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Colonel Sun  
ColonelSunOld.jpg

First UK paperback edition by Pan Books.
Author Kingsley Amis
writing as Robert Markham
Cover artist Tom Adams (Jonathan Cape ed.)
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Series James Bond
Genre(s) Spy novel
Publisher Jonathan Cape
Publication date March 1968
Media type Print (Hardcover and Paperback)
Pages 256 pp (first edition, hardback)
ISBN ISBN 0-224-61294-8 (first edition, hardback)
Preceded by 003½: The Adventures of James Bond Junior
Followed by James Bond: The Authorised Biography of 007

Colonel Sun (1968), by Robert Markham, is the first James Bond continuation novel published after Ian Fleming's death in 1964; Glidrose Productions used the collective pseudonym "Robert Markham", for British novelist Kingsley Amis, with the intent of so publishing other novels by different writers. Previously, Amis had written the literary study The James Bond Dossier, and the humorous The Book of Bond (under the William Tanner pseudonym), and was rumoured the editor and ghost writer of The Man with the Golden Gun, Fleming's final novel.

Discounting Christopher Wood's two screenplay novelisations, and the novel James Bond: The Authorised Biography of 007 (1973), by John Pearson, Colonel Sun was the last, new novel in the Fleming canon's original Cold War time (the 1950s and the 1960s), until Licence Renewed (1981), by John Gardner, who, like Raymond Benson, updated the character to the 1980s and to the post–Cold War 21st century respectively, until publication of Devil May Care (2008), by Sebastian Faulks, which occurs in the late 1960s.

The introduction to the Titan Books 2005 reprint of the Colonel Sun comic strip confirms that during the late 1970s, Amis asked EON Productions to adapt it as a Bond film; he was told Harry Saltzman (series co-producer ’til 1974) had "blackballed" Colonel Sun, because Glidrose had rejected publication of Per Fine Ounce, a Bond continuation novel that he (Saltzman) had championed, despite not owning the franchise after The Man with the Golden Gun (1974). Still, Colonel Sun, yielded Bond film elements: the Greek setting of For Your Eyes Only (1981); M's kidnapping in The World Is Not Enough (1999); and the name Colonel Tan-Sun Moon, the North Korean villain in Die Another Day (2002).

Contents

Plot summary

When Secret Service chief, M, is violently kidnapped from his house, "Quarterdeck", James Bond follows the clues to Vrakonisi, a Greek Aegean island, where he, and Ariadne Alexandrou, a Greek Communist agent, plan to rescue M. Meanwhile they must thwart the complex military-political plans of People's Liberation Army Colonel Sun. Sun is sent to sabotage a Middle East détente conference (of which the Soviets are hosts) and blame Great Britain.

Comic strip adaptation

Colonel Sun is the only non-Fleming Bond novel adapted as a comic strip by the Daily Express newspaper, and syndicated worldwide. It was published from 1 December 1969 to 20 August 1970, adapted by Jim Lawrence and drawn by Yaroslav Horak, with the notable difference, between novel and comic strip, that the villain, Colonel Sun, is a SPECTRE agent in the latter. In December 2005, Titan Books reprinted Colonel Sun, and included River of Death, another, original James Bond comic strip story published before the Colonel Sun strip in 1969.

Publication history

Source

  • "The Genesis of Colonel Sun" in James Bond 007: Colonel Sun. London: Titan Books, 2005; np.

See also

  • Per Fine Ounce, an unpublished James Bond novel that some sources suggest was to have been published under the Robert Markham pseudonym.
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