Friday, December 28, 2007

DMC gets Amazon Product Description

The official Amazon Product/Book Description for Devil May Care has appeared on the Canadian Amazon website.

Book Description
Bond is back with a license to thrill. Forty-three years ago, Ian Fleming wrote his last great 007 adventure. Now, in Devil May Care, the world’s most iconic spy returns in a Cold War story spanning the world’s exotic locations. By invitation of the Fleming estate to mark the centenary of his birth, acclaimed novelist Sebastian Faulks picks up where Fleming left off, writing a tour de force that will electrify every James Bond fan. A fitting tribute to the Bond tradition, Devil May Care stands on its own as a triumph of witty prose and plenty of double-0 action.

MORE THAN 100 MILLION BOND BOOKS HAVE BEEN SOLD AND OVER HALF THE WORLD’S POPULATION HAS SEEN A BOND FILM.

“In his house in Jamaica, Ian Fleming used to write a thousand words in the morning, then go snorkeling, have a cocktail, lunch on the terrace, more diving, another thousand words in the late afternoon, then more martinis and glamorous women. In my house in London, I followed this routine exactly, apart from the cocktails, the lunch, and the snorkeling.” Sebastian Faulks

“He has an ability to write convincingly in whichever period or genre he chooses. . . Sebastian couldn’t have written a better book to celebrate Ian’s 100th birthday.” Corinne Turner, managing director of Ian Fleming Publications Limited

About the Author
SEBASTIAN FAULKS worked as a journalist before taking up writing full time in 1991. He is the author of ten books including Charlotte Gray and Birdsong, for which he was voted author of the year by the British Book Awards. Faulks has published eight books in the United States, including the recently released Engleby. He lives in London.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Ian Fleming origin of "Manny the Girl"

We all know Charlie Higson has been planting references to the original Ian Fleming novels in his Young Bond series. Some have been easy to spot -- such as Bond seeing the doorway of Universal Exports in Double or Die. Some have been a little more obscure -- such as Bond witnessing a circus performance by The Mighty Donovan in SilverFin. But here’s a Fleming reference that may have gone unnoticed by even the most studied Bond aficionado.

In Hurricane Gold we meet the brain damaged henchman “Manny the Girl.” Higson tells us Manny received his nicknamed because his M.O. of robbing banks dressed as a woman. Great stuff. But could this nickname also have its roots in Fleming?

On page 113 of James Bond The Man and His World by Henry Chancellor (an excellent book I highly recommend) we get a rare peek at a list of unused character names from an Ian Fleming notebook. Among gems like Betty Freshette, Pearl Dazzle, Pelikan Strat, and Doctor Thong we find...

“Manny the Girl.”

Have you spotted any other Fleming references in the Young Bond series that may have been missed. If so, drop us an email.

License revoked or renewed? Will James Bond be 007 in DMC?

As I sit and digest my Christmas dinner and enjoy a vacation from the picket lines, my thoughts turn to next year and the release of Sebastian Faulks' Devil May Care, which sees the return of the adult James Bond 007.

But wait. Can this James Bond still be "007"?

Here's the thing. Bond's double-O status is revoked in Ian Fleming's You Only Live Twice. Is it restored in The Man With The Golden Gun? I don't recall, but considering Bond's inauspicious return to the secret service (as a brainwashed Russian assassin), I don't think it is. Also, according to the very fine James Bond The Man and His World by Henry Chancellor, mandatory retirement for a Double-oh is age 45. If we accept the generally agreed upon 1920 birth date, James Bond is 46 or 47 in 1967 when Devil May Care takes place. So even if his license to kill was resorted in The Man With The Golden Gun or after, Bond has hit the retirement age.

Taking all this into account, how can Bond possibly be "007" in Devil May Care?

Now, it's possible Faulks will simply blow past all this and stamp his Bond as Agent 007 as Kingsley Amis did in Colonel Sun. This wouldn't send me into fits. I'm not really a stickler for continuity when it comes to James Bond (if I were, I'd have to accept that Bond is 82 in The Man With The Red Tattoo).

However, if Devil May Care aspires to be a true continuation of the Fleming canon as advertised (with Faulks "writing as Ian Fleming") the uncertain status of James Bond's famous double-oh number should be addressed, wouldn't you think?

Just another aspect of this book to look forward to.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Centenary website launched

Ian Fleming Publications has launched a new website, IanFlemingCentenary.com, devoted to next year's Centenary events and publications.

New to the line-up of events is the exhibit "Bond Bound: Ian Fleming & The Art of Cover Design," which charts the role of artists and designers in creating and defining the Bond look from Casino Royale through Young Bond, The Moneypenny Diaries, and Devil May Care. The exhibit will be on show at the Fleming Collection gallery from 22 April to 28 June 2008.

The site will be regularly updated throughout the centenary year.

Devil May Care worldwide publishers

New website IanFlemingCentenary.com has posted a list of Devil May Care's International publishers. The new adult Bond novel by Sebastian Faulks will be released worldwide on May 28, 2008, the Centenary of Ian Fleming's birth.

Devil May Care publishers listed alphabetically by country.

BRAZIL - Record
CZECH REPUBLIC - XYZ
FINLAND - Gummerus
FRANCE - Flammarion
GERMANY - Heyne
GREECE - Oceanida
HOLLAND - Bruna
HUNGARY - Alexandra
ISRAEL - Penn
ITALY - Piemme
MACEDONIA - Kultura
NORWAY - Schibsteds
POLAND - Ksiazki
PORTUGAL - Civilizacao
SPAIN - Seix Barral
SWEDEN - Forum

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Marketing Young Bond

Sister site The Young Bond Dossier has an interview today with Justin Renard, former Marketing Officer with Penguin/Puffin who worked on the Young Bond series...notably, the Double or Die poll campaign.

