Horowitz now writing his second 007 novel

Author Anthony Horowitz told a questioner on Twitter he has begun writing his second James Bond continuation novel.

No other details. Still, fans of the literary Bond will want to see things for themselves. Horowitz wrote Trigger Mortis, which led Ian Fleming Publications to ask him back for a second Bond novel effort. Here’s the exchange. The author’s second 007 novel is due out in 2018.

 

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Horowitz: Four Fleming unused story lines remain

"Sounds like a jolly good time."

Ian Fleming

007 continuation author Anthony Horowitz told the BBC today there are four remaining unused Ian Fleming story lines from an unproduced television project.

“There were five that were discovered quite recently in a bottom drawer,” Horowitz said in an interview. “One of which had to do with motor racing, which of course I used in Trigger Mortis but that left four more.”

Trigger Mortis was published last year. It was a period story, set in 1957 and picked up shortly after Fleming’s Goldfinger novel. Horowitz incorporated Fleming’s auto racing plot. Fleming also included the basic racing idea among notes (written on 11 telegram blanks) he submitted to television producer Norman Felton for The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

Ian Fleming Publications has retained Horowitz’s services for a new and yet untitled Bond novel, due out in 2018.

Of the four Fleming story lines, “I’m going to use one of them, I haven’t decided which one yet, as an opening chapter or second chapter,” Horowitz told the BBC.

“There is nothing more exciting in the world than to read something that nobody else has read,” Horowitz said of the Fleming storylines.

To read more about the BBC interview, CLICK HERE. It incudes an audio clip running almost two minutes.

Horowitz teases (or does he?) new 007 novel

Social media makes greater interaction between those who produce popular entertainment and those who consume it.

On Thursday, Trigger Mortis author Anthony Horowitz fielded a fan question about his upcoming 2018 007 novel. Horowitz either was playing coy (for understandable reasons) or did a tease for the new book.

Judge for yourself:

Horowitz is active on Twitter (more than 11,000 Tweets since joining in 2009), so there may be similar exchanges to view between now and spring 2018.

IFP adjusts strategy with 2nd Horowitz 007 novel

The Ian Fleming Publications 007 logo

The Ian Fleming Publications 007 logo

Ian Fleming Publications has tweaked its strategy for James Bond continuation novels after it was announced today a second Anthony Horowitz 007 story will be published in 2018.

Horowitz penned Trigger Mortis, published last year. With the new, as yet untitled story, Horowitz becomes the first Bond continuation novel to have more than one Bond tale published since Raymond Benson wound up his 1997-2002 run.

Benson wrote six novels and three 007 movie novelizations. The author exited after new Ian Fleming family management took command of IFP. Following Benson’s final original novel, The Man With the Red Tatoo, and his final novelization, Die Another Day, the “adult” literary 007 took a hiatus. IFP developed a series of Young Bond novels and other projects, such as The Moneypenny Diaries series.

Since 2008, the 100th anniversary of Fleming’s birth, IFP has published Bond novels as “events,” penned by a name author. Sebastian Faulks, Jeffery Deaver and William Boyd all took turns, each doing a one-off and each taking place in different time periods.

Horowitz’s Trigger Mortis initially appeared to follow that pattern. Trigger Mortis had something the others didn’t — some Ian Fleming material developed for a never-made 007 television series. It also tied into Fleming’s Goldfinger novel.

However, Horowitz was asked back. His new effort “will again feature previously unpublished material by Fleming,” according to the announcement.

“I was thrilled when the Ian Fleming estate asked me to come back,” Horowitz said in a statement that was part of the announcement. “How could I refuse? I can’t wait to return to the world of James Bond.”

The most prolific 007 continuation novel author was John Gardner, who wrote 14 original novels and two movie novelizations published from 1981 to 1995. The first non-Fleming Bond novel was 1968’s Colonel Sun, written by Kingsley Amis under the pen name Robert Markham.

