IFP unveils 70th-anniversary logo

Ian Fleming Publications today introduced its 70th-anniversary logo for the literary James Bond.

The Bond character debuted with the novel Casino Royale, published in 1953. The book would be adapted in the fall of 1954 on CBS, with Barry Nelson as an American version of Bond.

The rights to Casino Royale weren’t available to Eon Productions when it started its Bond film series in 1962. The novel would be parodied in producer Charles K. Feldman’s 1967 spoof. Eon finally obtained the rights and its version was released in 2006, the first Eon production to star Daniel Craig.

This year, IFP has said it will publish new editions of Ian Fleming’s original Bond stories.

Here is IFP’s tweet with the 70th-anniversary logo.

Ian Fleming Publications prepares for a big 2023

Ian Fleming Publications sent an email this week to various James Bond websites saying it is getting ready for a big 2023.

Next year marks the 70th anniversary of the publication of Casino Royale, the first Bond novel by Ian Fleming. IFP previously has said it will publish new editions of the Fleming originals.

IFP, in this week’s email, said a 70th-anniversary logo will be unveiled in the new year. A teaser version (mostly obscured) was included. Also coming out in early 2023 will be the new covers for the Fleming titles.

Sherwood says she has completed her 2d 007-universe novel

Author Kim Sherwood says she has completed her second (of three) James Bond-universe novels.

This is what Sherwood sent out on Twitter:

Sherwood’s first Bond-related novel, Double Or Nothing, was published earlier this year. The official U.S. publication date is 2023.

Sherwood’s novels are timeshifted. James Bond has been missing for an extended time. The author introduces a new cast of 00-agents, including one named after one-time Bond screenwriter Johanna Harwood.

IFP to republish Ian Fleming stories, books

Ian Fleming Publications today said it plans to republish Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels and short stories and other works in 2023.

The new editions will be published under the Ian Fleming Publications imprint. The move is for the 70th anniversary of the publication of Casino Royale, Fleming’s first Bond novel.

The publication date is April 13, 2023, according to an online announcement. IFP had earlier teased it would have an announcement today, Global James Bond Day. Oct. 5, 1962 was when Dr. No, the first Bond film produced by Eon Productions, debuted.

The new editions initially will be published in the U.K. and British Commonwealth in paperback and E-book, IFP said. There also will be “prestige” hardbacks and collector limited editions, according to the announcement.

Besides the Bond novels and short stories, IFP will come out with new editions of Fleming’s Chitty Chitty Bang Bang novel and the non-fiction works The Diamond Smugglers and Thrilling Cities.

IFP teases an announcement for Oct. 5 (err, 5-Oct.)

Ian Fleming Publications today teased an announcement for Oct. 5 (or 5-October, if you prefer).

Early today, U.S. time, the company that controls the literary Bond, said on Twitter there would be an announcement on Oct. 5, 2022. That’s the date of so-called James Bond Day. That matches up with Oct. 5, 1962, when the film adaptation of Dr. No debuted.

But the tweet soon disappeared. The first version used the U.S. version of dates (month-day-year). There was a response (I forget from whom) objecting that it should be the international system (day-month-year).

I have no idea if that was a factor, but a new IFP tweet soon appeared with the international dating system.

“James Bond Day” goes back to 2012 as a way by Eon Productions to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Dr. No’s premiere. Fans have subsequently embraced it. There is often fan speculation each year if there is a big announcement coming related to 007.

IFP has just launched a new trilogy by author Kim Sherwood set in the present day (or near future) featuring new 00-agents. Bond himself is missing and may be dead. Naturally, fans are curious about what IFP has in mind with this upcoming announcement.

As usual, we’ll see.

The return to ‘timeshifting’ with literary Bond

Cover for Kim Sherwood’s Double or Nothing

With this week’s publication of Kim Sherwood’s Double or Nothing, Ian Fleming Publications has, again, decided to embrace “timeshifting.”

