James Bond said he'd return!
But we'll be seeing him in print before Daniel Craig next dons the tux onscreen. Publishing company Jonathan Cape, Ian Fleming's original publisher of the 007 stories, announced on April 15 that William Boyd will be writing the next James Bond novel, simply titled Solo. It'll be released in the U.K. in hardcover this September 26, with a U.S. release to follow.
At the London Book Fair, Boyd shared some details about Solo, which will be set in 1969 and serve as a follow-up to Jeffrey Deaver's Carte Blanche (2011) and Sebastian Faulks' Devil May Care (2008), which rebooted the Bond novels to take place immediately after where the Fleming books left off in the mid-'60s. Boyd said, "In my novel, events conspire to make Bond go off on a self-appointed mission of his own, unannounced and without any authorization — and he's fully prepared to take the consequences of his audacity." Hence the title!
Now, that description may sound a bit familiar if you're a fan of the movies. Though Bond never really went rogue in the '60s or '70s — Sean Connery and Roger Moore's Bonds pretty much tow the government line — this sounds quite a bit like 1989's Licence to Kill (note the British spelling, licence), in which Timothy Dalton's Bond defies MI6 to hunt down the banana republic drug lord who fed his friend Felix Leiter to a shark. It was even originally going to be called Licence Revoked. A solo 007 vendetta was also the theme of 2008's Quantum of Solace, with Daniel Craig's Bond gunning for the baddies who killed his doomed lover Vesper Lynd. Hopefully, Boyd's novel will be a little more original than its logline.
One thing Solo has going for it: Boyd's affinity for Africa, having grown up in Nigeria. He plans to take 007 to Africa and says that "it's what happens to Bond [there] that generates his urge to 'go solo' and take matters into his own hands in the USA."
Will you take a trip back to 1969 and reading Solo when it comes out in September?
Follow Christian Blauvelt on Twitter @Ctblauvelt