Trigger Mortis U.S. paperback cover unveiled

Ian Fleming Publications took to Twitter to show off the U.S. paperback cover art for Trigger Mortis by Anthony Horowitz.

The paperback edition is due out Sept. 6, according to the post on Twitter. The James Bond Dossier described it as “pulp-inspired.” Others have called it retro. You could make the case it’s in the style of the 1960s 007 comic strips. Anyway, here’s what it looks like:

A sampling of early reviews for Trigger Mortis

Trigger Mortis cover

Trigger Mortis cover

Reviews for the newest James Bond continuation novel, Anthony Horowitz’s Trigger Mortis, are starting to come in.

This blog has already run a guest review from the Ian Fleming Foundation’s Brad Frank. What follows is a sampling of other reviews.

FELIX SALMON IN THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW:

James Bond is a synchronic spy. From the day that the first Bond thriller, “Casino Royale,” was published in 1953, all the way through to this year’s forthcoming “Spectre” movie, Bond has always been thoroughly modern, with all the latest toys. In “Trigger Mortis: A James Bond Novel,” however, Bond ventures somewhere Ian Fleming, or the movie producer Albert Broccoli, would never go: back, into the past.

(snip)

So although “Trigger Mortis” begins two weeks after the end of “Goldfinger,” its protagonist isn’t — could never be — the same Bond. The new Bond is friends with a gay man, chivalrously sleeps on the couch when a woman doesn’t want to have sex with him and even, at one point, drinks a bottle of water at lunch.

THE INDEPENDENT:

Anthony Horowitz knows exactly what ingredients are required to satisfy even the most gluttonous James Bond fan and serves them up with the confidence of the self-confessed aficionado that he is.

(snip)

Horowitz is far from the first to take up Ian Fleming’s most famous creation. Sebastian Faulks, Jeffery Deaver and Kingsley Amis have all gone before. But there are new elements that Horowitz brings that make this a particularly enjoyable, and familiar, read.

(snip)

There is a thin line between pastiche and homage, however. Horowitz is an unabashed fan of both Bond and Fleming, as much of his work to date clearly shows, and his plot in less capable hands could easily have erred on the wrong side.

JAKE KERRIDGE IN THE TELEGRAPH:

(Ian) Fleming’s estate has made a canny choice in Horowitz, who proved in his (Arthur) Conan Doyle pastiche The House of Silk – which saw Sherlock Holmes battling a VIP paedophile ring – that he can convincingly replicate another author’s world without sticking too slavishly to his template.

In Trigger Mortis Horowitz has had the ingenious idea of showing us Bond in the act of doing something which we know he does a lot, but Fleming would never have dreamed of writing: all the “It’s not you, it’s me” business of dumping his conquests.

GUEST REVIEW: Trigger Mortis

Trigger Mortis cover

Trigger Mortis cover

By Brad Frank, Guest Writer
Anthony Horowitz’s Trigger Mortis proves to be one of the better James Bond continuation novels, though not because of what has been emphasized in the novel’s publicity.

The book has been heavily hyped as featuring the return of Pussy Galore. It’s set in 1957, immediately following the novel Goldfinger, with Pussy having moved in with Bond in London.

She is not, however, the primary heroine of the book, and actually has nothing to do with the main story line. Two of Goldfinger’s Korean thugs make an attempt on her life out of revenge, but Bond comes to the rescue. Soon afterwards, she leaves Bond to resume her lesbian lifestyle (as in the original book), having appeared in less than one fourth of the novel.

Ian Fleming’s unpublished story outline “Murder on Wheels” is the basis for the first third of the new novel (CLICK HERE for the back story). It concerns a SMERSH plot to assassinate a famous driver during a Grand Prix race. (The motivation behind this is unclear.)

Bond is assigned to protect him, under cover as a wealthy amateur racing enthusiast, who has bought his way into the race.

