A Big Book of Ballard

I posted a review of J.G. Ballard’s short story “Chronopolis” yesterday, so I thought I would show some photos of the HUGE book I read it in. The Complete Stories of J.G. Ballard (2010) was a present from my brother a few years back. I’ve only dipped into it occasionally, so I want to make an effort to read more of the stories this year. It’s also a good chance to read more Ballard–a writer whose work is reckoned to be essential reading for any fan of the science fiction genre.

This book contains 98 short stories written between 1956 and 1996. That’s one thousand one hundred and ninety-six pages! I think this will take me a few years to complete, as I’ve been advised not to read too much Ballard in quick succession. I can understand why. His writing is well-known for being “thought-provoking and unsettling,” his stories “eerie and melancholy.”

From Martin Amis’s introduction:

“Ballard was beleaguered by obsession. In his work, mood and landscape are indivisible.”

“This was his abiding question: what effect does the modern setting have on our psyches?”

“He never abandoned the science-fictional tour de force, as an option for certain global or cosmic ideas; but the focus soon moves toward the inner space of the mind.”

-Martin Amis, Introduction

Thanks for reading!

29 thoughts on “A Big Book of Ballard

  1. That Le Guin book is tiny. Put it beside Sanderson’s Words of Radiance and it gets a fair comparison 🀣
    I fear, the binding won’t survive it till the end. That’s a book where you need hardcover.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I looked around the house and my ebook collection and so far haven’t found any Ballard. I’ll have to keep an eye open and pick something up one day. If you enjoy the author having a huge collection like this can be great, especially if you read slowly because you know there’s so much great reading still to come. That’s one reason I’ve been working my way so slowly through Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser series, one I read a little of when younger. If I read too fast it’ll be over, no more to go. But reading slowly I know there’s still more to savor. Of course, if I read too slowly time may catch up with me and I’ll never finish, so there’s a balancing act to it. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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