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.


  1. I like the tombstone illustration of NLF very much !

    Pfff...19 US printings for License Renewed ? We only got ... Twos in France


  2. Was Icebreaker not a "New York Times Bestseller" (seems unlikely, but it's the only one that doesn't mention the NYT on the cover), or was that just a quirk of the cover?

  3. Good question. That is odd. I'm sure Icebreaker made the NYT Bestseller list. All the early Gardners charted. Curious.

  4. Maybe the reason Icebreaker doesn't mention the New York Times is that it got a very bad review in that paper? They didn't just give the book a bad review but Gardner himself. Calling him under qualified to be Fleming's heir and just shredding his ability to write.


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