SpyCast 3.26.24
Ep 626 | 3.26.24

“Bond After Fleming, the Continuation of an Icon” – with Mark Edlitz

Show Notes


Mark Edlitz (X, LinkedIn) joins Andrew (XLinkedIn) to discuss how James Bond lived on in literature after the death of Ian Fleming. Mark is an author and pop culture expert. 

What You’ll Learn


  • The original Fleming novels
  • Intellectual property and author’s rights to iconic characters
  • The evolution of Bond as a literary character 
  • The relationship between the Bond books and the Bond movies


  • Can icons ever truly die?
  • Just how malleable are our favorite characters?

And much, much more …

Episode Notes

This week on SpyCast, Andrew was joined by Mark Edlitz, author of the new book James Bond After Fleming: The Continuation Novels. The world of James Bond has been widely studied by scholars across academic fields – from intelligence journals to pop culture magazines, 007 has held a consistent presence since his inception in the 1960s. Ambitiously, this week’s guest set out to say something new about the Bond franchise and landed on the little-discussed yet absolutely fascinating story of the James Bond continuation novels.

Ian Fleming’s classic original novels and collections of short stories only account for 14 of the now over 60 Bond books, so what happened to James Bond after his original creator died in 1964, and how did new authors pick up Fleming’s torch and carry Bond through the 21st century? Tune in to find out. 


If you’re like Mark and have seen most (if not all) of the Bond movies and have read your fair share of 007 books, you'll want to take a visit to the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C. to see our brand-new exhibit, Bond in Motion. Featuring 17 vehicles from the franchise, this exhibit will take you right behind the wheel of some of the most iconic pieces from the world of Bond. You don’t want to miss it!

Quotes of the Week

“One of the things that the family insists on, they expect all the continuation authors to go back and read Fleming before they start writing the new thing. They frequently send them a box set of all the Fleming James Bond novels …The continuation novels do not reference each other for the most part. Sometimes you'll see a sly reference … But as a real practical matter, these are all discrete works and the cannons do not overlap.” – Mark Edlitz.



*Spotlight Resource*

  • James Bond After Fleming: The Continuation Novels, Mark Edlitz (2023)


*Beginner Resources*



  • Bond, James Bond: Exploring the Shaken and Stirred History of Ian Fleming’s 007, B. Gilmore & M. Kalinowski (Mango, 2022)
  • The Many Lives of James Bond: How the Creators of 007 Have Decoded the Superspy, M. Edlitz (Lyons Press, 2019)
  • James Bond: The Evolution of the World's Most Famous Spy, A. Geiger (CompanionHouse Books, 2016) 



Primary Sources 

*Wildcard Resource*

  • James Bond is a fantastically well-known character, but he is not technically in the public domain. Characters that do exist in the public domain include Count Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster, Sherlock Holmes, and Robin Hood. 
  • Studying the origins of these characters is fascinating. Take Robin Hood, for example – The first written mention of the heroic outlaw comes from the poem “The Vision of Piers Plowman” by William Langland, written in 1380. That’s 593 years before Disney’s classic adaptation of the story!