Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Amazon lists 4 more JOHN GARDNER reprints

Amazon.co.uk has listed four more paperback reprints of the John Gardner James Bond novels. Never Send Flowers, SeaFire, GoldenEye, and COLD all show a November 8, 2012 release date (although these dates have been shuffling somewhat). These terrific reprints are being released by Orion Books in the UK.

Only The Man From Barbarossa and Death Is Forever are missing in action.

Watch out our special Gardner Renewed page for links and the latest release date information on all the Gardner-Bond reprints in the U.S. and UK.

Monday, November 28, 2011

U.S. JAMES BOND movie tie-in editions

Okay, here's one I know many have been waiting for -- the U.S. movie tie-in editions and novelizations. It's a Bond literary tradition that goes back to the start of the film series in 1962 that the corresponding Fleming novels would be reissued in new editions that feature the film on the cover in some way. While various publishers took over tie-in duties, I'm treating these as their own "set". They start off straight forward enough, but things start to get tricky as the filmmakers started using short story and original titles. But before I get into the details, here are the paperbacks laid out in all their cinematic splendor.


Signet, who published all the Bond novels in paperback in the U.S., created movie tie-in editions for eight films total. A standout among the Signet tie-in's is You Only Live Twice (1967). For some reason, Signet did not create new cover art with poster imagery, but instead simply added a pink sticker to the cover of their standard paperback edition. Interestingly, you can also find copies of Signet's series Casino Royale with a tie-in sticker, even though they also did a proper tie-in cover with the '67 film.

Bantam, who took over paperback publishing duties from Signet in the '70s, released Diamonds Are Forever (1971) and Live and Let Die (1973) in nice paperback tie-in editions. A hardcover book club edition of Diamonds was also released with this movie cover. Because Signet had retained the rights to the last four Fleming books, they returned to do the official tie-in for The Man With The Golden Gun in 1974 (I believe this cover was the first image I ever saw of the flesh and blood James Bond 007).

Ian Fleming did not want his 10th book, The Spy Who Loved Me, adapted into a film apart from the title, so likewise no tie-in was done. Instead screenwriter Christopher Wood wrote the first "novelization" of a Bond film under the title, James Bond, The Spy Who Loved Me. It was released by one-time Bond publisher Warner Books. The novelization idea appears to have caught on and Wood returned to write a novelization of the next Bond film MOONRAKER (1979). This book was the first to be published by the new Bond publisher, Jove Books, under the title, James Bond and Moonraker.

Tie-in’s returned with 1981's "back to basics" Bond film, For Your Eyes Only. Jove Books released this collection of Fleming short stories as the last book in their paperback series with a banner touting the Roger Moore movie. Marvel also released a mass market paperback of their comic book adaptation. Signet did not do a tie-in for Octopussy (1983), the 13th Bond film. Unsurprisingly, no one went near the legal quagmire that was the unofficial Thunderball remake, Never Say Never Again (1983) with Sean Connery.

New paperback publisher Berkeley would reissue a copy of their colorful For Your Eyes Only series paperback in 1985 with a banner announcing the last Roger Moore Bond film, A View To A Kill -- although some might consider Ballantine's four Fine Your Fate paperbacks as the true tie-ins for that particular film. AVTAK was also novelized, in a fashion, by Judy Alexandrer as The James Bond Storybook of the Movie A View To A Kill (right). The kid friendly book was published by Grosset & Dunlap and the copyrighted page does list Glidrose Publications, so...

When the ball came back to Signet, they again passed on doing any kind of a tie-in for Timothy Dalton's 1987 debut Bond film, The Living Daylights (a title that's part of the Octopussy collection). This is a great shame because a look at a German tie-in edition shows us what could have been.

Novelizations returned with a vengeance for 1989s Licence To Kill (see what I did there?), the first Bond film to carry a non-Fleming title. Official continuation author John Gardner penned the book, which was published by Charter using a combination of movie artwork and the paperback series art that included the somewhat odd cover blurb: "Now a Major Motion Picture" (as if it had ever been anything else?). Licence To Kill would be the only novelization to be published in hardcover in the U.S. Not only is there a hardcover book club edition, but The Mysterious Press in New York published three different hardback editions (four if you include the special 26 "lettered" editions of the maroon cover), although their dust-jacketed edition was created primarily for sale in the UK.