Prior to the race, Bond brushes up on his driving skills with the help of Logan Fairfax, the daughter of another famous driver who was killed at Le Mans in 1955, in a real life tragedy that claimed the lives of 83 people, mostly spectators. (One wonders why they wouldn’t simply recruit a professional racer instead … but then, Bond wouldn’t have a mission.)

The would-be assassin is a Russian driver. Needless to say, Bond thwarts the plot. Horowitz describes the race with great skill, evoking similar imagery to Fleming’s descriptions of car chases.

Following the race, all of the drivers and VIPs are invited to a party at the residence of a wealthy patron, Sin Jai-Seong, aka Jason Sin, a Korean SMERSH agent who was not only behind the assassination attempt, but has something much grander in the works.

At the party, Bond meets a journalist named Jeopardy Lane, who turns out to be a U.S. Treasury agent. Together, they discover Sin’s complicated plot to sabotage a U.S. rocket test. This was timely stuff for 1957. The Space Race was about to begin, with the Soviet launch of Sputnik later that year, with America’s Project Mercury soon to follow.

As most of the later Bond authors do, there is a certain amount of name-dropping of Fleming characters, intended to invoke nostalgia, and/or to convince the reader that this is a genuine Bond novel.

Like Sebastian Faulks (Devil May Care) and William Boyd (Solo) before him, whose recent Bond novels were set in the ’60s, Horowitz includes numerous contemporary references, intended to solidly fix the story in a specific historical year. He manages to insert both of these elements fairly naturally, and is less in-your-face about it than his predecessors.

In a very Fleming-esque scene, the villain Sin tells Bond his life story, and his motivation for the sabotage. Horowitz winks at the reader, acknowledging the obvious cliché from both books and films, by having Sin tell Bond “I will admit that it gives me some satisfaction in relating it … (and) in a short while, you will be dead.”

Goldfinger (in both the book and the film) used mostly Korean help, and this is mentioned in the current novel. Since Jason Sin is also Korean, I was expecting some connection between them to ultimately be revealed, but nothing like that is suggested or implied. It might have been better had Jason Sin been of a different ethnicity.

On the whole, Trigger Mortis is one of the better continuation novels. I would place it among the top 10 percent of them all. Definitely recommended.

Comments below contain spoilers.

An attempt on Pussy Galore’s life is one of the weaker points of the novel. Two of Goldfinger’s Korean henchmen kidnap her, and paint her gold. It’s obviously meant to be ironic, but comes across as a rather lame attempt to invoke a Fleming-ism.

What really spoils the scene is how it perpetuates the myth of skin suffocation. A few years ago “Mythbusters” proved that, while being covered in paint is unpleasant and over time can lead to heat exhaustion due to blockage of the pores, it would not be fatal or even particularly harmful in the short term. The fact is that skin does not breathe.

And yet in the novel, as they’re covering her with the paint, Pussy almost immediately collapses and begins gasping, implying that she will survive for only a few minutes once her body is completely covered. Of course, Bond interrupts them before it gets that far.

A major plot point hinges on a bomb being set off in the New York subway, with a replica of the test rocket planted there to give the false impression that it went off course and was responsible for the explosion.

There are two problems with this. The launch site is 330 miles from New York, and the rocket is easily tracked while in flight. And the massive amount of C-4 explosive used –- supposedly enough to demolish a building –- would totally obliterate the fake rocket.

Fleming certainly had his share of implausibilities, so despite these criticisms, so despite all that, I highly recommend Trigger Mortis.

© 2015, Brad Frank

 

Brad Frank is a director of the Ian Fleming Foundation

Trigger Mortis: a preview

Trigger Mortis cover

Trigger Mortis cover

By Brad Frank, Guest Writer
Trigger Mortis, by Anthony Horowitz, the newest James Bond continuation novel, comes out Sept. 8. This one is unique because it’s based on an original story outline by Ian Fleming, and brings back one of his most famous characters.

