Bond Short Stories

RISICO (1960)

Written by: Ian Fleming

In 1958, CBS commissioned Fleming to write some short stories for a series of Bond television shows. The series never materialized, but some of the stories did…and some of them were made into movies.

Risico, which ended up being mixed with For Your Eyes Only to become the movie under that title is about two warring smugglers. Bond is sent to hear the story of one, Kristatos, and is quickly told that he is to kill the other, Colombo. Kirstatos tells Bond that Colombo has been smuggling opium into England.

But when he goes to meet Colombo’s girlfriend in order to get to him, he is kidnapped by Colombo’s men and taken to his ship. That’s where Bond finds out that not everything is what it seems to be.

The story is pretty slight, but it’s not bad as far as 40 pages of espionage is concerned. I kind of figured out what was going on from the beginning, but I was never exactly sure if I was right. And the final shoot out was pretty cool.

Nothing special here. Just a decent spy story. James does get the shit kicked out of him quite a bit, though.

The title, by the way, isn’t some cool spy password or exotic locale. It’s an Italian bastardization of the word “risk.” Meh.

GLOBE HOPPING: Southern Italy

CONQUESTS: 1 (Lisl Baum)

THE HILDIBRAND RARITY (1960)

Written by: Ian Fleming

Bond as conservationist? Maybe.

James goes to a small island in the Caribbean to work on some small mission. When he has some time off, he goes out on a mission of his own. He wants to kill a stingray. Why? Because they’re evil and dangerous. (Only to Steve Irwin, actually. They’re normally some of the most gentle big creatures of the deep. The stinger is really only for protection. But people in the late 50s didn’t really see it that way.)

He kills one and then ends up heading off with a friend to help an obnoxious man find a fish that has only been seen once by humans. It’s basically a tax write off so that the douchebag can keep his giant yacht and call himself a science fleet. Along the way, Bond learns how to care about nature…and how dangerous a frightened woman can be. The guy’s wife is a scared little British pixie who…well…read on and see.

Not a terrible little story, but it really doesn’t add much to the canon. The best part, really, is the description of the body of a victim. In fact, all it really did was add a name to For Your Eyes Only. The name of the horrible Texan and his boat was used in the film. (This goes against what Bond thought of Texans in Casino Royale, but who’s counting?)

GLOBE HOPPING: Just the tiny island.

CONQUESTS: None.