Trigger Mortis: Possibly Fleming’s most preposterous idea

Ian Fleming

The blog has been catching up on Trigger Mortis, the 2015 James Bond continuation novel by Anthony Horowitz, with some previously unpublished Ian Fleming material.

It might contain Fleming’s most preposterous idea.

Now, that’s a tall order, given how Fleming wrote about a plot to steal gold from Fort Knox (Goldfinger), created a villain whose heart was on the wrong side of his chest (Dr. No) and spun a tale that included a villain enticing Japanese to commit suicide (You Only Live Twice).

Still, Fleming had an idea for an unmade James Bond TV series involving 007 driving against real race drivers on the famous Nurburgring track in Germany. When the Bond TV series failed to materialize, the author pitched the idea again in 1962 as part of his contributions to The Man From U.N.C.L.E. television series (1964-68).

In the Trigger Mortis novel, Bond is assigned to protect a race driver from a Soviet assassination plot (the Russians have a driver in the race).

Here’s the thing: No way.

Bond, while adept at driving fast, is up against an entire field of professional race drivers. He views some film of the Nurburgring and takes some practice laps and, supposedly, he’s all ready to go.

So here’s a first-hand observation. In the late 1990s, I was an at event in Indianapolis put on by Mercedes-Benz. It took place at an indoor go kart track. The guests were divided into teams.

Meanwhile, Mercedes brought in drivers who participated in the Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) series, which was active at that time. The real racers were to be divided among the teams.

The problem: There weren’t enough real race drivers for all the teams. I was on the team that didn’t have a real race driver. So, as the teams rotated drivers, I found myself on the track with all of the real race drivers.

Humiliating doesn’t begin to describe it. It was akin to playing a game of Horse with National Basketball Association players or touch football with National Football League players.

James Bond, in novels or movies, is a fantasy. In this case, Fleming’s imagination was working overtime.

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Forever and a Day won’t reach U.S. until November

Anthony Horowitz

For American fans of the literary James Bond, it will merely seem like Forever and a Day to get the new 007 continuation novel.

The novel, by Anthony Horowitz will be published Nov 6, publisher HarperCollins said today in a listing on its website.  The American publication will be more than five months after it debuts.

The second 007 effort by Horowitz is coming out on May 31 in the U.K., Ian Fleming Publications said on Feb. 8. IFP only said at the time that Forever and a Day would be published in the U.S. in the fall.

As it turned out, HarperCollins also put out a Feb. 8 statement saying it had acquired the U.S. rights. The publisher said in that statement the book would come out in November.

Forever and a Day is a prequel to Casino Royale, Ian Fleming’s first Bond novel. Horowitz’s first 007 continuation novel was 2015’s Trigger Mortis.

Forever and a Day is title of Horowitz’s new 007 novel

The Ian Fleming Publications 007 logo

Anthony Horowitz’s second James Bond continuation novel is titled Forever and a Day, Ian Fleming Publications announced today.

The book will be published in the U.K. on May 31, three days following the 110th anniversary of the birth of Ian Fleming. It won’t be available in the U.S. until sometime in the fall. The announcement didn’t specify a date.

Forever and a Day is a prequel to Casino Royale, Fleming’s first Bond novel, according to the announcement.

The new novel will “explore the origins of the world’s most famous secret agent.” One agent 007 is killed and Bond replaces him.

Like Horowitz’s first 007 novel, Trigger Mortis, Forever and a Day includes some previously unpublished Fleming material.

Horowitz has been teasing progress on the new novel on Twitter. He wrote a new post after the title announcement.

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UPDATE (11:25 a.m. New York time): The author said on Twitter in response to questions he came up with the title Forever and a Day and that IFP approved it. Some of Horowitz’s predecessors as Bond continuation authors suggested titles but saw them rejected.

 

 

Horowitz says new 007 title to be revealed Thursday

Anthony Horowitz

Author Anthony Horowitz said on Twitter the title of his second James Bond continuation novel is coming out Thursday morning.

“The Bond title is revealed tomorrow!” Horowitz wrote on a Twitter post made at 5:01 p.m. New York time. “Four of the most important words in my life, at the moment. And there’s another giveaway…”

The giveaway wasn’t clear. In a response to a question on Twitter, he specified the title is coming out in the morning.

In a Feb. 2 post on Twitter, the author teased the title began with the letter f.

“I have to say, I’ve just seen the most brilliant cover for F Whoops!” Horowitz wrote. “Nearly gave away the title of Bond 2.”

Assuming that Horowitz is shooting as straight as James Bond does with his Walther PPK, we’ll know more soon.

Here’s the tweet from today:

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Horowitz’s first 007 effort, Trigger Mortis, is considered by many James Bond literary fans to be the best continuation novel since Ian Fleming Publications resumed “adult Bond” novels in 2008. Horowitz is the first author IFP, run by Ian Fleming heirs, has asked back during that period.

Horowitz provides another update of 2d 007 novel

Anthony Horowitz

Author Anthony Horowitz today provided an update of his second James Bond continuation novel.

Such as it was.

Horowitz posted a photo of shredded pages. “First draft of new Bond definitely finished,” he wrote. “Second draft in better shape.”

He also tweeted in response to questions. In one tweet he wrote, “Five or six (for Bond).” In another, he added, “Bond takes more to get right. Usually two or three is enough.”

Horowitz is the first 007 continuation author since 2008 to be invited back by Ian Fleming Publications for a second turn writing an “adult” James Bond continuation novel.

Sebastian Faulks, Jeffery Deaver and William Boyd all wrote one-offs. Horowitz then wrote 2015’s Trigger Mortis. No title for the new novel has been disclosed. Here’s the Horwitz tweet from today:

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Horowitz completes first draft of new 007 novel

Anthony Horowitz

Author Anthony Horowitz said via Twitter he has completed the first draft of his second James Bond continuation novel.

“Bond 2. First draft finished,” Horowitz wrote. “Happy Xmas to me!”

Also in the Twitter post, Horowitz included a photograph of pages. Not too much is showing, although it appears the title starts with “F.” Last month, he said on Twitter that “and” is one of the words of the title.

Also, the title of chapter one of the new novel may start with the word “Killing.” In any case the top of one page has “One: Killing” in boldface type at the top.

Ian Fleming Publications opted to bring Horowitz back following his 2015 Bond novel Trigger Mortis. That marked a change in strategy. Since 2008, IFP had hired authors to do one-off Bond novels.

UPDATE (3:58 p.m.): Horowitz answered questions from fans. He verified the “F” is part of the title. Specifically, he was asked if “F” was part of the words “first draft.” The author’s reply: “It isn’t.” He also said while the book is coming out in 2018 he’s “not sure when yet.”

You can see what Horowitz’s Twitter post looks like below.

 

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Horowitz provides a (tiny) tease of his new 007 novel

Anthony Horowitz

It’s not big James Bond news but it’s a bit of news.

Author Anthony Horowitz provided a tiny tease via Twitter of his second James Bond continuation novel.

“I’ve reached the 50,000th word of the new Bond novel,” Horowitz wrote. “Disappointingly, it’s ‘and’. That is, however, one of the words of the title.”

Of course, that (intentionally) doesn’t say much. We presumably can rule out a one-word title unless it will be called “And.” That doesn’t seem likely.

Horowitz authored 2015’s Trigger Mortis, which included some previously unpublished Ian Fleming story material.

The author was asked back for an encore by Ian Fleming Publications. His second 007 novel is scheduled to be published next year. The new effort also is to include previously unpublished Fleming material.

Here’s what today’s tweet looked like:

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