Thursday, March 29, 2012


Charlie Higson's five Young Bond novels with the newly refreshed cover art are now shipping from These new editions of SilverFin, Blood Fever, Double or Die, Hurricane Gold, and By Royal Command are published by Puffin Books. The official release date is April 5.

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 James Bond continuation novels. This is the first full cover refresh the books has received in the UK.

Read my five part THE SECRET HISTORY OF YOUNG JAMES BOND which covers the creation of the series and each of the five books, taking us right up to today's big refresh.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The JOHN GARDNER UK first edition hardcovers

Having posted the John Gardner U.S. hardcovers last month, I figured I'd continue with the John Gardner UK hardcover first editions from Jonathan Cape and Hodder & Stoughton. Certainly not as uniform as the U.S. set, but some nice covers.

Licence To Kill, GoldenEye, SeaFire, and COLD are the standout rarities in this batch. Licence To Kill was actually printed in the U.S. by Mysterious Press and distributed in the UK by Severn House in very limited quantities in April 1990, a year after the paperback release. The First Edition print run of GoldenEye is said to have been in the 2000 copy range. It went into subsequent printings very quickly. SeaFire was remaindered in the UK so almost all copies were price clipped and it's tricky to find a copy with the price intact.

Because SeaFire was not a big seller, COLD was printed on a demand basis. The bulk of the orders came from public libraries and these editions were bound in with plain boards of a different color. Only about 900 copies were printed and about 500 of these were library editions. Unless you pre-ordered this book, you were unlikely to get one. It's the rarest of all the Gardner hardcovers.

Licence Renewed – Jonathan Cape, May 21, 1981.
For Special Services – Jonathan Cape, September 9, 1982.
Icebreaker - Jonathan Cape, July 7, 1983.
Role of Honour - Jonathan Cape, October 4, 1984.
Nobody Lives For Ever - Jonathan Cape, May 22, 1986.
No Deals, Mr. Bond - Jonathan Cape, May 21, 1987.
Scorpius - Hodder & Stoughton, June 2, 1988.
Win Lose or Die - Hodder & Stoughton, July 1989.
Licence To Kill – The Mysterious Press, April 1990.
Brokenclaw - Hodder & Stoughton, August 2, 1990.
The Man From Barbarossa – Hodder & Stoughton, August 18, 1991.
Death Is Forever - Hodder & Stoughton, July 2, 1992.
Never Send Flowers - Hodder & Stoughton, July 15, 1993.
SeaFire - Hodder & Stoughton, August 1994.
GoldenEye - Hodder & Stoughton, November 1995.
COLD - Hodder & Stoughton, May 2, 1996.

Monday, March 26, 2012

CARTE BLANCHE wins Japan's Best Foreign Novel of 2011

Ian Fleming Publications has announced that Jeffery Deaver's Carte Blanche has won Japan's Bouken-shouetsu adventure fiction award for the Best Foreign Novel of 2011.

Congratulations to Jeffery Deaver and Japanese publisher Bungei Shunju Ltd on winning this prestigious award.

The Japanese edition of Carte Blanche runs 456 pages with a translation by Makiko Ikeda. It can be purchased at

Mi6 Confidential looks at cover art by Michael Gillette

The new issue of Mi6 Confidential(#14) includes a treat for us literary Bond fans; a story on the cover designs for the 2008 Ian Fleming Centenary editions with work in progress artwork from Michael Gillette's own sketch books. The article also says that Gillette was asked to design the covers for the new John Gardner reprints, but declined.

You can purchase Mi6 Confidential (#14) at

Thanks to Hugh Maddocks.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Vintage's new IAN FLEMING paperbacks hit Amazon UK

Vintage Books recently announced Ian Fleming reissues have hit The standard paperback set, which promises cover designs that will "engage people who have recently discovered the Bond brand through the films and computer games" is due for release on August 2, 2012. The "Vintage Classic" set will be released on September 6, 2012. Below are links for pre-order.

