Monday, September 30, 2013

First look at the U.S. edition of SOLO by William Boyd

I don't yet have my hands on a UK edition of Solo, the new James Bond novel by William Boyd, so the good folks at Harper have come to my rescue and sent me the U.S. edition which isn't due out until October 8. Fans love to grouse about how the U.S. editions never measure up to their UK counterparts, but what I have in my hands here is pretty darn nice! The pages are deckle edge (rough cut), end papers are black, the dust-jacket is reflective gold all around, and I love that the OO7 logo is stamped in gold on the spine. That's a first for the U.S.

Gaze below at the U.S. edition of Solo by William Boyd from Harper. Now excuse me. I have a little reading do do.




Sunday, September 29, 2013

Waterstone's SOLO 'Red Page' exclusive

While we wait for word on the mysterious Solo special edition, here's an exclusive that's hiding in plain sight. Waterstone's in the UK have copies of the new James Bond novel by William Boyd with red page edges. The normal trade edition has white pages. Signed copies of these red page exclusives have been edging out their white page counterparts on eBay and fetching a premium. I actually get more excited about things like this because it's a variant and therefore a more desirable version of the First Edition.


Waterstone's has a history of offering "Red" Bond specials. They released a special Red Box edition of Devil May Care limited to 500 copies (which sold out the day of release), and a Bentley Red Edition of Carte Blanche also limited to 500.

So how many of these Solo Red Page editions are there? As Kamal Khan would say, "Let the sport commence!"

LINK: William Boyd interviews James Bond

Don't miss this piece written by William Boyd in The Guardian in which the new James Bond author imagines what it would be like to meet 007 himself. Click the headline to read.

It's 1969, the King's Road is swinging and William Boyd has a lunch rendezvous with the subject of his latest novel, Solo – secret agent, 007.

Solo is available NOW in the UK from Jonathan Cape (Amazon.co.uk). The U.S. edition from HarperCollins will be released on October 8 (Amazon.com).

Friday, September 27, 2013

SOLO's elusive exclusive (Update)

Because so many have asked, I just wanted to let you know that I have indeed heard rumors of a special edition of Solo that will sell for £150. It even briefly appeared on Amazon. However, I have not been able to nail down any details on it. If you are in the UK, you might want to ask about this in any local independent bookshops in your area. In the past Bond exclusives have been limited to independent stores and not wildly advertised online. And if you hear anything, please post in the Comments below.

"I'll never tell."

UPDATE: So this exclusive has finally made an appearance in a handful of bookstores around the UK. The edition is leather bound in a slipcase and limited to 100 signed copies. Many sellers are listing the book on eBay and elsewhere at what I consider an obscene markup. Buyer beware.

Awesome

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Following SOLO 001 - 007 around the world

Credit: Rex Features

At a James Bond-inspired breakfast at London's The Dorchester Hotel yesterday, author William Boyd signed the first 7 copies of his new James Bond novel Solo to be dispatched to seven thrilling cities around the world. Escorted by a BOA flight crew in a convoy of 7 vintage Jensen cars, the books arrived at Heathrow's Terminal 5 and were collected on a red carpet by 7 captains who then jetted off to Amsterdam, Edinburgh, Zurich, Los Angeles, Delhi, Cape Town and Sydney.

Here's what happened on the other end:

Amsterdam

Solo 001 arrived in Amsterdam yesterday at 15.35. On arrival, the book was filmed by Schiphol TV and was picked up by a classic Jensen car. The book will be showcased again on Saturday 28 September as part of a major event at the AKO bookstore in The Hague.

Edinburgh

Solo 002 arrived in Edinburgh yesterday at 17.00 and was collected by Alex McGowan, Executive Director of the Lyceum Theatre, where Will Boyd will be performing on Monday 30 September. Solo 002 will be taken on a tour of the city (including an oyster bar on Princes Street) and then on the night of Will Boyd’s event at the theatre, it will be awarded to one lucky member of the audience as part of a prize draw.

