Between 1953 and the present day (2008), dozens of novels and a number of short stories have been published chronicling the adventures of spy James Bond 007. The character was created by Ian Fleming and first appeared in Casino Royale, a novel first published in 1953. After Fleming's death in 1964 and the posthumous publication of some remnant works by Fleming over the next few years, other authors were commissioned to write continuation novels which were issued sporadically in the late 1960s and 1970s, then regularly between 1981 and 2002, at which point the series was put on hiatus. Two spinoff series of books, Young Bond and The Moneypenny Diaries, were published after this point, but in the spring of 2008 the original James Bond novel series returned with the publication of a new work by Sebastian Faulks.
Between 1953 and 1966, twelve James Bond novels and two short story collections by Fleming were published, including one novel and one story collection issued posthumously. It is still argued whether Fleming himself actually finished 1965's The Man with the Golden Gun, as he died very soon after it is known to have been completed.
A second anthology, Octopussy and The Living Daylights (in many editions titled only Octopussy), originally only contained two short stories, "Octopussy" and "The Living Daylights". Two stories that had earlier been written for and placed in the periodical market were added to later editions: "The Property of a Lady" beginning with the 1967 mass market paperback edition, and "007 in New York" (retitled by editors from the title intended by Fleming, "Reflections in a Carey Cadillac) beginning in a 2002 trade paperback.
In 2008, Penguin Classics published an omnibus collection of all Fleming's short stories under the title Quantum of Solace.
Two things in particular distinguish Griswold's chronology from the publishing history of Fleming's Bond books: (1) the short stories are sequenced very differently from how they are arranged within each of the two story collections; and (2) a several-months' time gap, between the fifth and sixth chapters of the novel On Her Majesty's Secret Service, is now partially bridged.
Griswold's chronology of Bond's fictive world runs as follows:
In 1973, Fleming biographer John Pearson was commissioned by Glidrose to biograph the fictional character James Bond. Pearson wrote James Bond: The Authorised Biography of 007 in the first person as if meeting the secret agent himself. The book was well-received by aficionados—readers and viewers, alike. Since the book has many discrepancies with Fleming's Bond (for example his birth year), the canonical status of James Bond: The Authorised Biography of 007 is debated among fans—some consider it apocryphal, though at least one publisher, Pan Books, issued it as an official novel along with the rest of Fleming's series for its first paperback edition. Glidrose reportedly considered a new series of novels written by Pearson, but this did not come to pass. Prior to writing this, Pearson had written an early biography of Ian Fleming, The Life of Ian Fleming.
In 1977, the film The Spy Who Loved Me was released and was subsequently novelised and published by Glidrose due to the radical difference between the script and Fleming's novel of the same name. This would happen again with 1979's Moonraker. Both novelisations were written by screenwriter Christopher Wood and were the first official novelisations, although technically, Fleming's Thunderball was a novelisation having been based on scripts by himself, Kevin McClory, and Jack Whittingham (although it predated the movie), and the For Your Eyes Only collection was also, for the most part, based upon unproduced scripts.
In the 1980s, the series was finally revived with new novels by John Gardner; between 1981 and 1996, he wrote fourteen James Bond novels and two screenplay novelisations, surpassing Fleming's original output. The biggest change in Gardner's series was updating 007's world to the 1980s; however, it would keep the characters the same age as they were in Fleming's novels. Generally Gardner's series is considered a success although their canonical status is disputed.
In 1996, Gardner retired from writing James Bond books due to ill health, and American Raymond Benson quickly replaced him. As a James Bond novelist, Benson was initially controversial for being American, and for ignoring much of the continuity established by Gardner. Benson had previously written The James Bond Bedside Companion, a book dedicated to Ian Fleming, the official novels, and the films. The book was initially released in 1984 and later updated in 1988. Benson also contributed to the creation of several modules in the popular James Bond 007 role-playing game in the 1980s. Benson wrote six James Bond novels, three novelisations, and three short stories.
Benson's three short stories remain uncollected, unlike previous short stories from Ian Fleming, although it was announced in early 2008 that "Blast From the Past", augmented by material edited out before its initial publication, would be included as a bonus feature in an upcoming omnibus collection of several of Benson's Bond novels. Benson also wrote a fourth short story entitled "The Heart of Erzulie" that was rejected for publication.
Benson abruptly resigned as Bond novelist at the end of 2002 to write original, non-Bond works of his own. At the same time, Ian Fleming Publications planned to focus on reissuing Fleming's original novels for the 50th anniversary of the character and re-examine its publishing strategy. The year 2003 marked the first year since 1985 that a new James Bond novel had not been published.
In April 2004, Ian Fleming Publications (Glidrose) announced a new series of James Bond books. Instead of continuing from where Raymond Benson ended in 2002, the new series featured James Bond as a thirteen-year-old boy attending Eton College. Written by Charlie Higson the series aligns faithfully with the adult Bond's back-story established by Fleming in Bond's obituary in You Only Live Twice. The first novel, SilverFin, was released to good reviews in 2005 and became an international bestseller. The second novel, Blood Fever, released in 2006, did even better, topping the children's best-selling list in the UK and holding the spot for eleven weeks. The following books, Double or Die, Hurricane Gold, and By Royal Command all proved to be bestsellers. While the series was planned as a five book set (ending with Bond's expulsion from Eton), Charlie Higson has stated that, because of the success of the series, he will most likely be writing more Young Bond novels in the future.