(August 2, 2012)

Vintage Classics
(September 6, 2012)
Octopussy & The Living Daylights

I've launched a new stand alone page, Vintage Fleming, where I will keep up with any release date changes and also list Vintage's eBooks and non-fiction Fleming titles when they become available.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The fangs of ICEBREAKER

After posting my blog about the John Gardner first edition paperbacks, reader Dan Gale alerted me to something that I never knew. It's appears my UK Icebreaker is not a first edition after all, and this is obvious from the cover art. First editions of Icebreaker had an error in the artwork which resulted in the skull having "fangs". In actuality, they are not fangs, but sections of the artwork that should have been colored in black or cut out completely. This error was fixed on the second print onward.

Icebreaker fanged (first) and defanged (second).

Looks like I'm on a fang hunt. Thank you Dan!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Oxford Literary Festival presents CHITTY AND BOND this Saturday

Young Bond author Charlie Higson and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again author Frank Cottrell Boyce will participate in a special celebration of Ian Fleming this Saturday at the Oxford Literary Festival.

Chitty and Bond; An Ian Fleming Celebration will be chaired by Paul Blezard and held at 4:00pm at Christ Church: Hall. Higson and Boyce will discuss Fleming’s original novels along with their own sequels in this hour long talk.

For more information and to buy tickets, visit the official Oxford Literary Festival website.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Requiem for a novelization

With the news that there will be no novelization of Skyfall, I thought I'd take a look back at the past James Bond novelizations. Looks like these seven (007!) books will now stand alone as "the novelizations."

What was nice about the Bond novelizations, and why I had hoped for a Skyfall novelization -- despite being aware that novelizations themselves on the way out -- is that they were always treated as something more than marketing knockoffs. The first two novelizations were written by the screenwriter, Christopher Wood. The final five were penned by continuation novelists John Gardner and Raymond Benson.

These were also quality books. In fact, many consider Christopher Wood's James Bond The Spy Who Loved Me as one of the very best continuation novels. John Gardner's Licence To Kill is a fan favorite as he fit the story into the literary continuity (yes, poor Felix is fed to sharks again!). Raymond Benson's Tomorrow Never Dies improves on a weak film by filling in plot holes and fleshing out the characters of Elliot Carver and Wai Lin.

The Bond novelizations were also printed in nice hardcover editions, at least in the UK, and that's what I'm showcasing here. The 007 Novelizations (see how that works two ways?). Let us have a moment of silent contemplation.

By Christopher Wood
By John Gardner
By Raymond Benson

The good news is 2012 will not be totally novelization free. Orion will be reprinting John Gardner's Licence To Kill and GoldenEye as part of their new paperback reprints.

UK novelizations (hardcover) publication:
James Bond The Spy Who Loved Me by Christopher Wood, Jonathan Cape, 1977
James Bond and Moonraker by Christopher Wood, Jonathan Cape, 1979
Licence To Kill by John Gardner, The Mysterious Press, April 1990. (Paperback published in 1989.)
GoldenEye by John Gardner, Hodder & Stoughton, November 1995.
Tomorrow Never Dies by Raymond Benson, Hodder & Stoughton, November 1997.
The World Is Not Enough by Raymond Benson, Hodder & Stoughton, November 1999.
Die Another Day by Raymond Benson, Hodder & Stoughton, November 7, 2002.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


Well, I have a disappointing "exclusive" today. Ian Fleming Publications has confirmed for me that there will NOT be a novelization of Skyfall, the new James Bond film currently in production. This will be the first time a non-Fleming titled Bond film has not been novelized. The last novelization was Die Another Day by Raymond Benson in 2002.

I didn't press for the reasons why, but tradition has long been that the reigning continuation author does the novelizations, and at the moment there is no reigning continuation author. IFP is now contracting authors one book at a time, as we've seen with Sebastian Faulks (Devil May Care) and Jeffery Deaver (Carte Blanche).

So it looks like we will be experiencing Skyfall on the screen and not the page. But I'm sure it will still be good. ;)

Thanks to the always awesome Corinne Turner for giving me the scoop.

