'Double O' Novel Trilogy by Kim Sherwood - First Novel Coming in September 2022

Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 7,893MI6 Agent
edited November 2021 in James Bond Literature

What do we make of this literary Bond news which has just broken today? Kim Sherwood has been announced as the author of a new series of novels called 'Double O':

It will be a trilogy of novels looking at the Double-O Section in the 21st Century and will focus solely on them, and the regular literary Bond MI6 staff. It doesn't actually feature James Bond as he is missing, possibly even dead. So it's more of an expanded universe take on Bond's world than your traditional Bond continuation novel has been historically. More details at the Guardian article here:

Licensed to thrill: Kim Sherwood set to ‘expand the James Bond universe’ | Ian Fleming | The Guardian

"The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
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Comments

  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 4,758MI6 Agent

    I'm not massively excited by the idea straight away.

  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 7,893MI6 Agent
    edited November 2021

    No, as it doesn't outright feature James Bond in any form it's harder to muster much enthusiasm for it. Still, I suppose it signposts the fact that IFP are willing to do different things. It's been an ongoing experiment they've been pursuing since the first Young Bond novel was published back in 2005.

    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 4,756MI6 Agent

    I have little interest in the Bond continuation series, and even less with this proposed series.

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 7,893MI6 Agent
    edited November 2021

    It does seem to rather be alienating the die-hard literary Bond fans and that doesn't particularly bode well for prospective sales. Of course it's all early days yet and more probably has to be revealed about the trilogy of novels. However, as a member said on another forum perhaps this new trilogy of novels isn't strictly aimed at us fans but at a younger demographic as an alternative to James Bond, albeit still set within his world.

    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 4,758MI6 Agent

    I think taking it as alienating the literary fans is a bit rough: I wouldn't go that far. If they were trying to do that then it would have nothing to do with Bond at all.

  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 3,394MI6 Agent

    There have been various Dynamite comics focusing on the supporting characters, and a spin-off novel series focusing on Moneypenny.


    What's interesting in the hype is they're supposed to feature "the regular literary Bond MI6 staff" whereas the setup of Bond being missing maybe even dead sure sounds like...

    ...the new film

    We know in the past EON have avoided the continuation novels, and the continuation novels have generally avoided EON's innovations. I wonder if in this case EON will be borrowing from this new book to develop a cast of fellow double-oh's for spin-off movies? I'm sure corporate partner Amazon would like spin-off movies.

  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 3,394MI6 Agent

    By the way I'm seeing a lot of hype claiming Kim Sherwood is the "first female 007 author", eg this BCC article. But the Moneypenny Diaries, were written by Samantha Weinberg aka Kate Westbrook. Both are girl's names, so Weinberg was a woman, no? and since this new trilogy is about spinoff characters, not James Bond (missing presumed dead) its actually just as tangential to the James Bond series as the Moneypenny Diaries.

    Were those Moneypenny Diaries any good? I don't think I've ever seen them in any book store. I wonder if they get "misfiled" if the words James Bond aren't prominently on the cover.

  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 7,893MI6 Agent

    Well, please understand that that was only my take on it after an admittedly very small survey sample of member responses in this thread and the similar one on MI6 Community. You can take my assessment on it with a pinch of salt. No doubt I've misread the mood of the literary Bond fans who've commented on this. In any event, I'll be buying a copy of this first novel when it comes out in order to keep supporting literary Bond projects from IFP.

    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 7,893MI6 Agent
    edited November 2021

    There's an interesting article by the Bond scholar and spy novelist Jeremy Duns on his blog which I have linked below. The first thing that came to my mind when I heard the news of this new trilogy of novels focusing on other Double-O agents besides James Bond was that Duns had suggested/predicted this years ago in a thread I remember reading on the old alt.fan.james-bond group. Duns has linked that very discussion to the end of his article entitled 'On the Double O Section':

    https://www.jeremy-duns.com/blog/00section

    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • The Domino EffectThe Domino Effect Posts: 3,545MI6 Agent

    I have read all of Markham/Amis, Pearson, Gardner, and Faulks to Horowitz. I have no interest in Young Bond, Moneypenny Diaries etc and haven't got around to Wood or Benson. Whether or not I will read these, I am not sure. It may well come down to reviews by people who I believe are like-minded with myself.