The Mysterious Press Licence To Kill hardcovers

John Gardner came back to novelize Pierce Brosnan’s first Bond film, GoldenEye (1995). Raymond Benson, who took over continuation novel duties in 1997, provided novelizations for Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), The World Is Not Enough (1999), and Die Another Day (2002). All the Brosnan Bond novelizations where published by Boulevard Books.

Daniel Craig's debut Bond film Casino Royale (2006) marked a return to Fleming titles, and also marked the return of the traditional tie-in. Penguin, which had released all the Fleming books as trade editions in 2002 with attractive retro covers, released a new mass market edition of Casino Royale with a cover blurb saying, "Now A Major Motion Picture". For Quantum of Solace (2008), IFP took the unique step of creating a new collection of Ian Fleming short stories under this title. This can be thought of as the ultimate tie-in, although the U.S. edition by Penguin doesn't actually refer to the film at all.

Finally, there are several curious "hybrid" editions that are worth seeking out. As you can see by the photos below, these hybrids features the movie art, but all text referencing the films is stripped away. So far I've seen hybrid editions of Signet's Doctor No, Thunderball, and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

Signet hybrids

So what might IFP and Eon have planned for Skyfall next year? That's open for speculation.

Click here to see the UK James Bond tie-in editions.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

CARTE BLANCHE trade paperback released in UK (?)

Carte Blanche has been released in the UK as a trade paperback by Hodder & Stoughton...at least I think it has.

Amazon shows the released date of November 24, but also shows that it will ship in "2 to 4 weeks." (My own order from The Book Depository has yet to ship.) Also, I've seen no fanfare or adverts for this paperback release, and Amazon lists another paperback with this exact same cover art for release in May (I've been told this is the mass market edition).

It's all a little confusing, and is certainly a contrast to Devil May Care, which received new cover art and a major new ad campaign when it was released in trade paperback in 2009.

The U.S. gets the paperback edition of Carte Blanche in January.

Monday, November 21, 2011

THE SECRET HISTORY OF YOUNG JAMES BOND, PART I

On March 8, 2004, Ian Fleming Publications teased a major announcement on their website. It read:

"We know that many of you are waiting for news of our next publishing project and we’d like to thank you for your ongoing patience. We will be making an announcement shortly, so please keep watching this news page."

James Bond fans were abuzz. The literary 007 had gone into eclipse after Raymond Benson’s The Man With The Red Tattoo and Die Another Day novelization in 2002. Now it appeared new Bond books were on the horizon. But what kind of books would they be?

A month later, IFP revealed the big news:

"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."

Bond fans were mortified.

"Oh dear God!" cried one post on CommanderBond.net, the largest online James Bond fan forum with a highly vocal and opinionated membership. Others joined the pack: "IFP, what are you thinking?" -- "Bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad idea." -- "No Good Will Come of This" -- "The end of James Bond as we know it!"

The fans had reason to be skeptical. This wasn’t the first time James Bond has been aimed at the kids market. In 1967 Glidrose published The Adventures of James Bond Jr. 003, a book that featured James Bond's nephew, and Eon Productions had produced a James Bond Jr. cartoon series in the early 1990s, which included a plethora of tie-in merchandise. Both projects did not find great favor among the public or fans, so the idea of yet another "Junior James" series seemed ill-advised.

The choice of Charlie Higson, a well-known UK comedian and star of the popular The Fast Show, did not necessarily quell fears. True, Higson had written three critically acclaimed adult thrillers and won a James Bond trivia contest on the UK TV quiz show, IQ, but it was unclear of he had the chops to write a James Bond novel, let alone a proper children’s book.

Suspicion about the concept rained even in the popular media as talk show host Jonathan Ross spared with Higson over the concept on his BBC radio show:

ROSS: James Bond for kids?

HIGSON: Yep.

ROSS: Shame on them and shame on you!

HIGSON: No it’s very… it’s proper… cause..

ROSS: James Bond is for grownups!

HIGSON: But it’s James Bond as a kid.

ROSS: No don’t do it Charlie.

HIGSON: I’ve done it.

ROSS: Don’t do it.

HIGSON: It’s a very very good book…

ROSS: Then don’t send it in.


HIGSON: Well it’s done.

ROSS: I don’t want to see James Bond as a boy.

HIGSON: Don’t read it then…
ROSS: …well maybe with you writing it, actually it might work.

HIGSON: No, it does.