CLICK TO READ

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Blast from the past: Benson returns in 2008

Great news today! K1Bond007.com reports that Pegasus Books will re-publish a selection of Raymond Benson's James Bond novels in an omnibus edition in October 2008.

The collection will contain the "Union Trilogy"-- High Time To Kill, Doubleshot, and Never Dream of Dying... plus, as a bonus, the complete uncut short story Blast From The Past.

Blast From The Past originally appeared in the January 1997 issue of Playboy in a truncated version (image right). The full-length version was published in Italian and in French. This will be its first appearance in English.

Raymond will provide a new introduction to the book. A title for the collection has not yet been selected. Pegasus hopes to publish a second volume of Benson's remaining 007 novels and short stories in 2009.

Friday, December 14, 2007

CBn swings with Final Fling cover art

CommanderBond.net has exclusively revealed cover art for the final book in Samantha Weinberg’s Moneypenny Diaries trilogy, Final Fling. The artwork is once again by Stina Persson who did the cover for the Secret Servant paperback.


Final Fling
will be released in the UK in May 2008 and available to pre-order now on Amazon.co.uk. CLICK HERE to read plot details about this final Moneypenny novel.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Shark Bait released in UK

Titan Books latest collection of classic James strips, Shark Bait, is in UK stores now. The final cover art (right) is different than what is currently shown on Amazon (which still shows a January 25, 2008 release date).

The Shark Bait collection includes the title story along with "Doomcrack" and "The Xanadu Connection," plus an introduction by Caroline Bliss, and Part II of Alan Porter’s very fine feature on James Bond in U.S. comics.

Shark Bait will be released in the U.S. on June 27, 2008.

Moneypenny goes Green

Moneypenny Diaries author Samantha Weinberg has launched a new blog Green Wife devoted to environmental activism. Samantha is married to Mark Fletcher, wildlife film maker, and Green Party parliamentary candidate. In her blog, Samantha shares her families personal adventures trying to live as Green a lifestyle as they can.

We all know Samantha is a talented and witty writer, so this blog is a must read. Bookmark...and recycle!

Samantha Weinberg's concluding book in her Moneypenny Diaries trilogy, Final Fling, will be released in the UK in May 2008. The Moneypenny Diaries (book 1) is due for release in the U.S. on May 13, 2008.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

German Devil May Care

CommanderBond.net has discovered that the German edition of Sebastian Faulks Devil May Care will be called Der Tod ist nur der Anfang (“Death Is Only The Beginning”).

The book will be published as a hardcover by Heyne Verlag in May 2008. The translation will be done by Jürgen Bürger.

Der Tod ist nur der Anfang can be pre-ordered now at Amazon.de.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Double or Die U.S. cover art

This has certainly been the week for James Bond cover art. We started off with the cover of Sebastian Faulks upcoming Devil May Care...and now The Young Bond Dossier brings us a first look at the U.S. hardcover art for Charlie Higson's third Young Bond novel, Double or Die.



Double or Die will be released by Hyperion Books on April 22, 2008. It can be pre-ordered now on Amazon.com.

UPDATE: Author Charlie Higson has given The Young Bond Dossier his reaction to the cover. Click here to check it out.

Signed Casino Royale fetches £20,000

A signed first edition of Ian Fleming's Casino Royale sold for £20,000.00 ($40,576.00) in a Bloomsbury auction. The book carried the inscription: "To / the power behind / the publishers' throne! / from / the author / May 1953". The auction recieved 15 bids.

A second unsigned copy fetched £5,500.00 (
$11,158.40). This is somewhat low for a Casino first, which typically sell for between £10,000-£15,000. Even though the auction described the book as being in "Fine" condition, the dust jacket did have several small tears which may explain the lower price.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

First Look: Paradise Plot (prototype) cover art

Our friends at Titan Books have provided us with an exclusive first look at cover art for The Paradise Plot, due for release July 15, 2008. At this stage, the art is just a prototype and may change. (Click image to enlarge)

The Paradise Plot collection includes the title story along with Deathmask (there will only be two stories in the collection this time). Titan says they have not yet decided who will be providing the introduction.

The Paradise Plot is available for pre-order at Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Official website update

The official Penguin 007 website has updated with a nifty new image of the Devil May Care book and dust jacket which was revealed yesterday.

CLICK IMAGE TO VIEW UPDATED SITE.

CHARLIE HIGSON on the return of the adult Bond

On May 28, 2008, the adult James Bond will return in the new book Devil May Care, and Young Bond author Charlie Higson has some friendly words of warning for author Sebastian Faulks.

“I think Sebastian probably doesn't know what he has let himself in for,” Charlie recently told The Guardian. “He will find himself completely immersed in the world of Bond and for ever after will be pursued as a Bond author. He will now find himself getting requests to do photo shoots wearing the odd tuxedo, and I imagine he'll say no, but after a while you sort of give in. That's the thing about James Bond. It just turns everyone into kids.”

When asked if he’s read the new book, Charlie says, “No. No. God, you know how secretive IFP are. I did know the name before the announcement, but not long before. As you know, they play their cards very close to their chest. But I am hoping I will get a kind of proof copy. I’m really excited to see what Sebastian Faulks has done with it and what he’ll come up with. I think that’s going to be a really terrific book.”

