"Midsummer Night's Doom"
Midsummer Night's Doom
Author: Raymond Benson
Publication date: 1999
Published in: Playboy Magazine
Alternate title:
Collected in: Choice of Weapons
Publication order
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"Blast From the Past" "Live at Five"

"Midsummer Night's Doom" is a short story written By Raymond Benson. It was published in Playboy Magazine, January 1999, purposely to coincide and compliment Playboy’s 45th anniversary.


The story opens with a briefing in M's office. She enquires Bond how much he knows about the Playboy Magazine and Hugh Hefner. Bond reveals that he once bumped into Hefner whilst the latter was on a fishing trip in Jamaica. She reveals that there is a leak in the Ministry Of Defense and its seemingly changing hands at parties being held at the Playboy Mansion West, Hugh Hefner’s home in Los Angeles.

Bond attends one of Hefner’s legendary parties and takes note of a rock star named Martin Tuttle, whose ex-wife worked for the Ministry of Defense. She'd smuggle out secrets and give them to Tuttle, who'd fly them back to the US and then pass them on to members of the Russian Mob at the Playboy parties. Unknown to Tuttle, his ex-wife has been picked up by the authorities, and she has revealed the whole set-up. Bond sets out to follow Tuttle to the Playboy Mansion and find out who his contact is.

Tuttle is carrying the microfilm plans for infrared focal plane arrays (a camera device that can imitate the human eye and then process the data it receives). The Playboy party is a theme night – the annual Midsummer Night’s Dream party. The guests are expected to attend wearing their pyjamas, nightshirts and (obviously) exotic lingerie. Bond arrives at the party in his pyjamas covered by an Oriental silk kimono. Soon after he meets "Hef" who acts as Q, handing Bond a gold pen which acts as a radio transceiver, and an accompanying earpiece.

Afterwards, Bond blends in with the party and dances with Miss October of that year. Also attending the party is Tony Curtis, Robert and Jim Brown. There is also a boorish Russian film-maker by the name of Anton Redenius.


James Bond Short Stories
Fleming Quantum of Solace (1959) · The Hildebrand Rarity (1960) · From a View to a Kill (1960) · For Your Eyes Only (1960) · Risico (1960) · The Living Daylights (1962) · 007 in New York (1963) · The Property of a Lady (1963) · Octopussy (1966)
Benson Blast From the Past (1997) · Midsummer Night's Doom (1999) · Live at Five (1999) · The Heart of Erzulie (2001, unpublished)
Collections For Your Eyes Only (1960) · Octopussy and The Living Daylights (1966)