The Infinity Gambit
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The Proteus Operation was the first book that I published with Bantam Books. Endgame Enigma and The Mirror Maze set something of a trend with this publisher in the direction of what might be termed high-tech thriller fiction. I had produced a string of purely SF oriented stories before these three, and I suspect that to avoid going stale, every writer needs a change from time to time, into something a little different.

I had talked with some of the editors at Bantam on several occasions about putting together a character suitable for building such stories around. In many ways, James Bond really was the most inept secret agent ever created--he spent his whole life getting out of situations that no professional would ever have gotten himself into. Sherlock Holmes had the sense that Bond seemed a bit light on, but of course his image was much to staid to excite and grab the readership of today. So how about combining the best of both? we wondered -- a Bond with a Brain. The result was Bernard Fallon, a former British SAS counterterrorism specialist who became disillusioned by the business, went freelance, and now works for himself, with the aid, as needed, of various other experts whom he knows from the earlier days.

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