Sunday, December 2, 2007

DEVIL MAY CARE COVER ART!

The jacket image for Devil May Care by Sebastian Faulks is unveiled today by publisher Penguin. The cover features model Tuuli Shipster, muse of the British photographer, Rankin (whose subjects include Young Bond author Charlie Higson).


Tuuli is just one of the elements on the cover of the eagerly-awaited new Bond book. The cover image features a blood red flower with the silhouette of a naked woman as its stem, against a black background – strictly for your eyes only.

Alex Clarke, Penguin Editor of Devil May Care, says: "The cover had to be something stylish and sophisticated - all the things that one associates with Fleming's James Bond. With such a great concept the challenge was then to find the perfect girl to bring it to life. We just knew the moment we saw her that Tuuli was our Bond girl.”

The jacket image was created by the award winning design agency, The Partners, who work with some of Britain’s oldest heritage brands including Jaguar, Wedgwood, Harrods, the BBC and The National Gallery.

Jack Renwick, Creative Director, The Partners says: “It’s an honour to become a small part of Bond’s rich visual history. Bond is sex, intrigue and violence. We wanted to capture this and give a subtle nod to the familiar, iconic Bond images of old. It is with great pride that The Partners adds Penguin’s latest Bond to their portfolio.”

The cover photograph was taken by British photographer and commercials director, Kevin Summers.

Devil May Care will be published in hardback by Penguin Books in the UK and its territories (Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India and Europe) on 28th May 2008. It will be published around the world on the same date, in all major (and many minor) languages. Many of the publishers will be using this jacket.

Model Bond Girl: Tuuli Shipster

Penguin has revealed that the model featured on the cover of Devil May Care is Tuuli Shipster, daughter of a diplomat and muse of the British photographer, Rankin (whose subjects include Young Bond author Charlie Higson).

Tuuli began her modelling career at the age of 16 when she joined top modelling agency Storm. She is well travelled and has lived all over the world in countries including Russia, India and South Africa. Tuuli studied at Marlborough College and gained 5 A Levels in Russian, Politics, Maths, English, and General Studies. During her gap year she starred in a hugely successful advertising campaign for Pretty Polly which marked the beginning of her modelling career.

Campaigns with Arena, Cosmopolitan, Jitrois, Harpers Bazaar, Byblos Blu and a role in Richard Curtis' Love Actually followed. This encouraged her to pursue her fashion career as opposed to a life of academia. It was on a shoot for Elle Macpherson Intimates that she met Rankin and so began a professional partnership on many photographic projects - including a 40 page spread for German publication Quest and a book, Tuulitastic: A Photographic Love Letter - that has spanned three years.

Tuuli says: “I was thrilled that Penguin chose me to be their Bond girl. It’s fantastic to be involved with something so iconic.”

Sunday, November 25, 2007

12 Bonds in a tin

If a box of Ian Fleming paperbacks isn't enough for you, how about a tin of audiobooks.

The Book People -- the same website where you can purchase The Penguin 007 Collection -- is offering a set of 12 Ian Fleming audiobooks in a "stylish tin." The books are read by Rufus Sewell and Samantha Bond (Miss Moneypenny of the Brosnan era).

The set contains all the original Ian Fleming novels with the exceptions of Thunderball and On Her Majesty's Secret Service.

Craig says Eon doesn't own Gardner novels

In a Q&A on Coming Soon.com, current James Bond star Daniel Craig was asked a question that many Bond fans have been asking for years. Namely, why doesn't Eon Productions adapt the James Bond continuation novels by John Gardner. His answer:

Craig: I don't think they ever would, because they don't own them. I don't know what the deal is with that. We're taking the original idea. The funny thing is if you read Fleming's (novels), which I try to plow through occasionally, there's an awful lot of story lines that have never been used because obviously the films are based on the books. There are still ideas that we can sort of pluck from.

Now, my understanding of the situation -- and, mind you, I may not understand the situation at all -- is that Eon Productions own ALL cinematic rights to the James Bond character and thus are the only producers who could adapt the Gardner books (or any continuation novel for that matter). However, to do so would require paying an additional fee for the story and, presumably, they'd rather not do that.

However, this hasn't stopped a great many of John Gardner's ideas from finding their way into the recent James Bond films. For a complete list of these surprising similarities, check out the article I wrote a few years back for CommanderBond.net: Deja Vu, Mr. Bond.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

New Raymond Benson novels in 2008

Raymond Benson continues his prolific post-Bond career with two new novels due for release in 2008.

A Hard Day's Death
is set in the world of rock ‘n’ roll where a private investigator must solve the murder of a famous rock star. The book will be released in April 2008 and can be pre-ordered on Amazon.com.

Following his success with Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell books, Raymond returns to the world of gaming adaptation with Metal Gear Solid 1: The Novel. This first of a series of paperbacks is due for release May 13 2008. Pre-order from Amazon.com.

To keep up with all Raymond's upcoming projects, visit RaymondBenson.com.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Penguin 007 Collection box set

Penguin has released a new box set collection of the 14 original Ian Fleming James Bond novels. The set contains the UK paperbacks featuring new introductions (including one by Charlie Higson) and retro cover art by Richie Fahey.


Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find any online retail source where this set can be purchased. At the moment, looks like Bond fans outside of the UK are at the mercy of eBay (which is where I just got mine).

