Wednesday 30 December 2015

The world is not enough by Raymond Benson

Added to my collection of books is the hardback version of THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH written by Raymond Benson in 1999 and based on the screenplay for the film with the same title written by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade.In other words this book is a movie tie in. Released to capitalize on the release of a new James Bond film. I must say that I am happy that this stooped after the movie tie in for Die Another Day in 2002.

I must confess that when I bought this book I thought it was a first edition. But when I checked the numberline inside the book it ends with a 2 indicating that this is the second printing of this book.

My numberline is 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2.

The world is not enough might just be the thinnest of all the James Bond books and it only has 200 pages. I have yet to read this book so no need for me to write a review of this book.

So go now to your bookshelf and see if your Bond books are true first editions or not. learn a bit more by watching the clip below.

Tuesday 29 December 2015

This never happened in other countries

I received a new book in the mail the other day. it is called LICENCE EXPIRED  - THE UNAUTHORIZED JAMES BOND and is edited by Madeline Ashby and David Nickle with an introduction by Matt Sherman.

I have been collecting James Bond books since I was 12 years old but during the last few days before Christmas I got my hands on what might just be of of the rarest James Bond books coming out this year. And to be honest I do not know which leg to stand on here (as we say in Sweden). Should I be happy or sad?

I am happy because I now have a new book in the collection. a book of 300 pages with 19 James Bond short stories to read. I am sad because this book came to life due to the fact that the James Bond novels has entered public domain in Canada.
To be honest I know to little about the public domain issue for James Bond or other characters within books and film. I confess that I thought that estates had the copyright far longer then they seem to do. In my world it would be much easier if the copyright laws where those around the world as of where the author lived and was registered. As Ian Fleming and Great Britain. In this case the rules for Great Britain should be obeyed across the globe. And when it comes to other authors should there country of origins rules should be obeyed. But what do I know?

I am surprised that Ian Fleming Publications has not acted on this book release yet. Since I work with film distribution I know that publishers wish to have a 100% secure case before they accuse someone. In this case maybe they feel that they will lose and therefore lets the book be released as quietly as possible. We will just have to wait and see what happens.

Anyhow I do like the cover design for this book. It is printed as a large paperback and is just as soft as the Proof copy of TRIGGER MORTIS from the US.

There are 20 stories inside and a few of them are written by females which is interesting since this has never been done before.
I have not read the book when I write this blog post but hope to get to it soon.

When Madeline Ashby and David Nickle asked people for submissions for this book they had a few rules that needed to be obeyed.

Submissions needed to be sent in before June 1, 2015 and was not allowed to contain more then 5 000 words. The writers that were published was then offered 6 Canadian cents per word.

This book will only be sold in Canada and therefore I believe it will be quite hard for all the collectors to get one. But if you really want one it is not that hard. The book is being offered on Ebay right here!

If you live in Canada and wish to order the book you can do so here!

If you wish to know more about how this book came about you can check out Madeline Ashbys blog that contains a lot of info on this book.

Saturday 26 December 2015

James Bond signed drawing by John McLusky up for auction

John McLusky painted his first James Bond strip in 1958 for the Daily Express in England. He continued doing so until 1966 making 13 of the James Bond novels into comic strips that are sold even today in book form.
In 1982 John McLysky came back to draw for new James Bond adventures.

It is said that the look of James Bond the way McLusky painted him later became the look Albert R Broccoli and Harry Saltzman were after which made them choose Sean Connery in the end to play James Bond.

Up for auction now is a photograph of John McLuskys most famous James Bond drawing (copy) with an original signature. The autograph is made out to Tom so here is an extra chance if you happen to be named Tom. Estimated selling price is between £50-£80. The only wired thing is that Chaucer auctions fail to mention the size of the picture. Quite crucial I would say.You can find the auction here!

I have a copy of this painting in my collection on my wall and it looks amazing. I also have copies for sale that measures 11x15 inches. My price is £20 or $30 and if you happen to be interested you can email me at stephan.backman(a) Frame is not included in the price.

