Sunday, July 31, 2011

Pre-order the CARTE BLANCHE U.S. paperback

The U.S. mass market paperback of Carte Blanche by Jeffery Deaver is now available for pre-order at The paperback will be released by Pocket Star on April 17, 2012. Cover art is not yet available.

No word on when we can expect the UK paperback edition of Carte Blanche, unless this unusual listing for a hardcover on Sept 1, 2011 is, in reality, the paperback (when it first appeared back in March this listing did say paperback).

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

CARTE BLANCHE Large Print Edition released

A large print edition of Jeffery Deaver's new James Bond novel Carte Blanche is released today by Thorndike Press. The enlarged print make this edition come in at a whopping 699 pages.

What I like about collecting large print editions is they sometimes sport wildly different cover art. Many of the John Gardner books were released in large print with very interesting cover designs (check out this edition of Nobody Lives Forever).

However, it appears from the photo on the Thorndike Press website that Carte Blanche uses the U.S. cover art with only a blurb tagging it as a "Large Print Edition." The large print edition of Devil May Care also used the standard U.S. art, so maybe the days of variant large print covers are over. *Sigh.*

The large print edition of Carte Blanche by Jeffery Deaver can be purchased at

Thursday, July 21, 2011

COLONEL SUN, the first continuation

Here's the original cover art for the very first James Bond continuation novel, Colonel Sun (1968) by Kingsley Amis writing under the pen name of Robert Markham. The cover art is by Tom Adams and is pretty freaky, but effective. Both the UK and U.S. editions used this artwork. The art extends around the book and includes a melting Walther PPK (you can see the full image at Tom Adams Uncovered).

Colonel Sun UK first edition

Colonel Sun find James Bond in action in Greece after M is kidnapped from his home in London. While the book wasn't all that received in its day, many Bond fans have come to deify it as the best James Bond continuation novel. I can't say that's an opinion I share (I might actually hand that honor to John Gardner's Icebreaker, having just re-read it), but I enjoy Colonel Sun. In fact, I'd say it's time for a reprint.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Titan omnibus for 2012 to feature post-Fleming stories

Titan Book will release their third omnibus collection of the classic James Bond comic strips, The James Bond Omnibus Volume 003, on March 27, 2012.

This time the collection moves into the post Fleming era with the Daily Express' adaptation of the first continuation novel, Colonel Sun (the description touts this a "Kingley Amis' controversial post-Fleming story"), and several original strip stories by Jim Lawrence: The Harpies, River of Death, The Golden Ghost, Fear Face, Double Jeopardy, and Starfire.

The James Bond Omnibus Volume 003 can be pre-ordered now on and

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Wiki update says Lee Child will be 2012 Bond author

It looks like the speculation on who's going to write the next Bond novel officially kicks off today with an errant update on Wikipedia that says Lee Child will be the next author to pick up the 007 pen.

An eagle-eyed fan on the CBn forums spotted this addition to the Jack Reacher Wiki page:

"The schedule for the Reacher series - previously one-per-year - was stepped up with 61 HOURS/WORTH DYING FOR both released in 2010. This was done in order to make room for Child penning the next James Bond novel for Ian Fleming Publications in 2012."

Cool news if true, but let's not get too excited. Doing a little digging reveals this update was added on June 19 by an anonymous user who sourced the Ian Fleming Publications website which, of course, says nothing about this. No new author or book has yet to be announced.

So while we should probably discount this one (for now), Child would be a terrific choice, and IFP has shown interest in him in the past. Child was one of the authors approached for the Centenary novel in 2008 (read why he turned it down here).

Thanks to Peaceful and Jay Tee for the tip.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Deaver could send Bond to Australia in Book 2

Maybe he was just playing to the local crowd, but the Herald Sun reports that Bond author Jeffery Deaver told an audience in Melbourne, Australia -- where he is currently on tour promoting Carte Blanche -- that he might send Bond Down Under if he writes another Bond novel.

"He could shoot a few bad guys in Melbourne quite easily," said the author. "And find many attractive Bond girls here." Deaver said he was drawn to the city's culture and aesthetics, describing it as a "very attractive place to be."

Of course, Deaver has stated that he needs to return to his other series' before considering a second Bond. But should he do a Carte Blanche follow-up, Australia really would be an ideal location. As was the case with South Africa, the country has been largely overlooked in the Bond universe.

