Wednesday, April 29, 2009

YB companion book gets new release date and not-so-short story

We have a few updates on the new Young Bond companion book, Danger Society: The Young Bond Dossier.

First up, the release date has been pulled forward to October 29, 2009. The book had been announced as a November release.

Next, it appears the original short story by Charlie Higson contained in the book will be quite lengthy. The Young Bond Dossier reports that the story will actually be the longest James Bond short story yet written, beating out Ian Fleming's For Your Eyes Only. The story will be previewed in the upcoming paperback edition of By Royal Command.

Danger Society: The Young Bond Dossier will be published by Puffin Books in the UK.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

'Casino Royale' is a Popular Penguin reports that Ian Fleming’s first James Bond novel, Casino Royale, will be reprinted as a Popular Penguin paperback this June.

The Popular Penguin series was created to celebrate the publisher’s literary legacy. Each book in the series is adorned with artwork that recreates the style of the publisher’s earliest reprints.

Casino Royale is one of 50 classic Penguin titles to be reprinted in the second wave of the Popular Penguin series. Fleming joins other celebrated authors including Ernest Hemingway, Roald Dahl, Anthony Burgess, Raymond Chandler, F Scott Fitzgerald and Truman Capote.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

LINK: The best Bond car ever

"James Bond is back in a Saab Turbo."

Say what?

That's right. When James Bond returned in 1980 in the first John Gardner novel License Renewed, the author gave 007 a "fuel efficient" Saab Turbo 900. The car was nicknamed "the Silver Beast" and it appeared in the next two books, For Special Services and Icebreaker. Most younger fans now balk at the idea of James Bond driving such a "common" car, but for my money the Saab was the greatest Bond spy car of them all precisely because it was a common car. But oh the secrets it hid under its hood.


Monday, April 20, 2009

New Young Bond story preview in BRC paperback

The Young Bond Dossier reports that Puffin’s paperback edition of By Royal Command, due for release in the UK on May 28, will contain a preview extract of the all-new Young Bond story by Charlie Higson.

The story will be published in the new Young Bond companion book, Danger Society: The Young Bond Dossier, due for release in October. The title is being kept Top Secret.

By Royal Command can be pre-ordered now at

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Richie Fahey exhibition in Miami

The work of artist Richie Fahey is on show at Miami's Harold Golen Gallery from April 11 to May 2. Fahey created the spectacular "retro" Bond covers for the 2002 Penguin reissues, as well as the art for the 2006 US edition of Quantum of Solace.

CLICK HERE to read an interview with Fahey at

Friday, April 17, 2009

When John met Cubby...

The excellent fansite ("Home of James Bond's brother from Langley") has a terrific tribute to Cubby Broccoli to celebrate the Centenary of his birth. Webmaster Chris Wright has invited Bond fans and notables to write about the famous Bond producer, and among the contributors is Simon Gardner, son of Bond author John Gardner.

Simon relates a hitherto untold story about his father's meeting with Cubby Broccoli in 1989:

In 1989, my family had ‘upped sticks’ and moved to the USA. Dad had always wanted to live in the States. I had joined them, and was living and working in Charlottesville, Virginia. To be honest, I am not sure what year the phone call came inviting my Father to meet with Cubby Broccoli in L.A. From the invitation, it would seem that there was possible interest in buying the movie rights to some of my Father’s Bond novels. Arrangements were made and my Dad flew to Los Angeles to meet with Mr. Broccoli. No actual day of meeting was confirmed, and my father was to be given further details once he arrived in LA.

CLICK ON OVER to to read the full account of when John met Cubby.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Young Bond companion book announced

In the tradition of Kingsley Amis' The James Bond Dossier, Puffin Books has announced they will released a Young Bond companion book in November of this year.