    However, I am impressed by Kim Sherwood's enthusiasm for Bond and Fleming. It's obviously sincere and she's clearly very excited, I don't think she'll be turning around one day and saying that she regrets having taken this assignment or suggesting that it was beneath her. I had not heard of her before, I am loath to admit, but from what I have now learned of 'Testament', I will be picking it up soon.

  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 4,758MI6 Agent

    Young Bond is cracking: genuinely the most Fleming-like of any of the continuation novels if you ask me (under Higson anyway).

  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 7,893MI6 Agent
    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 4,758MI6 Agent

    Still with the “the first woman to write a Bond sequel authorised by the Ian Fleming estate.” stuff. I know this was yesterday but it’s disingenuous of IFP to have said this.

  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 7,893MI6 Agent
    edited November 2021

    I was hoping that it was the usual story of the media getting it wrong on the literary Bond front yet again but if it's been put out by IFP then that's a bit of a slight to Samantha Weinberg. I suppose it could be said though that neither woman is a true Bond author, at least in the traditional sense of writing a straight adult Bond continuation novel. They both wrote spin-offs from the literary Bond's world. Still, disingenuous as you say but that's the world of marketing; trumpeting the new and brushing the old under the carpet. The same happened with the promotion for the release of Sebastian Faulks's Devil May Care to coincide with the Fleming Centenary in 2008. The previous continuation authors, especially Gardner and Benson, were sideswiped in favour of the "first new Bond novel since Fleming" and "Writing as Ian Fleming" promotional media narrative that IFP deemed expedient at the time.

    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 4,758MI6 Agent
    edited November 2021

    Well I'm guessing it comes from IFP as it's been said in a few reports from different papers etc. And I don't blame the journalists especially, it's only a story about a James Bond book after all, it's not exactly important enough to bother checking the veracity of every point in a press release about it. Unless one of them said it and they're all copying the first, which is of course possible.

    Weinberg's books did apparently actually feature Bond as a character, so could in a way said to be more like Bond novels than these, even; as far as we know.

  • Silhouette ManSilhouette Man The last refuge of a scoundrelPosts: 7,893MI6 Agent
    edited November 2021

    Well, no, it's not of earth-shattering importance of course but it is contained in the Books section of the paper and the online version so it is pertinent to those that read that part and is presumably written by a specialised literary/arts review staff. To each its own importance, you could say. As you say, most of these articles are most likely largely copied and pasted from the official IFP press release in the first instance before much else is known about the novels besides that which IFP wants to tell them. When the novel is released in September 2022 there will be more detailed reviews of it and more analysis no doubt but for now they're largely being spoon-fed the press release and treading water in the interim.

    Something that my very limited foray into local journalism some twenty years ago taught me was that a high proportion of news articles in the local press were made up of promotional press releases faxed through that were very slightly tweaked for the local audience at large. No doubt the pressures of time, print space and tight deadlines in the national press mean that press releases and the odd statement will make up the first wave of articles on this new literary Bond project. As you say, who can blame the journalists?

    "The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).
  • Asp9mmAsp9mm Over the Hills and Far Away.Posts: 7,291MI6 Agent

    I’m a massive Fleming fan. It was literary Bond that got me, not the films. And they are still far more important to me than the film franchise. That being said. I won’t read these. They have no interest to me me whatsoever.

    ..................Asp9mmSIG-1-2.jpg...............
  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 4,758MI6 Agent

    Yeah the concept doesn't grab me; I'll keep an open mind for nearer the time if the actual plot sounds more interesting and/or they get good reviews, but as it is it doesn't sound like what I look for in a Bond novel.

  • Miles MesservyMiles Messervy Posts: 1,647MI6 Agent

    This applies to me as well. I try to always support IFP, but this holds little interest for me. That said, if others around these parts say they’re worth a look then, I won’t avoid them out of principle or anything like that. The one intriguing feature is that they look to be set in the modern day. I’ve long be an advocate of IFP returning to the present. Carte Blanche is my favorite of the post-2008 continuation novels. Perhaps this will herald a return to literary Bond in the present day, which I would welcome.

