Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Would you go through the stones, if you could?

The topic of this month's poll is "Would you go through the stones, if you could?"

What do you think?  Would you go?  If not, why not?  Please leave a comment here or on my Outlandish Observations Facebook page.

August poll results

Here are the results of the August poll, which asked the question, "How long have you been reading Diana Gabaldon's books?"
  • 15.77% - Since OUTLANDER was first published.
  • 14.49% - 6 months to 1 year
  • 12.53% - 20+ years
  • 11.28% - 15-20 years
  • 9.58% - 1-2 years
  • 9.10% - Less than 6 months
  • 9.07% - 5-10 years
  • 8.69% - 10-15 years
  • 7.50% - 2-5 years
  • 0.61% - I haven't read any of Diana Gabaldon's books, but I've watched the OUTLANDER TV series.
  • 0.32% - I read excerpts of her work on Compuserve before OUTLANDER was published.
  • 1.06% - Other
Here are the responses for "Other":
  • read all after tv series aired
  • I read Outlander mid1990s, and series twice since 2014
  • found Outlander at the library in "new books".. I was hooked!!
  • Since The TV Series
  • I've read all 8 since May. Incredible writing.
  • Discovered Outlander by accident at Costco and haven't looked back!
  • I've read all 8 of her books in the past year
  • I am Claire
  • i have read all 8 books in 3 mo waiting for the 9th
  • I haven't read her books but intend to now. I loved the 1st 8 episoces!!!
  • Just finished rereading all the Outlander titles.
  • Read first book over 20yrs ago, 2-5 in last 3 mos.
  • audio books
  • I read it in galley form
  • Not reading them anymore
  • ive read all of dianas books . she is a wonderful writter
  • Read boyh books and watched the show
  • Not long enough!!!!!
  • Read all 8 during 1st Droughtlander phase ;)
  • I read all 8 of the Outlander series in 2 weeks
  • Outlander 90s, then all read February to April thi
  • advanced readers edition b4 1st released
  • Started in April. Finished in early June. Now 2nd
  • Start reading the books after becom Tv series fan
  • but i haven't stopped since I started...
  • I bought the books and read them after the STARZ s
  • I read part of the first book . Love the series
  • But was called cross ditch then
  • Since seeing the show last April - I'm on #7 now
  • Since Crosstich was first published
  • Started reading when TV series started
  • and now again with re-reads!
  • Since ten years, over and over again, no ending...
There were 3120 responses to this month's poll, which is one of the highest totals for any poll I've ever done. Thanks very much to everyone who participated!

I thought the results of this poll were very interesting. I was rather startled by the number of people (15.77%) who said they've been reading the OUTLANDER books since they were first published in 1991. On the other end of the spectrum, almost 24% of the respondents found the series within the last year, since the premiere of the OUTLANDER TV series.

I didn't vote in the poll myself, but I've been reading (and re-reading, and re-listening to) Diana Gabaldon's books since November 2006, which is more than 8 1/2 years.

Please take a moment to vote in the September poll, which asks, "Would you go through the stones, if you could?" Thanks!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Outlandish Observations is 7 years old!

Seven years ago today, I started Outlandish Observations!

I had two goals in mind when I started this blog. The first was simply to learn about blogging. The second was to create a central repository for news and information for OUTLANDER fans, a place where people could go to find answers to commonly asked questions, links to other OUTLANDER-related sites, and the latest information on Diana Gabaldon's new and upcoming releases.

To say that this blog has succeeded far beyond my wildest imaginings is a severe understatement! In the beginning, I never expected anyone to visit my site except a few dozen of my friends from the Compuserve Books and Writers Community and LOL.  I didn't talk about it on Compuserve for the first couple of years, because I was very reluctant to draw attention to it where Diana Gabaldon could see -- which seems silly in retrospect, but it's true.  Suffice it to say that I did get over that shyness, eventually. <g>

Since the premiere of the OUTLANDER TV series, daily traffic on my site has gone way, way up! The average number of daily visitors over the past year was 1,405, compared to 848 the previous year (an increase of 65.7%!)

Special thanks to all of my followers on the Outlandish Observations Facebook page! Last year at this time I had 5,455 followers on Facebook. Today that number is 7,063, an increase of 29.5%! I'm amazed and delighted that so many new people have found my site in recent months. Welcome, and I hope you take some time to look around and see what else is available here.

