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In the 1950s and 1960s, Ian Fleming, creator of the fictional secret agent, James Bond, wrote a number of short stories featuring his creation that appeared in the collections For Your Eyes Only and Octopussy and The Living Daylights. Since 1997, several more short stories featuring Bond or set within the official James Bond universe have been published by authors who continued chronicling the world of Fleming's creation. The majority of these stories have, as of 2008, never been collected in book form, unlike the Fleming works. There are three exceptions: "Blast from the Past" by Raymond Benson, "Your Deal, Mr. Bond" by Phillip and Robert King, and "Bond Strikes Camp" by Cyril Connolly which are discussed below.

Contents

Raymond Benson short stories

In the late 1990s, Raymond Benson, who at the time was the official novelist of the James Bond literary franchise, became the first author since Bond's creator, Ian Fleming, to write officially sanctioned short stories featuring the superspy.

Just before his sudden departure from writing Bond novels at the start of 2003, Benson had indicated his intention to write more short pieces and publish a short story collection along the lines of Fleming's For Your Eyes Only and Octopussy and The Living Daylights. This, however, has yet to occur as of 2008.

To date these three stories remain the only pieces of James Bond literature that have never officially been published in Great Britain. Additionally, between 2001 and 2002, Benson wrote a fourth short story he planned to title "The Heart of Erzulie", however, it was never published.

"Blast from the Past"

First publication: Playboy, January 1997 issue. In publication order, this follows COLD and precedes Zero Minus Ten. Benson has stated that Playboy cut 1/3 of the story for space reasons.

The first Bond story published by Benson, "Blast from the Past" is a direct sequel to Fleming's You Only Live Twice and appears to exist outside the timeline of either Benson's or John Gardner's other Bond stories.

Bond receives a message, apparently from James Suzuki, his son (Suzuki's mother is Kissy Suzuki from You Only Live Twice, now dead from ovarian cancer) asking him to come to New York City on a matter of urgency. When Bond arrives, he finds his son murdered. With the aid of an SIS agent, he learns that James was killed in revenge by Irma Bunt for the murder of Ernst Stavro Blofeld, and a woman who Bond assumed had died alongside Blofeld (again in You Only Live Twice). James' death was by way of being force fed fugu syrup, akin to a murder in You Only Live Twice. Bond's victory over Bunt is hollow, due to him having to come to grips with his absentee fathering and not spending time with the only remaining blood relative.

The name of Bond's son, James Suzuki, is taken from the John Pearson faux biography, James Bond: The Authorised Biography of 007.

Blast from the Past is included in the 2008 omnibus release, The Union Trilogy, which includes three additional Benson Bond novels. This makes "Blast from the Past" the first non-Fleming short story to be published in book form.[1]

Preceded by
COLD
James Bond adventure Succeeded by
Zero Minus Ten

"Midsummer Night's Doom"

First publication: Playboy, January 1999 issue. In publication order, this follows The Facts of Death and precedes High Time to Kill.

"Midsummer Night's Doom" is a special story commissioned to help celebrate Playboy's 45th anniversary. By Benson's own admission, the short story is a joke piece.[2]

In the story, Bond is assigned to attend a party at Playboy founder Hugh Hefner's Playboy Mansion in Beverly Hills, California where Ministry of Defence secrets are expected to be sold to a representative of the Russian Mafia.

While there, Bond meets Hefner who is aware of his mission and who actually provides Bond with several gadgets a la Q. Bond also has time to enjoy a quick romance with real-life Playmate Lisa Dergan, flirt with other Playmates including Victoria Zdrok, and rub elbows with the likes of actor Robert Culp and singer Mel Tormé.

Dergan has the distinction of being, to date, the only real person ever to be awarded the status of Bond Girl. (Several other Playmates are referenced by name in this story, but Dergan is clearly Bond's girl of choice on this adventure.)

Some sources give this story the erroneous title "A Midsummer Night's Doom", since the title is a play on William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Preceded by
The Facts of Death
James Bond adventure Succeeded by
High Time to Kill

"Live at Five"

First publication: TV Guide (American edition), November 13-19, 1999. In publication order, this follows the novelization of The World is Not Enough and precedes Doubleshot.