Zurich

Solo 003 arrived in Zurich yesterday at 18.50. It will be transported to Orell Füssli’s ‘The Bookshop’ (the largest English language bookstore) and put under lock and key until just before Christmas when it will be put on display in the window of the store. One lucky person will have the chance to win this special edition for Christmas.

Los Angeles

Solo 004 arrived in LA yesterday at 19.15 and was collected by Ian Fleming’s great nephew, Robert Laycock. Robert will then gift Solo 004 to the Californian-based Ian Fleming Foundation for their archive, along with the HarperCollins edition following Will’s trip to the US.

Delhi

Solo 005 arrived in Delhi this morning at 6.20am where it was picked up by a specially branded auto and taken on a city tour. Sites included the Red Fort, Qutub Minar, and India Gate. Solo 005 will then be handed over to Landmark bookstore for a Bond event and competition.

Cape Town

Solo 006 arrived in Cape Town this morning at 7.55am. As you can see they have the friendliest captain ever! On Friday 27 September, Solo 006 will arrive on set, via motorcycle, of the Express TV breakfast show where CEO of Random House Struik, Steve Connolly, will announce the winner of a week-long competition on air.

Sydney
Solo 007 is currently airborne and on its way to Sydney (it takes 2 days to fly there!). Once it arrives, it will be picked up and taken on a tour of Sydney’s key sites by Booktopia, before being awarded to a lucky competition winner. Photos will be circulated when Solo 007 arrives.

Thanks to our friends at Four Coleman Getty for this awesome update.

Solo is available NOW in the UK from Jonathan Cape (Amazon.co.uk). The U.S. edition from HarperCollins will be released on October 8 (Amazon.com).

OO7 GOES 'SOLO' TODAY!

The new James Bond novel Solo by William Boyd is released today in the UK. The book sees 007 in action in West Africa and Washington D.C. in 1969. Solo is published by the original Bond publisher Jonathan Cape, and is the 51st (by my count) James Bond novel.

Solo by William Boyd
Published by Jonathan Cape on 26 September 2013
Hardback: £18.99
Unabridged audiobook in CD and digital download: RRP £18.99


It is 1969 and James Bond is about to go solo, recklessly motivated by revenge.

Having just celebrated his 45th birthday at The Dorchester, Bond is summoned to headquarters to receive an unusual assignment in Africa. A seasoned veteran of the service, 007 is sent to single-handedly stop a civil war in the small West African nation of Zanzarim. A feverish mission ensues, revealing a twisting conspiracy that extends further than Bond ever imagined.

Aided by a beautiful accomplice and hindered by the local militia, he undergoes a scarring experience which compels him to ignore M’s orders in pursuit of this own brand of justice. Bond’s renegade action leads him to Washington, D.C., where he discovers a web of geopolitical intrigue and witnesses fresh horrors.

Even if Bond succeeds in exacting his revenge, a man with two faces will come to stalk his every waking moment.

Solo combines the glamour and excitement of Ian Fleming’s original novels with the masterful storytelling of William Boyd. A stylish novel with an endlessly surprising plot, a vivid sense of time and place and a deep understanding of human nature, it brings together two of the best in their respective fields, James Bond and William Boyd.

Boyd was first introduced to Fleming’s novels by his father in the sixties. He comments, ‘When Ian Fleming Publications invited me to write the new James Bond novel I didn’t hesitate. I accepted at once - for me the prospect appeared incredibly exciting and stimulating - a once-in-a-lifetime challenge.’

This book sees James Bond returning to Jonathan Cape, Ian Fleming’s original publisher, who published Fleming’s first novel, Casino Royale, sixty years ago. Solo will be published by HarperCollins in Canada and the U.S. on 8 October.

William Boyd Biography

Born in Accra Ghana in 1952, William Boyd was educated at Gordonstoun School and attended the universities of Nice, Glasgow and Jesus College, Oxford. His novels and short stories have garnered many awards, including the Whitbread, the Somerset Maugham Award, the Jonathan Llewellyn Rhys Prize, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, the Prix Jean Monnet and the Costa Novel of the Year. William Boyd is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and an Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. He has been presented with honorary Doctorates in Literature from the Universities of St Andrews, Stirling, Glasgow and Dundee and was awarded the CBE in 2005.