Friday 25 December 2015

From Norway comes a new book with love for all things 007

During the fall Norway was grazed with a James Bond book called "The great big book about James Bond". It is an unofficial compilation by Morten Cruys Magnus Sagen and Morten Andreas Steingrimsen.
The book is big and has 360 pages. It is not common for smaller countries like Norway to have this kind of books written in their native tongue. But it is nice to hear that the book has been a huge success in Norway and sold really well.

On the back of this book its says The ultimate book for all James Bond fans. An let me just say that I do not speak Norwegian but this book is actually worth having for the pictures alone. This book contains some pictures I have never seen during my 25 years of collecting. See pictures below for some rare pictures.
The book also has a lot of Ian Fleming pictures and covers for the James Bond books in Norway. These books are hard to find on their own so it was nice to see these rare beauties.

The book contains a foreword by Martine Beswick who appears in both From Russia with Love and Thunderball. Then the chapters that are richly documented with pictures are as follows.

1. The Bond phenomenon.
2. Ian Fleming
3. The books about James Bond
4. From book to film
5. The name is Bond... (bios of the James Bond actors).
6. Shaken but not stirred bios on each James Bond film including SPECTRE.
7. James Bond audition (interview with Norwegian actress Synnove Macody Lund)
8. From Norway with love - Bond in Norway
9. The mistakes of the Bond films
10. The James Bond lifestyle
11. The James Bond cars
12. The Bond destinations
13. Dress like Bond
14. Pinewood Studios
15. Illustrated James Bond
16. They almost became Bond.
17. Interviews.

I need to be clear that this book is not in English but in Norwegian. But I still will enjoy this book thanks to all the great pictures and I do believe  you will do the same.

The cheapest way to order this book would be to go to the Adlibris webpage were the book cost £22. 
Or you might be able to contact Morten Andreas Steingrimsen on facebook to buy a copy direct from one of the writers.

Thursday 24 December 2015

My Christmas present to you all

So it is Christmas time again and I am sure many of you got James Bond associated gifts for presents. I did not but took care of that my self a few days back a bought myself around 15 new James Bond books for the collection. I will get back to these later.

But I felt the need to give all my readers a little something as a Christmas gift.

So here it is. The complete 27 minute interview with Ian Fleming, The creator of James Bond himself. It was broadcast on August 16 just two days after the passing of the writer.

I thought I would never get hold of this full interview but a little Googleing found a link to CBC (Canadian TV) with a link to the interview in full.

I have emaild CBC trying to make them print Bluray copies of the interview. If this will work out I will get back to this on the blog. I would love to have this interview on a Bluray not being affrayed that it will be taken down.

So here is the link to 27 minutes of pure Ian Fleming! Happy holidays to all of you!

Wednesday 23 December 2015

A Christmas card from Ian Fleming Publications no less!

I was taken by surprise today when I received a Christmas card from Ian Fleming Publications. Since we are all fans of Ian Flemings work and that is the reason that you all come over and read this blog I wish to share this information with you the blog reader. It does include a few things to really look forward to during 2016...

December 2015

It's been yet another eventful year for us, with our publishers around the world making the most of the surge in excitement for James Bond properties, prompted by the release of Eon Productions' 24th Bond film, SPECTRE.

Our biggest event was the publication of Trigger Mortis by Anthony Horowitz on 8th September. This book is particularly special, because Horowitz used a previously unseen outline for a television script penned by Ian Fleming as the springboard for his story.   The book has been extremely well received both here and in the States and featured in both the UK chart and the New York Times Bestsellers' list.

The book has been published by friends new and old around the world, and everyone has had a lot of fun with the motor-racing and rocket theme.  In the UK, for example, Orion designed a cover which could be turned into a model rocket.   They also produced a special, limited edition for Waterstones which included the original TV outline, Murder on Wheels, and worked closely with Random House to ensure that the original Fleming novels, Goldfinger in particular, benefited from the attention Trigger Mortis received.   Orion recorded and published an audio version read by David Oyelowo, acclaimed star of the award winning film Selma, with US and Canadian release in the careful hands of American publishers, HarperCollins.   We thank all our publishers for their enthusiasm and ingenuity.

