Diana Gabaldon's "Outlander" series

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Diana Gabaldon's "Outlander" series

Postby portia » Fri Mar 03, 2006 2:23 pm

I did a search and found some references to her, but not a whole thread.

Has anyone read the "Outander" series? Or parts of it?

In short summary, it involves a British woman who goes back in time from the 1940s to the 1740s in Scotland and falls in love with Jamie Fraser, illegitimate (?) grandson of "Simon the Fox" Fraser.

The rest of the series follows their trials and tribulations in France, Colonial USA and the 20th Century (20th Cenutry is hers and their daughter's, only, so far).

I think book 5 just came out. You could break your hand trying to read these in hardback, as they are huge. However Gabaldon is a gifted storyteller and I kept reading in spite of repeated resolutions to stop.

They straddle the line between Romance and time-travel and historical fiction.
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Postby IamMoose » Tue Mar 14, 2006 12:11 pm

I've never even heard of them, but they sound like the kind of thing I would enjoy .. i will check the library!
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Postby PrincessIlarian » Wed Mar 15, 2006 1:09 pm

It's funny that this thread was posted, as I happened to read a copy of Outlander that my sister's friend loaned her, and then got hooked - don't ask me how. I plowed through Dragonfly in Amber, Voyager, and Drums of Autumn in double-quick time, and am currently making my way through the Fiery Cross. I enjoy the series very much (although the medical/sexual detail can at times be a bit...well... er :oops: ) and will probably borrow the latest, Breath of Snow and Ashes, from the bookstore where I work.

Gabaldon is a very clever and funny writer; I enjoy her turns of phrase and sophisticated humor. I also like Jamie. :D

~Ilarian
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Postby Yavannië » Thu Mar 30, 2006 6:45 am

Ilarian, you like Jamie? :shock:
I on the other half love him!!! :love: :love: :love:
What a man... If only he was real! :lol:

Eitherway, thank you Portia for starting this! :hug: I had been thinking of starting this sort of thread on my own but then I didn't cause I thought I'd get spoilt with the Fiery Cross since I haven't read it yet. :|
We've only got the first four translated in to Finnish and I haven't really found them anywhere in English so I'll just have to wait a bit longer for the fifth... :(

But eitherway, I'm crazy about the books! I've even named my llamas after the characters!! I mean, I know they can get a bit-- you know, but still. I'm such a hopeless romantic so it's just like-- I'm addicted, can't help myself. :D

How about the sister series about John Grey? I've got the Private matter waiting on my desk for me to read it but I haven't started it yet. To tell you the truth I never realy liked the character that much until Drums of Autumn. But I guess it can be good too.

Sorry I'm so bubbling, but I've been wanting to talk about these novels for so long and I've been trying to get my sister to read them too but she just hasn't got that interested... :( I guess she judged the books when I told that the main character can travel in time :roll:
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Postby Almatolmen » Thu Mar 30, 2006 10:22 am

Yes, this series is a very enjoyable one. I like time-travel and alternate-history novels, but so often they disappoint. So far, these books have not done so.

Has anyone here read the 1632 books and short-stories? The original book was written by Eric Flint. In it a small WV mining town is transported back into Thuringia in the midst of the Thirty Years War. The unique perspective of the series is that unlike most time-travel novels were one person or a few individuals must hide themselves in the past, this town cannot hide nor can it avoid interaction with persons and events.

Later novels are collaborative works and the short stories, written by contributors to an electronic magazine (Grantville Gazette), often include persons and incidents incorporated in later novels and explore aspects of the 163x universe that a single author might ignore or neglect or be uninformed about. The forthcoming Ram Rebellion (April 2006) is a catenation of short stories.

Some of the fun is the opportunity to 'meet' historical figures as characters. Persons who have appeared include Galileo Galilei (a rather foul-tempered, cowardly curmudgeon), Oliver Cromwell (thrown in to the Tower of London for acts he would not commit for more than a decade), Cardinal Richelieu (even more determined to make France great in the face of democracy and religious freedom introduced by Grantville), Peter Paul Rubens (unsure whether he wishes to paint works not yet conceived of but which appear in art history books), Baruch Espinoza (orphaned infant already exiled from his community at one year of age--hillbilly 'god-fathers wish to 'save' him from becoming a philospher--maybe he could design D&D games instead?).


Also see aspects of modern culture from the perspective of ordinary 17th C. persons--peasants, mercenaries, merchants, academics, camp-followers, Jews, musicians, etc.

