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Raymond Benson


Raymond Benson is a freelance entertainment writer and reviewer for the Daily Herald. To date, he is the author of 23 published books.

Between 1996 and 2002, Raymond was commissioned by the James Bond literary copyright holders to take over writing the 007 novels. In total, he penned and published worldwide six original 007 novels, three film novelizations, and three short stories. An anthology of his 007 work, "The Union Trilogy," was published in the fall of 2008, and a second anthology, "Choice of Weapons," appeared summer 2010. His book, "The James Bond Bedside Companion," an encyclopedic work on the 007 phenomenon, was first published in 1984 and was nominated for an Edgar Allan Poe Award by Mystery Writers of America for Best Biographical/Critical Work. Using the pseudonym "David Michaels," Raymond is also the author of The New York Times best-selling books Tom Clancy's "Splinter Cell" and its sequel Tom Clancy's "Splinter Cell-Opertion Barracuda."

Raymond's 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," published in March 2009, has been nominated for a Shamus Award for Best Paperback Original PI Novel by the Private Eye Writers of America. Also published in 2008 was the novelization of the popular video game, "Metal Gear Solid"; its sequel, "Metal Gear Solid 2 - Sons of Liberty," was published in the fall of 2009.

In the late 1980s and first half of the '90s, Raymond worked as a computer game designer for various companies. For his work in this field, he is the recipient of the Newsweek Editors' Choice Award, the Parents Choice Award for Excellence, and two Digital Hollywood Awards.

Raymond also spent more than a decade in New York City, directing numerous stage productions off-off-Broadway and composing music for many other shows. Raymond has taught courses in film genres and history at New York's New School for Social Research, Harper College in Palatine, and College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn.

He currently presents Film Studies lectures with Daily Herald movie critic Dann Gire at "Dann & Raymond's Movie Club" in Schaumburg and Arlington Heights. 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, International Association of Media Tie-In Writers, a full member of American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, and serves on the board of directors of The Ian Fleming Foundation. He is based in the Chicago area. Visit www.raymondbenson.com.

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items 1-10 out of 14

Three Dog Night to rock Lincolnshire's Viper Alley

Aug 30 2011 | 10:56 am - On Sunday, Sept. 4, Three Dog Night will headline two shows at Viper Alley in Lincolnshire and perform a truckload of their hits, many of which have become classic rock standards, including “Joy to the World,” “One” and...

‘Hefner' an eye-opening documentary

Oct 28 2010 | 5:17 pm - “How can he be working for the devil and God at the same time?” asks Jenny McCarthy, former Playboy Playmate of the Year and television personality. She's referring, oddly enough, to Hugh M. Hefner, the subject of the fascinating new...

Dann & Raymond debate horror film faves

Oct 27 2010 | 2:55 pm - It’s Halloween weekend, kids. Verrry scary! Mwa ha-ha! It’s time to watch a movie that will keep you up all night! But there are so many good scary flicks from which to choose. What do you recommend, Madd Mann Dann?

Documentary shows ‘the other side of Hef'

Oct 21 2010 | 4:51 pm - Hugh Hefner and Playboy, the magazine he founded 57 years ago, are one of the great and most controversial American business success stories of the 20th century.

Vampire remake 'Let Me In' lacks original's soul

Jan 31 2011 | 6:28 pm - It's not easy being a 12-year-old vampire in this day and age. You have to live your life er, death on the road, moving from place to place, never staying long and keeping out of sight. It helps if you have a human companion who can find victims...

'Untouchables' tops Chicago-made movies

Aug 25 2010 | 11:05 pm - Dann: Raymond! I was walking to the Lake Street Screening Room in Chicago when I noticed a Wabash parking garage heaped with twisted, smashed cars and huge chunks of broken concrete.

Starship's Mickey Thomas coming to Elk Grove

Jul 20 2010 | 11:00 pm - When rockers reach the age of 60, many of them decide that they really are too old to rock 'n' roll - but not Starship's Mickey Thomas. With his trademark strong, high tenor voice, Thomas sounds as youthful as ever as he hits the road with his...

'Easy Rider?' 'Rocky?' An eclectic look at patriotic movies

Jun 30 2010 | 11:01 am - Raymond: Dann, it's nearly Fourth of July and we need to get all hot and patriotic. It's funny, when I look at lists of so-called "patriotic movies," most of them are war pictures.

When, oh when, will James Bond be back?

May 06 2010 | 11:04 pm - Dann: Bad news in Bondtown, Raymond. MGM's money troubles have shelved plans to make the next 007 extravaganza that Oscar-winner Sam Mendes was hired to direct. Poor guy. First he loses Kate Winslet, then the 23rd James Bond movie.

Libertyville native Ike Reilly tells stories through song

Apr 20 2010 | 11:01 pm - Singer/songwriters are a dime a dozen, but it's rare when one manages to create an individual persona as a rock 'n' roll storyteller of gritty, no-holds-barred slices of life.

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