Friday, June 29, 2012

IAN FLEMING Vintage Classics ebooks in July

Ian Fleming Publications have announced that the new Vintage ebook editions of Ian Fleming's 007 novels will be released in July. The ebooks will feature the cover art from the Vintage Classics editions. I don't have the exact date, but it might be sooner than later, so watch for them!

Visit The Book Bond's Vintage Fleming page for release dates and pre-order links.

UPDATE: It looks like the book are available NOW at (UK customers only).

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Vintage reveals 'THERE IS ONLY ONE BOND' series covers

Having revealed the Classic line last month, Ian Fleming Publications and Random House/Vintage have now revealed the first seven covers from what they call their contemporary James Bond series. The first wave of seven books will be released on August 2, 2012. Here is the full press release:

Unveiling the New Bond Book Covers

‘Everyone thinks they know James Bond… Readers of every stripe have good reason to return to the source from which this extraordinary cultural phenomenon sprang: the books of Ian Fleming’
                                                                     -Sam Bourne

We recently unveiled the iconic Vintage Classics covers and are delighted to now share with you the first seven covers in the contemporary Vintage paperback series, which will be published on 2 August 2012 in the English language worldwide exc USA/Canada.

The publishing programme has been underpinned by significant consumer insight to bring a new generation of readers to Ian Fleming’s work and engage people who ‘know’ Bond primarily through the film franchise.

As well as reflecting the rich literary history and heritage of the James Bond character, the new Vintage covers tap into the deeper and more human side of our hero Bond; including his isolation and vulnerability.

Vintage Publishing Sales Director and Bond Brand Manager Tom Drake-Lee says: ‘While both cover approaches appeal universally, the iconic “retro” illustrative approach to the Vintage Classic editions reinforces the books as classic spy thrillers and captures the style and panache of the late fifties and early sixties, particularly for readers who enjoy classics and those wanting to discover and rediscover Ian Fleming’s brilliant creation.

By depicting a lone man in the standard Vintage editions our photographic approach appeals to the reader of modern contemporary thrillers and emphasises that not only is there more to Bond than the character in the films, but also that Bond is the original action hero from which so many modern heroes derive. He is the original and best!’

Tom Drake-Lee, Vintage Publishing Sales Director and Bond Brand Manager

Visit The Book Bond's Vintage Fleming page for release dates and pre-order links.

UPDATE: Second wave covers revealed.

Monday, June 25, 2012

New YOUNG BOND paperbacks released in Germany

Following their full cover refresh in the UK, it looks like the Young Bond novels by Charlie Higson are getting a partial refresh in Germany as well. Check out the cover art for Arena's new paperback editions of Hurricane Gold and By Royal Command published this month. Pretty nice, but how these cover images fit their respective stories, I have no idea.

These books are available now from the German and UK Amazon websites.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

John Gardner's James Bond LARGE PRINT editions

Here's a unique collection of John Gardner James Bond novels with covers that may not be familiar to most. That's because these are Large Print editions; books published with enlarged typeface for readers who have difficulty with standard type sizes. Until very recently, publishers of Large Print editions created their own original cover art, which as you can see below results in some very interesting designs (I'm especially fond of Role of Honor and Nobody Lives Forever).

The Gardner books appeared in multiple Large Print editions from multiple publishers in the U.S. and UK, but I've selected out a sample assortment below. The only Gardner book that wasn't published in Large Print (as far as I know) was Licence To Kill.

Friday, June 22, 2012


Here's one of my favorite covers for John Gardner's Role of Honor. Kinda reminds me of the Skyfall teaser poster. But you might be wondering which edition this is. It's pretty uncommon, as are all the covers in this specific collection of Gardner (and Benson) books in my collection. So stand by while I dig these out and do some scanning and I will have the details for you soon.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

First edition of LIVE AND LET DIE sells for $21,258

(Source: - A rare first edition of Ian Fleming's, James Bond, Live and Let Die fetched $21,258 (£13,750) soaring well above its high-estimate ($6,000/£4,000) at a recent Christie's auction.

Live and Let Die, was the second novel in Fleming's James Bond series. It was first published in the UK by Jonathan Cape on April 5th, 1954. Copies in good condition are in-demand by collectors.

