Where should Literary Bond go from here?

We have had 4 Celebrity writers 3 set in the past and 1 modern so the question goes post Trigger Mortis where should bond go?
«13

Comments

  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    Posts: 14,723
    Well personally I'd give Anthony Horowitz a series of James Bond novels to write, with all or some of them including previously unreleased Ian Fleming material like we saw in Trigger Mortis.
  • Posts: 306
    After finishing Fleming's work I'm hesitant to read any thing else. I'm considering Horowitz though. Heard good things
  • Posts: 13,246
    Here's where I'd go: reread Fleming. Read essays about his work. Read Anthony Burgess about James Bond. Read Umberto Eco about James Bond. The true way to honour Fleming is to reflect on his work.
  • edited January 2016 Posts: 4,622
    Ludovico wrote: »
    Here's where I'd go: reread Fleming. Read essays about his work. Read Anthony Burgess about James Bond. Read Umberto Eco about James Bond. The true way to honour Fleming is to reflect on his work.
    Maybe some of us like reading the continuation novels. But thanks for your "true way" Dogmatic much?
    So helpful from someone who has probably only read few continuation novels, if any.
    Sigh.
    ====
    Anyway to address the actual thread topic, I think the way is obvious.
    Agree with @dragonpol
    Horowitz has been well received by fans of Bond continuation lit. Let him continue to write. His preference is clearly to continue in the Fleming setting. So be it. I'd be open to modern adventures but if Horowitz wants to continue working in the original timeline, that's fine.

  • Posts: 13,246
    I don't know what I have bloody done to you @timmer, but this is getting tedious. I don't care about continuation novels, whether they are Bond novels, Sherlock Holmes, Dracula, what have you. So sue me.
  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    Posts: 31,006
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    Well personally I'd give Anthony Horowitz a series of James Bond novels to write, with all or some of them including previously unreleased Ian Fleming material like we saw in Trigger Mortis.

    I'd really just prefer to see the Fleming story treatments collected and published without being reworked by a new author. Obviously even all together that would not contain enough text to fill a book, but essays and commentary could fill it out.
  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    Posts: 31,006
    Ludovico wrote: »
    I don't know what I have bloody done to you @timmer, but this is getting tedious. I don't care about continuation novels, whether they are Bond novels, Sherlock Holmes, Dracula, what have you. So sue me.

    I agree that was a bit rough, but it is odd that you'd come on a thread bearing this title having that particular mindset. I basically agree in principal (i.e. only Fleming can write a genuine James Bond novel, and he's dead, so it's over), but of late I have been catching up on the continuation novels that I've ignored over the years. Some are entertaining, some are bad, and a small few are very good. But I don't hunger to read them again (except for COLONEL SUN and the Christopher Wood adaptations), and I don't think of them as canon. I'll continue to read them, but I won't ever be fooled into thinking I'm reading about the same James Bond that I grew up with.
  • Posts: 13,246
    Birdleson wrote: »
    Ludovico wrote: »
    I don't know what I have bloody done to you @timmer, but this is getting tedious. I don't care about continuation novels, whether they are Bond novels, Sherlock Holmes, Dracula, what have you. So sue me.

    I agree that was a bit rough, but it is odd that you'd come on a thread bearing this title having that particular mindset. I basically agree in principal (i.e. only Fleming can write a genuine James Bond novel, and he's dead, so it's over), but of late I have been catching up on the continuation novels that I've ignored over the years. Some are entertaining, some are bad, and a small few are very good. But I don't hunger to read them again (except for COLONEL SUN and the Christopher Wood adaptations), and I don't think of them as canon. I'll continue to read them, but I won't ever be fooled into thinking I'm reading about the same James Bond that I grew up with.

    A bit hysterically nasty more than rough. Everyone has a certain mindset, I have my own. I know I am a purist when it comes to works of fiction, especially a beloved one. I come on this thread because it is about literary Bond, which should be rediscovered. And hence what I said: Fleming wrote the literary Bond. There are many problems with continuators, not only for Bond novels, but for any continuations of a beloved work of fiction.

