Monday, April 12, 2004

The Heart of Erzulie

Fant art.
In an exclusive interview on CommanderBond.net, former James Bond continuation author, Raymond Benson, revealed the existence of a never published James Bond short story, “The Heart of Erzulie.”

Says Benson, “There was another Bond short story I wrote in-between Never Dream of Dying and The Man With The Red Tattoo. It wasn’t very good. I did it on spec, just for something to do during the off months between the outline and research trip for Tattoo. It was called "The Heart of Erzulie," and it took place in Jamaica. IFP thought it was too much of a Fleming pastiche. I guess I agree. Oh well, it kept me busy for a month.”

According to the website Encyclopedia Mythica, “Erzulie is the Voodoo love goddess and goddess of elemental forces, as well as of beauty, dancing, flowers, jewels, and pretty clothes. She lives in fabulous luxury and appears powdered and perfumed. She is as lavish with her love as with her gifts. On her fingers she wears three wedding rings, her three husbands being Damballa, the serpent god, Agwe, god of the sea and Ogoun the warrior hero. As Erzulie Ge-Rouge, she huddles together with her knees drawn up and her fists clenched, tears streaming from her eyes as she laments the shortness of life and the limitation of love. She is personified as a water snake. She is also called Ezili.”

“You’re correct,” says Benson. “The story had a voodoo theme to it. Believe me, it shouldn’t see the light of day!”

Benson also revealed that he’s written a book chronicling of his adventures in the world of 007. “Last fall I wrote my Bond memoirs, a small autobiography so to speak, that relates my lifelong experiences with 007. It’s called James Bond and Me–A Memoir for lack of a better title. I don’t know what I’ll do with it. I can’t imagine anyone really being that interested. It would probably have to be one of those limited edition books that private presses have done, like Richard Kiel’s book, or Syd Cain’s book. Maybe I can get a thousand copies printed and sold. I haven’t decided.”

Here’s hoping someday one, or both, of these unpublished Benson works will become available for Bond fans to read.

This article first appeared on CommanderBond.net.

Sunday, April 4, 2004

IFP Announce New Series of Young Bond Books

PRESS RELEASE

The wait is over...
In Spring next year James Bond will return as we’ve never seen him before. Ian Fleming Publications Ltd is thrilled to announce that in March 2005 Charlie Higson will take us back to where it all began in the first of his novels introducing the teenage years of the boy who was to become 007.

Charlie Higson is co-creator of the hugely popular The Fast Show and is a successful film and adult thriller writer. He’s also a firm fan of the original Ian Fleming Bond novels and, with meticulous research, he has created an authentic 1930s world for Young James Bond that fits seamlessly with Fleming’s. Higson says of this new project ‘Ever since having children of my own I’ve wanted to write a thriller for kids, so when I was approached by the Fleming estate to work on a new James Bond series for younger readers it was too good an opportunity to turn down. I’ve grown up with Bond, and whilst I’ve had to finally accept that I’ll never play him in the films, writing about him is even more exciting.’ The Fleming family are delighted. Lucy Fleming, Ian’s niece, said yesterday 'Charlie’s done a wonderful job in capturing the essence of my uncle’s James Bond.'

The first adventure will be published in the UK by Puffin. Rebecca McNally, Fiction Publisher at Puffin says ' James Bond is the world's biggest spy brand and Charlie's writing is perfect - gripping, suspenseful and very true to the original Bond. We've had enough of wannabes - this is the real thing.' Aimed primarily at the 9-12 market, initial reactions suggest that these quintessential Bond stories will appeal to young and adult readers alike:

James Bond is thirteen and just about to start at Eton having been educated at home by his Aunt Charmian since the death of his parents. The first adventure takes James to a remote Scottish castle where a wealthy American has been conducting some very disturbing experiments...

So disturbing, in fact, that Miss Moneypenny stayed up all night reading about them, Mary Goodnight missed her stop on the train and M’s locked in the office with the do not disturb light on....

Please keep watching this news page for official information about the young James Bond novels over the coming months.

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