SKYFALL news inbound

I have some official Skyfall news to share today. Stand by...

Saturday, March 17, 2012


Just a quick update to let you know I've whipped up a basic Bibliography of the James Bond books and short stories. I haven't (yet) included the more ephemeral books and graphic novels, but all the major titles are here. Hope this can be of service as a quick reference.

James Bond's watch from CARTE BLANCHE

Our friend Dell Deaton has posted on his terrific James Bond Watches blog this look at 007's watch from Jeffery Deaver's Carte Blanche.

Friday, March 16, 2012


The Bookseller has offered up a few new details on the big Vintage Bond book deal announced yesterday.

First and foremost is the news that Ian Fleming's two non-fiction books, Thrilling Cities and The Diamond Smugglers, are included in the deal. After many years being out of print, these two titles were released by IFP under own their imprint in 2009, but only in hardcover.

The site also reports that their Vintage Classics Bond set will come after the paperbacks and e-books -- which will appear this summer -- but before the new Bond film, Skyfall in October.

As to the continuation novels, they "are subject to other licence agreements and remain at their current publishers. However, [Corinne] Turner said: "We and Random House hope that our relationship will cover new projects." (Whoa!) Digital rights to the Young Bond novels by Charlie Higson remain with IFP.

The site also reports that "a U.S. deal was in the pipeline, again to find a successor to Penguin, which held world English-language print rights."

Okay, while the rights to the "new" continuation novels are locked up, I wonder if this extends to Colonel Sun as well? Colonel Sun gets a suspiciously prominent mention in the official press release, and Vintage publishes the other works by Sun author Kingsley Amis. Could this mean they already have the rights to Colonel Sun and might republish it as well? Not that it will be an official part of the Fleming Bond "sets", but maybe it will be in the same general style, as I expect Thrilling Cities and The Diamond Smugglers will be.

This would be terrific as Colonel Sun has not been reprinted since the 1990s.

Lots to be excited about here.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Big news today from Ian Fleming Publications! All 14 original Ian Fleming James Bond novels will be republished this summer in two new sets and as eBooks by Vintage Books. Vintage is the sister imprint of Bond's original publisher, Jonathan Cape, so this is a homecoming of sorts. Here is the full press release:

• Vintage Books has acquired the ten year license to publish Ian Fleming’s fourteen James Bond books
• Vintage to publish backlist in ebook format

The Random House Group and Ian Fleming Publications Ltd today announce that Vintage Publishing, a division of Random House, has acquired through Jonny Geller at Curtis Brown the ten-year licence for Ian Fleming’s entire James Bond backlist in print and ebook format, along with Fleming’s two non-fiction titles.

Vintage Books is the sister imprint of Jonathan Cape, who were the original publishers of Ian Fleming’s Bond fiction and published Casino Royale, the first in the series of fourteen Bond books in 1953. The novels have now gone on to sell over 100 million copies worldwide and have been the inspiration behind the world’s longest-running film franchise. Jonathan Cape was also the publisher of the first ever official Bond novel written following Fleming’s death in 1964. Kingsley Amis took up the mantle in 1968 writing Colonel Sun as Robert Markham. Bond novels have since been written by John Gardner, Raymond Benson, Sebastian Faulks and Jeffery Deaver 
Corinne Turner, Managing Director of Ian Fleming Publications Ltd comments: ‘We are delighted to be reuniting James Bond with his original publisher. This new deal, incorporating both print and ebook formats, represents a significant step-change for Ian Fleming and his work.’ 
Richard Cable, Managing Director, Vintage Publishing, acquired exclusive rights to the Bond novels in the English language worldwide exc USA/Canada. Cable commented: ‘Bond, James Bond. Ian Fleming’s famous Secret Service agent 007 remains one of the most iconic of all literary creations, and continues to thrill new and existing readers alike. We are excited to welcome Ian Fleming’s books to the Vintage list for the first time and to reunite him with Jonathan Cape, the original publisher of his work. We are hugely looking forward to working with IFPL to relaunch the list in 2012, a year which marks the 50th anniversary of the first James Bond film, Dr No, and sees a new 007 adventure hit the big screen.’ 
Vintage Publishing Sales Director Tom Drake-Lee, a lifelong fan of the Bond novels, will head up the publishing team across all publications as Ian Fleming Brand Manager. Two series styles will be created for the fourteen books: one under the Vintage paperback imprint and one in Vintage Classics. This is the first time that an author’s entire fiction backlist has been published under both imprints. The publishing programme will be underpinned by consumer insight to bring a new generation of readers to Ian Fleming’s work and engage people who have recently discovered the Bond brand through the films and computer games.

