Forever And A Day - Anthony Horowitz (SPOILERS! BEWARE!)


#21

Another gimmick, although I suppose any continuation Bond must rely on gimmicks. There might be a reason that Fleming left unused material; it might not have been good enough.

Hello from Permanent Sunshine Jolly Land, by the way. Apologies for grumpiness; the book might turn out OK but I’m not sure it’s necessary.


#22

I enjoyed Trigger Mortis, so Horowitz has a lot of goodwill with me. I didn’t expect the book to be out so soon, so that’s a pleasant surprise. I gather they’re referring to the agent who had the title of 007 before Bond. That agent died in the waters of Marseille, to be replaced by James Bond.


#23

They where plots for a tv series Fleming pitched, and are actually mostly still in pitch form - you can see how little of Trigger Mortis was the Fleming story. i imagine he might have used the plots in future short stories for magazines and things if he got asked to do them. I seen to recall reading that From A View To A Kill started life like that, and Thunderball was obviously a film idea that hadnt happened (and would haunt Bond for over 5 decades after…)


#24

I believe all of the short stories in Eyes Only started like that - as TV stories / pitches. Possibly also Octopussy stories


#25

By the way, how does one quote a post before replying to it?

Apologies if missing the obvious.


#26

Even if this novel might be fantastic I definitely hope that a future novel will not be another pre-prequel explaining what actually does not need to be explained.

Sorry, I’m kind of hung up on my disgust for current pop culture’s idea of explaining backstory as if it is needed for audiences to be interested or “emotionally involved” with a character.

Fleming explained the character in “Casino Royale”. That was the “prequel” for all following books.

More is not needed. And secrets are GOOD for a fictional character. They are what makes him/her interesting. Laying it all bare often does not leave anything that makes a fictional character special.

I hope that future novels will actually deal with Bond´s current state of mind. Or - if they don’t want to go there because one might not actually want to know too much about Bond aging - they could just do novels that deal with adventures between the known ones.

I´d love it if a continuation author did the obvious: use CraigBond and write about all the missions that took place between QOS and SF.


#27

I don’t necessarily have a problem with the prequel route.

I prefer this over ‘the ageing Bond is given one last chance’ scenario.


#28

You mark the text you want to quote. The highlighted part automatically gets a ‘quote’ badge; you hit that and the reply window opens with the quoted text.


#29

Just curious, why do people happen to think the events of Casino Royale happen in 1951? I’ve read that novel countless times and to me, there’s no indication of a set date. Unless there are references in the book that I’ve ignored due to not being born or alive around that time…

Can someone briefly explain please?


#30

I cannot say for sure, I only know John Griswold did a detailed chronology of the entire canon in his Annotations. He argues along the lines of several given dates and tries to fit everything into a concise and sound sequence of events, with some licence to contradictions. Fleming himself didn’t bother to be overly precise.

However, based on the few given verifiable dates Griswold sets a chronology for previous and later events. And based on this he places the narrative of Casino Royale in a period from end of May 1951 to mid-July 1951.


#31

There is also reference to the last time they were able to capture a member SMERSH being 1948, so it seems reasonable that it took place a few years after that.


#32

Perhaps. Thanks for clarifying.


#33

In Goldfinger, its stated that the card game against Le Chiffre was in '51.


#34

It does make me wonder - which details are continuation authors meant to follow when Fleming wasn’t consistent with them? Like Bond being born in 1920 AND 1924 per Fleming. I mean Fleming was clearly more interested in one story at a time than any overarching stories, details or characters (much like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in that regard) but where does it place things like this book in regards to consistency?


#35

Well, Fleming certainly ‘adjusted’ details like Bond’s birth year and other minor details about his backstory over time. But apart from a few small details, most of the loose backstory he established throughout the novels is pretty consistent with his final word on the subject - namely the obituary for Bond at the end of YOLT.

Basically, these are the two backstories for Bond that Fleming established.

As per the ‘original’ one, Bond is born around 1917 (he was 37 in Moonraker, which is set around 1954). At some unknown point of time, he joins the Royal Navy, eventually earning the rank of Commander. He joins the Secret Service in 1938. In 1939, shortly before the outbreak of WW2, he participates in a mission against Roumanians in Monte Carlo, which involves a card game. At some point during the war, he kills a Japanese cipher clerk in New York and a Norwegian double-agent in Stockholm. These kills eventually earn him his 00 number, by 1950 at latest.

And as per the ‘final’ version published in YOLT, Bond is born in 1924. In 1941, at the age of 17, he lies about his age and joins the Royal Navy to fight in WW2. By the end of the war, he’s earned the rank of Commander. After the war, he joins the Secret Service, and is eventually given a 00 number.

The major detail which changes between the two versions is Bond’s wartime service. Originally, Fleming envisioned him as a Secret Service agent during the war, but later retconned him as being in Naval Intelligence during the war and only joining the Service after the war.

But that can be easily reconciled. Bond could have carried out the two assassinations during the war, while he was part of Naval Intelligence. Maybe he was seconded to the Secret Service. And it was because of those two kills on his record that, once he joined the Service, he was eventually elevated to 00 status.

The one consistent element seems to be that Bond becomes 007 not long before Casino Royale. In Goldfinger, he says he’s been a 00 for six years…and Goldfinger is set in 1957 if I’m not mistaken. Plus there’s the ‘December Highsmark file’ of 1950, as per FRWL. So my guess is that this novel will be set around 1950…maybe a year earlier at most.


#36

Perhaps this is what Forever and A Day is about - essentially acting like Rogue One did Star Wars in ironing about inconsistencies in the back story.


#37

Forever and a Day will begin with the last 007’s body being discovered off the coast of Marseille, having been “killed by an unknown hand.”

Simply put, when James Bond retires or is KIA, another “former SAS type” will be assigned the 007 designation.

I can abide by that. Careful not to stray into the neighboring code name theory that his name would also be James Bond.

In that grey area between his SAS career and moving to MI6, there would be ample material to be mined.

AND, what a tasty morsel for the NEXT actor and director to ponder in the 26th film outing (vis-a-vis, rebooting the series, yet again, hmmmm?)


#38

Yep. It’s the most logical explanation. There’s no point retiring numbers because 00s are always needed.


#39

The more I read about this the more pointless it sounds. We don’t need a prequel to CASINO ROYALE.

The publishers need to either get serious about getting this literary franchise on the right track or just let it go. The latter sounds better and better to me with each new novel they publish.


#40

Well, it seems somewhat back on track for me right now.

After all, Horowitz is the first continuation author to actually get a second shot at Bond in the 21st century. Sebastian Faulks, Jeffrey Deaver and William Boyd all got only one shot each.

It seems there is some merit in Horowitz’ idea of using unpublished Fleming material as the basis of his novels’ plots, and of setting his books at some point during (or as in this case, before) the classic Bond timeline, as opposed to after, as was the case with the bulk of continuation authors - including Boyd and Faulks.

I personally liked Carte Blanche, but it also seems like a reboot isn’t what the fans or the publishers want either.