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CARTE BLANCHE


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#61 Trident

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Posted 23 May 2010 - 02:49 PM

If - if - Project X turns out to be a new "adult" Bond novel, then I suggest that we don't count our chickens this time (and I was as guilty as anyone of doing that last time).

Even if IFP has landed one of the greatest writers on earth, because they did that with Faulks, and look how badly we got burned.


It is awfully hard to come after Fleming; and come up with something decent at that. All thinkable more abitious approaches are bound to disappoint part of the audience from some point onwards, so the main aim might be now to publish something that doesn't offend too much. The wider reading public is not too familiar with the books, so most didn't mind DMC particularly, I daresay. It was our own high hopes after Faulks's announcement that were so fiercely disappointed.

I wonder if I had been so critical of DMC, had it been published under pen name? The book wouldn't have been one iota better, but my expectations would have been considerably lower. We've been arguing here that Faulks name was such a massive publicity stunt and pushed sales beyond imagination, but did it really?

Faulks's regular readers are not exactly the types much into Bond, if they aren't fans anyway, so most of his readership probably bought the book more out of curiosity and for reasons of completeness. As ambitious literature goes, Faulks is very successful (and absolutely rightfully so), but still hardly a raving bestseller. I daresay DMC is probably Faulks's topseller by a fair margin, and will stay so till he stops writing. I actually think Faulks has profited more from 'James Bond novel' and 'writing as Ian Fleming' on the cover, than DMC profited from 'Sebastian Faulks'.

My point here is, sales figures of DMC mostly were so fantastical (I suppose they were, don't I?) because of the media hype, tinsel, PR stunts and all that jazz. And they would probably have been exactly the same, had the cover of DMC held an alias such as 'Robert Markham'.

Or, to come finally back to the topic at hand here, a pen name such as 'Project X'

I even wonder if the mystery about the author would not add considerably to the experience? I'd certainly never have guessed Faulks to be behind DMC.

#62 zencat

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Posted 23 May 2010 - 05:52 PM

I wonder if I had been so critical of DMC, had it been published under pen name? The book wouldn't have been one iota better, but my expectations would have been considerably lower. We've been arguing here that Faulks name was such a massive publicity stunt and pushed sales beyond imagination, but did it really?

...

My point here is, sales figures of DMC mostly were so fantastical (I suppose they were, don't I?) because of the media hype, tinsel, PR stunts and all that jazz. And they would probably have been exactly the same, had the cover of DMC held an alias such as 'Robert Markham'.

I even wonder if the mystery about the author would not add considerably to the experience? I'd certainly never have guessed Faulks to be behind DMC.

Hmmm...interesting thoughts.

They could also reveal the author the day of publication. Keep the entire thing Top Secret until then. Almost like revealing a new Bond.

As to the Project X announcement...when do you think we'll get it? The moment the countdown expires, or just some time on the 28th? How will they deal with UK/US time? Be good to know so I'm not asleep.

#63 Wade

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Posted 23 May 2010 - 06:34 PM

Here are a few guesses...

Wishful: John Gardner reprints

Realistic: New adult James Bond novel

Left Field: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang sequel


This novel will pick up where DAD left off, this time with a flying Aston Martin. The title will be "Pussy Pussy Bang Bang."

(I apologize in advance. B) )

#64 DAN LIGHTER

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Posted 23 May 2010 - 07:02 PM

I hope its nothing to do with that Elephant that was touring around London. B)

#65 Trident

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Posted 23 May 2010 - 07:45 PM

I wonder if I had been so critical of DMC, had it been published under pen name? The book wouldn't have been one iota better, but my expectations would have been considerably lower. We've been arguing here that Faulks name was such a massive publicity stunt and pushed sales beyond imagination, but did it really?

...

My point here is, sales figures of DMC mostly were so fantastical (I suppose they were, don't I?) because of the media hype, tinsel, PR stunts and all that jazz. And they would probably have been exactly the same, had the cover of DMC held an alias such as 'Robert Markham'.

I even wonder if the mystery about the author would not add considerably to the experience? I'd certainly never have guessed Faulks to be behind DMC.

Hmmm...interesting thoughts.

They could also reveal the author the day of publication. Keep the entire thing Top Secret until then. Almost like revealing a new Bond.

As to the Project X announcement...when do you think we'll get it? The moment the countdown expires, or just some time on the 28th? How will they deal with UK/US time? Be good to know so I'm not asleep.


Or they could just stick with mysterious hints and clues and not reveal the name at all.

