My buddy Max is Canadian, therefore he likes maple syrup and hockey. A secret fact about him, though, is that he also likes James Bond. And so it goes that during this past week when school demands were less than zero, a good amount of time was spent charging through 007: Nightfire for the GameCube. And as the computer-rendered Pierce Brosnan drove machine-gun mounted Aston Martins, powered his way into outer space, and managed to end every mission by hooking-up with a computer-rendered Bond girl, a thought came to mind…what happened to the spy novel?

While James Bond is better known from the movies, his first appearances were through Ian Flemming’s 1950s novels. There were by no means any groundbreaking literary achievements in these books, but they were entertaining. President John F. Kennedy named From Russia With Love as one of his favorite books, and if it’s good enough for him, then it’s good enough for me (Imagine if presidents had enough free time to contribute blurbs for the back flap of books).

Even other popular spies today originated from the minds of authors, such as Robert Ludlum’s Jason Bourne (but even those novels came from the 70s). The closest thing going on in the literary sphere right now might have to be Vince Flynn’s Mitch Rapp (but his stories are more political thrillers) or Tom Clancy’s latest Rainbow Six installment Dead or Alive (but that book is a thousand page tome and the title reminds me too much of Bon Jovi, which should never be associated with spies).

If there were ever a genre that needs a revival, the prototypical suave spy with the memorable two or three syllable name would be it. C’mon now, writer who’s perusing college literary blogs and is now reading this cry for help…jumpstart the spy novel. And besides, all of the other genre markets are pretty filled up…we’ve already done the vampire to hell and back, along with pirates…gimme guns and espionage!

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