Timeshifting is where an established character or universe created in one era is brought forward to the present day (or even near future) without the participants aging in real-time.

James Bond continuation novels began with Kingsley Amis’ Colonel Sun. But that was published in 1968, just three years after Fleming’s final Bond novel, The Man With the Golden Gun. Essentially, Colonel Sun was an extension of Fleming’s original timeline.

Continuation novels of standard Bond adventures wouldn’t resume until 1981 when John Gardner was hired by Glidrose (now IFP) to write new Bond literary adventures. In between, John Pearson wrote a one-shot Bond “biography.”

Gardner’s Bond was somewhat older. But he definitely wasn’t in his 60s (based on the Pearson book). Bond had a bit of gray hair but was still pretty energetic. Gardner would also write novelizations of Bond movies made by Eon Productions.

The Gardner era lasted into the 1990s. Glidrose/IFP then hired Raymond Benson to pen new original continuation novels. Benson would also write novelizations of Eon films. Benson has said he was instructed to make his original stories take place in the (then) present day.

Benson departed in 2002 (with one last original novel and the novelization for Die Another Day).

IFP hired authors such as Sebastian Faulks, William Boyd, and, most successfully, Anthony Horowitz, to write Bond novels as period pieces. Horowitz said his stories were specifically set within Fleming’s original timeline.

The one exception was Jeffery Deaver, whose Carte Blanche in 2011 was a sort of literary Bond reset. But IFP never followed up that that.

With Double or Nothing, Kim Sherwood brings the Bond universe — if not Bond himself — back to either the present day or near-term future. The big plot point is climate change. But Sherwood’s cast also features more diverse 00-agents.

To be clear, timeshifting is not a new technique at all.

Comic book characters such as Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, etc., etc. have been timeshifted. Authors of comic book stories have cherry-picked from stories originally published tens of decades ago. The same applies to newspaper comic strips. Dick Tracy debuted in 1931. He is *not* 100 years old (or older) in recent adventures.

To be fair, even Ian Fleming was slippery when it came to Bond’s age. The author likely didn’t realize how big Bond would become. Bond was in his mid-30s when Fleming wrote Casino Royale. Bond was *still* in his mid-30s when Fleming wrote his later 007 novels.

Reviews arrive for Double or Nothing

Double or Nothing, Kim Sherwood’s novel that expands the James Bond literary universe of 00-agents, is officially published Sept. 1 in the U.K. Reviews already are coming in

What follows are non-spoiler excerpts. James Bond is missing. Sherwood introduces a new cast of agents. They are directly overseen by Moneypenny. After a trilogy of Anthony Horwitz Bond continuation novels in the Ian Fleming timeline, the new Sherwood book timeshifts to the present day (or near future) with a plot related to climate change.

ROBERT CRAMPTON, THE TIMES: “The problem I had with Double or Nothing isn’t Kim Sherwood’s cultural update, it’s that James Bond, missing presumed dead, isn’t in it. So we get a Bond book without Bond. Which means we get a decent but nothing special spy thriller, better than Fleming in one way (because Fleming was a mediocre writer), but far inferior in the only way that matters. Because Fleming had one stroke of genius, namely creating this one fabulous character, the premier fictional star of the late 20th century. And Sherwood chooses to place this star, this legend, this 101-year-old king of cars and costume, coitus and cloak and dagger, not to mention luxury travel, off stage. Weird one.”

DAVID LEIGH, THE JAMES BOND DOSSIER: “The author, Kim Sherwood, is someone I was unfamiliar with but her writing is fast paced and she throws you right into the action from the start. While James Bond is MIA he looms in the background and there are many familiar elements and characters throughout the book…There are a whole host of characters, both from previous Bond books and new Double-O agents. Reflecting the modern world these characters are a much more diverse bunch than those appearing in Ian Fleming’s works. Most of the time they work perfectly well, at times it feels a little forced.”

