1. Fergus Fleming talks James Bond and beyond

    By Devin Zydel on 2009-11-03

    When Falls The Coliseum has scored an interview with Fergus Fleming, Director of Ian Fleming Publications, co-publisher of Queen Anne Press and last, but not least, nephew of 007 creator Ian Fleming.

    Ian Fleming

    Ian Fleming

    Discussing last year’s endless celebration to mark the centenary of his uncle, Fleming commented on the huge success of the many different events. He states: ‘Yes, the Centenary Year was excellent, its highlights many and varied. The Ian Fleming Gala evening was outstanding. My personal favorite was the launch of Sebastian Faulkes’ Devil May Care.’

    ‘Ian would definitely have been pleased with the Imperial War Museum exhibition,’ he continued. ‘He was brought up in the shadow of WWI, served in WWII and created a fictional spy for the Cold War. He never forgot that his father and brother had died defending their country. The Imperial War Museum was therefore a perfect place to celebrate his life and works.’

    As James Bond collectors will no doubt recall, last October saw the release of the Queen Anne Press collection of Ian Fleming’s books. This specially bound and extremely limited edition set was made available in fine, vellum and cloth bindings, with the price tag ranging from £2,000 to &pound18,000. Featured were all of Fleming’s Bond adventures, his popular children’s tale Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the non-fiction Thrilling Cities and The Diamond Smugglers and Talk of the Devil, a brand new book containing rarely seen and previously unpublished material.

    Ian Fleming's 'Talk of the Devil'

    Ian Fleming’s Talk of the Devil

    When asked if he could divulge some further details on the elusive Talk of the Devil, Fleming replied: ‘The contents are mainly journalistic but they also include two short stories. One of them, A Poor Man Escapes, is Ian’s earliest known attempt at fiction. The other, The Shameful Dream, was written in 1951 and has as its hero a journalist named Bone – a year and a letter-change later the hero would be Bond. For fuller details, see our web site, The book is restricted currently to the Centenary Edition but it will be available as a single volume sometime in the future. Visit this article for even more details.

    Fergus Fleming also went on to comment on the recent reissuing of Fleming’s two non-fiction works, Thrilling Cities and The Diamond Smugglers, which were published by IFP earlier this year as limited edition hardbacks (only 300 copies each). They can currently be ordered from the online store.

    He says: ‘They are pieces of extended journalism that were first published by the Sunday Times in the late 1950s. of the two, Thrilling Cities is probably the most entertaining but The Diamond Smugglers was something of a hit at the time – remarkably, it was the first of Ian’s books to be optioned (by Rank). They have been reissued by IFP not only to mark the centenary but because they are good books in their own right which have been overshadowed by the more glamorous Bond novels.’

    Ian Fleming's 'Thrilling Cities'

    Ian Fleming’s Thrilling Cities

    And while ‘all options are open’ for the future of the literary James Bond, Fleming unfortunately would not give any hints as to which direction they are heading towards next. When asked whether or not a new author had been chosen, he simply responded: ‘No comment on the next Bond author.’

    Be sure to head over to When Falls The Coliseum for the complete interview with Fergus Fleming.

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