Sunday 26 July 2015

James Bond, eh? 007 Is Out Of Copyright In Canada, And What That Means

Here's an interesting one. In Canada, copyright in a book expires just 50 years after the author's death. Ian Fleming died in 1964. So, as of January 1st 2015, the James Bond books entered the public domain in Canada.

So, if you want to publish your own editions of Fleming's novels, go right ahead. If you want to publish your own Bond stories, feel free. (They have to be based on the Fleming books only mind, you can't include anything created for the films, so Blofeld can't have a white pussy, for example.) And if you want to put on a stage adaptation of Casino Royale, as a mate of mine in Victoria is actually doing next month, the Ian Fleming Estate can't stop you. But only if it's in Canada (or one of the other countries where the term is 50 years). The minute whatever you're doing is available outside those territories, in the UK or Europe for example, where the term is 70 years, or the USA, where it's 95, you can expect some serious Cease and Desisting.

Quite what the Estate will make of the book pictured above, surely just the first of many new 'James Bond, eh?' titles, being advertised on, a website visible to people outside Canada, who can (presumably) also order it, remains to be seen...

The publisher ChiZine says:

An anthology of collected stories from various Canadian authors, based on Ian Fleming's fourteen published Bond novels, edited by Canadian genre authors Madeline Ashby and David Nickle. To be published in Canada only.

'Published' in Canada only: fair enough. It's not listed on or But will ship copies outside Canada? And even if they won't, if I get my mate to send me a copy, will it be seized by customs?

There's also these fan fiction novels by Mike Sparks. I wonder if the Fleming Estate Powers That Be have had a quiet word about not shipping copies outside the country?

In the meantime, any Canadians who fancy getting all 14 Fleming Bond books on their Kindle can now do so, for very little outlay.

The first Bond novel was re-titled for this first US paperback edition.
Moonraker became 'Too Hot to Handle'!

Tuesday 21 July 2015

The Perfect Double Bill? Withnail and An American Werewolf At Somerset House

"You’ll be thankful to be spending a night on the town after this double-bill reveals the dangers of the countryside" says the blurb advertising this upcoming outdoor screening at Somerset House in London on August 8th. Annoyingly it's already sold out, though Londoners in the area on the day might want to check for returns.

An American Werewolf in London makes a great double bill partner for Withnail in my humble opinion. They complement each other beautifully, to the extent that if, when our thespian heroes stumbled into The Crow, a young Rik Mayall looked up from his chess game in the corner, you wouldn't be the least bit surprised...

Sunday 12 July 2015

B.A.P.: The Penrith Swimming Club Jubilee Souvenir 1881-1931

It's been a while since we've had a B.A.P. (Books About Penrith) entry on this blog, so here's a look at an extremely rare, possibly even unique (I can't find another copy anywhere) survivor from 1931: a locally printed, rather grand booklet celebrating the Golden Jubilee of The Penrith Swimming Club, an institution justifiably proud of its then-status as the biggest swimming club in the British Isles. While it may not be able to claim that any longer, it looks like the club is still going: its website is here.

There are some wonderful vintage swimming costumes on display, plus a couple of rather nicely done 'decorations' (above and bottom) by an unnamed artist.

UPDATE: This has now gone to its new owner, which I'm glad to say is... the Penrith Swimming Club.

Sunday 5 July 2015

These 1960s British 'Battle' Trading Cards Make 'Mars Attacks' Look Tame

One of the Little Shop's current eBay auctions is for a complete set of  World War 2 'Battle' bubblegum cards, produced in Britain in 1966 by A&BC. Considering they were aimed at kids, they're horrifyingly violent, especially given their age. They're the sort of vision of the war that the comics Victor and indeed Battle (no relation) presented to their hungry young readers, but turned up to 11. They are also quite evidently inspired in some cases by Topps' 'Mars Attacks' cards from 1962 (in my opinion).

If I'd been collecting these when I was 8, I would have thought they were *brilliant*.

Below is a selection of the 73 cards, including the four which were apparently 'banned' and withdrawn from circulation: 'Confession By Force', 'Death Blow', 'Fiery Death' (compare this with the Mars Attacks card 'Destroying a Dog') and 'The Torture Chamber'. Mind you, that doesn't mean that the others aren't pretty full-on. Check out 'School Bombing'!