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The Mystery of 'The Killing Zone'


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#1 Athena007

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Posted 12 May 2005 - 08:39 PM

From CBn's Main Page...

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The Mystery of 'The Killing Zone'
007Forever investigates the most obscure Bond novel



#2 Righty007

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Posted 12 May 2005 - 09:04 PM

Jim Hatfield sounds like he was a loser. James Bond isn't supposed to DIE!

#3 zencat

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Posted 12 May 2005 - 09:10 PM

Jim Hatfield sounds like he was a loser. James Bond isn't supposed to DIE!

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Of course, Bond "dies" at the end of Fleming's From Russia With Love, so...



I find the book and the tale of Hatfield pretty fascinating. I'm stunned how much TKZ is like LTK. I mean, wow!

I've wanted to write something up about TKZ for CBn for quite a while, but you can't beat this 007Forever article. It's dynamite and it's really THE definitive investigation of The Killing Zone (thanks to Matt Sherman for letting us link to the article).

BTW, there are those who believe Hatfield was murdered by orders of George W. Bush. :)

#4 Solex Agitator

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Posted 12 May 2005 - 09:14 PM

Another well-written and fascinating piece of reportage, Zencat! Well done!

As for the Hatfield/Bush debacle, more can be found in the doucmentary HORNS AND HALOS.

http://www.hornsandhalos.com/

Edited by Solex Agitator, 12 May 2005 - 09:16 PM.


#5 zencat

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Posted 12 May 2005 - 09:17 PM

[quote name='Solex Agitator' date='12 May 2005 - 14:14']Another well-written and fascinating piece of reportage, Zencat!

#6 Tim007

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Posted 12 May 2005 - 09:17 PM

Just read that 007forever article. I really wanna read TKZ now! :)

#7 Righty007

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Posted 12 May 2005 - 09:20 PM

Jim Hatfield sounds like he was a loser. James Bond isn't supposed to DIE!

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BTW, there are those who believe Hatfield was murdered by orders of George W. Bush. :)

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Bush is especially good at the celebrity overdose. :)

#8 AMWebby

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Posted 12 May 2005 - 09:21 PM

I really want to read this too! Is there an ebook version out there anywhere? Has anybody scanned this? (presumably copyright isn't an issue). Or is this all some elaborate hoax?

#9 zencat

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Posted 12 May 2005 - 09:25 PM

I really want to read this too! Is there an ebook version out there anywhere? Has anybody scanned this? (presumably copyright isn't an issue). Or is this all some elaborate hoax?

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There was a Xerox copy making the rounds several years back. It was a Xerox of the first found copy. I found the second copy on eBay. The seller was mysterious about its origins (and I was afraid I was being snookered, but it showed up). I sometimes wonder if the seller was Hatfield himself.

I do think it's online somewhere. I recall some Russian website had it for download. I'm sure someone will post a link if it still exists.

#10 Tim007

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Posted 12 May 2005 - 09:28 PM

I do think it's online somewhere. I recall some Russian website had it for download. I'm sure someone will post a link if it still exists.

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http://ianfleming.narod.ru/ :)
At least it used to be there. Can't find it at the moment :)

LOL. Why search on Russian websites when Universal Exports has it :)

#11 zencat

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Posted 12 May 2005 - 10:22 PM

I do think it's online somewhere. I recall some Russian website had it for download. I'm sure someone will post a link if it still exists.

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http://ianfleming.narod.ru/ :)
At least it used to be there. Can't find it at the moment :)

LOL. Why search on Russian websites when Universal Exports has it :)

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Way to go, Univex. I didn't know. :)

#12 Qwerty

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Posted 12 May 2005 - 10:26 PM

I've downloaded it a read it long ago.

Going to reread it again soon and review it hopefully. A really interesting bit of the Bond universe.

#13 Loomis

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Posted 12 May 2005 - 10:45 PM

"The Killing Zone" is dire. In fact, it's so abysmal as to make "High Time to Kill" look like "You Only Live Twice". Hard to believe it was written by an adult, let alone a professional journalist. Hatfield claims to describe "the sights, sounds, and textures of Mexico", transforming James Bond from "a cardboard automaton of the movies to a living and breathing British spy with a license to kill".

