Started re-reading Nobody Lives Forever last night.
I so love these books. I enjoyed them as new Bond adventures back in the day, but now they have the extra punch of being '80s nostalgia, and also hugely nostalgic for me personally. I can remember when and where I got every book, and exactly where I was in my life at that time. They deliver for me on so many levels now. Wonderful things, these books.
Hmmm, well, there is *something* to be said for the nostalgia factor. I wonder if the new crop of Bond fans will look at the Gardner offerings the same way I (and maybe you) looked at the Fleming novels (as time-period curiosities). Because I lived through the 80's the period doesn't feel as remote or foreign to me as, perhaps, the 50's and the 60's do (I wasn't alive in either decade), so my perspective on Gardner's novels is definitely different. Bond's world in Gardner's novels is also much different than the world Bond live in during the 50's; seems like, for the most part, the women in Gardner's novels are much more integral to the plots and on equal footing than a lot of the Fleming Bond Girls. Clearly modern feminism had worked its way into Gardner's novels (which isn't necessarily a bad thing).
You know, it's really great you have those memories of the books that you can hold on to. The new generation of Bond fans will never have that; never, ever, ever. They'll never know the thrill of being 12 or 13 years old and coming home from prep school and finding a copy of 007 Magazine or Bondage in your mail. They'll never know how it feels to hold a freshly printed, signed copy of a new Bond thriller (Raymond kindly sent me a signed copy of THE FACTS OF DEATH before a major surgery I had back in 1998), or rummage through a musky, used book store looking for older, hard-to-find copies of the novels. The kids these days will (if they bother at all to read 007) download all the novels onto their E-reader or Kindle (not that there's anything wrong with that).
Agree with the sentiments of both of you 100%, gentlemen.