Raymond Benson sent Bond briefly to the Australian Outback in Zero Minus Ten (as well as in his a role-playing game, Back of Beyond). John Pearson sends Bond off to Australia at the end of his James Bond The Authorized Biography. Unfortunately, he never did a follow-up book that, presumably, would have shown us this mission (said to involve Irma Bunt).

The films have ignored Australia completely.

Deaver also had praise for the only Australian Bond, George Lazenby (On Her Majesty's Secret Service), saying he was "very underrated". He also thinks Guy Pierce could be the next Aussie 007. "The original artist's conception of Bond looks very much like Pierce; he's a dead ringer."

Deaver's Australian book tour continues through Monday. He'll then travel to New Zealand for a special event on Thursday.

Friday, July 15, 2011

CARTE BLANCHE U.S. paperback eyeing April 2012

According to the Simon & Schuster website, the Carte Blanche U.S. mass market paperback will be released "on or around" April 17, 2012 under their Pocket Star imprint. There's no cover art yet.

Carte Blanche is currently #16 on The New York Times list of Bestsellers.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The last JOHN GARDNER reprints

With the first three John Gardner James Bond books set to be reprinted in the U.S. by Pegasus in October, I thought I'd pull out these editions from my collection. These four paperbacks from Berkley were the last reprinting of the John Gardner books in the United States. They appeared in bookstores for a nanosecond in 1991. Note how they tie-in with what was then the latest Gardner releases, Win Lose or Die (1989) and Brokenclaw (1990). I believe they are probably the rarest of the John Gardner paperbacks, at least in the U.S. The cover art was very different from their first paperback printings, and were designed to match the paperback editions of the later books.

The elusive 1991 John Gardner paperback reprints

For Licence Renewed, this marked it's 19th printing. For Special Services and Icebreaker were both 5th printings. Role of Honor does not show a printing number, but its the fourth paperback version of this book on my shelf.

Nobody Lives Forever, No Deals, Mr. Bond, and Scorpius were also reissued around the same time (NLF and NDMB in 1990 and Scorpius in '91), but the cover art was basically the same as their first edition paperbacks with un-raised lettering and new blurbs touting their New York Times Bestseller status and the newer books.

1990-91 reprints

Yes, it's been a long time since Mr. Gardner's Bond has graced the shelves of U.S. bookstores. Here's looking forward to October.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Deaver's model for James Bond

Jeffery Deaver tells the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that, just like Ian Fleming, songwriter Hoagy Carmichael was his visual model for James Bond in his novel, Carte Blanche.

"I printed out a picture from Wikipedia and put it up near my computer," Deaver says. "He's looking at the camera and not smiling, but he's a handsome man. Dark hair in a kind of Brylcreem style from the '20s and '30s. He has rather piercing eyes and looks kind of mysterious. Pictures can lie, and I know nothing about his personality, but that was the image I used."

Deaver isn't the first to find inspiration from Fleming's visual model for 007. Mike Grell's 1989 graphic novel, Permission To Die, drew Bond as Carmichael (pic here). Also, when Daniel Craig was rumored to be in the running as James Bond, IGN commented on his similarity to Carmichael which I covered in an article on CBn. This comparison was later picked up by the press and, I believe, even mentioned by Craig himself.

Read Deaver reconstructs the history of iconic British superspy 007 at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Saturday, July 9, 2011


“But James, you never told me. You mean your real biography? Isn’t that just what I always said that they should do? I mean those books of Ian’s were ridiculous. I never will be able to forgive him for the way he described me in that dreadful book of his.”
                                                                              - Honeychild Rider

(Contains minor spoilers)
U.S. hardcover
Think you've read all the James Bond continuation novels? There's one you might have missed. While most Bond fans are familiar with the continuation novels by Amis, Gardner, Benson, Higson, Faulks, and now Deaver, few are familiar with the one-shot continuation novel, James Bond: The Authorized Biography of 007, written by Ian Fleming biographer John Pearson in 1973.

An “authorized biography” you ask? Authorized by whom? James Bond? Incredibly, yes!