As a screenwriter Boyd has written a number of feature films and television productions including adaptions of his own novels - Stars and Bars (1987), A Good Man in Africa (1993); Armadillo (2001) and Any Human Heart – a four-part drama for Channel 4 in 2010 – which garnered much critical acclaim.

He is married and divides his time between London and the South-West of France.

You can purchase the UK edition of Solo now on Amazon.co.uk  The U.S. edition from HarperCollins will be released on October 8 and can be pre-ordered on Amazon.com.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

SOLO's seven thrilling cities revealed


The launch this morning of Solo, the new James Bond novel by William Boyd, also saw the launch of a unique worldwide promotional stunt. During a James Bond-inspired breakfast at London's The Dorchester Hotel, author William Boyd signed the first 7 copies of the book - Solo 001 to 007 - and handed them off to "ambassadors" of British Airways. Each copy was then transported to Heathrow airport in a convoy of 7 vintage Jensen cars – Bond's car of choice in the new book – driven by their owners, members of the Jensen Owners’ Club.

At Heathrow's Terminal 5 the books were collected on a red carpet in first class departures by 7 captains. Staring today and continuing through tomorrow, Solo 001 - 007 will be flown to 7 thrilling cities with each book encased in a perspex briefcase and strapped into the cockpit for the duration of its flight. On arrival at the destination, the captain of each plane will hand deliver his book into the hands of a dedicated contact.

The 7 destinations from today’s launch were chosen for their connections to the international publication of the book, or their relevance to William Boyd, Ian Fleming and the original Bond books. They are:

Solo 001 – Amsterdam, Netherlands
BA0438. Departs LHR: 13.15; arrives AMS: 15.35

Amsterdam is a major consumer of English language literature and therefore the natural choice of destination for Solo 001 in Europe. Holland–based publisher A.W. Bruna was the first international publisher to take and translate the original Ian Fleming novels in the 1950s; they are still in print today.

Solo will be published by Random House Europe on 26 September.

On arrival in Amsterdam, Solo 001 will be filmed by Schiphol TV as it makes its way through the airport and arrives at the AKO Books & Travel airport store. The book will be showcased again on Saturday 28 September, as part of a major event at the AKO bookstore in The Hague, where it will arrive in a Jensen for a red carpet welcome.

Solo 002 – Edinburgh, Scotland
BA1448. Departs LHR: 15.40; arrives EDI: 17.00

James Bond’s Scottish heritage is well-known. His father, Andrew Bond of Glencoe, is Scottish. On being expelled from Eton, the young Bond attends Edinburgh school Fettes, and it is where he learns some of the fighting skills he will go on to use in his career as a spy: ‘By the time he left, at the early age of seventeen, he had twice fought for the school as a light-weight and had, in addition, founded the first serious judo class at a British public school.’ (You Only Live Twice).

Although William Boyd was born in Ghana, he shares Bond’s Scottish blood and was educated there at Gordonstoun School. Fleming himself had Scottish roots and once mused to a friend that he expected to eventually return to Scotland to live out his last years, ‘something calls you to the neighbourhood of your people’s place. It’s a mystique.’

In Solo, Bond spends a brief spell in Edinburgh, where he celebrates being discharged from hospital with champagne and oysters, smoked salmon and scrambled egg in an oyster bar off Princes Street.

On arrival in Edinburgh, Solo 002 will be collected from the airport by Alex McGowan, Executive Director of the Lyceum Theatre. William Boyd will be talking on Solo at the Lyceum on Monday 30 September. Solo 002 will then be taken on a tour of the locations featured in Solo, including Princes Street, George Street and Waverley station. Then, on the night of Boyd’s Lyceum event, Solo 002 will be awarded to one lucky member of the audience, following a prize draw.

Solo 003 – Zurich, Switzerland
BA0718. Departs LHR: 16.10; arrives ZRH: 18.50

Switzerland has a special significance to James Bond. His mother, Monique Delacroix, was Swiss. In Goldfinger, Zurich is one of the places Auric Goldfinger stores his gold. Solo will be published by Random House Europe on 26 September.