Danger Society: The Young Bond Dossier is the complete and definitive guide to the world and adventures of Young Bond. Packed with information – from in-depth character profiles to the cars, the weapons and the exotic locations, plus facts, statistics, photographs, maps, and illustrations by Kev Walker – this book is both a must-have for Young Bond fans and a perfect introduction to the megaselling series.

The book will also feature a brand-new Young Bond short story by Charlie Higson which will be previewed in Puffin's upcoming By Royal Command paperback.

Source: The Young Bond Dossier

Monday, April 13, 2009

'The Blofeld Trilogy' reports that Penguin Classics will release The Blofeld Trilogy on October 1, 2009.

This new omnibus will include the Ian Fleming novels Thunderball, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and You Only Live Twice -- all of which feature 007’s arch-nemesis Ernst Stavro Blofeld. The book will also feature an introduction by Nick Lezard.

The Blofeld Trilogy paperback will retail for £14.99 and is available to pre-order from

Sunday, April 12, 2009

France gets 'Devil May Care' paperback first

The paperback edition of Devil May Care by Sebastian Faulks has been released in France by J'ai lu.

This beats the US and UK paperback releases by more than a month.

Translation is by Pierre Menard. The book can be purchased now at

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Final revised artwork for May 28 paperbacks

Final revised artwork for two major UK paperback releases have been revealed by publisher Penguin.

Sebastain Faulks' Devil May Care has received a make-over with a rearrangement of the cover text and a subtle change in model Tuuli Shipster's expression (click here to view the original version).

Charlie Higson's fifth Young Bond novel, By Royal Command, has received a minor change in that its tagline, "James Bond, For King and Country", is now split top and bottom with the title logo.

Both books are set for release in the UK on May 28.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Charlie Higson wants to scare the living daylights out of you

With the Young Bond series complete (for now) in the UK, what's next for author Charlie Higson? The Young Bond Dossier has the answer: He wants to "scare the living daylights" out of the children of Britain.

The website has scored the first promo cover art and teaser for Charlie's all-new horror series for Puffin, The Enemy.

They’ll chase you. They’ll rip you open. They’ll feed on you...

When the sickness came, every parent, policeman, politician – every adult – fell ill. The lucky ones died. The others are crazed, confused and hungry. Only children under fourteen remain, and they’re fighting to survive. Now there are rumours of a safe place to hide. And so a gang of children begin their quest across London, where all through the city – down alleyways, in deserted houses, underground – the grown-ups lie in wait. But can they make it there – alive?
The Enemy will be published by Puffin (UK) and Disney-Hyperion (U.S.) in September 2009. The UK edition can be pre-ordered now at You can sign up for news updates at

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

'Hurricane Gold' released in the U.S.

Charlie Higson's fourth Young Bond novel, Hurricane Gold, is released today in the U.S. by Disney Hyperion. The book is a hardcover with dust jacket artwork by Kev Walker (who also illustrated the SilverFin Graphic Novel).

Hurricane Gold -- which was first released in the UK in 2007 -- finds young James battling gangsters in the jungles of Mexico. Says author Charlie Higson, “I’ve always loved Mexico and wanted to write something about Mexico. I love the food and the music and growing up on all those cheesy westerns and 1930s thrillers that are set there. So it was just quite fun for me. ... I made sure it’s fairly non-stop action from the beginning.”

Read the full Charlie Higson/Hurricane Gold interview HERE.

The final Young Bond novel, By Royal Command, will be released in the U.S. in May 2010.

Young Bond in Mexico

Charlie Higson's fourth Young Bond novel, Hurricane Gold, is released today in the U.S. by Disney Hyperion. The book is a hardcover with dust jacket artwork by Kev Walker (who also illustrated the SilverFin Graphic Novel).

Hurricane Gold -- which was first released in the UK in 2007 -- finds young James battling gangsters in the jungles of Mexico. Says author Charlie Higson, “I’ve always loved Mexico and wanted to write something about Mexico. I love the food and the music and growing up on all those cheesy westerns and 1930s thrillers that are set there. So it was just quite fun for me. ... I made sure it’s fairly non-stop action from the beginning.”