Does he walk it like he talks it, though? No. He gives us a Chinese assassin who for some reason rejoices in a Japanese name, and informs us that Bond has a "Scottish face" (what sort of image is that supposed to conjure, other than, presumably, Sean Connery's mug?), while the young Bond is described as a "seagoing sailor". Truly, this is the PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE of Bond novels, the sort of 007 adventure Rocky Balboa might have penned (after learning to read in ROCKY II, natch).

Still, I'd like to know more about the nature and results of the scam that Hatfield is said to have written "The Killing Zone" in the service of. Was he motivated by the belief that certain doors would open for him if he were able to pass himself off as the current author of the James Bond books? Was he thought to have successfully obtained money and/or favours via this curious scheme?

#14 zencat

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Posted 12 May 2005 - 10:52 PM

It's not that bad. I like some of Hatfield's ideas and action set-pieces.

#15 Loomis

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Posted 12 May 2005 - 11:03 PM

I like some of Hatfield's ideas and action set-pieces.

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Fair enough. Yes, there are some good ideas dotted about the book, especially the "luring the old Bond out of retirement" notion (which reminds me of an idea I had many, many years ago for a fanfic, in which Dalton's Bond would have been persuaded, long after the events of LICENCE TO KILL, to return to the British secret service after spending years as the owner of a bar in Spain); can't really understand why an "official"/"legit" novel or film (such as NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN) never used that one. But, sorry, I think the prose just stinks to high heaven. Okay, I'm sure there are a few pretty decent (-ish) paragraphs in "The Killing Zone", but weren't they supposed to have been ripped off from Gardner?

#16 zencat

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Posted 12 May 2005 - 11:09 PM

Yeah, I think the book is actually a bit of a patchwork of plagiarism. LOL.

But I don't really take the prose seriously. Like any bootleg, I try and look past the dubious quality to see if there are interesting ideas there that hold together, and in that regard TKZ is pretty solid. In fact, I like it more than LTK which traveled very much the same road four years later.

#17 Atticus17F

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Posted 13 May 2005 - 01:33 AM

Yeah, I think the book is actually a bit of a patchwork of plagiarism. LOL.

But I don't really take the prose seriously. Like any bootleg, I try and look past the dubious quality to see if there are interesting ideas there that hold together, and in that regard TKZ is pretty solid. In fact, I like it more than LTK which traveled very much the same road four years later.

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I read as far as M's first meeting with Bond and this Hatfield mush has just nicked it from John Pearson. I don't mean a cheeky lift here and there - I mean he's copied the lot verbatim.

I've heard that bad writers borrow and good writers steal, but this is taking the piss.

#18 Triton

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Posted 13 May 2005 - 01:51 AM

I really want to read this too! Is there an ebook version out there anywhere? Has anybody scanned this? (presumably copyright isn't an issue). Or is this all some elaborate hoax?

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There was a Xerox copy making the rounds several years back. It was a Xerox of the first found copy. I found the second copy on eBay. The seller was mysterious about its origins (and I was afraid I was being snookered, but it showed up). I sometimes wonder if the seller was Hatfield himself.

I do think it's online somewhere. I recall some Russian website had it for download. I'm sure someone will post a link if it still exists.

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Are you saying that you own one of the two existing Xerox copies of the novel? Or was Hatfield's book self-published with a four color cover to look like a paperback novel and you own one of the two known copies?

#19 Doctor Shatterhand

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Posted 13 May 2005 - 04:07 AM

I copied this from my website:

THE KILLING ZONE - In this new high voltage spy thriller, Secret Agent 007 must "liquidate" ruthless billionaire kingpin Klaus Doberman. But James Bond has his hands full as he battles a luscious lady assassin who offers lethal love Russian style and a slit-eyed Oriental sadist who is an elusive and deadly Ninja. Aided by his sex-galore confederate Lotta Head and his old CIA buddy Felix Leiter, 007 is pitted against Klaus Doberman in his heavily armed fortress high in the Mexican Sierra Madres... in the most bloodcurdling death duel in the great Bond saga.

