I've been thinking about this subject recently and as it hasn't come up here before for discussion I thought that I'd create a new thread on it. I just wanted to know other members' views on what Ian Fleming would have thought of the literary James Bond continuation project initiated by the Board of Glidrose Publications in the 1960s, by his brother Peter Fleming, ostensibly to counter the rise of unofficial Bond novel publications in the Eastern Bloc at that time. It was decided that the commissioning of a "Continuation Bond" would extend the copyright and take away the market for the inferior unofficial Bond novels being published by filling the market with an official product, namely Kingsley Amis' Colonel Sun, published in the UK on 28 March 1968.
Ian Fleming himself is said to have had the idea of auctioning off the literary rights to the James Bond character towards the end of his life, so the concept of the continuation Bond surely wouldn't have been an alien or objectionable idea to him. I can't recall where I read the idea about Fleming auctioning off the literary rights to James Bond but I believe it to be factual. If anyone can point me in the direction of the source for this auction idea I'd be most grateful! For one example, I know that in the 1960s Leslie Charteris eventually had a few of 'The Saint' books towards the end of his writing career written by others under his name, so that was his approach to extending his legacy.
With all of this in mind, what do you think Fleming would have made of the Bond continuation project which has now lasted for over fifty years from the first entry, Amis' Colonel Sun (1968) to the present day with Anthony Horowitz's Forever and a Day (2018). I'd be interested in hearing your views on what Fleming would have made of all of the Bond continuation novels and their respective authors too. I imagine he'd be both surprised and flattered that so many different famous authors had taken on his mantle as Bond author, to say nothing of the massive success that the EON-produced Bond films have been for over fifty years.
I know that wondering what a dead author would have thought of his literary heirs requires a certain amount of educated guesswork and suspension of disbelief (as opposed to psychic ability and stopping far short of a séance) but I think that the idea is sufficiently fascinating enough to engender an interesting discussion. :)