RAYMOND BENSON was commissioned by the James Bond literary copyright holders to take over writing the 007 novels between 1996-2002.  His first entry in the series, ZERO MINUS TEN, was published in 1997 and serialized in Playboy Magazine, and a 007 short story (BLAST FROM THE PAST) appeared in the January 1997 issue of Playboy.  Subsequent Bond novels were THE FACTS OF DEATH (1998, also excerpted in Playboy), HIGH TIME TO KILL (1999), DOUBLESHOT (2000, and excerpted in Playboy), NEVER DREAM OF DYING (2001), and THE MAN WITH THE RED TATTOO (2002).  Raymond’s novelizations of the Bond films TOMORROW NEVER DIES, THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH, and DIE ANOTHER DAY were also published in 1997, 1999, and 2002, respectively.  His book THE JAMES BOND BEDSIDE COMPANION was first published in 1984 and was nominated for an Edgar Allan Poe Award by Mystery Writers of America for Best Biographical/Critical Work.  An anthology of his Bond novels, entitled THE UNION TRILOGY, was published in October 2008; a second anthology, CHOICE OF WEAPONS, will be published summer 2010.
Raymond’s books, TOM CLANCY’S SPLINTER CELL and its sequel, TOM CLANCY’S SPLINTER CELL—OPERATION BARRACUDA (both written with the pseudonym “David Michaels”), were NY Times Best-Sellers in 2004 and 2005.  His most recent original suspense novels are EVIL HOURS, FACE BLIND, and SWEETIE’S DIAMONDS (the latter won the Readers’ Choice Award for Best Thriller of 2006 at the Love is Murder Conference for Authors, Readers, and Publishers). A HARD DAY’S DEATH, the first in a series of “rock ‘n’ roll thrillers,” was published in 2008, and its sequel, DARK SIDE OF THE MORGUE, in March 2009.  Also published in 2008 was his novelization of the popular videogame, METAL GEAR SOLID, and METAL GEAR SOLID 2—SONS OF LIBERTY in November 2009.
    Among his work as a game designer, Raymond wrote and designed DARK SEED II, a sequel to Cyberdreams Inc.'s award-winning graphic adventure based on the works of horror/fantasy artist H. R. Giger.  Prior to that, for Origin Systems, he wrote the screenplay and directed the story for the best-selling ULTIMA VII--THE BLACK GATE.  For Viacom New Media, Raymond co-designed and wrote the screenplay for a CD-ROM adventure based on the popular Nickelodeon show, ARE YOU AFRAID OF THE DARK? (winner--Newsweek Editors' Choice Award and Parents Choice Award for Excellence), and designed and served as associate producer for a CD-ROM based on the popular book and film THE INDIAN IN THE CUPBOARD (winner--Digital Hollywood Awards for Best Children's CD-ROM Computer Game and Best Overall CD-ROM Computer Game).
    Raymond also spent over a decade in New York City, directing numerous stage productions and composing music for many other shows, including Lincoln Center Institute's touring production of CHARLOTTE'S WEB, the world premiere of Thomas Brasch's PAPER TIGER, and Frank Gagliano's THE RESURRECTION OF JACKIE CRAMER.  He is the recipient of ten ASCAP Popular Music Awards.  Raymond has taught courses in film genres and history at New York’s New School for Social Research, Harper College in Palatine, Illinois, College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, and currently presents Film Studies lectures with Daily Herald movie critic Dann Gire.  Raymond has been honored in Naoshima, Japan, with the erection of a permanent museum dedicated to one of his novels, and he is also an Ambassador for Japan’s Kagawa Prefecture.  Raymond is an active member of International Thriller Writers Inc., Mystery Writers of America, the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers, a full member of ASCAP, and serves on the Board of Directors of The Ian Fleming Foundation.  He is based in the Chicago area.