For Queen and Country
a James Bond anthology
A collection of short stories in which 007 James Bond and his allies face the greatest threats to Britain since the end of World War 2.
M, Moneypenny, Q-Branch, the Chief of Staff... every branch of the Secret Service is needed as the country comes under attack.
The missions take James Bond across the word, but the greatest threat must ultimately be faced at home as 007 risks everything for Queen and Country.
For Queen and Country is an unofficial Bond anthology and was published in Canada where Bond is a public domain character in 2020.
No Good Deed
First and Last
A Confession of Pain
Sins of the Father
The Enemy Within
Never Look Back
Queen and Country
The roots of this anthology go back to when I was writing a short story for the Licence Expired anthology. I had three stories in mind, all of which I liked, but the one I submitted, A Dirty Business, was the one which I felt best suited the brief for the book.
One of the others, To Kill the King, became the first chapter of FireWalker. The third, The Enemy Within, I liked because it brought to the fore so many of Bond's failings while still leaving him as the character we know and love.
As it goes, I think Bond works very well in the short story format. Two of my favourite Bond stories are The Living Daylights and Quantum of Solace. The first is fascinating for looking at Bond the killer, and the other is Fleming in Somerset Maugham mode. It's a story of cruelty and unkindness within a relationship, rather than an action adventure story, and it's utterly compelling. I quite liked the idea of writing some Bond shorts, which would let me deal with the interesting parts of his character - and also get some action on the go. They're all loosely themes around betrayal, which is perhaps not surprising given that Bond deals in espionage.
Ian Fleming's original Bond is a mass of flaws. He's a sexist, a snob, a borderline racist, addicted to tobacco and verging on being a functioning alcoholic. And yet he's the hero. Writing a hero with all those flaws is interesting. Keeping him as the hero while sticking with all these flaws is a challenge.
THE COMING OF THE QUEEN
THE OMEGA FACTOR
THE LAST PHARAOH
THE HEART OF FRANKENSTEIN
EYES TO DIE FOR