Or, one stage further, announce they've settled a contract with four different reknown writers, some of them from the genre, some not; one, two or even three of them female, to teamwork on a series of novels around some topic? With the names never intended for disclosure? The guessing game around the member(s) of Project X could go on for years and once the pressure is on for further projects one could 'reveal' the name(s), perhaps even one by one over years.

It's been said that next to every writer in the States at one time worked on Nick Carter or some similar pulp series. This would invert the concept somewhat, but I'm sure it could work. And under that pen name writers would actually feel relieved of considerable pressure that would come with continuing 007. I feel sure there are a lot of experienced possible candidates that would love the chance. If only they would not have to put their name on the cover (unless it's a raving success with readers and a modern day James Joyce decides to own up to his guilty pleasures).

As to the countdown, I seem to have had a major miscalculation when checking that out first time. Now it seems as it would stop midnight, or more precise, on the 28th of May, 00.00 hrs BST. Guess whatever's coming is coming then. Wouldn't do otherwise, would it? NASA also counts down and then it's IGNITION, not '3...2...1...ok, let's have a break and a kitkat and lift the bloody thing off in an hour or so'.

#66 zencat

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Posted 23 May 2010 - 08:41 PM

Here are a few guesses...

Wishful: John Gardner reprints

Realistic: New adult James Bond novel

Left Field: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang sequel

Following Righty's model...

Wishful: New Bond continuation novel(s).

Realistic: Some kind of Ian Fleming/James Bond tribute book. "Essays on Fleming", or some such.

Left Field: Young Bond without Charlie Higson. B)

#67 DAN LIGHTER

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Posted 23 May 2010 - 08:47 PM

I dont think its anything to do with youngbond. All clues point to Higson being in the dark also. Besides, Zencat would have tapped into him like a maple tree during their get together. No, It might be a new adult novel. Author and book title under wraps for sometime, probably for another month

#68 [dark]

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Posted 23 May 2010 - 09:20 PM

I wonder if I had been so critical of DMC, had it been published under pen name? The book wouldn't have been one iota better, but my expectations would have been considerably lower. We've been arguing here that Faulks name was such a massive publicity stunt and pushed sales beyond imagination, but did it really?

...

My point here is, sales figures of DMC mostly were so fantastical (I suppose they were, don't I?) because of the media hype, tinsel, PR stunts and all that jazz. And they would probably have been exactly the same, had the cover of DMC held an alias such as 'Robert Markham'.

I even wonder if the mystery about the author would not add considerably to the experience? I'd certainly never have guessed Faulks to be behind DMC.

Hmmm...interesting thoughts.

They could also reveal the author the day of publication. Keep the entire thing Top Secret until then. Almost like revealing a new Bond.

This was actually the plan with Devil May Care, but it obviously didn't work out that way.

#69 Righty007

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Posted 23 May 2010 - 09:23 PM

I wonder if I had been so critical of DMC, had it been published under pen name? The book wouldn't have been one iota better, but my expectations would have been considerably lower. We've been arguing here that Faulks name was such a massive publicity stunt and pushed sales beyond imagination, but did it really?

...

My point here is, sales figures of DMC mostly were so fantastical (I suppose they were, don't I?) because of the media hype, tinsel, PR stunts and all that jazz. And they would probably have been exactly the same, had the cover of DMC held an alias such as 'Robert Markham'.

I even wonder if the mystery about the author would not add considerably to the experience? I'd certainly never have guessed Faulks to be behind DMC.

They could also reveal the author the day of publication. Keep the entire thing Top Secret until then. Almost like revealing a new Bond.

It wouldn't exactly be like revealing a new Bond. Daniel Craig was announced in October 2005. MGM, Sony, and EON Productions then had a full 12 months to market and advertise Casino Royale to cinema goers before the film's release in November 2006.

In my opinion, if the author of a new Bond book were announced on the day the novel was published, the sales would be abysmal because few people want to buy a novel that's written by a mystery person. Pseudonyms are different because at least you have a name.

If PROJECT X is a new Bond novel, I think May 28th will be either the announcement of a "new book coming soon" or the revelation of the author and release date.

#70 marktmurphy

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Posted 23 May 2010 - 10:52 PM

My guess is that IFP noticed that Faulks one book sold more than all of Benson's and that it is in their best interest to sign a new writer every other year to put out a new Bond novel. They will push to having some of the bigger names in spy fiction (or some of the reknowned names in literature a la Faulks) to pen these one-off novels. That could be a project that attracts some new Bond fans by having popular authors penning the novels, and make IFP some nice profits. Just my two cents.


