Sunday, October 30, 2011

CARTE BLANCHE released in Japan

Carte Blanche by Jeffery Deaver is released this month in Japan. The Japanese edition of this latest James Bond novel runs 456 pages with a translation by Makiko Ikeda.

Purchase at

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The IAN FLEMING "still life" series

Over the past few weeks I've been taking a look back at the various paperback editions of the original Ian Fleming James Bond novels. Of course, the series that many Bond fans covet is the "still life" series from Pan Books, first released in the UK around 1972.

Certainly these are the most ambitious covers from an art director's perspective, assembling meaningful items from the pages of the books (not movies) in a wonderful montage. The artwork actually wraps around to the back of the books. A bonus is that this set includes the first paperback edition of James Bond The Authorized Biography of 007 by John Pearson. Because Pan published a movie tie-in edition of Live and Let Die in 1973, that title did not receive the "still life" treatment.

Thanks to Brian A. Dixon at the CBn Forums for help pinpointing the release date of this series.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Guinness Book of World Records names JOHN GARDNER "most prolific Bond author"

Here's a nice treat for us John Gardner fans. The 2012 Guinness Book of World Records has recognized John as the "most prolific Bond author." The entry can be found under the book's "Mythconceptions" section, pointing out that Gardner produced 14 Bond novels and two screenplay adaptations as opposed to creator Ian Fleming's 12 novels and two short story collections.

The news actually came as a surprise to John's son, Simon Gardner, who posted on the CBn forums, "Had to smile today when I discovered my late much loved father has been included in the 2012 edition of the Guinness Book Of World Records. Way To Go Dad, Bloody Marvelous. Wish you were alive to see this."

This honor comes on the heels of the reprinting of all of John Gardner's James Bond books in the U.S. and UK (check out Gardner Renewed). What a year it's been for JEG!

Thanks to Brian Smith at Bond and Beyond for sharing this discovery, and to Simon Gardner for the link.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

GIRLS ON GUNS - Ian Fleming in the 1970s

"I don't go for those paperback books with pictures of girls sitting on large guns, or even astride them."
- Q'ute to James Bond in Licence Renewed.
Last week I took a look back at the U.S. Ian Fleming paperbacks from the 1980s. Now, for my friends in the UK, here is a set of Fleming paperbacks from the 1970s, the "girls on guns" series, which seem to be the paperbacks that many UK fans most remember. Q'ute may not be a fan, but I certainly am!

These paperbacks were the first to be released by Triad/Panther, which took over the Bond paperback license from Pan Books in 1977. The first book released appears to have been Doctor No in 1977, and the last was Moonraker in 1982 (possibly delayed so it wouldn't be confused with Triad's James Bond and Moonraker novelization released in 1979). This set also includes the first continuation novel, Colonel Sun, by Kingsley Amis, which wouldn't see publication again until 1997. There is also a six title Box Set, which is now very hard to find.

These books would continue to be reissued until 1987 when Coronet would take over publication of the UK paperbacks.

Thanks to Luke Freeman for pointing out that terrific quote from John Gardner's Licence Renewed. As these were the books on store shelves when Gardner penned his first continuation novels, there's no doubt he was making an inside joke here.

For more on the history of these covers, check out Graham Rye's terrific article "Girls 'n' Guns? - must be James Bond!" in OO7 Magazine #42 from December 2003.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Fleming in the '80s and the case of the curious Casino

With the rebirth of the literary James Bond in 1981 with John Gardner's License Renewed, the time was right to refresh the original Ian Fleming series in the USA. (Previous Fleming paperbacks had sported the attractive but somewhat dated cover paintings by Barnett Plotkin.) What we got were these ten paperbacks from Berkley with cover art in the same series style as the Gardner books (the rights to the final four books were still held by Signet). These new paperbacks rolled out between May and August 1982 and would be reprinted until 1987. Later editions would carry the Charter publishing brand (the photos below are all Charter editions).