Fleming had always been interested in seeing James Bond on the screen, and throughout the 1950s he considered various deals for the film and/or television rights. A live TV adaptation of his first novel, Casino Royale, aired on CBS in 1954.

In 1956, Fleming was commissioned to create a TV series called “Commander Jamaica.” It was never produced, so he changed the main character’s name and other details, and used it as the basis for his 1958 novel Doctor No.

Another network proposed a James Bond TV series, and Fleming wrote a handful of episode outlines. When that project fell through, he adapted three of them into short stories, which were published in the 1960 collection For Your Eyes Only. Fleming’s habit of adapting unproduced scripts would come back to haunt him during the extended Thunderball legal case.

Fleming’s unused TV outlines have never been seen outside of the archives of Ian Fleming Publications until now. Trigger Mortis is based on one of them, originally called “Murder on Wheels.” Trigger Mortis takes place immediately following the events of Goldfinger, and features that book’s heroine, Pussy Galore.

Goldfinger is arguably the most famous Bond story of all time, although it’s known mainly from the 1964 film starring Sean Connery and Honor Blackman, which differs somewhat from the book.

The first obvious difference between the novel and film is that Bond’s friend, CIA agent Felix Leiter does not appear in the early parts of the book. He only shows up at the very end, during the raid on Fort Knox. Also notable is that in the book, Goldfinger works for SMERSH, using his gold to pay operatives, while the film presents him as a totally independent criminal who has partnered with China.

In the film, Jill Masterson (Masterton in the book) is adamant that Goldfinger pays her only to be seen with him, nothing else. It’s quite the opposite in the novel, in which Goldfinger fantasizes about literally making love to gold. Her death via gold paint isn’t revealed until much later, when Bond (and the reader) learns about it from her sister. And while the golden girl is one of the most memorable images in all of film, upon analysis it makes no sense outside of the broader context.

Fleming, who was very skilled at describing games or competitions, presents all 18 holes of the golf match in wonderful detail. The film reduces this to only three holes, but the results are the same. In the novel, Oddjob is not Goldfinger’s caddy, only his chauffeur. Following the game, Goldfinger in the novel invites Bond to dinner at his home, where we learn about Oddjob’s Karate skills and trick bowler hat.

As in the film, Bond tails Goldfinger to Geneva, meeting Jill’s sister Tilly Masterton along the way. When they are captured spying on Goldfinger’s factory, Tilly is NOT killed –- she survives almost to the end of the novel. The famous laser beam table is merely an old-fashioned circular saw table in the book. Goldfinger inexplicably hires Bond and Tilly to work for him on Operation Grand Slam. In the film, he keeps Bond alive merely for show, knowing that they are being spied upon by Bond’s friends.

Pussy Galore is actually a relatively minor character in the novel, who has little contact with Bond until the end. She is not Goldfinger’s private pilot –- in fact she isn’t a pilot at all, but rather the head of an all-female criminal organization. She first appears along with the other crime bosses who Goldfinger wants to join his big plan.

It has often been stated that the film improved on the book’s plot by having Goldfinger irradiate Fort Knox with an atomic bomb, thus increasing the value of his own gold reserves, rather than trying to steal it. This may be true, and yet there are many other changes in the film which make little or no sense. I’ve already mentioned Jill’s death. Another example is that, in the novel, while Goldfinger does murder the one gangster who refuses to join him, the others, along with Pussy, become active members in the attack on Fort Knox.

The film merely hints, with one line of dialogue, that Pussy may be a lesbian. The novel makes this quite explicit. She and Tilly are obviously attracted to each other. Pussy does not help Bond thwart Goldfinger’s plans, and only turns to his side in the last two chapters.

The novel concludes with their rescue from the crashed plane, which in the book was a hijacked commercial airliner, rather than Goldfinger’s private jet. Oddjob, not Goldfinger, gets sucked out of the airplane window. To justify her conversion, Pussy tells Bond “I never met a man before,” and Bond promises her a course of T.L.C. – Tender Loving Care — treatment.

