Thursday, May 14, 2015

When Bond went LIVE AT FIVE

Check out this artwork for Raymond Benson's short story Live At Five. The story appeared in TV Guide in November 1999 as part of a special issue showcasing The World Is Not Enough (recall that Raymond wrote the novelization for that film). I love how it evokes the classic Signet series artwork with Fleming's name running down the edge.

Live At Five is a unique Bond short story in that it's a "flashback" adventure set in the year 1985 (a year without a Gardner novel, which may or may not have been intentional on Raymond's part). In it, Bond travels to Chicago to help a Russian ice-skater defect with the help of a television news reporter, Janet Davis. In my CBn Interview with Raymond, he recalled:

"The idea for the plot had to do with a Russian defector, an ice skater. In order for that to make any sense, the story had to take place prior to 1989, before the fall of the Soviet Union. Simple as that. So I framed the bulk of the story within the context of Bond remembering the events of that time prior to meeting the girl again in the present. The story has a nice twist, I think, when the identity of the girl is revealed."

Live At Five was included in the 2011 anthology collection of Raymond's Bond work, Choice of Weapons.

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