The Killing Zone, a postmortem

So, I finally mentally tortured myself by reading this garbage. Having known the story and various story bits, I tried to go in with an open mind, suffice to say it didn’t matter. The novel is poor even by the most amateurish standards, not to mention much of it was plagiarized verbatim. Spoiler alert: Bond dies in the lamest and grizzliest possible way. None of the story makes any sense, it is just one firefight after another. There’s a character named Lotta Head, which is absurd even for Bond standards. Bond never acts like Bond and the book plays out much like a low-budget Steven Seagal movie. Now I know that this book is basically self-published fan fiction, but that is an insult to actual fan fiction. When fans write fan fiction, they actually put a lot of effort into it. It’s a story they want to tell about a character they really care about. This is the most pathetic attempt at story writing I think I have ever come across and I’ve actually watched episodes of According to Jim. And that’s not to say that parts of the book aren’t well written, they are, because someone else wrote them. Oh and Anya dies too…for some reason. That, my friends, is unforgivable.

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TKZ confronts us with a question: Is it worth to honour this abysmal rubbish with a mention?


I was wondering why I had never heard of this, turns out it was never printed again in the UK after it’s 1985 initial printing.

Having seen this thread, I’m glad of this fact.

I’ve heard of it before. The old forums had an interesting thread discussing it that stemmed from an article written about it, that unfortunately no longer exists.

As described in the link posted by Orion, the book was only briefly printed in 1985 and only a few copies are known to even exist. Personally, I wanted to give the book one read through to see what it was about and so I downloaded the text from a website online. Having done so now, I can happily leave this where it belongs in the trash.

The Charter logo was used illegally (apparently when you pay to have your book printed at a vanity press you can do whatever you want, as long as it’s not intended for sale and distribution - then the illegality is your own problem).

Even the acknowledgements page was plagiarized from For Special Services (wherein Hatfield thanks Glidrose Publications “for inviting me to follow in Ian Fleming’s somewhat daunting footsteps”. Moreover, in (presumably) his own words:“all the others who helped me transform 007 from the cardboard automaton of the movies to a living and breathing British spy with a license to kill.” Such as…?

The works of Kingsley Amis, John Pearson and John Gardner were all plagiarized here, as well as the scripts for Never Say Never Again and A View to a Kill, plus the novelizations of Commando, Magnum Force and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (for Bond’s funeral scene). And those are just the sources I recognized - there were doubtless more.

If it were worth the trouble you could make a drinking game out every chapter (one at a time - you’d pass out if you attempted to spot all the plagiarized passages in two in one evening).

I’ve read several fanfics that posters at this site and others have written and although they were flawed and derivative, none were so blatantly reliant on already-published works, nor did the authors claim that they were writing under licence for IFP. Hatfield must have been proud of himself whenever anyone noticed his own volume on his bookshelf at home.

TKZ is not a ‘forgotten’ or ‘limited’ edition - it is a self-published fanfic and no more (definitely less). The only case of plagiarism worse than this that I know of was Q.R. Markham’s Assassin of Secrets (not Bond, although scores of passages came from Gardner and Benson as well as other espionage authors), and that actually made it to publication before being exposed.

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Omitting that the community of fans and readers owes you for being instrumental in the exposing part, @AMC_Hornet.

Aw, shucks.

Is it not possible to write a fan-fic without rehashing your favorite lines from the books & films, or constantly dropping names of previous characters in an obvious effort to appear ‘canonical’ ?

If that was what the films were like they would have fizzled out decades ago (an occasional line resurfaces, like “please don’t - not on my account” and “you amuse me, Mr. Bond”, but it’s not a constant barrage).

That was the problem (among others) with Raymond Benson’s last two Bond stories - a reliance on resurrecting old characters (both of whom should have been dead) in order to make the stories more nostalgic. It might have worked, too - if the stories had been able to stand on their own.

In my downloaded copy of TKZ I have tucked a little piece called Never Argue With a Woman. I don’t remember who wrote it, but in 11 double-spaced pages there are no fewer than two dozen ‘homages’, lifted mainly from two films in particular (although 10 others are also quoted). It’s like TKZ Reader’s Digest-style. I offered at least two alternate titles: Moonraker Never Dies or You Only Derive 27 Times. TKZ I have re-titled For Plagiarize Only.

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How about Licence to Steal?

Well, personnaly I liked it…

Which is fine and would perhaps make the actual authors whose work was used happy enough - though they‘d probably like it even more if their work hadn’t been stolen for this in the first place…

Mind you, if you read and liked it that’s entirely your own business, each to their own. But there is literally a whole universe of actual real fan fiction out there - fiction that wasn’t stolen and packaged into a vanity print - that’s more original, more honest and more entertaining, too.

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Completely agree. If you liked this, then great. Personally, I did not and was incredibly put off by how much was plagiarized. I really like reading fan fic as it’s usually written with a passion, and while they may not be the most well written things, they are generally enjoyable. This, for me, was not.

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BTW what’s mean “Lotta Head” ? Why people are so upset by that ? The langage of my country is not English so I’m fear that I don’t understand, I guess it’s a think that is related to blowjob (but even the shearch I did lead to nothing). So what the name of the girl really mean ?

You’ve been already on the right track…