    If someone sets a Bond novel in contemporary time, he is taking Bond in an era which Fleming was foreign to, for obvious reasons. Furthermore, if he wants to ignore as much as possible the movies, which is a distinct entity, it becomes increasingly difficult, because contemporary Bond is associated with the now far more famous movie franchise. Ignoring them becomes challenging. If someone sets a Bond novels in the past, in times contemporary to Fleming, it may be an even biggest problem. Because then you are writing to a degree historical fiction. Or even more so, historical spy fiction. Ian Fleming being a man of his time, he was not foreign to it and therefore you lose some of the authenticity. And even if you can completely solve these challenges (which I don't think is possible), you still need to emulate the writing.

    I have read some good pastiches (the accent should be put on some), one or two that may even be great ones, but they are what they are, pastiches. And the great ones I read were not so much a continuation than an appropriation of a classic character to explore certain themes. Anthony Burgess wrote Murder to Music, a Sherlock Holmes story that is far more Burgess than Holmes or Doyle. he uses the detective to illustrate the distinction between art and moral (one of his obsessions). And I am okay with this, far more than somebody trying to imitate Doyle.

    There are two ways I think to truly pay homage to a writer's work: by reflecting on his work (as I mentioned in my first post here) and by being inspired by it. I want to read more about Bond. I also want to read writers who admire Fleming and rather than making copies or fanfic, tried to emulate him (and I am sure there are a few). Taking the work rather than the label. I'll take an example: I argued on another thread that OHMSS was in many ways a rewrite of Dracula, or at least the part of the novel where Harker is in Castle Dracula. It might have been intentional, it might not, but Fleming seems to have understood far more the essence of Stoker's novel than many writers who wrote sequels to it, as if Dracula was meant to have sequels.
  • edited January 2016 Posts: 4,622
    Thank you @captainobvious Light has finally been shed on what might be differences between an original author and his continuers. Who knew?
    Meanwhile millions around the world for near 50 years have been reading Fleming continuation authors and don't give a crap.
    They actually have informed opinions, yay and nay, on these various and sundry works, as they have actually sampled the wares, and thus are equipped to offer up actual informed opinions, on that which they actually know something about.
    What a concept.
    So to the many who have actually read the books, as opposed to those holed up in the darkened belfry of some dusty Castle Dracula, shielded from the world, droning of "true ways" and purism - I am actually thinking of reading Trigger Mortis again.
    The author was maybe trying a little too hard in spots to get it right, but still it was an earnest engaging effort I thought.
    Most importantly the book breezed, much like a Fleming novel. Read it real quick.
    I look forward to more from this author. Again in the spirit of the actual thread title, this I think is the direction the literary Bond should go.
    I am open to whatever direction Horowitz might want to continue in.

    As for the broader continuation oeuvre, I very much did enjoy Gardner's 14 book collection. I am due for a re-read, having only read the originals as they were published. So it would be like re-reading them almost fresh again.
    The earliest books are the best I think, although one of my favourites was No Deals Mr. Bond which was early middle period. Bond, I found to be quite impressive in that book, especially as he engages battle with the enemy in the final stages, much the way he does in the late stages of Colonel Sun when he takes the battle to the deranged Dr.No derivative.
    I am happy to be challenged on this though. I am not sure comparisons with No are close. That just popped into my head. They are at least equally vile and sadistic.
  • edited January 2016 Posts: 13,246
    @Timmer-What did you put in your coffee? Or is my atheism such an affront to your faith that you decide to spread your bile (verbal diarrhea?) on this thread too? You enjoy whatever you enjoy, I don't give a damn.
  • Posts: 4,622
    @dracula "I don't give a damn" Apparently you do. Anyway, if you can manage to put down your puritan pipe for 5 minutes, and actually read a continuation novel, actual informed insights from you could even be helpful. Cheers! ~O)
  • Posts: 13,246
    Believe me I don't. And there's a difference between a purist and a puritan. Like they're completely different things.
  • edited January 2016 Posts: 4,622
    @captainObvious take 2. I guess it wouldn't cross your dogmatic mind, that maybe I
    chose to use the word, as opposed to not knowing the difference. Puritan Pipe. Has a nice ring I think. Anyway just another example of you almost never having any understanding of whats actually being said to you.
    In the interest of thread derailment danger though, I will completely ignore your next missive.
    You may have last word. You can't rest otherwise.
    I won't post again in this thread until it generates some more comments regarding the actual thread topic.
    Cheers!
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    edited January 2016 Posts: 19,731
    @Ludovico, Dear fellow crusader, in a pub you and I would be agreeing on a lot of things but perhaps we should bring this specific topic back to its Bond basics, as @Timmer correctly suggests. ;-) I believe we have three fairly good threads going where the likes of you and myself can, albeit in as respectful a manner as possible, blow off some steam. I'm thinking about

