The first James Bond on film is a forgettable character, from a time when the US wasn't so sure about Ian Fleming's first story, Casino Royale, and US publishers went to so far as to re-title the story to try and increase sales. In fact, the 1954 hour-long live teleplay was largely forgotten, lost until the 1970s when it was re-discovered at a flea market. "Card Sense" Jimmy Bond was portrayed as an American, played by Barry Nelson, who didn't know much about the character. The rights for the story was picked up inexpensively, produced as one of many stories in the Climax! anthology program. You can watch it online, and compare this 1954 production against the two other film versions of Casino Royale, the 1967 spy-spoof that came out just before the fifth serious Bond spy film, and the 2006 "canonical" version from EON Productions, the makers of the Official Bond movies.
There are a ton of free sources of Golden Age comics (Comic Books Plus, Digital Comic Museum, Fury Comics, and more scans on Archive.org, to name some of the major sources), but Certified Guaranty Company (CGC) has recently posted a very significant issue in near pristine condition: Action Comics #1, with the first appearances of Superman, Louis Lane and Zatara, which was recently auctioned off for a record-breaking $3,207,852 USD. [more inside]
As England was fighting for its life against the Nazis, the British government sent its most charming spies — including Roald Dahl, Ian Fleming, Noël Coward and David Ogilvy — to America to blackmail, bully and cajol the U.S. into the war effort. [They were part of a] British spy ring that operated in Washington, D.C., during World War II.
What If Other Authors Had Written The Lord Of The Rings?...Wilde, Wodehouse, and more.
Rene Fleming pulls a reverse-Sting and enters a "parallel universe" of sound. Brings up interesting issues in the different ways people in the pop and classical realm define the "natural" vocie, as well acknowledges that in our completely shattered, niche market this cross-over record has no more or less validity then any other album being released today.
Pickering and the Female Computers. In 1881, Edward Pickering, the director of the Harvard College Observatory, became so impatient with a male lab assistant’s work that he famously declared his maid could do a better job. Rather than take offense, his 24-year-old maid, Williamina Fleming, instead took him up on the offer. She ended up working at the Observatory for the next 30 years, supervising the tedious work of cataloging photographic plates, but also discovering variable stars and novae, helping to develop a classification system—and, perhaps even more importantly, hiring nearly 40 female assistants, many of whom went on to have distinguished scientific careers. [more inside]
Sebastian Faulks' Devil May Care sees the return of the literary James Bond to the 1960s. Published on May 28th in celebration of creator Ian Fleming's Centenary, the 007 brand name will also be back on the big screen in November - with Daniel Craig's second outing as the British Secret Service Agent in Quantum of Solace. [more inside]