Update: According to a member of the CBn forums, this set is being sold through school bookclubs and retails for £16.99, not £97.96 as listed on some eBay auctions.

Update 2: An reader alerts us that this set is currently available at www.thebookpeople.co.uk for £14.99!

New Chitty chugging into stores

Just in case Devil May Care, Final Fling, the SilverFin graphic novel, the Hurricane Gold paperback, James Bond Authorized Biography paperback, For Your Eyes Only: Ian Fleming & James Bond, and 14 new hardcover editions of the original Fleming novels isn't enough for you in May 2008...here comes Chitty!

According to the always vigilant CommanderBond.net, a lavish new collectible gift edition of Ian Fleming's classic children's novel will be released on May 1, 2008, and can be pre-ordered now on Amazon.co.uk.

For those of you who didn't realize Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was written by Ian Fleming, it may also surprise you to know that the 1968 film version was produced by Eon Productions, the only non-Bond film the company has ever made.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Dutch Devil May Care is "Roekeloos"

The excellent Dutch James Bond fansite James Bond Nederland has broken the news that Sebastian Faulks Devil May Care will be released in The Netherlands under the title Roekeloos ("Reckless" in English).

The publisher is A.W. Bruna. The book will be released concurrent with the U.S. and UK editions on May 28, 2008.

This is the first news of a non-English edition of Devil May Care...but something tells me it isn't going to be the last.

Nice scoop, JBN.

Devil May Care UK audiobook

CommanderBond.net reports that Penguin with release an audiobook edition of Devil May Care by Sebastian Faulks in the UK. It can be pre-ordered now at Amazon.co.uk.

This is the second announced audiobook edition of the Centenary Bond novel following the U.S. edition from Random House.

We don't yet have details on the UK audiobook, but it should be noted that the Young Bond UK audiobooks have been abridged (and read by the author) while the U.S. editions have been unabridged (and read by an actor). If DMC follows this pattern...hey, we have an excuse to buy both!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Higson: YOUNG BOND 5 may not have a happy ending

In a newly posted video interview at Spinebreakers.com, Charlie Higson cautions that his fifth and final Young Bond novel will not have a particularly happy ending.

Charlie spoke at length about how he wanted his Young Bond series to show the first step in how James Bond evolved from being “a very ordinary kid” into the “cold blooded assassin” from the Fleming books. While the books have so far toughed Bond considerably and introduced him to a dangerous world of despots and killers, in this final book Charlie says Bond “learns quite a few nasty lessons about life and people and who you can trust.”

“It’s not going to be a particularly happy ending to Book 5,” says Charlie. “I will be interested to see how kids react to that.”

While, obviously, James Bond can’t die in the Young Bond novels, Charlie says no safety net extends to his friends.

This news combined with the recent revelation that Bond “falls in love” in Book 5 (presumably with Roan the maid who, according to Fleming, is instrumental in Bond’s expulsion from Eton), Young Bond 5 is shaping up to be a very interesting final book indeed!

Young Bond 5 -- which currently has the working title The Shadow War -- is due for release in the UK on September 4, 2008.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

New Fleming hardcovers on Amazon

As reported last week, the 14 original James Bond novels by Ian Fleming are going to be reprinted in hardcover by Penguin 007 and released as part of next year's centenary celebrations.

Now those new Fleming hardcovers are available for pre-order on Amazon.co.uk. The release date is May 28, 2008. Each book retails for £14.99.

To make it easy, I created an Amazon list for one stop shopping. CLICK HERE TO REDISCOVER THE ORIGINAL JAMES BOND.

U.S. Moneypenny Diaries available for pre-order

On Tuesday CommanderBond.net broke the news that Samantha Weinberg's Moneypenny Diaries trilogy is finally coming to U.S. Now we have the first volume available for pre-order on Amazon.com.

Both Amazon and the publsiher's website show the title as just The Moneypenny Diaries, suggesting the book may not carry the Guardian Angel subtitle like the UK edition. So unless I learn otherwise, I'm going to refer to this U.S. edition as just The Moneypenny Diaries.

The Moneypenny Diares will be released as a hardcover on May 13, 2008, under St. Martin's Press Thomas Dunne Books imprint. Price is $23.95.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Higson says more adult Bond books on the way

Charlie Higson dropped a major piece of Bond literary news during a panel discussion with fellow Bond alums David Arnold and Daniel Kleinman in the newest issue of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.

The Young Bond author says that Ian Fleming Publications have an ongoing plan to produce more adult James Bond books. Yes, he said "BOOKS" -- as in plural, as in more BOOKS after next year's one off centenary novel Devil May Care.

So does this mean a new series? A series set after DMC? Or maybe a series set before Casino Royale?

Let the speculation begin. But one bit of speculation I'd like to offer up is the possibility that the author of one of these future adult BOOKS will be one Charlie Higson.

At least I hope so.

James Bond in LXG Black Dossier

Our favorite spy blog Double O Section reports that James Bond makes an unauthorized and rather unflattering appearance the just released graphic novel, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier.

Set in the 1950s, the charcater is identified only as "Jimmy," grandson of the original series' Campion Bond. A favorite Fleming villain also reportedly makes an appearance.

I've just ordered the book from Amazon to have a look for myself, but Double O Section says that while Bond's very un-gentlemen like characterization is "likely to rile many Bond fans," artist Kevin O'Neil's depiction of 007 is dead-on, "complete with Hoagy Carmichael looks and that famous comma of black hair."

For the record, James Bond makes his official return to the world graphic novels in next year's adaptation of Charlie Higson's SilverFin.

