Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from HMSS!

Our annual holiday greeting:

Her Majesty’s Secret Servant marks its 16th anniversary

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This month marks the 16th anniversary of Her Majesty’s Secret Servant. It was in April 1997 that the Web site debuted. HMSS’s first year included a variety of features. Among them: Raymond Benson on Hong Kong near the start of his tour of duty as 007 continuation novel writer.

Last year, while noting the 15th anniversary, we said a “best of” issue of the webzine was in the works. It didn’t work out that way as real life has a way of intervening. If that changes, we’ll let you know.

Still, this blog (which has its own fifth anniversary in October), the HMSS WEBLOG TWITTER FEED and HMSS Facebook page are still active. The Twitter feed and Facebook pages include links and short comments that don’t show up on the blog. Anyway, thanks to the readers who frequent HMSS on its various platforms. (And if you’re interested in HMSS swag, there’s always the HMSS shop.)

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from HMSS!

Our annual holiday greeting:

Her Majesty’s Secret Servant celebrates its 15th anniversary

Her Majesty’s Secret Servant celebrates its 15th anniversary this month. The Web site began as the “toy train” of founders/co-publishers Paul Baack and Tom Zielinski. The duo decided it’d be “rather fun” if some of the regular posters on the old alt.fan.james-bond newsgroup could contribute to an “e-magazine” centered around the special world of James Bond.

The format, then as now, was to divide the site into sections: Editorial (one or more commentaries, similar to the editor or publisher’s letters at the start of a print magazine), Films, Books, the Bond Market (all about collecting 007 items), Lagniappe (“a little something extra,” including THIS EXAMPLE done during the period when Die Another Day hadn’t gotten a title yet), F1rst Person (personal experiences with some element of 007) and the Other Spies.

Why the toy train analogy? It was always meant to be fun. Nobody is making a living off this corner of cyberspace (not unless THE HMSS SHOP suddenly takes off). Its contributors even have opinions that can vary greatly except for one thing: an affection for the world of James Bond.

Over the years, Raymond Benson presented photographs he took in Hong Kong when he was preparing his first 007 continuation novel, 1997′s Zero Minus Ten. Tom Zielinski interviewed the 007 screenwriting team of Neal Purvis and Robert Wade. The site also featured a Mark Henderson interview with Jeffery Deaver, author of the 2011 007 novel Carte Blanche. Outside of 007, the site ran an interview with film and television music expert Jon Burlingame about The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and the years he put in to produce original soundtracks from the 1964-68 show.

There’s a lot more to look back on. So, a “best of” issue of HMSS is in the works.

Since the first issue, HMSS has expanded with this weblog, which debuted in October 2008, a Facebook page and a Twitter feed. Still, the main site remains the heart and soul of the operation, especially Paul Baack’s distinctive design work.

So, 15 years later, here’s a note of thanks to the founders on behalf of everybody they’ve let play with their toy train.

Amazon acquires exclusive North American rights to publish all 14 Ian Fleming James Bond spy titles

The books will be available summer 2012 from Amazon.com Inc.’s AMZN Thomas & Mercer imprint, which specializes in mysteries and thrillers. Amazon will also give the books a new look.

Read the entire WSJ story here. It’s also mentioned on the Ian Fleming Publications WEB SITE.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from HMSS!

The new issue of HMSS has arrived!

The publishers and editors of Her Majesty’s Secret Servant are pleased to announce the publication of our latest issue. This one — our best yet, we think — is packed with interesting reading about all matters Bondian.

We have some old friends returning and some new ones joining us for the first time. Our good pal Deborah Lipp checks in with two fascinating articles; one about Live and Let Die‘s monkeying around with tarot cards, the other about recurring themes of voyeurism and concealment in You Only Live Twice. Ron Feyereisen returns with a contrarian view of the ongoing Daniel Craig “reboot” tenure; suffice it to say that he’s not a satisfied customer. Speaking of reboots, regular contributor Derek Austin Johnson casts his gimlet eye on the latest 007 literary adventure, Jeffery Deaver’s Carte Blanche (the James Bond watches man, Dell Deaton, offers a rebuttal). On the subject of the latest Bond novel, we’re rerunning Mark Henderson’s excellent interview (first published last April here on the blog,) with the author. We’re excited to welcome Stuart Basinger (that’s “Dr. Shatterhand” to you civilians) to the fold with his imaginary interview with former CIA director (and friend of Ian Fleming) Allan Dulles. James Bond is discussed. Ian Fleming Foundation member Colin Clark regales us with the story of the discovery and acquisition of Franz Sanchez’ escape plane — the Cessna we saw Timothy Dalton’s 007 lasso in Licence to Kill. And our stalwart senior editor Bill Koenig unearths the amazing story of what 1979′s Moonraker could have been like, if only Eon’s budget had matched the screenplay’s requirements. Bill’s story also covers script-to-screen changes in Diamonds Are Forever and Tomorrow Never Dies.

So set aside a little time, mix yourself a cool martini, and point your web browser to HMSS.com, for some thought-provoking entertainment and a heaping helping of, as the French say, le jamesbonderie (even though they probably don’t). Enjoy!

Roger Moore discusses A VIEW TO A KILL on MTV (1985)

Veteran HMSS contributor Jim Paul came across this little-seen video from 1985. Then a studio director at MTV, Jim assisted in writing the questions for Roger Moore who had come to the MTV studios to promote AVTAK. Jim jests, “If Nina (Blackwood) seems like she is “challenging” Roger, that’s my fault.”

It’s interesting that Mr. Moore knew the origin of the term “From A View To A Kill.” Also, was he really thinking he would do another Bond film after AVTAK? Really?!

HMSS thanks Mr. Paul.

See the video here:

Rest In Peace, John Barry Prendergast

We have lost a musical giant, and one of our true heroes. A supremely sad day.

Thank you, Mr. Barry.

Our 2010 stats in review

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

About 3 million people visit the Taj Mahal every year. This blog was viewed about 51,000 times in 2010. If it were the Taj Mahal, it would take about 6 days for that many people to see it.

In 2010, there were 271 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 633 posts. There were 27 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 2mb. That’s about 2 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was March 30th with 706 views. The most popular post that day was Christine Granville movie in the works (UPDATE).

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were debrief.commanderbond.net, facebook.com, en.wordpress.com, therapsheet.blogspot.com, and illustrated007.blogspot.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for krystyna skarbek, car, mie hama, james bond posters, and christine granville.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Christine Granville movie in the works (UPDATE) June 2009

2

ZOO’s Top 10 Sexiest Bond Girls October 2008

3

Take care of your posters, kids! October 2008

4

“Uncle Jed, buy me a spy car.” April 2009
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5

Memories of 007 double features July 2009

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