University News

"The James Bond Phenomenon" Lecture March 11

March 3, 2009

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MACOMB, IL - - Raymond Benson, author of James Bonds books from 1996-2002, will present the lecture "The James Bond Phenomenon" at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 11 in the Tri States Public Radio's Performance Studio, 320 University Drive, adjacent to Cinema I and II. Benson will sign his books following the lecture.

Tri-States Audio Information Services (AIS), along with Western's English and journalism department, are sponsoring the author and event. The lecture is open free to the public; however, seating is limited, and reservations are recommended.

"We are pleased to introduce Raymond Benson as our 11th visiting author for the Illinois Authors Series," said Carol Dennhardt, director of Tri-States AIS. "Everyone is familiar with the character James Bond, and we are confident the lecture will be educational as well as entertaining as presented through the eyes of one of the writers.

"Benson's talents are noteworthy, as well as varied. His writing skills are one of his many accomplishments that will be featured in March," Dennhardt added. "And, since he is best known for his James Bond novels, he will focus the lecture on Ian Fleming, James Bond and his affiliation with the James Bond franchise from 1996 to 2002.

Benson's presentation will later air for the listeners of the Radio Information Service, Dennhardt said.

Over the past 30-plus years, Benson has been an author, composer, computer game designer, stage director, film historian and film genres instructor. He was the fourth official author of the James Bond 007 novels, along with various other novels, with some under his pseudonym David Michaels.

As the official novelist of the Bond literary franchise in the late 1990s, Benson wrote six original novels, three film novelizations and three short stories. The three film novelizations - - "Tomorrow Never Dies," "The World Is Not Enough" and "Die Another Day"- - starred Pierce Brosnan in the leading role.

Tri-States Audio Information Services include the Radio Information Service (RIS), Personal Reader Service (PRS), Call-RIS and Web Streaming Service (WSS). The RIS is a regional radio reading service broadcasting on subcarrier channels of WIUM-FM Macomb, WIUW-FM Warsaw/Keokuk and WQUB-FM, Quincy. Volunteers read national, regional and local newspapers, magazines and novels. The RIS operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with overnight programming provided by the In-Touch Satellite Network. Eligible listeners are individuals who cannot see traditional size print or interpret the printed page. They are supplied with pre-tuned radios to receive the broadcasts or they listen through the Internet on the Web Streaming Service located at

The Personal Reader Service provides volunteers who work one-on-one with individuals in their homes in McDonough County. Call-RIS provides a call-in telephone system offering a community calendar for Western Illinois University and the McDonough County area. There is no charge for any of the services.

Tri-States Audio Information Services is funded as a service of Western Illinois University's College of Fine Arts and Communication. Additional funding is provided by the Illinois State Library, the Fellheimer Trust and area United Ways and Lions Clubs. The services also receive funding through fundraisers and contributions from businesses, organizations and individuals.

For more information about Tri-States Audio Information Services and volunteer opportunities, visit or call 309/298-2403.

To make reservations for the March 11 lecture, call Tri-States AIS at (800) 895-2912 or (309) 298-2403.

Benson's books are available for purchase from New Copperfield Book Service, 120 North Side Square, Macomb.

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