Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone, the much-anticipated ninth installment of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander book series, will be released on November 23, 2021. If you’re a fan of the books, you likely have the date circled on your calendar. If you start now, you’ve got time to reread all the earlier books in anticipation. If you haven’t gotten to know Claire, Jamie, and this remarkable series yet, now is the perfect time to dive in and give it a try.
Interesting Facts about Diana Gabaldon
Diana Gabaldon (pronounced GAB-uhl-dohn and rhymes with stone) was born in 1952 in Scottsdale, Arizona. She grew up in Flagstaff, AZ, and eventually earned various degrees in zoology, biology, and ecology. Her various career enterprises include the following:
- Writing Disney comic books
- Teaching Human Anatomy and Physiology classes
- Teaching at Arizona State in the Center for Environmental Studies
- Laboring as a field ecologist
- Founding an academic journal called Science Software Quarterly
- Working as a contributing editor on the Encyclopedia of Computers
- Becoming an expert in the field of scientific computation
As you can see, none of these have anything whatsoever to do with Scotland, time travel, or really anything in the Outlander novels. But all this education and experience are exactly why Salon describes Outlander as “the smartest historical sci-fi adventure-romance story ever written by a science Ph.D.”
How did the first novel happen? As Ms. Gabaldon tells the tale, she wanted to give novel writing a try. Historical fiction seemed like a logical choice since she was an expert in research.
For practice, she began telling a story about Scotland in the 1700s. She got the idea from a rerun of Dr. Who starring a handsome man in a kilt.
Time travel came into the picture with the character of Claire, who always had a distinctly modern, sassy voice. As Ms. Gabaldon never thought anyone would ever see the book, she decided to let Claire have her modern voice and figure out how to make sense of it later. The eventual answer was time travel.
I always knew I was meant to write novels; I just didn’t know-how. Finally decided I should try, and luckily I turned out to be reasonably good at it.Diana Gabaldon
Outlander was published in 1991, and the ninth in the series is due at the end of 2021. She plans one more book in the Claire/Jamie saga, a tenth book that is very much in its early stages.
However, in addition to the main books, Ms. Gabaldon has written numerous other books featuring Lord John Grey, a character who makes important appearances in the Outlander books.
He’s perfect for these outlying novels because his stories can be told without disrupting Claire and Jamie’s plotlines while remaining firmly connected to the overall chronology.
The Outlander books are fun and exciting reads. They’ve won numerous literary awards, and many of them have spent time on the NYT bestseller list. Outlander has been translated into 24 languages, been published in 27 countries, and sold millions upon millions of copies. In addition, Starz has produced the extremely popular Outlander television series, which has just been renewed for a seventh season.
If you’ve been following along on our favorite author blogs, you’ll know we typically highlight five books from the author to whet readers’ appetites. That approach doesn’t make much sense for Ms. Gabaldon since her books all fall in a series. Instead, we’re going to give an overview of how all the books under the Outlander Series umbrella relate to one another so you can keep track of who’s who and what’s what.
The Outlander Series
On her website, Ms. Gabaldon describes the various Outlander Books as follows:
- The Big, Enormous Books. These are the books that focus on the stories of Claire Randall and Jamie Fraser. To date, there are eight of these, and number nine will soon make its appearance. When we say big, the hardcover versions are in the neighborhood of +800 pages, so, yes, BIG. And once you start reading, you won’t be able to put them down, so plan accordingly. (Clear your calendar and keep snacks and beverages handy.)
- The Shorter, Less Indescribable Novels. These books feature Lord John Grey and are basically historical mysteries. Characters from the “Big” books occasionally make cameo appearances in these stories.
- The Bulges. These even shorter novellas fit somewhere else but still contain characters from the “Big” books.
List of Books in Order
The “Big” books are best read in order, but the other novels and novellas can be read alone or in any order. You can also skip the novels and novellas altogether without missing a thing about Claire and Jamie. However, if you’re a purist and want to read all the books as they fit together, here’s the list. (“BIG” books appear in all caps.)
- Virgins (novella)
- DRAGONFLY IN AMBER
- A Fugitive Green (novella)
- Lord John and the Hellfire Club (novella)
- Lord John and the Private Matter (novel)
- Lord John and the Succubus (novella)
- Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade (novel)
- Lord John and the Hand of Devils (novella)
- Lord John and the Haunted Soldier (novella)
- The Custom of the Army (novella)
- The Scottish Prisoner (novel)
- A Plague of Zombies (novella)
- Besieged (novella)
- DRUMS OF AUTUMN
- THE FIERY CROSS
- A BREATH OF SNOW AND ASHES
- AN ECHO IN THE BONE
- WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART’S BLOOD
- A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows (short story)
- The Space Between (novella)
- GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE – November 2021
As you can see, there’s a lot to enjoy here. Once you start, you won’t want to stop.
Discover Diana Gabaldon
Are you ready to immerse yourself into one of the most-loved book series of all time? Today is the perfect day to read – or reread – Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. You’ll find all the Outlander books online at Discoverbooks.com, so you won’t miss a single detail. And, with free shipping, when you spend $12 and prices as low as $3.85, you can afford to read them all. Be sure to check out our latest Book Challenge post.