James Bond Tradecraft

You Know My Name: Was James Bond Really A Spy?

James Bond will never have a reputation in the intelligence or spy writer community as being a great spy. He was a secret agent with a license to kill, should he need to use it. This is not to say that Bond does not do any intelligence gathering or was not skilled in counter-intelligence. But…

Dr. Notes – The Music of Fleming’s Bond

Article by F. L. Toth Among Bond and Fleming aficionados, it is almost as much fun to cluck our tongues affectionately at his mistakes as to delight in what Fleming does right. Fleming creates sumptuous feasts, but, some say, the author really didn’t know food all that well. His product placement is riddled with incorrectly…

Jacques-Louis David portrait of Juliette Recamier

The Art of the Matter

Article by F. L. Toth Ian Fleming was often criticized, sometimes rightly, for getting the facts wrong about the things for which he is best known, such as fine food, guns, wine, and bath products of all things. He seems, in fact, to have been the most annoying of dilettantes: the man who learns just…

Surveying the Bond Competition: Part 2

Article by Mike Ripley. If the release of the film Dr No in 1962 triggered an almost instant boom in British spy and thriller fiction and a positive tsunami of new authors, the same cannot be said of the publication of Casino Royale which gave birth to the Bond legend in 1953. New Arrivals, 1953…

Six to Four Against – The Spy Who Loved Me

Article by Frieda Toth “. . . Bond’s refined tastes and effortless embrace of the high life form an important aspect of his image.”  JFK and the Masculine Mystique: Sex and Power on the New Frontier In 1962, Ian’s masterpiece came out. The Spy Who Loved Me was everything he had striven for, and he’d jettisoned everything tiresome. …

Ian Fleming’s Literary Legacy – The Spy Fantasy

Article by David Craggs In October 2016, this sexagenarian espionage aficionado waxed lyrical about Fleming’s legacy and the door he opened for realistic spy fiction. A literary furrow that was initially plowed with great aplomb by Len Deighton and Le Carre and which has been studiously followed ever since. Although Fleming can be credited for…

Torao Saito mid 1950s

Who was the real Tiger Tanaka?

Article by Graham M. Thomas The dedication in You Only Live Twice reads, ‘TO Richard Hughes and Torao Saito BUT FOR WHOM ETC…. Richard Hughes and Torao ‘Tiger’ Saito were two friends of Fleming’s. Both were journalists, both had accompanied Fleming on his travels through Japan, and both had now been metamorphosed into characters in…

James Bond: Last of the Clubland Heroes?

Article by David Salter In 1953 “Clubland Heroes”, by Richard Usborne was published. This seminal work  – “A nostalgic study of some of the recurrent characters in the romantic fiction of Dornford Yates, John Buchan and Sapper” – has become the go-to reference work for anyone interested in English thrillers of the immediate pre First…

James Bond vs. the USSR

Article by Michael Connick There is no doubt that government officials of the Soviet Union, and especially those in the KGB, viewed Ian Fleming’s James Bond stories as dangerous anti-Soviet propaganda. Both the books and films were banned in the Soviet Union. Komsomolskaya Pravda, the official newspaper of the All-Union Leninist Young Communist League, blasted…

Walther PPK chambered in .32 ACP

The Weapons of Literary James Bond

Article by Michael Connick Firearms and weapons tactics are something of specialty for me, so I have great interest in the weapons used by James Bond. Accordingly, I decided to write this article discussing the various firearms used by Bond in the Fleming novels. If this is well received, I might do the same for…

FRWL & Ipcress File

Ian Fleming’s Literary Legacy: The Anti-Bond

Article by David Craggs. As a sexagenarian espionage aficionado who had first-hand experience of the 1960s, this particular ‘Field Agent’ has long been as obsessed with the literary phenomena brought about by ‘Bond Mania’. As with most things ‘60s, you had to have been there to appreciate it. The absolute tsunami of literary spies that…