Jonny Geller, Managing Director, Curtis Brown comments: ‘2012 is the year of Bond - a new movie and a new home for Ian Fleming’s backlist. James Bond never sleeps and we promise an exciting programme of innovative publishing ventures aimed at the next generation of readers for Ian Fleming’s greatest creation.’ 
Random House will take over from Penguin as publishers of the James Bond novels in April and will publish the Bond backlist in ebook and print format in summer 2012.

I can't wait to see the cover art for these!

Thanks to IFP and Coleman-Getty for giving me the jump on this excellent news.


THE JAMES BOND OMNIBUS 003 now shipping in the UK

Titan Books third omnibus collection of the classic James Bond comic strips, The James Bond Omnibus Volume 003, is now shipping in the UK from

This time the collection moves into the post Fleming era with the Daily Express adaptation of the first continuation novel, Colonel Sun (the description calls this "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. shows a U.S. release date of April 3.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

BROKENCLAW gets cover art and a new release date

Simon Gardner has posted on the official John Gardner Facebook page cover art for Gardner's Brokenclaw, which was not included in the batch of covers unveiled last week by Orion. We also have news that the book will now be released on July 5 along with No Deals Mr. Bond. (These release dates have been fluid, so watch my Gardner Renewed page for the lastest updates.) Cover art is by Dan Mogford.

Released in 1990, Brokenclaw was John Gardner's 10th James Bond novel. Written while he was ill, Gardner later said he wasn't happy with the book. But Brokenclaw is actually one of my favorite John Gardner 007 novels. I think Brokenclaw Lee is one of his most Flemingesque villains, and the ending, in which Bond has to endure the Native American O-kee-pa ritual, is fantastic. This is one I can see Daniel Craig in. (Yes, I know, Bond mistakenly drinks tea in it.)

Pre-order Brokenclaw at

Thanks to Simon Gardner and Louisa Gibbs at Orion.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The collectible CASINO ROYALE hardcovers

Author’s note: Values here are estimates based on experience and are only meant to be a guide. No matter what any "expert" says (myself included), a book is only worth what someone is willing to pay and no one can say for sure what a book will or will not sell for. And condition is everything. All prices here are in U.S. dollars.

The UK Edition

UK first edition by Jonathan Cape
When Ian Fleming's Casino Royale was first published by Jonathan Cape on April 13, 1953, it was a sensation. In England the first printing of 4,750 copies sold out in the first month of publication. Fleming himself designed the dust jacket art, which contained nine bleeding hearts on a gunmetal gray background with "a whisper of love, a whisper of hate" inscribed around the center heart. This first edition of Casino Royale is one of the most sought-after James Bond books. Heck, it's one of the most sought after first edition books, period! Because the first print run was very small — with many going to libraries — in auction, first editions of Casino Royale can sell for $10,000 to $30,000 depending on condition (I realize that is quite a spread, but that is how much condition matters with this book). An inscribed copy of Casino Royale sold for just over $40,000 in 2007.

Know that the dust jacket is everything with this title. With a jacket, a first Casino can indeed fetch these large prices. But without a jacket, a seller would be lucky to get even a few hundred dollars. Also, beware of color copies of the dust jackets, which have begun to appear on the market in recent years.

