The adventures of James Bond have thrilled readers since Ian Fleming's novel Casino Royale was published in 1953, and when the movie of Dr No was released in 1962, Bond quickly became the world's favourite secret agent.
Science and technology have always been central to the plots that make up the world of Bond, and in Superspy Science Kathryn Harkup explores the full range of 007's exploits and the arms, technologies, tactics and downfalls of his various foes. From the practicalities of building a volcano-based lair, to whether being covered in gold paint really will kill you, and – if your plan is to take over the world – whether it is better to use bacteria, bombs, or poison – this book has all the answers and more.
Could our favourite Bond villains actually achieve world domination? Were the huge variety of weapons and technology in Bond's arsenal from both the films and books ever actually developed in real life? And would 007 actually escape all those close shaves intact? From the plots to the gadgets to the ludicrous ways that his life is threatened, Superspy Science takes an in-depth look at the scientific world of James Bond.
About the Author
Kathryn Harkup is a former chemist turned author. She writes and gives regular public talks on the disgusting and dangerous side of science. Her first book was the international best-seller A is for Arsenic: The Poisons of Agatha Christie, which was shortlisted for a Mystery Readers International Macavity Award and a BMA Book Award. She has also written Making the Monster: The Science of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and Death by Shakespeare: Snakebites, Stabbings and Broken Hearts.
“Highly entertaining ... witty and well researched, this book is great fun to dip into if you're watching any of the Bonds and are curious about the facts behind an eyebrow-raising plot element.” —The Times
“Harkup is the ideal boffin to probe the facts behind the Bond films' more fanciful diversions from reality ... A great way to know the Bond series' artistic licences from its total thunder-balls.” —Total Film Magazine
“Bond's evil foes are doomed … by a scientist's lethal dose of reality.” —Mail on Sunday
"Films starring secret agent James Bond are famous for their technology. But how reliable is their science? Kathryn Harkup provides a stylish answer." - Nature
“Whichever Bond is your favourite, Harkup's book is a fun and comprehensive exploration of the not-so-gentlemanly spy's improbable exploits. ... Harkup writes with clear and contagious affection for the franchise; peppered with just as much historical back story and film trivia as scientific analysis.” —Linda Rodriguez McRobbie, author of Ouch!
“Harkup has a true skill for turning complicated ideas into easily digestible and endlessly fascinating reading… An entertaining, page-turning, sure-fire hit with all fans of 007.” —Library Journal
“Superspy Science brings science, technology, history, and adventure together in a tantalising look at the gadgets and inventions that make 007 invincible.” —Foreword Reviews