I dunno; I don't think they can pull off the stir that DMC caused many times- it was a one-off. I think they maybe surprised themselves with how successful it was though, so maybe they have another killer idea in the pipeline. They've certainly come up with some great successes recently. And The Moneypenny Diaries too B)

Wishful: New Bond continuation novel(s).

Realistic: Some kind of Ian Fleming/James Bond tribute book. "Essays on Fleming", or some such.


Well, I might be being a bit optimistic, but Fleming factual books come out all the time (although maybe not from IFP; I don't know); so it would seem weird to be trying to build up some anticipation about this one, if that's what they're doing.

#71 Jack Spang

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 02:30 AM

I'll be disappointed if Project X is a game, graphic novel, competition, e book of already published material or yet another book about the world of the literary or cinematic Bond (a tribute book). There are enough of the latter already.

Edited by Jack Spang, 24 May 2010 - 02:31 AM.


#72 zencat

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 05:47 PM

I dont think its anything to do with youngbond. All clues point to Higson being in the dark also. Besides, Zencat would have tapped into him like a maple tree during their get together.

Haha! I actually took him off the spot and told him I didn't want to know what it was. The anticipation is part of the fun. B)

#73 Zorin Industries

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 06:54 PM

It is a sequel to a Bond classic short story as written by Martin Amis, FROM A VIEW TWO A KILL.

#74 DAN LIGHTER

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 08:08 PM

I don't think its anything to do with youngbond. All clues point to Higson being in the dark also. Besides, Zencat would have tapped into him like a maple tree during their get together.

Haha! I actually took him off the spot and told him I didn't want to know what it was. The anticipation is part of the fun. :tdown:


True, the anticipation is all part of the fun.

I will be happy with something new on the fiction or fact front. Ill take what I am given. I will be up early to see what all the fuss is about thats for sure. I wont do it for lost but I will do it for Bond. B)

#75 Mister Asterix

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 04:18 AM


CBn asks the Young Bond author point blank about the secret project.


#76 Righty007

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 04:47 AM


CBn asks the Young Bond author point blank about the secret project.

Brilliant investigative journalism, Mr. Asterix. B)

While Mr. Higson didn't reveal much, the fact that PROJECT X could be one of two things is newsworthy. It made my mouth water even more.

The 28th can't come soon enough!

#77 Double-Oh Agent

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 08:23 AM

Thanks Mr. Asterix.

I was most intrigued that there are two Bond-related projects in development. My bet is that Project X is a code-name for a new Bond continuation story/collection of stories and the other project is a re-issue of the John Gardner novels in honor of the 30th anniversary of his first 007 adventure License Renewed.

#78 Trident

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 08:49 AM

Much as I love the idea of Gardner-reprints, I somehow doubt that this would run under the code 'Project X' and with a countdown. Not if it's 'just' reprints.

If it was a kind of 'annotated' edition, something mixed with new, original material, be that as fiction or as documentary, now that might be another thing altogether...

Still, I think it's something else.

#79 Double-Oh Agent

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 09:23 AM

To be clear, I don't think that the John Gardner reprints are Project X. I believe they are the second project IFP is developing. Project X is something completely different and I think it's a new Bond adventure.

#80 David Schofield

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 10:51 AM

IFP (in the voice of Dr Evil): "Right, Mr Higson. We have developed "Project X". Actually, it's two projects, just to confuse you. And to confuse us, we haven't decided which is going to be Project X, yet! (Nor have decided why we didn't call them Projects X and Y or A and B; I'm mean how do you friggin' file the details!) However, we will tell you what both projects are, but not which is which yet, just to destroy your mind!!! Think of all the agony you'll be in from those questions from those friggin fanboys!"

Mwwaa. Mwaaa. Mwaaa.

Charlie: "Righto!"

#81 Trident

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 10:58 AM

Ah sorry, got you wrong then. I just think 'mere' reprints are always an option, whenever IFP decides there's a market for them, as shows Benson's recent Union trilogy.

With a project I somehow always envision a greater effort. IFP (at the moment) having two irons in the fire, as Higson told Mr Asterix, to me sounds like something we've not yet had before. Reprints would just be the icing on the cake for IFP.

#82 marktmurphy

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 12:43 PM

If it was a kind of 'annotated' edition, something mixed with new, original material, be that as fiction or as documentary, now that might be another thing altogether...

Still, I think it's something else.


Oh that's a good thought: yes they do that with Holmes, don't they? I don't think that's what this is, but it could perhaps be a good idea for them. It'd be nice to print a Fleming with annotations from various experts at relevant parts of the text and with the occasional illustration: examples of the various products Fleming mentions etc.