This particular book was described by Christie's as; "(a) First edition of the second bond novel, in an attractive example of the first issue dust jacket, with the price '10s.6d. Net' and blurb on the front flap, and without any credit for the jacket design."

Live and Let Die had an initial print run of only 7,500 copies, which quickly sold-out after its April release in 1954. Because of the small supply, and the amount of time that has passed (58 years for this particular book), it's very rare to find a first-run copy in excellent condition with the original dust jacket still intact.

Thanks to James Massey for the tip.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Kenneth Branagh and David Tennant read BOND

Kenneth Branagh reading The Man With The Golden Gun? David Tennant reading On Her Majesty's Secret Service? It's true!

Ian Fleming Publications and AudioGO (the new name for BBC Audiobooks) announced today that the classic Ian Fleming James Bond novels will be released as audiobooks read by some of the UKs most talented actors. Here is the full press release:

For Your Ears Only…
Bond is back with an all-star cast from the cream of British acting talent 
Thursday 6th September 2012 will mark a hugely significant event for James Bond fans everywhere. The launch of Ian Fleming’s classic Bond novels, read by a stellar selection of brilliant readers!
Three years in the making, the project has seen distinguished director Enyd Williams and Lucy Fleming for Ian Fleming Publications, working with twelve British acting icons to create an exciting, modern ‘007 reloaded’ take on the new, unabridged recordings of these remarkable books.

Now AudioGO, the UK’s leading audiobook publisher and distributor, has been appointed, with sole distribution rights for this fabulous collection.

“AudioGO is extremely pleased and excited to be working with Ian Fleming Publications on the release of twelve brand new James Bond audio recordings. These classic, timeless stories, when combined with the excellent calibre of star readers, will make for a truly entertaining and compelling listening experience.”
Mike Bowen – Managing Director

“I am delighted to say that Ian Fleming Publications and AudioGO are thrilled to be working together to present some of Britain’s best-known actors reading Ian’s classic Bond novels, for your ears only...”
Lucy Fleming

So who’s involved? Well, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is read by the remarkable David Tennant, while Bill Nighy brings his unique talents to Moonraker. Rosamund Pike delivers an intriguing take on The Spy Who Loved Me. Whilst Hugh Bonneville delivers a dynamic reading of the ever-popular Goldfinger and Dan Stevens reads the classic Casino Royale

Here's the full line-up of readers:

Each fantastic new Bond title will be available to pre-order on 1st August, and download or purchase on CD from 6th September 2012.

For news, artwork and samples, keep checking the BOND RELOADED page on Facebook.

Monday, June 11, 2012

William Boyd reveals new details about his BOND NOVEL

News Tank reports that William Boyd has revealed new details about his upcoming James Bond novel while speaking to an audience at the Telegraph Hay Festival:

"He is a middle-aged man, a middle-aged spy, and that’s one of the things that interests me", Boyd talked about the James Bond in his novel which will be published in 2013 autumn. In the novel set in 1969 Bond will be a 45-year-old man. 
Also, this time, Bond’s love affairs will be less exotic. "And similarly with love affairs – in my novel they will be entirely believable." proclaimed the new creator of Bond.  
"I’m a realistic novelist and what interests me about Bond is the human being. There will be no mountains filled with atom bombs or global plagues, no gadgets, no superpowers or preposterous enemies – there will be an entirely believable psychopath, not a preposterous psychopath.", added the acclaimed novelist who was shortlisted for the Booker Prize for Fiction in 1982 for his novel An Ice-cream War. 
The novelist finds the literary Bond far more interesting than the film hero who for him is "a sort of cartoon”. The novelist said, “The literary Bond is a much more troubled, complex, nuanced figure." In his novel, Boyd may keep both M and Moneypenny, but not Q, the scientist who invents strange gadgets.

Overall, the novelist is very serious about the project and at the same time keen on enjoying the freedom allowed by the Ian Fleming estate. "I’m taking it extremely seriously but I’m going to have a lot of fun as well.", divulged William Boyd.

Mi6 Confidential previews IAN FLEMING: THE BIBLIOGRAPHY

The latest issue of Mi6 Confidential (#15) has just landed on my door, and while the cover story is devoted to the location filming of Skyfall, I'm happy to report that there is still plenty inside for the literary Bond fan.