In order to meet demand, Cape quickly published a second edition of Casino Royale in May 1953. This second edition is identical to the first except for the indicator "Second Edition" on the copyright page and the inclusion of "The Author" under Fleming’s picture on the back of the dust jacket. Also, a favorable review of the book was added to the front dust jacket overleaf. This second edition can sell for several hundred dollars. You'll sometimes see these listed as a "First Edition, Second Impression", but don't be fooled into paying a "first edition" price.

Pat Marriott designed an all new dust jacket (featuring a playing card against a green background) for Cape's fourth printing in November 1957. The book also picked up a printers error on page 34 ("neard" for "heard"). The Marriott art (along with the printing error) became standard on all subsequent hardcover editions, ending with the 13th edition in the 1980s. A Marriott first (meaning the 4th) can sell for $50 to $100, depending on condition. Cape would reprint the Casino Royale hardcover with the Marriott artwork all the way into the 1980s.

The U.S. Edition

U.S. first edition from Macmillan
In America the reaction to Casino Royale was rather cool. (Fleming was not to gain a loyal following in the states until President Kennedy named From Russia with Love one of his favorite books.) Nevertheless, the first edition of Casino Royale, published by Macmillan on March 23, 1954, remains the most valuable (but not the rarest) of the American books and can sell for between $1,500 and $2,500.

When shopping for an American Casino, be aware that two states of the dust jacket exist. Most first editions have the corner of the dust jacket overleaf clipped, and the price reads vertically below the clipped area. But there is another state of the first edition with a complete flap, and the price reads horizontally on the bottom. (The prices are the same on both editions: $2.75.) Most collectors and book dealers don’t know about this variation; so at the moment, there’s little difference in value. But personal experience has been that the complete flap is much harder to find than the clipped flap and should add a few hundred dollars to the price.

Macmillan started what would be a long series of US hardcover book club editions with Casino Royale (the UK would wait for the next book). The first Macmillan Casino book club edition — featuring a knife and cards against an orange background in its cover — is quite desirable and can reach as high as $80 in price, unusual for a book club. In fact, there’s a question as to whether or not this is a book club edition or a retail reprint. The later Macmillan book club — featuring a PPK against a uniform blue-grey or a pink background — are plentiful and have almost no value. These frequently show up on eBay as "hardcover 1st editions." Buyer beware.

In the 1990s, MJF reprinted Casino Royale as a low-priced "bargain bin" hardcover, part of "The James Bond Classic Library" series. While the jacket art is a bit lackluster, what is nice is that the book uses the original British edition plates (right down to the page 34 printing error). Also in the '90s, "The First Edition Library" reprinted pricey facsimile editions of all of Fleming's novels, and their copy of Casino Royale is a beauty. This is an excellent way to enjoy the artistry of the true first edition if you don’t have $20,000 on hand, although it still doesn't come cheap with copies on eBay fetching $100 and up.

In 2002, Viking/Penguin published a hardcover edition of Casino Royale as part of their "anniversary" reprints with jacket art that matched their paperback reprints. In 2008 Penguin Books in the UK released all 14 original James Bond/Ian Fleming novels as special Centenary editions hardcovers, including Casino Royale. The attractive new cover art was by artist Michael Gillette. These are now surprisingly scarce.

Later Casinos: Cape (1957), MJF (1990), Viking (2002) and Penguin (2008)

In the 2006 film adaptation of Casino Royale, James Bond plays Texas hold'em poker instead of the traditional baccarat (Chemin De Fer) of the novel. But baccarat is still the classic Bonidan game, and it's definitely the game of the Book Bond. Check out this article about James Bond and Baccarat if you would like to learn more.


The sequel to the classic Ian Fleming children's novel, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, is released today in the U.S. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang 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."

Purchase Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again on

Monday, March 12, 2012

Charlie Higson tweets pic of new YOUNG BOND books

While we first revealed the 2012 Young Bond refresh cover art back in October, author Charlie Higson appears to have his hands on the books themselves and tweeted this pic along with the comment; "Very much like the new young bond covers." Me too!

