HomeGroupsTalkExploreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
MembersReviewsPopularityRatingFavorited   Events   
30,564 (51,533)963555 (3.62)1940
J. G. Ballard was born to British parents in Shanghai, China on November 15, 1930. While a child during World War II, he spent four years in a Japanese POW camp. This experience was the basis for the emotionally moving novel Empire of the Sun, which he adapted into a successful movie, directed by Steven Spielberg. Before becoming a full-time writer, he studied medicine at Cambridge University and served as a pilot in the British Royal Air Force. Ballard is best known for his science fiction writings. His early works were heavily influenced by surrealism. Most of his novels deal with death and destruction of the human spirit. Novels such as Crash, Concrete Island, and High Rise portray a society that is devolving into barbaric chaos. Crash was made into a movie by David Cronenberg in 1996. The Drowned World describes an apocalyptic society, with a hero that ushers in the destruction of the world. His novel Empire of the Sun was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and awarded the Guardian Fiction Prize and James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction. Empire of the Sun was filmed by Steven Spielberg in 1987, starring a young Christian Bale as Jim (Ballard). Ballard moved away from science fiction, but he is still considered one of the leading authors of the genre. He died on April 19, 2009 at the age of 78. (Bowker Author Biography)
— biography from Empire of the Sun
… (more)
Empire of the Sun 3,477 copies, 66 reviews
Crash 3,252 copies, 72 reviews
The Drowned World 2,473 copies, 60 reviews
High-Rise 2,174 copies, 73 reviews
The Atrocity Exhibition 1,519 copies, 27 reviews
Super-Cannes 1,221 copies, 22 reviews
Concrete Island 1,173 copies, 24 reviews
Cocaine Nights 1,116 copies, 11 reviews
The Crystal World 1,092 copies, 23 reviews
The Drought 886 copies, 20 reviews
Millennium People 808 copies, 17 reviews
The Day of Creation 697 copies, 11 reviews
The Kindness of Women 672 copies, 9 reviews
Kingdom Come 638 copies, 17 reviews
The Unlimited Dream Company 557 copies, 15 reviews
The Terminal Beach 539 copies, 6 reviews
Miracles of Life 527 copies, 18 reviews
Hello America 520 copies, 9 reviews
Running Wild 512 copies, 16 reviews
Vermilion Sands 497 copies, 9 reviews
Rushing to Paradise 429 copies, 5 reviews
The Wind from Nowhere 390 copies, 5 reviews
War Fever 327 copies, 4 reviews
The Four-Dimensional Nightmare 289 copies, 4 reviews
The Disaster Area 250 copies, 2 reviews
Myths of the Near Future 246 copies, 3 reviews
Chronopolis 219 copies, 6 reviews
The Venus Hunters 136 copies, 1 review
Billenium 109 copies
The Inner Landscape 107 copies, 3 reviews
Passport to Eternity 77 copies, 2 reviews
Conversations 73 copies
The Drowned Giant 24 copies, 1 review
De wachtvelden 16 copies
The Cloud-Sculptors of Coral D 13 copies, 1 review
Supernova 10 copies
Prima Belladonna 8 copies, 3 reviews
The Cage of Sand 8 copies, 1 review
News from the sun 8 copies, 2 reviews
The Sound-Sweep 8 copies, 1 review
Build-Up 7 copies, 3 reviews
Deep End 7 copies, 1 review
Track 12 6 copies, 1 review
The Subliminal Man 6 copies, 1 review
The Voices of Time {novella} 6 copies, 1 review
The Volcano Dances 6 copies, 2 reviews
Escapement [short story] 5 copies, 1 review
The Message From Mars 5 copies, 1 review
End-game 5 copies, 1 review
Manhole 69 [short fiction] 4 copies, 1 review
Now: Zero [short story] 4 copies, 1 review
Dream Cargoes 4 copies, 1 review
War Fever [short story] 4 copies, 1 review
Zone of Terror [short story] 4 copies, 1 review
Beton Ada 3 copies
The index [short fiction] 3 copies, 1 review
Thirteen to Centaurus 3 copies, 1 review
Love In A Colder Climate 3 copies, 1 review
The Time-Tombs [novelette] 3 copies, 1 review
Zodiac 2000 [short story] 2 copies, 1 review
You and me and the continuum 2 copies, 1 review
Mr F. is Mr F. [short story] 2 copies, 1 review
The Smile [short story] 2 copies, 1 review
Theatre of war 2 copies, 1 review
The Dead Time [novelette] 2 copies, 1 review
The Screen Game [novelette] 2 copies, 1 review
Minus One [short story] 2 copies, 1 review
Coitus 80 1 copy
Fuga al paraíso 1 copy, 1 review
Ora: zero 1 copy
Naked Lunch (Introduction, some editions) 6,654 copies, 64 reviews
Dangerous Visions: 33 Original Stories (Contributor) 1,725 copies, 33 reviews
The World Treasury of Science Fiction (Contributor) 801 copies, 2 reviews
The Book of Fantasy (Contributor) 510 copies, 11 reviews
Brave New Worlds: Dystopian Stories (Contributor) 459 copies, 18 reviews
The Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories (Contributor) 398 copies, 7 reviews
The Penguin Book of Modern British Short Stories (Contributor) 384 copies, 1 review
The Ascent of Wonder: The Evolution of Hard SF (Contributor) 368 copies, 5 reviews
The Big Book of Science Fiction (Contributor) 317 copies, 6 reviews
Masterpieces of Fantasy and Wonder (Contributor) 304 copies, 2 reviews
Pranks! (Contributor) 257 copies, 1 review
Semiotext(e) SF (Contributor) 238 copies
Nebula Award Stories 1965 (Contributor) 229 copies, 3 reviews
The Road to Science Fiction #3: From Heinlein to Here (Contributor) 223 copies, 4 reviews
The Penguin Science Fiction Omnibus (Contributor) 220 copies, 4 reviews
Shudder Again: 22 Tales of Sex and Horror (Contributor) 209 copies, 1 review
