Fans of the James Bond novels by Raymond Benson were deeply disappointed in 2003 when the author announced his retirement as “continuation novelist.” But Raymond has hardly retired from the spy game. In fact, he had been working “undercover” for the past year on a project with a name as synonymous with espionage as that of 007…
The name’s Clancy. Tom Clancy.
Today Raymond reveals that he is the man behind the pseudonym David Michaels, author of the just published novel, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell, a 355 page paperback adaptation of the best-selling computer game. This is book one in a series of Splinter Cell novels.
I’m quite proud of it,” Raymond tells CBn. “It’s very much like one of my Bond novels. In fact I approached it like a Bond novel. The only difference is that he’s American, and… get this… it’s in first person. So in a way you can imagine what a Benson Bond novel might have been like had it been written in first person!”
Splinter Cell is about an American operative named Sam Fisher who works for “Third Echelon,” a secret branch of the National Security Agency. Fisher, like James Bond, works alone behind enemy lines–gathering intelligence and stopping bad guys. In true Clancy fashion, the book(s) will feature topical plots involving tomorrow’s technology in today’s political climate. The first Splinter Cell book takes place in the Middle East–much of it in Iraq!
The use of a pseudonym was the idea of the publisher. Explains Benson, “Like the other Clancy spin-offs (Tom Clancy’s Net Force, Tom Clancy’s Power Plays, Tom Clancy’s Op-Center), Clancy came up with the idea but other writers pen the series. The reason for the pseudonym is if the series goes on past the second book and I no longer want to write them, then they can get another writer to do them and still retain the “David Michaels” pseudonym.”
Benson is now working on the second book in the Splinter Cell series.
“Bottom line,” says Raymond, “If you liked my Bond novels, you’ll like Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell.”