Readers also encounter issues of politics, religion (does a 21st C. priest owe allegiance to a 17th C. hierarchy?), economics, and culture.
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Postby Yavannië » Sat Apr 01, 2006 1:41 am

I had never heard of that one, Almatolmen. :shock: But sounds interesting though.

I think what's great about the Outlander series is the way Gabaldon describes the surroundings and the events that have actually taken place in history. And I agree with Almatolmen, it's interesting to read about the historical characters as well, like the Bonnie Prince Charles in the Dragonfly in Amber [I have to admit, though, that I wasn't quite familiar with him before reading the books].
But wow, it'd be great to meet Galilei and Cromwell and Richelieu :shock:
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Postby portia » Sun Apr 02, 2006 2:35 pm

Almatolmen wrote:Has anyone here read the 1632 books and short-stories? The original book was written by Eric Flint. In it a small WV mining town is transported back into Thuringia in the midst of the Thirty Years War. The unique perspective of the series is that unlike most time-travel novels were one person or a few individuals must hide themselves in the past, this town cannot hide nor can it avoid interaction with persons and events.


This sounds fascinating. It also sounds like it would take some mental gymnastics to keep up with the time travel effects, but that is OK.
Eric Flynt. Hmmm.


I have not read any of Gabaldon's John Grey books. I will have to look for them.
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Postby Yavannië » Fri Apr 07, 2006 8:45 am

I still haven't started the John Grey and the Private Matter either... :oops: It's still on my night stand but I've just got so many others to read at the moment too.

And I'm afraid that it won't reach the level of the Outlander series. I mean, it's pretty hard to do! :D And with no jamie-isms it's bound to be lame... :roll: :lol:
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Postby Almatolmen » Tue Apr 11, 2006 11:45 am

I enjoyed the Lord John volume, although I was disappointed that his life as a gay 18th C. man was so peripheral to the story. There aren't many opportunities to see positive gay characters in historical fiction. Mostly their either evil and cruel or weak and destructive stereotypes.

I admit that 163x can sound a bit challenging, but the authors do a good job of making it easy to follow. I've just been rereading all the books and collections in anticipation of Ram Rebellion:

Then, in May, we're coming out with a new title in the 1632 series called 1634: The Ram Rebellion. This book is a little hard to describe. It's something of a cross between a novel and an anthology. There are several stories by several authors, but all of them are connected and are related to a single story line. The two main authors are myself and Virginia DeMarce, and the centerpiece of the volume - probably close to half of it - will be a short novel co-authored by us entitled (what else?) The Ram Rebellion.



Table of Contents:

Preface by Eric Flint
Part I: RECIPES FOR REVOLUTION
COOK BOOKS by Eric Flint
BIRDIE'S FARM By Gorg Huff and Paula Goodlett
SCRAMBLED EGGS by Eric Flint
BIRDIE'S VILLAGE by Gorg Huff and Paula Goodlett
BACON by Eric Flint
Part II: ENTER THE RAM
THE MERINO PROBLEM by Paula Goodlett
THE BRILLO LEGENDS
BAD, BAAAAD, BRILLO by Paula Goodlett
WHEN BRILLO MET ANNIE by Stanley Leghorn
LOCAL WOMAN GOES BUGGY by Paula Goodlett
NO, NO, BRILLO! by Virginia DeMarce
BRILLO AND THE BLUE PROBLEM by Rick Boatright
Cindabrillo by Paula Goodlett
THE RANSOM OF BRILLO by Paula Goodlett
THE BRILLO LETTERS by Virginia DeMarce, Paula Goodlett, Kerryn Offord and Laura Runkle
A NIGHT AT THE BALLET by Kerryn Offord
Part III: THE TROUBLE IN FRANCONIA
MOTHERHOOD AND APPLE PIE, WHILE YOU'RE AT IT by Virginia DeMarce
COMMON SENSE by Virginia DeMarce
THE SUHL INCIDENT by Eric Flint and John Zeek
BYPASS SURGERY by Virginia DeMarce
IN THE NIGHTS, ALL HATS ARE GREY by Virginia DeMarce
WHO'S CALLING THIS RACE? by Virginia DeMarce
A NIGHTMARE UPON THE PRESENT by Virginia DeMarce
ON YE SAINTS by Eva Musch
SUITS by Eric Flint
Part IV: THE RAM REBELLION by Eric Flint and Virginia DeMarce