First and foremost is an exclusive extract from Jon Gilbert's upcoming Ian Fleming: The Bibliography. With all the 50th Anniversary books heading our way this Fall, this is actually the book I'm most looking forward to, especially after getting this peek inside. It looks amazing!

The magazine also reports on the appointment of William Boyd as the latest continuation novelist, and includes a look back at the 1974 strip, The Phoenix Project, which featured 007 in action in Istanbul.

You can purchase Mi6 Confidential (#15) at

Thanks to Hugh Maddocks.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

LINK: SpyVibe interviews Jon Gilbert about IAN FLEMING: THE BIBLIOGRPHY

Spy Vibe celebrates the upcoming release of Ian Fleming: The Bibliography with an exclusive interview with Jon Gilbert. Click on the headline to have a read.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The mystery of THE KILLING ZONE

I first posted this in 2007, but as The Book Bond now has a larger readership, I thought this was worth a re-post for those who have never heard of this literary Bond curiosity. Enjoy.

One of the more mysterious stories in the world of the literary James Bond is that of the little-known 007 novel The Killing Zone by Jim Hatfield. The 251 page novel tells the story of 007 going after a drug lord in Mexico after he murders Bond’s friend and colleague, Bill Tanner. It's a plotline strikingly similar to the film Licence To Kill (still four years away when The Killing Zone was "published"), and includes the surprise reappearance of Major Anya Amasova from The Spy Who Loved Me. It also includes the even more surprising death of James Bond in its final pages!

The Killing Zone appeared in 1985 -- the year official continuation novelist John Gardner had off -- and claims on its copyright page to be officially licensed by Glidrose Publications (now Ian Fleming Publications). But this book is far from official.

The Killing Zone was the creation of Jim Hatfield, a legitimate author of several books, most notably of the infamous George W. Bush biography, Fortunate Son, which claimed the former U.S. president was once arrested for cocaine possession. He was also a man who had his fair share of problems with the law.

The story (as uncovered by the now defunct 007Forever website) is that Hatfield told co-workers he had been named the new James Bond continuation author. In order to keep his ruse alive, he wrote and self-published The Killing Zone, which on close examination is a bizarre patchwork of original material mixed with plagiarized passages from the Bond novels by John Pearson and John Gardner and other spy novels.

Even the cover art is a patchwork forgery. Despite the claim on the back of the book that it was designed and hand lettered by David Gatti, the "James Bond" was lifted from the U.S. paperback edition of James Bond The Authorized Biography and the title design was taken from a novel of the same name by William Crawford Woods (I've yet to discover the source of the blood spots).

Despite all this, The Killing Zone is not entirely without Bondian merit. It features some clever action scenes, good use of Mexican locales (Puerto Vallarta, Acapulco, Sierra Madre), and a strong villain in Klaus Dobermann. The return of Triple X is fun in a fan fiction sort of way, but Hatfield does go a step too far with the name of his Bond Girl: Lotta Head.

Precisely how many copies of The Killing Zone were printed is not known. There have been rumors of large stashes tucked away, but like so much with Hatfield, the truth is elusive. Thus far, only two copies of The Killing Zone have ever surfaced, both signed by Hatfield to female co-workers. (I own one of these two copies, which I purchased from a mysterious seller, "A. Smith," on eBay in 2000.)

Plagued by problems with alcohol and facing arrest for credit card fraud, Jim Hatfield committed suicide in an Arkansas motel in 2001. Near the end, Hatfield believed he was under surveillance by the Bush administration, and there are those who suggest he was actually murdered by the minions of George W. Bush.

It all sounds like something out of a James Bond novel.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Timothy Dalton in...THUNDERBALL?

I always enjoy finding copies of the James Bond books that use one of the Bond actors as their image of 007 on the cover. The best are the mis-matches, like using Roger Moore on the cover of You Only Live Twice. Here is one of my favorites. This is a Hungarian Thunderball with the image of Timothy Dalton (from The Living Daylights advance poster) on the cover. I found this in Budapest in 1990 when Dalton was still "the Bond of record."

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