NONFICTION

J.G. Ballard

Univ. of Illinois. (Modern Masters of Science Fiction). Nov. 2017. 208p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780252041433. $95; pap. ISBN 9780252082955. $22. LIT
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In this installment of the series, Wilson (English, Wright State Univ.-Lake Campus; Cultographies: They Live) takes pains to confirm that J.G. Ballard is indeed a sf author, and that Ballard himself would have agreed. He then goes on to point out all the ways in which Ballard is a master of the genre, a literary sf author as well. The text is elegantly argued, intuitively organized, and sure to be relevant to Ballardian scholars—but will also have value to sf fans who may have been confused by his varied output, or who had lacked the context to fit the titles they liked into his entire body of work. Above all, this is a testament to Ballard's continued relevance. At the time of his death in 2009, social media was only about four years old, but Wilson shows how Ballard could extrapolate from human behavior around the phenomena of film and television—as far back as the 1960s—to anticipate just where we would be today. This has the effect of marking Ballard as well-deserving of the "Masters of Science Fiction" designation.
VERDICT Recommended for all academic and readers of the genre.

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