Adoring Outlander

Essays on Fandom, Genre and the Female Audience


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About the Book

What is behind Outlander fever—the hit television drama’s popularity? Is it author Diana Gabaldon’s teasing posts on social media? Is it the real history reimagined? The highly emotional melodrama?
Or is it the take-charge heroine and the sweet hero in a kilt? One of the show’s biggest draws is its multigenre appeal. Gabaldon—whose Outlander novels form the basis of the series—has called it science fiction, fantasy, romance, historical fiction and military fiction, depending on her audience.
This collection of new essays explores the series as a romance, a ghost story, an epic journey, a cozy mystery, a comedy of manners, a gothic thriller and a feminist answer to Game of Thrones, and considers the source of its broad appeal.

About the Author(s)

Valerie Estelle Frankel teaches English at Mission College and San Jose City College. The author of 90 popular culture books and more than 100 stories and essays, she lives in Sunnyvale, California.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Valerie Estelle Frankel
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 224
Bibliographic Info: appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2016
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6423-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2487-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction: On Modern ­Multi-Genre and a New Age for
Fandom 1
Part I: Gabaldon’s Fans, Forming Communities
“A love letter to Scotland”: The Creation and Conception
of Heritage (Stephenie McGucken) 7
Engaging with “Herself”: Fandom and Authorship in the Age of Tumblr (Jennifer Phillips and Katharina Freund) 23
Diana Gabaldon’s Excerpts and Daily Lines: When the First Read Is a ­Re-Read (Jessica R. Matthews) 44
Melodrama, Gender and Nostalgia: The Appeal of Outlander (Eleanor Ty) 58
Part II: The Romance Question—Is It or Isn’t It?
“Linked … through the body of one man”: Black Jack Randall as a ­Non-Traditional Romance Villain (Michelle L. Jones) 71
The Good, the Bad and Lord John Grey: Observations on Desire, Sex, Violence, Lust and Love (Sandi Solis) 82
Traveling Through Time and Genre: Are the Outlander Books Romance Novels? (Jodi McAlister) 94
Gabaldon and the Practice of Gay Male Homoerotic Reading (Anthony Guy Patricia) 106
Part III: Putting the Speculative in Speculative Fiction
The Short Stories on the Science Fiction Shelf, or Lord John Grey Complicates Matters as Usual (Valerie Estelle Frankel) 125
Half-Ghosts and Their Legacy for Claire, Jamie and Roger (Stella Murillo) 144
Confrontational Content, Gendered Gazes and the Ethics of Adaptation in Outlander and Game of Thrones (Jennifer Phillips) 162
The Heroine’s Journey: Claire Beauchamp Reclaims the Feminine (Patti McCarthy) 182
Appendix A: Series Reading Order 209
Appendix B: Television Episode Guide 210
Appendix C: Television Cast and Crew 211
About the Contributors 213
Index 215