On arrival in Zurich, Solo 003 will be transported to Orell Füssli’s ‘The Bookshop’, the largest English language bookshop on the European continent. There it will be put under lock and key until just before Christmas, when it will be put on display – along with memorabilia from the launch – in the window of the store. This special edition will make a Christmas present to remember for whoever wins the prize.

Solo 004 – Los Angeles, USA
BA0269. Departs LHR: 16.15; arrives LAX: 19.15

‘Welcome to the USA, Mr Fitzjohn’ the immigration officer said, stamping his passport. ‘Business or pleasure? ‘Bit of both’ Bond said.’ Solo by William Boyd.

Filmic Bond has had long associations with Hollywood, but literary Bond also has his own connections with LA. In his non-fiction book, Thrilling Cities, Ian Fleming wrote: ‘Hollywood likes to have first bite at anyone who is ‘new’ and even moderately successful, and at twelve-thirty I was having lunch in the Brown Derby with a producer who wanted to make a fortune out of me in exchange for a glass of water and a crust of bread.’

On arrival in Los Angeles, Solo 004 will be collected from its captain by Robert Laycock, Fleming’s great-nephew, who lives there. Robert will then gift Solo 004 to the California-based Ian Fleming Foundation, along with the US edition of Solo (published by HarperCollins on 8 October), for their archive. The Foundation’s Chairman is Ian Fleming’s former literary agent, Peter Janson-Smith, and its President is Mike VanBlaricum, one of the foremost collectors of ‘Bondiana’ in the world.

Solo 005 – Delhi, India
BA257 . Departs LHR 17.35; arrives DEL: 06.20, 26 September

During the winter of 1944, official war work took Fleming to India. He was conducting a review into the intelligence infrastructure of the newly created British Pacific Fleet, and whilst in the country he found time to visit his brother Peter, who was staying in Delhi.

Solo will be published by Random House India on 26 September.

On arrival in Delhi, Solo 005 will be picked up by a special Solo auto and taken on city tour where it will be photographed at key sites including the Red Fort, Qutub Minar and India Gate. Later, Solo 005 will be handed over to the Landmark bookstore as a competition prize.

Solo 006 – Cape Town, South Africa
BA 059. Departs LHR: 19.30; arrives CPT: 07.55, 26 September

‘As the plane taxied towards the terminal buildings Bond gazed out of the window at Africa, lit by the early morning sun.’ Solo

Half of the action in Solo takes place in Zanzarim, a fictitious African country. William Boyd has long association with the continent and it is perhaps no surprise that he chose to feature Africa in the book.

Solo will be published by Random House Struik on 26 September.

On arrival in South Africa, Solo 006 will be filmed and collected by Expresso TV. On Friday 27 September, Solo 006 will arrive on set, via motorcycle, of the Express TV breakfast show where the CEO of Random House Struik, Steve Connolly, will announce the winner of a week-long competition on air.

Solo 007 – Sydney, Australia
BA 015. Departs LHR: 21.15; arrives SYD: 05.10, 26 September

Ian Fleming travelled to Sydney in the winter of 1944 (following his stopover with Peter Fleming in Delhi). There he met a young lieutenant-commander who was desperate to obtain leave as he was engaged to be married. Ian Fleming duly fixed it for the young man.

Solo will be published by Random House Australia on 26 September.

On arrival in Sydney, Solo 007 will be picked up and taken on a tour of Sydney’s key sites by Booktopia, before being awarded to a lucky competition winner.

Solo will be released by Jonathan Cape in the UK tomorrow and can be purchased at Amazon.co.uk. The U.S. edition from HarperCollins will be released on October 8 and can be pre-ordered on Amazon.com.

William Boyd will take part in his first public event tomorrow evening at the Southbank Centre, as he talks to GQ Literary Editor Olivia Cole about the experience of creating his own James Bond novel and his interest in 007's creator, Ian Fleming.

For more information, visit www.jamesbondsolo.co.uk.