Young Bond plays Poker Fatal

Charlie Higson’s third Young Bond novel (Double or Die) has been released in France as Poker fatal.

Poker fatal is published by Gallimard Jeunesse who previously released SilverFin as Opération SilverFin and Blood Fever as La mort est contagieuse (Death is Contagious). It can be be purchase now at Amazon.fr.

Source: The Young Bond Dossier

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Moneypenny coming to America

CommanderBond.net has scored a major Bond literary scoop with the news that Samantha Weinberg's excellent Moneypenny Diaries trilogy is finally coming to American bookstores.

The first book, The Moneypenny Diaries: Guardian Angel will be released in the U.S. on May 13, 2008, under St. Martin's Press Thomas Dunne Books imprint, which specializes in suspense and mainstream novels. The book will be a hardcover and retail for $23.95.

Guardian Angel was first published in the UK in 2005.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Authorized Bio paperback cover art

K1Bond007.com has revealed cover art for a new paperback reprint of James Bond The Authorized Biography by John Peason.

It's...okay.

This paperback edition will be released by Arrow Books on May 1, 2008 and can be pre-ordered on Amazon.co.uk.

A new hardcover edition was recently released by Century. James Bond The Authorized Biography was first published in 1973.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Guardian retracts Devil May Care boo boo

Bond fans reading The Guardian last week might have been confused and/or thrilled with Martin Love's article I Have you now 007 in which he stated...
James Bond, due to make his 22nd film appearance next year in the Sebastian Faulks-scripted Devil May Care, has spent almost half a century chasing down evil masterminds in a never-ending series of extraordinary vehicles...

Devil May Care as the next Bond film!? Not quite. The paper has now printed a retraction:

Contrary to Wheels (OM, last week), the next James Bond film is not called The Devil May Care, scripted by Sebastian Faulks. 'Bond 22' is the working title for the next November's film, written by Paul Haggis, Neal Purvis and Robert Wade.

Oh course, no Bond fan worth his PPK was fooled. But good for the paper for making the correction. Now lets see if they correct the title (there's no "The") before the May 28, 2008 release. :p

Friday, November 9, 2007

Bond writers on strike

Variety and The Hollywood Reporter ran a two page ad yesterday with the names of feature writers vowing "Not a Word" during the WGA strike. Among the names are Paul Haggis (Casino Royale, Bond 22), Neal Purvis & Robert Wade (The World Is Not Enough, Die Another Day, Casino Royale), Bruce Feirstein (GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World Is Not Enough), and Michael France (GoldenEye). You'll also find the name of yours truly.

So what the heck is this all about? Check out the video below (and pass it along).



For daily updates on the strike, visit Nikki Finki's Deadline Hollywood Daily and United Hollywood.com.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

"A new start for YOUNG BOND in the states."

Today we have a wonderful exclusive. Young Bond author Charlie Higson has shared his reaction to the just released cover art for the U.S. edition of Double of Die.

“When I started working on the Young Bond series I always pictured slightly retro covers with the feel of 30s adventure stories (something like the Indiana Jones posters) with great illustrations. The British publishers (Puffin) were worried though, that the books would look old-fashioned and scare kids off. I was very pleased with the Puffin covers, and still am, but it’s fantastic to see the new American cover of DOD which has all the romance and atmosphere I imagined when writing the books. DOD is a new start for Young Bond in the states and I’m very excited about its release. I never cease to be amazed at just how good Kev Walker’s illustrations are.” 
- Charlie Higson

Double or Die will be published by Hyperion Books for Children on April 22, 2008. An unabridged U.S. audiobook from Random House is also scheduled for release on the same day.

This post originally appeared on The Young Bond Dossier.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Moneypenny, Felix Leiter in Devil May Care

According to The Bookseller, Sebastian Faulks' Devil May Care will "feature favorite characters Felix Leiter and Miss Moneypenny." This is the first mention of any returning characters in the centenary Bond novel due for release May 28, 2008.

While the return of Felix isn't unusual, it is curious that Miss Moneypenny would be "featured" in a book that is said to be rooted in Fleming. While she did appear in the Fleming books, the characterization of Miss Moneypenny as "love sick secretary" is largely a creation of the films.

Oh course, Samantha Weinberg has taken Miss Moneypenny into all new literary territory in her excellent Moneypenny Diaries trilogy, so...

Fleming books to be republished in hardcover

At today's unveiling of the Devil May Care cover art and marketing plans, Penguin General m.d. Tom Weldon announced a second major piece of James Bond publishing news.

In addition to Devil May Care, Penguin will release on May 28, 2008 all 14 original Ian Fleming novels in new rejacketed hardback editions. The books will be released under the new Penguin 007 imprint and retail for £14.99.

Penguin reveals DMC marketing plans, cover art

The Bookseller reports that Penguin revealed it's marketing plans for Devil May Care to retailers today. Penguin General m.d. Tom Weldon said, "Sebastian [Faulks] has written a tour de force...it is everything we hoped for and a couple of Martinis more."

Penguin has set a UK hardback sales target of 250,000 copies for the new James Bond novel, which is set for release on May 28, 2008, the Centenary of Ian Fleming's birth.

The Bookseller report also mentions that guests were given a glimpse of the Devil May Care cover(!). The cover is said to feature "a single iconic image" and was designed by The Partners branding agency. (A gift bag of Bond goodies goes to the first person who sends me a pic of that cover.)