The 1990 Annual World's Best SF (Contributor) 197 copies, 2 reviews
The Starry Wisdom: A Tribute to H.P. Lovecraft (Contributor) 179 copies, 2 reviews
The Fantasy Hall of Fame (Contributor) 178 copies
The Pleasure of Reading (Contributor) 177 copies, 7 reviews
The Oxford Book of English Short Stories (Contributor) 171 copies, 3 reviews
Dangerous Visions 3 (Contributor) 164 copies, 3 reviews
Nebula Award Stories Number Three (Contributor) 160 copies, 3 reviews
The Ruins of Earth (Contributor) 141 copies, 2 reviews
A Science Fiction Omnibus (Contributor) 139 copies, 3 reviews
5th Annual Edition: The Year's Best S-F (Contributor) 134 copies, 3 reviews
The Playboy Book of Science Fiction (Contributor) 126 copies
Connoisseur's Science Fiction (Contributor) 124 copies, 1 review
Space Odyssey (Contributor) 124 copies, 1 review
Penguin Science Fiction (Contributor) 120 copies, 2 reviews
SF12 (Contributor) 114 copies
The Wesleyan Anthology of Science Fiction (Contributor) 111 copies, 3 reviews
Stories of the Sea (Contributor) 109 copies, 2 reviews
Spectrum 3 (Contributor) 107 copies, 2 reviews
The Playboy Book of Science Fiction and Fantasy (Contributor) 105 copies, 2 reviews
11th Annual Edition: The Year's Best S-F (Contributor) 105 copies, 2 reviews
Cyber-killers (Contributor, some editions) 103 copies, 2 reviews
8th Annual Edition: The Year's Best S-F (Contributor) 103 copies, 2 reviews
Empire of the Sun [1987 film] (Original book) 102 copies, 3 reviews
Dali (Introduction, some editions) 98 copies, 1 review
New Worlds: An Anthology (Contributor) 96 copies, 3 reviews
The Best of Interzone (Contributor) 93 copies
The Second IF Reader of Science Fiction (Contributor) 76 copies, 1 review
New Worlds Quarterly 2 (Contributor) 73 copies
England Swings SF (Contributor) 71 copies, 3 reviews
Cities of wonder (Contributor) 71 copies
Interzone: The 1st Anthology (Author) 68 copies
Best SF: 1967 (Contributor) 67 copies, 2 reviews
New Worlds of Fantasy #3 (Contributor) 65 copies, 1 review
Best SF Stories from New Worlds (Contributor) 65 copies
New Worlds Quarterly 1 (Contributor) 65 copies
Future Tense (Contributor) 61 copies
The Vintage Anthology of Science Fantasy. (Contributor) 61 copies, 1 review
Time Travelers (Fiction in the Fourth Dimension) (Contributor) 59 copies, 2 reviews
Transit of Earth (Contributor) 58 copies, 1 review
Best SF Stories from New Worlds 2 (Contributor) 58 copies
Dark Stars (Contributor) 58 copies
The Big Book of Modern Fantasy (Contributor) 57 copies, 1 review
New Worlds of Fantasy (Contributor) 56 copies, 1 review
Alpha 1 (Contributor) 56 copies
Interzone: The 2nd Anthology (Contributor) 55 copies, 1 review
Lost Mars: The Golden Age of the Red Planet (Contributor) 55 copies, 1 review
The New SF (Contributor) 53 copies, 1 review
Best SF Stories from New Worlds 5 (Contributor) 53 copies, 1 review
Best SF Stories from New Worlds 6 (Contributor) 52 copies
The Best of British SF 2 (Contributor) 50 copies
The Traps of Time (Contributor) 50 copies, 1 review
Best Science Fiction Stories (Author, some editions) 50 copies, 1 review
One Hundred Years of Science Fiction: v. 2 (Author) 46 copies, 1 review
Best SF Stories from New Worlds 8 (Contributor) 42 copies, 2 reviews
Alpha 2 (Contributor) 42 copies
Afterlives (Contributor) 41 copies, 1 review
In Dreams Awake 39 copies
Stars of Albion (Contributor) 38 copies, 1 review
SF: Authors' Choice (Contributor) 35 copies
Interzone: The 4th Anthology (Contributor) 34 copies, 1 review
Best SF Stories from New Worlds 7 (Contributor) 33 copies
Windows Into Tomorrow (Contributor) 30 copies
Top Fantasy (Contributor) 29 copies
Beach : Stories by the Sand and Sea (Contributor) 29 copies, 1 review
100 Years of Science Fiction (Contributor) 29 copies
Lands of Never: Anthology of Modern Fantasy (Contributor) 27 copies, 1 review
First Voyages (Contributor) 26 copies, 1 review
Phantastische Aussichten (Contributor) 16 copies
Earth in Transit (Contributor) 15 copies
Mind in Chains (Contributor) 14 copies, 1 review
Univers 03 (Contributor) 13 copies
Tales in Space (Contributor) 11 copies
SF Inventing the Future (Contributor) 11 copies
Science fiction verhalen [1969] (Contributor, some editions; Contributor, some editions) 10 copies, 1 review
Star Book of Horror No. 1 (Contributor) 10 copies
Ikarus 2002 (Contributor) 8 copies
Gigantic Worlds (Contributor) 8 copies, 1 review
Univers 1986 (Contributor) 8 copies
New Worlds SF 163, June 1966 (Contributor) 7 copies
Death on Wheels (Contributor) 7 copies
Time of Passage (Contributor) 6 copies
New Worlds SF 161, April 1966 (Contributor) 6 copies
New Worlds SF 170, January 1967 (Contributor) 5 copies
Bifrost n°59 (Contributor) 5 copies
Impulse 1 (Contributor) 4 copies
ULLSTEIN 2000 SF STORIES 81 (Contributor) 4 copies
Short Fiction: Shape and Substance (Contributor) 3 copies
Nuove avventure nell'ignoto (Contributor) 2 copies
Impuls 1 (Author, some editions) 2 copies, 1 review
Døds-layoutet 1 (Author, some editions; Author, some editions) 2 copies, 1 review
Den ¤elektriske myre og andre science fiction-fortællinger (Author, some editions) 2 copies, 1 review
Døds-layoutet 2 (Author, some editions) 2 copies, 1 review
季刊NW-SF 1号 (Contributor) 1 copy
季刊NW-SF 3号 (Contributor) 1 copy
季刊NW-SF 6号 (Contributor) 1 copy
Antaeus No. 35, Autumn 1979 (Contributor) 1 copy
海 1972年05月号 (Contributor) 1 copy

