After Colonel Sun (1968) by Kingsley Amis, John Gardner was the next writer to be asked by Glidrose (now IFPL) to write further adventures of James Bond. He wrote, like Fleming, fourteen Bond books, plus novelisations of the films GoldenEye and Licence to Kill, from 1981 to 1996.
Before becoming an author of fiction in the early 1960s John Gardner was variously a stage magician, a Royal Marine officer, a journalist and, for a short time, a priest in the Church of England. ‘Probably the biggest mistake I ever made,’ he says. ‘I confused the desire to please my father with a vocation which I soon found I did not have.'
In all, Gardner had fifty-five novels to his credit – many of them best-sellers (his Maestro was a New York Times Book of the Year). Sadly John Gardner died on Friday 3rd August 2007. John was a highly respected and admired member of the Bond family and he will be greatly missed.
The Orion Publishing group re-released Gardner's first five James Bond titles, Licence Renewed, For Special Services, Icebreaker, Nobody Lives Forever and Role of Honourin a glorious hardback edition, featuring their original cover art in the summer of 2011. All fourteen of the Gardner titles will be released during 2012 starting in February, with his two film tie-in books GoldenEye and Licence to Kill scheduled for publication in November and August respectively. All his Bond titles are also available in the States from Pegasus Books.
For more information about John Gardner and his non-Bond works, visit his own website here.