The Complete Short Stories

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9780007124053: The Complete Short Stories

For the first time, the complete collected short stories of the author of ‘Empire of the Sun’, ‘Cocaine Nights’ and ‘Super-Cannes’ – regarded by many as Britain’s No. 1 living fiction writer.

With sixteen novels over four decades – from ‘The Drowned World’ in 1962 to his highly acclaimed ‘Super-Cannes’ in 2000 – J.G. Ballard is firmly established as one of Britain’s most highly regarded and original novelists.

For all that time he has also written short stories; in fact, many people consider that he is at his best in the short-story format. These stories have appeared in magazines such as ‘New Worlds’, ‘Amazing Stories’ and ‘Interzone’, and in several separate collections, including ‘The Voices of Time’, ‘The Terminal Beach’, ‘The Day of Forever’, ‘The Venus Hunters,’ ‘The Disaster Area’, ‘Vermilion Sands’, ‘Low-Flying Aircraft’, ‘Myths of the Near Future’ and ‘War Fever’.

Now, for the first time, all of J.G. Ballard’s published stories – including four stories that have not previously appeared in a collection – have been gathered together in one volume and set out in the order in which they were originally published, providing an unprecedented opportunity to review the career of one of Britain’s greatest writers.

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Review:

The Complete Short Stories of JG Ballard are required reading for all connoisseurs of Ballard's writing. This compilation brings together 96 short stories drawn from previous collections of Ballard's short stories, including The Voices of Time and War Fever, as well as four previously uncollected stories. The result is an exhilarating overview of Ballard's development as a short-story writer, from the singing orchids of Vermilion Sands in Prima Belladonna, completed in 1956, to the millennial anxieties of Report from an Obscure Planet, written in 1992.

The Complete Short Stories confirm Ballard's stature as a craftsman of the short story, which often suits his surreal brilliance above and beyond later novels such as Cocaine Nights and Super-Cannes. In his Introduction, Ballard reflects, "the short story is coined from precious metal, a glint of gold that will glow for ever in the deep purse of your imagination." Time and again, whether exploring the furthest reaches of science fiction, or the banal surrealism of English suburban life, Ballard's perverse insight lodges itself in your imagination, as he explores and often punctures what he refers to as "that over-worked hologram called reality". This collection will delight devotees, but it will also allow readers new to Ballard to experience a short-story writer of the stature of Borges, Bradbury or Edgar Allan Poe. --Jerry Brotton

Review:

‘The most important contemporary British writer.’ Will Self, Independent

‘He has had from the start an extraordinary descriptive gift, an eye for the mood and code of the visual environment that is like Poe’s, but steadier. He remains most effective in the tight capsule of the short story.’ Richard Holmes, The Times

‘Ballard is the most modern of writers; his art engages with the artefacts and obsessions of the second half of the century in a manner and with an intensity umatched by any other writer.’ William Boyd, Daily Telegraph

‘J.G. Ballard is a magician of the contemporary scene and a literary saboteur. Ballard’s fantastical landscapes are among the most haunting in English literature. No one else writes with such enchanted clarity or strange power.’ Ian Thomson, Guardian

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