
    Funny side note; I was on an airplane one time waiting for the plane to taxi when I heard the woman behind me tell her seatmate that the newest book in this wonderful series just came out and her seatmate needed to look this author up. She hadn’t mentioned your name or the title (that I had heard) but I just knew it was you. I flung around in my seat and asked between the seats, ‘is it Diana Gabaldon’s new book?’ She answered yes and I said thanks, I have to see if I can download it on my iPad quick before the plane takes off. I did and as usual, it was wonderful. Thank you and I look forward to both Seven Stones and the next in the Outlander series.