25 Years since the publication of Raymond Benson's first James Bond novel, Zero Minus Ten (1997)

DragonpolDragonpol Schloss Drache
edited April 3 in Literary 007 Posts: 15,636
As Raymond Benson has pointed out today on his Facebook and Twitter accounts, tomorrow, Monday 4th April 2022 marks the 25th Anniversary of the UK publication of his debut James Bond continuation novel, Zero Minus Ten (1997). In total, Benson wrote six original Bond continuation novels, three Bond short stories and three film novelisations from 1997 to 2002. It would be timely to hear from literary Bond fans here about what they thought of Zero Minus Ten and, by extension, their thoughts or retrospectives on the Benson era of Bond novels and film novelisations?


Comments

  • Posts: 6,565
    It's been a long time since I read them, but I remember Benson's novels fondly. I read his first three at the time they came out and then his next three not until more recently. I also read TND and TWINE upon release.

    I was a kid at the time, but I recall really enjoying the locations and action sequences in both Zero Minus Ten and The Facts of Death. I know Benson did a good deal of research into real-world settings to make the action sequences read authentically. TND was a great read as well. I revisited that one in the past year or so and thought Benson did a terrific job adapting it.

    I'm certainly due to revisit Zero Minus Ten. There may be no more appropriate time!
  • MajorDSmytheMajorDSmythe JenaMaloneforBond.comModerator
    Posts: 12,688
    I know that he got a lot of stick at the time from fans, really like the Benson era, especially High Time To Kill. I know EON don't have the rights to the post Fleming books, but the Benson books were ripe for adapting.
  • MaxCasinoMaxCasino United States
    Posts: 2,586
    I know that he got a lot of stick at the time from fans, really like the Benson era, especially High Time To Kill. I know EON don't have the rights to the post Fleming books, but the Benson books were ripe for adapting.

    I still think that adapting The Union Trilogy would be a great way to get 3 movies out quickly.
  • DragonpolDragonpol Schloss Drache
    Posts: 15,636
    I know that he got a lot of stick at the time from fans, really like the Benson era, especially High Time To Kill. I know EON don't have the rights to the post Fleming books, but the Benson books were ripe for adapting.

    Yes, I know his books have been criticised a lot over the years just like any other Bond continuation author but he does have his fans too and I'm among them.

    Eon actually do retain the rights to potentially adapt the Bond continuation novels though thus far they have very rarely exercised this right. The only overt example of it was the use of the Colonel Sun torture scene with almost verbatim dialogue in the head drilling scene in Spectre. The Kingsley Amis Estate got a credit at the end of the film and were paid for the use of the scene.
  • MajorDSmytheMajorDSmythe JenaMaloneforBond.comModerator
    edited April 5 Posts: 12,688
    MaxCasino wrote: »
    I know that he got a lot of stick at the time from fans, really like the Benson era, especially High Time To Kill. I know EON don't have the rights to the post Fleming books, but the Benson books were ripe for adapting.

    I still think that adapting The Union Trilogy would be a great way to get 3 movies out quickly.

    Now that is an idea I got get behind. And one I think would be appealing to an actor. 3 films, and only 3 films. No long term locked in contract, just 2-3* years between each of the 3 films.


    *I would prefer 2, but if that isn't doable these days, then 3.
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    Eon actually do retain the rights to potentially adapt the Bond continuation novels though thus far they have very rarely exercised this right. The only overt example of it was the use of the Colonel Sun torture scene with almost verbatim dialogue in the head drilling scene in Spectre. The Kingsley Amis Estate got a credit at the end of the film and were paid for the use of the scene.

    I didn't know that. I thought EON didn't own the rights, which put them into a kind of limbo.
  • JustJamesJustJames London
    Posts: 62
    The Benson books were the ones I enjoyed the most to be honest. I just wish I could get the film novelisations on kindle. DAD would be better in my head than on the page, and to me they felt like the sliding continuity of the films more than some of the Gardners. Fleming and Fleming style ones aren’t quite as enjoyable to me — dated in many ways. I also like Carte Blanche at the the time, but it’s been years since I read it, and definitely prefer the nineties flourishes of Benson.
  • Posts: 9,208
    I love Benson’s books and while I love Fleming more because he created bond obviously I reread Benson more often sorry I know… but I love his books
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