Over the past 7 or so years, often when I've mentioned to some woman that I've written some speculative fantasy novels set in historical Scotland, the immediate response has been...
Oh, have you read OUTLANDER?!!
Oh, you SHOULD!
Oh, you'll LOVE it!
Oh, it's very similar to YOUR novels!
Nope, nope, nope, and nope.
Just off the top of my head...
Jeez, that soundtrack! I kept thinking that Bear McCreery must have been at a loss for inspiration, until he ran across an old Kenneth McKellar LP at a garage sale. The rewritten lyrics of "Skye Boat Song" are the worst doggerel I've heard in a long time.
I think Claire's a bitch. In fact, near as I can tell, every significant female character is a bitch in this thing.
Threats of imminent rape, as a plot element, get old fast, for me.
A woman being whipped on her bare ass with a leather belt (even if "all in good fun" and "kind of sexy" as structured in the editing) is a big turnoff for me - since I was subjected to that as a very small girl, by my own father, and I can't really say that there wasn't a sexual element to it, in his case.
Portrayal of rape (even if it's a young man getting buggered) is SO not my idea of entertainment.
Ethnic stereotypes bore me. Particularly when they're stereotypes of MY ethnicity.
Bodice-ripper plot elements bore me to tears (ripping or snipping off of garments ... heroine too stupid and/or smart-ass and/or bitchy to keep her mouth shut IN THE INTEREST OF AVOIDING DANGER when she clearly doesn't know the score ... heroine constantly falsely accused of some egregious fault or crime, and suddenly at great risk, "Perils of Pauline" style).
Another boring aspect of bodice-rippers is the constant requirement to set up yet another improbable situation between the romantic interests, which then results in the trope of their sexual relationship being "reset to zero" so that every time they have a chance to have sex, it can be repackaged as an alternative "first time".
How the hell can a woman -- who has no money & only the clothes on her back when she arrives in the past, AND who has no family, no friends, and is suspect and unpopular for being a mouthy bitch -- have acquired THAT WARDROBE? Damn, she's got more outfits than a Barbie! Who's giving her all this swag, and WHY? Nobody likes her and she hasn't earned it! She's got a new outfit every scene. This isn't just "Ah, Hollywood, it's "Ah, Bollywood"! More realistically, all the other women apparently own two changes of clothes at MOST. The guys have no changes, they just live in their great-kilts. So where does this bimbo get off having this kind of access to fancy clothes at all times?
I've been reading science fiction all my life, and this is NOT science fiction. (But, annoyingly, is constantly advertised as such!) Some time-travel stories ARE science fiction (e.g., The Time Machine by Wells.) The thing about science fiction is that it incorporates SCIENCE, which offers a plausible SCIENTIFIC rationale for the unusual situation. Walking into a circle of standing stones, touching one, and whoops, bingo, magically transported back in time ... nope, that is FANTASY. And, as a long-time SF-F reader, time travel is the hardest trope for me, personally, to buy into. I have very detailed critical-thinking skills. Most time-travel stories have logic gaps that you can drive a semi through. This one is typical.
We had to subscribe to STARZ because of the 2nd season of American Gods, which is an example of truly creative speculative-fantasy literature, originality, and depth of thought on the author's part. (Everything OUTLANDER is NOT.) But, since we're spending the money (for now) I figured, what the hell, I might as well watch some of this show, JUST BECAUSE people keep trying to convince me that it's going to be "like" MY novels, or I will "like" it BECAUSE I write novels that ONLY share a geographical setting. I always had a feeling that I wouldn't like it, and that it would be NOTHING like the world I've built. And yep, I was right. So now, at least, if anyone ever again trots out any mention of this drivel, I'm well prepared to refute any suggestion of sympatico between me & Gabaldon.
Of course, the scenery was beautiful. And I'm very happy for my one-generation-removed kindred, that so many of them have gotten good paying work. But I do think that they're all worthy of better material. And no, I won't be going on with the other seasons. I found synopses online, and the storylines clearly keep getting stupider, and more repetitive.
Are there any romantic fantasy novels out there, that are set in Scotland and greatly surpass Gabaldon's chick-lit storytelling? Yes, you could read mine, for instance. My novels would be an excellent choice. No bitches and very little rape. Unfortunately, for the moment they are all out of print, while I look for a real agent and a real publisher. If you know any agents or publishers with vision and literate tastes, do send them my way! Thanks!
[please note: somehow one whole sentence disappeared from the front end of the last paragraph, without me noticing before posting. I've now amended that glitch. Chalk it up to Mercury being retrograde!]