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Archive for the ‘New Worlds’ Category

Extreme Metaphors: ‘A Launchpad for Other Explorations’

By • Feb 1st, 2014 •

Category: Extreme Metaphors, inner space, Lead Story, New Worlds, non-fiction, Salvador Dali, science fiction, Shanghai, Shepperton

To celebrate the new paperback edition of Extreme Metaphors: Selected Interviews with J.G. Ballard, here’s Simon Sellars’ introduction to the book, which explores the true power of Ballard’s conversational style.



Myths of a Near Future: Simon Sellars, Bruce Sterling and V. Vale

By • Nov 15th, 2010 •

Category: Barcelona, body horror, boredom, Bruce Sterling, celebrity culture, consumerism, cyberpunk, deep time, features, inner space, Lead Story, New Worlds, Salvador Dali, surrealism, William Burroughs

Two years ago, Simon Sellars, Bruce Sterling and V. Vale appeared on a panel, ‘Myths of a Near Future’, to discuss the work of J.G. Ballard. Our friend Tim Chapman was in the audience and he has kindly transcribed the discussion. Here it is, two years late, but hopefully still of interest: ‘Myths of a Near Future’.



Landscapes From a Dream: How the Art of David Pelham Captured the Essence of J G Ballard’s Early Fiction

By • Jun 14th, 2010 •

Category: deep time, Ernst, features, inner space, Lead Story, New Worlds, Salvador Dali, short stories, surrealism, visual art

For Ballard surrealist art was one of many possible routes to inner space. But inner space in its quintessentially Ballardian form needed something other than surrealist reproductions on the covers of his books. This was the challenge facing David Pelham, when Penguin’s Ballard titles came up for reprint.



“Enthusiasm for the mysterious emissaries of pulp”: an interview with David Britton (the Savoy interviews, part 2a)

By • Feb 22nd, 2010 •

Category: audio, censorship, H.P. Lovecraft, Iain Sinclair, Ian Curtis, interviews, Lead Story, literature, music, New Worlds, punk, Savoy Books, Shanghai

The story of Savoy Books is one of the strangest in publishing history: a tale of lost opportunities, missed opportunities, repression, censorship, imprisonment … and, most importantly, an incredible legacy of work that continues to disturb, challenge and confront. All of those qualities are equally applicable to Savoy Records, the music arm of Savoy’s black empire, as Simon Sellars discovers when he talks to Savoy co-founder David Britton. The interview features sound clips from selected Savoy releases.



“Enthusiasm for the mysterious emissaries of pulp”: an interview with David Britton (the Savoy interviews, part 2b)

By • Feb 22nd, 2010 •

Category: audio, censorship, H.P. Lovecraft, Iain Sinclair, Ian Curtis, literature, music, New Worlds, punk, Savoy Books

The story of Savoy Books is one of the most strangest in publishing history: a tale of lost opportunities, missed opportunities, repression, censorship, imprisonment … and, most importantly, an incredible legacy of work that continues to disturb, challenge and confront. All of those qualities are equally applicable to Savoy Records, the music arm of Savoy’s black empire, as Simon Sellars discovers when he talks to Savoy co-founder David Britton. The interview features sound clips from selected Savoy releases.



The 032c Interview: Simon Reynolds on Ballard, part 2

By • Dec 7th, 2009 •

Category: Brian Eno, interviews, Lead Story, music, New Worlds, Philip K. Dick, science fiction, short stories, William Burroughs

Simon Reynolds is one of the most recognizable music critics around. His work reached a peak with the publication of Rip It Up and Start Again, a timely excavation of post-punk: Cabaret Voltaire, PiL, Magazine, and so on. What’s more, J.G. Ballard was a thread throughout the book, as Reynolds charted the influence of JGB — and especially his experimental novel, The Atrocity Exhibition — on the era. In this interview, as Simon meets Simon, these topics are discussed in the wake of JGB’s death.



