J. G. Ballard

Reading “Crash” at 17 left me in a state of numb shock. It got me hooked and left me with J. G. Ballard as one of my favourite authors. I then devoured a short story collection called “Myths of the Near Future” around the same time. You may recognise it because the Klaxons appropriated the title for their debut album. Those stories captured my imagination, in particular the eponymous story of a world gone to run amid “space sickness”.

Later on, I tried “Concrete Island” and “High Rise” but couldn’t willget into them. But I found “The Crystal World” much easier to follow. I’ve not read much of his long form fiction but I have waded through the complete collection of short stories.

Even though you can’t read books to order, I bought ten of his novels last week. They’re cheap on Amazon and Waterstone’s extended their three-for-two offer to all fiction paperbacks. I was keen to take on a range of books that cover Ballard’s career. I decided on these novels. The list links to the wikipedia page for each book but beware, those links will contain plot spoilers:

  1. The Drowned World
  2. The Drought (AKA The Burning World)
  3. The Crystal World
  4. Crash
  5. Concrete Island
  6. High-Rise
  7. The Unlimited Dream Company
  8. Hello America
  9. The Day of Creation
  10. Rushing To Paradise

UPDATE: I also bought the following later novels.

  1. Cocaine Nights
  2. Super-Cannes
  3. Kingdom Come

You can group the novels in different ways. I do this because I would like to write about the novels individually and collectively. I can’t offer deep textual analysis, just a gut reaction to the characters, scenarios and writing in these books. That, and how each novel relates to previous ones. My classification of the novels goes like this:

The divisions I impose between the novels may be artificial, but I hope they uncover plenty of stuff to write about. I will post about each novel as I read it.

You May Also Enjoy

Isaac Asimov, Foundation and Empire, Second Foundation
Isaac Asimov, Foundation
J. G. Ballard, Hello America
J. G. Ballard, The Unlimited Dream Company
· Reading Projects, Science Fiction, Books, J. G. Ballard, Ten

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