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Unauthorized collection of James Bond stories to publish in Canada

21-Jan-2015 • Literary

The literary character of James Bond is now out of copyright in Canada and a few other countries (not the USA or UK) as it has been 50 years since the passing of his creator Ian Fleming. This expiry in the character's copyright potentially opens up the possibility of new, original, works based on the character outside of the official Ian Fleming estate. (Note: this does not apply to the movies).

David Nickle and Madeline Ashby have announced they will team up to edit "License Expired," an anthology of unauthorized 007 stories for the Canadian press Chizine.

Independent Toronto publisher ChiZine Publications announces they will be publishing a new anthology of short stories featuring James Bond now that Ian Fleming’s work has entered the public domain in Canada. The anthology, titled Licence Expired: The Unauthorized James Bond, will be edited by Toronto authors Madeline Ashby (vN, iD; Company Town) and David Nickle (Knife Fight and Other Struggles,The ’Geisters, Eutopia).

“We want to feature original, transformative stories set in the world of Secret Agent 007,” says Nickle. “We're hoping our contributors will combine the guilty-pleasure excitement of the vintage Fleming experience with a modern critique of it.”

“This is an opportunity to comment on the Bond universe from within it,” adds Ashby. “We're specifically looking for writers and stories that would make Fleming roll in his grave.”

Since only Fleming’s Bond novels have entered the public domain, the stories won't reference the films, subsequent novels written by others, or any media tie-ins. However, within Fleming’s works are well-known villains Rosa Klebb, Oddjob, Dr. No, SMERSH, Ernst Stavro Blofeld and SPECTRE. Familiar allies include Moneypenny, Honey Rider, Pussy Galore, Felix Leiter and Quarrel. The story authors will be able to call on any of these characters and organizations along with the many others that have appeared in Fleming’s stories.

Authors who have confirmed their appearance in Licence Expired include:
Tony Burgess
Corey Redekop
Robert J. Wiersema
Laird Barron
Nathan Ballingrud
Kelly Robson
A.M. Dellamonica
Ian Rogers

Licence Expired is scheduled to be published in November 2015.

The creators may be launching a Kickstarter campaign to fund the publication, but as Kickstarter is based in the US, the copyright issue and the long-arm of US attorneys may be more complicated than the authors first thought.

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