Rick McGrath’s Letter From London: The JG Ballard Memorial

By • Nov 30th, 2009 •

Category: Ambit magazine, Chris Petit, features, film, Iain Sinclair, Lead Story, Michael Moorcock, New Worlds, R.I.P. JGB, Shanghai, Shepperton, Solveig Nordlund, Steven Spielberg, time travel, Toby Litt, Will Self, William Burroughs

“Greetings from London! Hope all is well with you. I’ve just attended the long-anticipated JG Ballard Memorial celebration at the Tate Modern and now I’m catching my breath — and a few beers — at a nearby Thames-side pub with fellow Ballardians. We’re having a wonderful time — wish you were here. But let’s start at the beginning. We have time to order some Alsatian off the barbie…” Love from Rick.



“Driven by Anger”: An Interview with Michael Butterworth (the Savoy interviews, part 1)

By • Nov 5th, 2009 •

Category: alternate worlds, Ambit magazine, body horror, censorship, horror, humour, Iain Sinclair, interviews, Lead Story, New Worlds, punk, Savoy Books, surrealism, William Burroughs

The story of Savoy Books is one of the strangest in publishing history: a tale of lost opportunities, missed opportunities, repression, censorship, imprisonment … and, most importantly, an incredible legacy of work that continues to disturb, challenge and confront. Mike Holliday talks to Savoy co-founder Michael Butterworth about all this and more, including the guidance Butterworth received as a young writer from J.G. Ballard.



Iterative Architecture: a Ballardian Text

By • Jul 23rd, 2009 •

Category: academia, alternate worlds, America, architecture, death of affect, deep time, features, film, inner space, invisible literature, Lead Story, memory, New Worlds, pastiche, perception, Shanghai, short stories, time travel, WWII

Readers hoping to solve the mystery of J.G. Ballard’s ‘The Beach Murders’ may care to approach it in the form of a card game. Some of the principal clues have been alphabetized, some left as they were found, scrawled on to the backs of a deck of cards. Readers are invited to recombine the order of the cards to arrive at a solution. Obviously any number of solutions is possible, and the final answer to the mystery lies forever hidden.



Iterative Architecture: a Ballardian Text, part 2

By • Jul 23rd, 2009 •

Category: academia, alternate worlds, America, architecture, death of affect, deep time, film, inner space, invisible literature, memory, New Worlds, pastiche, perception, Shanghai, short stories, temporality, time travel, WWII

‘Iterative Architecture: a Ballardian Text’ by Brian Baker ..:: CONTINUED from >> Part 1 ::… ♣♠♥♦ The Joker. The Joker in the pack is the card that, in some games, can replace (or substitute for, take the place of) any of the others. In this sense, the Joker is the empty sign. ♣♠♥♦ Hearts ♥ […]



‘What exactly is he trying to sell?’: J.G. Ballard’s Adventures in Advertising, part 1

By • May 4th, 2009 •

Category: advertising, Ambit magazine, consumerism, features, invisible literature, media landscape, New Worlds, sexual politics, Shanghai, visual art

The aesthetic of the advertisement appears again and again in J.G. Ballard’s work. Here, Rick McGrath explores Ballard’s fascination with the structure of advertising, and the role of the advertising man himself, examining ersatz ads in detail right across the body of JGB’s work.



'To write for the Space Age': Moorcock on Burroughs

By • Dec 11th, 2008 •

Category: Ballardosphere, Michael Moorcock, New Worlds, science fiction, war, William Burroughs

A new interview with Michael Moorcock, discussing Burroughs, Ballard, the Bomb and more.



James Cawthorn, RIP: 1929-2008

By • Dec 4th, 2008 •

Category: Ballardosphere, New Worlds, parody, pastiche, visual art

RIP James Cawthorn, illustrator for New Worlds and Savoy Books; pastichist of Ballard.



'Unblinking, clinical': From Ballard to cyberpunk

By • Nov 26th, 2008 •

Category: America, Bruce Sterling, cyberpunk, features, Michael Moorcock, New Worlds, technology, William Burroughs, William Gibson

Bruce Sterling wrote: ‘For the cyberpunks … technology is visceral. It is not the bottled genie of remote Big Science boffins; it is pervasive, utterly intimate. Not outside us, but next to us. Under our skin; often, inside our minds.’ And Ballard’s influence was at the heart of it.