Young Bond Begins

The origin of what become known as the Young Bond Series lay in the reorganization of Glidrose into Ian Fleming Publications in the late 1990s. Until then, Glidrose, holder of the James Bond literary copyright, was owned by Booker PLC, a conglomerate that also owned the Agatha Christie estate and was involved in numerous other businesses. About three years into Raymond Benson’s tenure as the official Bond author, the Fleming family bought back the 51% of Glidrose from Booker and changed the name to Ian Fleming Publications (IFP). The new regime oversaw the last few Benson books as they started considering new ideas, including the idea to do a series of James Bond books aimed at the lucrative children’s market.

Charlie Higson
Kate Jones, a talented editor and publisher, played a critical role in the creation of Young Bond and the selection of Charlie Higson as author. Jones had worked with Higson on his four adult thrillers, King of The Ants, Happy Now, Full Whack and Getting Rid of Mr. Kitchen. "I learnt a great deal about pacing and structure from Kate and her suggestions were always very welcome and always improved the books," says Higson. Jones, who had courageously beat cancer in the '90s, developed the relationship between IFP and Penguin, which resulted in fresh reprints of all the Ian Fleming novels in attractive new paperbacks in 2002. She then joined IFP as a consultant and worked with them on their ongoing project to relaunch the literary side of Bond.

Higson recalls, "I was working on a sitcom [Swiss Toni] some time around 2002/2003 when Kate approached me with a top secret project. She explained that IFP wanted to remind the world that Bond had started life on the page, and also what a good writer Fleming was. Alongside a campaign to put Fleming back in the limelight, IFP were looking for respected ‘name’ authors to revamp the literary side of Bond, starting with a new series for younger readers. Kate had come to me because she thought I might be right for the job – although I was only one of a number of different writers she approached (including Anthony Horowitz, who, luckily for me, turned them down)."

Jones explained to Higson that they were looking for an established writer of either children’s books or adult thrillers who was a fan of Bond and Fleming, who understood boys, who was marketable, and would be willing to work within a strict framework. "I guess I ticked enough boxes for them because I got the job," says Higson. "Although at the time the plan was to have a different author write each installment."

Jones laid out IFPs outline of the proposed series to Higson. "I was to stick, as far as possible, to Fleming’s timeline and fit in with any facts presented in the original books. I was to set the series at Eton with a regular cast of characters. Bond was not to be a teenage spy, but he should have an important teacher in his life whose surname began with an M!"

At first there was debate about how much the "James Bond" name should be used in these new books, especially if there was any ambition to spin them off into a film series. It was suggested that maybe Higson could come up with a nickname for Bond that could be used in substitution. But Higson rejected this idea, feeling this boy had to be "James Bond" in name or the series really wouldn’t work. Nevertheless, there remained marketing restrictions on using the James Bond name on the covers, so Young Bond became the official brand name of the series (some foreign publishers, such as Arena Verlag in Germany, used the "James Bond" name regardless).

In his own books, Ian Fleming was vague about about Bond's age, and never gave him a firm birthdate. The Young Bond team decided that Bond would be born in 1920 and the first book would find him in 1933 at the age of 13 (although the final book never actually states this). Respect for Fleming’s original literary canon would be key and a creative control that all would take very seriously. According to Higson,"It was decided very early on that James should very much not be a teenage spy figure; we didn’t want to go down the cheesy Cody Banks/Spy Kids route. We wanted him to be a real boy at a real school." The bible would be Fleming’s obituary of Bond which appeared in You Only Live Twice. In it, Bond’s Eton school days are recounted:

"It must be admitted that his career at Eton was brief and undistinguished and, after only two halves, as a result, it pains me to record, of some alleged trouble with one of the boys' maids, his aunt was requested to remove him." - Ian Fleming, Chapter 21, Obit, You Only Live Twice

Higson started his research at Eton. "The Flemings have a good relationship with the senior librarian there, Michael Meredith, who has incidentally created a fine Ian Fleming archive in the library, including many first editions. I think the college is quite proud of its associations with James Bond." Higson also consulted outside sources. "There is a wealth of material published about Eton, much of which I have read, but the most helpful book was one written by Bernard Fregusson [Eton Portrait, 1937] about what it was like to be a boy at the school in the early thirties."

Higson decided that eels would play a major roll in the book, and not just because they terrified his wife. "I needed a bad animal," he explained in an early interview. "Finding a new dangerous animal for a Bond project is tough. We’ve had all the obvious ones -- octopus, giant squid, tiger, sharks, crocodiles etc. etc. But I wanted something scary that kids could relate to and might actually think they could come across in their own lives. Eels were the obvious choice. But, as eels are fairly benign and would never attack a human, I had to make them mutated eels, which led me to some of the mechanics of the plot."

