As 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.