Licence Renewed (1981) (USA: License Renewed)
||Laird Anton of Murik
World held to ransom with threat to meltdown six
nuclear reactors by an insane physicist hell bent
on building his own.
Lavender ‘Dilly’ Peacock
Bill Tanner, Q’ute
London, Murik Castle (Scotland), Perpignan (France)
Bond’s fights with Caper;
The World is to be held to ransom by an an insane nuclear physicist who
threatens meltdown of six nuclear power stations.
designed a truly safe nuclear reactor, his plan will demonstrate the
threat of current reactors, and supply him with the capital he needs
to build his own.
Above: British 1st edition Jonathan Cape hardback (UK).
Cover artwork by Richard Chopping.
Official Blurb (British)
Bond is back and he' better than ever. Bond is drinking noticeably less spirits
these days; he's perhaps more diligent about exercise and has a special
low tar tobacco blended for his cigarettes at Morelands of Grosvenor Street.
But the 1980s have reached the department as well. Political restraints
are squeezing in on the Service. The elite Double-O status, for example,
conveying its authority to kill, is being abolished. But M takes little
notice of these restrictions when it comes to Bond.
John Gardner has brilliantly portrayed the most famous spy in the world
as he pits his nerve and cunning against a dangerously deranged opponent
- one prepared to sacrifice most of the Western world to prove only he
can make it safe from accidental nuclear holocaust. As the seconds tick
away on the valued Rolex Oyster Perpetual, the world comes nearer this
ironic annihilation and Bond comes nearer to a frightful death.
Official Blurb (British
Coronet Paperback, 2003)
Enthralled by beautiful Lavender Peacock, Bond prepares for battle
with her guardian, the sinister terrorist-connected Laird of Mulcaldy...(sic)
Passenger for Flight 154
- Thoughts in a Surrey Lane
- The Opposition
- Dossier on a Laird
- The Road to Ascot
- Pearls Before Swine
- King of the Castle
- Virgin on the Rocks
- All Mod Cons
- The Slingshot Syndrome
- A Contract, Mr Bond
- High Frequency
- Gone Away
- Fête and Fate
- Death in Many Fashions
- A Watched Plot
- Warlock's Castle
- Quite A Lady
Above Left: British
1st edition Coronet paperback. Above Right: British 5th edition Coronet paperback.
Above Left: American 1st edition
Richard Marek hardback.
Above Right: American
1st edition Berkley paperback.
I would like, especially, to thank the Board of Directors of Glidrose Publications
Ltd, the owners of the James Bond literary copyright, for asking me to undertake
the somewhat daunting task of picking up where Mr Ian Fleming left off, and
transporting 007 into the 1980s. In particular, my thanks to Mr Dennis Joss
and Mr Peter Janson-Smith; also to H.R.F.K., who acted as the original 'Go-Between'.
have become so used to James Bond gadgets which boggle the mind that I would
like to point out to any unbelievers
that all the 'hardware' used by Mr Bond in this story is genuine.
Everything provided by Q Branch and carried by Bond-even the
modifications to Mr Bond's Saab is obtainable on either the
open, or clandestine, markets. For assistance in seeking details
about such equipment I am especially indebted to Communication
Control Systems Ltd and, more particularly, to the delicious
Ms Jo Ann O'Neill and the redoubtable Sidney.
As for the inventions of Anton Murik, Laird of Murcaldy, only
time will tell.
1981 - John Gardner
"James Bond's heart leaped, and he felt a new urgency coursing through his
veins. It was a long time since M had addressed him as 007, and it signified
that he could well be off into the real unknown again. He could almost smell
Bond's fight with a henchman in a C-14 cargo plane would be later echoed
in the 1987 movie "The Living Daylights".
The book was first announced under the working title "Meltdown".
It was published in France as "Operation Warlock",
in the Netherlands as "Permit Renewed", and in
Sweden as "Licensed to Kill".
April - 1st edition Richard Marek hardback (USA)
May - 1st edition Jonathan Cape hardback (UK)
1st edition Book Club Associates hardback (UK)
1st edition G.K. Hall large print
2nd edition Jonathan Cape hardback (UK)
1st edition "Licens Fornyet" Merved paperback (Denmark)
||May - 1st edition Berkley paperback (USA)
1st edition Coronet paperback (UK)
||1st edition "Licença Renovada" Editora
Nova Fronteira paperback (Brazil)
1st edition "Med Rätt Att Döda" Albert
Bonnier hardback (Sweden)
||18th edition Berkley paperback (USA)
||June 9 - 1st edition "compendium" Coronet paperback
June 23 - 1st edition Swordfish hardback (UK)
July 7 - 1st edition Orion unabridged audio book (UK)
||Feb 4 - 1st edition Orion paperback (UK)
Oct 12 - 1st edition Pegasus paperback (USA)
Bond is assigned to follow international terrorist, and master
of disguise, Franco. The British SIS suspect that he is collaborating
with world-leading nuclear physicist, Anton Murik, to hatch a
potentially devastating terrorist plot. Bond works his way into
Murik’s trust by stealing a priceless necklace from his
ward Lavender, and claiming he found it dropped. As a result,
Murik invites Bond to his castle in the place of the same name,
of which he is Laird (a British feudal/aristocratic rank).