As with the other continuation novels, the title would be a collaborative/committee decision. "My working title was Out Of Breath," says Higson. "But this was a little too Elmore Leonard. We wanted something that sounded suitably Bondian but wasn’t too specific in it’s meaning. Between IFP, myself, the publishers and everyone else involved we came up with loads of titles – and in the end SilverFin was the one most of us agreed on." It was a title Higson felt perfectly captured the essence of a young James Bond novel. "It’s silver -- not quite gold."

Higson submitted his first draft to Kate Jones, who worked with him on the structure and the essential Flemingesque qualities of the book. IFP then had their read and made a few helpful comments. "For instance," recalls Higson, "my first draft had James with a dog – the family explained that Ian had hated dogs, so the dog bit the dust!"

The manuscript was then submitted to Puffin where it was edited by Rebecca MacNally. Higson points out, "Rebecca was less concerned with the authentic Bond/Fleming elements of the book, she was happy to let IFP worry about that side of things. She was a hugely experienced children’s editor – and let’s not forget that the target audience for these books is ten year old boys – and she just wanted to make sure that SilverFin worked as a novel for kids."

Higson had finished SilverFin before the series was ever announced to the public, and he faced his critics in his first pre-publication interview (with your truly), where he candidly revealing that he was well aware of the negative reaction from fans.

"I look at all the websites and have been following the arguments with great interest," said Higson. "It’s useful to know what people are thinking, though, of course, these books are aimed at a younger readership than the fans who take part in the forums. I fully understand the fans’ reservations and scorn – I’d have felt the same way if I’d heard that someone else was doing this project – but I hope I can prove a few people wrong."

Cover art for SilverFin, featuring an eel motif that IFP planned to use worldwide, was revealed on August 18, 2004. According to Penguin marking officer Justin Renard, "The look established with SilverFin was considered the perfect formula of clean, sharp design that is accented with a silhouette of an iconic creature to represent the darkness inside and imply that this will be no day at the beach."

Also revealed where plans for an ambitious publicity campaign by UK publisher Puffin Books. The "inescapable" £50,000 advertising blitz would include in-store displays, street posters, "invincible" trade advertising, bus-supersides, and a "Young Bond privileged access microsite." Puffin also confirmed that the second Young Bond adventure would be released in November 2005.

The U.S. rights were scoped up by Disney owned Miramax Books, a sale that garnered newspaper headlines. "The Miramax name coupled with the James Bond brand is a powerful combination," stated Miramax topper Harvey Weinsten. "It is an honor to be connected to the Ian Fleming estate and to be involved in one of the world’s most recognizable icons." (However, unforeseen circumstances would prove this partnership to be less than satisfactory, as we shall discover.)

SilverFin hit UK stores as a trade paperback original on March 3, 2005 to strong sales and excellent reviews. Even the most vocal critics had to admit that the book was a respectful of Fleming and successful as a James Bond novel for kids. The eel cover art was given a sparkling treatment on the first edition. In the U.S., SilverFin was released as a hardcover on April 27, 2005.

Talk of a film started almost instantly.

The Guardian reported that that the success of SilverFin "has quickly provoked fierce competition between film-makers" and that companies like Miramax and DreamWorks where making "heavy pitches." The paper also reported British film companies had approached the estate, including Heyday Films, the English company that makes the Harry Potter series for Warner Bros. The tabloid press quickly started speculating who would play the young James Bond, most suggesting (unimaginably) that Daniel Radcliff was a lock for the part. Some reported that a deal was already in place.

However, Corrine Tuner, currently the managing director of IFP, who along with Kate Jones and Zoe Watkins oversaw the creation of Young Bond, responded to the reports; "We are not doing a film deal yet because we are confident that the books can stand alone for a while. Book buyers everywhere keep telling us they would buy the title even if it was nothing to do with a strong brand like Bond, simply because it is so well written."

Charlie Higson would add, "We’ve certainly had a lot if interest from filmmakers. But we want to get the books established first and not rush into making films, otherwise people only know your characters from the films, and they may be different from how they are in the books."