Read the full Charlie Higson/Hurricane Gold interview HERE.

The final Young Bond novel, By Royal Command, will be released in the U.S. in May 2010.

Monday, April 6, 2009

In the eye of Hurricane Gold

On Tuesday, April 7, James Bond returns to the USA in Charlie Higson’s fourth Young Bond novel, Hurricane Gold. What follows is an excerpt from our interview with Charlie on the eve of the book’s UK release.

TBB: Hurricane Gold is set entirely in Mexico, which is a great choice because James Bond has never been to Mexico.

CH: I was actually torn between Mexico and North Africa as a location. But then I read somewhere that Fleming was never keen on North Africa and always dismissed it as a location for Bond. I don’t know what his objections were but he didn’t like the idea of North Africa. So I thought well, Mexico. And then I can start in Mexico and end up in the Caribbean. Geographically it makes sense. I thought I really had to have something in the books of the Caribbean because it was such a big deal for Fleming. And I’ve always loved Mexico and wanted to write something about Mexico. I love the food and the music and growing up on all those cheesy westerns and 1930s thrillers that are set there. So it was just quite fun for me.

TBB: Unless it’s a surprise, can you tell us what the title Hurricane Gold refers to?

CH: Well, as with all the other titles, it came very late in the day after many, many different titles. In fact, my working title for the book was “Lagrimas Negras”, which was very quickly rejected by the publishers as being incomprehensible to English readers. As I said, we went through lots of titles. There was originally in the book a big sequence that was set in a gold mine. But I changed that because I felt in Blood Fever we’d kind of done the silver mine thing. So in the end I changed it to an abandoned oil field, which there were a lot of in the 1930s in Mexico. There was a big oil boom there.

But the publishers had got very excited about the idea of gold. And obviously there was a lot of stuff about the Mayans and Mayan gold in the book. And they said “we’d love to have gold in the title somewhere” because they were working on this concept of making a gold book (ED NOTE: The all-gold edition of Hurricane Gold was released by Puffin in the UK). These days, you’ve got to think about marketing even as you’re writing the book. And there is a hurricane early on in the book. So those were the two themes. Then I was kind of knocking around and I thought “Hurricane Gold” actually sounds quite good. It’s quite a nice combination for a title. So I suggested that to them and they jumped at it, at which point, as with SilverFin, I had to go back and work it into the book a bit.

But I did—I came up with an ancient Mayan saying, which I created, which is the concept of “hurricane gold”, which is a great treasure which if you hang on to it, it will destroy you and all your family and bring your house down about your head. And that’s kind of the theme of the book is this secret that everybody’s fighting to get hold of which is destroying anybody who does get hold of it. So if you read to the end of the book the title does makes sense. And I quite like when you do get a kind of theme or something you can think up, even after you’ve written maybe the first or second draft, and then you can go back and work it in. It gives an extra dimension to the book.

TBB: I know you test your books out on your boys as you write them. What’s their reaction to Hurricane Gold and do they have a favorite Young Bond novel? Or maybe a favorite gruesome death?

CH: (Laughs) They like all the deaths. Yes. I mean, actually funny enough, the bit that still really sticks in their mind—certainly with the two youngest ones, because they were very young when they read it—is the opening sequence of SilverFin with the eels and the mutant man in the loch, which does seem to freak out quite a lot of kids, that chapter, which is kind of nice. No, they don’t have a favorite particularly. And yeah, luckily they did really like the new one. I made sure it’s fairly non-stop action from the beginning. It’s a kind of… not exactly a roller-coaster ride, but the central image—theme—of the book is this rat run, a homage, if you like, to Doctor No and his… I don’t know how he describes it, but his kind of “corridor of pain” that James Bond has to work his way through. The guy who runs this island has his own equivalent. It’s much bigger and more elaborate.