Our first ever continuation Bond novel, Colonel Sun by Kingsley Amis, received unexpected  attention this year, when Eon Productions asked to use a section from it within the script of SPECTRE.   Although it had been available in ebook form, it had not been in physical print for more than a decade.   With extremely short notice, Random House published a lovely paperback edition in time for the film's release.   Our international publishers of Colonel Sun have made the most of the opportunity, and an audio edition will be re-released by W F Howes shortly.

Last year, we announced a new partnership with Dynamite Entertainment for James Bond comic books and graphic novels.   Production of their first Bond series entitled Vargr, set in the modern day, commenced early this year.   The series is being written by the highly respected Warren Ellis, and each issue is strikingly visualised through visceral artwork by Jason Masters.   Dynamite are also developing a series of adaptations of the original Fleming novels and one exploring the origins of Bond, along with projects involving other characters from the Bond canon, next year.

Film years are always good news for the Fleming Bond novels, and this year was no exception.   Even though it is not based on a Fleming novel, there was increased interest in the origins of the criminal organisation, SPECTRE.   Random House and Amazon have both produced omnibus volumes of the Fleming titles which feature SPECTRE under the title The SPECTRE Trilogy.   Our audio partners are doing the same, and Titan, who publish the Express comic strips, have produced a SPECTRE anthology of the original Horak and McClusky comic adaptations, newly enhanced for incredible sharpness and detail.

Also to coincide with the film release, The Folio Society have produced a beautifully illustrated edition of Casino Royale and will be giving the same loving treatment to From Russia With Love next year.   Fay Dalton is the chosen artist, wonderfully evoking the period setting and luxurious, but equally glowering and dangerous, atmosphere of Bond's first outing.

The new Young Bond series continued with the paperback release of Shoot to Kill in November, and the upcoming Heads You Die is due for publication in May 2016.   Additionally, there are two further novels by Steve Cole in the pipeline which will see Bond progressing through the 1930's amidst the building tension of pre-War Europe.

Over the airwaves, Radio Four released their fourth Fleming radio play this summer, performing Diamonds Are Forever, with Toby Stephens reprising his role as James Bond.

We would like to congratulate Fergus Fleming and The Ian Fleming Estate on the publication of The Man with the Golden Typewriter; a collection of Ian Fleming's letters edited by Fergus. It is a fascinating read, particularly for those of us in the publishing industry, and they should be very proud of it.

I've just skimmed the surface of all we've done this year, as there's been a lot of activity on our older continuation authors as well.   Works by John Gardner, Raymond Benson, Sebastian Faulks, Jeffery Deaver and William Boyd continue to garner new translation deals overseas, but we don't have the time to list them all here.

Looking forward, we are exploring licensing around our literary assets;  having taken tentative steps into this area in the past, we are now taking a more serious approach and have enlisted the help of Jo Edwards and her team at Random House Enterprises.

And finally, there have also been new developments in the IFPL team. Tilly has been with us as Finance Manager for just over a year, and Jonny Davidson has joined us as our Administrative Assistant after Phoebe left us in the Spring.   I am delighted to welcome them both.   The advent of a younger team has meant that we are now very active in social media, and I would like to encourage you to keep track of our activities throughout the year on our website, but also on Facebook, Twitter, and now Instagram.

Corinne B Turner
Managing Director

Tuesday 22 December 2015

I did some Bonding in London recently

Jon Gilbert, Peter Burt and myself holding an early print of Casino Royale
As some of you may remember I spent a few days in London, England two weeks ago and I also did a blog post of what I had planed. Below you can find a small  recollection of what I actually did.

Thursday December 3.