Author Sebastian Faulks said he aimed to blend the pace of the crime stories with the menace of the spy sagas. "It's a period adventure in which I've tried to capture a playful spirit." Faulks said he had avoided deep psychological portraits: "This is not Bond meets Charlotte Gray... my Bond has no inner life."

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Cover of the Month: Moonraker (1973)

I've decided to launch a fun new regular feature -- the Cover of the Month. On the first of each month I will feature a classic, uncommon, or bizarre bit of James Bond cover art from my personal collection.

We kick off with a cover for Ian Fleming's Moonraker (click image to enlarge). This is a U.S. paperback edition published by Bantam in 1973. What I like about this cover is it gives the 1955 novel a not-so-subtle 1970s makeover. Dig that hair on Bond, the ruffled tux shirt, and the bell bottoms on Drax!

But this is why I collect James Bond paperbacks. I love seeing how the super spy has been repackaged and sold over the years to a new generation of readers. The films have, by in large, remained conservative in their image of 007. But not so with the books, as you will see in the upcoming months.

See you in December with a most unique Thunderball.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Origins of The Authorized Biography of 007

In a terrific interview with author John Pearson in OO7 Magazine Online, Hank Reineke has at long last uncovered the origins of the rather mysterious James Bond continuation novel, James Bond The Authorized Biography of 007.

The biggest surprise is that James Bond The Authorized Biography of 007 was NOT an original idea commissioned by Glidrose Publications (now Ian Fleming Publications). The idea for the book didn’t even originate with author John Pearson.

It was publisher William Armstrong who one day range up Pearson -- who had just scored a success with The Life of Ian Fleming -- and suggested doing “The Life of James Bond” as pseudo biography. At the time, there was a vogue for these types of books, with “nonfiction fiction” bestsellers like The Seven Per Cent Solution, which professed to reveal the "true story" of Sherlock Holmes’ cocaine addiction, and the scandal over Clifford Irving’s bogus Howard Hughes biography (there are some amusing similarities to this in Pearson's book). Armstrong wanted the book to be part of the Sidgwick & Jackson line, a small publisher he was trying to build up. What better way to boost to a new label than with the name of James Bond.

Pearson had a good personal relationship with Peter Janson Smith, Ian Fleming’s agent and director of Glidrose, who gave the project their official blessing. “I think I even paid them a bit. Just to cheer everybody up,” said Pearson. “It wasn’t very much. There was a lot of garbage around at the time.”

The book was originally meant to be a joke -- a spoof biography -- but as Pearson got to work, he took the project more seriously and, in the end, produced what many fans (myself included) consider to be a very fine James Bond continuation novel.

The narrative of James Bond The Authorized Biography of 007 is divided between Pearson’s adventures interviewing the sometimes uncooperative James Bond living in forced "retirement" in Bermuda (in which Bond’s mysterious female companion is revealed to be none other than Honeychild Rider) and Pearson’s own retelling of Bond’s "true" life story. Many of the events Pearson chronicles in the book read like James Bond short stories — and good ones at that! Bond’s mission to Stockholm to kill a former colleague is quite shocking, both in the events and the clean, clipped economy of the writing.

We also get a look at Bond’s failings and the periods between missions: James Bond forced to consider taking a job as a Harrods department store detective during a period of desperate unemployment; James Bond the social dropout living off his looks and wealthy women in island resort communities (Pearson reveals the events of “The Hildebrand Rarity” took place during one of Bond’s beachcomber periods). One of the strongest moments in the book is when Bond, during a period of suspension because of scandal, takes a seat at a Blades gambling table, not to best a villain or win over a woman, but in a last desperate attempt to make a living. All of Bond’s nerve and skills fail him. It’s as if the universe itself rejects a James Bond who is not 007. Excellent stuff!

Because the book enjoyed great success, especially in America, Person said there was “quite a bit of talk" that he should do a sequel. However, Pearson dismissed the idea. “I thought it would be a bit of deja vu and all the rest to it.”

This is a disappointment. In the final chapter, Bill Tanner recalls Bond to active duty, laying out the details of an Australian assignment involving Bond’s old nemesis Irma Bunt. This certainly sets up an intriguing idea for a second Pearson novel. Unfortunately, Bond fans are left to wonder how Bond via Pearson would have handled The Giant Rats of Crumper’s Dick.

A new hardcover reprint of James Bond The Authorized Biography (the "of 007" has been dropped from the title) has been published by Century and can be purchased from Amazon.co.uk. A paperback reprint is coming in May next year.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Bonjour Monsieur Bond

Our friends at the leading French Bond website jamesbond-fr.com have revealed the cover art for a new French edition of Ian Fleming's Live and Let Die. A beauty! (Click to see a larger version on their site.)

The website reports that French publisher Bragelonne is reprinting all the original Ian Fleming novels. Casino Royale was released last year with poster cover art from the 2006 film. This new Live and Let Die will be published on November 22. Moonraker will appear in June 2008.

In other French literary Bond news, Charlie Higson's Young Bond novel Double or Die will be published as Poker fatal by Gallimard on November 15. Watch our sister site The Young Bond Dossier for release news and final cover art.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang #4

The new issue of KISS KISS BANG BANG, the official magazine of The James Bond International Fan Club, is out now.

This new issue includes the latest news on Bond 22, an in-depth look at the Casino Royale premiere, Charlie Higson and Hurricane Gold, the latest on Devil May Care by Sebastian Faulks, and a panel discussion on revitalizing the Bond brand with Daniel Kleinman, David Arnold and Charlie Higson ("James Bond: A Legacy Of Excellence").

