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.]