The truth was while many film companies and filmmakers, including Steven Spielberg, did express serious interest in Young Bond, making a deal that didn’t involve Danjaq/Eon Productions -- who own the cinematic rights to 007 -- was complicated. The plan would remain to see the book series a success before films were even explored, and despite occasional flare up in the media (who continued to flog the idea of Daniel Radcliff well into his 20s), the idea of a Young Bond films series remained (and remains) in a state of limbo.

But in 2005, books are what mattered, and while SilverFin silenced the critics, what came next would turn many into die hard fans.

Continue to Part II


Thursday, November 17, 2011

JAMES BOND in the '90s: the complete Coronet set

In 1995 Coronet revamped the James Bond series in the UK with vibrant new covers by David Scutt, Bill Gregory and Paul Robinson. This would be the last set to include Colonel Sun and the only set to include John Gardner and Raymond Benson titles. This series overlapped the end of the Gardner era and the beginning of Benson, so a handful of their first editions received the series treatment, as did two novelizations (kinda).

This Coronet series is notable in that it is the most complete set of James Bond books to date, and maybe the most complete set we'll ever get. Aren't they glorious!


There are a few curiosities in the Coronet set to watch out for. First and foremost are the two editions of Dr. No. According to some fine detective work by Devin Zydel on CommanderBond.net, rejected artwork by Bill Gregory depicting a knife in Honey's (?) hand was "mistakenly" used on the 9th edition only. Copies of Dr. No before and after feature the more common spider art by David Scutt. Not sure why this happened (or even how it could happen), but I personally prefer the knife artwork. This rogue Dr. No is definitely one to seek out (ISBN 0-340-41899-0).*

Coronet curiosities

Another paperback of interest is a 2003 omnibus containing the first three John Gardner books. Even though this was published well after the Coronet series had ended (and IFP were reissuing the books with new covers through Penguin), the book uses the old series logo and artwork from their 1995 For Special Services.

There was also an early plan to release John Gardner's novelization of GoldenEye with this series artwork (the prototype cover featured a bearded Pierce Brosnan). While the final Coronet GoldenEye and Tomorrow Never Dies paperbacks would ultimately sport stand alone cover art, the spines would retain the James Bond Coronet series logo, so they still line up pretty well on the shelf with the other books and could still be considered part of this series. (There are two variations of TND, but I'll get into that when we get into novelizations as a set.)

Finally, for us completists, in 1998 a special Tomorrow Never Dies VHS box set was released in the UK that included a copy of the Raymond Benson Zero Minus Ten paperback from Coronet. The paperback is identical to the retail version, except for the lack of a barcode and ISBN on the back and the inclusion of the words: "Promotional Copy Not For Resale" (right). It's actually noted on the copyright page as being a first edition, so...

On a personal note, I've never been able to locate a copy (at a reasonable price) of Coronet's Win, Lose Or Die for my own collection. I believe it's the only John Gardner paperback that I'm missing. Can anyone help a brother out?

*UPDATE: Stewart Larking, the man who designed all these covers, got in touch with me to share The inside story of the two DR. NO covers.

Also read:

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

IAN FLEMING'S naval jacket to be auctioned Nov 22

A naval jacket worn by James Bond creator Ian Fleming during World War II will be auctioned at Bonhams in London on November 22, 2011. Here is the full description from the Bonhams auction website.

Lot No: 461
FLEMING (IAN)
Naval jacket worn by Fleming during the Dieppe Raid of 1942, whilst he was serving in the Naval Intelligence Division, a double-breasted navy blue jacket with deep red lining, eight buttons, stretched fabric collar and pocket trims; together with the accreditation card of John F.C. Bryce, as a foreign correspondent on the North American Newspaper Alliance, SIGNED BY FLEMING in his capacity as European Vice-President (2) 
Estimate: £5,000 - 7,000, € 5,800 - 8,100

Footnote:
COMMANDER FLEMING'S NAVAL JACKET. At the outbreak of war Ian Fleming joined the Naval Intelligence Division, where he was "quickly promoted from lieutenant to commander. He liaised on behalf of the director of naval intelligence with the other secret services. One of few people given access to Ultra intelligence, he was responsible for the navy's input into anti-German black propaganda" (ODNB). Primarily based at the Admiralty's Room 39, Fleming accompanied the allied troops as an observer on the "Dieppe Raid", an assault on the German held port carried out on 19 August, 1942.

