Bond’s Literary News

The Benson books are e-book only when they have already released one in paperback?

That’s highly disappointing.

I will be curious to see what version they use for the new Fleming hardbacks…

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Fingers crossed that IFP learned their lesson. Don’t be a George Lucas, IFP, original text please! Also, I hope On His Majesty’s Secret Service is released on paperback in America!

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Sweat the assets for all they’re worth, I s’pose. There’s only so many times I can buy the same bloody thing, though.


The social media comments have been predictably brutal regarding the new hardbacks needing to be unedited.

These releases, and which version they use, will essentially act as their official statement on the matter…

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I would have said the same thing at one point but when you think about it - what would that really give us?

The UK hardback has always been available on Amazon US. I had mine a day or two after release day at a price that was in line with what people in the UK were paying locally.

I’m just not sure there’s really a need for dedicated US editions anymore…

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But not as much space as you used to need, because they’ve all had content excised.


New titles:

Illegal cardgames Royale
Live and let
Dr. Yes
From somewhere with love
The Spy who liked me
On his/her Majesty’s dinner service
You definitely live twice
The person with the golden trigger warning


I know, I’m picky and old-fashioned. However, I’m still hoping for maybe some fixed up typos, and some behind the scenes material.


I‘ve been for a long time advocating an annotated edition with essays and pictures documenting the background of the writing process, editing and reception of each volume as well as how they fit into their time, politics and sociocultural context. That would be much more educational than butchering the text.

Anyway, looks like there’s really nothing of note IFP has to offer for the anniversary other than what they offer any other year.


I would love it if the “exclusive new content” for OHMSS is that they gave Higson a chance to maybe catch his breath a bit and flesh the novella out into a proper novel.

You got the sense from his interviews that he was rushed (even emailing more material at the last second) and it read to me like a 1st draft. But there’s a good book and good writing to be uncovered there. I say re-work the thing, expand it, and have it kick off a Higson written modern Bond series…


Piggybacking on your idea with new titles for the other four novels:

Fully Clothed Raker
Diamonds Are Sparkly
For No One’s Eyes
8-Armed Sea Creature


I agree. Nothing really hits the spot like new content. I’m more than happy with my Serra/Fahey Penguin covers for the Fleming books. I do think the Folio Society editions are worth purchasing if one can afford them, though. I’m interested to see what they have in store later in the year.

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Here’s some old news, from the Feb. 17, 1963 edition of the The San Francisco Examiner:

San Francisco Strikes Back

By Dick Nolan

Thanks to Ian Fleming, he of the cult, the wildest literary experiment in the world is being carried out here in San Francisco. Our city is writing a book.

I would feel better about this if it did not remind me of the monkeys and the typewriters.

You recall the theory: If you put enough monkeys to work batting enough typewriters for a long enough time, why, eventually you get a masterpiece of literature by random chance for Random House.

Roughly speaking, the monkey business is afoot.

San Francisco is writing a mystery novel. That’s on account of Ian Fleming. You can blame him, all right. And the coordinator of this dangerous project is Dave Niles, the staff intellectual at KSFO, who (along with President Kennedy) is an Ian Fleming fan

For the three or four readers who may not yet have heard of Ian Fleming, let me explain that he is the creator of James Bond, the super secret agent, and of Bond’s boss, M, and of the creepy Soviet murder machine known as SMERSH. Also of miscellaneous pneumatic blondes, master spies, inventive torturers, knowing waiters, ingenious mechanics, beetle-browed thugs, sly assassins, pneumatic brunettes, cryptographers, cryptanalysts, and pneumatic redheads.

James Bond contends with some, exchanges airy talk with others, kills a few, gets exquisitely tormented by the torturer in each novel; kills the torturer, foils the plot and (after work is done) indulges himself with the pneumatic beauty, but only briefly, because all surplus characters have to be cleared away for the next book.

All this gave Dave Niles the idea, one night, to ask the KSFO audience to phone in the specifications for a synthetic thriller, starting with a super-secret international agent (Bond is a Limey) and going on from there.

Well! Ever since then the listeners have been putting this book together with dedicated fury. And Dave has been editing the results. It’s an excellent chance that a publisher will come along soon and put the whole thing between covers.

For a preview, may I present Drason Morris, secret agent. According to the listeners’ specifications, Drason Morris is five foot 11 1/2 inches tall, weighs 187 pounds, has brown hair, flinty gray eyes, craggy features. He has a small triangular scar under his left ear. He is lean, muscular and is always deeply tanned.

At Yale, Morris rowed and fenced. In postgraduate studies at Stanford (electronics, Indo-European literature) Morris neglected athletics. Nevertheless he is expert at judo, karate, use of small arms, parachute jumping, explosives, sports car driving, small boat handling, celestial navigation, and the intricate French art of fighting with the feet.

Drason Morris lives in a Belvedere split-level thoughtfully provided with a secret infra-red and sonar warning system, as well as a concealed elevator leading to a hidden dock under the house.

Drason’s car is a Facel Vega HK 500, powered by a 360 hp Chrysler V-8 with twin four-choke carburetors. The car has disc brakes. It can accelerate from zero to 100 mph and brake back to zero again in 25 seconds.

He favors a Browning 9mm. Parabellum pistol, Chivas Regal Scotch, a $2,500 Swiss watch, a Morane Saulnier airplane, an air propelled 19-foot cruiser that coasts at 140 mph, and a Bell TX-500 helmet for sky diving.

So far the listeners have been unable to agree on Drason’s taste in broads. One must assume they will be spectacular and inventive.

Plot is pretty much a tangle, so far. Something about a new atomic submarine being hijacked while the President is aboard; a deadly battle between Drason and a 361-pound Sumo wrestler; and a 150 m.p.h. automobile chase across the Golden Gate Bridge. I told you it was wild.


I don’t know what this means.

Could be some kind of Fleming/Bond-on-golf compilation.

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Some kind of marketing partnership, I presume.

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Penfold posted the comment: “How much of an influence was Sir Henry Cotton on the Goldfinger novel? A true story of golf.”

Probably out of my price range, whatever it is.

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There’s currently a signed & inscribed to Sir Henry Cotton ‘Goldfinger’ on the market for a lean € 60.000*…:scream:

*and a bit of small change; let’s not be fussy…

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Silly me and I thought that the Taschen book was terribly expensive, but now it turns out that it is actually being given away almost for free. :innocent:


That’s not the most expensive inscribed and signed Fleming first edition that’s on the market…