How to work 007’s creator into the 50th anniversary activities

In a response to one of our POSTS ABOUT THE OFFICIAL 007 TWITTER ACCOUNT, Dell Deaton of the James Bond Watches Blog pointed out that, as of Feb. 4 there had been 69 Tweets, with not one mentioning 007 creator Ian Fleming.

A certain author so far not mentioned on the 007 Twitter feed

We took a look AT THE 007 TWITTER FEED and it’s now up to 86 87 Tweets as of 11:30 p.m. ET on Feb. 11 without Ian Fleming being mentioned. Marc Forester, the Quantum of Solace director, is the subject of three Tweets. Albert R. Broccoli getting his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was referenced. So were birth dates of former production designer Ken Adam and supporting actors such as Gemma Arterton (Quantum of Solace) and Alan Cumming (GoldenEye).

Still, there’s a long time before the 23rd 007 film, Skyfall, premiers. So it’s not too late to include Bond creator Fleming. A few of the obvious ones:

Anniversaries of Fleming visiting Bond film sets or locations. Fleming was in Jamaica when Dr. No was being filmed and Istanbul for From Russia With Love. He talked to Sean Connery on the set of Dr. No and Goldfinger. We don’t have all those dates but given that From Russia With Love began filming in April 1963 and Goldfinger had principal photography start in the spring of 1964 (some second unit work was done earlier, already noted in a Jan. 20 Tweet), there are still opportunities to make note. That would be at least as worthy as Tweets about Robbie Coltrane starting two days of shooting on GoldenEye (Jan. 20), Quantum of Solace starting principal photography (Jan. 3) or a model of Atlantis being sunk as part of the filming for The Spy Who Loved Me (Jan. 13).

Might the anniversary of this meeting be worthy of mention on the 007 Twitter feed?

Happy birthday, Mr. Fleming:: May 28 will be the 104th anniversary of the author’s birth, another natural event to note among the historical Tweets.

Good-bye, Mr. Fleming: Fleming died Aug. 12, 1964, the month before Goldfinger had it’s U.K. premier. Again, a natural event to note among the historical Tweets.

The event that made it all possible: We don’t have the date, but the Bond film series would never have happened had Fleming not sold a six-month option for the Bond novels to Harry Saltzman. Without that deal, Albert R. Broccoli never forms Eon Productions with Saltzman. Perhaps the books are eventually made into films but not in the form we know them. Of course, that would also call on the official 007 Twitter account to acknowledge Saltzman and that the early films were not one-man Cubby Broccoli productions.

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, for some thought-provoking entertainment and a heaping helping of, as the French say, le jamesbonderie (even though they probably don’t). Enjoy!

UPDATE: The North American Critics on Carte Blanche

Simon & Schuster (US) edition
Simon & Schuster (US) edition

Carte Blanche, the new James Bond novel by American thriller writer Jeffery Deaver, launched last month in the UK and Europe to reasonably strong sales and mixed-to-positive reviews. Now it’s North America’s turn, as US publisher Simon & Schuster released the book on our shores June 14.
Let’s see what us colonials have to say about our homer‘s crack at the 007 saga…

  • The Wall Street Journal‘s Michael C. Moynihan says, in You Only Live About 23 Times, that new 007 author Jeffery Deaver produces “a serviceable Bond film script but not a particularly good Bond novel.”
  • Toronto’s June 17 Globe and Mail review is titled The unbreakable Bond. Critic Douglas Bell says the novel contains what “is surely the grist of a potential bestseller.” Not necessarily a good thing, apparently… he adds, “More’s the pity.” The paper also carries a pretty interesting article about the author Jeffery Deaver, the novel, and James Bond in general. Jeffery Deaver 007: he’s shaken, he stirred, but he drinks Crown Royal is worth your perusal.
  • Matthew Dunn, a former MI6 field agent, writes in the June 17 Washington Post that Jeffery Deaver “brilliantly captures [Ian] Fleming’s bitten-off, occasionally distracted, Boy’s Own style.” There’s plenty more hosannas in the rest of his review, so go take a look.
  • Our Bondian colleague, Dell Deaton, writes in Ann that Carte Blanche “is a fantastic book.” He also informs us that Ian Fleming’s stepdaughter Fionn, a friend of his, opines that Jeffery Deaver “got the [Fleming] style.” Read his entire 5/5 score review for more insights into the new 007 literary adventure.
  • “Fleming purists will be delightfully surprised when they open [Carte Blanche]…. This Fleming enthusiast felt right at home from page one.” So says Cliff Bellamy in the August 14 Herald-Sun of Durham, North Carolina. Read his review,
    Fleming purists will be surprised by new Bond
    for more insights and praise for Deaver’s novel.

Watch this space for additional links to reviews as they appear, and for our own humble editor’s review of the whole shebang. For comparison’s sake, you can check out the UK critics’ reviews to see how Deaver’s Bond is going across the pond.

A bit of lagniappe: our good pals over at the always-excellent Illustrated 007 blog have an interesting look at Three variations of the UK Carte Blanche hardcover edition. Pretty interesting stuff, so go and have a look! And, just to thump our own tub a bit more, take a look at The HMSS Interview with Jeffery Deaver if you haven’t read it yet.