1. Steve Cole’s take on Bond – Young Bond that is

    By Helmut Schierer on 2013-10-09

    2014 will finally – after a six year hiatus – see the return of Young Bond. Welcome back, young friend! Quite a detention for ‘trouble with the maid’…

    Steve Cole, image courtesy RHCP UK

    However, James’ new adventures will not be written by Charlie Higson. This time Bond’s exploits, set during his years at Fettes College, will be penned by Steve Cole, amongst other occupations veteran writer of several Doctor Who novels and a couple of series in the children’s and young adult fiction segment. His  Astrosaurs series is currently the rage with young readers. And his Z-Rex Trilogy are three fast-paced adventure thrillers for young adult fans, mixing Jurassic Park with Alex Rider. Not hard to imagine Cole sending our young hero through some serious and mind-boggling action.


    Grateful thanks – as always – to John Cox/The Book Bond and CBn forum member ‘Major Tallon’ for the heads-up!


    Here is today’s official announcement from Random House Children’s Publishers:


    We are very excited today to announce that our very own Steve Cole has been selected by Ian Fleming Publications Ltd. – the Fleming family-owned company – as the author of a new Young Bond series.



    Steve, who has written DOCTOR WHO and ASTROSAURS is thrilled to take on this exciting mission! These new books will pick up where Charlie Higson – the writer of the previous wave of Young Bond titles – left off and will follow teenage James in the aftermath of his expulsion from Eton. This time in Bond’s life has never been explored before and readers can expect all the thrills, action, glamour and tension that are the essential ingredients of a classic Bond adventure.



    Steve Cole says: ‘I first encountered Bond in print as a teenager, when I read From a View to a Kill. Fleming´s writing was so vivid and authentic, Bond and the world he inhabited seemed suddenly real to me – and the danger and glamour led me through book after book. It´s both a thrilling privilege and an exciting challenge now to be shaping a new era in the life of such an iconic character – with many firsts and surprises to come as James´s life in the dangerous 1930s develops.’



    Corinne Turner, Managing Director of Ian Fleming Publications Ltd., says, ‘Steve Cole is an imaginative and engaging author whose plots are addictive and gripping, so we were thrilled when he agreed to steer Young Bond through his mid-teen years. As publishers of Ian Fleming’s original Bond books and William Boyd’s new Bond continuation novel, SOLO, Random House are the perfect partner to work with us in bringing the next generation of Young Bond books to life. On behalf of Ian Fleming Publications and the Fleming family, I’d like to welcome Steve Cole to the exciting world of 007 – we can’t wait to see what scrapes James gets into next.’



    Look out for the first Young Bond novel in Autumn 2014. We cannot wait!

  2. Bond talks Boyd – or the other way round

    By Helmut Schierer on 2013-09-25


    Vintage Books was so kind to do an interview with William Boyd about his views on  Fleming, Bond and naturally – there’s a reason they do these things for – on Boyd’s own James Bond novel ‘Solo’ (to be released on 26. September, tomorrow) and his approach to 007. So far they hold the lid on a third part – probably until the official release of ‘Solo’ – but here are the two clips already available online on Vintage’s YouTube channel



    Grateful thanks to CBner tdalton for keeping an eye on these things.

  3. Intercepted: James Bond’s ‘Solo’ car

    By Helmut Schierer on 2013-09-21

    image provided by wikipedia

    As the publicity machine for William Boyd’s upcoming James Bond continuation ‘Solo’ slowly gets into gear with an interview and part of the first chapter in today’s copy (21. September) of The Times John Cox/The Book Bond draws our attention to one other detail that emerged in the Mail Online coverage of ‘Solo’:  James Bond’s car in this adventure will be a Jensen.

    While Jensen Motors Ltd. isn’t exactly a household name with the average Bond fan Jensen models have surely had their impact on the spy/thriller genre of the era ‘Solo’ depicts. The Jensen Interceptor featured prominently in the TV series THE PROTECTORS with Robert Vaughn and later during Simon Dutton’s incarnation of The Saint. Connoisseurs of the literary spy adventure genre will of course be aware that a Jensen Interceptor is also one of Willie Garvin’s cars, both in Peter O’Donnell’s Modesty Blaise books and newspaper comic strips.