Disch on Ballard

By • Jul 9th, 2008 •

Category: Ballardosphere, Michael Moorcock, New Worlds, science fiction, Shepperton, Thomas M. Disch

Thomas Disch on J.G. Ballard.



Borges y Ballard

By • Jul 3rd, 2008 •

Category: Ballardosphere, Borges, Michael Moorcock, New Worlds, short stories

Borges y Ballard.



Bunker Tales

By • May 23rd, 2008 •

Category: alternate worlds, Ballardosphere, dystopia, fascism, Michael Moorcock, New Worlds, Philip K. Dick, Savoy Books, William Burroughs, WWII

A recent interview at the Burroughs site Reality Studio brings Ballard, Burroughs, Britton and Butterworth together … along with Arthur C. Clarke.



‘I really would not want to fuck George W. Bush!’: A Conversation with J.G. Ballard

By • May 17th, 2008 •

Category: America, archival, Bruce Sterling, consumerism, Germany, interviews, New Worlds, Philip K. Dick, politics, psychology, science fiction, short stories, surrealism, William Gibson, WWII

Dan O’Hara is back with another translation of a German Ballard interview, this time from 2007 with JGB in priapic, puckish form.



La Jetée ciné-roman back in print

By • Jan 25th, 2008 •

Category: Ballardosphere, Chris Marker, film, inner space, New Worlds, science fiction

I am delighted to report that the book of Chris Marker’s La Jetée is back in print through Zone Books — and in hardcover, too. It will be out in (US) Spring 2008. Thank you, thank you: for years, second-hand copies were changing hands via Amazon and eBay for anything up to $400. Unable to […]



Grave New World: Introduction, Part 2

By • Nov 13th, 2007 •

Category: academia, Ballardosphere, features, Michael Moorcock, New Worlds, Salvador Dali, science fiction, Shanghai, Steven Spielberg, surrealism, William Burroughs, WWII

by Dominika Oramus World’s first hydrogen bomb explosion, Eniwetok Atoll, 1952. Dominika Oramus teaches Brit.Lit. professionally at the University of Warsaw. The following is Part Two of the introduction to Grave New World: The Decline of the West in the Fiction of J.G. Ballard, her post-doctoral thesis. Grave New World currently exists as a (very) […]



Grave New World: Introduction, Part 1

By • Nov 5th, 2007 •

Category: academia, David Cronenberg, death of affect, dystopia, features, Iain Sinclair, Jean Baudrillard, Michael Moorcock, New Worlds, psychiatry, Salvador Dali, science fiction, surrealism, technology, urban ruins, William Burroughs, WWII

Dominika Oramus reads Ballard’s work as a record of the gradual internal degeneration of Western civilization: though we are not literally living amidst the ruins, the golden age is far behind us and we are witnessing the twilight of the West.



Cousin Silas: Another Flask of Ballard

By • Oct 3rd, 2007 •

Category: Brian Eno, entropy, interviews, Michael Moorcock, music, New Worlds, paranormal, urban ruins, William Burroughs

Cousin Silas has created two albums inspired by the works of J.G. Ballard. Simon Sellars spoke to Silas about Ballard, Lovecraft, Forteana, Moorcock, Eno, Tarkovsky — all the essentials.



J.G. Ballard's Experiment in Chemical Living

By • Aug 1st, 2007 •

Category: advertising, features, invisible literature, Michael Moorcock, New Worlds, Shepperton, William Burroughs

by Mike Bonsall J.G. Ballard in 1960. In the background is a poster of his ‘Project for a new novel’, made two years earlier. Chemistry & Industry … was a good place to work because, of course, the office of any scientific magazine is the most wonderful mail drop. It’s the ultimate information crossroads. Most […]



Angry Old Men: Michael Moorcock on J.G. Ballard

By • Jul 9th, 2007 •

Category: Borges, Brian Eno, film, Iain Sinclair, interviews, literature, Michael Moorcock, music, New Worlds, Shepperton, Steven Spielberg, William Burroughs