LINK: 'SOLO' LAUNCH AT THE DORCHESTER HOTEL

Credit: Rex Features

Solo, the brand new Bond novel by William Boyd, was launched in style at the Dorchester Hotel on London’s Park Lane this morning. Click the headline to read about the event and an exciting worldwide promotional campaign at Ian Fleming Publications.

Solo will be released by Jonathan Cape in the UK tomorrow and can be purchased at Amazon.co.uk. The U.S. edition from HarperCollins will be released on October 8 and can be pre-ordered on Amazon.com.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

OO7 Goes SOLO (and Underground)

It's Bond Week in London and the official Ian Fleming Facebook page has just shared this photo of a Solo poster in the London Underground. Very nice!

Click to enlarge.

Solo by William Boyd will be released in UK by Jonathan Cape on Thursday (Amazon.co.uk). It's due to be released in the U.S. by HarperCollins on October 8, 2013 (Amazon.com).

WILLIAM BOYD talks Ian Fleming, James Bond, and Solo

Vintage Books has posted to their YouTube channel clips of William Boyd discussing Ian Fleming and his own James Bond novel Solo. So far they've posted 2 of 3 installments which you can enjoy below.





UPDATE: Part 3:


Solo will be released by Jonathan Cape in the UK on Thursday (Amazon.co.uk) and by HarperCollins in the U.S. on October 8, 2013 (Amazon.com).

Saturday, September 21, 2013

James Bond drives a Jensen in SOLO

The promotional machinery in the UK has begun to churn for the release next Thursday of Solo, the new James Bond novel by William Boyd.

The Times has published a feature article about the author along with the first extract from the book. Unfortunately, the online version requires a subscription so I haven't been able to read it. But if you have a Times subscription then CLICK HERE and enjoy your first taste of Boyd's Bond!

One bit of information that has emerged via a report in the Mail Online is that Bond will be driving a Jensen in the new book. The Mail reports:

"Boyd said he felt his style matched the sentiment of the original Bond books - although he accepted that some hard-core 007 fans might be disappointed with his decision to tweak the original writer's style, even having his spy drive a Jensen rather than a Bentley or an Aston Martin."

This hardcore 007 fan is not at all disappointed. I love it when an author changes up Bond's car. (Saab anyone?) And I think a Jensen is an excellent good choice given the period (the book is set in 1969). I'm not sure exactly which make and year Bond's Jensen will be. Below is a 1970 Jensen FF.


Another piece of leaked info:

"Boyd's 007 is in bed with a beautiful woman by page 86 of the novel."

Also approve.

Solo will be released by Jonathan Cape in the UK on September 26, 2013 (Amazon.co.uk) and by HarperCollins in the U.S. on October 8, 2013 (Amazon.com).

UPDATE: Bond's car in Solo is a Jensen FF Mark I:
"Bond felt he was in a low flying plane rather than an automobile as he accelerated the Jensen.... If you needed a car to boost your ego, Bond thought, then the Jensen FF would do the job admirably." - Solo

Thursday, September 19, 2013

JAMES BOND: THE GARDNER YEARS eBook bundle

Orion Books will release all 16 John Gardner James Bond novels in the UK as a Kindle ebook bundle on September 26, 2013. The set is called James Bond: The Gardner Years and according to Ian Fleming Publications will sell for £74.99.

James Bond: The Gardner Years includes: License Renewed (1981), For Special Services (1982), Icebreaker (1983), Role of Honor (1984), Nobody Lives Forever (1986), No Deals, Mr. Bond (1987), Scorpius (1988), Win Lose or Die (1989), Licence To Kill (1989), Brokenclaw (1990), The Man From Barbarossa (1991), Death Is Forever (1992), Never Send Flowers (1993), SeaFire (1994), GoldenEye (1995), COLD (1996).

Buy James Bond: The Gardner Years for Kindle on Amazon.co.uk (UK-based customers only).

