Plans for a one-off, new James Bond novel, to celebrate the centenary of its
creator, are being finalised by the estate of Ian Fleming.
As yet no author has been chosen for the project, but following the
surprising worldwide success of Charlie Higson’s young Bond novels, Ian Fleming
Publications say they are keen to commission a big, established name.
Early favourites to be approached include British thriller writer Lee Child,
spy novelist John le Carré and The Day of the Jackal author Frederick Forsyth.
The Scotsman asked Ian Rankin how he would approach a Bond novel.
"I think if I was writing it I would give it a little twist. That is what
they did in the movies when Pierce Brosnan came along, they made M a woman for
example…but it really needs a good spy writer who is interested in technology
because people who are interested in the Bond books tend to be technophiles –
which sort of counts me out as I can hardly work a word processor."
UPDATE (Sept 2) Lee Child responds on Galleycat to his name being in contention for the Bond gig.
I heard the first rumblings of this stuff about three years ago. I am obviously
very flattered to be in their thoughts, but I guess fundamentally my answer
would be generated by what the estate itself calls the need for a "professional"
writer … which means, what are they gonna pay? More than I make from a Reacher
book? (I’m not the type of guy who can do two projects at the same time.) That’s
If it worked out though, it would be fun. Fleming was both very British and
very frustrated by Britain – lived as an exile, etc. That shows up in the
original Bond texts and it would be a background theme I would share. As would
be a sense that as time moves on Bond is operating in a changed Britain … the
contrast between the Eden/Macmillan years and the Blair years is huge, and it’s
a contrast that the existence of the fictional Bond helped create. My yardstick
would be Jill Paton Walsh’s first Wimsey book (Thrones and Dominions?) which was
both a superb Wimsey novel and simultaneously an embedded critique of the series
itself and the society that spawned it.