Top members (works)

Member favorites

Members: bookishbill, Dreamweaver99, Indiscipline, private member, heavenlypit, ScottLaz, nothingistrue, dkarenart, gosuto, MusichettaJoly, anjenue, Tribe_XX, merriicat, SolerSystem, gaskella, fruittwist000, reichec, Elliott-Bell, smichaelwilson, private member (show 174 more), andystardust, zencompliance, unapersson, Fashy_Goy, ursula, absurdeist, DanielToveyHayes, dew_enfolded, O_Hozomeen, ghostdog801, davess, si_j_peacock, Shantanrazzini, mujinga, thegreenmikado, KinMarcus, scura, Lyndatrue, private member, mrbudyhed, c_j_bolt, Africansky1, AlkaF, DKGullen, ralph.woodcock, SophieETallis, cedarngloom, tdazzle, bidavi, frobbert, fact62, pnorth, LitClique, johntober, VolupteFunebre, stuffebooks, bibliopolitan, private member, KALI9827, dwacker, derekajohnson, nerdsoup, Roddy.Williams, LyleWonders, HectorSwell, clong, daviddonnelly, socialradnar, foschina, kbondelli, FreudLove, igorken, riktod, Axholme7, Quint_B, Salignac, NickW, gclark, kswolff, sfarmer76, brianfergusonwpg, roblong, leoden, YESterNOw, peer35, patrickgower, ochobbit, lyndoncordero, imbolcfire, cswilley1, Orclev, alexshephard, mel-L-co0l-j, saysthespider, mjdrabik, Elasticlad, iijjaallkkaa, geocroc, LouBriccant, j_miah23, Parthurbook, Arcana, Tianmimi, DocGonzo, Tallis72, smccormack, MEStaton, cartref, private member, hansbib, ScanningDarkly, Coltime, debaser_1985, Brasidas, votelawrence, yosarian, MeditationesMartini, hyacint, jasbro, JZTamer, JulB, starkimarki, yeschaton, koyote, RamonHenson, AlanPoulter, private member, perfectleft, marcobabi, blackhornet, nancyboyo, disturbance42, samgilbert, mbvinstrup, readfast-dieyoung, hellomilo, lriley, private member, YoungLeezy, nilsr, TuDoDude, phillipsccw, Benjaminista, Calapine, Sporenburg, private member, theblastedmohab, hauntedtapedeck, georgematt, STOCeallaigh, sf_addict, stillbeing, theoldanarchist, ohdaniel, NickCate, hashiru, laughing_gravy, Greatrakes, Shutterking, timjones, kingofengland, sean2euro, eatunicornmeat, numinizer, dan_89, Danlikebooks, SomeT, raggedprince, jmutate, somnambule, Melmoth, dutts, Grammath, Splittergal, 666777, eggwood, iheartar, spiritus93, arthurfrayn, rhizomania, papalaz, hstencil, Skaidon, Emilianoh, satiros, bullseye, wonderlake, Dr_Benway, mtakeda, Onlooker, MayorWhitebelly, rameau, jhdunn, solarisbooks