    Jensen FF image by wikipedia

    Jensen models  were famous for their unique combination of restrained British elegance with ruthless horsepower, exceptional performance on the road and highly innovative technology. Their model FF for example was the first non-all-terrain vehicle to use a four-wheel drive, preceding Audi’s Quattro and Subaru’s use by several years.

    It would seem  William Boyd’s version of James Bond is in very good company when driving a Jensen.



    Grateful thanks to Jacques Stewart and John Cox/The Book Bond for providing valuable background information.

  4. A plot, a plot, my kingdom for a plot! For ‘Solo’…

    By Helmut Schierer on 2013-08-27

    These days the most interesting news often come from the US side of the Atlantic, and not all of it ‘leaked’. Just look what intriguing detail John Cox and his blog The Book Bond dug out from the HarperCollins site, well hidden within the audio book section on the upcoming ‘SOLO’:



    It’s 1969, and, having just celebrated his forty-fifth birthday, James Bond—British special agent 007—is summoned to headquarters to receive an unusual assignment. Zanzarim, a troubled West African nation, is being ravaged by a bitter civil war, and M directs Bond to quash the rebels threatening the established regime.

    Bond’s arrival in Africa marks the start of a feverish mission to discover the forces behind this brutal war—and he soon realizes the situation is far from straightforward. Piece by piece, Bond uncovers the real cause of the violence in Zanzarim, revealing a twisting conspiracy that extends further than he ever imagined.

    Moving from rebel battlefields in West Africa to the closed doors of intelligence offices in London and Washington, this novel is at once a gripping thriller, a tensely plotted story full of memorable characters and breathtaking twists, and a masterful study of power and how it is wielded—a brilliant addition to the James Bond canon.



    Now that certainly sounds like a slightly different meal than just ‘KissKissBangBang’ with vodka martini chaser. Appetising.


    Grateful thanks to John Cox/The Book Bond for the heads-up and to HarperCollins for the original info!

  5. Get your teeth into ‘Solo’ – and (roughly) 1000 calories

    By Helmut Schierer on 2013-08-21

    Image ‘sunny side up’ by ‘unslugged’ (c)

    Looking for literature with nutritional value? Feeding body and mind? In that case William Boyd’s ‘SOLO’ is this autumn’s release with the most culinary allure for you.  According to The Book Bond and Ian Fleming Publications it features an appetising opening, consisting of an ample breakfast to celebrate a new year in James Bond’s life.

    You want to make the reading experience not just great but truly outstanding? Read the book at the very site this regal start into a new day is savoured in the book: The Dorchester. Don’t want to bring your own copy? Get one right at the spot by quoting ‘SOLO’ when making your breakfast reservation. But make haste, this offer only runs between 26th September and 30th November.  And you can even opt for the audio book as read by Dominic West.

    Still not satisfied? Want more? Something really, really, extraordinarily, outrageously refined? In that case the special ‘SOLO’ celebration event on Saturday 28th September at The Grill at The Dorchester is your game. William Boyd himself will read from the first chapter of ‘SOLO’, chat about writing it and sign copies for guests. If that still leaves you wishing for more you will have to apply with either SIS or Eon.

    Grateful thanks to John Cox/The Book Bond for the heads-up!


    Learn more about The Dorchester’s various Bond-related services and events from The Book Bond’s detailed report:

    Breakfast with Bond at The Dorchester

    -Enjoy breakfast as described in Solo, the new James Bond book by William Boyd

    (London) Dorchester Collection’s iconic British hotel, The Dorchester, will be the first and most fitting location to read the new James Bond book on publication day, Thursday 26 September, and will host a book reading by William Boyd on Saturday 28 September.

    The Dorchester is the setting for the opening scene of the new James Bond book by international bestselling author William Boyd, in which 007 is described as treating himself to a 45th birthday breakfast in 1969. In the book, Bond’s breakfast at The Dorchester consists of “four eggs, scrambled with pepper sprinkled on top, half a dozen rashers of unsmoked bacon, well done, on the side and a long draught of strong black coffee”.

