On His Majesty’s Secret Service

Recently announced by Ian fleming Publications, the new Bond novel by Charlie Higson written for the coronation.

Trying to link to Bond 70th anniversary thread but it’s not working for me :rage:

It’s being discussed there. People are excited.

I remember at some point they considered a plot around the Hong Kong handover. So why not have a plot around the coronation. Might be fun to have a story within actual history.

Raymond Benson did do that in “Zero Minus Ten”

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Ahaha… True! And I even actually read it! Well, I guess Benson’s novels don’t really stick with me much.

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Some updates from Charlie Higson:


On more Bond books from him.


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Hopefully it does well. I’d like to see Higson take on the full time continuation author role for a bit.


I have mixed feeling on this one. Let’s wait and see. But to be honest I fear that the storyline around the coronation might be very thin. I don’t mean to be rude, and don’t want to offend our UK fellows, but who genuinely cares about that, and would there really be any international impact if the coronation didn’t go as planned?..
So I hope there’s more to it than just making sure the coronation goes ahead.




I’m up for any new James Bond story, and a potential terror threat to the coronation of a new king would be a big enough deal to get 007 involved.

By the way, with that and the real life Zero Minus Ten plot in mind, I wanted Ian Fleming Publications over a decade ago to have gotten a writer to do a Bond novel about him saving the 2012 London Summer Olympics. I think that would have been great and very entertaining read, but, alas, it was not to be. :cry: Maybe they could write one in retrospect, although the timeliness will have been lost.



That was a interesting story and viewpoints, for NTTD. Based on his comments, the MI6 regulars will be in it. And Blofeld won’t. It also sounds like a very one-off story, based on Higson’s comments.

“So what if my James Bond is a bit woke?”

I already loved how he wrote the character, think I love him a bit more now.

“Could Bond be white, black, gay, straight . . . American?”

No one tell him the legal nationality of Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig when they were still playing the role!!

Don’t agree with Higson’s NTTD opinion though…

Thanks for the link. Interesting read.

Although I still find the plot a bit thin and nothing to be excited about, I’ll give it a try to see how it goes.

Agree with what he says about NTTD! At last we have someone semi-official who dares voice a more skeptical opinion about the Craig tenure. That’s some relief.



Maybe Higson will talk about another Bond book.

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Mine arrived today! 30 pages in. Higson makes it look easy. Loving it so far.

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Neither. If NTTD is embarrassed of Bond it has a funny way of showing it. Gorgeous visuals, a score that fits like a glove and deep dives into the literary roots. It’s a top ten film in my book. Its greatest achievement is humanising Bond in a way no other film can compete with.

He was angst-ridden and even had the heart to fall in love. “I think that was wrong,” Higson says. “I went to see No Time to Die with my oldest boy, Frank, who is 30, and he said, ‘That felt like a Bond film made by people who are embarrassed to make a Bond film.’ You had to watch two films in advance to know who such and such is and you think, ‘Oh, f*** off with that.’ Make it a new mission each episode and let him be Bond.

People can have their preferences but the books FRWL-DN and OHMSS-YOLT are looking at you square in the face, Charlie. As well as Vesper and Tracy, who Bond genuinely fell in love with.

Glad to hear it. I’m hoping to get my copy soon.


Mr Higson on BBC Breakfast just now: gave a good account of himself and they managed to talk only about Bond, which was quite impressive considering these guys usually like to talk about The Fast Show etc. It all sounds rather good, with Higson saying he has a podcast about Royal succession starting on Friday, and his research into that fed into OHM2S. He made it sound like IFP had the idea for the title as it is OHMSS’ 60th birthday, and it was just supposed to be a short story but he kept writing because he was enjoying it!
They did then fixate a little bit on the ‘woke’ thing, but I guess they’re journalists and have to try and get an angle from it. He got a bit flustered, perhaps a bit annoyed with this line of things, but gave a good answer; and his love of Bond is pretty clear.

They did ask a couple of good questions to be fair, like how is writing 007 different from Young Bond, and whether he pictures a movie Bond actor whilst writing. He also said that IFP said it probably shouldn’t be about assassinating King Charles or anything like that on the basis of good taste- and said ‘Well, now you’ve put that idea in my head, it’s got to be that, surely!’


Two thirds of the way through so far. What a wonderful little book. I had concerns the novel would be less a Bond story and more an advertisement for the coronation, but those fears were completely unfounded.

It’s far harder to write a modern Bond than to put one on screen, but Higson has done an admirable job. His Bond is particular, but not overwhelmingly so. He stays up on the latest fads and research, and, most importantly, is a bit dull while remaining amusing.

Impressively, Higson keeps his discussion the far right and culture wars fun when most readers might be sick of hearing anything more about it.

There is also a possible reference to Never Send Flowers which I wish someone could confirm with Higson on Twitter.

I am reading this on the heels of Double or Nothing and it’s a much needed breath of fresh air after that effort.

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I’ve been rereading a few of his Young Bond novels (specifically Double or Die and By Royal Command) in preparation for this. For those who have already gotten a copy, is there any of his Young Bond novels that this feels the most similar to?

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