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James Bond's Literary Afterlife
Bond after Fleming, From Amis to Deaver

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Ian Fleming’s death in 1964 stopped the official James Bond canon at twelve novels and nine short stories. Obviously Bond’s afterlife in film needs no introduction, but his further adventures on the printed page have been equally energetic, with several authors taking up the challenge of delivering his globe-trotting, megalomaniac-defeating, unlikely-monikered-woman-bedding exploits. With the latest, Jeffery Deaver’s Carte Blanche, published today, here’s a look at what came before - and an exclusive interview with Deaver about his work

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James Bond's Literary Afterlife   | Kingsley Amis
Kingsley Amis

“Robert Markham” was intended by rights-holders Glidrose as a collective pseudonym under which different authors would take a turn at a Bond novel, post-Fleming. Kingsley Amis’ Colonel Sun was the first and only result of this plan in 1968 (a previous novel in 1967, Geoffrey Jenkins’ Per Fine Ounce, was rejected by Glidrose and never published), and sees Bond trailing a kidnapped M to the Aegean Islands. The dastardly Colonel, employed by the equally dastardly Red Chinese, is plotting a major atrocity against Greece and the West, but also against Russia, leading to a first-time détente in which Bond gets a Russian female assistant. Bond producer Harry Saltzman vetoed the book for filming, but ripples from it reached the movies For Your Eyes Only, The World is Not Enough and Die Another Day.

Amis was for some time thought to have ghost-written The Man With the Golden Gun, which was published after Fleming’s death. This legend has now been more-or-less entirely dismissed though, and Amis’ Bond - much less explicitly a gourmet - is quite different to Fleming’s. “The Bond of Dr No or Goldfinger would have needed far more in the way of technical expertise than I could supply,” said Amis.

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