Author William Boyd is to follow in the footsteps of fellow novelists Kingsley Amis and Sebastian Faulks by penning a new adventure for 007 superspy James Bond, it was revealed on Thursday.
Bond-creator Ian Fleming died in 1964 after writing 14 novels in the series, but other authors have since kept the saga alive and the franchise has now sold over 100 million books.
Boyd, who won the prestigious Whitbread Book Award in 1981 for his novel "A Good Man in Africa", did not reveal any details of the plot or the book's title but did say it would be set in 1969.
"When the Ian Fleming estate invited me to write the new James Bond novel I didn't hesitate," he said. "I accepted at once.
"For me the prospect appeared incredibly exciting and stimulating - a once-in-a-lifetime challenge.
"In fact, my father introduced me to the James Bond novels in the 1960s and I read them all then - "From Russia With Love" being my favourite."
The book is due out next year, 60 years after Fleming's first Bond book, "Casino Royale", was published.
Boyd used Fleming as a character in his book "Any Human Heart" and has also worked with actors Sean Connery, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig, who have all played the British spy on film.