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.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Orion reveals five more JOHN GARDNER covers

Orion Books have pulled the wraps off five more covers for their John Gardner James Bond paperback reprints. Scorpius, Win Lose or Die, Licence To Kill, The Man From Barbarossa, and Death Is Forever will all be released on August 2, 2012.

Being Saturday, these low res images are the best I could get from the Orion website. But come Monday I should be able to score much better images. I'm also looking into whether cover art for Brokenclaw is available, as that has now been moved up to July 5 along with No Deals Mr. Bond. These cover designs are all by Dan Mogford.

Visit our special Gardner Renewed page for links and updated release dates for all the Gardner-Bond reprints in the U.S. and UK.

Now UPDATED with higher res images. Click to enlarge.

Friday, March 9, 2012

New JAMES BOND POSTER BOOK coming in September

Yet another James Bond 50th Anniversary tie-in book has been announced. James Bond: 50 Years of Movie Posters will be released by DK Books on September 3, 2012. Amazon shows the book as being 304 pages.

The last James Bond poster book was released in 2001 (an updated version that added Die Another Day came out in 2004), so I think we're due for a new book that collects the Craig era posters, including, presumably, SKYFALL.

Pre-order James Bond: 50 Years of Movie Posters

UPDATE: I sent an email to DK seeing if I could get a review copy of this book, but didn't hear back. And it's not (just) because I'd like a free copy. I really think this book needs a proper review by a real Bond fan who has the other poster books and can tell you what's different and special about this one. Why this is a must buy...or not.

I've posted a thread at the CBn Forums to solicite opinions from other Bond fans before taking the plunge.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

CARTE BLANCHE UK paperback cover art revealed

Here is the surprising new cover art for the UK mass market paperback edition of Carte Blanche by Jeffery Deaver. It's radically different than the UK trade paperback edition, and also different from the artwork currently showing on Amazon. Publisher Hodder & Stoughton has really gone in a completely new direction with this paperback, and I like that!

The Carte Blanche mass market paperback is due for release on May 24, 2012 and can be pre-ordered now on

Thanks to Sarah at IFP and Helena at Hodder and Stoughton.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Look inside the 'CARTE BLANCHE' RED EDITION (video)

Some Bond fans and book collectors were somewhat disappointed with Waterstone's Special Edition of Jeffery Deaver's Carte Blanche, which was basically the regular hardcover in a box with a surprisingly steep price tag. Also disappointing was the price of £1000 for the beautiful Bentley Special Edition, which put it well out of reach for most fans.

I'm not sure if this had anything to do with Hodder & Stoughton's decision to release a third Special Edition of Carte Blanche several months after the book had come out in stores. But I am certainly glad they did, because the Carte Blanche Red Edition is definitely the book to get!

Not only is the Red Edition gorgeous -- it's basically the super pricey Bentley Edition with a red cover -- but it is also eminently affordable at £100. And at the moment it's discounted 35% on, bringing the price down to £65 (with free shipping in the UK).

Instead of me writing about the book and explaining all the coolness within, I've shot a video which I think does the job just as well.

The Carte Blanche Red Edition is limited to 500 copies and can be purchased at

Thanks to Vickie Boff at Hodder and Stoughton.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Top Gear looks at the history of SAAB

Here is a terrific history of the Saab Motor Company from Top Gear. This will help all you youngsters understand why it wasn't unusual at all that John Gardner put 007 in a Saab in 1980. They sing the praises of the Saab 99 Turbo, which was the predecessor to Bond's 900 Turbo. Unfortunately, they don't include Bond's car in their story, but it's still worth watching. And like the Top Gear guys, I too am going to miss Saab.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

CARTE BLANCHE released in Germany

It's taken a while, but Carte Blanche by Jeffery Deaver has finally been released in Germany with a translation by Thomas Haufschild and as an audiobook read by Dietmar Wunder. Cover art is below. You can buy it on

Details of Jeffery Deaver's German book tour can be found at his official website.

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