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Superspy Science

Superspy Science

Science, Death and Tech in the World of James Bond

by Kathryn Harkup
Publication Date: 29/11/2022

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Ian Fleming's series of novels based on the adventures of the secret service agent James Bond have thrilled and delighted readers since Casino Royale first published in 1953.

And when the film of Dr No was released in 1962, Bond quickly became one of the world's favourite secret agents. The character has been through some changes and had a few ups and downs but his popularity endures, and the film franchise is currently the fifth-highest-grossing series in history.

Science and technology have always been central to the thrilling plots than make up the world of Bond, and in this book Kathryn Harkup explores this; as in some of her previous books, she takes the angle of death as a starting point to explore the science behind the story.

Naturally, there are 007 chapters, covering the full range of Bond's exploits, and the arms, technologies, tactics and downfalls of his various foes.

In Licence to Kill, Kathryn turns her expert eye on the world's favourite secret agent, using the hook of Bond's enduring popularity to discuss the realities behind the silver screen. Could our favourite Bond villains actually achieve world domination? Were the huge variety of weapons and technology in Bond's arsenal ever actually developed? And would 007 actually escape all those close shaves with his life intact? Readers will see the Bond films through new eyes.

Literature: history & criticism
Publication Date:
Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Country of origin:
United Kingdom
Dimensions (mm):
Kathryn Harkup

Kathryn Harkup is a chemist and author. Kathryn completed a PhD then a postdoc at the University of York before realising that talking, writing and demonstrating science appealed far more than spending hours slaving over a hot fume-hood.

Kathryn went on to run outreach in engineering, computing, physics and maths at the University of Surrey, which involved writing talks on science and engineering topics that would appeal to bored teenagers, and she is now a science communicator delivering talks and workshops on the quirky side of science.

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