Okay, you know I had to go here eventually. One of the lessor known chapters of the official James Bond story was the short-lived animated cartoon, James Bond Jr. Produced by EON/Danjaq under the name Warfield Productions in 1991-92, the series filled the "six year gap" when no official film could be produced because of the legal wrangling between Danjaq and MGM/Pathe. The half-hour series featured the adventures of 007's nephew and his friends at Warfield Academy. It debuted on September 30, 1991 and ran for a total of 65 episodes.
Ian Fleming Publications and Random House/Vintage have previewed cover art for their "Vintage Classic" set of the original Ian Fleming James Bond novels. All 14 Bond books will be published in paperback in the UK on September 6, 2012.
So far five covers have been officially revealed (others have leaked, but I'm playing by the rules). IFP promises to reveal the full series of new covers for the Classics as well as those for the 14 new Vintage Standard editions (due out Aug 2) on their website.
It was also announced today that a "dazzling array of authors" will write introductions to the Vintage Classics, including Giles Foden, Sam Bourne, Andrew Taylor, Tom Rob Smith, Kate Mosse and Len Deighton.
I like these stylish covers and I think they are just right for a "Classic" set. I especially like they they've resisted using the familiar girls, guns, and silhouettes.
In yesterday's blog about the John Gardner U.S. hardcovers, some fans have wondered why The Man From Barbarossa uses a different silhouette of 007 on the cover art.
The story I read (although for the life of me I can't remember where) was that around the time of the release of Brokenclaw in 1990, Danjaq/Eon Productions complained that the silhouette Putnam was using on their Bond books looked too much like Pierce Brosnan. As we know, Brosnan had narrowly missed out on becoming Bond in 1986 and in 1990 Timothy Dalton was still the "Bond of record."
Eon's sudden sensitivity with any Brosnan-Bond connection might have also had something to do with a flurry of news reports around this same time that claimed Kevin McClory was once again planning to make an unofficial James Bond film, Atomic Warhead, with...Pierce Brosnan. Brosnan was also being linked to a possible (unofficial) James Bond TV series.
So when the The Man From Barbarossa rolled around in 1991, Putnam used a different silhouette. However, it's still from the same batch of images that had been created for the 1980s Ian Fleming Berkley paperbacks (this one came off Doctor No), so all it might have accomplished was to smooth things over until Eon's anxiety passed. By 1992 the "Brosnan-like" silhouette was back, and by 1995 Pierce Brosnan himself would be James Bond.
Anyway, that's the story I heard, but like I said, I cannot find the original source, so maybe I'm just spreading gossip. But that oddball The Man From Barbarossa cover offers some evidence that this story could be true.
Okay, I've finally found the source. Interestingly, it was not so much the cover of Brokenclaw that caused the "problem", but a full page ad for the book in the New York Times Book Review thatused the cover silhouette (wish I had that ad!).
According to Frank Swertlow's "Hollywood Freeway" column in the L.A. Daily News (Aug 3, 1990), Brosnan's spokesman Richard Guttman said that "Pierce has received at least 30 phone calls" about the Brokenclaw ad, which the article notes "bares a striking resemblance to Pierce." This same story, along with Guttman's quote, appeared in USA Today.
Now, this all seems to be part of a continued campaign by Brosnan's publicists to keep him in the public mind as 007 (and tweak Eon over their selection of Timothy Dalton over Brosnan in '86). This campaign had gone on for years. Brosnan had done two Diet Coke commercials in a Bondian persona (below), and also appeared in various print ads with a Bondian look. Also, as I stated above, in 1990 he was flirting with working with the dreaded Kevin McClory on a rival Bond film, Atomic Warhead.
So it's debatable whether this Brokenclaw ad was really drawing public comparisons, or if this was just Pierce's people finding another way to tout their man as the Bond of public choice.
And, yes, I think this small publicity flare up could have been the reason the traditional silhouette took a one book hiatus in 1991 with The Man From Barbarossa.
The final John Gardner newspaper advert that I have in my files is this June 5, 1988 ad from the Los Angeles Times for Gardner's 007th original Jame Bond novel, Scorpius. I'm not sure if the ads stopped after this or I just missed them; but I was pretty vigilant, so there's a good chance this was last.
But they certainly went out with a bang! After skipping Nobody Lives Forever and shrinking down with No Deals, Mr. Bond, this Scorpius advert occupied as much page space as the earlier ads for For Special Services and Icebreaker. It's also kind of fun that the ad references the 1988 U.S. Olympic Team.
