I think it's often been stated by the contemporaries that Ann Fleming wasn't too eager to see continuations at all, was particularly sceptical about Amis and apparently downright hated his effort.
I agree that it would seem indeed far more feasible and professional for Glidrose to have a number of candidates to choose from. But it would also seem the term 'professional' wasn't as such a category that governed all of Glidrose's decisions in the way a modern publisher can be expected to.
Now 'list', that could in the context of Glidrose A.D. 1964 probably mean numerous things, from an actual list to a conversation during dinner along the lines of:
B: "Nice fellow, met him last May."
C: "No, definitely not Francis. Can't stand horses. He'd have Bond digging horse manure. How 'bout Deighton?"
D: "Too intellectual. I'd favour Leasor."
A: "Laser? Who's that?"
D: "L E A S O R! Guy who wrote that book, 'Passport to somethingorother', quite amusing, seems to like what Ian did. I could ask him."
A: "One book? Isn't that a bit early?"
C: "I say go with Amis."
D: "That communist? Never! I'll have nothing of it!"
B: "Oh, he isn't a communist."
A: "He didn't vote for the Tories last time, that's for sure."
B: "What about John Gardner?"
C: "An American? What are you thinking?"
B: "I'm talking about our John Gardner! Who wrote those Boysie Oakes stories."
A: "Ah, yes. I've read one of those. 'twas fun."
D: "Can't we just leave that unsavourily topic until we've finished the meal? I don't like the idea at all!"
C: "What do you say to Pearson?"
D: "Never! Have you read that book of his? About Ian? And all those things he wrote about me! Never! I'd rather have Barbara Cartland write a Bond novel than this Pearson!"
B: "Now that's an idea..."
A: "There's this Higgins..."
B: "Forget him, he's working on a book of his own, something 'bout eagles. Probably left thrillers behind for good. Can't say I blame him, difficult business all that sex and death and spirits."
C: "What about O'Donnell?"
A: "Already asked him last Friday, says he's too busy with his own work."
C: "I'd still go with Amis..."
It would be a kind of list in a somewhat informal manner. And if such conversations take place long enough there's bound to be a leak somewhere that would give a third party the impression there is a lot of activity behind the curtains which in turn could lead to stories about an actual list where there had only been a bit of chatter.
Edited by Dustin, 16 December 2011 - 09:17 PM.