Friday, December 28, 2012

Has Boyd delivered his BOND 2013 manuscript?

If this quote is accurate, then there's a new James Bond book in the world! According to a report in the Radio Times, the manuscript for William Boyd's new Bond novel should now be in the hands of Ian Fleming Publications:

He is just putting the finishing touches to the manuscript, which has to be delivered before Christmas. Publication is autumn 2013. There’s no title as yet and Boyd is tight-lipped about plot details.

Hopefully we'll start getting some details in the new year. There hasn't been much news on the Boyd book yet -- certainly less than there was on the last Bond novel by Jeffery Deaver at this same time (remember the whole "Project X" tease?).

William Boyd's new Bond novel will be published by Jonathan Cape in the UK and HarperCollins in the U.S and Canada.

Friday, December 21, 2012

DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER manuscript sells for £97,250

An original manuscript for the James Bond novel Diamonds Are Forever with Ian Fleming's handwritten corrections sold for £97,250 ($158,000) at Sotheby's auction of "English Literature, History, Children’s Books & Illustrations" on December 12.

The manuscript was Lot 111 and had carried an estimate of £50,000 - £80,000. The final price includes a Buyer's Premium.

The manuscript had been owned by Fleming's typist, Ulrica Knowles, and had remained in her family until 2008. According to the auction, among the many revisions in the manuscript is the fact that the book's hoodlum "Dolly" Kidd is called "Boofy" Gore throughout (the name was changed following the objection of Fleming's former schoolfriend from whom the name was taken).

Diamonds Are Forever was Ian Fleming's fourth James Bond novel and was first published by Jonathan Cape on March 26, 1956.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

THRILLING CITIES and THE DIAMOND SMUGGLERS getting the classic treatment in 2013

Ian Fleming's two non-Bond books Thrilling Cities and The Diamond Smugglers will be released by Vintage in 2013 with cover art that matchs their recent 007 Classics editions.

Both books are due out on April 4, 2013.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

IAN FLEMING statue to be erected in Kent

This is Kent reports that a statue of James Bond author Ian Fleming will be one of three life-size steel figures that will stand alongside a wooden bench on Dover's promenade. Fleming was chosen as the third statue by the public with 45% of the vote.

The other statues are Dame Vera Lynn, English singer-songwriter and actress who sang the wartime classic The White Cliffs of Dover, and local hero Jamie Clark, who brought the Olympic Torch into Dover and was the town's first Torchbearer during the 2012 London Olympics.

Ian Fleming's third James Bond novel, Moonraker, is set largely in Kent and includes action set at the White Cliffs of Dover.

Sunday, December 16, 2012


Here's news that both excellent and frustrating. Charles Helfenstein, who wrote the superb The Making of On Her Majesty's Secret Service, has now written the definitive book on The Making of The Living Daylights, Timothy Dalton's 1987 debut James Bond film based loosely on the Ian Fleming short story of the same name.

The frustrating part is that the book was released back on October 5 and is currently out of stock on Amazon. Not only did I not know this book came out, but I didn't even know Charles was working on it!

I don't have the book in hand to give an opinion of it, but if Charles' OHMSS book is any indicator, then this book will be excellent.

Hopefully its unavailability on Amazon is only temporary.

UPDATE: A quick update from the author himself. The book was copyrighted Oct 5, but only released recently, so this wasn't missed for as long as I thought. Also, the book is readily available from

UPDATE 2: My book arrived today and I've had a quick flip through it and...OMG!...this is a masterwork. If you have to forgo all the other 50th Anniversary whatnot to get this book, DO IT! You have been advised.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

No SKYFALL for Boyd

There's been a sudden flurry of press about the new James Bond novel due next year, with The Telegraph and the Mail Online emphasizing author William Boyd's comment about Bond being a "massive boozer" in the books and early films (it's true).

The Independent takes a different approach, building their report on the fact that the book is set back in 1969 ("James Bond will be thrust into a world of Woodstock, Vietnam protests and man's first steps on the Moon.")

But all the reports include a mention of how Boyd has purposely avoided seeing the new mega-hit James Bond film, Skyfall, although none explain exactly why. Presumably Boyd doesn't want to be influenced by the Film Bond? Fair enough. But The Independent also has this:

An expert in Bond’s life and times, Boyd corrects an error in the climax of Sam Mendes’ film, which sought to return OO7 to his childhood home, the Skyfall Lodge in Glencoe, Scotland. “Bond was brought up by an aunt in somewhere like Wiltshire,” Boyd said.

Boyd isn't entirely right about this. Bond's time at Skyfall Lodge precedes his going to live with his aunt. Skyfall was the home of his parents. After their death, he was sent to live with his aunt. Of course, the Skyfall mythology is a completely new invention by the screenwriters, but one of the many things I liked about the new Bond film is how it included Bond's childhood without contradicting Fleming or even Charlie Higson's Young Bond series.

Anyway, here are the articles, all of which appeared today:

William Boyd's Bond novel will be published in Fall of 2013 by Jonathan Cape in the UK and HarperCollins in the U.S and Canada.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Here's the full set of JOHN GARDNER 007 reprints

Now that all the books have been released (in the UK), here is the full set of all 16 new paperback editions of the John Gardner James Bond novels from Orion. This is the first time the Gardner books have ever been printed in a uniform set, and the first time the novelizations of Licence To Kill and GoldenEye have ever been included in any set. I think the cover art by Dan Mogford looks sensational, and it's wonderful to see the dream I first articulated in this thread on CBn become a reality (I still wonder if that thread had anything to do with this).

Visit our special Gardner Renewed page for links to all the Gardner-James Bond reprints in the U.S. and UK.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

LINK: Rare James Bond manuscript with Ian Fleming notes to fetch £80,000

The Telegraph reports that a rare manuscript of the James Bond novel Diamonds Are Forever featuring Ian Fleming's handwritten corrections could fetch as much as £80,000 when it goes up for auction at Sotheby's on December 12. Click the headline to read.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

"It's an ordinary mission that goes hideously wrong."

William Boyd has provided some information about his upcoming James Bond novel in a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times. The mention of an "ordinary mission" that "goes hideously wrong" is new and intriguing. Here's the section of interview dealing with Bond.

You're also working on the new James Bond novel. Can you tell us anything about it? 
I am being annoyingly tight-lipped. It's 1969 and Bond is 45 years old. This is not the young hotshot spy anymore, this is a man who's maybe not quite as limber or confident as he was in 1953. There's no mountains full of atom bombs or a bubonic plague that will destroy the world. It's an ordinary mission for a middle-aged spy that goes hideously wrong.
Did you get a lot of leeway in terms of the story? 
You have total freedom. There's no point in asking somebody like me or [Devil May Care author] Sebastian Faulks to write a Bond novel if you then say "You have to do this." There are certain boxes you have to tick, but within those relatively few parameters you're free to invent your own story. That's one reason I went back to read all the novels again. In those novels was a lot of information about Bond and his tastes, his moods, his dark side. So that's what I've really plundered the novels for rather than cars with ejector seats.

William Boyd's Bond novel will be published in Fall of 2013 by Jonathan Cape in the UK and HarperCollins in the U.S and Canada.

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