Scroll down to see my Top Ten Countdown of favorite topics from last year. You'll find old friends like James Bond, Diabolik, The Beatles, Spy Vibe collectors, Ian Fleming scholars, a Playboy Bunny, industrial designers, and the master of the macabre mystery-adventure comic!
By the way, if you would like to support Spy Vibe in other ways, please consider making a small donation through our Paypal tip link. The costs of maintaining the domain name, URL forwarding, and mailing costs have put the squeeze on me! Any help you can manage will be greatly appreciated. Now, here are the prizes (book descriptions from Amazon unless stated otherwise).
New Prizes just added!
Prize subject #7: "SAINT". The Saint Sees it Though by Leslie Charteris. Early 1960s pb edition with Roger Moore cover. good reading copy. The final full-length Saint novel to be solely written by Charteris, the Saint investigates Opium smuggling by a syndicate in New York.
Prize subject #8: "UFO". UFO 2 Sporting Blood. excellent 1971 pb edition. The second novel based on Gerry Anderson's live-action Sci-Spy classic.
Prize subject #1: "SMUGGLERS". The Diamond Smugglers by Ian Fleming. 1964 1st US pb edition. clean reading copy. crease and lean on spine. Ian Fleming’s world travels, interests, as well as his journalism and wartime experiences, lent authority to everything he wrote. Originally published in 1957, this edition restores the original observations, photos, maps, and language used at that time. In 1957, as the Cold War raged, Ian Fleming took a respite from writing James Bond to craft a work of nonfiction every bit as tense as a Bond adventure. Aided by an ex-MI5 agent and International Diamond Security Organization operative going by the alias “John Blaize,” Fleming chronicled the IDSO’s infiltration of the “million-carat network”—the world’s most notorious diamond smuggling ring. Every year, a shadowy band of racketeers pirated a fortune in diamonds out of Africa, and the majority of the stolen gems wound up in the hands of Communist nations. In response, the IDSO commissioned a private army, led by legendary British spymaster Sir Percy Sillitoe, to penetrate and topple the ring. And when the operation was complete, the Sunday Times gave the story to Fleming, who had impressed Sillitoe with his 1956 Bond adventure Diamonds Are Forever. A remarkable feat of investigative journalism, The Diamond Smugglers is the thrilling true story behind one of the greatest spy operations in history.
Prize subject #2: "SUN". Colonel Sun 1969 pb edition. nice reading copy. creases to spine and cover. British novelist Kingsley Amis picks up where legendary author Ian Fleming left off with this Bond novel of political conspiracy, elegant espionage, international intrigue, and, of course, beautiful alliances. 007 must rescue the kidnapped M and save the Free World from evil Colonel Sun Liang-tan of the People's Liberation Army of China. After Ian Fleming's death in 1964, Glidrose Publishing decided to continue the Bond franchise with a series of well-known authors each writing a book under the pen-name Robert Markham, but only Kingsley Amis took up the offer and in 1968 Colonel Sun was published.
Prize subject #3: "INFERNO". Doctor Who Inferno. 1984 1st edition Target Books. excellent. In this exciting Doctor Who novelization, published by Target in England, the Doctor is trapped in a parallel world, unable to act as the Earth is threatened by a poisonous liquid leaking from top-secret drilling project Inferno. Story stars Pertwee's Doctor and the members of UNIT.
Prize subject #4: "HONEY". This Girl For Hire 2005 pb edition. very fine. Honey West is the nerviest, curviest P.I. in Los Angeles-or anywhere else for that matter. She's a cross between James Bond and The Avengers' Emma Peel-a girl detective with the sleuthmanship of Mike Hammer and the measurements of Marilyn Monroe. This Girl for Hire is the first in a series of darkly funny and innuendo-laden crime novels originally published in the 1950s and 1960s. In this one, Honey finds herself playing strip poker with four murder suspects...and a deck that's as stacked as she is!
Prize subject #5: "007". 007 James Bond A Report. 1965 1st US pb edition. very fine. Description from James Bond First Editions: "A more serious critique on the life and times of suave secret agent James Bond, which, unlike Kingsley Amis' 'The James Bond Dossier', was not a particularly commercial book when released and is now a rather elusive piece of Bondiana."
Prize subject #6: "TINKER". I saw an Academy Members' sneak preview of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. The director and Gary Oldman were there for a Q&A afterwards, and it was interesting to hear their perspective on making this new film based on John Le Carre's classic novel. One amusing anecdote was that Oldman deliberated at length over which glasses to use for the role. He narrowed down his search once he found a vintage eyeglass specialist in Pasadena. So much of the film deals with his character's ability to make observations and to analyze the minutia- without projecting his own interior thoughts and emotions. In a film where visibility becomes theme, there are some beautifully shot moments that use the transparent and reflective nature of eyeglasses to echo what is happening in the narrative. The prize is this very cool large fold-out brochure about the story, the characters, and vocab from the world of espionage! Images below show the cover and two (of three) pages.