James Bond novels

James Bond novels

Between 1953 and the present day (2008), dozens of novels and a number of short stories have been published chronicling the adventures of spy James Bond 007. The character was created by Ian Fleming and first appeared in "Casino Royale", a novel first published in 1953. After Fleming's death in 1964 and the posthumous publication of some remnant works by Fleming over the next few years, other authors were commissioned to write continuation novels which were issued sporadically in the late 1960s and 1970s, then regularly between 1981 and 2002, at which point the series was put on hiatus. Two spinoff series of books, Young Bond and The Moneypenny Diaries, were published after this point, but in the spring of 2008 the original James Bond novel series returned with the publication of a new work by Sebastian Faulks.

Ian Fleming novels

In January, 1952, Ian Fleming began work on his first James Bond novel. At the time, Fleming was the Foreign Manager for Kemsley Newspapers, an organisation owned by the London "Sunday Times". Upon accepting the job, Fleming asked that he be allowed two months vacation per year. Every year thereafter until his death in 1964, Fleming would retreat for the first two months of the year to his Jamaican estate, Goldeneye, to write a James Bond book.

Benson's three short stories remain uncollected, unlike previous short stories from Ian Fleming, although it was announced in early 2008 that "Blast From the Past", augmented by material edited out before its initial publication, would be included as a bonus feature in an upcoming omnibus collection of several of Benson's Bond novels. [ [http://theliterary007.blogspot.com/2008/01/bonding-in-2008.html The Literary 007: Bonding in 2008 - Jan. 1, 2008] , retrieved Jan. 6, 2008.] Benson also wrote a fourth short story entitled "The Heart of Erzulie" that was rejected for publication.

Benson abruptly resigned as Bond novelist at the end of 2002 to write original, non-Bond works of his own. At the same time, Ian Fleming Publications planned to focus on reissuing Fleming's original novels for the 50th anniversary of the character and re-examine its publishing strategy. The year 2003 marked the first year since 1985 that a new James Bond novel had not been published.

Young Bond

In April 2004, Ian Fleming Publications (Glidrose) announced a new series of James Bond books. Instead of continuing from where Raymond Benson ended in 2002, the new series featured James Bond as a thirteen-year-old boy attending Eton College. Written by Charlie Higson the series aligns faithfully with the adult Bond's back-story established by Fleming in Bond's obituary in "You Only Live Twice". The first novel, "SilverFin", was released to good reviews in 2005 and became an international bestseller. The second novel, "Blood Fever", released in 2006, did even better, topping the children's best-selling list in the UK and holding the spot for eleven weeks. The following books, "Double or Die", "Hurricane Gold", and "By Royal Command" all proved to be bestsellers. While the series was planned as a five book set (ending with Bond's expulsion from Eton), Charlie Higson has stated that, because of the success of the series, he will most likely be writing more Young Bond novels in the future. [cite web | title=Interview: Charlie in Command | work=The Young Bond Dossier | url=http://youngbonddossier.com/Young_Bond/Interview.html | accessdate=September 4 | accessyear=2008]

The first Young Bond novel, "SilverFin", was released as a graphic novel on October 2, 2008. The book was written by Charlie Higson and illustrated by renowed comic book artist artist Kev Walker. [cite web | title=SilverFin The Graphic Novel released in UK | work=The Young Bond Dossier | url=http://youngbonddossier.com/Young_Bond/Danger_Society_News/Entries/2008/10/2_SILVERFIN_THE_GRAPHIC_NOVEL_OUT_TODAY.html | accessdate=October 2 | accessyear=2008]

The Moneypenny Diaries

"The Moneypenny Diaries" is a trilogy of novels chronicling the life of Miss Moneypenny, M's personal secretary. The novels are penned by Samantha Weinberg under the pseudonym Kate Westbrook, who is depicted as the book's "editor". The first installment of the trilogy, subtitled ', was released on October 10, 2005 in the UK. A second volume, subtitled ' was released on November 2, 2006 in the UK [http://web.mac.com/zencato/iWeb/Young_Bond/News/BB07046F-DA4F-4D05-ABAE-5BC64DF73221.html] . A third volume, subtitled "" was release on July 10, 2008.

