Actor Daniel Craig in a scene from Casino Royale

London: “M laid down his pipe and stared at it tetchily. ‘We have no choice. We’re just going to bring forward this other chap you’ve been preparing. But you didn’t tell me his name.’ ‘It’s Bond, sir,’ the Chief of Staff replied. ‘James Bond.'”

Ian Fleming devotees will not recognise this scene. That’s because the author, who died in 1964, didn’t write it.

It’s the opening of a new James Bond novel, written by Anthony Horowitz, which offers a prequel to Fleming’s first Bond adventure, Casino Royale. The title, which remained a secret until the publishers, Jonathan Cape, and Horowitz posted it on Twitter on Thursday, is appropriately Bondesque: Forever and a Day.

This is Horowitz’s second venture, authorised by the Fleming estate, into 007 terrain; his first Bond novel, Trigger Mortis, was published by Jonathan Cape (Fleming’s original publishers) in 2015 to approving reviews.

Both books make use of treatments that Fleming wrote for an American television series that was never made. In an interview with The New York Times in 2015, Horowitz said that it was inspiring and exciting to have access to writings by Fleming that almost no one had seen. “James Bond is one of those things identified with this country,” he said.

Anthony Horowitz who has written the new Bond novel, Forever and a Day.

In a statement, Horowitz said that Forever and a Day, which will be published in Britain on May 31, explores “what might have been Bond’s first mission”, and imagines “some of the forces that might have turned him into the iconic figure that the whole world knows.”

Fleming might have been surprised.

Before Casino Royale was published in 1953, the author wrote to his publishers, saying “my own feeling is that the life of a book of this sort is not that long”.

The author’s nephew, Fergus Fleming, said that Forever and a Day was “in the best tradition of Ian Fleming”, while Jonathan Cape’s Michal Shavit said it would “introduce Bond to a whole new generation of readers with the extraordinary story of how he got his licence to kill”.

Fleming wrote 14 Bond novels, starting with Casino Royale in 1953 and ending with Octopussy and The Living Daylights in 1966.

New York Times News Service

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