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Fan Phenomena: James Bond explores the devoted fanbase that has helped make Bond what he is, offering a serious but wholly accessible on the many different ways that fans have approached, appreciated, and appropriated Bond over the sixty years of his existence from the pages of Ian Fleming’s novels to the screen. Including analyses of Bond as a lifestyle icon, the Bond brand, Bond-inspired fan works, and the many versions of 007, the book reveals a fan culture that is vibrant, powerfully engaged, and richly aware of the history and complexity of the character of Bond and what he represents
Dear James Bond Gunnar Schäfer
I am writing to you in relation to an exciting new book I am working on about James Bond, titled Fan Phenomena: James Bond, for Intellect Press.
This title will be part of the latest series of Fan Phenomena books, which aim to explore and decode the fascination we have with what constitutes an iconic or cultish phenomenon and how a particular person, TV show or film fits into the public consciousness.
It's worth saying that the edited collection will aim for an accessible tone (and visual appeal) and provide an entertaining, informative and jargon free guide, and also engage with the actual community of fans that it discusses.
I was very interested in your site about your James Bond museum, and I would love to conduct a short interview with you for the book with a view to perhaps using you as one of the select 'Fan Appreciation' case study interviewees.
I promise that I would not take up to much of your time, and we could agree any time and method of communication that suited you, including a short email interview, which others have agreed to.
If it is something you would consider then it would be great to hear from you and I could send you more information on the project. I am a senior lecturer at Southampton Solent University in the UK, a Bond scholar and fan myself! I am pleased to say that Raymond Benson has already agreed to a short email interview with me.
I very much look forward to hearing from you and thank you for your time and consideration.
link to Fan Phenomena series: http://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/series/IB-FP.html
|New articles pages about Fan Phenomena
news links to James Bond Museum Nybro Sweden
007 Museum owner James Bond (who had his name legally changed by deed poll)
and cross-players CousinCecily and Winter
Book recommendation: 'Fan Phenomena - James Bond'
Not only will the final quarter of 2015 be characterized by the release of the new James Bond film, there will also be a number of new book releases for us fans to enjoy. Independent academic publisher Intellect Ltd. was so kind to let me review their newest entry to the 'Fan Phenomena' series which aims to ‘decode’ cult subjects in terms of the appeal and far reaching connections each of them have in becoming part of popular culture. 'Fan Phenomena - James Bond', set for a September 2015 release, made an interesting read on a train journey to Switzerland on which I rarely closed the book.
The essence of this 164 page book edited by Claire Hines is the focus on the mighty James Bond fan base. Rarely have I come across a book that highlights fan activity in a way that film character and fan are almost put on equal level. While reading through the eleven chapters, you get the feeling that, in many ways, this book is more about you than James Bond. Naturally, that is the intended purpose and works very well as such.
One thing I appreciated very much about this book was that individual Bond fans and friends are highlighted - like YouTuber Calvin Dyson whose very own style of analyzing aspects of the James Bond film series has earned the admiration of many. Inbetween the chapters, there are also four full interviews with author Raymond Benson, artwork expert & collector Peter Lorenz, Gunnar Schäfer who owns the 007 museum in Sweden as well as crossplayers CousinCecily and Winter.
The sophisticated writing style of 'Fan Phenomena - James Bond' paired with detailed, sometimes almost forensic, analysis opens up a whole new insight into the Bond fandom. Being part of this elaborate circle for over ten years, I thought I had seen and heard it all. However, I was amazed to discover that I had merely scratched the surface of many topics covered by this book. For instance chapter 4, that deals with Fan Edits of Bond films. I knew they exist, I own some of them in my collection but I learned, that there are many more I had never even heard of. Most of the time, I simply regarded fan edits as a reinterpretation according to the vision of the fan editor. I never gave much thought about why they were done and what their purpose is.
'Fan Phenomena - James Bond' should make interesting reading for any Bond fan as the book does not try to tell us something we already know. It is a fresh and intriguing look into one of the biggest fan communities, filling knowledge gaps here and there as well as appreciating fandom.
The book will be released in September 2015 but you can pre-order it now HERE
Paperback, 164 pages
UK £ 15.50 US $ 22.00 EU € 18.20
Richard Drumm drops his his guns and gadgets and picks up Fan Phenomena: James Bond.
Edited by Claire Hines, Fan Phenomena: James Bond is a collection of essays and interviews that examines both the Bond franchise itself (mainly the EON-produced films but with reference to the novels, video games, etc.) and the multifaceted and ever-altering fandom for Bond. Some of the interviewees include author of the official continuation Bond books Raymond Benson, the owner of the James Bond Museum in Sweden, some of the newly emerging James Bond ‘crossplayers’ and more.
The essays themselves meanwhile offer a wide variety of topics; from examining the fandom and franchise’s tenuous relationship with continuity, Alan Moore’s scathing deconstruction of Bond in his work, the relationship between Bond video games and an authentic transmedia experience and a look at what the more cult-like and lifestyle-appropriating elements of the fandom can tell us about Bond as a cultural icon.
Of course, no self-respecting collection of Bond essays written in 2015, by academic types, would be complete without a look at Bond and gender and the collection certainly boasts a nicely varied selection of topics; from examinations of the changing representations of masculinity in the Craig-era to a defence of being a female Bond fan and an interesting discussion of queer readings of Skyfall from a growing fanbase of online female fan fiction writers. All presented in highly digestible chunks and with an eye toward the casual reader, Fan Phenomena: James Bond offers an insightful, varied and accessible exploration of James Bond.