SAM TYLER, SFBOOK.COM: “This is a thoroughly modern Bond book that brings (Ian) Fleming’s voice into 2022 and promises the future…The young agents also feel fresh, diverse, and deadly…Sherwood plays up the duplicitous nature of the agents. There are few people less trustworthy than someone who lies for a living…Rather than disturbing the legacy of Bond, (Double or Nothing) gives the franchise some new legs.”

In the United States, Double or Nothing won’t be published until April 2023. That follows the pattern of recent Bond continuation novels from Ian Fleming Publications.

An excerpt of Double or Nothing is published

Relatively minor spoilers. But those who are super spoiler adverse should leave now.

The Times today published an excerpt of Kim Sherwood’s Double or Nothing novel, which introduces new 00-agents.

The excerpt is a briefing scene between Moneypenny, now in charge of the 00s, and agent 004, Joseph Dryden.

Dryden is a veteran of the British military. “Moneypenny considered 004 the most experienced of her new generation of Double-0s,” Sherwood writes.

Essentially, the scene covered in the excerpt spells out the stakes of the story. Climate change is a big theme in the story. A tech billionaire “claims he can reverse the climate crisis and save the planet,” according to an Amazon promo of the novel.

Sherwood is introducing new 00-agents, with James Bond missing.

The Times also published an interview with Sherwood. The author says James Bond creator Ian Fleming “has influenced me hugely.”

In the interview, Sherwood said Ian Fleming Publications “wanted to expand the universe, widen it out.”

The Times summarized it this way: “Along the way, it makes Fleming’s cast of MI6 spies less male and less white than before.” Dryden is British-Jamaican. Johanna Harwood (named after a screenwriter of Dr. No and From Russia With Love), 003, has a French-Algerian mother, The Times said. Sid Bashir, 009, is British-Asian.

The excerpt and interview can be found by CLICKING HERE. The stories are behind a paywall.

Double or Nothing contest announced

A contest has been announced where 15 winners will get tickets to an event with Kim Sherwood, author of Double or Nothing, the “James Bond novel without James Bond.”

The event will be held on Aug. 31 in London. It is open to U.K. or Irish residents, except for employees of HarperCollins.

A few details from the website.

We are offering 15 lucky readers the chance to win a pair of tickets to join author Kim Sherwood in London to celebrate the publication of her new novel Double or Nothing.

This exclusive event will take place at 6.30pm on Wednesday 31st August at The News Building in London.

Kim Sherwood will be live in conversation with Vipul Patel from the James Bond & Friends podcast, talking all things Bond and discussing the process of writing Double or Nothing.

To enter the competition, simply email fictionmarketing@harpercollins.co.uk with your full name and postal address and use the subject header Double or Nothing Event Competition.

T&Cs apply, see below. You must be over 18 to enter. Travel costs are not included.

The website has more details about deadline for entries. Winners will also get a signed copy of the book.

The book is to be published next month. A number of James Bond fan websites have already received advanced copies to help promote the novel.

Double or Nothing depicts James Bond as missing and new 00-agents are taking up the slack. They are: “Johanna Harwood, 003. Joseph Dryden, 004. Sid Bashir, 009. Together, they represent the very best and brightest of MI6. Skilled, determined and with a licence to kill, they will do anything to protect their country,” according to a promo.

Cover for Double or Nothing unveiled

The cover for Kim Sherwood’s Double or Nothing was unveiled today as marketing for the novel is picking up.

Sherwood shared the image on Twitter.

At the same time, Sherwood hinted the U.S. edition may have a different cover.

“For folks in America, watch this space for more on the US release…” she said in a follow-up post on Twitter.

On June 27, Sherwood said on Substack she has been “pre-recording interviews about Double or Nothing with podcasts and YouTube channels for release in September.”

Double or Nothing is a sort of “James Bond novel without James Bond.” Bond is missing and Sherwood introduces new 00 agents, including one named after one-time 007 screenwriter Johanna Harwood.

A number of James Bond websites have also received advanced copies of Sherwood’s novel with embargoes for when they can write about it.