There are a few things to note if you're looking to collect this series. First, the odd book out was definitely Moonraker, which for some reason didn't make its appearance until August 1984. Why it was delayed I have no idea. I bought all these back in the day so I've never had to do a search for them, but I suspect Moonraker might be the hardest of these to find today, especially in its first Berkley edition.

Also, there are at least three cover variations of For Your Eyes Only. The first is the regular Berkley edition published in August 1982. Then there is the 1985 movie tie-in edition with a notation below the title saying it features the short story "From A View To A Kill", as well as a cover band promoting the Roger Moore Bond film, A View To A Kill. The later Charter edition would drop the movie band, but keep the "From A View To A Kill" short story notation (that edition is pictured above).

And then there is the case of the curious Casino Royale (left), dated October 1986. You'll note that it is different from the regular Casino, sporting a yellow cover and the 007 silhouette from the License Renewed paperback. It also has no price or publisher information. That's because this particular Casino Royale was given away as a promotional freebie with the purchase of the U.S. hardcover edition of John Gardner's No Deals, Mr. Bond (1987).

Of course, no set of these can be considered complete without this unique Casino giveaway. The good news is this book has not really become a hard-to-find collectible (despite what I thought at the time). I'm surprised how many I see on used bookstore shelves and on eBay.

These covers would stand throughout the '90s, which was the first decade to not see a Fleming cover refresh in the USA. The next time Fleming hit bookstores shelves in the U.S. would be in 2002 with the retro style covers by Richie Fahey.

Berkley U.S. paperback publication order:

Casino Royale - May 1982
Live And Let Die - May 1982
Diamonds Are Forever - May 1982
From Russia With Love - May 1982
Doctor No - May 1982
Goldfinger - May 1982
Thunderball - June 1982
The Spy Who Loved Me - July 1982
For Your Eyes Only - August 1982
Moonraker - August 1984
Casino Royale (No Deals Mr. Bond tie-in freebie) - October 1986

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The ROLE OF HONOR paperback you want

The 1984 early export paperback
Here's a paperback from my collection that I've always had a thing for. This is a 1984 early export edition of Role of Honor released to international markets at the same time as the UK and U.S. hardcovers. It's a mass market paperback that sports a cover design very close to what was used on the U.S. paperback released a year later, but with a few key differences.

What I've always liked about this edition is it's the Role of Honor paperback I always wanted. Call me anal-retentive, but as the License Renewed, For Special Services, and Icebreaker paperbacks all matched the color of their respective hardcovers, I expected Role of Honor would and should be yellow.

However, the paperback that was ultimately released in the U.S. was a dark gold or bronze (images below). Still nice, but it broke the theme. So when I first uncovered this edition at the late great Mysterious Bookstore in L.A., I was thrilled to finally have a yellow Role of Honor paperback to put on my shelf.

Another difference is the 007 silhouette is a bit larger than what was featured on the standard paperback. I've always thought this particular 007 silhouette was one of the best of the batch. These cover silhouettes were featured on the Fleming reprints in the '80s and later recycled on some of the Raymond Benson paperbacks, but for some reason this superior silhouette only appeared on Role of Honor.

The Role of Honor international paperback is tricky to find, especially without a faded spine. This is the same affliction that effects the U.S. hardcover (maybe that was the reason for the color change?). But if you have my madness (and if you're reading this blog, you probably do), this is the Role of Honor paperback you want.

The 1985 first U.S. paperback (left) and the 1987 reprint (right).

Saturday, October 15, 2011

OO7 Magazine celebrates Timothy Dalton...the Book Bond

Graham Rye has just released the latest issue of his OO7 Magazine Archive Files, this one devoted to Timothy Dalton and his two Bond films, The Living Daylights (1987) and Licence To Kill (1989).

As most Bond fans know, Dalton took inspiration for his portrayal of 007 from the Fleming Bond books, more so than any Bond actor before or after. He was touted at the time as "The Most Dangerous Bond...Ever", and his uniquely hard-edged performance and films were a bold departure from the Moore era and well ahead of their time. Maybe a little too far ahead, as certainly Licence To Kill is a film that is more appreciated today than when it was released in 1989.

