Before 007 toted his Walther PPK on the silver screen
, he was featured in a series of novels by Ian Fleming
. The character first appeared in the novel Casino Royale
The Bond of the books is a much different character than the one in the films, which often parodied or even disregarded their sources. Given that Fleming was born in 1908, and wrote the novels in the 1950s
, his books do not always display the most politically correct attitudes with regard to sex, race, and imperialism
Since Fleming died, other authors have continued the series. These authors include Kingsley Amis (under the pseudonym Robert Markham), John Gardner, Raymond Benson, Sebastian Faulks and Jeffery Deaver. There is also a series about a Young James Bond
and one about Moneypenny, called The Moneypenny Diaries
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Official Bond Continuation
The original novels and short stories by Ian Fleming
- Casino Royale (April, 1953)
- Live and Let Die (April, 1954)
- Moonraker (April, 1955)
- Diamonds Are Forever (March, 1956)
- From Russia with Love (April, 1957)
- Dr. No (March, 1958)
- Goldfinger (March, 1959)
- For Your Eyes Only (April, 1960). Short story collection. A couple of the stories had been previously published in magazines.
- "Quantum of Solace" (May, 1959). Story idea suggested by Blanche Blackwell. Story also serves as Fleming's homage to the short stories of W. Somerset Maugham.
- "The Hildebrand Rarity" (March, 1960).
- "From a View to a Kill".
- "For Your Eyes Only". The eponymous story of the collection.
- Thunderball (March, 1961). First appearance of Ernst Stavro Blofeld.
- The Spy Who Loved Me (April, 1962).
- On Her Majesty's Secret Service (April, 1963). Second appearance of Ernst Stavro Blofeld.
- You Only Live Twice (April, 1964). Third and last appearance of Ernst Stavro Blofeld.
- The Man with the Golden Gun (April, 1965).
- Octopussy and The Living Daylights (June, 1966). Short story collection. All stories had been previously published in magazines. The original edition included two of them, later editions added the rest.
- "The Living Daylights" (February, 1962)
- "007 in New York" (October, 1963)
- "The Property of a Lady" (November, 1963)
- "Octopussy" (March-April, 1966)
After the end of Fleming's works, the sixties saw one more Bond
- Colonel Sun (March, 1968) by Kingsley Amis, written under the pseudonym Robert Markham.
novels by John Gardner:Bond
novels and short stories by Raymond Benson:
- "Blast from the Past" (January, 1997). Short story, sequel to You Only Live Twice.
- Zero Minus Ten (April, 1997).
- The Facts of Death (1998)
- "Midsummer Night's Doom" (January, 1999). Short story. Bond's mission takes him into the Playboy Mansion. Hugh Hefner and Lisa Dergan are prominently featured.
- High Time to Kill (May, 1999).
- "Live at Five" (November, 1999). Short story. Janet Davies, a real-life television reporter, is prominently featured.
- DoubleShot (May, 2000). A sequel to High Time to Kill.
- Never Dream of Dying (2001). Continues and concludes the plots of High Time to Kill and DoubleShot.
- The Man with the Red Tattoo (May, 2002). Benson resigned his writing duties following the publication of the novelization of Die Another Day, wishing to work on non-series novels.
publishers have commissioned further novels, but so-far they have been one-shot efforts.
- Devil May Care (May, 2008) by Sebastian Faulks. Set in the 1960s.
- Carte Blanche (May, 2011) by Jeffery Deaver. A reboot set in the 2010s, where Bond was born c. 1979, and his current mission involves investigating the deaths of his parents, who served as agents during the Cold War.
- Solo (September, 2013) by William Boyd.
Spin-Offs and Other
- 003½: The Adventures of James Bond Junior (1967) by R. D. Mascott (pseudonym). The novel covers the adventures of a namesake nephew of Bond.
- James Bond: The Authorised Biography of 007 (1973) by John Pearson. A retired James Bond narrates his life story to a biographer.
- The Moneypenny Diaries — By Samantha Weinberg, the series features the story of Miss Jane Moneypenny, a supporting character. The stories fit in between some of the original Fleming novels, and offer background and character development to the title character, as well as filling in the blanks of certain eras of Bond's life.
- The Moneypenny Diaries: Guardian Angel (October, 2005). Placed between On Her Majesty's Secret Service and You Only Live Twice.
- Secret Servant: The Moneypenny Diaries (November, 2006). Placed within the same period as The Man with the Golden Gun.
- "For Your Eyes Only, James" (November, 2006). Short story, features Moneypenny and Bond sharing a weekend vacation in September, 1956.
- "Moneypenny's First Date with Bond" (November, 2006). Short story, placed prior to Casino Royale. Moneypenny and recently assigned 007 meet for the first time.
