A new collection of my Outlander and Lord John stories—SEVEN STONES TO STAND OR FALL—was released on June 27, 2017 in the U.S.A.and Canada (hardcover, ebook, and audio formats). The U.K. edition (which has a blue cover) was released on June 29.
Note that some online sources list the book under the title with an added subtitle: “Seven Stones To Stand or Fall: A Collection of Outlander Fiction.”
What This Is…
What this is, is a “Collection of Outlander Fiction,” as the cover states. It’s 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 stories that have never been published! <g>
In order, these are the novellas included in SEVEN STONES, with a brief description of each:
1. “The Custom of the Army”
All things considered, it was probably the fault of the electric eel.
In 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.
In 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.
In 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.
In 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.
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.
In 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.
New! Lord John Gray dipped a finger gingerly into the little stone pot, withdrew it, glistening, and sniffed cautiously.
“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 withthat 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 Juned 27th, 2017. The rest of you can just enjoy it whenever you happen to find it. <g>
Featuring Jamie Fraser, Lord John Grey, Master Raymond, and many more from Diana Gabaldon’s unforgettable cast of characters, this brilliant collection of Outlander novellas includes two never-before-published works—“Besieged” and “A Fugitive Green”—as well as “Virgins,” “The Space Between,” “Plague of Zombies,” “A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows,” and “The Custom of the Army.”
Please check with your local independent bookstore about ordering this book from them. Or if you wish to order online, please use the purchasing links on the pull-down menus at left. Or click here for more SEVEN STONES purchasing details from online sources.
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Signed Copies of SEVEN STONES
If you would like to buy a new copy of the hardback edition of SEVEN STONES signed by me, please choose the signed editions from the Poisoned Pen in the purchasing pull-down menus at upper left. The staff of the Pen will ship anywhere in the world! Both the U.S. (gold cover) and U.K. (blue cover) editions are available with my signature.
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