    - @Gustav_Graves' big space exploration thread

    - my own science thread

    - @DaltonCraig007's Paris attacks thread

    @Timmer, to be honest, I like reading your arguments so I hope you will allow some of these debates to continue in some of the aforementioned threads. But yeah, this very one right here is about Bond. Furthermore, I apologise for I too can get pretty frustrated at times. It's okay to point that out. ;-)
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    Posts: 14,723
    Birdleson wrote: »
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    Well personally I'd give Anthony Horowitz a series of James Bond novels to write, with all or some of them including previously unreleased Ian Fleming material like we saw in Trigger Mortis.

    I'd really just prefer to see the Fleming story treatments collected and published without being reworked by a new author. Obviously even all together that would not contain enough text to fill a book, but essays and commentary could fill it out.

    Well let me just say that would be great too, of course - perhaps if it was included in an updated (and much more affordable) version of Talk of the Devil (2008)? I just hope that IFP gets to read this!
  • edited January 2016 Posts: 13,246
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    @Ludovico, Dear fellow crusader, in a pub you and I would be agreeing on a lot of things but perhaps we should bring this specific topic back to its Bond basics, as @Timmer correctly suggests. ;-) I believe we have three fairly good threads going where the likes of you and myself can, albeit in as respectful a manner as possible, blow off some steam. I'm thinking about

    - @Gustav_Graves' big space exploration thread

    - my own science thread

    - @DaltonCraig007's Paris attacks thread

    @Timmer, to be honest, I like reading your arguments so I hope you will allow some of these debates to continue in some of the aforementioned threads. But yeah, this very one right here is about Bond. Furthermore, I apologise for I too can get pretty frustrated at times. It's okay to point that out. ;-)

    I have no problem bringing back this topic back to its basics and for the record it was not my intention to derail this thread. I did initially wrote posts here that were very much about the literary Bond (and my issues with continuations). I understand continuations are here to stay (it's as old as literature) and it's a business that is thriving (Agatha Christie, Raymond Chandler have their continuators now).
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    Birdleson wrote: »
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    Well personally I'd give Anthony Horowitz a series of James Bond novels to write, with all or some of them including previously unreleased Ian Fleming material like we saw in Trigger Mortis.

    I'd really just prefer to see the Fleming story treatments collected and published without being reworked by a new author. Obviously even all together that would not contain enough text to fill a book, but essays and commentary could fill it out.

    Well let me just say that would be great too, of course - perhaps if it was included in an updated (and much more affordable) version of Talk of the Devil (2008)? I just hope that IFP gets to read this!
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    Birdleson wrote: »
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    Well personally I'd give Anthony Horowitz a series of James Bond novels to write, with all or some of them including previously unreleased Ian Fleming material like we saw in Trigger Mortis.

    I'd really just prefer to see the Fleming story treatments collected and published without being reworked by a new author. Obviously even all together that would not contain enough text to fill a book, but essays and commentary could fill it out.

    Well let me just say that would be great too, of course - perhaps if it was included in an updated (and much more affordable) version of Talk of the Devil (2008)? I just hope that IFP gets to read this!
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    Birdleson wrote: »
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    Well personally I'd give Anthony Horowitz a series of James Bond novels to write, with all or some of them including previously unreleased Ian Fleming material like we saw in Trigger Mortis.

    I'd really just prefer to see the Fleming story treatments collected and published without being reworked by a new author. Obviously even all together that would not contain enough text to fill a book, but essays and commentary could fill it out.

    Well let me just say that would be great too, of course - perhaps if it was included in an updated (and much more affordable) version of Talk of the Devil (2008)? I just hope that IFP gets to read this!