All the Gardner Bond novels were recently released as paperbacks by Orion. Visit our special Gardner Renewed page for links to all the Gardner-James Bond reprints in the U.S. and UK.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Here's the back of the SOLO U.S. edition

Amazon.com has a new feature on some of their listings where you can "flip" the cover image around and read the back of the book. Happily, that feature is active on the listing for the U.S. edition of Solo, the new James Bond novel by William Boyd. So here you go! The back:



Solo will be released by HarperCollins in the U.S. on October 8, 2013 (Amazon.com), and by Jonathan Cape in the UK on September 26, 2013 (Amazon.co.uk).

Monday, September 9, 2013

LINK: Field Report: John Cox from 'The Book Bond'


It's my honor to have been interviewed by Tom Cull of Artistic License Renewed, an excellent blog devoted to the literary James Bond and the work of Richard Chopping. Click the headline to have a read.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Is there a new YOUNG BOND author in place?

Our friend Simon over at the CBn Forums has picked up on something interesting while listening to an interview with Charlie Higson on Radio 2 about his new book The Fallen. Here's what Simon says (see what I did there?):

I just heard an interview with Charlie on Radio 2 tonight and Young Bond came up, obviously.

While he was promoting something else due in September he was saying that he had been procrastinating about "polishing someone else's gold" for so long that, "now, I think, they have someone else."

In April of last year Charlie Higson hinted that IFP might continue the Young Bond series with a new author. Could this be an indication that the new author is in place and maybe working on his first book? Might we hear something about the future of Young Bond after the launch of Solo?

Thank you Simon.

Click here to read my five part series on The Secret History of Young James Bond.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Higson does WHO

Charlie Higson, who penned the excellent Young Bond series between 2005 and 2009, has now tackled another iconic English hero, Doctor Who.

Doctor Who: The Beast of Babylon is the ninth instalment in a series of short ebooks celebrating Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary. The book features the Ninth Doctor as played by Christopher Eccleston.

Says Charlie, “I grew up with Doctor Who and have always been a massive fan so it's a great honour to be involved in this anniversary celebration. Russell T Davies did a great job of rebooting the series with Christopher Eccleston so to be able to write the Ninth Doctor story was a great opportunity to say thanks to the Doctor and thanks to Russell.”

Doctor Who: The Beast of Babylon will be released on September 23 and is available for pre-order from Amazon.com (U.S.) and Amazon.co.uk.

Charlie is currently penning a bestselling zombies series: The Enemy (2009), The Dead (2010), The Fear (2011) and The Sacrifice (2012). Might he return for more Young Bond when that series is complete?

If only we had a Tardis.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Spanish SOLO

Here's cover art for the Spanish edition of Solo, the new James Bond novel by William Boyd. This comes from our friend Marcos Kontze, creator and editor of the excellent James Bond Brasil. Very different!


Solo will be released by Jonathan Cape in the UK on September 26, 2013 (Amazon.co.uk) and by HarperCollins in the U.S. on October 8, 2013 (Amazon.com).

Sunday, September 1, 2013

MR. BOND GOES TO WASHINGTON

Washington D.C. in 1969.

Here's a new plot summery for Solo, the new James Bond novel by William Boyd. This appears on the Curtis Brown website and is presumably the copy that will used on the UK edition from Jonathan Cape. It's a little different from the U.S. blurb in that we get the first mention of a Bond Girl and it confirms Washington, D.C. as the USA location.

It is 1969 and James Bond is about to go solo, recklessly motivated by revenge.

A seasoned veteran of the service, 007 is sent to single-handedly stop a civil war in the small West African nation of Zanzarim. Aided by a beautiful accomplice and hindered by the local militia, he undergoes a scarring experience which compels him to ignore M's orders in pursuit of his own brand of justice. Bond's renegade action leads him to Washington, DC, where he discovers a web of geopolitical intrigue and witnesses fresh horrors.

Even if Bond succeeds in exacting his revenge, a man with two faces will come to stalk his ever waking moment.

Solo will be released by Jonathan Cape in the UK on September 26, 2013 (Amazon.co.uk) and by HarperCollins in the U.S. on October 8, 2013 (Amazon.com).

Thanks to The HMSS Weblog.

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