Hope you enjoyed my look back at these vintage John Gardner newspaper ads. If you know of any ad beyond Scorpius, I'd love to see and share it.
Thanks to the good folks at Puffin, I have in hand a copy of their beautiful new SilverFin reissue. The publisher has done a terrific job with this 2012 refresh of the Young Bond series by Charlie Higson, with all new cover art designed by the-parish.com. Each book also includes a preview of the next book in the back -- SilverFin has a 14 page Blood Fever preview -- and the spines feature the titles boldly and look great together. It's also worth noting that the books are the same size as the Fahey Penguin Fleming paperbacks and the new John Gardner reprints from Orion, so they line-up beautifully on the shelf together.
The Wall Street Journal has an article today about Amazon's deal to publish the classic Ian Fleming James Bond titles which provides a few fresh details about what we can expect.
The article confirms that Amazon will publish the books as both print editions and eBooks. The print versions will be paperbacks published under Amazon's Thomas & Mercer imprint (which specializes in mysteries and thrillers). The WSJ article states that "Amazon will give the books a new look."
While the eBooks will initially only be available via Amazon's Kindle store, the new paperback editions will be available to all retailers.
However, Barnes & Noble have said in the past that they will not sell books printed by Amazon in their stores. The retailer has criticized Amazon for striking exclusive deals with publishers, agents, and authors. Whether or not they will hold this hard line on 007 remains to be seen.
"Once we learn the facts, we'll be able to comment," said a Barnes & Noble spokeswoman.
The next two John Gardner U.S. reprints from Pegasus, Role of Honor and Nobody Lives Forever, are now shipping from Amazon ahead of the official May 1 release date. Below is the final cover art, which is different from what we see online.
Now, for some reason, Pegasus has decided with these two books to do a somewhat different fusion of their own series design and the UK covers from Orion. While they've changed the font for "John Gardner", they've retained the title font from the UK edition on the covers and, most critically, the spines. Gardner's name also falls in a different spot on the spines. These means these two books don't exactly match Pegasus' first three releases, nor their next two.
Okay, this doesn't matter to those who just want to read the books. But for us crackpot collectors who wanted a uniform set of new Gardners on our shelves, it's a little off-putting that they are now...not uniform. But they are still great to have.
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.
Hot on the heels of the news that Vintage will be reissuing the Ian Fleming James Bond novels in the UK comes news today that Amazon's Thomas & Mercer Publishing brand will bring back the original 007 in the U.S. Here is the full press release:
Amazon Publishing to Publish James Bond Backlist
Thomas & Mercer acquires license to publish Ian Fleming's 14 classic James Bond books in North America
SEATTLE, Apr 17, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) --Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Ian Fleming Publications Ltd today announced that Amazon Publishing has acquired a ten-year license for North American rights to the entire list of James Bond books by Ian Fleming in print and ebook. Along with the iconic series, Fleming's two works of non-fiction, consisting of a collection of travel writings called Thrilling Cities (1963) and an expose of the illegal precious stones trade entitled The Diamond Smugglers (1957), are also included in the agreement. Jonny Geller, Managing Director at Curtis Brown, negotiated the agreement. All of the titles will be reissued by Amazon Publishing's Thomas & Mercer imprint beginning in summer 2012.
"We are excited to be using the opportunity of this re-license to introduce Ian Fleming's books to a broader audience in the USA, and we believe that Amazon Publishing has the ability to place the books back at the heart of the Bond brand, balancing traditional publishing routes with new technologies and new ways of reaching our readers," said Corinne Turner, Managing Director of Ian Fleming Publications Ltd.
The agreement for the 14 classic James Bond titles includes the first James Bond book in the series, Casino Royale (1953)--which will celebrate 60 years of publication in 2013--as well as Live and Let Die (1954); Moonraker (1955); Diamonds Are Forever (1956); From Russia with Love (1957); Dr. No (1958); Goldfinger (1959); For your Eyes Only (1960); Thunderball (1961); The Spy Who Loved Me (1962); On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1963); You Only Live Twice (1964); The Man With The Golden Gun (1965) and Octopussy and the Living Daylights (1966). Since their first publication the books have sold over 100 million copies worldwide and have been the inspiration behind the world's longest-running film franchise. Following Fleming's death in 1964, Kingsley Amis wrote the next book in the Bond series, Colonel Sun, under the name of Robert Markham. Bond novels have since been written by John Gardner, Raymond Benson, Sebastian Faulks, and Jeffery Deaver.