    If only for the story treatments to be widely available, it would be great. Another possibility: a collection of short stories written by various authors. More like an homage than true continuations maybe. But anyway, we don't have to only do continuations, even when one does pastiches.
  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    Posts: 31,006
    @Dragonpol , any idea where I can find TALK OF THE DEVIL (2008)? Not Amazon, apparently.
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    edited January 2016 Posts: 14,723
    Birdleson wrote: »
    @Dragonpol , any idea where I can find TALK OF THE DEVIL (2008)? Not Amazon, apparently.

    I thin k that it can still be ordered from the Queen Anne Press:

    http://www.queenannepress.co.uk/books.html#

    It does cost a few thousand pounds though.
  • edited January 2016 Posts: 4,622
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    .... albeit in as respectful a manner as possible, blow off some steam.
    @dimi thank you for most reasoned response and timely intervention ( yes I am not above smooching up to mods).
    As for "respectful a manner" That I am afraid is also a puritan pipe dream.
    No such civility shall come forth from @dracula. The man I'm afraid is not socialized.
    He will continue to assert his beliefs in his ignorant I-am-better-than-you manner. He is blissfully unaware of his pedantry.
    Comes from being holed up in the castle all-day, I guess. Should try get out in the light a bit.
    Speaking of:
    Horowitz's Trigger Mortis features a villain residing in an insolated country castle. Might have some appeal....
    OK will stop being a smartass and behave myself. Promise.

  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    Posts: 14,723
    It would be great if we could all try to agree to get along in the fresh spirit of a New Year. I like both your contributions very much and I just wish we could all form a common Bond in this New Year. :)
  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    Posts: 31,006
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    Birdleson wrote: »
    @Dragonpol , any idea where I can find TALK OF THE DEVIL (2008)? Not Amazon, apparently.

    I thin k that it can still be ordered from the Queen Anne Press:

    http://www.queenannepress.co.uk/books.html#

    It does cost a few thousand pounds though.

    Thank you, but what the Hell!?!
  • mcdonbbmcdonbb deep in the Heart of Texas
    Posts: 4,116
    I would still prefer the continuation novels be contemporary ..set in present day.

    Maintaining a time table that Fleming himself updated is never going to make the new novels Fleming novels so what's the point?

    I'd rather they just publish modern novels featuring a close proximity to Fleming's Bond that we can all relate to.



  • Posts: 1,580
    mcdonbb wrote: »
    I would still prefer the continuation novels be contemporary ..set in present day.

    Maintaining a time table that Fleming himself updated is never going to make the new novels Fleming novels so what's the point?

    I'd rather they just publish modern novels featuring a close proximity to Fleming's Bond that we can all relate to.

    Agreed.

    I haven't gotten around to Trigger Mortis yet, but just speaking generally, I'd rather see them go with the contemporary setting and without the author trying to mimic Fleming's writing. I'd even be fine with them rebooting the literary series again as they tried to do with Carte Blanche, as long as whoever they choose to write the novel both signs on for more than the one book and gives us a Bond that is recognizable as something close to Fleming's Bond and not the impostor that was found in the pages of that novel.
  • edited January 2016 Posts: 13,246
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    It would be great if we could all try to agree to get along in the fresh spirit of a New Year. I like both your contributions very much and I just wish we could all form a common Bond in this New Year. :)

    I don't mind a controversy or controversial comments, heck you have read me in this thread and others and I understand I can rub people the wrong way, but this time I am not the one adding oil over the fire. So thanks for your kind words, I know you don't take it personal, but I might not waste anyone's time here and it does get tiring being called a pr*ck in endless diatribes, even over the internet.
    dalton wrote: »
    mcdonbb wrote: »
    I would still prefer the continuation novels be contemporary ..set in present day.

    Maintaining a time table that Fleming himself updated is never going to make the new novels Fleming novels so what's the point?

    I'd rather they just publish modern novels featuring a close proximity to Fleming's Bond that we can all relate to.

    Agreed.

    I haven't gotten around to Trigger Mortis yet, but just speaking generally, I'd rather see them go with the contemporary setting and without the author trying to mimic Fleming's writing. I'd even be fine with them rebooting the literary series again as they tried to do with Carte Blanche, as long as whoever they choose to write the novel both signs on for more than the one book and gives us a Bond that is recognizable as something close to Fleming's Bond and not the impostor that was found in the pages of that novel.

