Thursday, May 13, 2021

Rick Tulka's LICENSE RENEWED: Air Murik

Continuing our special 40th anniversary celebration of John Gardner's License Renewed with another illustration by Rick Tulka. These appeared in a New York Post serialization of the book in July/August 1981 and are from the collection of our good friend Delmo Walters Jr.

Today we find James Bond and Lavendar Peacock captives aboard Anton Murik's C-130 aircraft control center.


Tomorrow: Meltdown

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Rick Tulka's LICENSE RENEWED: Sniper's roost

Continuing our special 40th anniversary celebration of John Gardner's License Renewed with another illustration by Rick Tulka. These appeared in a New York Post serialization of the book in July/August 1981 and are from the collection of our good friend Delmo Walters Jr.

Today we find 007 closing in on Anton Murik's fashion show assassin in Perpignan, France.


Tomorrow: Air Murik

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Rick Tulka's LICENSE RENEWED: Night flight!

Continuing our special 40th anniversary celebration of John Gardner's License Renewed with another illustration by Rick Tulka. These appeared in a New York Post serialization of the book in July/August 1981 and are from the collection of our good friend Delmo Walters Jr.

This time Tulka shows us Bond's late night escape from Anton Murik's Scottish castle in his fully equipped Saab 900 Turbo.


Yes, James Bond drove a Saab in the first three John Gardner books, and it was awesome! At least I thought so. Check out my post: BOND'S BEAST - WHEN OO7 DROVE A SAAB.

Tomorrow: Sniper's roost

Monday, May 10, 2021

Rick Tulka's LICENSE RENEWED: Caber clobbered

Continuing our special 40th anniversary celebration of John Gardner's License Renewed, here's another terrific illustration by Rick Tulka. These appeared in a New York Postserialization of the book in July/August 1981 and are from the collection of our good friend Delmo Walters Jr.

Today's image sees Bond victorious in his Highland wresting match with henchman Caber (with an assist from Q-branch).

Click to enlarge.

Tomorrow: Night flight!

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Rick Tulka's LICENSE RENEWED: Lovely Lavender

Today we continue our special 40th anniversary celebration of John Gardner's License Renewed with another illustration by Rick Tulka. These appeared in a New York Post serialization of the book in July/August 1981 and are from the collection of our good friend Delmo Walters Jr.

Here Bond gets a surprise visit from the enigmatic Lavender Peacock, high fashion model and ward of the villainous Anton Murik.


Tomorrow: Caber clobbered

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Rick Tulka's LICENSE RENEWED: Ascot subterfuge

Today we continue our special 40th anniversary celebration of John Gardner's License Renewed with another illustration by Rick Tulka. These appeared in a New York Post serialization of the book in July/August 1981 and are from the collection of our good friend Delmo Walters Jr.

Today Bond infiltrates the inner circle of Anton Murik using some sleight of hand at Ascot Racecourse.

Click to enlarge.

If this image seems familiar, it's because the 1985 James Bond film A View To A Kill also used Ascot as a setting, although not as well as in License Renewed (IMO). This certainly wasn't the only idea from a John Gardner novel that mysteriously found their way into the films. Speaking of films, Bond looks a lot like Timothy Dalton here, doesn't he?

Tomorrow: Lovely Lavender

Friday, May 7, 2021

Rick Tulka's LICENSE RENEWED: Meeting with M

Today we continue our special 40th anniversary celebration of John Gardner's License Renewed with another illustration by Rick Tulka. These appeared in a New York Post serialization of the book in July/August 1981 and come from the collection of our good friend Delmo Walters Jr.

Bond's adventure begins, like so many others, in a familiar office overlooking Regent's Park.

Click to enlarge.

It's surprising how much Tulka's M resembles Robert Brown, who would not actually appear in the role until 1983's Octopussy.

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Rick Tulka's LICENSE RENEWED: Bond for the '80s

Here's a very special treat for the 40th anniversary of John Gardner's License Renewed. Our good friend Delmo Walters Jr. recalls that the book was serialized in the New York Post in late July/August 1981. The installments included original illustrations by artist Rick Tulka, whose style you might recognize from his work in MAD magazine. I was not aware of this serialization nor have I ever seen Tulka's Bond artwork. So Delmo kindly sent over ten illustrations from his own collection for all of us to enjoy.

My plan is to share one illustration per day for the next ten days. So let's kick it off with Rick Tulka's vision of 007 in the 1980s. Gotta love the tie!

I described to the Glidrose Board how I wanted to put Bond to sleep where Fleming had left him in the sixties, waking him up now in the 80s having made sure he had not aged, but had accumulated modern thinking on the question of Intelligence and Security matters. Most of all I wanted him to have operational know-how: the reality of correct tradecraft and modern gee-whiz technology. — John Gardner

Tomorrow: Meeting with M

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

LICENSE RENEWED TURNS 40

On April 27, 1981, James Bond returned in John Gardner's License Renewed. The book was first published in the U.S. by Merek/Putnam. (Jonathan Cape would publish the book in the UK in May.) The novel finds an un-aged but updated James Bond 007 battling a tyrannical Scottish Laird who is threatening to cause a series of nuclear meltdowns. It became a New York Times Bestseller and spawned a series of 14 original books by Gardner, proving that James Bond could have a literary life beyond his creator.