The book on the whole is undeniably a good read but two things struck me, in a good way, that seemed noteworthy. The first is the sheer volume of essays from female scholars, they heavily outweigh the contributions from male authors. It’s just fascinating given the (well documented, highly problematic) nature of the franchise under discussion, that most (of the already quite sparse) scholarly readings of Bond come from women.
The second, related, point is that there is a very clear willingness on everyone’s part to acknowledge and engage with the glaringly problematic aspects of Bond as an institution. Given that this is geared toward fans, there must have been the temptation to make this one big love-in but that would have been disingenuous as no self-respecting Bond fan would avoid addressing these aspects. That’s not to say the book is judgemental (except perhaps Stephanie Jones’ highly amusing chapter that tears apart the James Bond Lifestyle Guide book) but rather takes a respectably mature view of the franchise and will deal with these elements where necessary or when they become of interesting relevance.
With a book like this it can sometimes seem like it would be of zero interest to anyone but hardcore fans and I’ll admit right now that as a hardcore fan that greatly enjoyed the book, it’s difficult to say ‘objectively’ how much mileage non-fans would get from it. However, the topics are varied enough that anyone with even a passing interest in cultural studies should find plenty to hold their attention. Similarly, the essays that make up the latter half or so of the book would definitely be worth reading for anyone with an interest in gender or LGBT studies as Bond presents a decidedly unusual starting point for those discussions. Especially since the last two essays in particular argue for the recent Bond installments offering something close to a progressive stance on those topics.In that sense Karen Brooks and Lisa Hill’s ‘Resurrecting Bond’ is possibly the highlight of the collection, a well-researched and in-depth analysis of the Craig trilogy as both a deconstruction and rebuilder of the franchise while also offering a compelling argument in favour of Craig’s Bond being highly feminised for a less rigidly gendered modern world.
Accessible as the book is, it does delve early on into topics like Transmedia and Phenomenology. And while both Matthew Freeman and Lucy Bolton, respectively, do an excellent job of providing simplified definitions of those concepts, they still remain a bit too complex to be fully explored within the confines of what a collection such as this is trying to achieve. Which is to say they still offer interesting discussions and fine introductions to those theories if you’re not already familiar with them but it seems like there’s still a lot to be explored from, say, Freeman’s arguments about Bond successfully defying transmedia logic. This is, however, a very minor nitpick and really more of an observation that really doesn’t detract from the overall quality of the collection.
On the whole, it’s a strong collection. Obviously, they aren’t all winners but none of them are ever boring and they’re short enough that even if you aren’t particularly taken by one you’d be on to another, different topic soon. And that’s the highest praise that can be given to Claire Hines’ editing of this book; she’s assembled a highly varied series of pieces which automatically negates the possibility of repetition of material. Her interviews with the various fans are also interesting but never pandering and again consist of a very varied selection of individuals with very different relationships to Bond.
I still feel that to really get the most out of the book you’d need to be quite a big Bond fan but even to more casual readers (and casual Bond fans) there should be more than enough to justify giving it a read if you have any interest in any of the areas under discussion in the book, which, given how wide that net is cast, you’re likely to find something.
If nothing else, it’s worth picking up for Karen Brooks and Lisa Hill, and Elizabeth J. Nielsen’s two closing essays along with Lisa Funnell’s ‘Thoughts on Female Scholarship and Fandom of the Bond Franchise’.
Hines serves as editor, and there are 11 very distinct contributions to her volume, dealing with everything
from canonicity to 007’s appearance as ‘Ladykiller Jimmy’ in Alan Moore’s comics; Bond as a cult brand and
cultural phenomenon to the clothes he wears; from the James Bond films through a feminist viewpoint to analyses
of his masculinity and identity. Interspersed between these are four ‘Fan Appreciation’ sections, featuring an
interview with über-fan and former Bond novel continuation author Raymond Benson, artist and collector Peter Lorenz, 007 Museum owner James Bond (who had his name legally changed by deed poll) and cross-players CousinCecily and Winter.
Read more at h
Distributed for Intellect Ltd
150 pages | illustrated in color throughout | 6 1/2 x 9 1/2 | © 2015
The mere hint recently that British actor Idris Elba might take up the mantle of James Bond in future installments of the film franchise was a major international news story—a testament to the enduring interest and appeal of Bond, a figure who has become a true global icon.
Fan Phenomena: James Bond… Read More
The mere hint recently that British actor Idris Elba might take up the mantle of James Bond in future installments of the film franchise was a major international news story—a testament to the enduring interest and appeal of Bond, a figure who has become a true global icon.Close
Fan Phenomena: James Bond explores the devoted fanbase that has helped make Bond what he is, offering a serious but wholly accessible take on the many different ways that fans have approached, appreciated, and appropriated Bond over the sixty years of his existence from the pages of Ian Fleming’s novels to the screen. Including analyses of Bond as a lifestyle icon, the Bond brand, Bond-inspired fan works, and the many versions of 007, the book reveals a fan culture that is vibrant, powerfully engaged, and richly aware of the history and complexity of the character of Bond and what he represents.
Whether your favorite Bond is Daniel Craig or Sean Connery (or even George Lazenby!), Fan Phenomena: James Bond is sure to go down as smooth as a shaken—not stirred—martini.
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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"Fan Phenomena James Bond", edited by Claire Hines, Intellect Books, 2015.Claire kindly interviewed me James Bond Gunnar Schäfer from James Bond 007 Museum in Sweden Nybro for the book "Fan Phenomena James Bond"
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