RIP J.G. Ballard

Jeff VanderMeer is reporting that J.G. Ballard is dead. If that last sentence doesn’t cause your heart to sink to your feet, then get thee to a bookstore or a library and check the man’s work out immediately. Ballard was one of the greats: an imaginative giant, a profoundly erudite iconoclast, one of those rare talents who came up with a warped concept that needed to be wild while providing the speculative heft needed to keep a thought experiment going. And I hope to have more to say about the man as soon as I can collect my thoughts more coherently.

[UPDATE: Joanne McNeil, Jacket Copy, the AP, Tributes from the Guardian, even Gawker and Entertainment Weekly. But nothing from the New York Times or the Washington Post, who I presume are both too vanilla to appreciate a genius.]

[UPDATE 2: The New York Times and the Washington Post merely ran the AP obit off the wires. So John Updike gets independent coverage. But Ballard, being a mere “speculative” writer, does not.]


  1. RIP: J.G. Ballard…

    Sad news… Author J.G. Ballard (The Drowned World , The Burning World , The Crystal World, Crash, Empire of the Sun, Cocaine Nights and many more) has passed away at age 78 after a long illness. See reactions and remembrances……

  2. Ballard was pretty much ignored in the Toronto dailies.

    Nothing in the Globe, less than 500 words in the Star (tucked away in a ‘Briefs’ section). The Post had something a bit longer on their website.

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