Published the week The World Is Not Enough arrived in movie theatres in America, "Live at Five" is the shortest of all James Bond stories, even shorter than Fleming's previous record-holder "007 in New York". Running only a couple of thousand words, if that, it is a brief episode that sees Bond, en route to a date with a female TV news reporter, recalling how he once helped a Russian figure skating champion defect in full view of TV cameras. The reporter, Janet Davies, becomes the second real person to be a Bond girl, seen daily on Chicago's local ABC station Channel 7 WLS.

Because this issue of TV Guide was only available in the United States for a short period of time, and the story has, to date, never been reprinted elsewhere, "Live at Five" is one of the hardest-to-find Bond stories. (By comparison, the two issues of Playboy listed above are readily available through the collector's market and in used book stores, and the magazine has distribution in Britain, although that's not the same as the stories being published in that country. There is a collectors' market for back issues of TV Guide, and the Bond issue is considered particularly collectable, but this market rarely extends beyond the U.S.) At present, "Live at Five" is the only James Bond-related short story to have never been published in the United Kingdom.

Preceded by
The World Is Not Enough
James Bond adventure Succeeded by
Doubleshot

"The Heart of Erzulie" (unpublished)

A fourth short story titled "The Heart of Erzulie" was written by Raymond Benson in-between Never Dream of Dying and The Man with the Red Tattoo, however, it was never published because Ian Fleming Publications felt it was "too much of a Fleming pastiche." Benson, himself, acknowledges that it was little more than a time-killer in the interim between the two book projects.[3]

Samantha Weinberg/Kate Westbrook short stories

Main article: The Moneypenny Diaries

In 2006, two additional short stories were written and published by Samantha Weinberg under the pseudonym "Kate Westbrook". These stories are part of The Moneypenny Diaries series, an officially licensed spin-off from the Bond novels series focusing on the character of Miss Moneypenny. It has not yet been announced whether these stories are intended for republication in book form. As of 2008 neither story has been published in North America.

"For Your Eyes Only, James"

First publication: Tatler (November 2006).

Set in September 1956[4], the story tells of a weekend James Bond and Moneypenny share at Royale-les-Eaux[5].

"Moneypenny's First Date with Bond"

First publication: The Spectator, November 11, 2006.

This story, set just after Bond's assignment to the 00 Section[6] and before the events of Casino Royale[7], tells of Bond and Moneypenny's first meeting.

Charlie Higson short story

Main article: Young Bond

"A Hard Man to Kill"

The original Young Bond short story "A Hard Man to Kill" written by Charlie Higson, is included in the companion book, Danger Society: The Young Bond Dossier, which was released by Puffin Books on October 29, 2009. An extract from the story appears in the paperback edition of By Royal Command. It is the longest James Bond short story yet written.[8][9]

Phillip and Robert King short story

"Your Deal, Mr. Bond"

In 1997 a collection of bridge-related short stories entitled Your Deal, Mr. Bond was published by B. T. Batsford (ISBN 0-7134-8247-8). The title piece is a short story featuring James Bond, who is assigned by M to defeat a villain named Saladin who is threatening to explode nuclear bombs in several major cities. Bond impersonates real-life bridge expert Zia Mahmood in order to combat Saladin at the bridge table. The short story includes bridge game charts in a similar fashion to that used by Ian Fleming in Moonraker, in which Bond similarly plays a high-stakes game of bridge against that novel's villain. The book, despite being issued by a major publisher and containing undisguised references to the Bond characters, contains no reference to Ian Fleming Publications, suggesting the use of Bond, M and Miss Moneypenny is unofficial, and rendering this story likely apocryphal. Its placement in the Bond canon, therefore, is unknown. The story contains a cultural reference to Star Trek, however, which sets it outside of Fleming's timeline. It should not be confused with the 1987 John Gardner Bond novel, No Deals, Mr. Bond.

Other authors

Cyril Connolly's short story "Bond Strikes Camp" was first published in the collection "Previous Collections". Although a parody, the story clearly mentions Bond by name and code number. Will Self's story "Licence to Hug" appeared in the November 1995 issue of Esquire Magazine. This story, part thriller, part satire on modern life, also mentions Bond by name and code number. Both stories were published without sanction from Glidrose.

Footnotes








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