"We are devoted fans of Fleming's Bond novels here at Amazon Publishing, and we're thrilled these books--already known across the world and across generations--will continue to flourish under our Thomas & Mercer imprint," says Philip Patrick, Director, Business Development, Rights and Licensing. "Amazon Publishing offers signature authors a new life for great backlist titles. Fleming is the perfect fit."
Geller says, "This deal heralds a new phase in Ian Fleming's publishing story. We are excited to be working with Amazon in North America to bring a new generation of readers to Ian Fleming's classic novels."
This agreement comes on the heels of the announcement last month by The Random House Group that the Bond backlist was returning to its publishing roots in the UK, with Vintage Books (sister imprint of Jonathan Cape, the original publisher of Casino Royale) acquiring a ten-year license for exclusive rights to the Bond novels in the English language with the exception of North America.
Okay, after being preempted by the big news last week of the new William Boyd James Bond novel, lets continue on with our look back at vintage John Gardner newspaper adverts. Here is an April 19, 1987 ad from the Sunday Los Angeles Times Book Review section for Gardner's sixth original James Bond novel, No Deals, Mr. Bond.
Unfortunately, I don't have an ad like the above for 1986's Nobody Lives Forever. Either I missed it, or one was never done. The only ad I have for Gardner's fifth Bond is this ad by Crown Books. Crown was an aggressive discount book chain that would eventually knock off Waldenbooks and B. Dalton.
In their article about the selection of William Boyd to write the next James Bond novel, The Spectator included this intriguing final paragraph:
As for where the action will be set, did he give a clue at the recent Oxford Literary Festival? He said that he was working on a novel set in Africa. You could assume that he was referring to the new Bond book, but with the prolific Boyd you can’t be sure. But I like the idea of Bond being blown around post-colonial Africa on the winds of change.
I also like the idea of Bond "being blown around post-colonial Africa" (in 1969), but I'm thinking The Spectator has it wrong here. Certainly Boyd hasn't started on his Bond book yet; this Africa book is probably his next original novel. And as Jeffery Deaver set a large part of Carte Blanche in South Africa, it's unlikely IFP would want to repeat the location so soon (but Boyd did say IFP allow their Bond authors to do their own thing).
But I guess every word out of Boyd's mouth from now on is fair game for speculation. Welcome to the world of 007, Mr. Boyd. :)
There have been been a slew of articles about William Boyd's appointment as the author of the next James Bond novel. There is a very good profile in The Independent about Boyd and his work (William Boyd: Our man in 007 land). Also PRI radio has a nice interview with the author, which includes this encouraging quote:
“The films in a way rely on cars and guns and all that sort of thing,” Boyd said, “but in a novel, describing some elaborate gadget isn’t quite the same as seeing it on the screen. So you’re much better to fall back on story and character and various dilemmas that the hero finds himself in, than dressing it up with the latest high-tech available.”
Boyd's yet untitled James Bond novel will be published in Fall of 2013 by Jonathan Cape in the UK and HarperCollins in the U.S. and Canada. Read the full press release here.
Here's one that seems to have slipped under everyone's radar. The eBook Dear James, Love Pussy - The Secret Correspondence Between JB and Pussy Galore is a sequel of sorts to the book, Goldfinger, revealing correspondence between Pussy Galore and James Bond (called only JB) following their adventure. Here's the description:
The following letters are part of a hitherto unknown correspondence, between a certain Secret Agent and Priscilla May Galore, written while she was serving her debt to society in Sing Sing, Ossining, NY, and for many years after she was free.
At the end of Goldfinger, after a passionate romp in a boat (in the movie it’s a desert island), Pussy Galore is incarcerated in the notorious high-security prison at Sing Sing for her part in Operation Grand Slam. JB continues his peripatetic life as a secret agent.
Pussy Galore is never mentioned in the JB oeuvre again. But it is clear from the book that of all Bond’s girls, this violet-eyed lesbian occupied a special place in the secret agent’s affections and the author’s. (It has been suggested that PG is based on a woman with whom the author had an affair). In a spirit of literary high jinks, we have continued the love-affair between these two high-octane characters and a fictional correspondence between Pussy Galore and the notorious secret agent.
For those familiar with the next five stories JB refers to them in chronology in his letters to Sing Sing. For instance, a letter written from the Gritti Palace in Venice draws on the plot of the story, “ Risico” and a postcard from the Kozee Motor Court near Montreal in Vermont, is referred to in For Your Eyes Only. Several of JB’s letters are written from The Special Forces Club, in Knightsbridge, where one of the author’s is a member.
