Raymond Benson's official site today announced that he may no longer write any more original Bond literary adventures...

Raymond Benson Breaks From Bonding
18th February 2003

Raymond Benson's official website today published a statement that ends months of rumours about the future of the literary 007. Benson, who has written six original Bond adventures and three film novelisations since he took over the mantel of official Bond author from John Gardner in 1996, released a statement on his official website:

While nothing is set in stone, Raymond is taking a break from James Bond. There are a number of reasons for this, but mainly they are-- a) After six original novels, three film novelizations, and three short stories, Raymond feels the need to do some things of his own. In fact, he was working throughout the latter half of 2002 on an original novel of suspense which he has just delivered to his agent. b) The new Board of Directors of the Ian Fleming literary estate (formerly Glidrose, now Ian Fleming Publications Ltd.) want to concentrate on promoting the original Fleming books during the 50th anniversary year (hence the terrific Penguin reissues in both the UK and US). Whether or not they decide to commission more continuation Bond novels by other authors in the future is completely up in the air.

Bond novels had previously been published by Gildrose Publications. Peter Janson-Smith stepped down after 25 years at the helm in 2001, and the company is now wholly owned by the Fleming family and has been renamed to "Ian Fleming Publications Ltd". Sales of new Bond novels have slumped into the tens of thousands in recent years, and Benson's last novel "The Man With The Red Tattoo" was released with very little publicity.

The future of the literary Bond has been thrust into uncertainty. With Benson stepping down from writing any new novels, and "Ian Fleming Publications Ltd" focussing on re-releasing the original Fleming titles, it is uncertain if any new Bond stories will be released again.

Have your say about the current Literary 007 situation in the 007 News poll and discussion thread.

Raymond Benson Works

1997 - Zero Minus Ten
1997 - Tomorrow Never Dies (Novelisation)
1998 - The Facts of Death
1999 - High Time to Kill
1999 - The World is Not Enough (Novelisation)
2000 - Doubleshot
2001 - Never Dream of Dying
2002 - The Man with the Red Tattoo
2002 - Die Another Day (Novelisation)