• “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

Bubonicon, DragonCon – and an Excerpt

Ooookay. THIS weekend (August 26-28) is Bubonicon, which takes place in Albuquerque, NM, at the Airport Sheraton Hotel. I’ll be there from Friday evening through Sunday, and will be doing several different appearances:

8:30 PM on Friday night—a panel on “Beyond Goddess/Whore”

1:00 PM Saturday–a panel on Jules Verne

4:00 PM – Mass Autographing (with other authors) – I _think_ this is open to the public, but can’t swear to it, and

10:00 AM Sunday – a 70-minute talk/reading (with Sam Sykes)

I’ll also be taking part in the Sunday afternoon tea, and will just be generally around most of the time. See you there!

Or if not at Bubonicon….

NEXT weekend (Labor Day weekend, Sept. 3-4), I’ll be at DragonCon in Atlanta. I’m doing two appearances there:

Title: Whiskey, Haggis, & Madmen: Myths & Reality of the Scottish Highlands
Time: Sat 08:30 pm Location: International BC – Westin (Length: 1)
Description: The stories that made Scotland famous: why kilts, why Braveheart was an inspiring fairy tale, and how the Scots invented everything. Yes, everything.

Title: An Hour with Diana Gabaldon
Time: Sun 07:00 pm Location: International BC – Westin (Length: 1)
Description: The best-selling author discusses her time-traveling Outlander series, and more!

Now, I’m _not_ doing the Decatur Book Festival this year, but with due regard for Atlanta-area folk who might want to see me and get a signed book, but don’t want to fight their way through the DragonCon zoo {g} (or pay for the privilege of doing so)….I _will_ be doing a talk/reading/signing event in Decatur (about three miles from downtown Atlanta):

3 PM Sunday – Talk/reading/Q&A/signing
Eagle Eye Book Shop
2076 N. Decatur Road
Decatur, GA 30033

This is a free public event, so for any of y’all that can’t make it to DragonCon (or turn pale at the thought {g})—I’ll see you in Decatur!


Righto. Now, with business out of the way, I did promise to post the excerpt that made tents full of people gasp in Fergus last week. {g}





(still with me?)

(OK, then….)

Excerpt, Book Eight: Roger in the Past
Copyright 2011 Diana Gabaldon

[You may recall that at the end of AN ECHO IN THE BONE, we left Roger embarked on a quest through the stones to find his son Jem, whom he believed had been taken into the past. From Craigh na Dun, Roger goes immediately to Lallybroch, figuring that if Jem had managed to escape from his captor, he’d head for home.]

His heart rose in spite of his anxiety, when he came to the top of the pass and saw Lallybroch below him, its white-harled buildings glowing in the fading light. Everything lay peaceful before him; late cabbages and turnips in orderly rows within the kailyard walls, safe from grazing sheep—there was a small flock in the far meadow, already bedding for the night, like so many wooly eggs in a nest of bright green grass, like a kid’s Easter-basket.

The thought caught at his throat, with memories of the horrible cellophane grass that got everywhere, Mandy with her face—and everything else within six feet of her—smeared with chocolate, Jem carefully writing “Dad” on a hardboiled egg with a white crayon, then frowning over the array of dye-cups, trying to decide whether blue or purple was more Dad-like.

“Lord, let him be here!” he muttered under his breath, and hurried down the rutted trail, half-sliding on loose rocks.

The dooryard was tidy, the big yellow rose brier trimmed back for the winter, and the step swept clean. He had the sudden notion that if he were simply to open the door and walk in, he would find himself in his own lobby, Mandy’s tiny red galoshes flung helter-skelter under the hall-tree where Brianna’s disreputable duffel-coat hung, crusty with dried mud and smelling of its wearer, soap and musk and the faint smell of her motherhood: sour milk, fresh bread, and peanut butter.

“Bloody hell,” he muttered, “be weeping on the step, next thing.” He hammered at the door, and a huge dog came galloping round the corner of the house, baying like the bloody hound of the Baskervilles. It slid to a stop in front of him but went on barking, weaving its huge head to and fro like a snake, ears cocked in case he might make a false move that would let it devour him with a clear conscience.

He wasn’t risking any moves; he’d plastered himself against the door when the dog appeared, and now shouted, “Help! Come call your beast!”

He heard footsteps within, and an instant later, the door opened, nearly decanting him into the hall.

“Hauld your wheesht, dog,” a dark man said, in a tolerant tone. “Come in, sir, and dinna be minding him. He wouldna eat you; he’s had his dinner.”

“I’m pleased to hear it, sir, and thank ye kindly.” Roger pulled off his hat and followed the man into the shadows of the hall. It was his own familiar hall, the slates of the floor just the same, though not nearly as worn, the dark wood paneling shining with beeswax and polishing. There was a halltree in the corner, though of course different to his; this one was a sturdy affair of wrought iron, and a good thing, too, as it was supporting a massive burden of jackets, shawls, cloaks and hats that would have crumpled a flimsier piece of furniture.

He smiled at it, nonetheless, and then stopped dead, feeling as though he’d been punched in the chest.

The wood paneling behind the halltree shone serene, unblemished. No sign of the saber-slashes left by frustrated redcoat soldiers, searching for the outlawed laird of Lallybroch after Culloden. Those slashes had been carefully preserved for centuries, were still there, darkened by age but still distinct, when he had owned—would own, he corrected mechanically—this place.

“We keep it so for the children,” Bree had quoted her uncle Ian as saying. “We tell them, ‘This is what the English are.””

He had no time to deal with the shock; the dark man had shut the door with a firm Gaelic adjuration to the dog, and now turned to him, smiling.