The first Young Bond novel, SilverFin, was released as a graphic novel on October 2, 2008. The book was written by Charlie Higson and illustrated by renowed comic book artist artist Kev Walker.
Weinberg is the first woman to write officially licenced Bond-related literature, although Johanna Harwood had previously co-written the screenplay for Dr. No and had adapted From Russia with Love for the screen.
The novels had originally been touted as the secret journal of a "real" Miss Moneypenny and that James Bond was a possible pseudonym for a genuine intelligence officer, an idea shared by John Pearson's earlier biography, James Bond: The Authorised Biography of 007. The publisher, John Murray, admitted on August 28, 2005 that the books were a spoof after an investigation by The Sunday Times of London. Ian Fleming Publications, who had previously refused to comment as to whether the book was authorised, officially confirmed the book was and always had been a project by them on the day of the book's publication.
In addition to the novels, Weinberg also wrote two short stories that were published in 2006. The first, "For Your Eyes Only, James" describes a weekend Bond and Moneypenny spend in Royale-les-Eaux in 1956. The story appeared in the November 2006 issue of Tatler magazine The second "Moneypenny's First Date With Bond" tells the tale of Bond and Moneypenny's first meeting. The story appeared in the November 11, 2006 issue of The Spectator.
The existence of the continuation novels published between 1968 and 2002 (not counting the related Young Bond and Moneypenny Diaries series) was underplayed in the announcement of Faulks' book, which was promoted as a direct continuation of Fleming's canon. As such, many media reports (such as, for example, the one posted by AOL Entertainment ) made no reference to the work of Amis through Benson, stating outright that Devil May Care is the first new Bond novel since the 1960s. A similar error occurred in an Associated Press report on 8 January 2008 that stated only 13 post-Fleming novels had been published prior to Devil May Care.
Devil May Care is the first release of a new imprint of Penguin Books called Penguin 007, which will also reprint the original Fleming novels. It has yet to be announced whether any further new adult James Bond novels will be commissioned; at the official release launch of Devil May Care, Faulks stated that he had no plans to write more Bond novels.
In 1991 an animated television series, James Bond Jr, ran for 65 episodes. The series chronicled the adventures of James Bond's nephew, James Bond Jr. The use of "Jr." in the character's name was unusual in that this naming convention is generally reserved for sons as opposed to nephews and other indirect offspring. Alternatively, it has been proposed that Fleming's James Bond had a brother, also named James Bond, who is the father of James Bond Jr. The series was mildly successful and spawned six novelisations published in 1992 by John Peel writing as John Vincent, a 12 issue comic book series by Marvel Comics published in 1992, as well as a video game developed by Eurocom for the NES and the SNES in 1991.
Russians were often the villains in Fleming's Cold War-era novels in at least some form. In 1968, they hit back with a spy novel of their own called Avakoum Zahov vs. 07 by Andrei Guliashki, in which a communist hero finally and forcefully defeats 007.
In addition to numerous fan fiction pieces written since the character was created, there have been two stories written by well-known authors claiming to have been contracted by Glidrose. The first in 1966, was Per Fine Ounce by Geoffrey Jenkins, a friend of Ian Fleming who claimed to have developed with Fleming a diamond-smuggling storyline similar to Diamonds Are Forever as early as the 1950s. According to the book The Bond Files by Andy Lane and Paul Simpson, soon after Ian Fleming died, Glidrose Productions commissioned Jenkins to write a James Bond novel. The novel was never published. Some sources have suggested that Jenkins novel was to be published under the Markham pseudonym. The second story, 1985's The Killing Zone by Jim Hatfield goes so far as to have been privately published as well as claim on the cover that it was published by Glidrose; however it is highly unlikely that Glidrose contacted Hatfield to write a novel since at the time John Gardner was the official author. The text of The Killing Zone is available on the Internet and can be found here
In 1997, the British publisher B.T. Batsford produced Your Deal, Mr. Bond, a collection of bridge-related short stories by Phillip King and Robert King. The title story features James Bond, M, and other characters and features an epic bridge game between Bond and the villain, Saladin. No credit is given to Ian Fleming Publications, suggesting this rare story may have been unauthorised; a photo of Sean Connery as Bond is featured on the cover of the book.
In Clive Cussler's novel, Night Probe!, there is a character named Brian Shaw, whom the hero, Dirk Pitt suspects to be James Bond. Brian Shaw's choice of pistol, a .25 calibre, echoes that of James Bond's preference for the .25 calibre Beretta. Shaw's old office was located in Regent Park, and he was supposed to have been on SMERSH's hit list.
Lance Parkin's Doctor Who novel Trading Futures features a Bond-like character named Jonah Cosgrove, described by the author thus: "Cosgrove is (and I mean 'is' here in the very precise, non-trademark violating, sense of the word) the Sean Connery Bond, but one who never retired and who's been a secret agent for fifty years. So he's about eighty, and all the time he's just been piling on more muscles and getting more wrinkled, and ever more set in his ways and bitter and anachronistic. He's Sean Connery in The Rock, as drawn by Frank Miller, and by now he's been promoted to M."
Robert Sheckley's 1965 novel The Game of X is about a bumbling man who pretends he is a spy and is chased by villains who believe that he is a real secret agent. In one scene, he is rescued from the villains by a real secret agent who is not named but seems to be James Bond.