Raymond Benson (born September 6, 1955) is an American author best known for being the official author of the adult James Bond novels from 1997 to 2003.
In 1984, Benson wrote The James Bond Bedside Companion, a book dedicated to Ian Fleming, the official novels, and the films. The book was updated in 1988 and has since been re-released digitally without further updating. It was nominated for an Edgar Award by Mystery Writers of America in the Best Biographical/Critical Work category.
In 1985, he worked as a designer and writer on the computer game James Bond 007: A View to a Kill. He followed this in 1986 with work on a computer game version of Goldfinger and co-authoring the You Only Live Twice II module of the popular role-playing game James Bond 007.
In 1996, John Gardner resigned from writing Bond books. Glidrose Publications promptly chose 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. The author did much to placate these concerns however, and promptly embarked on regular tours to promote his novels in the UK, as well as occasional trips to mainland Europe; several signing sessions were held at the offices of his UK publisher Hodder & Stoughton, and at London booksellers Murder One and James Bond specialists Adrian Harrington Ltd. In total, Benson wrote six James Bond novels, three novelizations, and three short stories. He was the first Bond author since Ian Fleming to write short stories (published in Playboy and TV Guide magazines and collected in anthologies published in 2008 and 2010).
Glidrose changed its name to Ian Fleming Publications commencing with Benson's novel, High Time to Kill.Benson resigned from writing Bond books in 2003.
Benson's novel The Man with the Red Tattoo inspired the government of Japan's Kagawa Prefecture in 2005 to erect a permanent museum (the "007 Man with the Red Tattoo Museum", dedicated to the book) and honor Benson with the title of Goodwill Ambassador.
In 2008 High Time to Kill, Doubleshot, Never Dream of Dying and his 1997 short story "Blast from the Past" were grouped and released as an omnibus called The Union Trilogy. A second anthology entitled Choice of Weapons was published in 2010 and contained Zero Minus Ten, The Facts of Death, The Man with the Red Tattoo, and the short stories "Midsummer Night's Doom" and "Live at Five".
- "Blast From the Past" (short story, 1997)
- Zero Minus Ten (1997)
- Tomorrow Never Dies (novelization, 1997)
- The Facts of Death (1998)
- "Midsummer Night's Doom" (short story, 1999)
- "Live at Five" (short story, 1999)
- The World Is Not Enough (novelization, 1999)
- High Time to Kill (1999)
- DoubleShot (2000)
- Never Dream of Dying (2001)
- The Man with the Red Tattoo (2002)
- Die Another Day (novelization, 2002)