In 1985, author Jim Hatfield wrote the novel THE KILLING ZONE. It was the only year author John Gardner did not release a new OO7 novel. (According to Gardner, he is completely unaware of Hatfield)

Most Bond fans probably do not remember this novel and the reasons are quite simple. The book was never published in mass quantities. It was, however, printed in small quantities - perhaps only 50 or 100 copies.

It is the only novel where Bond's friend, Chief of Staff Bill Tanner, is murdered. Major Anya Amasova returns to do battle with OO7 and - - do I dare to say this - - James Bond is killed and buried at sea.

Now comes the question which has been floating around the Internet for years. Is the novel THE KILLING ZONE an official James Bond novel or simply a fan fiction wannabe?

Mr. Hatfield wrote an acknowledgment at the beginning of his novel saying:

I would like, especially, to thank the Board of Directors of Glidrose Publications Limited, the owners of the James Bond literary copyright, for inviting me to follow in Ian Fleming's somewhat daunting footsteps.

All of the characters in this book are fictitious, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

THE KILLING ZONE: A James Bond Adventure

A CHARTER BOOK, London

Copyright 1985 by Glidrose Publications Limited and Jim Hatfield


Dr. Shatterhand decided to do a little investigation by contacting the people at Glidrose Publications or The Ian Fleming Publications Ltd., as it is known today. Ms. Zo

#20 zencat

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Posted 13 May 2005 - 04:18 AM

Are you saying that you own one of the two existing Xerox copies of the novel? Or was Hatfield's book self-published with a four color cover to look like a paperback novel and you own one of the two known copies?

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I have THE book, not a copy. That's where our pics in the article comes from. That's a scan of the cover.

#21 TheSaint

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Posted 13 May 2005 - 05:15 AM

I was able to download it from some site that was linked to from a post here. I got up to the part after he fights some guys in a parking lot. Found it tame. Didn't bother reading the rest once Doublenoughtspy told me Hatfield killed Bond off at the end. Tossed it.

#22 clinkeroo

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Posted 13 May 2005 - 06:19 AM

I like it more than LTK which traveled very much the same road four years later.

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LTK as if it were written by a twelve-year old who learned what he knew of Bond through the films and a few poorly plagiarized sections of Fleming and Pearson. As I said in a FFRC review, this thing is horrid. I'm usually a bit more refined in my comments, but I'd sooner read two hundred pages typed by those mythical monkeys than open this book again.

Calling it glorified fan fiction is an insult to anyone who actually puts love, effort, and originality into such works.

Calling Hatfield a journalist is like calling a crack dealer a pharmacist.

This piece of crap really makes me angry in that same gutteral way that slash fiction does...grrr...HULK SMASH :) !

#23 tdalton

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Posted 13 May 2005 - 06:41 AM

The only thing that I like from what I've read of it so far is the idea of having a retired James Bond brought back into the service. If they were to do this in a film (they won't, but speaking hypothetically), this would be the perfect way to give Dalton his third Bond film. Although they'd have to come up with a completely new storyline to put this gimmick into, because he kind of already did the drug dealer thing in LTK :)

I also think that the idea, if done right, which it isn't in TKZ, of having Bond come out of retirement would make for an interesting fan fiction novel or short story. I was actually thinking about possibly doing something with that idea before I had read anything regarding TKZ, so it might be wise to hold off on that for a while, but I still might give it some work over the summer.

From the little bit of this that I have read, I can certainly say that there are much better written fan fictions out there about James Bond.

Edited by tdalton, 13 May 2005 - 06:43 AM.


#24 Jim

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Posted 13 May 2005 - 06:59 AM

I like it more than LTK which traveled very much the same road four years later.

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LTK as if it were written by a twelve-year old who learned what he knew of Bond through the films and a few poorly plagiarized sections of Fleming and Pearson.