Maybe it was the success of such 1970s “nonfiction fiction” bestsellers like The Seven Per Cent Solution (which professed to reveal the “truth” about Sherlock Holmes’ cocaine addiction) and Clifford Irving’s bogus Howard Hughes biography (there are some amusing similarities) that inspired this most unusual approach to Bond. Or if you’d rather believe the premise of the book, it is the true story of the real James Bond, secret agent and colleague of Ian Fleming, who gave a one-time interview to John Pearson while on leave in Bermuda in 1973. Pearson’s straight-faced presentation of how he came to meet the real 007 is the first highlight of many in this excellent and very worthy James Bond novel. I mean biography. I mean…well, just read on.

According to Pearson, after he finished his biography of Fleming, he received a strange letter from an elderly woman — an acquaintance of Fleming’s from Switzerland — telling him that James Bond is, in fact, a real person. As evidence she includes a photograph of Fleming with an intense-looking, athletic young man who she claims is 007 himself. Unfortunately, the woman dies before Pearson can interview her. Intrigued, Pearson does some research and discovers the name of James Bond on the Eton registry and in the ranks of the Royal Navy. Could the letter be right? Confirmation of sorts then comes from a shadowy government official, who warns Pearson to stop his investigation immediately. When the author doesn’t, another branch of the British government requests an audience — the British Secret Service!

Behind the closed doors of Universal Exports, all is revealed to the nervous author. James Bond 007 is, indeed, a real person who is currently in Bermuda on permanent sick leave. Instead of continuing the cover-up (which is becoming increasing difficult with 007′s growing “fame”), SIS figures it will reveal the whole truth in an “authorized biography.” Just as Bond is handed his passport to exotic adventure in the “grey building overlooking Regents Park,” so is author Pearson dispatched on this most delicate mission — interview James Bond and write his life story.

Pearson’s first meeting with 007 in a Bermuda hotel room is riveting:

“So this was Bond, this figure in the shadows. Until this moment I had taken it for granted that I knew him, as one does with any familiar character in what one thought was fiction. I had been picturing him as some sort of superman. The reality was different. There was something guarded and withdrawn about him. I felt that I was seeing an intriguing, unfamiliar face half-hidden by an image I could not forget.
It was a strong face, certainly – the eyes pale-grey and very cold, the mouth wide and hard; he didn’t smile. In some was I was reminded of Fleming’s own description of the man. The famous scar ran down the left cheek like a fault in the terrain between the jaw-line and the corner of the eye. The dark hair, grey streaked now, still fell in the authentic comma over the forehead. But there was something the descriptions of James Bond had not prepared me for – the air of tension which surrounded him. He had the look of someone who had suffered and who was wary of the pain’s return. Even Sir William seemed to be treating him with care as he introduced us. We shook hands.”

UK hardcover
What follows is a terrific narrative that intercuts between Pearson’s adventures interviewing the sometimes uncooperative James Bond in Bermuda (in which Bond’s mysterious female companion is revealed to be none other than Honeychild Rider) and Pearson’s own retelling of Bond’s life story. Many of the events Pearson chronicles in this 317-page book read like James Bond short stories — and good ones at that! We get tales of Bond’s youth, his early missions, and even his wartime adventures, something fans have been clamoring for. Some of the stories have a bite that rivals Fleming. Bond’s mission to Stockholm to kill a former colleague is quite shocking, both in the events and the clean, clipped economy of the writing. Having mined movie ideas from many of the continuation novels by other authors, Eon Productions might be well advised to get their hands on Pearson. A villain who keeps his lair in an abandon zoo in Budapest? Not bad.

We also get looks at Bond’s failings and the periods between missions: James Bond forced to consider taking a job as a Harrods department store detective during a period of desperate unemployment; James Bond the social dropout living off his looks and wealthy women in island resort communities (Pearson reveals the events of The Hildebrand Rarity took place during one of Bond’s beachcomber periods). One of the strongest moments in the book is when Bond, during a period of suspension because of scandal, takes a seat at a Blades gambling table, not to best a villain or win over a woman, but in a last desperate attempt to make a living. All of Bond’s nerve and skills fail him. It’s as if the universe itself rejects a James Bond who is not 007.

Character-wise, Pearson presents a James Bond shaped by tragedy, starting with the death of his parents in the oft-mentioned climbing accident (the surprising details revealed here) and continuing on with several chapter-ending shockers. Pearson gets to the roots of Bond’s darkness, revealing a man who is subtly turned into a hired killer by a series of dubious mentors, ending with M. The book even explains how Bond got his famous scar (I won’t spoil it, but suffice it to say, James Bond’s face scar is a visible representation of a permanent scar within).