I decided to head out to the Admiralty as quickly as possible since I wanted to have my picture taken in Room 39 where Ian Fleming worked during the war. This was one of the things I looked most forward to but as a Swede I did not know much about the building.
So when I arrived I was very sad to notice that the entire building was shut down since it apparently had been sold by the military to the government and the education department that was moving in. I actually rang the door bell but they re decorators on the inside said that there was absolutely no way for me to get inside.
I decided not to feel bad. If the education department are moving in I hope I will have better odds for a picture when I visit London the next time. The building is magnificent and to my knowledge Room 39 is on the first floor.

For the rest of that day me and the wife spent just taking it easy. Visiting some antique book shops and also Goldsboro Books. The pricing in these shops took me by surprise. The actual shop price for old Fleming books is far higher than it is on Ebay. And on Ebay the books do not sell at a lower price. According to the shop keeper at Goldsboro books there Thunderball print they had for sale cost £300 with a facsimile dust jacket. Now I paid 300 Australian dollars for my first edition with a near fine dust jacket. Goldsboro have a Thunderball first edition for sale now and they want £1500 for it.

Later that evening I had a date with Peter Lorenz over at Illustrated 007. He had to attend a work engagement so our dinner was off but we had drinks at the very classy Gilbert Scott. On my way to the bar I snuck in a book store on Charing cross and bought IAN FLEMING - A PERSONAL MEMOIR  by Robert Harling and also BOND Vs BOND by Paul Simpson. Both were review copies and at a really good price. The second book would normally be something I would not buy since we had these books over and over again. But this one contains a lot of info on the books compared to the films with some rare photos. It looks as a good read.

Friday December 4.On the second day in London I wanted to visit Peter Harrington books that specialize on old rare books. They have two shops in London. One is located in Fulham road and the other is located at Dover Street in Mayfair. There I was helped by Rob Sandall who showed me some of the Ian Fleming books that I had never seen in person and will never have in my collection like the limited edition of ON HER MAJESTYS SECRET SERVICE.
Back in 1962 Ian Fleming and Jonathan Cape decided to print a 250 limited edition numbered and signed version of the book a few weeks prior to the actual release.

Later on that day it was time to visit the only filming location of the Daniel Craig era that has made me curious. I took the wife with me and went to Notting Hill and No. 1 Stanley Crecsent. This is the actual address that were were used for external shots of James Bonds apartment in the latest film SPERCTRE. Sadly the building was being renovated just were Bonds living room windows are. I just must mention how I love that the apartment has hardly any decorating and that it looks like Bond has just moved in. Its a nice touch for a man always away on a mission.

After the visit to James Bond apartment we took a walk down to Portobello Road Market were there actually was a lot of Fleming Books trading hands.

Later that evening me and my wife were on our way to check out the Winter wonderland in Hyde Park I passed a big door that I recognized. A second later I saw the big sign saying that this was the Eon House. The door to were all things James Bond is being discussed and negotiated. A picture had to be taken. The address is Picadilly 138.

Saturday December 5.

On Saturday it was an early wake and then of by train to Royal Tunbridge Wells. There I had made an appointment with both Jon Gilbert who is an expert on James Bond literature and also have many books for sale at the Adrian Harrington book shop.
I had also made an appointment with Peter Burt and his lovely wife Jackie Burt.
I did not buy any books in the shop but I did buy a copy of the Ian Fleming painting that looked fantastic. It will be pure joy to build a frame for it soon.

After the visit to the book shop me, my wife and the Burts went to a pizzeria to have lunch and I hope they enjoyed themself as much as I did because we sat there for many hours, not talking about James Bond, but about life itself. It was a great conversation and actually the highlight of the
trip. Who knew that I and Peter would have so much of our childhood in common. I believe it got us both thinking  about why we are collectors and why others collect as well. Can it be so that we all are very much alike?

Sunday December 6.

Not much time on Sunday to do anything. We made a quick visit to Camden market but nowadays this is highly overrated and I cant advise anybody to actually go their unless you wish to buy junk and pirate goods.

Then off to the airport and rush back home to Sweden and reality.

Below you can see some pictures from my trip.You can click on them to make them bigger.

