In May 1996, John Gardner’s fourteenth original James Bond 007 novel, COLD (published as Cold Fall in the US) was published. This James Bond novel was the author’s last, making a grand total of sixteen continuation novels and novelizations in the Gardner era. CBn takes a look back at Cold with release dates, publication blurbs, trivia, and forum reactions.
In this white-knuckle 007 thriller, John Gardner leads master spy James Bond on a four-year search for terrorists in the skies – and into a deadly nest of doomsday killers.
The night that Flight 229 is torn apart at Washington’s Dulles Airport, killing all 435 passengers aboard, a mission begins that will become an obsession for James Bond.
Who is responsible for destroying the aircraft? Was it a straightforward act of terrorism against a British-owned symbol? An assassination aimed at only one person? A ruthless attempt to put the airline out of business? For Bond, only one of the victims matters: his former lover and old friend, the Principessa Sukie Tempesta.
The search for Sukie’s killers will turn out to be the most complex and demanding assignment of Bond’s career. Across continents and through ever-changing labyrinths of evil, he follows the traces of clues into the centre of a fanatical society more deadly than any terrorist army. Its code name is COLD the Children of the Last Days. What he finds there is chilling indeed.
UK First Edition Hodder & Stoughton Hardback
- While generally known by the title of COLD, the novel was published as Cold Fall in the US.
- The US edition of the book is split into two parts. The first part is set 1990 and the second in 1994, picking up where the previous novel, SeaFire left off. The UK edition omits all references to this two part structure.
- This book has the smallest print run for a James Bond continuation novel in the UK at 900 copies.
- The US paperback edition has a teaser for the next upcoming James Bond continuation novel, Zero Minus Ten, written by new author, Raymond Benson.
- 1996: 1st British Hodder & Stoughton Hardback Edition
- 1996: 1st American Putnam Hardback Edition
- 1996: 1st British Coronet Paperback Edition
- 1997: 1st American Berkley Paperback Edition
- 1997: 1st British ISIS Large Print Edition
Relationship to the film series
- COLD: M is kidnapped when he makes a surprise appearance in the field.
- The World Is Not Enough (1999) – M is kidnapped when she makes a surprise appearance in the field.
- COLD: Bond performs a HALO (High Altitude, Low Opening) drop.
- Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) – Bond performs a HALO (High Altitude, Low Opening) drop.
- COLD: Sukie Tempesta gets Stockholm Syndrome, falls in love with the villain, and turns on Bond.
- The World Is Not Enough (1999) – Elektra King gets Stockholm Syndrome, falls in love with the villain, and turns on Bond.
Well I read Cold Fall yesterday and let me tell you, I liked it a lot. It had a diffrent feel then a lot of the novels, and that was a good thing. I loved the division of two stories, the characters, and Bond preparing to meet the new M (plus the new relationship with the old M).
CBn Forum member British Chap
I find it really boring. Hard to finish. Some part are ok, like the jet ski chase. But the major part is generally tedious for me.
CBn Forum member Cesari
Cold Fall is an interesting finale to the Gardner cycle with some nice references to past books and a neat story structure that makes it stand out from the rest of the pack. I enjoyed the second half a little more than the first, particularly the last chapter when Bond leaves to meet with the new M. It’s not the best Gardner novel but it’s definitely one of the better ones in the later books.
CBn Forum member Genrewriter
Oh Lordy, another weirdo killing society with overt fascist tendencies led by yet another new Hitler.
The most interesting aspect is that Gardner starts referencing his own characters, rather than continually harping back to Fleming (what he does with his characters is relentlessly odd, though); very strange book, basically goes nowhere and is a fitting end to the Gardner Bonds (this is not necessarily a compliment) – it is archetypal Gardner Bond.
CBn Forum member Jim
I wanted to punch myself in the face reading this ‘Children of the Last Days’ nonsense. Could’ve added a few pages developing COLD more, and it might’ve worked better.
Hated the fact that… (spoiler, highlight to read) he brought back Sukie Tempesta, then killed her, then she wasn’t dead, then she died again, then she wasn’t dead again, but she was bad. …Huh? Then she wasn’t really bad, because she was crazy. Right.
The storyline was OK, it was just a weak effort for a man who seems like he may have fallen asleep at his typewriter when he reached 220 pages or so, and then slapped together a quick ending.
I was also bothered by the fact that ‘Book One’ ends with Gardner saying that COLD raised its ugly head unexpectedly. Then it never happened. I was expecting some huge terrorist action preceding a big showdown at the end, and it never materialized. Maybe I fell asleep reading it and never saw it.
Could’ve been better, could’ve been worse. I guess what we got out of it was, it was time for Gardner to hang it up. Good riddance.
CBn Forum member Jriv71
I quite enjoyed COLD myself. One of Gardner’s more memorable of his second half. The villain organisation name ‘Children Of the Last Days’ still creeps me out. And I loved the way the book split in two.
CBn Forum member Mister Asterix
After reading the very good SeaFire I was really looking forward to this final novel by Gardner, but was I ever let down. The idea of splitting the book into two different parts is nice, but the story on the whole does not have alot going for it.
The first half of the story is generally very boring, but the second half is somewhat better. On the whole, Gardner has written better, but the finale is a fitting end.
CBn Forum member Qwerty
Even as a Gardner fan I couldn’t in good conscience suggest anyone waste their time reading COLD, but I remember it having a couple of nice touches. I liked the way that Gardner, in the last chapter, sets up 007’s first meeting with M’s successor. You get a clear feeling that the new regime will be very different to what he’s been used to. And it was a nice idea having Bond at the controls of an attack helicopter. Wish EON had found a way to work that into GoldenEye.
CBn Forum member Roebuck
It’s his worst book, in my opinion. I’ve read it twice and I can’t remember a thing. I don’t know why it’s called COLD in the UK and Cold Fall in the US. Another strange difference is that the UK edition isn’t broken up into the “Book One, Book Two” sections. Too bad because that multi year leap in time at the midpoint is sort of the only thing I like about the book.
CBn Forum member zencat
The Looking Back at John Gardner Series:
- Licence Renewed
- For Special Services
- Role Of Honour
- Nobody Lives Forever
- No Deals, Mr. Bond
- Licence To Kill
- Win, Lose Or Die
- The Man From Barbarossa
- Death Is Forever
- Never Send Flowers