Graham and OO7 always championed Dalton and his films, so this looks like one to get. Certainly fans of the literary Bond will want this one on their shelfs, as it's nice to think of Timothy Dalton as "The Book Bond."

Purchase OO7 Archive Files from the OO7 Magazine website.

UPDATE: Wow! What a joy this issue is. Not only are the photos great, but the articles themselves are OUTSTANDING. The entire mag is written by Luke Williams who is obviously a giant Dalton fan. I love that he makes the case that Licence To Kill is actually "the best Bond movie ever" and, you know, he might have a point! But I especially love his article about Eon's battle with the British censor to get a 15 rating for Licence To Kill. This is all new information to me, thoroughly researched and brilliantly written. This might be one of the best articles ever produced for OO7 Magazine, and is the kind of true insider info that can only be found in an unofficial publication. Bravo, bravo, bravo. I also wasn't aware of the tensions between John Barry and a-ha. I learned a lot from this mag, and that's saying something.

I just wish Luke wouldn't make so many of his points by bashing Roger Moore. Every page of his The Living Daylights overview contains a swipe at Roger and his films. It's just really hard for a Roger fan like me to read. But I guess hating on Roger, and especially Moonraker, is also in the great tradition of OO7 Magazine, so... :)

Great work.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

First look at the U.S. CARTE BLANCHE paperback

Thanks to our friends at IFP, today we have a first look at full cover art for the U.S. mass market paperback edition of Carte Blanche by Jeffery Deaver. The book will be released by Pocket Star on January 24, 2012, and can be pre-ordered now on

Click to enlarge

As always, thanks to Sarah at Ian Fleming Publications.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Sensational new cover art for all five Young Bond novels by Charlie Higson have been revealed on These new editions of SilverFin, Blood Fever, Double or Die, Hurricane Gold, and By Royal Command will be released in the UK on April 5, 2012.

Released between 2005 and 2008, the Young Bond series was embraced by Bond fans young and old and are generally considered to be among the best of all the continuation novels. I know I love these books!

Thanks once again to [dark] at the forums for the discovery. And thanks to Sarah at IFP for these higher res images.

Monday, October 10, 2011

CARTE BLANCHE trade paperback release date Nov 24

Looks like the release date of the Carte Blanche UK trade paperback has been pushed from the 10th to November 24, 2011.

Amazon has also finally updated their listing to show that this is indeed a trade paperback -- it had said "hardcover" -- but if you read The Book Bond you knew that already. :)

Carte Blanche by Jeffery Deaver will also be released in the UK as a mass market paperback on May 24, 2012. The U.S. gets a paperback edition in January.

Sunday, October 9, 2011


Here's a look at the original cover art for the 1982 UK paperback edition of John Gardner's Licence Renewed (from my own collection). This cover was recalled and replaced with another featuring one important change. Can you spot what the problem was with the original?

This original cover featured the 007 logo with the gun stock coming out of the 7. This is the trademarked movie Bond logo and it was deemed a major no-no to use this logo on a book that wasn't a novelization or film tie-in (despite the fact that it was used on the UK hardcover edition of John Pearson's James Bond The Authorized Biography of 007). A second edition of the Licence Renewed paperback was quickly issued with the gun stock snipped away. (Click here to see that replacement cover.)

I've always been curious to know how many of these "recalled" covers made it to market. When I first started collecting, I saw a proof of this cover in a private collection and believed it never made it to market. But then I turned up this copy in an Amsterdam bookstore in 1990. Was the stock sold off outside Britain maybe?

The logo issue was made moot in 2002 when IFP came up with their own unique literary 007 brand logo (left). This logo has graced the Ian Fleming reprints, the latest continuation novels by Faulks and Deaver, and most recently has been added to the cover art of the John Gardner reprints, including good old Licence Renewed.