Thursday 10 December 2015

Thank you for the strong suport

Okey! Two months has now past since I started this blog and it has been a fascinating journey so far.

First of all I need to say that I am a figures guy. I work with figures and I like figures. Statistics are important to me.

When I started the blog I sat a goal for myself to have at least 100 page views every day I posted something. In the beginning I did not live up to that but now, thanks to all of you it happens every time I write a blog post.

So here are some statistics coming fresh of the computer.

The blog has so far had 6 637 page views in only two months.

The last month you have visited the blog 4 340 times.

The most read blog post since the beginning is  MY JAMES BOND COLLECTION IS FOR SALE which I actually anticipated. The next after that is DISNEY TURNS TO JAMES BOND FOR HELP and that was a true surprise for me. When I made that blog post I thought you would all think it was quite silly.

The followers mostly come from the US and secondly from the UK. Therefore I need to once again say that English is my second language. I am Swedish living in Sweden.

The most common web browser you use is Chrome on a Windows based computer. 

So what is the easiest ways to follow the blog JAMES BOND: THE SECRET AGENT.

First of all the blog has its own facebook page with 269 followers. What I do with the groups I really like is to change the settings so that the posts that that group does always comes up on top of my Facebook page. this way I do not miss any posts they do. It is easy to change this.

I am also on Twitter were I try to share other articles from other sites that I like. If you wish to follow me there my name is @StephanBackman

I wish to take this opportunity to thank you all for your great support. The main reason for this blog is to get connected to other fans of the literary JAMES BOND and to make younger fans curios about all things 007 in the literary world for both the novels and the books about the films.

A new goal is 10 000 pages views before the end of this year! will we make it? To celebrate the two first months I have updated the blogs header.

Swedish James Bond comic omnibus from 1988.

Wednesday 9 December 2015

The rare book about the making of Thunderball

On December 9th 1965 THUNDERBALL had its world premiere in Tokyo, Japan. That is exactly 50 years ago today. To celebrate this this blog post is about the "must have" book about the making of the film THUNDERBALL called THE BATTLE FOR BOND and written by Robert Sellers.

THE BATTLE FOR BOND was published in 2007 by Tomahawk Press. Its has 264 pages and digs deeply into the making of the film Thunderball. As many of you know Ian Fleming "stole" the plot for his book Thunderball (released in 1961) from a screenplay that Ian Fleming had written together with Kevin McClory and Jack Wittingham. The trio went into court to battle this out and many says that the press from all of this was eventually what killed Ian Fleming (and booze and 60 cigarettes a day).

The book features unpublished letters, private lawsuit documents and cast-crew interviews; there are also five Thunderball screenplays, two by Fleming, three by Whittingham, and two treatments by Fleming that document the creation and development of this James Bond project.

The books was withdrawn from the market after the Ian Fleming estate apparently threaten Tomahawk Press with a lawsuit for publicise documents that they said that they had copyright to. More about that story can be found here. 

A second edition was printed but without the Ian Fleming documents. A first edition of this book is what I have in my collection. and they sometimes occur on Ebay. At the moment there are two compies for sale. One of them costs only £30 so I wonder if that seller actually knows what he is selling. I guess it must be illegal to sell this copy still?

Below you can see a 2008 BBC news story about the banning of the book.

Tuesday 8 December 2015

The seven covers for VARGR issue 2 is here

Last week issue two out of six of the James Bond comic VARGR was released across the globe. As I said a month ago, its really fun to notice that I can get it all the way up north in Sweden on the first date of the US release.

Once again the comic has been released with different cover designs. Once can choose to see this as collectors editions made by resellers OR a sad way for the publishers to take advantage of the James Bond collectors frenzy. I have decided to only collect the official version of the comics but for the hard core collectors of this magazine there are many to order on Ebay.

For issue one there was 19 different covers to collect but for issue two it's only seven covers to collect. You can see six of them below. The last one was also released as a 100 limited edition cover in black and white. This has yet to surface on the net but is pictured in issue 2.

