Field Report: Raymond Benson, Bond Continuation Author 1997-2003

1. What is your favorite Chopping cover and why?

I suppose I’ll be boring and say that “From Russia, With Love” is my favorite Chopping cover. It’s the iconic one, the first one. After that, I sure like “Thunderball.”

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2. Do you own any 1st editions?

I once owned a complete set of UK first editions, but they were sold several years ago. I had some letters, too. My edition of “Thunderball” was inscribed to me on the dedication page from Ernest Cuneo himself. It was tough to part with them, but at the time I needed the cash!

Ernest Cuneo Dedication

Ernest Cuneo Dedication

3. What is on your literary 007 wishlist?

On my 007 literary wish list would probably be another set of UK firsts to replace the one I sold, plus the limited edition OHMSS.

On-Her-Majestys-Secret-Service-Ian-Fleming

4. When did you read your first Bond novel and which is your favorite?

I was nine years old when I first read a Fleming book, and it was right after seeing the movie “Goldfinger” on the big screen. I went out and got the movie tie-in paperback, but I also bought “Doctor No,” too, and I read *that* one first. “From Russia, With Love” is probably my favorite, though.

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5. Do you have any favorite Bond dust jackets in paperback or by continuation authors? 

My favorite Bond paperback jackets would have to be the old Signet U.S. ones that I grew up with in the 60s; beyond that, I really like Richard Fahey’s covers for the U.S. Penguin editions of 2003. Oh, and I’m rather partial to the Hodder & Stoughton hardcover dust jackets to my own titles, especially “Zero Minus Ten” and “DoubleShot,” both of which were designed by David Scutt.

Richie Fahey series

The Richie Fahey series

Incidental Intelligence

3df5e13Raymond Benson is the author of thirty published titles. He was the first American and third author to be commissioned by the Ian Fleming Estate to write official James Bond novels between 1996-2002. Most recently he has penned the critically-acclaimed five-book “Black Stiletto” saga, of which three have been published, with the final two coming in 2014.

Benson had previously written the now classic, 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. It was nominated for an Edgar Award by Mystery Writers of America in the Best Biographical/Critical Work category.

Visit www.theblackstiletto.net

Visit www.raymondbenson.com

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