Article by David Craggs In October 2016, this sexagenarian espionage aficionado waxed lyrical about Fleming’s legacy and the door he opened for …Ian Fleming’s Literary Legacy – The Spy Fantasy
I recently had a blast on Shane Whaley’s Spybrary podcast (don’t you dig his nifty nod to Dr No with the graphics?) guesting on the Dead Drop Five feature.
It’s a kind of Desert Island Discs for spy fans, we discuss books, films, TV and movies- the whole shooting match!
I’m told my choices were a little ‘off road‘. Give it a listen, see what you think-
Spybrary is back in full effect, thank goodness. I’m honoured that they’ve aired my Brush Pass Review of this little known and highly influential belter from 1908.
I read it on my hols over the summer. When they ask you your name at Starbucks in Paris and you say, ‘Thursday.’ Priceless.
Anyway, do tune in and subscribe. Hope you enjoy it.
Onyx Out. X
I was a guest on the @SpyHards podcast this week!
Sit in on the debrief as we put Costner’s ‘87 Cold War spy flick ‘No Way Out’ under the arc-light.
The novel has cultural pointers-a-plenty in amongst the espionage. Some are staples of an escapist spy story such as travelogue and style but music plays a key part.
Below I reveal the background of some of the tunes I selected to match the taste and listening of various characters and scenes within the novel.
For Shev, The GLIMMER Girl herself, it’s the urban cutting edge of Green Tea Peng’s Hu Man, and Sampa the Great’s Final Flow.
The Specials’ Gangsters for the scene in SIS Chief Admiral Dewhurst’s office.
It’s the Small Faces’ Tin Soldier and Bowie’s Wild is the Wind for veteran spy, St John Bradley.
Scenes such as Commander Smith-Cummings dash through a tempest at the novel’s prologue are represented by folk of Catherine Tickell and The Darkening.
Evocative pieces by Cara Dillon and Fay Hield embellish the novel’s Celtic folklore elements set in 1920s Ireland with Stick in the Wheel’s Villon Song representing the murderous Jonah Spirewick.
Modern Icelandic scenes are covered by A Man Called Adam’s Mountains and Waterfalls and the Easter egg inclusion of Terry Callier’s Lazarus Man…
Along with the epic (when isn’t she) and spy flick-esque Time Out of the World from Goldfrapp.
This feast for the ears listenable on the Spotify link 👇🏼
Thanks for reading AND enjoy the trip.
Thanks to @spybrary podcast’s FB page for posting this image.
The escapism of #TheGlimmerGirl is honoured to sit alongside this work of ‘real’ espionage: Dr Kate Vigur’s Mission France.
I’ve always the bravery and sacrifice of (then young) women of the Special Operations Executive to be the pinnacle of THE pinnacle. 🪂 alone, in the dead of night, into Nazi occupied Europe.
So few remain now to parade alongside our SF veterans each year on Remembrance Sunday, a section due to more recent service, that is not televised.
It’s marvellous that this beautifully wrapped account, Mission France, is shining a light in these unknown heroines of WW2 once again.
‘This is it, she thought. Not hanging doors on a brutal building site or forcing T level carpentry into the heads of nutty kids in East London. This is living.
Every second within the Hive was accounted for. The facility was thus named not for the level of industry that thundered away beneath its façade, but for its architecture, designed to train an unknown number of field agents in the hermetic quarantine of self-contained units, modelled on the inherent genius of the appis meliffra, the European honeybee…’
‘CCTV showed the coast was clear from all approaches. Shev emerged from the Hive into the arched tunnel on Ratcliffe Lane— the covert egress—adorned as usual by the dank scent of stale urine.
Aerosol graffiti intermittently graced the drab Victorian brickwork, its flow covering all surfaces within a square mile like twenty- first century hieroglyphs, its message unintelligible to any soul over twenty-one and foreign to the borough, save for the sprayed red runic S and N either side of the central Venn-like overlapping letters of SOON. This was the logo that appeared on walls, windows and pavements across Europe that tinder summer, as the ominous harbinger of the Grass Riots…’
A line of Mr Weller’s from the track The Seeker, featured on his year 2000 album, Heliocentric.
I attribute it here to our own Shev: Siobhan Uhuru-Behan, 808, code name GLIMMER. Born the same year and her journey from the mean streets and construction sites of London, to the sharpest end of international espionage…