The following are letters found in Ms. Galore’s old pilot’s bag in the attic of her house on Martinique and in accordance with her last will and testament are being published anonymously to reveal the most intimate details of JB's affection for the infamous lavender-eyed lesbian.
Normally $1.99, Dear James, Love Pussy - The Secret Correspondence Between JB and Pussy Galore is being offered FREE at the moment on Amazon.com.
Author William Boyd has shared a few more details about his selection as the new James Bond author, and has also revealed that his book will be set in 1969, which places it after Sebastian Faulks' Devil May Care in the "Classic" James Bond-Ian Fleming timeline. Says Boyd:
"When the Ian Fleming estate invited me to write the new James Bond novel I didn’t hesitate. I accepted at once – for me the prospect appeared incredibly exciting and stimulating – a once-in-a-lifetime challenge.
In fact my father introduced me to the James Bond novels in the 1960s and I read them all then – 'From Russia with Love' being my favourite.
I then became very intrigued by Ian Fleming the man and have written about him on numerous occasions. The fascination went so far that I placed him as a character in my novel 'Any Human Heart' where he’s responsible for recruiting the novel’s protagonist, Logan Mountstuart, into the Naval Intelligence Division in World War II.
One other coincidence should be mentioned. It turns out that I’ve worked with three of the actors who have played James Bond over the years. They’ve all starred in films that I’ve written: Sean Connery in 'A Good Man in Africa', Pierce Brosnan in 'Mr Johnson' and Daniel Craig in 'The Trench'. The idea that these somewhat random connections with Fleming and Bond should culminate in my writing a new James Bond novel is irresistibly appealing. The only thing I’m prepared to say at this stage about the novel that I will write is that it will be set in 1969."
For those who are surprised that IFP is sending Bond back to the past after rebooting 007 as a contemporary hero in Jeffery Deaver's Carte Blanche, recall what Corinne Turner, managing director of Ian Fleming Publications, told me back in 2010 when I asked if Carte Blanche meant an end to period Bonds (at that time represented by the Young Bond series):
“Don’t worry we haven’t left the past behind entirely, but it’s nice to do something different – and keep everyone guessing!”
So it looks like IFP is living up to their promise.
Boyd's yet untitled James Bond novel will be published in Fall of 2013 by Jonathan Cape in the UK and HarperCollins in the U.S. and Canada. Read the full press release here.
Huge news today! Ian Fleming Publications has announced that William Boyd will write the next James Bond novel. Boyd's yet untitled novel will take Bond back to the 1960s and will be published in Fall 2013 by Jonathan Cape in the UK and HarperCollins in the U.S and Canada. Here is the full press release:
William Boyd to write new James Bond novel
Boyd takes Bond back to the Sixties with all the style and flair of Ian Fleming
William Boyd, the award-winning and bestselling author of Restless and Any Human Heart, is to write the next James Bond novel.
The novel, which is yet to be titled, will be published in the UK and Commonwealth in autumn 2013 by Jonathan Cape – Ian Fleming’s original publisher and an imprint of Vintage Publishing – and simultaneously by HarperCollins Publishers in USA & Canada. Rights were sold in the English language by Jonny Geller of Curtis Brown, on behalf of Ian Fleming Publications Ltd.
William Boyd is the third author in recent years to be invited by the Ian Fleming estate to write an official Bond novel, following in the footsteps of the American thriller writer Jeffery Deaver, who wrote Carte Blanche in 2011, and Sebastian Faulks, whose Devil May Care was published to mark Ian Fleming’s centenary in 2008.
Boyd is a writer of international acclaim whose 11 novels and short-story collections have been translated into over 30 languages with many of them adapted for film and television. While the details and title of the next 007 adventure naturally remain secret, the author has revealed that next year’s publication will mark a return to 'classic Bond' and will be set in the late 1960s.
Boyd comments: "When the Ian Fleming estate invited me to write the new James Bond novel I accepted at once. For me the prospect appeared incredibly exciting and stimulating – a once-in-a-lifetime challenge. In fact my father introduced me to the James Bond novels in the 1960s and I read them all then – From Russia with Love being my favourite."
Corinne Turner, Managing Director of Ian Fleming Publications Ltd, comments: "William Boyd is a contemporary English writer whose classic novels combine literary elements with a broad appeal. His thrillers occupy the niche that Ian Fleming would fill were he writing today and with similar style and flair. This alongside his fascination with Fleming himself makes him the perfect choice to take Bond back to his 1960s world."