Weinberg is the first woman to write officially licenced Bond-related literature, although Johanna Harwood had previously co-written the screenplay for "Dr. No" and had adapted "From Russia with Love" for the screen.

The novels had originally been touted as the secret journal of a "real" Miss Moneypenny and that James Bond was a possible pseudonym for a genuine intelligence officer, an idea shared by John Pearson's earlier biography, "James Bond: The Authorised Biography of 007". The publisher, John Murray, admitted on August 28, 2005 that the books were a spoof after an investigation by "The Sunday Times" of London. Ian Fleming Publications, who had previously refused to comment as to whether the book was authorised, officially confirmed the book was and always had been a project by them on the day of the book's publication.

In addition to the novels, Weinberg also wrote two short stories that were published in 2006. The first, "For Your Eyes Only, James" describes a weekend Bond and Moneypenny spend in Royale-les-Eaux in 1956. The story appeared in the November 2006 issue of Tatler magazine [http://web.mac.com/zencato/iWeb/Young_Bond/News/EDF4EDA6-F2B3-4A60-BC8F-E7A94EDB538E.html] . The second "Moneypenny's First Date With Bond" tells the tale of Bond and Moneypenny's first meeting. The story appeared in the November 11, 2006 issue of "The Spectator".

"Devil May Care"

Ian Fleming Publications announced that a new James Bond novel would be published in May 2008 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Ian Fleming's birth. Initially, IFP kept the identity of the author secret, but in July 2007 it was announced that the centenary novel would be "Devil May Care" by Sebastian Faulks. It was published on May 28, 2008, on what would have been Ian Fleming's 100th birthday. [cite web |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/6289186.stm |title=Faulks pens new James Bond novel |date=2007-07-11 |work=BBC News]

The existence of the continuation novels published between 1968 and 2002 (not counting the related Young Bond and Moneypenny Diaries series) was underplayed in the announcement of Faulks' book, which was promoted as a direct continuation of Fleming's canon. As such, many media reports (such as, for example, the one posted by AOL Entertainment [cite web |url=http://entertainment.aol.co.uk/bigstoryents/novelist-pens-new-007-adventure/article/20070711055709990001|title=Novelist pens new 007 adventure |date=2007-07-11 |work=AOL Entertainment] ) made no reference to the work of Amis through Benson, stating outright that "Devil May Care" is the first new Bond novel since the 1960s. A similar error occurred in an Associated Press report on 8 January 2008 that stated only 13 post-Fleming novels had been published prior to "Devil May Care". [cite web |url=http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/europe/01/08/bond.stamps.ap/index.html|title=Why 007 is 'The Spy Who Licked Me' |date=2008-01-08 |work=AP/CNN.com]

"Devil May Care" is the first release of a new imprint of Penguin Books called Penguin 007, which will also reprint the original Fleming novels. It has yet to be announced whether any further new adult James Bond novels will be commissioned; at the official release launch of "Devil May Care", Faulks stated that he had no plans to write more Bond novels.

Other Bond-related fiction

In 1967, Glidrose authorised publication of "" written under the pseudonym R. D. Mascott. The book was written for young-adult readers, and chronicles the adventures of 007's nephew (despite the inaccurate title). To this day the real author of the novel has never been acknowledged or confirmed by the Ian Fleming Estate. According to the reference work "The Bond Files" by Andy Lane and Paul Simpson, there are claims that Mascott was really Arthur Calder-Marshall, but Lane and Simpson indicate no definitive proof has yet been uncovered.

In 1991 an animated television series, "James Bond Jr", ran for 65 episodes. The series chronicled the adventures of James Bond's nephew, James Bond Jr. The use of "Jr." in the character's name was unusual in that this naming convention is generally reserved for sons as opposed to nephews and other indirect offspring. Alternatively, it has been proposed that Fleming's James Bond had a brother, also named James Bond, who is the father of James Bond Jr. The series was mildly successful and spawned six novelisations published in 1992 by John Peel writing as John Vincent, a 12 issue comic book series by Marvel Comics published in 1992, as well as a video game developed by Eurocom for the NES and the SNES in 1991.