There are also product news and reviews, reports on worldwide Bond events, and unpublished photos.

This is a very fine magazine, always up-to-date, and always very generous with its coverage of the literary James Bond. Highly recommend!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

For Your Eyes Only: Ian Fleming & James Bond available for pre-order

The Centenary celebration book For Your Eyes Only: Ian Fleming and James Bond by Ben MacIntyre is now available for pre-order on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.

Published by Bloomsbury Books to coincide with the 2008 Imperial War Museum exhibition of the same name, this is a stand-alone book that looks into the entwined worlds of James Bond and Ian Fleming. The book explores how Fleming’s 007 emerged against the background of the Second World War and the Cold War, and how Bond’s world was based on the realities (and fantasies) of Fleming’s life as a wartime spy-master and peacetime bon viveur.

For Your Eyes Only: Ian Fleming and James Bond will be fully illustrated and runs 270 pages. According to Amazon, the book will be released in the UK on April 7, 2008 and in the U.S. on April 29, 2008.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

New poll

I've revamped our main page poll on which 2008 releases you are most looking forward to. Devil May Care was running away with the results of the last poll (87% and climbing) which made it a pretty uninteresting and somewhat obvious result.

So I've eliminated Devil May Care and now ask which 2008 release besides Devil May Care are you most looking forward to. The new poll also allows you to select multiple answers. So...vote your heart out!

UK release dates for Shark Bait & Paradise Plot

Titan Books has confirmed for us the UK release dates for their next two releases, Shark Bait and The Paradise Plot. (For whatever reason, Amazon.co.uk shows the U.S. release date, which is typically several months after the books actually arrive in UK stores.)

According to Titan, Shark Bait will be available in the UK on January 25, 2008. The Paradise Plot will be released on June 27, 2008.

Thanks Titan.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Devil May Care UK edition available on Amazon

The UK hardcover edition of Sebastian Faulks centenary James Bond novel, Devil May Care, is now available for pre-order on Amazon.co.uk.

Interestingly, Amazon shows the publisher as Vintage instead of Penguin 007 and the page count has shot up from 304 to 320. But Amazon listings can be fluid with their info, so...

Devil May Care will be released on May 28, 2008 in the UK and U.S. The U.S. edition can be pre-ordered HERE.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Final Fling official plot teaser

It appears the information floodgates are starting to open on the big 2008 Bond releases. Over the weekend we got the Hurricane Gold paperback cover art, the SilverFin Graphic Novel has just appeared on Amazon...and now we score the official plot teaser for Samantha Weinberg's concluding chapter in her Moneypenny Diaries trilogy, Final Fling.

(Warning: Contains spoilers for those who have not read the first two novels.)

FINAL FLING combines the excitement of a cold war spy thriller with the mystery of a contemporary detective story. In the 1964/65 volume of her private diaries, Jane Moneypenny reports her demotion from the position of M’s secretary as the British Secret Intelligence Service is hit by a series of defection scandals. Facing considerable personal danger, she combines forces with 007 in a resolve to smoke out the mole she is convinced is buried deep in the heart of the Office. But, when Bond is sacked and M is forced into retirement, Moneypenny finds herself on her own…


Forty-two years later, Miss Moneypenny’s niece and heir, Kate Westbrook, starts to suspect that her aunt’s death was no accident. She is sure the clues to what happened lie in the search for the mole. As she pieces them together, however, she realizes that there are significant forces who are determined to prevent her finding the truth.

From the glamour of 1960s Jamaica to the treacherous beaches of the Outer Hebrides, FINAL FLING reveals just how far people are prepared to go to defend – or betray – their beliefs, and relates the life and death, and surprising final love, of the world’s most famous fictional secretary.

Bond is sacked? M is forced into retirement? Sounds like Final Fling is going to be a substantial (and maybe controversial) contribution to the James Bond continuation canon.

Final Fling is due for release in May 2008 and can be pre-ordered now on Amazon.co.uk.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Titan uncovers The Paradise Plot

CommanderBond.net reports that The Paradise Plot will be Titan Books second release of 2008 (following Shark Bait). The collection will be released on July 15 and can be pre-order now on Amazon.com.

Published in the Daily Star from August 20, 1981, "The Paradise Plot" finds 007 faking his resignation from MI6 in order to infiltrate a Caribbean-based criminal organization that uses a nuclear-powered dirigible to commit stealth attacks.

UPDATE: Titan has confirmed for us that the second story in the collection will be "Deathmask" (there will only be two stories in the collection this time). Published in June 1982, "Deathmask" finds James Bond traveling to Athens and Istanbul trying to stop a madman from unleashing a deadly virus.

Hurricane Gold paperback cover art

The Young Bond Dossier has revealed cover art for the paperback edition of Charlie Higson's fourth Young Bond novel, Hurricane Gold.


This paperback edition will be released in the UK on May 28, 2008, the same day as Sebastian Faulks' Devil May Care. Hurricane Gold was released as a hardcover in the UK in September.

There is yet no release date for Hurricane Gold in the U.S., which doesn't get Book 3, Double or Die, until April '08.

For full coverage of all things Young Bond related, visit our sister site The Young Bond Dossier, now the OFFICIAL source for Young Bond news.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Canada getting own Devil May Care

We have a U.S. hardcover, an audiobook, a large print paperback, and now comes news via Amazon.ca of yet another edition of Sebastian Faulks upcoming Centenary Bond novel Devil May Care -- a Canadian hardcover.

