Another James Bond novel has been published. So where does the series go from here? Ian Fleming Publictions (formerly Glidrose) has been all over the place.
From 1981 until 2002, continuation novels by John Gardner followed by Raymond Benson were published pretty much on a regular basis.
Since 2008, and the return of an adult Bond, Ian Fleming Publications has veered from period piece (Devil May Care) to total reboot (Carte Blanche) back to period piece (Solo).
The only thing the novels have in common is name authors: Sebastian Faulks, Jeffery Deaver and William Boyd.
The question is whether that strategy is working. There were reports (such as THIS ONE ON THE MI6 JAMES BOND FAN WEBSITE) that sales have tailed off in the U.K. since Faulks’s Devil May Care, published the same year as the 100th anniversary of Ian Fleming’s birth.
Novels written by John Gardner and Raymond Benson attempted to maintain a sense of continuity, with stories playing upon one another. The current IFP management seems to prefer one-off adventures that have no connection to each other.
Part of that stems from the choice of employing big-name authors — their James Bond will only live once.
“They find it fun and enjoyable but they’ve got their own books to write.” Corinne Turner, Corinne Turner, managing director of IFP, told The New York Times in a story PUBLISHED THIS MONTH.
Also, based on The New York Times story, IFP doesn’t sound like it intends to change direction for the literary adult 007. So, if IFP opts to keep going for big-name writers, perhaps it will keep 007 off the market for a while to let demand build back up.
For the moment, there’s no incentive to make a major change. Eon Productions has made clear it has no interest in using continuation novels as the basis of 007 movies.
Eon co-boss Michael G. Wilson criticized the Gardner novels in the 1980s and ’90s. Meanwhile, John Logan, one of Skyfall’s screenwriters, was hired to write the next two movies, the first of which won’t be out until two years from now.
So the next time you read about a 007 author saying his story has “been sent to Eon,” the best-case scenario was the novel was placed on a shelf.
Filed under: James Bond Books, James Bond Films Tagged: | Carte Blanche, Charlie Higson, Corinne Turner, Devil May Care, Eon Productions, Ian Fleming Publications, Jeffery Deaver, John Gardner, Michael G. Wilson, Raymond Benson, Sebastian Faulks, Solo, Steve Cole, The Moneypenny Diaries, The New York Times, William Boyd, Young Bond novels