TBB: Is that the Avenue Of Death?

CH: It’s the Avenue Of Death, yes, which is a series of passages with traps and dangers you have to work your way through. And so to a certain extent the whole book is structured like that when James starts off, and he’s got to work his way through these series of disasters and problems, and eventually he arrives at the island and then he has to do the whole thing again in miniature in the Avenue Of Death. So I did make sure that it was pretty rollicking action from the beginning so my kids don’t get bored. Because I remember when I was reading Blood Fever to them, we were about halfway through, and one of them said to me: “Dad, when’s the story going to start?” And I was thinking, “What are you talking about? We’re halfway through the book. It’s been nothing but plot.” But what they actually meant was, “When’s there going to be another fight?” As far as they’re concerned, that’s what story is. It’s a lot of fighting—loosely separated with a bit of talking and some scene-setting. So I kind of felt, Let’s start the story on page one in Hurricane Gold and then push it through. So it’s a good reaction. Jim, my twelve-year-old, said a really nice thing to me. When I finished it, he was silent for a moment, and then he said, “Oh, I wish I could have adventures like James Bond.” And that’s exactly the response I want to have from kids—just think “What a great adventure! Wouldn’t that be fun to do!” So luckily, yeah, they do still enjoy the books. I have made sure that there’re a lot of very grisly and gruesome deaths in the book that will stick in a child’s mind.

TBB: The girl in the book is named Precious Stone, which I think is a dynamite name. How do you come up with a Bond Girl name that’s outrageous but not Austin Powers parody?

CH: It’s very tricky, and I’ve noticed on the websites it does kick up a storm of discussion about “Is this a crap name or not?” I don’t know. Any of the Fleming names you could have put them down on paper, if you’d never read the book and knew nothing about Bond, and said “This girl is called ‘that’”, you’d think “Well, I’m not sure about that as a name”. But once you read the book and you accept it and she becomes a character then you buy into it. I think if in the process of the book the character works and the girl becomes interesting, you can, if you want, call her anything you like. But, yeah, it’s hard to think of those names. Especially as I can’t do anything sexual—which Fleming was fond of—because of who I’m writing for.

Actually in the first draft of the book she wasn’t called Precious, she was called Amaryllis Stone. I like the name Amaryllis and, obviously, there was a Fleming connection. A cousin, I think she was a cello player, who is alluded to in From A View To A Kill rather cheekily by Fleming. So yeah, there is a member of the Fleming family called Amaryllis and I just thought it was a great name to use. But the character in the book starts as a real bitch, a real nasty piece of work. Spoilt. But as she goes through these adventures with James—they’re kind of thrown together—she toughens up and you realize that underneath it all, she’s quite tough. By the end, the two of them are, taking on the world together.

But IFP were a little worried. They thought, “Well, you know, she does start a slightly unpleasant character. Might it upset the family?” So, I wasn’t totally wedded to the name, so I thought, “Well, I’ll try and think of another name.” And she already had the surname of “Stone” so I thought “Well, actually, Precious Stone is quite a good name, and it’s quite good for the character, this kind of southern belle who lives with her father who absolutely dotes on, and so he’s called her “Precious” and she’s lived up to her name. I think it’s the kind of thing that by the end of the book hopefully you sort of forget what she’s called and just accept the character on the page. And actually, I’m not sure if in the book it’s ever spelled out as “Precious Stone”. She’s always called “Precious”. I think maybe it’s mentioned toward the end what her name is. But we know she’s called “Precious”, and her surname is “Stone”. But she’s always referred to as “Precious” rather than as “Precious Stone”.

TBB: I think it’s a great name, and Precious wasn’t an uncommon name in the ’30s…

CH: No. Exactly.

TBB: The character of Jack Stone, the World War I ace? Is he based on anything in real life?