The Thirty Years War continues to ravage 17th century Europe, but a new force is gathering power and influence: the Confederated Principalities of Europe, an alliance between Gustavus Adolphus, King of Sweden, and the West Virginians from the 20th century led by Mike Stearns who were hurled centuries into the past by a mysterious cosmic accident. Inspired by the example of American freedom and justice, a movement in Franconia among the peasants, who have revolted several times even before the arrival from the future of the town of Grantville, an independent revolutionary movement has arisen, flying the banner of the head of a ram. The West Virginians fully approve of liberating the peasants from the nobility, but they are also aware of how revolutionary movements can lead to bloodbaths. And avoiding that deadly possibility will require all of their future knowledge and all their plain old American horse-trading diplomacy. . . .
/quote]

Forthcoming Titles in the series:

1635: The Cannon Law with Andrew Dennis
1634: The Bavarian Crisis With Virginia DeMarce
1634: The Baltic War with David Weber Now scheduled for May 2007!

Under Contract:

1635: The Dreeson Incident with Virginia DeMarce
1635: Symphony for the Devil with David Carrico

A link to a part of Cannon Law (in progress): http://jiltanith.thefifthimperium.com/Collections/1635TheCannonLawChapters/1635TheCannonLaw_04.php
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Postby portia » Wed Apr 12, 2006 8:22 am

I got 1632 from the Library and read it. It was very entertaining.
I learned a lot more about The Thirty Years War than I had ever planned to learn, but it is necessary to the story.
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Postby Almatolmen » Sat Apr 15, 2006 12:58 pm

As a history major with a special interest in German history (ancestors), I probably began with more knowledge about the TYW than most people, but it has increased expotentially as I've read more of the series.

In a way it's a shame more people aren't aware of it, since it was a war that shaped subsequent European history profoundly and influenced the weight that the Founding Fathers gave to seperation of church and state in the Bill of Rights. The Treaty of Westphalia (1648) set the stage of Europe until the Napoleonic era when the Treaty of Vienna superceded it, but did not void it principles.

I hope you enjoyed 1632 enough to continue on with more of the series
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Postby portia » Sun Apr 16, 2006 1:02 pm

Almatolmen wrote:I hope you enjoyed 1632 enough to continue on with more of the series


I did, and I have 1633 on reserve at the Library. This library system has later books, and I expect to get to them, too.

Later: I read about 1/3 of 1633 (or is it 1634---the one which opens with Rebecca talking to Richlieu). I am putting it aside for a while because it is too blinking long :roll: :shock: . Unnecessarily so. What I have read so far would have been just as informative, and more effective, if it had been about half as long. The authors have fallen in love with the sound of their own voices. I am less enthralled.
Last edited by portia on Tue Apr 25, 2006 1:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Almatolmen » Sun Apr 16, 2006 8:37 pm

I'm so glad, portia! I'm always pleased when I can spread the word about a good book--or, in this case, series. About twenty years ago I introduced a friend of mine to both the Lord Peter Wimsey and Brother Cadfael mysteries. It's still a pleasure we still share. SHE"S just finished 1632 and will be reading the short stories in Grantville Gazette on a plane trip to Las Vegas to visit an uncle. I've also loaned her Outlander, but she hasn't gotten around to it.

I'm eager to read The Ram Rebellion when our Library adds it to its collection later this month. Baen Books has a kind of companion website that included some of the early drafts of RR, and, as you can see in the above link, Cannon Law. It's no longer posted, but there was once one for the tenatively titled Bavarian Princess. I'm interested to see how much expansion and change there is between the drafts and the final printed version. I also anticipate later volumes that follow story arcs from books you've not yet read.
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Postby Yavannië » Tue May 23, 2006 1:58 am

I found a new Gabaldon fan!! :happydance:

I'm hoping she'll turn up as well, I told her to :D

So, Trazzie, if you get here: the stage is yours. :wink:
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Postby Almatolmen » Tue May 23, 2006 8:21 am

I read RR and I am pleased with it. Flint's purpose, as stated in his Prologue, is to give a 'ground's eye' version of some of the events already seen in earlier volumes, especially, though not exclusively, from the viewpoint of 'downtimers' and also to expand upon the statement that Gustaf August granted the governance of Franconia to Grantville.

I wish that the Brillo fables were less facile, but it fits into the type of literature they're supposed to be.

Now I have to possess patience while I wait for the next volume in the series!! :thumbsup:
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Postby Yavannië » Thu Jun 08, 2006 7:28 am

Ah no sign Trazzie this far. :(

Yesterday I skimmed through the Outlander and I just suddenly got this strong urge to read it once again... Which I will after I finish my yet another re-run of LOTR.