Bond gains the Laird’s trust by beating his henchman,
Caber, in a wrestling contest as part of the annual festivities.
Murik tells Bond of his plan, to take over 6 nuclear power stations
by way of insiders under Franco’s control, and hold the
world to ransom for $50 billion, or else his suicidal terrorists
will cause meltdown in Paris, London, New York, Berlin and other
cities. That night Bond, helped by Lavender, tries to escape
but is caught after a car chase. Murik takes Bond to France,
where he escapes from the airport, and kills Franco, who accidentally
shoots Murik’s mistress while aiming for Lavender.
Bond is recaptured, and tied up aboard Murik’s C-14 Starlifter.
The plan unfolds successfully, with the 6 power stations at the
hands of the terrorists. Unless Murik receives the ransom and
gives the codeword, nuclear catastrophe is imminent. But Bond
releases himself, knocks out the laird, and shoots his henchman.
Bond then manages to call off the terrorist squads, with a clever
guess that the codeword was Murik’s nickname, Lock. 007
finally kills Caper, but after the plane lands it materialises
that Murik has escaped.
007 is determined to show that Lavender, not Anton Murik, should
be Laird, and he lies in wait with Bill Tanner for Murik to return
to his castle, and take the vital papers from their hiding place.
Bond shoots Anton Murik with a crossbow, and recovers the papers
to make Lavender the new Laird.
"No fan will fail to be caught up
in the world-scale adventure of Licence Renewed. The dear old
formula of the Mad Scientist is also renewed, with great success;
and the Girl - with a splendidly improbable name of course - is
a worthy addition to the famous gallery of Bond's beauties."
- Financial Times
MI6 Community Reviews
Moore - In 1981 the release
of John Gardner's License Renewed brought James Bond out of the
past and into the 1980's. With this move Ian Fleming's tough,
cruel secret agent who relied on his wits is now replaced with
a man who relies way to much on his gadgets and luck. It's a
that would continue until the latest continuation novel, with
only a few books straying from what Gardner started. License
also ushered in a lot more changes such as London going through
a tough financial period, this forcing the 00-Section to be disbanded
but M won't have any of it. In his words to Bond "There are
moments when this country needs a troubleshooter- a blunt instrument-
and by heaven it's going to have one." Some noticeable changes
are that Bond is now smoking and drinking less than he used to,
this being another one of Gardner's changes. Despite these additions
there are a lot of things taken away from this novel. One is that
Gardner did a terrible job describing characters and locations
in the book. Another thing is that everything just happens so
easily like Bond meeting Anton Murik, Bond getting into Murik's
castle, and Bond working for Murik. But besides these faults,
there is also a lot of good in the story. The villain Anton Murik
is an interesting one who is bent on revenge- his plan is to take
over 6 nuclear power plants throughout the world and if the ransom
is not paid he will spread havoc across the world. The storyline
is quite original and it is an action filled story full of excitement
and great moments. The best being the fight between Caber (Murik's
henchman) and Bond in the back of the plane where Bond (with the
help of Lavender Peacock) defeats Caber and sends him flying out
the back of the plane. This scene would later be used in the 1987
film "The Living Daylights". Overall, Bond is still
rough in this book as he kills 6 people and he still drinks and
smoked, but throughout the Gardner era Bond smokes and drinks
less with every book. Despite the fact that the book strays from
Fleming's Bond, I don't expect any of the continuation authors
to be another Ian Fleming. This book may not be one of the best
but it is a fun read. 5/10
Orbis Non Sufficit - A man
bent on revenge is the focus of John Gardner's first James Bond
book. There are many lifestyle changes taking place for Bond.
England is going through a bad financial time, and that means
disbanding the entire Double-0 section of the Secret Service.
But M refuses to give up 007 and keeps him there working secretly.
James Bond's first target is a man obsessed with gaining revenge...
on the World! His diabolical plans involve setting off 6 nuclear
reactors, "making Chernobyl look like picnic". Licence
Renewed was written a while after Robert Markham/ Kingsley Amis's
Colonel Sun. Glidrose signed John onto write three Bond
novels, but they became so successful he went on to write close
to 15. The detail to this novel is superb, rivaling Mr. Fleming's
master touch. The characters are fully developed and he introduces
a few long staying characters like Q'ute - Major Boothroyd's assistant.
The action, torture scene and final climatic fight onboard the
plane were masterfully handled. 9.5/10