Seven Stones to Stand or Fall
A Collection of Outlander Fiction
Written by: Diana Gabaldon
Narrated by: Robert Ian MacKenzie , Allan Scott-Douglas , Davina Porter , Jeff Woodman , Diana Gabaldon
Length: 24 hrs and 19 mins
Publisher: Recorded Books, Inc.
The author presents a collection of seven short stories set in the Outlander universe, never before published together, including two original stories and featuring beloved character Jamie Fraser.
“Beseiged”: Protagonist is Lord John Grey, a secondary character in the Outlander novels and a main protagonist of the Lord John novels, Diana’s related series (never before published).
“A Fugitive Green”: Protagonist is Hal Grey, John’s brother (never before published).
“Virgins”: Protagonists are Jamie Fraser at age 19 and his friend and future brother-in-law, Ian Murray. (Originally published in the Tor Books anthology Dangerous Women in 2013. Dell published as an individual e-novella in 4/2016.)
“The Space Between”: Protagonist is Michael Murray, who is the son of Ian and Jenny Murray (Jenny is Jamie’s sister and a main character in her own right in both the books and TV show). (Originally published in the Tor anthology The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination in 2012 and as an individual e-novella by Dell in 4/2014.)
“A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows”: Tells the story of the parents of Roger Wakefield (a major character in the books, just introduced at the end of the second season of the show and will continue to grow in importance); features Claire’s husband, Frank Randall. (Originally published in the Gallery anthology Songs of Love and Death in 2010 and as an individual e-novella by Dell in 12/2012.)
“The Custom of the Army”: Protagonist is Lord John Grey. (Originally published in the Tor anthology Warriors (1) in 2010. Dell published as an e-novella in May 2012.)
“Lord John and the Plague of Zombies”: Protagonist is Lord John Grey. (Originally published in Ace anthology Down These Strange Streets in 2012. Dell published as an e-novella in 2013). https://www.recordedbooks.com/title-details/9781501932601
As a OUTLANDER addict and fan (but not a fanatic), long before the TV Series, I understand “Droughtlander Syndrome.” In pre-Kindle days, each book first arrived in expensive hardcover and usually had a looooong waiting list at the library.
Since the series began, the condition has increased in scope across the world.
As an addict, I have for over 25 years waited for each new entry and have even been known to buy a new Outlander as hardcover; and like many, searched for any possible alternative. This kind of activity has probably encouraged the spate of “highlander” fiction.
These stories are something I wanted to listen to but at one Audible credit each it wasn’t going to happen. I was thrilled when this antho was announced. It clocks in at over 24 ours, making it – like most in the series – a good point-to-time-ratio value. Another exciting aspect of the anthology was getting to hear the woman who, for me anyway, is the queen of all narrators, Davina Porter. The other narrators are all also excellent: well-timed, phrased and pronounced.
The only stories I felt a little week were “Virgins,” and “A Plague of Zombies” (Although “Zombies” sets up the the story Besieged, quite nicely). “”Virgins had a hugely unsatisfactory ending and presented Jamie in a distinctly unflattering light; or perhaps it thrusts the idea of nobility and chivalry into relief.
While “Zombies” does a lovey job explaining zombies, it was confusing and I felt disoriented. Lord John Grey is the protagonist in this series and he is a gay man struggling to survive and serve in the army. I have always liked how Gabaldon created a gay character as distinctly human and noble as any heterosexual; not campy or ridiculous. She is among the first to do so that I can think of. When the story continues in “Besieged” it also connects the dots back to “The Custom of the Army.”
And that is another lovely thing about the series: the interconnections and continuity. Sure, occasionally there is an error, but I am usually caught up in the story to the point I don’t see it. We don’t see a huge amount of Jamie and Claire and it’s not all fun and games (what part of the series is?), but is is a must read for anyone who loves the series.