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The Bond That Never Was
Two decades ago, the producers of the James Bond movies hired legendary crime novelist Donald E. Westlake to come up with a story for the next Bond film. The plot Westlake dreamed up – about a Western businessman seeking revenge after being kicked out of Hong Kong when the island was returned to Chinese rule – had all the elements of a classic Bond adventure, but political concerns kept it from being made. Never one to let a good story go to waste, Westlake wrote an original novel based on the premise instead – a novel he never published while he was alive.
Now, nearly a decade after Westlake’s death, Hard Case Crime is proud to give that novel its first publication ever, together with a brand new afterword by one of the movie producers describing the project’s genesis, and to give fans their first taste of the Westlake-scripted Bond that might have been.
Since this is a press release I’m going to reprint the whole thing here. The original is @ ChiZinePub.com.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TORONTO, Ontario (January 19, 2015) — Independent Toronto publisher ChiZine Publications announces they will be publishing a new anthology of short stories featuring James Bond now that Ian Fleming’s work has entered the public domain in Canada. The anthology, titled Licence Expired: The Unauthorized James Bond, will be edited by Toronto authors Madeline Ashby (vN, iD; Company Town) and David Nickle (Knife Fight and Other Struggles,The ’Geisters, Eutopia).
“We want to feature original, transformative stories set in the world of Secret Agent 007,” says Nickle. “We’re hoping our contributors will combine the guilty-pleasure excitement of the vintage Fleming experience with a modern critique of it.”
“This is an opportunity to comment on the Bond universe from within it,” adds Ashby. “We’re specifically looking for writers and stories that would make Fleming roll in his grave.”
Since only Fleming’s Bond novels have entered the public domain, the stories won’t reference the films, subsequent novels written by others, or any media tie-ins. However, within Fleming’s works are well-known villains Rosa Klebb, Oddjob, Dr. No, SMERSH, Ernst Stavro Blofeld and SPECTRE. Familiar allies include Moneypenny, Honey Rider, Pussy Galore, Felix Leiter and Quarrel. The story authors will be able to call on any of these characters and organizations along with the many others that have appeared in Fleming’s stories.
Authors who have confirmed their appearance in Licence Expired include:
- Tony Burgess
- Corey Redekop
- Robert J. Wiersema
- Laird Barron
- Nathan Ballingrud
- Kelly Robson
- A.M. Dellamonica
- Ian Rogers
Licence Expired is scheduled to be published in November 2015.
About ChiZine Publications
ChiZine Publications (CZP) is British Fantasy Award-winning and three-time World Fantasy Award-nominated independent publisher of surreal, subtle, and disturbing dark literary fiction hand-picked by co-publishers Brett Alexander Savory and Sandra Kasturi, Bram Stoker Award-winning editors.
About the Editors
David Nickle is a journalist, co-editor of the forthcoming Exile Book of New Canadian Noir (with Claude Lalumière), the author of the cold-war novel of psychic espionageRasputin’s Bastards and the eugenics horror novel, Eutopia. Madeline Ashby is a columnist for the Ottawa Citizen, a futurist, and the author of the Machine Dynasty series of science fiction novels, as well as Company Town, forthcoming from Tor Books. They live together in Toronto.