Dynamite comics has also released a special version with only the official painting on the cover, no logos and no letters. You can order it here but it cost $50 compared to normal asking price of $4.

There will soon also be a CGC graded copy for sale with the price tag of $99. Watch this space if you wish to order. 

The above was also released without the logo and text.

The above was also released in black and white.

Monday 7 December 2015

What a great book I am currently reading!

I am not a quick reader. As you might have noticed on my spelling I have a mild version of dyslexia. Therefore I am extra happy when I have finished a book and can start on a new one. Most people seems to enjoy the ending of a book but for some reason I enjoy the beginning of books the most.

Anyhow, I finished reading Trigger Mortis a few days back and decided to jump right into THE LIFE OF IAN FLEMING by John Pearson. Pearson was Ian Flemings personal assistant when Fleming worked at the British newspaper The Times.

The book was published in the UK in 1966 by Jonathan Cape and was also released as a book club edition that same year. In the US it was released as a paperback with the different title ALIAS JAMES BOND - THE LIFE OF IAN FLEMING. Trying off course to take advantage of the James Bond heydays taking place at that time.
I will not reread this book but apparently the book had to be changed after the Jonathan Cape first edition was released since Thunderball Producer Kevin McClory alleged that parts of the biography were untrue regarding the novel and film rights to Thunderball.

I do enjoy this book a lot. I thought that since it came out in 1966 I would have a hard time with the English language but it works fine to read even for a foreigner.

This is a typical book that I would only collect a first edition, read it, and then dont collect further editions. But I really like the US cover design and the UK book club editions. If you wish to buy one of these versions they are all available on EBay and do not cost much compared to others. Click HERE for a EBay link. Just make sure to get your hands on a first edition of the book.

THE LIFE OF IAN FLEMING was such a great book that John Pearson was offered to write a James Bond novel in 1972. In 1973 the fictional biography:  James Bond: The Authorized Biography of 007 was released. I read that book earlier this year and I absolutely loved it. If you have not read it, you should. Its great but a hole new blog post in itself.

Tuesday 1 December 2015

James Bond related car found after 30 years

Back in 1953 Ian Fleming commissioned a left-hand-drive Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback in Deep Grey with black leather as a gift for his American friend Ivar Bryce.

Ian Fleming and Ivar Bryce had been friends since 1917 and shared the same interests. It was also Ivar Bryce that helped Ian Fleming buy land in Jamaica so he could build his home Goldeneye and start writing James Bond novels. We are meant to believe that Ian Fleming bought this car for Ivar Fleming as a thank you after he had written Casino Royale.

Ian Fleming's choice car  for his friend later showed up in the book Thunderball  were James Bond drove one that looked the same.

Gullwing Motor Cars recently discovered the real-life car wasting away in a garage in Hancock Park, Los Angeles for nearly 30 years.

Ivar Bryce was Ian Fleming's inspiration for CIA agent Felix Leiter in the James Bond books. The US agent showed up in six installments in the series starting with Casino Royale (1953), ending with The Man with the Golden Gun (1965)
Back in 1953 the Bentley R-Type Continelnal Fastback was one of the fastest production cars in the world. 

The Continental designation signified a power upgrade over the standard R-Type, and Fleming built it up with extras like rear spats, lightweight seats, fitted luggage, and a racehorse mascot. The Bryces flew their gift around the world to their various homes in England, Nassau, New York, and Vermont. After they sold it the car had several owners, ending up in the hands of a Beverly Hills surgeon in 1978, and according to Gullwing it's been sitting in a garage almost since that time. It has matching numbers and the original interior, and Gullwing says, putting it mildly, it is "an ideal restoration candidate."

This Ian Fleming related car went on auction this year with an estimate of $1.4M - $1.8M but didn't sell, so don't be afraid to ask a few hard MI6-like questions about it if you're interested.

Some of the text from this blog post came from this and this article where the photos has also been taken. Thanks to Alan over at Collecting Fleming for the heads up.

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