But I can't believe it's been two years already since I first grabbed Outlander. They still seem so new to me! :D

Oh oh, have you heard there's been some plans about making a tv-series of the Outlander?? :shock: I'm not sure if I want to see that... Some fan had suggested Nicole Kidman to the role of Claire! :Q
But with Ewan I could get on board with. :wink: He'd make a hot Jamie. :love:
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Postby portia » Thu Jun 08, 2006 12:10 pm

Nicole Kidman is not my idea of Claire. Too cool; too subtle.

I think Jamie needs to look like the cover of a romance novel. Hugh Jackman?
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Postby Trasmerg38 » Thu Jun 08, 2006 5:42 pm

I made it, Ani! :D :hug: :happydance:

Great thread topic, Porcia, thanks for starting it! I am so in love with these books! I'm about halfway through Voyager and it hasn't let me down. I've laughed out loud, slammed the book shut in frustration at something stupid someone did, had tears stream down my face...all to the odd looks of my family. :P I swear, I could not stop crying at the end of Dragonfly. :cry2:

Now if they made a series of Outlander? I think Hugh Jackman could pull off Jamie. Claire to me resembles Nicole Kidman, although in looks only. (at least that's how I picture her :P) But to be honest, if they're really planning a TV series, I'll guarantee they will look for unknown actors.

Not sure if I'd want to see an Outlander series though, unless there are really good writers and directors...I didn't think they could make a good LotR film either. ;)
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Postby Yavannië » Fri Jun 09, 2006 2:28 am

Glad to see that, Trazzie! :D :hug: :hug:

I remember when I read Voyager for the first time and when Claire and Jamie met each other for the first time after being apart for so many years, it was ridiculous how fast my heart was beating! :lol:

And with the Dragonfly in Amber, I couldn't stop crying in the beginning either when I realized what Claire had done, that she had come back. :cry2: :cry2:
But what I really hated about it was how much they revealed in the back cover!! They told about the miscarriage as well and I thought it was just cruel to spoil the readers' experience like that... :evil: With the following books I skipped the back cover textes! :D

But we've only got the four first ones published and translated in Finnish so I'd really appreciate if you didn't give any spoilers of the Fiery Cross. I really don't want to know anything yet. :)

But Hugh Jackman as Jamie... Mmm... at least he's a hottie! :D I guess I could accept him if they dyed his hair red and taught him the Scottish accent. :wink:
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Postby Trasmerg38 » Fri Jun 09, 2006 5:26 am

I won't say anything about the Fiery Cross, I promise! (I haven't read it yet either :D) And I'm only in the middle of Voyager, so I have no clue how that one is going to end either.
I almost skipped the back cover myself, they really do give alot away. :x :roll:

Hugh Jackson with long red hair and a Scottish accent....rrrrrOOOOW! :twisted:
I can't think of who else they could pick. Hmm, I'd have to drool...erm, think about it awhile. :D
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Postby portia » Fri Jun 09, 2006 9:08 am

I love the game of "casting" hypothetical movies of my favorite books. . .

For Claire, we need someone out of the movie tradition of opinionated, strong, women. There aren't too many around like that (the Maureen O'Hara type).

For Brianna, I see someone of the redhaird freckled type personified by Sara Ferguson (aka Duchess of York) before she became so sleek.

Other Jamie possibilities: Kevin Sorbo as a redhead? But can he act?

Actually, I run into the same problems when I try to mentally cast the Emerson family from the books by Elizabeth Peters.
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Postby Trasmerg38 » Sat Jun 10, 2006 1:33 pm

Ooooh, not Kevin Sorbo! :nono: Ewan McGregor, the more I think about it, would be the perfect Jamie...especially after I found that pic of him in his kilt...... :love: *dies*

I agree that Brianna could be someone like the Duchess. I still don't know who could do Claire. Rachel Weisz? She could pull off the adventurous type. ;)
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Postby Yavannië » Mon Jun 12, 2006 1:32 am

I'm not keen on Kevin Sorbo either... :| He's way too Hercules for me! :D And too old to be the Jamie of the first two books.

But Ewan... :love: He was my number one choice to begin with! Just check this out [is it the one you were tlaking about, Trazzie?] and this one too, with longer hair.
I don't think he would have too much of a problem with the accent either! :D

Ah he would be so perfect... *sigh* Although he could be a bit taller.