Add to favorites
1001 (176) 1001 books (189) 20th century (490) American literature (173) anthology (2,238) autobiography (156) beat (224) British (304) British literature (241) China (193) collection (220) drugs (400) dystopia (483) ebook (204) England (140) English (227) English literature (251) essays (187) fantasy (593) fiction (5,531) horror (154) J. G. Ballard (220) literature (638) non-fiction (319) novel (949) paperback (192) philosophy (214) post-apocalyptic (154) psychology (170) read (436) science fiction (5,944) sf (1,807) sff (247) short fiction (282) short stories (2,061) speculative fiction (180) to-read (2,139) UK (146) unread (481) WWII (334)

J. G. Ballard has 4 past events. (show)

You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical name
Legal name
Other names
Date of birth
Date of death
Burial location
Gender
Nationality
Country (for map)
Birthplace
Place of death
Cause of death
Places of residence
Education
Occupations
Relationships
Organizations
Awards and honors
Agents
Short biography
Born and brought up in colonial Shanghai comfort, young James Graham Ballard saw his life change forever when, in the aftermath of Pearl Harbour, Japanese forces swept into the city. The three years he spent in an internment camp moulded his view of "a world turned up-side down" and have constantly influenced his fiction.

Back in Britain, he abandoned his medical studies at Cambridge to become a full-time writer, and his first novel, The Drowned World, was published in 1962. As with many of his works, the wanderings of his characters' minds are charted as minutely as the external world they inhabit. The Drought, The Wind from Nowhere and The Crystal World all strengthened his reputation for bleak but beautiful chronicles of a post-Hiroshima age.

After the death of his wife in 1964, Ballard retreated to Shepperton by the River Thames to raise his three children. But if his surroundings were sleepy and suburban, his imagination remained at the cutting edge. When he produced Crash in 1973, legend has it that one publisher marked in her notes, "writer beyond psychiatric help". Crash, dealing with the erotic possibilities of car accidents, was well ahead of its time. Ballard himself called it "the first pornographic book based on technology" and David Cronenberg's film version in 1996 provoked six months' deliberation for the British censor.

Steven Spielberg's lavish production of Empire of the Sun, Ballard's autobiographical account of his childhood, brought the author financial security and public clamour for his earlier works. At this point, Ballard could have easily put down his pen.

Instead, he has continued to chart the struggle of a restless society, one caught between a need for security and a craving for the reckless. His latest novel, Millennium People, once again describes characters drawn to violence through technologically-induced boredom.

He once called himself "an architect of dreams, sometimes nightmares" and his seeming obsession with disaster, depravity and dystopia is not to everyone's taste. But, in this pop-bang throwaway age, JG Ballard remains curious and alert, reminding us, too, that "imagination itself is an endangered species".
Disambiguation notice

Member ratings

Average: (3.62)
0.5 36
1 231
1.5 50
2 606
2.5 212
3 2020
3.5 677
4 2705
4.5 311
5 1518

Author pictures (4)

 

(see all 4 author pictures)

Improve this author

Combine/separate works

Author division

J. G. Ballard is currently considered a "single author." If one or more works are by a distinct, homonymous authors, go ahead and split the author.

Includes

J. G. Ballard is composed of 34 names. You can examine and separate out names.

Combine with…

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 171,771,322 books! | Top bar: Always visible