U.S. paperback
M himself gets a revisionist treatment in this book which may rub some Bond fans the wrong way. The chapter “The Truth About M” gets a bit bizarre and should maybe have been cut, but perhaps it worked in the 1970s as political commentary on the vices and corruptibility of aging authority figures. Ian Fleming is also a character in the story, a strange mirror image that Bond both admires and despises. It is Fleming who sends Commander Bond out on his first wartime mission (revealed to be a quite ill-advised mission at that), and it is Fleming who suggests the idea of the James Bond novels.

The premise of the book is strained a bit in the last third (abruptly sectioned off with its own heading titled “The Man and the Myth”) in which Bond recalls how the famous novels were a plot concocted by Fleming — and endorsed by M — to convince Bond’s enemies in SMERSH that 007 was a work of fiction. But wouldn’t the recounting of real events — such as the encounter at the Royale-les-Eaux — negate this? Also, the sudden appearance of the more fantastical characters of the Fleming novels don’t seem to belong in the same universe as the more realistic Pearson adventures.

Still, the “conspiracy” approach to the novels origins puts an interesting spin on things, and it’s amusing how Pearson explains that Moonraker was a pure work of fiction, concocted by Fleming and Bond to further confuse and frustrate the Russians. Also clever is how Pearson reveals that the reason James Bond is specifically targeted in From Russia With Love is to “out” the fictional character to the world. Ultimately, the Russians give up. Outing James Bond would only confirm their own many failings, so on the issue of 007, the Russians and the British reach a détente. The real James Bond must remain top secret.

UK paperback
It’s a delightful game Pearson gets to play in this book — using fiction, posing as nonfiction, to explain how famous works of fiction where, in fact, nonfiction. (Did you get all that?) The entire book is an exercise in misinformation, a twisting-and-turning spy experience for the reader. But maybe that’s why this book has been lost to time. Exactly WHAT this book is is a bit confusing for the casual reader. Again, it reminds one of The Seven Per Cent Solution, but that novel had the benefit of the tagline “The story is true. Only the facts have been made up.”

The book ends before Bond can recall the events of Colonel Sun (although the book is mentioned) as 007 is suddenly called back into active service. In the final chapter, Bill Tanner lays out the details of an Australian assignment involving Bond’s old nemesis Irma Bunt, setting up what would have been a terrific second Pearson novel. Unfortunately, this second novel never materialized; and Bond fans are left to wonder how James Bond handled “The Giant Rats of Crumper’s Dick.”

Publication history

James Bond: The Authorized Biography of 007 was not published under the traditional Jonathan Cape banner, but through Sidgwick & Jackson. The U.K. dust jacket is notable in that it uses the cinematic 007 logo on its first edition (Danjaq would later object to the use of the 007 logo on the U.K. paperback edition of John Gardner’s License Renewed, forcing a redesign).

William Morrow & Co, New York, published the first U.S. edition. The dust jacket features a James Bond silhouette that looks remarkably like Pierce Brosnan (and this in 1973?). There were apparently two 1985 hardcover reprints, one by Granada in the UK and the other by HarperCollins in the U.S., but I’ve yet to see these editions.

When it came time for a paperback, James Bond: The Authorized Biography of 007 was published in the UK as a part of Pan Books terrific still life series. In the U.S., the paperback publisher was Pyramid Books. In 1986 Grafton reprinted the book in the UK and Grove Press reprinted it in the U.S. Both covers were less than inspired and not in sync with the current Bond series, only adding to this book’s oddball outsider statutes.

The 2007 hardcover and 2008 paperback editions

James Bond: The Authorized Biography of 007 was most recently reprinted in hardcover in 2007 and paperback in 2008. These editions used the shortened UK title, James Bond The Authorized Biography, and have become fairly scarce in their own right. Now with the excitement of new adult continuation novels, as well as the release of the John Gardner classics, the book has once again slipped back under the radar. But just as author Pearson had to seek out the truth of his subject in 1973, so too must a Bond fan seek out Pearson’s discoveries in 2011.

It’s well worth the search.

Link: Bond with Jeffery Deaver in New Zealand

Attention New Zealand residents. Purchase your copy of Carte Blanche from Whitcoulls or Borders and enter to win the chance to Bond with Deaver at an exclusive cocktail hour. Click on the headline for the entry application and details. Good luck!

Friday, July 8, 2011

This weekend...