Michael Moorcock, J.G. Ballard and JGB’s partner Claire Walsh in September, 2006 (photo courtesy Linda Moorcock). ———————————————— Interview by Mike Holliday ———————————————— Michael Moorcock has been a prolific writer and editor for the last five decades. Born in London, he was editing his first magazine by the age of seventeen, and started writing genre fiction […]



'Magisterial, Precise, Unsettling': Simon Reynolds on the Ballard Connection

By • Jun 2nd, 2007 •

Category: Brian Eno, entropy, interviews, music, New Worlds, Philip K. Dick, Salvador Dali, science fiction, short stories, William Burroughs

Interview by Simon Sellars. Simon Reynolds is one of the most recognisable music critics around — or at least his style is, not least for its willingness to tackle pop music as an art form worthy of sustained intellectual discourse rather than as a fleeting moment of adolescent flash. Reynolds breaks new ground, melding unbridled […]



'If I had a pound for every time someone mentioned psychopathology': A Review of the First International Conference on the Work of J.G. Ballard

By • May 10th, 2007 •

Category: academia, alternate worlds, architecture, Brian Eno, gated communities, literature, Michael Moorcock, New Worlds, reviews

The UEA Studio: Conference Headquarters (photo: Simon Sellars). I attended From Shanghai to Shepperton: An International Conference on J.G. Ballard at the University of East Anglia on the weekend, and I’m suffering a bit of a comedown. I always get a bit melancholy when these temporary autonomous zones collapse and everyone returns to virtual communication. […]



J.G. Ballard: The Complete Short Stories, vols 1 & 2 (2006)

By • Sep 1st, 2006 •

Category: advertising, architecture, bibliography, boredom, celebrity culture, consumerism, death of affect, deep time, dystopia, enviro-disaster, flying, humour, invisible literature, media landscape, medical procedure, New Worlds, photography, politics, psychogeography, psychology, science fiction, sexual politics, Shepperton, short stories, space relics, speed & violence, suicide, surrealism, television, terrorism, urban decay, urban revolt, visual art, WWII

OPENING LINE: “I first met Jane Ciracylides during the Recess, that world slump of boredom, lethargy and high summer which carried us all so blissfully through ten unforgettable years, and I suppose that may have had a lot to do with what went on between us.” (from ‘Prima Belladonna’). From the 2001 Flamingo edition (originally […]



'When in doubt, quote Ballard': An interview with Iain Sinclair

By • Aug 29th, 2006 •

Category: architecture, Chris Petit, David Cronenberg, film, flying, Iain Sinclair, interviews, Michael Moorcock, New Worlds, politics, psychogeography, Shepperton, Steven Spielberg, utopia, William Burroughs

Interview by Tim Chapman Iain Sinclair at the Barbican. Photo: Tim Chapman, © 2006. Iain Sinclair has been acclaimed as one of Britain’s most visionary writers and as an incomparable prose stylist. His early writing, notably Lud Heat (1975) and White Chappell, Scarlet Tracings (1987), was rooted in his adopted home of East London. It […]



JG Ballard: Psychonaut of Inner Space

By • Jul 7th, 2006 •

Category: Ballardosphere, Iain Sinclair, Michael Moorcock, New Worlds, science fiction

These days, with all manner of theorists, futurists, architects, musos, journos, self-mutilators and even UFO freaks claiming JG Ballard as one of their very own, it’s easy to forget that the man with his finger firmly impressed on the cult of today once wrote what was considered to be actual science fiction, albeit of a […]



Retrospecto: La Jetée

By • Oct 7th, 2005 •

Category: Chris Marker, deep time, film, New Worlds, Philip K. Dick, photography, reviews, science fiction, suicide

Nothing sorts memories from ordinary moments. They claim remembrance when they show their scars. Chris Marker. La Jetée. review by Simon Sellars The films of Chris Marker are often termed ‘essayist’, participating in a phenomenological play with deep roots in French intellectualism. Working within documentary and pseudo-documentary modes, they mimic the manner in which memory […]