License Renewed holds a lot of significance for me personally. While I had always enjoyed James Bond films–my first being Diamonds Are Forever on television and The Spy Who Love Me in theaters–it was the summer of 1981 that I became a fanatic. Everything seemed new and fresh and filled with possibility. I was seeing advance posters and stills from the upcoming Bond film, For Your Eyes Only, which promised to be a very different Bond for the '80s. I had my first car, a Fiat Spider 2000, so suddenly I was living a Bond lifestyle, if only in my head. And to top it all off the literary Bond returned in License Renewed, a book I read and loved.

Seems I wasn't the only one feeling a sense of new beginnings. In a widely syndicated review of the book for the New York Daily News, critic Bob Green wrote:

James Bond is alive! And in a way it's appropriate that he should be coming back at precisely this time. When Ian Fleming died in '64 the world was just beginning to go into its mass nervous break down, which made society so schizoid for so many years. In the late '60s and '70s, there was really no place for a man like Bond.

Somehow, though, 1981 appears to be the year in which heroes are welcome again. People seem to be a little less cynical, perhaps even less selfish, than they have been for a while. Who better to step into this new world than James Bond himself, the last great hero from the pre-craziness era?

Words that could apply 40 years later!

Feel free to share your own memories of License Renewed in the comments below.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

The Folio Society releases YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE

The Folio Society has released their next illustrated slip-cased Ian Fleming classic, You Only Live Twice.


The eleventh book in the enormously popular Bond series sees the agent fighting not only for his life, but for his very livelihood. The last book to be published before Fleming died, You Only Live Twice contains in abundance everything that makes a Bond novel so thrilling: exotic locations, glamorous women, grotesque villains – while also revealing a little more of what makes the agent tick. Fay Dalton continues her incredible work on this series, with seven gorgeous colour illustrations and a show-stopping pictorial slipcase. Japan makes an especially alluring location for both writer and artist, with Fleming giving Bond a whistle-stop tour of Japanese culture, while Dalton’s bewitching artworks make the most of every lush scene she brings to life. An unmissable volume in one of Folio’s landmark collections.

You Only Live Twice Folio Edition is priced at $69.95 and can be purchased from the Folio Society website.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

CHARLIE HIGSON talks You Only Live Twice

Young Bond author Charlie Higson talks about his first and still favorite James Bond movie You Only Live Twice on the Smersh Pod podcast. It's good to hear Charlie talking Bond again. Enjoy.


For my money, Charlie Higson's Young Bond novels are among the very best James Bond continuations, and I'd love to see him get a crack at doing an adult Bond novel. Maybe this is the right time for that?

Monday, March 1, 2021

Every SIGNET printing of every Fleming Bond novel

Mega Bond book collector Brad Frank recently posted this photo on the excellent JAMES BOND COLLECTABLE BOOKS WORLDWIDE Facebook group. This shows every Signet printing of every Ian Fleming James Bond novel in Brad's formidable collection.

Click to enlarge.

"It adds up to 331 copies of the 14 books. Since I'm still missing about 5 printings, I used duplicates of other printings as place-holders for those. But this gives you a graphic representation of how many printings there were. Still looking for: 

DAF 4th & 28th printings
SWLM 8th printing
YOLT 7th printing
MWTGG 6th printing"


For more on the Signet Bonds check out my posts from 2011: James Bond Signet paperbacks.

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Finding what's NEW in the past

Movie Bond fans may think they have it tough having to endure yet another delay in the release of No Time To Die. But at least they have something to wait for! Us book Bond fans don't even have that much. And try as I might, I just cannot get my literary Bond fix from the Dynamite comics. I'm starving.

So in these desperate times, I've gone into the past to find something new. Below are some goodies from the 1980s when the literary Bond was BACK every year. We know it can happen!

May 3, 1981.

May 1, 1983

Click to enlarge.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Greek HOROWITZ

Here are Greek editions of Anthony Horowitz's two Bond novels, Trigger Mortis and Forever and a Day, that use unique cover art. While I've seen plenty of variations of Trigger Mortis, most international editions of Forever and a Day stuck with the UK art. This one is a variation on that art to be sure, but it does lose the idea of the boat as bullet. Still, it's nice to see something different.

Will we get the announcement of a third Anthony Horowitz Bond novel this year? Or maybe a new author? We are well over do for something.

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Dynamite reveals JAMES BOND: AGENT OF SPECTRE

Dynamite has revealed their next original James Bond series, James Bond: Agent of SPECTRE by Christos Gage. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the series sees "Bond recruited into the terrorist organization by Ernst Stavro Blofeld to end an internal power struggle that could have apocalyptic consequences." The first book is due for release in March 2021.

It's a cool concept. Of course, for those of us who know the continuation novels know the idea of 007 being recruited by SPECTRE first played out in 1984's Role of Honor by John Gardner.

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