Recently a copy of the recalled Licence Renewed paperback listed on eBay with the ambitious starting bid price of $49.99. It didn't sell.

Link: Steve Hamilton's THE LOCK ARITST wins Ian Fleming Steel Dagger 2011

On the evening of Friday 7 October, Steve Hamilton scooped the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award for Best Thriller of 2011 with his novel, The Lock Artist.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

YOUNG BOND refresh in April 2012

All five Young Bond novels by Charlie Higson will be reissued in new paperbacks in the UK in April 2012. New editions of SilverFinBlood FeverDouble or DieHurricane Gold, and By Royal Command are all listed on with an April 5, 2012 release date.

Released between 2005 and 2008, the Young Bond series was embraced by Bond fans young and old and are generally considered to be among the best of all the continuation novels.

It would be great if these new editions feature all-new cover art. I'll do a little digging and see what I can find out.*

Thanks to [dark] at the forums for the discovery.

*UPDATE: The good folks at Puffin have confirmed that these will have all-new covers.

Is SKYFALL taking a page from SILVERFIN?

Seems like every time we get a bit of information about the next James Bond film, it sounds like sometime out of one of the continuation novels (at least to my obsessed mind).

First we heard that the film might feature South Africa and an action sequence involving freight trains (Carte Blanche), then we got the rumored title Skyfall (Cold Fall), now the BBC reports that the explosive climax of the film will take place at Duntrune Castle in Scotland.

Of course, the climax of Charlie Higson's first Young Bond novel SilverFin was also set in a Scottish Castle. Heck, Duntrune even looks like Castle SilverFin from various SilverFin cover art. I guess we could also point to License Renewed, which features a Scottish Castle as a major location, but not in the book's climax.

There is a rich history of ideas from the continuation novels mysteriously finding their way into the Bond films (Colonel Moon anyone?). I took a look at the similarities in an article on a few years back. Think maybe it's time I published an updated version here on The Book Bond.

Castle SilverFin...or SkyFall?

Friday, October 7, 2011


Author Frank Cottrell Boyce with his new Chitty in London.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again, the first sequel to the classic Ian Fleming children's novel, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, is released today by Macmillan Children’s Books in the UK.

Flies Again is the first of three new Chitty books by children's author Frank Cottrell Boyce.

"I went back to the [original] book for the first time since I was a boy and was delighted to discover that, first of all, it's really good and, secondly, it's crying out for a sequel," says Boyce. "I've had a lot of fun writing these books, but somewhere amongst all the fun I found it strangely emotional to revisit myself as a boy and ask if he could help me restore an old-fashioned contraption and make it fly again."

Visit the official website for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again website at Purchase on

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Is BOND 23 called SKYFALL? has discovered that Sony Pictures has just registered a dozen URLS "which suggest they are planning something around the term 'Skyfall' and James Bond."

Does this mean Skyfall is the title of Bond 23? If you recall, the title Quantum of Solace was discovered a day before the official announcement via this same domain name search.

Of course, here at The Book Bond, when I hear the title Skyfall I can't help but think of Cold Fall, the U.S. title of John Gardner's last original James Bond novel (right).

Hey, at least it's one word.

Thanks to 'Shrublands' at the forums for the tip-off.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

First set of JOHN GARDNER U.S. reprints now shipping

The first three John Gardner U.S. reprints from Pegasus, License Renewed, For Special Services, and Icebreaker, have slipped out ahead of their official Oct 12 release date and are shipping NOW from Below is the final cover art, which is a vast improvement over the originally planned art, IMO.

Click to enlarge

These first three books contain new introductions by Raymond Benson and Otto Penzler, and mark the first time the Gardner books have been published as trade paperbacks in the U.S. Role of Honor and Nobody Lives Forever are scheduled for release next year.

Check out our special Gardner Renewed page for links and the latest release date information on all the Gardner-Bond reprints in the U.S. and UK.

Thanks to Anders at From Sweden With Love for the higher res cover images.

UPDATE: Got 'em!