Provenance: Gifted by Ian Fleming to Ivar Bryce, a friend since his school days at Eton. Fleming dedicated Diamonds Are Forever to him and borrowed his middle name (Felix) for James Bond's best friend, CIA agent Felix Leiter. The dust-jacket of Diamonds featured an illustration of a diamond known as "Afghanistan" which belonged to Ivar's third wife Jo Bryce, and many of the local names in the book are based on Bryce's farm in Vermont where Fleming was a regular visitor; Bryce's niece Janet married David Mountbatten, third Marquess of Milford Haven, and the jacket is being sold by his great nephew, Lord Ivar Mountbatten.
Exhibited: For Your Eyes Only: Ian Fleming and James Bond Exhibition, Imperial War Museum, April 2008-March 2009.

The auction also includes two first editions of Casino Royale (Lots 456 & 457). Auction estimates are between £4000 and £8000 per book.


UPDATE/RESULTS: The jacket sold for £13,750 ($21,417). The better condition Casino Royale also sold for £13,750 ($21,417). The other Casino grabbed £4,750 ($7,399).

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Déjá vu, Mr. Bond: The surprising similarities between the continuation novels and the James Bond films


At the recent London press conference announcing the title of the new Bond film, Skyfall, we also learned that the new Bond Girl, played by Bérénice Marlohe, will be named Severin. Sound familiar? It should. Just this year we got a Bond villain named Severan in Jeffery Deaver's continuation Bond novel, Carte Blanche.

Just a coincidence? Could be. But this certainly isn't the first time an idea has mysteriously migrated from a continuation novel into one of the James Bond films. Here's my list of surprising similarities, first published on CBn in 2005, which I've now updated.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Link: James Bond: Born in the trenches

Excellent article in the London Times by Ben MacIntyre about the influence of Ian Fleming's father, a World War I hero, on James Bond 007.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Signet's JAMES BOND paperbacks

Anyone who has ever gone in search of second-hand copies of Ian Fleming's James Bond books in the U.S. knows that the paperbacks released by Signet in the 1960s dominate the shelves of used bookstores. These mass produced books are how most Americans came to know James Bond 007. But before Signet unleashed their familiar paperback series, they released earlier editions with terrific covers that are now highly collectible.

I've laid out the Signets here in the unusual order of their original U.S. release, not in chronological order of the books themselves. (The first four titles had already been released as pulps by Popular Library and Perma Books in the 1950s.) Signet's From Russia With Love, Doctor No, Goldfinger and For Your Eyes Only are the true first U.S. paperback printings, although Moonraker and Casino Royale are the first paperbacks to be published in the U.S. under their correct titles.

You'll note that Diamonds Are Forever came late (in November 1961), and was the first Signet to sport the new series look. While copies of DAF with this cover art are among the legion of Signets that you can easily find out there, to find one that is a noted as a first edition on the copyright page is very tricky indeed. In fact, a first Signet Diamonds Are Forever might be one of the hardest of all the James Bond paperbacks to locate.



Starting in 1962, Signet re-released all the titles with series artwork that matched Diamonds Are Forever. Elements from the early Signet covers would find their way onto the new series covers, notably Goldfinger. The true paperback first editions of Thunderball and The Spy Who Loved Me, published in 1962 and 1963, would also sport series covers.



Starting with On Her Majesty's Secret Service in 1964, Signet would return to doing original covers for the remaining Bond paperbacks as they were released (Signet's parent company, NAL, was now publishing the hardcovers). But the books would maintain a consistant size and font style on their spines, so they still fit in nicely with the other titles (and would later be included in box sets of all the books).

Signet would hold onto the rights of these last four books until the 2000s, which is why the Bantam, Jove, and Berkley series never went beyond The Spy Who Loved Me. Signet also produced several movie tie-in editions and some curious hybrids, but I will tackle those as a set another day.



Signet U.S. paperback publication order:

From Russia with Love - Sept. 1958
Doctor No - June 1959
Live and Let Die - Oct. 1959
Casino Royale - Feb. 1960
Goldfinger - June 1960
Moonraker - Oct. 1960
For Your Eyes Only - June 1961
Diamonds are Forever - (series cover) - Nov. 1961
Thunderball - Signet - (series cover) - May 1962
The Spy Who Loved Me - (series cover) - April 1963
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service - Aug. 1964
You Only Live Twice - July 1965
The Man with the Golden Gun - July 1966
Octopussy - July 1967

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Limited John Gardner THE JAMES BOND COLLECTION box set released in UK


The John Gardner JAMES BOND COLLECTION box set from Orion Books has been released in the UK. Limited to an initial print run of 200, the set contains the new hardcover reprints of Gardner's first five 007 novels: Licence Renewed, For Special Services, Icebreaker, Role of Honour, and Nobody Lives For Ever. The books all feature their original UK cover art.

