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.

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