Sunday, December 8, 2013

Benson's BOND - U.S. hardcovers

In 1997 Raymond Benson succeeded John Gardner as the official James Bond continuation author. Benson returned many of the classic elements to the series (such as Bond's Walther PPK) and chose not to continue some of the changes of the later Gardner years, such as MircoGlobe One. Per the request of IFP (then still Glidrose), Benson made M a woman as a concession to the film series.

Benson delivered six terrific original James Bond adventures with each book powered by a clear thematic "hook." They were books written by a hardcore James Bond fan and certainly appealed to this hardcore fan. I'll still argue that Benson's third book, High Time To Kill, is one of the very best of all the James Bond continuation novels.

In the U.S., all six Raymond Benson Bond books were published in hardcover by Putnam with nice uniform cover art. This new series art was an improvement (IMO) over Putnam's Gardner series cover art which had also remained uniform during his reign. Benson's three novelizations, Tomorrow Never Die, The World Is Not Enough, and Die Another Day, where not published in hardcover in the U.S.



Publication dates:
Zero Minus Ten – Putnam, May 5, 1997.
The Facts of Death - Putnam, June 15, 1998.
High Time To Kill - Putnam, June 7, 1999.
Doubleshot - Putnam, June 5, 2000.
Never Dream of Dying - June 4, 2001.
The Man With The Red Tattoo – Putnam, June 10, 2002.

The Benson paperbacks were published by Jove in the U.S. You can check out those covers HERE.

4 comments:

  1. I really rate Zero Minus 10 but some of the others relied too much on old Fleming characters coming back, a problem when a uberfan writes continuation novels.

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  2. Long time ago now, but I too remember really liking Zero Minus Ten, then being not so keen on The Facts of Death. Maybe it's time to give these a re-visit.

    Actually found a TMWTRT US hardcover one day in the Melbourne Central Little Library (an unmanned free book exchange - you drop off books you don't want any more and take ones you do). I donated a couple of spare Bond paperbacks I had in return and hopefully made a new LitBond fan or two.

    Look forward to the UK version of this topic, and that NDOD "college textbook" cover that can't possibly be as bad as I remember.

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  3. I recently re-read Zero Minus Ten. A good read. I always felt that it was the best of the Benson Bond books.

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  4. My favorite Benson at the time was Doubleshot, but I haven't read them since they came out. I look forward to re-reading them at some point soon. When these were being published, I remember feeling very jealous of British readers for once again getting much better covers, but I have to admit seeing all these Benson Putnams faced out together like this makes me appreciate them a bit more.

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