The set is currently 44% off at Amazon.co.uk, bringing the price down from £80.00 to £44.80.

Visit our special Gardner Renewed page for information and links for all the current and upcoming John Gardner-James Bond reprints in the UK and U.S.

The John Gardner James Bond Box Set features the original UK cover art (above).

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Spy novel pulled for plagiarizing Fleming and Gardner

The L.A. Times reports that the new spy novel, Assassin of Secrets by Q.R. Markham, was pulled today after publisher Mulholland Books, an imprint of Little, Brown, said it discovered that numerous passages where "lifted from a variety of classic and contemporary spy novels", including the James Bond novels by Ian Fleming and John Gardner.

In a statement, Michael Pietsch, executive vice president and publisher of Little, Brown and Co., said: "Upon investigation, it was clear the passages in question were lifted, and Little, Brown determined that the only course of action was to immediately recall books from retailers across the country."

While the publisher did not say how they discovered the plagiarism, some of the detective work appears to belong to the crew over at the CommanderBond.net forums, who spotted several passages in the book that where lifted directly from John Gardner's Licence Renewed and Nobody Lives Forever.

Even the author's name, Q.R. Markham, appears to be lifted from a Bond novel. "Robert Markham" was the pseudonym used by Kingsley Amis for his continuation Bond novel, Colonel Sun.

Simon Gardner, son of the late John Gardner, wrote today on Facebook:

"I do hope the exposure of this act of plagiarism will act as a lesson to others that think they might try to dupe publishers and the public alike. Whether the authors are alive or dead, there are enough fans of popular fiction to come down fast and hard on anyone who tries to rip off their favourite authors. That is the power of fans and I salute and thank you all on behalf of John Edmund Gardner."

Now I think we need to find out who is hiding behind the name Q.R. Markham?

UPDATE: According to publishers Marketplace news director Sarah Weinman, Q.R. Markham is really Quentin Rowan, a co-owner of Spoonbill & Sugartown in Williamsburg. The blog Reluctant Habits (which posted his photo below) reveals that he also plagiarized some of Raymond Benson's Bond work.

"Q.R. Markham" aka Quentin Rowan

Monday, November 7, 2011

BBC Radio revives Fleming's 007 in JUNK BOND

Friends out of England are telling me that last weekend BBC Radio 4 aired a four and a half minute Bond parody called Junk Bond as their "Book at Breakfast."

The segment featured 007 being briefed by M on the current EU financial crisis, of which Bond is blissfully unaware.

The piece was written in the style of Ian Fleming "by a famous but secret author" and read by Goldfinger's Bond Girl, Shirley Eaton (right).

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Bantam's BOND

Well, the last series I featured here, the Jove paperbacks, received a drubbing in the comments, with several of my UK friends complaining (justifiably) that they were far too "American" in their look and design. So to redeem the USA, here is another U.S. series -- which I'd say is just as "American" in look and vibe -- but one that I find pretty darn terrific! In fact, as far as cover paintings go, this might actually be one of the very best paperback series of them all, and it's a shame Bantam only did a handful of the books in this style.

Bantam first entered the Bond game in May 1969 when it published the paperback edition of Colonel Sun by Kingsley Amis. The book featured original cover art by the great Frank C. McCarthy, who in conjunction with Robert McGinnis painted the classic Bond movie posters for Thunderball, You Only Live Twice, and On Her Majesty's Secret Service.

Then, starting in May 1971, Bantam released more Bond titles with McCarthy artwork, including Casino Royale, From Russia With Love, and Doctor No. The new series featured a bold JAMES BOND down the side and a tag-line touting the books a "All-Time" Bestsellers. Bantam would also reissue Colonel Sun with the new series look (this is a rare one), and finished off the year with a tie-in edition of Diamonds are Forever featuring movie poster art.



Bantam came back in June 1972 with a new edition of Goldfinger featuring McCarthy artwork that offered a rare glimpse of nudity. While they kept the "All-Time" tag, they didn't continue the series look, but instead established a new visual link -- first established on their Diamonds Are Forever tie-in -- of featuring the 007 movie logo on the backs of the books. In March 1973 they released Moonraker with the 007 logo backing and the same font as their DAF tie-in, but with very different "mod" cover art by an uncredited artist (which I still love as representative of its time). Perhaps had they continued the series we would have gotten more mod Bond covers like this?


