Raymond Benson (born September 6, 1955) is an American author best known for being an official author of the adult James Bond novels. Benson was born in Texas and graduated from Permian High School in 1973. In primary school Benson took an interest in the piano which would later in his life develop into an interest in composing music. Benson also took part in drama at school and became the Vice President of his high school's drama department an interest that he would later pursue by directing stage productions. Other hobbies include films, writing, and designing computer games.
James Bond works
In 1996, John Gardner resigned from writing Bond books causing Glidrose Publications to promptly choose Benson to replace him. As a James Bond novelist, Raymond Benson was initially controversial for being American, and for ignoring much of the continuity established by Gardner. Benson had previously written The James Bond Bedside Companion, a book dedicated to Ian Fleming, the official novels, and the films. The book was initially released in 1984 and later updated in 1988. Benson also contributed to the creation of several modules in the popular James Bond 007 role-playing game in the 1980s. In total, Benson wrote six James Bond novels, three novelisations, and three short stories.
- "Blast From the Past" (short story, 1997)
- Zero Minus Ten (1997)
- Tomorrow Never Dies (novelisation) (1997)
- The Facts of Death (1998)
- "Midsummer Night's Doom" (short story, 1999)
- "Live at Five" (short story, 1999)
- The World Is Not Enough (novelisation), 1999)
- High Time to Kill (1999)
- Doubleshot (2000)
- Never Dream of Dying (2001)
- The Man with the Red Tattoo (2002)
- Die Another Day (novelisation) (2002)
Benson was the first Bond author since Ian Fleming to write short stories, although [Benson's stories are uncollected unlike Fleming who had two anthology books published.
Since authoring Bond novels, Benson has had a number of books published, including original suspense novels Face Blind (2003) and Evil Hours (2004), as well as the non-fiction work The Pocket Essential Guide to Jethro Tull (2002). In 2006, Benson will release a new thriller titled Sweetie's Diamonds.
Benson is also known for writing the first two books based on the acclaimed computer and video game series, Splinter Cell, although both are credited to the pseudonym, David Michaels.
- Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell (2004)
- Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Operation Barracuda (2005)
Raymond Benson continues to write a series of classic film reviews for the publication "Cinema Retro".