Outlandish Observations was one of the first successful OUTLANDER-related blogs. These days there are dozens and dozens of fan-sites, Facebook groups, and so on. The more the merrier, as far as I'm concerned! <g> I'm proud to be a part of such a thriving, creative, and enthusiastic worldwide community of fans, united in our passion for these books and characters and this amazing story Diana Gabaldon has created.

I'm delighted to see so many new people discovering OUTLANDER as a result of the TV series! Here are the links to my Season 1 episode recaps, for those of you who may have missed them:

Episode 101: "Sassenach"
Episode 102: "Castle Leoch"
Episode 103: "The Way Out"
Episode 104: "The Gathering"
Episode 105: "Rent"
Episode 106: "The Garrison Commander"
Episode 107: "The Wedding"
Episode 108: "Both Sides Now"
Episode 109: "The Reckoning"
Episode 110: "By the Pricking of My Thumbs"
Episode 111: "The Devil's Mark"
Episode 112: "Lallybroch"
Episode 113: "The Watch"
Episode 114: "The Search"
Episode 115: "Wentworth Prison"
Episode 116: "To Ransom a Man's Soul"

No question about it, this is a very exciting time for OUTLANDER fans everywhere! It's quite a challenge to keep up with everything that's going on these days, and I hope you're finding this site helpful.

Many, many thanks to all of you who've visited Outlandish Observations over the past seven years. It's been an amazing journey, and I'm so glad you've come along for the ride.


Monday, August 24, 2015

Diana Gabaldon talks about writing her OUTLANDER script!

Diana Gabaldon has posted a very long and detailed explanation on her Facebook page about the process of writing a script for the OUTLANDER TV series.  (She is writing episode 211, the third-to-last episode of Season 2.)

I found it fascinating, and I would really encourage all of you to take the time to read the whole thing!

Sunday, August 23, 2015


Looking for something new to add to your OUTLANDER book collection?

Diana Gabaldon's OUTLANDISH COMPANION Volume 1 (Revised and Updated Edition) was published on March 31, 2015.  If you haven't read it already, I would definitely recommend it!

The OUTLANDISH COMPANION Volume 2 will be published on October 27, 2015.  It's available for pre-order from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

For more information about both of these books, please see my OUTLANDISH COMPANION FAQ page.  I hope you find it useful.  Please pass the link on to any other OUTLANDER fans you may know.  Thanks!

Monday, August 17, 2015

7,000 followers on Facebook!

I'm celebrating a blogging milestone today: My Outlandish Observations Facebook page now has 7,000 followers!!

THANK YOU ALL!! I really appreciate your support!

OUTLANDER and online clicking contests

The latest OUTLANDER voting frenzy (the RadioTimes "SciFi Champion" contest) reached new heights of absurdity in recent days, with a round pitting Sam Heughan against Caitriona Balfe (!)

Asking fans to choose between Sam and Caitriona is sort of like asking which of your children is your favorite, and it just seems like a waste of time and effort to me.  (For what it's worth, it appears Sam won that round.)

I can think of several reasons why these contests keep popping up:

1) It's good publicity for the show and the actors.

2) They help keep up the fans' interest and excitement during #Droughtlander.

3) They might help STARZ attract more subscribers.

4) They generate massive numbers of clicks (and presumably advertising revenue) for the sponsoring site.

I'm cynical enough to think that the last reason outweighs all the others, but I could be wrong.

Some of you may remember Audible's 2012 Tournament of Audiobooks, where FIERY CROSS made it to the final round, but then it turned into such a frenzy of clicking (on both sides) that Diana Gabaldon very graciously conceded the race, rather than have her fans waste hours and hours of their time in a futile effort to catch up.

Do you participate in these OUTLANDER-related online contests, like the Radio Times contest or the Ewwys?  If not, why not?  If a contest allows unlimited repeat voting, how many times do you personally vote?  (Just once, or a handful of times, or hundreds of times?)  Do you encourage other fans to vote?  I'd like to hear what you think (pro or con).  Please leave a comment here or on my Outlandish Observations Facebook page.

Personally, I don't participate in these online "click-fests".  It's OK with me if others enjoy them, but I have better things to do with my time.