  • Asp9mmAsp9mm Over the Hills and Far Away.Posts: 7,291MI6 Agent
    ..................Asp9mmSIG-1-2.jpg...............
  • Red_SnowRed_Snow Posts: 273MI6 Agent

    'Double or Nothing' the new James Bond novel by Kim Sherwood will be released on 1 September, 2022.


    James Bond is missing…

    007 has been captured, perhaps even killed, by a sinister private military company. His whereabouts are unknown.

    Meet the new generation of spies…

    Johanna Harwood, 003. Joseph Dryden, 004. Sid Bashir, 009. Together, they represent the very best and brightest of MI6. Skilled, determined and with a licence to kill, they will do anything to protect their country.

    The fate of the world rests in their hands…

    Tech billionaire Sir Bertram Paradise claims he can reverse the climate crisis and save the planet. But can he really? The new spies must uncover the truth, because the future of humanity hangs in the balance.

    James Bond Australia - Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube

    Bond on the Box - Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | LetterBoxd | YouTube
  • The Domino EffectThe Domino Effect Posts: 3,545MI6 Agent

    Hmmm. If I read it/them at all, it will be because I am slumming it on a beach somewhere and need an easy read between swims and rums and sadly I don't see that happening in my near future. Other than that, I don't really see me picking these up. I will read Horowitz's next effort because I have reasonably enjoyed his previous entries. I've read the Amis/Markham, Pearson, all the Gardners and all the recent continuation novels. I haven't delved into Charlie Higson or Raymond Benson because they've never appealed to me and I suspect that will be the case here, but you never know.

  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 3,394MI6 Agent

    my subjective opinion: I thought Higson's Young Bond books were better than most recent continuation authors. He doesnt try to wrtite like Fleming, but his plotting and set-pieces are more imaginative than recent "GrownUp" Bond books, and the incident with the Boys' Maid turns out to be some incident, not like you've probably been imaginng all these years.

    _________________

    are the names Johanna Harwood, Joseph Dryden, Sid Bashir meant to be a reference to something? they sure sound familiar....

  • Miles MesservyMiles Messervy Posts: 1,647MI6 Agent

    The only way I will read this is if others indicate that the story is excellent. Since it’s not a book about James Bond, I can’t justify reading something mediocre.

    I’m glad it’s confirmed to be in the present day, though. Perhaps it will tie into a proper Bond novel.

  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 3,394MI6 Agent

    found the real life Johanna Harwood, 003. of course her name's come up in conversation before

    Johanna Harwood contributed to the screenplays of the first two Bond movies as well as Call Me Bwanah!

    so was there a real life Joseph Dryden, 004. and Sid Bashir, 009 somewhere in Bond History?

  • The Domino EffectThe Domino Effect Posts: 3,545MI6 Agent

    Dryden was the MI6 section chief in Prague who Bond killed thereby earning his 00, but I don't believe we ever heard his first name.


    Martin Bashir conducted that infamous interview with Diana, the Princess of Wales. Diana's mother-in-law once jumped out of a helicopter with James Bond... okay, so I'm stretching things here!

  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 4,758MI6 Agent

    I don't know if she's a Star Trek fan but I remember that Deep Space 9 had a character called Dr Bashir who was played by an actor called Siddig El Fadil - seems a bit of a coincidence. He even took on the role of the gentleman secret agent character in a Bond spoof episode.

  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 4,758MI6 Agent

    my subjective opinion: I thought Higson's Young Bond books were better than most recent continuation authors. He doesnt try to wrtite like Fleming, but his plotting and set-pieces are more imaginative than recent "GrownUp" Bond books

    I actually think he does write like Fleming: not in the prose so much perhaps, but he comes up with lots of quite twisted and almost perverted situations which James gets caught in which capture Fleming's style of thought better than any of the other continuation guys, I tend to think.

  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 3,394MI6 Agent

    thats right I remember! they played James Bond in the holodeck, and Sisko was the typical BondVillain! that might be the reference, though its certainly more obscure than the name of an actual EON employee

  • k5211k5211 UKPosts: 131MI6 Agent

    It's certainly a sign of the times that I read this announcement and immediately thought "This book will be woke nonsense full of virtue signalling and thinly veiled political correctness" without digging any further. I've enjoyed Horowitz, Faulks and Boyd but have zero interest in some teen+ / twenty something spy caper. TV is full of this kind of thing. I hope it gets good reviews but it reeks of expansionism.

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