- The Moneypenny Diaries: Final Fling (May, 2008). Events placed c. 1964, explicitly following The Man with the Golden Gun. Moneypenny is seaching for a mole within the Secret Service.
- Young Bond — Features the 1930s adventures of a teenaged James Bond. For more details, see the relevant entry. Originally written by Raymond Higgson, the series was later given to Steve Cole.
- James Bond, The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) by Christopher Wood. Quite different from its source, as it added characters and organizations from the Fleming novels to the plot.
- James Bond and Moonraker (1979) by Christopher Wood. Mostly faithful to its source, though it excluded part of the film's subplots.
- Licence to Kill (1989) by John Gardner. Attempted to incorporate the events of the film into the literary Bond's continuity.
- Golden Eye (1995) by John Gardner. Mostly faithful to its source, expanded certain scenes, dialogues, and character interactions.
- Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) by Raymond Benson. Attempts to incorporate the events of the film in the literary Bond's continuity. Film characters receive expanded backgrounds, and dialogue. Novel characters are added to the plot.
- The World Is Not Enough (1999) by Raymond Benson. Some details were changed to fit with the literary Bond's continuity. An unnamed assassin from the film received a name and an expanded role.
- Die Another Day (2002) by Raymond Benson. Mostly faithful to its source, though Benson changed the geographic setting of certain scenes. The villains, Tan-Sun Moon and Miranda Frost, received more detailed backgrounds, expanded scenes, and additional exploration of their motives.
The series contains examples of:
- Aborted Arc: Fleming does not continue the SMERSH storyline after From Russia With Love, aside from mention that Auric Goldfinger is actually its foreign treasurer of SMERSH (its role as a Nebulous Evil Organization is practically absent in the novel).
- John Gardner brings SMERSH back in Icebreaker where the entire eponymous operation is the organization's gambit to get Bond behind the Russian border where he can be easily delivered to Moscow. Capturing the Big Bad was simply a beneficial side effect. Furthermore, SMERSH is an active participant in Bond's manhunt in Nobody Lives for Ever. Finally, in No Deals, Mr Bond, the SMERSH storyline ends when Bond captures Grubozaboyschikov's successor, General Chernov.
- Affectionate Parody: Fleming is said to have written the books as a parody of the spy thrillers of the time.
- Anti-Hero: Bond himself, at least in Casino Royale. As the series progresses and becomes more like the films with the subsequent continuation authors, so Bond becomes more of the traditional heroic character.
- Author Tract: Bond tended to parrot quite a few of Fleming's own views, sometimes to Fleming's chagrin.
- Arc Number: 007, naturally.
- Awesome McCoolname: Fleming intended James Bond's name to be an aversion as he chose it as the most non-descript and boring name imaginable. As it happened, decades of novels and movies have made the name feel anything but those qualities.
- Blessed with Suck: Bond's feelings on being a 00— it's a high tension job filled with physical hardship.
- Broad Strokes:
- Since the Bond novels are mostly set in the time of their writing, the references to Fleming's works by later writers are usually this. Otherwise references to Bond's adventures from the fifties and sixties would make him over seventy or eighty years old in Benson's novels, which were written in late nineties and early 2000s.
- While Benson's novels reference some of the elements from Gardner's Bond novels, he lefts out major things like how Bond was appointed be the leader of the Double-O section (and how before that it was disbanded for over a decade) and his Rank Up to a Captain, and his longtime relationship with Flicka, which ended with her death in COLD.
- Characterization Marches On: The Bond of Casino Royale is a far more realistic, gritty flawed character than the one shown in the latter books. In turn, the films took the post-Casino Royale character and inflated his traits into the James Bond popularly known today.
- Cursed with Awesome: Bond's life of beautiful willing women who don't want relationships. And when they do, it ends badly.
- Dan Browned: In real life SMERSH ceased to exist in 1946, at which point its duties were assumed by the NKGB, which eventually became the MGB. SMERSH's depiction in the books is more similar to the KGB.
- Dirty Communists:
- Since Bond debuted during the Cold War, his most frequent nemesis in the early novels is the SMERSH, the Soviet counter-espionage organization whose name was an anagram for "Death to Spies."
- The tradition is continued in Gardner's eighties novels. Perhaps taken to the extreme with Wolfgang Weisen from Death is Forever who short of worships Josef Stalin.
- Eagleland: While the British are aware of and mildly resent the power and rising influence of the CIA and the American government, the latter will help Bond on a mission to the best of their ability. Mostly, any conflict stems from different techniques rather than different goals.
- Evil Redhead: Four main villains (Le Chiffre, Hugo Drax, Auric Goldfinger and Scaramanga) are described as having various shades of red hair.
- Food Porn: Since the original books were written shortly after the World War II, a lot of the exquisite and fancy food would be the stuff of fantasies for the people reading it. There's even a whole paragraph on Bond eating an avocado pear! The high point is possibly the lovingly described meal that Bond and M eat at M's club in Moonraker.
