Foreword Reviews

Superspy Science

Science, Death and Tech in the World of James Bond

Kathryn Harkup’s Superspy Science unveils the science and technology behind the gadgets that co-star in James Bond films.

James Bond’s exploits have thrilled readers since the 1953 publication of Casino Royale, the first in Ian Fleming’s series about the handsome, urbane, and always perfectly attired secret service agent. Beginning with the 1962 production of the first James Bond film, based on Fleming’s Dr. No, audiences have been kept on the edge of their seats with evil plots, secret missions, massive explosions, hair-raising stunts, and last-minute escapes from certain death. None of it would have been possible without the amazing gadgets, tools, and devices covered here, which were designed to keep the ever-stylish 007 alive and ready for his next conquest.

Fleming, who did his writing on a special-order gold-plated typewriter, was no stranger to real-life espionage and intrigue, and Harkup’s book reveals that there’s a grain of truth in each Bond adventure that lends an aura of credibility to his otherwise unbelievable exploits. And it’s Bond’s life-saving gadgets, some of which were good enough to make real-life secret service agents drool, that Harkup credits with allowing him to ooze self-assurance, even when escape seems impossible. Flame-throwing bagpipes, a man-eating revolving sofa, and a Rolex packed with so many gadgets that Bond’s knuckles should have been dragging on the ground are just a few of these fantastical devices. Some of them, like the EM pulse bomb that was to be exploded over London in GoldenEye, the nanobots programmed to kill in No Time to Die, and the genetic manipulation featured in the 2002 film Die Another Day, are too close to current reality for comfort.

Superspy Science brings science, technology, history, and adventure together in a tantalizing look at the gadgets and inventions that make 007 invincible.

Reviewed by Kristine Morris

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the publisher for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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