Saturday, April 28, 2007

Young Bond Series II - The Fettes Years?

Here’s a little Saturday speculation for you. We all know the Young Bond series is planned for five books, ending in James’ expulsion from Eton in the summer of 1934. Now with Book 4, Hurricane Gold, coming out this year, it looks like the series may be concluding sooner than we thought.

So what’s next? Will Ian Fleming Publications really walk away from Young Bond and focus exclusively on adult Bond novels? Or can the Young Bond brand continue? And if so, what would a Young Bond Series II look like?

Charlie based his Young Bond series on the information contained within 007’s official obituary in Ian Fleming’s You Only Live Twice. Returning to the source, we see the obit actually contains far more information on his following years at Edinburgh's Fettes College (his father’s school) than about his brief stay at Eton:

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. She managed to obtain his transfer to Fettes, his father’s old school. Here the atmosphere was somewhat Calvinistic, and both academic and athletic standards were rigorous. Nevertheless, though inclined to be solitary by nature, he established some firm friendships among the traditionally famous athletic circles, at the school. 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.

- Ian Fleming You Only Live Twice, Chapter 21, Obit

If Charlie Higson can conjure five 300+ page novels from “brief and undistinguished,” imagine what he (or another author) could do with famous athletic circles, light-weight boxing, and judo! Also, we know what happened to Bond in Paris at the age of 16 (if you don’t, read the Fleming short story From A View To A Kill).

I think a Young Bond Series II - The Fettes Years is a very real possibility and one that holds great potential -- just as I think a World War II set “Commander Bond” series would be a winner. But I’ll save that for another Saturday.

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