- Go-to Alias: In John Gardner's novels, Bond often uses the alias of 'James Boldman'.
- Iconic Sequel Character: Q (often referred to by his actual name, Boothroyd) doesn't appear until the sixth book.
- Immune to Drugs: According to the medical report in Thunderball when James Bond is not engaged in strenuous duty, he consumes half a bottle of spirits between 60 and 70 proof a day. And he smokes 60 cigarettes a day (of a higher nicotine content than standard cigarettes).
- In Harm's Way: While Bond hates killing people (unless they absolutely have to be removed from the world), he is bored by non-conflict oriented work, and gladly takes assignments which put him into danger. The former characterization varies between writers, but the latter is always prevalent.
- James Bond starts off being intentionally portrayed as a cold and ruthless. Over the course of the novels he becomes more human.
- Many of the villains' henchmen fit this much better.
- Made of Iron: The first few novels have Bond survive copious amounts of punishment.
- Mid-Season Upgrade: In Fleming's novels, Bond chnages from 0.25 ACP Beretta to Walther PPK after the former jams.
- Nebulous Evil Organization: SMERSH (anti-espionage communists) and SPECTRE (criminals), while portrayed relatively realistically, fill these roles in Fleming's novels. Other writers introduced The Union (criminals/terrorists for hire), BAST (terrorists for hire) and COLD (fascists).
- Nonviolent Initial Confrontation: A commonplace in the series. Umberto Eco calls this the "First Check" scene in the novels.
- Retcon: Overlaps with Comic-Book Time and Series Continuity Error. In the early novels, we are given the impression that Bond has worked for the Secret Service since "before" WW2 (indeed, the Soviet's file on Bond in From Russia With Love states that he joined the Service in 1938). This is retconned by Bond's obituary (and official biography) in You Only Live Twice, according to which Bond enlisted in the Royal Navy in 1941 as a teenager, and only joined the Service after the war. Presumably, this was done to de-age the character.
- Scars Are Forever: On the back of Bond's left hand, there is a scar that shapes like a reverse M. That is Russian for s, as in 's' for "spy", and it is carved by a SMERSH agent in Casino Royale to mark Bond in his job. Despite skin grafts, the scar remains.
- Series Continuity Error:
- In the first novel Casino Royale, Bond is eight years away from compulsory retirement from '00' Section at 45. The remaining novels certainly take place over a period of more than eight years, making this a case of Comic-Book Time too. Additionally, in Casino Royale Bond recalls facing off against enemy agents over a gaming table before the war. However, his obituary in You Only Live Twice indicates that he joined the secret service after leaving the Navy at the World War II, and that he enlisted at the age of 20 or 21. Of course, the latter could be a falsified report....
- Yes and no depending on whether you class the non-Fleming books as canon. That line about him being eight years shy of his retirement age was actually from Moonraker, which would put Bond's age at approximately 34-35 in Casino Royale. If you go by the publication dates (1953 to 1966) then it places Bond snugly on or around 45 in The Living Daylights. However he also states in Moonraker that he goes on at least two dangerous missions a year, which by that logic would place Bond around 42-43 in the final book.
- John Gardner's novels abandon the 00 section in its entirety, but M, of course, still refers to his favorite agent as 007. And then the Goldeneye novelization comes along with 006 as the key character of a flashback...
- Benson's novels also reinstate the 00 section, outright ignoring most of Gardner's canon.
- Sexy Secretary: Moneypenny, Mary Goodnight. Averted with the 00-section's secretary Loelia Ponsonby, whom all the 00s are in love with but she refuses to get involved with anyone who might be dead next week, so out of ego they call her "frigid". Bond still "wondered why he bothered with other women when the most darling of them all was his secretary."
- Spy Fiction: Starts out as Stale Beer Type of Spy Fiction in Casino Royale. Fleming's Bond has all the ingredients of the Martini flavored one but the world is still profoundly grim and depressing. The series would get lighter with each new book. By the time Raymond Benson took over as the author, the series had gone well into full-on Martini mode.
- A Tankard of Moose Urine: M has a fondness for an extremely rough Algerian red wine nicknamed "the Infuriator". His club keeps bottles of it in their cellar for him, but refuses to include it on the wine list.
- Those Wacky Nazis: Bond encounters his share of former Nazis and Hitler-wannabes. The fate of Nazis and Nazi scientists in the Cold War is touched upon in several novels.
- Tragic Hero: Bond is meant to be one of these early on because he's certain he'll be dead before he's retired at 42.
- What Measure Is a Mook?: Usually inverted. Bond doesn't bat an eye killing Big Bads and their Dragons, but he is often quite reluctant to kill lowly mooks and/or agonizes about it afterwards. Not always, though.