[…] He came to fiction writing relatively late on; he was well into his forties when he embarked on his career of writing spy novels (Casino Royale was published in 1953). His ambition was to write the “spy story to end all spy stories”; the success of the Bond film franchise is testament to his success. Sadly, he died scarcely eleven years after he’d achieved publishing success, suffering a fatal heart attack in 1964 at the relatively young age of 56. In the meantime, though, he’d achieved phenomenal success, with three of his stories already in film by the time of his death, and with John F. Kennedy an avowed fan. (At a dinner at which both were present, Fleming gave Kennedy ideas for discrediting Fidel Castro, ideas which Kennedy took seriously enough to pass them on to the CIA for further consideration.) The rest of his works were also made into film, with other writers at the helm. The short story Octopussy, for example, was worked up into a feature-length screenplay by George MacDonald Fraser, author of the Flashman novels, who sadly died on 2 January. (You can read more about Fraser on our sister site, British Newspapers Online.) […]