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Topic: The Next Bond Novel - What do you want to see?

I have enjoyed Horowitz and won’t be upset if he returns, but my preference would be to set the book in the present. It’s unlikely Deaver writes another (a pity in my view), but I want something similar to what he did. We live in fascinating, and troubling times. There is a place for the literary James Bond in this era. 

What does everyone else think?

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Re: The Next Bond Novel - What do you want to see?

I have always said that I think Bond (both movies and books) should be set in present times. To me, Bond is a contemporary character whose adventure take place “one day in the future” (wasn’t it Cubby who said this?). So I agree, hopefully the next novel will take place in 2019/2020.

1. Ohmss   2. Frwl   3. Op   4. Tswlm   5. Tld   6. Ge  7. Yolt 8. Lald   9. Cr   10. Ltk   11. Dn   12. Gf   13. Qos   14. Mr   15. Tmwtgg   16. Fyeo   17. Twine   18. Sf   19. Tb   20 Tnd   21. Spectre   22 Daf   23. Avtak   24. Dad

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Re: The Next Bond Novel - What do you want to see?

The thing about a novel is that, to me at least, the time it’s set in is much less important than a movie because you can’t see anything. Look at the novel Casino Royale - you can easily set that in 2019 in your mind while your reading. Bond taking out an iPhone or a mention of something like ISIS could date it, but I say write it without a specific period in mind and the reader can set it whenever they want.

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Re: The Next Bond Novel - What do you want to see?

I like the approach they have with the young bond series, giving it to an author to do a 4-5 book series. This way they can have more time in the sandbox to come up with over arching storylines, villains etc, which I think work better than in the films which benefit from more of a stand alone feel.
Having said that, let's bring Charlie Higson to do an adult bond novel, as his young bond series was great, and seemed to struggle with the YA focus.

“The scent and smoke and sweat of a casino are nauseating at three in the morning. "
-Casino Royale, Ian Fleming

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Re: The Next Bond Novel - What do you want to see?

why do you want to read a James Bond novel set in the present day?
what is the appeal?
how would you recognise it as the same character without the period trappings?

Fleming wrote a character who lived and moved in a specific time and place, postwar Britain, and I think once that context is removed, as is done in the films, he becomes less and less recognisable as Fleming's character.


Casino Royale is full of concepts that root it to a particular spacetime coordinate. The casino and the town themselves get a full chapter of backstory, it is a faded seaside resort that has just barely survived the depression and war and is only now beginning to see a return of business. Bond gets a backstory, and several flashbacks later in the book, specifically tying him to World War Two experiences, including the first two kills. And le Chiffre also has a specific and detailed backstory tying him into immediate postwar Europe and the beginnings of the Cold War.

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Re: The Next Bond Novel - What do you want to see?

Fleming chose to set Bond in the present. He wove in current events, and had Bond confront contemporary villains. What made Fleming special was the way he wrote. Horowitz has come pretty close to capturing it, but it’s still not Fleming. Setting the books in Fleming’s era just makes me more aware of that when I’m reading it. It also handicaps the author’s ability to tell an original story.

To me, the Bond character is not so inextricably tied to the 1950s that he cannot exist today. His heroic qualities, his sense of adventure, and his love of beautiful women, fine food, and drink are all readily transferable.

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Re: The Next Bond Novel - What do you want to see?

personally I want to see Horowitz continuing retconning Unseen Missions into Fleming's timeline. I like how carefully he's been doing so, and he still manages to tell an exciting story while balancing all the easter eggs and continuity geekery. So it's a question as the when is there left he could squeeze another one in.

The first six books all explicitly happen one after the other. And the books from Thunderball on are all tied together, but there are some gaps there. The biggest open space is between Dr No and Thunderball , where there is no indication how much time has passed between missions, so maybe we can assume that to be more than three years and there's room for however number of adventures.
But I already count nine missions, seen or unseen, in that period, according to Fleming, and Horowitz has already added a very big mission in that period (beginning immediately after Goldfinger too).
We could maybe see Bond's failed attempts to find the remains of SPECTRE between Thunderball and OHMSS. Or the two bungled missions prior to YOLT. Or his brainwashing in Russia. But there isn't really a lot of holes in Fleming's timeline for a new author to fill.

I think Horowitz has to go even further backwards in time. If Forever and a Day immediately precedes Casino Royale, then backwards is the only direction to go. Maybe he will be the first continuation author to write each new book in reverse chronological order?

One thing Horowitz has also done is transpose those first two kills forward in time (Fleming implied WWII but did not explicitly state any dates, so Horowitz is free to place them when he chooses). The second kill immediately precedes Forever and a Day, so any previous adventure Horowitz might choose to tell would therefor be before being awarded the License to Kill.

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Re: The Next Bond Novel - What do you want to see?

I'd love to read Bond novels set in WWII, but I'm not sure Horowits is the right author to do it. I really enjoyed his Bond novels, but FAAD made it clear he doesn't know that much about the military or WWII. He didn't know USMC didn't really fight in Europe, he didn't know The Oslo Gang was a part of SOE (their best sabotage unit according to SOE) and I strongly suspect he can't tell submachineguns from light machineguns. Ideally Horowitz continues writing novels set in the 50's and 60's while someone else writes the WWII novels.

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Re: The Next Bond Novel - What do you want to see?

#24 you probably don't look in the Comic Book Bond thread so you might have missed this:
Dynamite Comics is publishing a new series called James Bond Origin, set during World War II.
see also

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Re: The Next Bond Novel - What do you want to see?

I know of tehm, but I haven't read them. Are the WWII comics any good?

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Re: The Next Bond Novel - What do you want to see?

I haven't read them myself. I haven't actually seen them in shops round here.