    The problem with contemporary literary Bond is that the movies cast a rather large shadow. If one wants to go back to Bond's literary roots, then maybe the wisest thing to do is indeed to go back to a timeline when they were written, a timeline Fleming obviously knew and where he got his cultural references, etc. But that opens another can of worms: unlike Ian Fleming, the author is not writing a Bond novel set in the time it is written, so at least some authenticity goes by the window. I am not certain how or if it can be solved.
  • Posts: 1,580
    By the same token, the problem with keeping the literary Bond in the Fleming timeline is the shadow cast by Fleming.

    It would be better to allow the authors to write in the time period that they are familiar with rather than trying to pastiche Fleming and write the novels set in a decade that has been long over with. The reason that Carte Blanche failed was, above all the other problems it had, was that Bond wasn't Bond. He was too nice and didn't in any way resemble the character that Fleming put on the page. If they can find a writer that can capture the essence of Fleming's character without resorting to a pastiche or setting it in the Fleming timeline, then that's the best way forward for the literary franchise. It can be done, they just have to commit to doing it instead of going back and forth between timelines and authors as they've tended to do and stick with it.
  • Posts: 13,246
    dalton wrote: »
    By the same token, the problem with keeping the literary Bond in the Fleming timeline is the shadow cast by Fleming.

    It would be better to allow the authors to write in the time period that they are familiar with rather than trying to pastiche Fleming and write the novels set in a decade that has been long over with. The reason that Carte Blanche failed was, above all the other problems it had, was that Bond wasn't Bond. He was too nice and didn't in any way resemble the character that Fleming put on the page. If they can find a writer that can capture the essence of Fleming's character without resorting to a pastiche or setting it in the Fleming timeline, then that's the best way forward for the literary franchise. It can be done, they just have to commit to doing it instead of going back and forth between timelines and authors as they've tended to do and stick with it.

    I agree and it's difficult to emulate Fleming's writing anyway. Let alone display the time period with authenticity, avoiding the cliches and false perceptions associated with that time period, etc. But it's also an issue to have a Bond that remains Bond as Fleming wrote him and yet not too anachronistic. Both approaches have their issues.

  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CAModerator
    Posts: 31,006
    Which is why, back to what I said earlier, I take them in stride. I enter into these books looking for a modest diversion with some familiar elements. Fleming is one of my favorite writers and the world of Bond was completely tied to his world and his world view. To expect anything comparable from these other authors, regardless of how well-intentioned or how talented is ludicrous.
  • Posts: 13,246
    Birdleson wrote: »
    Which is why, back to what I said earlier, I take them in stride. I enter into these books looking for a modest diversion with some familiar elements. Fleming is one of my favorite writers and the world of Bond was completely tied to his world and his world view. To expect anything comparable from these other authors, regardless of how well-intentioned or how talented is ludicrous.

    I agree and that is how one must take IMO any continuator whatever the character/universe that is being expanded.
  • SerialHitmanSerialHitman Plotting my revenge
    Posts: 45
    Having recently written a novel for a class, I can safely say it's very difficult to write a novel set in a different time period from one's own and the lack of authenticity and familiarity with the time can often hurt the telling of a story, no matter how educated you are about the period. Another thing I learned from the experience is that personal experience can help, and this is clear with Fleming. Fleming was writing with knowledge of the trade which he picked up from experience. Somebody with knowledge of how the government and the military operate now could really bring some innovation to these stories and could help truly reinvent the literary Bond for the new era. After all some of the best authors of our time were shaped by war.
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    Posts: 14,723
    Having recently written a novel for a class, I can safely say it's very difficult to write a novel set in a different time period from one's own and the lack of authenticity and familiarity with the time can often hurt the telling of a story, no matter how educated you are about the period. Another thing I learned from the experience is that personal experience can help, and this is clear with Fleming. Fleming was writing with knowledge of the trade which he picked up from experience. Somebody with knowledge of how the government and the military operate now could really bring some innovation to these stories and could help truly reinvent the literary Bond for the new era. After all some of the best authors of our time were shaped by war.

    That's why, to my mind, John Gardner was such a good choice as Fleming's most prolific literary Bond successor.
Sign In or Register to comment.