Bantam concluded their run with a Live and Let Die tie-in released in July 1973. Ironically, this one would not feature the 007 movie logo on the back.

Speaking of movie art, elements of McCarthy's Colonel Sun artwork would later find their way onto the Thai poster for Never Say Never Again (1983).

Bantam's two movie tie-in editions.

Bantam U.S. paperback publication order:

Colonel Sun - May 1969
Casino Royale - May 1971
From Russia With Love - May 1971
Doctor No - July 1971
Colonel Sun (series art reissue) - ?
Diamond Are Forever (movie tie-in) - December 1971
Goldfinger - June 1972
Moonraker - March 1973
Live And Let Die (movie tie-in) - July 1973

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Bantam's COLONEL

Here's a look at the first U.S. paperback edition of Colonel Sun by Kingsley Amis. The book was published by Bantam in May 1969. What makes this cover notable is the artwork is by the great Frank C. McCarthy, who in conjunction with Robert McGinnis painted the classic Bond movie posters for ThunderballYou Only Live Twice, and On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Always loved this cover.


Tomorrow I'll take a look back at Bantam's other McCarthy-Bond covers.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Ralph Fiennes: "I like the books even more than the films."


IFC.com has an exclusive interview with Ralph Fiennes who was not part of the official Skyfall press conference yesterday. As you can see from the quote above, he's a fan of the book Bond, just like us. But the real mystery is who does he play in Skyfall? A man with a cat, perhaps? (That's the hot rumor.) Click the headline to have a read at IFC.com.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Will the next Bond novel be SKYFALL?


Eon Productions held a press conference in London today and confirmed that the title of the next James Bond film, due for release in October 2012, is SKYFALL. This is the first time since 2002's Die Another Day that a non-Fleming title has been used for a Bond film.

So why is this exciting for us here at The Book Bond? Because if Ian Fleming Publications follows their established pattern, this means we could get a novelization of SKYFALL next year.

With the exception of the two Christopher Wood novelizations in the 1970s, the rule has been that IFP reissues tie-in reprints of the original book when the filmmakers use a Fleming title (Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace), but commission a full novelization when they use an original title (The World Is Not Enough, Die Another Day).

So if we are to get a SKYFALL novelization, the real mystery is who will write it? Since 1989 the authors of the novelizations have been the reigning continuation novelist. However, as we saw with Devil May Care and Carte Blanche, IFP is currently contracting authors one book at a time. So who might they turn to for SKYFALL? A past continuation author like Raymond Benson or Charlie Higson? Or will we get an entirely new author?

This will, of course, be something we will stay on top of here at The Book Bond. But here's hoping that next year James Bond will be back -- on the written page -- in SKYFALL!

(My two cents on what was revealed today: The title is decent, but I can't say I'm a huge fan of the plot description. I think we've had WAY too much M in these movies lately, now it's all about M. And, of course, this time it's personal...again. Excited about China though.)

UPDATE: OFFICIAL: NO 'SKYFALL' NOVELIZATION (DANG IT)

TITLE CONFIRMED

The title of the next James Bond film, due for release in October 2012, has been confirmed as Cold Fall. I mean SkyFall! (Man, that just keeps happening, doesn't it?)

Locations are London, Scotland, Turkey and China. The Bond Girl names are Severin and Eve, played by Bérénice Marlohe and Naomie Harris. No word on the name of the villain, who will be played by Javier Bardem. The official plot description reads:

"In SKYFALL, Bond's loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her. As MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost."

You can read the full press release here.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

JOHN GARDNER UK paperbacks release dates shuffle

According to Amazon, the release dates for the John Gardner UK paperback reprints from Orion have shuffled.

The good news is Brokenclaw and Licence To Kill, which had been listed as coming out in 2013, have been pulled forward to November 8, 2012. The bad news is Icebreaker has been pushed to May 10, 2012. Licence Renewed and For Special Services will now be the only books released on February 2, 2012.

There are still no announced release dates for the last six books.

I have a feeling this won't be the last shuffle, so to keep up with all the changing release dates, keep a watch on our Gardner Renewed page.

UPDATE: Looks like they've shuffled again. Not going to report on every move -- I will just keep my Gardner Renewed page updated.

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