CH: Nothing specific, no. In fact, when I started, he wasn’t a World War I flying ace, he was a kind of oil magnate. But in the writing of it, I wanted to slightly change where he was coming from. There’s quite a lot of themes in the book about what happens to heroes when they’re not needed anymore, and it became quite interesting in terms of the whole sort of myth of Bond—you know, how someone in wartime can be a great hero, doing great things, and then if you do those same things in peacetime… because in wartime to be a hero, you’ve got to kill a lot of people. So this is someone who was a big star, big hero, did all the kind of air shows after the war and all that sort of barn-storming stuff and then is quietly forgotten by the world and his money disappears. So he has to… well, you’re going to have to read to find out what happens to him.

But there’s a lot of discussion about “What is a hero?” and what happens when a country doesn’t need its heroes any more and forgets about them. I read quite a lot about the air aces. Most of them were killed before they were about 20. They were about 18 or 19 year olds when they were air aces.

TBB: A very interesting character for James Bond to encounter…

CH: He is—and as the book goes on one realizes that Jack Stone is not all that he seems. And there’s a lot of stuff about the relationship between Precious and her dad, and, of course, James Bond not having a father, he’s sort of jealous, I suppose, in a way, of her relationship with her father.


Hurricane Gold will be released by Disney-Hyperion on April 7 and can be pre-ordered now on

Award winning portrait of Charlie Higson by Anton Artemenkov is used with permission. 

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Find Your Fate with James Bond

In 1985, as a tie-in with the 14th James Bond film, A View To A Kill, Ballantine Books published four James Bond "Find Your Fate" adventures. The first three books, Win, Place, or Die by R.L. Stine, Strike It Deadly by Barbara & Scott Siegel, and Programmed For Danger by Jean M. Favors, used characters from the film with expanded locations and situations. The final book, Barracuda Run by Steven Otfinoski, was an original Bond adventure set in Tahiti.

Perhaps the best thing about these books is the fantastic cover art.

Friday, April 3, 2009

The winner is Devil May Care!

Sebastian Faulks' Devil May Care has won the Sainsbury's Popular Fiction Award as part of the Galaxy British Book Awards, 2009 ("the Oscars of the Book World").

The awards took place this evening (3rd April) at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London. Sebastian Faulks arrived in a Bentley with Devil May Care jacket model Tuuli Shipster. In his acceptance speech, Faulks proposed to share his prize with Sadie Jones, whose novel The Outcast was also shortlisted.

“You really should have given it to Sadie,” he said. “She invented her main character. I only borrowed mine.”

Other winners included US President Barack Obama who won the Tesco Biography of the Year for his memoir of his youth, Dreams From My Father.

The awards will be broadcast on UKTV channel Watch on Sunday.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

James Bond is back

Okay, our last story was obviously an April Fools joke; and even though it looks like this is another, this oddity is on the level. The current artwork on for the U.S. mass market paperback edition of Devil May Care now shows the cover without a title!

While the cover appears to have lost its title, it did pick up the 007 circle logo. Perhaps the addition of this logo is why the publishers sent Amazon revised art. But they forgot something, didn't they? Well, their mistake is our gain, as this is kind of cool to see.

Devil May Care will be released as a mass market and trade paperback on May 19.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Meet "Q'ute"

The fine James Bond fansite Dr. Shatterhand's Botanical Gardens has scored a major scoop! It's appears the next James Bond film, codenamed Bond 23, will reboot the charcater of Q as "Q'ute", the female gadget master from the John Gardner James Bond novels.

The website reports that supergirl actress Laura Vandervoort has been offered the role of Dr. Ann Reilly (aka "Q'ute"). MGM publicity manager, Walter Stern says, "She will be one of the new additions to the already rebooted Bond series and sexual tension and innuendos will abound."

"Q'ute" first appeared in the bestselling 1981 James Bond novel License Renewed by John Gardner. She became a standard recurring character in the 14 novels that followed. Considering the success of Judi Dench's M, movie audiences are sure to embrace a female Q!

Happy April 1st.

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