Russians were often the villains in Fleming's Cold War-era novels in at least some form. In 1968, they hit back with a spy novel of their own called "Avakoum Zahov vs. 07" by Andrei Guliashki, in which a communist hero finally and forcefully defeats 007.

In addition to numerous fan fiction pieces written since the character was created, there have been two stories written by well-known authors claiming to have been contracted by Glidrose. The first in 1966, was "Per Fine Ounce" by Geoffrey Jenkins, a friend of Ian Fleming who claimed to have developed with Fleming a diamond-smuggling storyline similar to "Diamonds Are Forever" as early as the 1950s. According to the book "The Bond Files" by Andy Lane and Paul Simpson, soon after Ian Fleming died, Glidrose Productions commissioned Jenkins to write a James Bond novel. The novel was never published. Some sources have suggested that Jenkins novel was to be published under the Markham pseudonym. The second story, 1985's "The Killing Zone" by Jim Hatfield goes so far as to have been privately published as well as claim on the cover that it was published by Glidrose; however it is highly unlikely that Glidrose contacted Hatfield to write a novel since at the time John Gardner was the official author. The text of "The Killing Zone" is available on the Internet and can be found [http://www.universalexports.net/Books/killingzone.shtml here] .

In 1997, the British publisher B.T. Batsford produced "Your Deal, Mr. Bond", a collection of bridge-related short stories by Phillip King and Robert King. The title story features James Bond, M, and other characters and features an epic bridge game between Bond and the villain, Saladin. No credit is given to Ian Fleming Publications, suggesting this rare story may have been unauthorised; a photo of Sean Connery as Bond is featured on the cover of the book.

In Clive Cussler's novel, "Night Probe!", there is a character named Brian Shaw, whom the hero, Dirk Pitt suspects to be James Bond. Brian Shaw's choice of pistol, a .25 calibre, echoes that of James Bond's preference for the .25 calibre Beretta. Shaw's old office was located in Regent Park, and he was supposed to have been on SMERSH's hit list.

Lance Parkin's Doctor Who novel "Trading Futures" features a Bond-like character named Jonah Cosgrove, described by the author thus: "Cosgrove is (and I mean 'is' here in the very precise, non-trademark violating, sense of the word) the Sean Connery Bond, but one who never retired and who's been a secret agent for fifty years. So he's about eighty, and all the time he's just been piling on more muscles and getting more wrinkled, and ever more set in his ways and bitter and anachronistic. He's Sean Connery in "The Rock", as drawn by Frank Miller, and by now he's been promoted to M."

Robert Sheckley's 1965 novel "The Game of X" is about a bumbling man who pretends he is a spy and is chased by villains who believe that he is a real secret agent. In one scene, he is rescued from the villains by a real secret agent who is not named but seems to be James Bond.


External links

* [http://www.jamesbondwiki.com/page/James+Bond+Books James Bond Wiki] Check out book covers on the Ultimate James Bond Community.
* [http://mi6.co.uk MI6.co.uk] One of the largest unofficial James Bond websites online with a large fan fiction library.
* [http://www.penguin007.com/ Penguin007.com] Official website for Devil May Care and the 2008 Centenary events.
* [http://youngbonddossier.com The Young Bond Dossier] Website for the Young Bond series.
* [http://www.ian-fleming-james-bond-annotations-and-chronologies.com/home.php John Griswold website] Official website of John Griswold's "Ian Fleming's James Bond: Annotations and Chronologies for Fleming's Bond Stories".
* [http://www.goldeneyebooks.com/webpages/flemingbibliography.htm Ian Fleming bibliography] of first editions.
* [http://www.ianflemingcentre.com/ Ian Fleming Centre] Official website of Ian Fleming Publications Limited.

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