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So, still better than LTK then?

But yeah, s'crap.

#25 David Schofield

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Posted 13 May 2005 - 08:33 AM

I'd heard - like most of us - about this book and assumed that because of all the fuss it must be better than Gardner and Benson.

It isn't. For all the crap Gardner and Benson (and P & W)have had to put up with from CBners, their work is like Proust by comparison.

Absolute garbage.

#26 wattenscheid09

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Posted 13 May 2005 - 09:23 AM

A propos mysterious Bond books - I know this is a recurring topic on these pages, but is there really no hope in the world to get into Gilderoses pockets (or pants) and produce a copy of Jenkins PER FINE OUNCE? Surely somebody in the vast CBn community must have the right connections to find the dusty copy somewhere in the vaults???

#27 spynovelfan

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Posted 13 May 2005 - 09:47 AM

A propos mysterious Bond books - I know this is a recurring topic on these pages, but is there really no hope in the world to get into Gilderoses pockets (or pants) and produce a copy of Jenkins PER FINE OUNCE? Surely somebody in the vast CBn community must have the right connections to find the dusty copy somewhere in the vaults???

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I thought someone might ask that in this thread. :) I've been working on this for the past three months. It's been agonisingly slow at times and I was beginning to despair a bit, but after another long conversation with Jenkins' son last night, I am very optimistic about the situation. I've also interviewed John Pearson and Peter Janson-Smith, and been in touch with a few other key people. I'm firmly on the case, believe me - wheels are turning. I hope to have news very soon. I'd love to say more but I don't want to jinx things, so I'll wait until I have much firmer news to spill, and then spill I will. However it works out, I think it's a fascinating story - and there's a lot that has been cleared up.

#28 wattenscheid09

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Posted 13 May 2005 - 10:01 AM

Argh - don't do this, spynovelfan. DON't DO THIS. una salus victis nullam sperare salutem. Don't kindle the flame of hope...

It's hard enough to wait the last days until REVENGE OF THE SITH (oops, have I outed myself as a Star Wars Fan??), but now there might even be hope of "developments" with PER FINE OUNCE??? Must-not-hope-tooo-much....

#29 spynovelfan

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Posted 13 May 2005 - 10:18 AM

LOL. You think you have it bad, do you? I'm a nervous wreck. Might explain some of my posts, in fact, so apologies for some of the madder, moo-er ones. :) I can barely keep my mind on my work because of this stuff. Anyway - news, hopefully, very soon.

Back on the topic of this thread: however lousy the book is, I am impressed by the cover artwork. It looks far more Fleming-esque than some of the official stuff. Quite a cool title, too (chapter 18 of DR NO is titled 'Killing Ground', which I've always thought would be a decent title). I think it's classic if LTK resembled this closely. I mean, Hatfield could hardly sue, could he?

#30 Loomis

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Posted 13 May 2005 - 11:08 AM

I like it more than LTK which traveled very much the same road four years later.

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LTK as if it were written by a twelve-year old who learned what he knew of Bond through the films and a few poorly plagiarized sections of Fleming and Pearson. As I said in a FFRC review, this thing is horrid. I'm usually a bit more refined in my comments, but I'd sooner read two hundred pages typed by those mythical monkeys than open this book again.

Calling it glorified fan fiction is an insult to anyone who actually puts love, effort, and originality into such works.

Calling Hatfield a journalist is like calling a crack dealer a pharmacist.

This piece of crap really makes me angry in that same gutteral way that slash fiction does...grrr...HULK SMASH :) !

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Thanks, clinkeroo. Was wondering for a few moments back there if I'd been way too harsh on "The Killing Zone", which I haven't clapped eyes on for many months (no plans to do so ever again, frankly).

It really is total ****, isn't it? And I reckon Hatfield would have loved the idea of us Bond fans discussing TKZ as though it were some kind of lost gem, a brilliant 007 novel that Glidrose didn't have the guts to publish because of the shocking ending, or something like that.




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