This weekend I'm going to offer a look back at James Bond The Authorized Biography of 007 by John Pearson. This will be a slightly updated version of an article I first published on CBn in 2004. I like to call this least-known James Bond continuation novel, THE BEST BOND NOVEL YOU'VE NEVER READ.

Watch for it this weekend on The Book Bond.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


Orion Books have released the next two hardcover reprints of the classic John Gardner James Bond title, Role of Honor (first published in 1984) and Nobody Lives Forever (1986). The books each feature their beautiful original cover art (above).

Today also sees the release of the License Renewed audiobook.

Simon Gardner says, "My father, John Edmund Gardner, was extremely proud to have been asked to take on the role of Bond continuation novelist, and if he were alive today he would be overjoyed to see his Bond novels back in print for a new generation of fans to enjoy."

Orion will release a Box Set of all five hardcover reprints in November, and then ALL the John Gardner James Bond novels in paperback with all-new cover art throughout 2012 and 2013. For the full release timeline, visit our special Gardner Renewed page.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Deaver going Down Under

Carte Blanche author Jeffery Deaver's Australia book tour appearances have been announced on his official website:

Thursday July 14, 2011, Brisbane, Australia
Dymocks on Albert, Brisbane
12:00pm, Free
Venue: In-store Signing, 177 Albert St
Bookings/ Enquiries: (07) 3007 2800 or

Thursday July 14, 2011, Perth, Australia CANCELLED
The West Australian Events Program & Dymocks Present Jeffery Deaver
Venue: Burswood Entertainment Complex, 7.00pm - 10:00pm
Tickets: Three course dinner with beverages $140 or dinner and book $163 (incl GST.) Tables of 8 available.
Bookings: 9482 3820 or

Friday July 15, 2011, Melbourne, Australia
Dymocks Melbourne
Information: 03 9660 8500 or
Venue: In-store, Dymocks Melbourne, 234 Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000

Monday July 18, 2011, Sydney, Australia
Dymocks & Sydney Morning Herald Literary Lunch
Venue: Four Seasons Hotel, 191 George Street Sydney
Cost: $70 members SMH Dymocks Events, $85 non-members. Includes a two course meal and all beverages.
Bookings/ Enquiries: Phone (02) 9449 4366

Monday, July 4, 2011


Over the past few weeks I've been gathering the various reviews I've written over the years from my old Young Bond website, CBn, and Amazon, and relocating them here under a common tag: BOOK BOND REVIEW.

So if you'd like to revisit reviews of the Young Bond novels, a Moneypenny Diary, a few Benson titles, and even my review of the film Casino Royale (it was a book adaptation, afterall), just click on the BOOK BOND REVEW tag and enjoy.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Brosnan the bearded Bond

Here's a wild Bond cover you've never seen. Because it was never actually used. This is a prototype cover for the UK paperback edition of John Gardner's GoldenEye novelization (from my own collection). The photo used here was Pierce Brosnan's first publicity shot as 007. At the time, he was filming Robinson Crusoe, hence the beard and long hair. Pretty cool, eh? Ironically, Brosnan would end his tenure as Bond sporting a very similar look in Die Another Day.

One thing I really like about this cover is the fact that it fits in with the James Bond series design of the time. When the novelization was finally released in November 1995, the final cover was not in this style. That's also a very early version of the GoldenEye logo.

Link: The CARTE BLANCHE cocktail

Summer Fruit Cup has the recipe for "the Carte Blanche cocktail" as described in the new Bond novel by Jeffery Deaver. Just click the headline above to get the mix. Bottoms up!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Christopher Wood hardcovers

Recently there has been discussion on the CBn forums about these two books, so I thought I'd post them here for those that have never seen them (or even knew that they existed). What you see here are UK hardcover editions of the two novelizations of the Roger Moore classics, The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and Moonraker (1979). These were written by screenwriter Christopher Wood, and actually carry variant titles, James Bond, the Spy Who Love Me and James Bond and Moonraker -- probably to differentiate them from the original Fleming books.

While these were also released as tie-in paperbacks with movie poster art, Jonathan Cape published these now exceedingly rare hardcover editions with moody jacket art by Bill Botten, who would later do artwork for John Gardner's For Special Services and Icebreaker. What's nice is the books themselves are the same size as the Fleming hardcovers (and Colonel Sun), so they look terrific on the shelf.

They are also darn good books.

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