“Welcome, sir. Ye’ll sup wi’ us? The lass has it nearly ready.”

“Aye, I will, and thanks to ye,” Roger bowed slightly, groping for his 18th-century manners. “I—my name is Roger MacKenzie. Of Lochalsh,” he added, for no respectable man would omit to note his origins, and Lochalsh was far enough away that the chances of this man—who was he? He hadn’t the bearing of a servant—knowing its inhabitants in any detail was remote.

He’d hoped that the immediate response would be, “MacKenzie? Why, you must be the father of wee Jem!” It wasn’t, though; the man returned his bow and offered his hand.

“Brian Fraser of Lallybroch, your servant, sir.”

[end section]

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216 Responses »

  1. Diana – YOU MUST HURRY!!! PLEASE PLEASE!!! I never NEVER saw this coming. I’m dying to see how this comes out. HURRY!!!!!!!!!!!! You have to be quick about this… what if I die in the next couple of months?I’d never be able to leave the earth still roaming around looking for book 8. hahaha HURRY!!

  2. Holy Shiat!!
    Diana you really do keep us on our toes!! Did not see this coming at all!!! eek! I’m so excited now!! hurry and finish (I know you have to have a life as well and writing something this fantastic can’t be an easy task) ahhh I can’t stop thinking now of hmmm… what is going to happen next!!

  3. OMG! I have SOO many questions!! My sister called me last night and told me about the excerpt, and after reading it, we spent the next several minutes gasping at each other with goose bumps and our minds running wild! Eventually, we had to get off the phone and off to bed, but the general consensus is! OMG, I have so many questions!! lol

  4. Oh my Gosh!

    It took me a few seconds before I realized what that meant! At first I was like ‘Huh? None of the Murray’s children are called Brian…” and then the name and the undamaged panelling fell into place….

    So he went that far back? I’m wondering how that happened. (He’ll do, too, I guess.)
    And I’m wondering if Jamie’s already alive – it would be pretty weird for Roger (esp. if he is to meet adult Jamie again some time….), but a peek at wee Jamie? Yes, please!

  5. Started reading the series a month ago. Where have I been, under a rock? Started memorising parts. Keep writing.

    I can’t wait for me some more Jamie Fraser in my life. I’m in COMPLETE love with that man!!! and I so can’t wait to meet his parents!!!! and omigod, does this mean we get to meet Jamie and his siblings as kids?? HOLY CRAP THIS IS GOING TO BE AMAZING!!!

  7. Perfect honesty: I orriginally picked up Outlander because Diana Gabaldon and I have the same name, and I am a writer as well (though still an unpublished one). Call it challenging fate or looking for guidance, but I wanted to see what someone with my name could do…and I was blown away.

    I just finished Echo in the Bone and have come to discover the amazing community of people who surround Diana and her works of art. Diana, your books are beautiful. Keep it up and I can’t wait to read the next one!

  8. ……….. _Brian_?! WOW. I guess the thought never occurred to me that they might overshoot their destination at some point, haha.

    Good work DG. I can’t wait for the whole enchilada, but these excerpts in between are wonderful. Thank you so much for the peeks into the story.

  9. Nooooooo!

  10. OH NO YOU DID’NT!!!

    Seriously – I think that Roger will meet Jamie as a young boy – or – Jamie will be away with his “Foster Father” Dougal – otherwise Jamie would remember Roger from his past especially as Roger will not have changed. Lord, that I can read the new book very soon!!!

  11. My point is – even though Roger may/may not see Jamie, Jamie will never meet/remember he met Roger – but really, is there any point in me trying to second guess DG – the queen of curve balls? LoL



    As if the ending of the last book wasn’t cliffhangery enough. :)

  13. Oh my gosh, Diana do you have something against Roger, the poor guy always gets the wrong end of the stick!!! Only you could come up with something like this

  14. Ever since I read this, my mind has been going over and over the other books trying to figure this all out! I think Frank Randall found Claire, Brianna and Roger when he was looking for Jamie, which explains why he taught Brianna to ride & shoot and also why he left the note for her. And I can’t help but wonder if Roger was thinking of “Jeremiah” (not by his nickname Jem) and as his son was not in the past (another excerpt shows Jem still in the tunnel), Roger goes to where his father is. If Roger does get to meet a young Jamie, I think it will be like Jamie said of William that at that age you don’t remember. Of course I love a good mystery plot and that is just what Exile is, a number of mysteries waiting to be solved! So Diana I’ll continue to re-read the other books and try to come up with my own resolution while I (im)patiently wait for HOB to come out and see how close (or how far off!) the mark I was!!!! Thank you again for all the enjoyment you have given and continue to give through your wonderful talent!

  15. Your Outlander Series is the absolute Best Group of books I have ever read and I don’t think I’m patient enough to wait for the 8th book! You’re a GENIUS and my Hero. I’m with your other fans here…PLEASE get a Move on it! (Very respectfully ordered, of course!)

  16. It`s even worse for me because I have to wait for the German translation :(
    I`m not so much accomplished with English that I would be able to get every detail. But I`m thankful for the extract so I know what I can be looking for …

  17. What a fabulous twist!! It is shame though if the walls could ‘heal” from being in an earlier time, Roger’s voice could not be “healed” by being in an earlier time. I always hated he lost his ability to sing. I know… I know… logic.

    Looking forward to the next book.

  18. Holy Cannoli!!!!!!! Love it!!!!!

  19. Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ! Yay for us, we get to go back farther but poor Roger! If he didn’t have bad luck he wouldn’t have any luck at all! I think it’s time for another re-read for me…I guess we will have time if the next one won’t be out until 2013…( walking away pouting now)

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