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Topic: The Experiences of Other Continuation Novel Series (outside of Bond)?

I've created this thread as I've been curious for some time as to the experiences, fates and fortunes of other continuation novel series outside of James Bond. I'm of course thinking of the spy or adventure novel primarily here (the same sort of genre as Bond), and by extension the crime or mystery novel. That is probably the best way to approach this; comparing like with like as it were. Sherlock Holmes, as originally created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle would be but one example of an originating author like Ian Fleming having a continuation series commenced after his death. I'd also extend the remit of this thread to any continuation novel series of a major franchise like James Bond.

What I want to know are how these other continuation novel series fare in comparison to the Bond continuation novels initiated over fifty years ago with Kingsley Amis' Colonel Sun (1968) and running up to the most recent with Anthony Horowitz's Forever and a Day (2018)?

Are there authors of equivalence like the literary writers Kingsley Amis, Sebastian Faulks and William Boyd?

Are there authors like the tried and tested thriller writer approach of John Gardner, Jeffrey Deaver and Anthony Horowitz?

Are there authors who have written notable works on the series such as Kingsley Amis and Raymond Benson?

Are there authors who have come from a fandom background primarily such as Raymond Benson and a series continuation represents their first novel? 

Are there film novelisations that serve as continuation novels too such as those by Christopher Wood, John Gardner and Raymond Benson?

By the same token, are there other continuation series with novels set in the contemporary time or as period pieces, as is the current approach with the Bond novels of Faulks, Boyd and Horowitz?

How do the marketing, sales figures and critical reception compare or differ from that of the Bond continuation novels?

These sample questions of mine and many other questions can be discussed in this thread as I'm genuinely curious as to how the Bond continuation compares to other continuation series. Not having read any other continuation novels outside of Bond it will be interesting to hear other members' thoughts on this topic.

Pray continue...

Last edited by Silhouette Man (11th May 2019 19:58)

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Re: The Experiences of Other Continuation Novel Series (outside of Bond)?

how many other spy series have been so successful that there would be a market for continuation authors? James Bond is kind of unique in his mass appeal.


I think the reason Peter O'Donnell killed off his characters in Cobra Trap is specifically so nobody else could write continuations, so no more Modesty Blaise ever again. I wonder if the experience of the film was enough to persuade him nobody else should have the chance to defile his characters ever again?


on the other hand Robert Ludlum's estate continues to have hired writers publishing new books under his name in big letters. I've never read these, because I don't remember his books being so good I should care to read paid imitators. But there is obviously a market


One non-spy example I am more familiar with:
many writers have continued the adventures of Robert E Howard's Conan the Barbarian since his death. Most notably  L. Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter, who I think are respected sword-and-sorcery authors in their own right. In fact, it is tricky to find a Conan book that is actually by Howard, because not only did de Camp and Carter insert new adventures in between Howard's original short stories, they would for some reason rewrite his original texts. Most of those classic Conan paperbacks with the Frank Frazetta art are actually rewritten Howard interspersed with not-Howard-at-all, so you gotta be carefull buying Conan books.


Also, there have been a couple of Philip Marlowe books written by others since Raymond Chandler's death. Robert B. Parker wrote two, and I think he is a respected detective novelist in his own right who just really dug Chandler. As with some of the Bond continuations, Parker is so obsessed with imitating another man's sentence structures that he never really gets his own original story going at all, just a pastiche.

Last edited by caractacus potts (11th May 2019 20:25)

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Re: The Experiences of Other Continuation Novel Series (outside of Bond)?

Continuing the Philip Marlowe continuation- The Black-Eyed Blonde I liked, but Only To Sleep was terrible. These came after the Parker novels.

Do we count Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan? Clancy's been dead for years and the books keep appearing by various authors, but this practice started while Clancy was still alive (though the others were credited as "co-authors" then).

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Re: The Experiences of Other Continuation Novel Series (outside of Bond)?

I haven’t read them but I believe both Poirot and Jeeves and Wooster have had continuation novels and the western series Sudden had several continuations.

As for Conan, Lin Carter was indeed a renowned author in fantasy circles. He wrote his own Conan style warrior series, Thongor,  which sold very well in my bookshop.

Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.

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Re: The Experiences of Other Continuation Novel Series (outside of Bond)?

CoolHandBond wrote:

Jeeves and Wooster.

wow, how are those?
I think thatd be a challenge, even more than Chandler the appeal of Wodehouse is in his way with language. Either you recycle his classic sentences, or you come up with something new that does not read like Wodehouse.
Plus I worry a modern writer would be tempted to politicize the whole upper class twit thing. Wodehouse just made his idle toffs look silly (yet lovable) without going into why there was such a class of people.

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Re: The Experiences of Other Continuation Novel Series (outside of Bond)?

I really enjoyed Antony Horowitz' "House of silk", and that's a Sherlock Holmes continuation novel.

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Re: The Experiences of Other Continuation Novel Series (outside of Bond)?

caractacus potts wrote:
CoolHandBond wrote:

Jeeves and Wooster.

wow, how are those?
I think thatd be a challenge, even more than Chandler the appeal of Wodehouse is in his way with language. Either you recycle his classic sentences, or you come up with something new that does not read like Wodehouse.
Plus I worry a modern writer would be tempted to politicize the whole upper class twit thing. Wodehouse just made his idle toffs look silly (yet lovable) without going into why there was such a class of people.

Agreed. I had no idea this even existed!

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Re: The Experiences of Other Continuation Novel Series (outside of Bond)?

Number24 wrote:

I really enjoyed Antony Horowitz' "House of silk", and that's a Sherlock Holmes continuation novel.

I enjoyed that and Moriarty too...plus Art in the Blood by Bonnie MacBird was a good read.

YNWA: Justice For The 96

The Joy Of 6

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Re: The Experiences of Other Continuation Novel Series (outside of Bond)?

Kyle Mills taking over for Vince Flynn (I went to his high school!) after his passing for the Mitch Rapp series are some fine reads...

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Re: The Experiences of Other Continuation Novel Series (outside of Bond)?

caractacus potts wrote:
CoolHandBond wrote:

Jeeves and Wooster.

wow, how are those?
I think thatd be a challenge, even more than Chandler the appeal of Wodehouse is in his way with language. Either you recycle his classic sentences, or you come up with something new that does not read like Wodehouse.
Plus I worry a modern writer would be tempted to politicize the whole upper class twit thing. Wodehouse just made his idle toffs look silly (yet lovable) without going into why there was such a class of people.

I've heard good things about Jeeves and the King of Clubs by Ben Schott and I would like to give it a try.

Sebastian Faulks has also written one called Jeeves and the Wedding Bells.