J G Ballard – 15th November 1930 to 19th April 2009

J G BallardAs you’ve probably already heard elsewhere, legendary New Wave sf author J G Ballard died yesterday after a long battle with cancer. There’s a decent obituary at the Daily Telegraph, and Jeff VanderMeer has posted an appreciation of the man at the Amazon Omnivoracious blog. [image courtesy Wikimedia Commons]

Regular readers may have noticed that I very rarely mark the passing of famous writers here at Futurismic, principally because I feel it would be crass to do so when I don’t really have much to say about them; I’m poorly read in the classics of the genre, and such things are better left to those closer to a writer’s oeuvre.

Ballard, however, is one of the giants of the scene with whose work I am fairly familiar, and whose work also played a large part in shaping the way I see things – in science fiction, and in reality as well. Comments and blog posts describing him as a sort of prophet are appearing in great number, and allowing for the hyperbole that such occasions tend to provoke, I think that’s a fair comment. Alongside Philip K Dick, whose style and approach was admittedly very different, Ballard was writing the world we now live in… half a century ago.

A very smart man, and – as VanderMeer puts it – a truly fearless writer. My world feels a little smaller for his absence.

2 thoughts on “J G Ballard – 15th November 1930 to 19th April 2009”

  1. “Fearless” is indeed the word for him. Not always the easiest or most pleasant read, but really an essential writer.

  2. J.G.B. was at School with me ( but in a different Camp ). He was shown to be bright then. I found his name in old School mags as a prizewinner, reported on Speech Days,on several occasions.

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