Fleming would usually, during the opening chapters of his next novel, tie up any loose ends from the previous one. But he never again mentioned Pussy Galore, or what happened between her and Bond after the novel’s conclusion. That conveniently left the door open for her to reappear in Trigger Mortis.

© 2015, Brad Frank

Brad Frank is a director of the Ian Fleming Foundation.

Covers for new 007 comic book revealed

One of the alternate covers for the new James Bond comic book

One of the alternate covers for the new James Bond comic book

The new James Bond comic book published by Dynamite Entertainment will have some alternate covers, COMIC BOOK RESOURCES REPORTED.

Here’s an excerpt of the story:

When he returns to comics this November, not only will 007’s new Dynamite Entertainment series be helmed by Warren Ellis and Jason Masters, it will feature an A-List roster of artists providing variant covers for the first issue.

CBR News has the exclusive first look at the covers for “James Bond” #1, the first chapter of “VARGR,” a story that will find the world-famous secret agent fighting for his life in the wake of another 00 agent’s demise. Illustrated by Dom Reardon, Jock, Gabriel Hardman, Stephen Mooney, Dan Panosian, Francesco Francavilla, and Glenn Fabry, the covers call back to the character’s pulp roots.

“Variant,” or alternate, covers are a way to entice buyers of comic books to purchase multiple copies of the same issue.

James Bond will provide the climax for “The Year of the Spy.” In September, the new 007 continuation novel, Trigger Mortis, is scheduled to be published as well as a collection of unauthorized Bond stories in Canada, where Ian Fleming’s original literary stories are in the public domain.

SPECTRE, the 24th James Bond film, will debut in the U.K. in October and in the U.S. on Nov. 6.

To see the Comic Book Resources story, CLICK HERE.

Some observations, questions about Trigger Mortis

NO! It's Trigger Mortis, not Tigger Mortis!

NO! It’s Trigger Mortis, not Tigger Mortis! (With apologies to A.A. Milne)

All of a sudden, Murder on Wheels doesn’t sound so bad: When the new James Bond continuation novel was announced, a big selling point was how it was based, in part, on a treatment Ian Fleming wrote for a never-produced 1950s television series.

Murder on Wheels was the title of the treatment. Author Anthony Horowitz said on Twitter on Oct. 2 it wouldn’t be used as the novel’s title, although it would be a chapter title. So early May 28, the world was told Trigger Mortis was the novel’s title.

Is Trigger Mortis really that much better? Obviously, somebody at Ian Fleming Publications thought so. Trigger Mortis was already used for the title of a 1958 crime novel. (CLICK HERE for details via The Rap Sheet website.) Meanwhile, on social media, the title generated puns, such as the illustration seen here, which was on Facebook. (Shout out to Chris Wright who found it and put it on Facebook.)

One of the most famous Bond women returns: The main surprise that was held under wraps until the May 28 title announcement was the novel is set two weeks after the events of Goldfinger and that Pussy Galore puts in an appearance.

In Ian Fleming’s original novels, James Bond occasionally thought about the women he had met. Examples: there were references to Tiffany Case in From Russia With Love, to Vesper in Goldfinger and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and to Honeychile Ryder in The Man With the Golden Gun. Still, they never showed up again, so Horowitz is trying something different.

Does the villain of Trigger Mortis have a tie to Goldfinger? The PRESS RELEASE for Trigger Mortis says characters include “a brand new Bond Girl Jeopardy Lane and a sadistic, scheming Korean adversary hell-bent on vengeance Jai Seung Sin, a.k.a Jason Sin.”

Oddjob, Auric Goldfinger’s henchman, was Korean and Goldfinger employed other Koreans. Could Jai Seung Sin be seeking revenge for the events of Goldfinger? We’ll see when the novel is published in September.