    From Thursday 26 September, guests quoting ‘Solo’ whilst making a breakfast reservation will receive a copy of the book or can choose to listen to the audio version read by British actor Dominic West on an iPod over breakfast. Creating the perfect environment by evoking the time the novel is set; restaurant guests will also have the option of listening to hits from the 60s on an iPod, be given a copy of a national newspaper and the menu from 1969, and will be served their breakfast silver service in keeping with the 60s. Once a week, a table will be chosen at random to be charged the Grill Menu’s 1969 price, a sum just short of £2.

    On Saturday 28 September a special event will take place at The Grill at The Dorchester during which William Boyd will read from the first chapter of Solo, share his experience of writing the book, and sign copies for guests. Further evocative narrative will be added to this unique event with vintage cars from the 1960’s parked on the hotel forecourt, and characters dressed in 60’s outfits. Optional dress code for guests: swinging 60s, tickets priced at £69.

    Solo author William Boyd said: “I chose The Dorchester for James Bond to stay in because the hotel has strong literary associations (particularly in World War 2) but also because it was the epitome of style and glamour in the 1960s. The Dorchester was, and still is, the elite hotel — the choice of film stars and show business legends — and so it seemed fitting that when Bond wanted to give himself a special birthday treat he would book himself a room at The Dorchester.”

    For the full Solo experience guests can stay the night at The Dorchester just like James Bond. By requesting ‘007 room service’, guests will be provided with the full library set of the Ian Fleming Bond Collection with an accompanying martini nightcap.

    Martini master classes are also provided at The Bar at The Dorchester by expert alchemist bar manager Giuliano Morandin, who joined the hotel over 30 years ago. During Solo, James Bond drinks his Martini to a particular recipe: “ice in the shaker, add a slurp of vermouth, pour out the vermouth, add the gin, shake well, strain into a chilled glass, and add a slice of lemon peel, no pith”.

    English breakfast at The Grill at The Dorchester is priced at £32 excluding discretionary service charge. For further information or to make a booking, please contact reservations on+44 20 7629 8888 or send an email to restaurants.[email protected].

    For ‘Breakfast with Bond’, available until 30 November 2013, book English Breakfast priced at £32 and quote ‘SOLO’ to receive a complimentary copy of the book. For tickets to the Saturday 28 September ‘Breakfast with Bond’ William Boyd reading priced at £69 per person, please quote ‘BOYD’. Seasonal room rates for bed and breakfast start from £315 including VAT, please quote ‘007 room service’ for complimentary use of the Ian Fleming Library, and Martini nightcap priced at £14 per person.


  6. A cover for ‘Solo’ – vented artillery style

    By Helmut Schierer on 2013-08-01

    Image courtesy (c)

    Finally. Finally news. After a fashion.

    The cover of William Boyd’s upcoming James Bond continuation ‘Solo’ has been spotted for the first time. In two places, The Independent’s  story here. And on Ian Fleming Publication’s official site.

    Right from the start it’s apparent no efforts have been spared in creating this unique design. Random House Creative Director Suzanne Dean designed an integral combination of dust jacket based in black with a textured ‘007’ in the background. Against this the author’s name is held in white above the novel’s title in yellow, its capitals throwing shadows across each other. All this broken by a seemingly random pattern of ‘bullet holes’ that invite the reader’s eye beyond the dust jacket towards the book’s blood-red binding.

    For if you remove the outer jacket the classic ‘007’ is once more hinted at, this time at title level, with the first 0 picking up Solo’s first o from the dust jacket. In turn the bullet entries are now marked with black burns. Exotic highlight is a black gecko peering pryingly into the book through the first of Bond’s two zeros, like through a gun barrel.

    In short it’s pretty damn marvellous and here’s somebody who fell in love with it!


  7. Happy Birthday Mr Fleming!

    By Helmut Schierer on 2013-05-28

    Photo by Christian Yorke (c)

    Today it’s 105 years since Ian Fleming was born. Happy Birthday from and millions of fans around the world. Wherever you may be, we raise our glasses to you, Mr Fleming!*

    *Incidentally a certain Mr Blofeld also was born on the same date.

