Very interesting book but damn it took me a long time to get through for something so (relatively) short. It was partly due to the bleak nature of the book, but partly because Ballard has a very particular kind of writing style. It just doesn’t draw me in instantaneously. Even though his speculative concepts are intriguing and the stories are often compelling enough on their own, I just don’t particularly enjoy reading his books as I’m reading them. However, as soon as I finish I become seemingly more interested to delve deeper into his oeuvre.
On a side note: The modern politico-philosophical trend of accelerationism has a lot of interesting things to say about Ballard’s writing which I find to be of interest. As Ballard had predicted, sf had become the only medium capable of addressing the disorienting reality of the present:
‘Everything is becoming science fiction. From the margins of an almost invisible literature has sprung the intact reality of the twentieth century. What the writers of modern science fiction invent today, you and I will do tomorrow—or, more exactly, in about ten years’ time, though the gap is narrowing. Science fiction is the most important fiction that has been written for the last 100 years…’
I’ll certainly be coming back to explore more of his work at some point before the year is through.