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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.

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

Horowitz has recently disclosed that he is in talks to write a third Bond novel:

https://www.thebookbond.com/2019/09/ant … d.html?m=1

Looks like we might have to wait a while though. This is becoming a tiresome refrain for fans of James Bond.

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

Miles Messervy wrote:

Horowitz has recently disclosed that he is in talks to write a third Bond novel:

https://www.thebookbond.com/2019/09/ant … d.html?m=1

Looks like we might have to wait a while though. This is becoming a tiresome refrain for fans of James Bond.

Yes, and there's talk on Twitter that Horowitz's third Bond novel will be set after the Fleming Bond novel timeline ends, thus following the lead of Sebastian Faulks' Devil May Care (2008). If IFP follows the three year gap between Trigger Mortis and Forever and A Day then we might get Horowitz's third Bond novel by 2021. However, if Horowitz is particularly busy things may not run to the previous schedule.

Writer/Director @ The Bondologist Blog (TBB)
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"The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).

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

That makes sense. He’s done one in the middle and one before CR, so I can see him wanting to explore Bond in the post-Fleming period. Boyd’s book was terrible and the references to 1969 felt incredibly forced. Hopefully Horowitz can improve upon that if this is the route they take.

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

I'd be very happy to have him back for more: they're very readable.

I was on holiday recently and had a re-read of Trigger Mortis: lots of fun. I fancied a bit more Bond and tried an old Raymond Benson- the difference was striking: the first was a decent if throwaway thriller written by a very professional writer, the other was like it was written by a child! Absolutely appalling. Utterly lacking in imagination, big swathes of research just coughed up onto the page without any sort of thought as to how it was relevant: like a child wanting their homework approved. Who cares what model of wheelchair Felix Leiter sits in? The contrast was striking.
So yes, more Horowitz please. There is at least an impression of sophistication and wit there. I don't know how he has time to bang all of these novels out though: he's like a machine!

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

I agree with both Miles Messervy and emtiem, having Horowitz back would be a joy, especially to see him look at Bond's twilight years. I didn't care for FAAD as much as TM, but he's a fantastic writer and I enjoy his prose very much.

Also agree that Boyd's references to the late 60's felt forced, and I'd go a step further and accuse Faulks of the same thing. References to popular culture date art in a negative way, there are many other ways a writer can keep a character "of his time" by referencing ideals, vintages and attitudes. (On of my issues with FAAD was the character of Sixtine, she wasn't a character that would have been written in the early 50's.)

As far as other new projects, I'd love to see Bond in the present day. A clever and accomplished writer can ignore the traps of technology and focus on the classic tools of espionage and suspense.

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

I like modern day Bond but I wonder if it isn't a good differentiator between this and the film series to stay a bit more in period.

I did like the way that Trigger Mortis in particular felt a little like a nod towards the Connery Bond though.

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

emtiem wrote:

I like modern day Bond but I wonder if it isn't a good differentiator between this and the film series to stay a bit more in period.

I did like the way that Trigger Mortis in particular felt a little like a nod towards the Connery Bond though.

I’m ok with period Bond in the books as long as Horowitz is doing it. No one apart from Amis has done imitation Fleming as effectively. But once Horowitz is finished I really want IFP to go back to the present day. The period books feel a little bit irrelevant (if I want 50’s Bond I can just read the real thing). Relatedly, a modern setting also forces the authors to be a little more inventive rather than just relying on Fleming’s well-worn tropes.

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

Silhouette Man wrote:

... there's talk on Twitter that Horowitz's third Bond novel will be set after the Fleming Bond novel timeline ends, thus following the lead of Sebastian Faulks' Devil May Care (2008).

I wonder if he will respect Colonel Sun as being in continuity? I hope so, but fear he may not.

Pearson's Bond Biography took place in 1972, and Colonel Sun took place a year after ...Golden Gun, therefor ~1964. So there's an eight year gap we know nothing about. As much as we might not like them, Devil May Care and Solo are supposed to fit in 1967 and 1969. But there ought to be at least six more missions in there.

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

clublos wrote:

...One of my issues with FAAD was the character of Sixtine, she wasn't a character that would have been written in the early 50's...

this is a good point, worthy of further discussion. Can anybody think of any examples?

I cant think of any similar characters from the period in prose, but maybe the pulps?
In film there were plenty of femme fatales throughout the 1940s, some of them spies. None like a female Bond. Maybe in the serials?


In the comics there were dozens of female adventuresses in the 1940s. Especially after the War, when the comics were trying to retain the interest of a maturing audience. There were characters like Phantom Lady, Black Cat, Black Canary, Blonde Phantom, Miss Masque and Lady Luck, who all dressed up in skimpy costumes and fought crime (lucky criminals!).

Fiction House was a pulp fiction/comics company whose entire line of comics was centred around sexy female adventuresses. Their most famous character was Sheena Queen of the Jungle, but they also published science fiction heroines, western heroines, aviator heroines.

And their title Fight Comics, from 1942-1950, featured Senorita Rio, a Hollywood actress who faked her death to operate as a spy in South America. There's an essay on Senorita Rio here. And somebody has uploaded scans of her origin story, from Fight Comics 19 (June 1942) here.
So there was at least one lady spy being published in 1950.

These sort of characters disappeared from comics after the early 1950s, thanks to the Comics Code, and increasing conservative attitudes toward gender roles.

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

I really liked the character of Sixtine: one of the most interesting Bond women in a long time.