Sunday, April 19, 2009

J.G. Ballard R.I.P.


JG Ballard's novels, disquieting, visionary and often apocalyptic fables of technological and social anarchy set him at the very pinnacle of contemporary writing.
The self-professed "architect of dreams, sometimes nightmares" enjoyed a cult status, and Steven Spielberg's film of his book Empire of the Sun brought him a a popular fanbase, too.
Fusing external landscapes of futuristic visions with the internal workings of his characters' minds, Ballard created a series of montages in which the world was, in turns, flooded, desiccated, crystallised and concreted over.

He was, some said, the seer of the post-Hiroshima age.
Born in Shanghai in 1930, the son of a British executive, James Graham Ballard lived in style in the city's international settlement, until Japanese forces swept in during December 1941 and his life changed forever.

The three years which he spent in a Japanese internment camp moulded the young Jim Ballard's vision of the world, and influenced all of his works, where a sense of "the world turned upside down" is an all-pervading and recurrent theme.
Ballard finally returned to Britain, by now "like a foreign country", and later abandoned his medical studies at Cambridge to become a writer.

In 1953 Ballard joined the RAF and was sent to the RCAF flight-training base in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada. There he discovered science fiction in American magazines. While in the RAF, he also wrote his first science fiction story, "Passport to Eternity", as a pastiche and summary of the American science fiction he had read. From BBC
In 1953 Ballard joined the RAF and was sent to the RCAF flight-training base in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada. There he discovered science fiction in American magazines. While in the RAF, he also wrote his first science fiction story, "Passport to Eternity", as a pastiche and summary of the American science fiction he had read.


Cronenberg made this into a notorious film.

This was also a fantastic movie starring young Christian Bale.

If you haven't read at least these three novels above, well you've got some fantastic reading ahead of you. Ballard was the real deal.

1 comment:

tweetey30 said...

Dont think I have read these novels yet. But I will see about doing so soon. I have loads of books to read. My MIL gave me like five romance novels to read and then I still have like eight other books to get to first that I got from a friend.