Typically, I'd assume this is just the same book at the already listed U.S. hardcover from Doubleday. However, Amazon shows the publisher as Doubleday Canada and shows a unique ISBN number, meaning it is a different edition. Whether it will sport variant cover art remains to be seen.

This is a first for Canada. In the past, Canadian bookstores have stocked imported UK editions of the Bond novels.

The release date for the Canadian Devil May Care remains the same as all other editions: May 28, 2008.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Faulks used Benson's Bedside Compainion

A terrific profile of Sebastian Faulks published in today's Washinton Post has revealed a few juicy new tidbits about his process of creating Devil May Care.

First off, Faulks reiterated that he "hates thrillers, hates thrilling films, they're just not thrilling." The Post revealed that the idea for Faulks to write the Centenary Bond novel "originated with his agent, Gillen Aitken, who sits on the board of Ian Fleming Publishing."

In preparation, Faulks said that he re-read the Fleming books and studied Fleming's style. "It's a journalist's style: short sentences, a lot of active verbs, no semicolons." On how he researched Bond's character he summed it us as being "Pretty easy, you just read the books."

But perhaps the most interesting revelation is that Faulks named Raymond Benson's The James Bond Bedside Companion as a research tool, especially in regards to the cars of Bond. "You look in the index, under 'car' -- it's not that hard."

Benson, who penned six original James Bond adventures between 1997 and 2002, first broke into the Bond publishing world in 1984 with The James Bond Beside Companion. An updated version of the book was released in 1988. In my opinion, it is still the best Bond reference book, being one of the only books to cover both the literary and cinematic 007.

Well chosen, Mr. Faulks.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Penguin revamps their 007 logo

As it is our stated mission to compulsively bring you ALL the latest James Bond literary news no matter how small or trivial, here is our first exciting SCOOP!

Penguin has revamped their Penguin 007 logo.

(Okay, maybe it's not the most exciting scoop. But we're a day old. What do you want?)

This new logo appeared sometime in the last 12 hours on the official Penguin 007 website counting down to the release of Sebastian Faulks' Centenary Bond novel Devil May Care. And in case you've forgotten what the old logo looked like (or don't believe me), just give a clicksee HERE.

Which logo to you like better? I'm on the fence myself.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A long lost appearance of YOUNG BOND at Eton

Our friend Tanner over at the excellent spy blog Double O Section has uncovered “a long lost appearance” of young James Bond at Eton. But he’s unlike the hero of the Charlie Higson novels. In fact, this “Young Bond” is a bully!

In the 1977 fiction biography of The Avengers hero John Steed (John Steed: An Authorized Biography by Tim Heald), we find this passage:

One factor which seems to have contributed to John's unhappiness at this time was the bullying which was an unfortunate feature of life in the school - or at least in those circles in which Steed moved. The main bully was a boy called Bond, later to achieve a certain notoriety in a career not totally unlike Steed's. Indeed their paths were to cross several times in adult life, seldom with profitable results. Although Bond was only two or so years older than Steed (a fact which will doubtless be disputed by Bond and his cronies) he was a great deal bigger. One of his fetishes was to make smaller boys stir his evening mug of cocoa for him, just as in later life he was to make a laughable affectation out of his insistence on dry martini cocktails being stirred rather than shaken. One day he demanded that Steed perform this service. Steed refused. Bond again insisted. 
'Who the hell do you think you are?' enquired Steed, suggesting at the same time that he should pick on someone his own size. 
'Bond, James Bond,' replied the bully, clearly expecting young Steed to fall grovelling at his feet. 
'Well, Bond,' said Steed evenly,'If you'd like to present yourself behind the Fives Courts by Jordan in half an hour's time I'll show you in the only language you apparently understand, precisely why I have no intention of stirring your rotten cocoa.'

Perhaps Charlie Higson can work in an appearance of John Steed in Young Bond 5 to return the favor?

Head on over to Double O Section to read more about this rare John Steed biography, and for a wealth of information on all things SPY.

Welcome to The Literary 007

Welcome to an all-new James Bond web destination; The Literary 007. Here you will find all the latest news on the literary James Bond, with a particular emphasis on the return of the adult 007 in Sebastian Faulks Centenary Bond novel Devil May Care.

We'll also keep up with what's happening with Charlie Higson's megaselling Young Bond series, Samantha Weinberg's Moneypenny Dairies, reprints of the Fleming originals and the continuation novels of Gardner, Benson, and Pearson, and the latest Titan Books reprints of the classic James Bond Daily Express comic strips. We'll also watch out for any literary tie-in's to Bond 22, and anything else Ian Fleming Publications may have planned for 007.

Even though we are brand new, we've launched the site with an archive already packed with James Bond literary news (courtesy our sister site The Young Bond Dossier). So plunge in and get to know the original Bond, James Bond, here at The Literary 007.

And spread the word!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Faulks talks Devil May Care with NPR

Novelist Sebastian Faulks spoke with NPR about his new novel, Engleby, AND his upcoming Centenary James Bond novel Devil May Care.

Faulks noted that he followed Ian Fleming's own prescription of "How To Write A Thriller" (an article Fleming wrote for SHOW Magazine in 1962) which, according to Faulks, specifies writing 2000 words a day combined with snorkeling, martinis, and having dinner with beautiful women.

It's a good interview, and very funny when Faulks talks about how he is already becoming inextricably associated with James Bond in London literary circles.

CLICK HERE to have a listen at the NPR website.

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