And as for Claire... Hmm... pity Maureen O'Hara is that old already [not dead yet, is she? :shock:] and Claire couldn't have red hair either.
Rachel Weisz... umm, she might me able to pull it. At least her looks are quite suiting and she can act as well!
How can I haven't come to think of her sooner?? :shock:

And Brianna. She ought to be absolutely stunning and to me Fergie isn't.
I'll have to try to find someone... think it over a bit. :D
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Postby Trasmerg38 » Mon Jun 12, 2006 9:00 am

Annië wrote:Just check this out [is it the one you were tlaking about, Trazzie?]

OOOooooh yes, that's the one. ;):love::D

I don't think Maureen O'Hara has left the planet yet, but she's around 86. She's one of my favorite actresses from those days! If they did Outlander back then, she could play Claire and Jamie could have been played by John Wayne! :shock: :P
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Postby Yavannië » Tue Jun 13, 2006 1:26 am

Isn't it a pity the book wasn't written back then?? :lol:
Young John Wayne would have been amazing! :love:

But the Brianna-thing is really tricky... For some reason I thought of Virginie Ledoyen. But she's way too short and a bit too French-looking. :(

I'll have to think it over a bit more I guess! :D

Have either of you got any other in mind except Fergie?

Hmm... As for the other characters, I always pictured Dougal MacKenzie quite like Gaston from Disney's Beauty and the Beast :lol: See what I mean? :D
Come to think of it, Belle looks like my Claire... And the beast is clearly my image of Jamie... :shock: Some horrible Disney-fixations, I see. :shock:
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Postby portia » Tue Jun 13, 2006 5:56 pm

Yes, a young John Wayne would probably work for Jamie. But would he wear a kilt, much less a long shirt with the ends tied between his legs?

That pic--was it Ewan McGregor?-- did nothing for me. I see a lot of very yummy men in kilts at the Scottish Games. Some not so yummy, of course.

Sorbo may well be too old, now, at least for the first book.

I would need a tall man, or one who clearly looks tall on screen, for Jamie. I can tell when the movie tries to play games, by making other actors stand in trenches or by getting very short actresses. For me, those things do not work.

:lol:
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Postby Yavannië » Thu Jun 15, 2006 1:53 am

Yeah well, the size is Ewan's only flaw too [that's in my opinion, of course :D]. He's about 180cm or 6ft tall which is kind of normal for men but I think Jamie should be taller.

About Brianna again; I thought of Anna Friel. I saw her in a film called Watermelon with this reddish hair and now went to IMDB to find out more about her. Turns out she's only 157cm or 5'3'' :( And an other surprise [if your Potter-fans you might care :wink:]: her partner is the actor David Thewlis [Lupin] and she had applied for the role of Tonks :lol:

But why is it so hard to find a stunning tall red-head who could act as well? :shock:
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Postby Trasmerg38 » Thu Jun 15, 2006 6:50 am

They could die Sean Connery's hair red, because he's tall enough (at least he looks tall, I haven't checked it out :P) and he look awesome in a kilt... :love: Then again, he's a bit too old. :roll:

A young John Wayne would have worked well, but I doubt verra seriously he could pull of the accent....I can just hear him say "ye ken" with a heavy Texas drawl. :rofl:

Fergie is the only one I can think of for Bree, she's tall enough isn't she? Anna Friel has the looks though. This is one of the problem directors have when they try to cast for movies from books. Just like Sahara (I'm also a Clive Cusler fan), the guys they picked were very different from the guys in the book, even though they did a pretty good acting job.
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Postby Yavannië » Thu Jun 15, 2006 7:10 am

"ye ken" :rofl:
Maybe not him then. :lol:

But Sean Connery as Jamie... hmm... at least his tall, he's 6'2''. And I don't doubt his abilities to play a twenty-something Jamie, either! :D

And as for Brianna, I think I could learn to accept anyone else in the role except Keira Knightley. She already butchered the character of Elizabeth Bennet so I'd rather not have her doing the same to another one. :|

Ages and lengths aside, my #1 choice for Brianna would be Julianne Moore. I think she's amazing by both her looks and acting skills. :)
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Postby portia » Thu Jun 15, 2006 7:24 pm

AHA!

I would vote for Julianne Moore for Claire. She tends to smirk a bit--especially in that Oscar Wilde thing (The Perfect Husband??), but if she could avoid that, she'd be good.

Hmmm. What about Girard Butler for Jamie? I do not know how tall he is, but he has seemed tall in Phantom and in "Timeline" a few years ago. In "Timeline," he "swashbuckled" well. He'd have to dye his hair, but that is routine, and he is Scottish.
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