  8. It’s a ‘Solo’ for 007…

    By Helmut Schierer on 2013-04-15

    Provisional cover art

    …in virtuoso William Boyd’s Bond continuation opus. At a guess we’d wager this title neither refers to Solo (Arkansas), nor Solo (Missouri) . Also chances are it’s not a solo for a flute; probably it’s not even going to involve any musical instruments at all. Unless Bond’s gun provides the beats for this composition…

    Follows the press release (thankfully provided by by The Book Bond/John Cox):












    William Boyd announces title of new Bond book
    at The London Book Fair

    William Boyd, whose James Bond continuation novel is set to be one of this year’s publishing highlights, has today announced that his book will be called Solo.

    The announcement came on the opening day of The London Book Fair, where Boyd is Author of the Day.

    He explained his choice of title:

    ‘Sometimes less is more. For me as a novelist the simple beauty of Solo as the title of the next James Bond novel is that this short four-letter word is particularly and strikingly apt for the novel I have written. In my novel, events conspire to make Bond go off on a self-appointed mission of his own, unannounced and without any authorization – and he’s fully prepared to take the consequences of his audacity.

    ‘The journey Bond goes on takes in three continents – with the main focus honing in on Africa. It’s what happens to Bond in Africa that generates his urge to “go solo” and take matters into his own hands in the USA.

    ‘Thus far and no further, at this stage…’

    He continues: ‘Titles are very important to me and as soon as I wrote down Solo on a sheet of paper I saw its potential. Not only did it fit the theme of the novel perfectly, it’s also a great punchy word, instantly and internationally comprehensible, graphically alluring and, as an extra bonus, it’s strangely Bondian in the sense that we might be subliminally aware of the “00” of “007” lurking just behind those juxtaposed O’s of SOLO…’

    Very little else has been revealed about the book at this stage, other than that it will feature a veteran secret agent, with Bond aged 45. It will be published on 26 September in the UK by Fleming’s original publisher, Jonathan Cape, an imprint of Vintage Publishing, part of The Random House Group, in hardback, ebook and audio editions. HarperCollins will publish the book in Canada and the U.S. on 8 October.

    Quote from Corinne Turner, Managing Director of Ian Fleming Publications Ltd:

    ‘Ian Fleming had a great aptitude for naming his books and his Bond titles have become true classics. Solo is a simple yet striking title which fits perfectly alongside the other books in the Bond canon. The announcement of the title marks the lead up to the launch of William Boyd’s novel in September, which we and the Fleming family are looking forward to immensely.’

    Quote from Richard Cable, Managing Director, Vintage:

    ‘We are delighted to be announcing Solo as the title for the new James Bond novel on the day on which William Boyd is celebrated as Author of the Day at London Book Fair. The few of us with the good fortune to have read Solo can testify that Will has written an absolutely brilliant book and we look forward with mounting excitement to a huge worldwide publishing event on September 26th. The timing of the announcement is particularly apt as we mark the 60th anniversary of Jonathan Cape’s first publication of Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale.’


  9. And the title is…

    By Helmut Schierer on 2013-04-15

    Image by ‘Giikah’ (c)

    Fresh from William Boyd’s own lips: his James Bond continuation scheduled for autumn 2013 is  titled… ‘Solo’!

    On top of the title William Boyd revealed a couple of intriguing details about his work on this James Bond continuation at the London Book Fair interview. While having tremendous fun writing ‘Solo’ Boyd assured interviewer Erica Wagner that he took his task most seriously and read Fleming’s originals in order to prepare himself  for this. One of the advantages of his chosen setting in 1969 was the absence of mobile phones, as the advent of high-tech in Boyd’s view made thriller writing much more difficult. Consequently Boyd states his book will be a real spy story of the era, and will see Bond operating in real-life places in Europe, Africa and the United States.

    Please discuss this news here


  10. Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock…

    By Helmut Schierer on 2013-04-15

    ‘Tick tock…’ by ‘Phil’s Hat’ (c)

    Last Thursday The Book Bond’s John Cox surprised CBners with news that William Boyd’s 2013 James Bond novel would officially get its title revealed at the London Book Fair on Monday, 15th April. Which happens to be today. So stay tuned to or The Book Bond; we’ll reveal the title as soon as we can.