my j.g. ballard library

jg ballard library

...such as it is. The RE/SEARCH book by Vale and Juno on the bottom of the stack is top-notch, if you can track down a copy. Interviews, reviews, excerpts, illustrated with infra-red filtered photos of bleak industrial and desert landscapes.

Those enjoying the antics of the Dharma Initiative on Lost might get a kick out of Rushing to Paradise, a politically incorrect fable of what happens when a fanatic liberal activist suddenly has infinite funding for research on a Pacific island (hint: she becomes another Pol Pot). If you've never read Ballard I swear by Concrete Island, The Crystal World, High-Rise, and his breakthrough autobiography Empire of the Sun (sentimentalized by Steven Spielberg, what a surprise).

Rest in peace, Jim. Another guy the gatekeeper literati didn't know what to make of, adored by artists, filmmakers, etc.

Update: Not that Ballard necessarily wanted past the gate. As Simon Reynolds notes in a Salon obit: "There's an impulse among some Ballard fans, especially those who are 'proper' literati themselves, to elevate Ballard and argue that his work transcends the ghetto of genre fiction. Although Ballard occasionally expressed frustration with SF's pulpy aura, and later in his career wrote novels that fell outside its parameters, he generally was content to situate himself in the genre and loudly championed its potential. 'I believe that if it were possible to scrap the whole of existing literature,' he once declared, '... all writers would find themselves inevitably producing something very close to SF ... No other form of fiction has the vocabulary of ideas and images to deal with the present, let alone the future.'"