I wonder why IFP are doing this? The countdown I mean, it's not really hugely publicised- not many Bond fans have heard about it I'd reckon (and we've only made three pages here so far!) and if it isn't a new original novel (and I have a feeling it won't be) then those who have been following it will end up disappointed. Maybe it's something better...


Here's a pie in the sky idea: they could continue the audio adaptation series starring Toby Stephens and release them as a series on CD.

#83 Trident

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 12:53 PM

Oh, I'm not sure IFP isn't very, very clever with this countdown-thingy. Remember, DMC and Young Bond have been announced considerable time in advance. What we may get next Friday is most likely another announcement with the actual egg to be laid still looking for it's hen, i.e. possibly another year or longer for 'Project X' hitting the light of day. Feeding us and the general media scraps of information on whatever X happens to be every other month or so can doublessly lead to some hype (although perhaps not the anniversary kind of media-blitz they pulled with DMC).

I suppose/hope/beg/pray it won't just be a Christmas-cracker...


EDIT

Unlikely left-field idea (possibly so outrageously bad I get kicked for it): lit-Bond rebooted for the 21st century?

#84 Zorin Industries

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 01:09 PM

It's a BAMBI AND THUMPER Pop Up Book. I've seen the proofs...

#85 Trident

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 01:15 PM

It's a BAMBI AND THUMPER Pop Up Book. I've seen the proofs...



JACKPOT!

So it is lit-Bond rebooted for the 21st century... B)

#86 marktmurphy

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 01:21 PM

Unlikely left-field idea (possibly so outrageously bad I get kicked for it): lit-Bond rebooted for the 21st century?


Dunno; if there's one thing that has been successful for them it's ditching the 'Bond in the 90's' idea: all of their recent successes have had Bond in period. I'd be surprised if they want to change that now.

Could be anything. I almost wonder if it isn't some sort of web project.

#87 Trident

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 01:33 PM

Unlikely left-field idea (possibly so outrageously bad I get kicked for it): lit-Bond rebooted for the 21st century?


Dunno; if there's one thing that has been successful for them it's ditching the 'Bond in the 90's' idea: all of their recent successes have had Bond in period. I'd be surprised if they want to change that now.



But that Bond in the 90's mostly ran under the pretence to be the same person that walked around in the 50's/60's. I wonder if that wasn't more of an obstacle to the continuations than one would suspect at first sight?

I won't say it's a particularly good idea, just an idea, plain and simple. It's potential would largely depend upon the execution.



Could be anything. I almost wonder if it isn't some sort of web project.


Possible, but the one thing the web needs most is content and I would have thought if IFP has the material they'd rather earn money with it in print. But who knows?

#88 zencat

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 02:54 PM


CBn asks the Young Bond author point blank about the secret project.

Fantastic article, Mr Asterix! B)

#89 zencat

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 03:01 PM

If it was a kind of 'annotated' edition, something mixed with new, original material, be that as fiction or as documentary, now that might be another thing altogether...

Still, I think it's something else.


Oh that's a good thought: yes they do that with Holmes, don't they? I don't think that's what this is, but it could perhaps be a good idea for them. It'd be nice to print a Fleming with annotations from various experts at relevant parts of the text and with the occasional illustration: examples of the various products Fleming mentions etc.

Wow, never thought about this. It's a darn good idea.

#90 Trident

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 03:43 PM

If it was a kind of 'annotated' edition, something mixed with new, original material, be that as fiction or as documentary, now that might be another thing altogether...

Still, I think it's something else.


Oh that's a good thought: yes they do that with Holmes, don't they? I don't think that's what this is, but it could perhaps be a good idea for them. It'd be nice to print a Fleming with annotations from various experts at relevant parts of the text and with the occasional illustration: examples of the various products Fleming mentions etc.

Wow, never thought about this. It's a darn good idea.


In Germany the 1950's adventures of Leo Malet's hard boiled PI Nestor Burma ('New Mysteries of Paris') were printed in the late 80's/early 90's. Each book was set in a different Paris' arrondissement, tapping heavily on the different settings and locales of this city.

Naturally, by the time these saw print in German many parts of the city underwent changes, sometimes drastic ones. So the way to publish these books was to add to each an article on the respective arrondissement, coupled with b/w photographs of the scenery, so you got an idea in which gutter Burma got his skull nearly bashed in.

I could imagine similar appendages for a future edition of the canon, as so many of the settings for Fleming's books also have changed drastically (or haven't ever been real in the first place, such as Royale-les-Eaux or the Royal St. Marks golf club).




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