As well as the publication of the new novel, 2013 is a significant year for Bond, marking 60 years since Ian Fleming’s first James Bond novel, Casino Royale, was published by Cape in 1953. Cape was also the publisher of the first ever official Bond novel following Fleming's death in 1964, when Kingsley Amis took up the mantle writing Colonel Sun as Robert Markham in 1968.
Dan Franklin, Publisher, Jonathan Cape comments: "It is fantastic that Bond is returning to Cape, his birthplace, and even more so that he will do so in the hands of William Boyd. I can’t think of anyone better qualified."
"In more ways than one, William Boyd really is the perfect author to write the next chapter in the life of James Bond," adds Tim Duggan, VP and Executive Editor of HarperCollins Publishers. "His sophisticated storytelling, his knowledge of history and espionage, and his sheer inventiveness will all come together to make this novel as grippingly suspenseful as anything I’ve ever read."
Jonny Geller, Managing Director of literary agency Curtis Brown observes: "This is a dream come true – a fantasy literary combination. Bringing together this country’s most beloved literary character with one of our finest contemporary writers will produce a classic James Bond novel, true to the spirit of Ian Fleming."
Iris Tupholme, Vice President, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, HarperCollins Canada remarks: "William Boyd, whose mastery of plot and character has won him readers all over the world, is the right person to take the beloved James Bond in a new, fresh direction. We are delighted to be publishing the new Bond novel in Canada."
Boyd's most recent novel, Waiting for Sunrise, is published by Bloomsbury in the UK and HarperCollins Publishers in the US on 17 April.
Thanks as always to the good folks at Coleman-Getty and Ian Fleming Publications for the heads up on this terrific news!
The always vigilant Matt Weston (aka [dark]) over at the always vigilant CBn forums has spotted this revised cover artwork for Orion's upcoming reprint of John Gardner's Licence To Kill. What's different?
Well, when the latest Gardner covers were unveiled last month, it was noted that the artwork used the U.S. spelling of License (with an S). Not only was this wrong for the UK market, but back in 1989 it was decided that the UK spelling would be used on all U.S. marketing material for the second Timothy Dalton James Bond film (which provoked the predicable idiotic outcry in the American media).
But now we see the "C" is back in place and all is right with the world.
Continuing my look back at vintage advertisements for the John Gardner James Bond books, here's what you saw when you opened your Los Angeles Times Book Review section on Sunday, October 7, 1984. Having broken the Ice in '83, Bond was back in...
I've been looking back at the John Gardner Bond books a lot lately, so I thought it was time to throw a little Raymond Benson into the mix. I'll kick off with his U.S. paperbacks because this one of my favorite sets. I love the uniformity of the design and the location specific backgrounds. These paperbacks were released by Jove, who after a one book break with Cold Fall, returned to their "James Bond in" series design (with the lightning bolt underline) with Benson.
Of course, Raymond Benson also produced three novelizations during his run as continuation novelist. Those paperbacks, released by Triangle, can be see below.
And as long on we're on the subject of Benson U.S. paperbacks, here's a bonus. Below are three prototype covers for Tomorrow Never Dies (using the Cold Fall series art), Zero Minus Ten, and Die Another Day. One thing I like about the DAD cover is that it uses a tagline that was never used for the film: "He's never been cooler." (Taglines pretty much vanished from Bond film marketing after GoldenEye.) And while books with these covers were never actually produced, you'll still see this artwork on listings at Amazon.com, etc.
Tomorrow Never Dies – Triangle, November 1997.
Zero Minus Ten – Jove, July 1998.
The Facts of Death - Jove, August 1999.
The World Is Not Enough - Triangle, October 6, 1999.
High Time To Kill - Jove, June 5, 2000.
Doubleshot - Jove, June 5, 2001.
Never Dream of Dying - Jove, April 30, 2002.
Die Another Day - Triangle, November 5, 2002.
The Man With The Red Tattoo – Jove, April 28, 2003.
After his successful comeback in 1981's License Renewed, John Gardner's James Bond 007 returned in April of 1982 in For Special Services. The book was first published in the U.S. by Coward, McCann & Geoghegan and saw James Bond on loan to the CIA where he teams with Felix Leiter's daughter, Ceder, to stop a resurgent SPECTRE. As with its predecessor, For Special Services became a New York Times Bestseller. Bond was BACK!
For the record, For Special Services is still one of my favorite continuations novels with one of the very best titles. I always thought it was THE Gardner book that best lent itself to a film adaptation (although with the Craig era and new tone, I now think Icebreaker takes that honor).
For Special Services book was recently republished in new paperback editions from Orion in the UK and Pegasus in the U.S. It's worth revisiting in its anniversary year.