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Archive for the ‘William Burroughs’ Category

Fulfillment in a time of nihilism: John Gray and J.G. Ballard

By • Feb 27th, 2011 •

Category: consumerism, features, Lead Story, philosophy, religion, Shanghai, time travel, war, William Burroughs

The political theorist John Gray has long been an enthusiastic admirer of J.G. Ballard, and Ballard often expressed appreciation for Gray’s work. Mike Holliday examines the essental nature of this ‘two-man mutual admiration society’.



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’.



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.



'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.



'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.



No glot… C’lom Fliday

By • Nov 15th, 2008 •

Category: Ballardosphere, William Burroughs

Preliminary news about the 50th anniversary celebrations for Naked Lunch.



J.G. Ballard: imaginary scientist

By • Aug 2nd, 2008 •

Category: academia, Ballardosphere, science, William Burroughs

From John Goff: “Myself and Dr. Shivdeep Grewal have organised a half-day conference with the title ‘J.G.Ballard: imaginary scientist’ that may be of interest to some of your site users…”



Strange Fiction

By • Jun 15th, 2008 •

Category: Ballardosphere, consumerism, fascism, Iain Sinclair, sport, William Burroughs

New interview with Ballard in the Guardian.



'Get Lost': Burroughs on Curtis

By • Jun 12th, 2008 •

Category: Ballardosphere, Ian Curtis, music, William Burroughs

Did William Burroughs really tell Ian Curtis to ‘get lost’? And how did the younger man take it? RealityStudio finds out.



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.



Horror Panegyric

By • May 21st, 2008 •

Category: alternate worlds, Ballardosphere, body horror, surrealism, William Burroughs

Savoy Books publishes Horror Panegyric, Keith Seward’s analysis of the notorious Lord Horror novels.



RE/Search News: Vintage Ballard photos, JGB book bonus

By • Feb 11th, 2008 •

Category: Ballardosphere, Salvador Dali, Shepperton, William Burroughs

Vintage Ballard photos now online from RE/Search Publications.



‘This most astonishing penumbra': Will Self on J.G. Ballard

By • Feb 2nd, 2008 •

Category: archival, dystopia, interviews, science fiction, Shanghai, Shepperton, urban decay, Will Self, William Burroughs, WWII

Will Self was recently interviewed on BBC Radio 4 by Mariella Frostrup about his admiration for J.G. Ballard’s work. Here’s a transcript of that interview.



Ackroyd, Ballard, Amis, Moore: 'four points of blokish energy'

By • Dec 29th, 2007 •

Category: Australia, Ballardosphere, Iain Sinclair, paranormal, William Burroughs

Just came across this snarky but amusing comment: ‘Both Ackroyd and the other strange geomancy warlock of English letters, JG Ballard, are now in their own deadpan, sly and slightly bitchy english way, sorta coughing and nudging their audiences towards Iain Sinclair….’



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.



File under "Gnydronic Folk"

By • Oct 30th, 2007 •

Category: audio, Ballardosphere, music, William Burroughs

Ballardian fave Cousin Silas mentioned in our recent interview that he had a new CD on the way: SS: As far as your compositional style goes, were you inspired in any way by Ballard’s experimental techniques, for example, the cut-up nature of Atrocity, or the collages and fake ads he produced around the same time? […]



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.



New Ballard Bio Cover

By • Sep 26th, 2007 •

Category: autobiography, Ballardosphere, William Burroughs

Above is the cover for J.G. Ballard’s forthcoming autobiography, to be published by Fourth Estate (and previously announced here). Meanwhile, the Burroughs crowd over at Reality Studio are having spirited words about the chosen title… They’ve also voiced an intriguing proposition, a ‘what if’ scenario to get the good old synapses firing: imagine if Ballard […]



BallardoTube

By • Sep 8th, 2007 •

Category: audio, Chris Marker, features, film, filmography, Iain Sinclair, Michael Moorcock, music, television, William Burroughs, YouTube

I’ve created a YouTube outpost for this site, divided into six channels: (1) J.G. Ballard Interviews; (2) J.G. Ballard Documentaries; (3) J.G. Ballard Adaptations; (4) J.G. Ballard’s Top Ten Science Fiction Films; (5) Ballardiana; and (6) Ballardian Sound Art/Music.



Crash! Full-Tilt Autogeddon

By • Aug 10th, 2007 •

Category: architecture, Chris Petit, David Cronenberg, death of affect, features, film, filmography, Iain Sinclair, Philip K. Dick, posthumanism, psychogeography, speed & violence, William Burroughs

by Simon Sellars CRASH! (1971) Director: Harley Cokliss | Writer: J.G. Ballard Starring: J.G. Ballard & Gabrielle Drake I wasn’t satisfied by just writing SF stories, you see. My imagination was eager to expand in all directions.” J.G. Ballard. ‘From Shanghai to Shepperton’, 1982. Leached away by the camera lens, the dimension of depth is missing […]



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 […]



Prophets of Doom

By • Jul 29th, 2007 •

Category: Ballardosphere, dystopia, Philip K. Dick, science fiction, Will Self, William Burroughs

In the Independent, Deborah Orr parses Ballard in her analysis of John Gray’s Black Mass: In his latest book, Black Mass, the philosopher John Gray traces the history of Western millenarianism … For Gray, it is utopianism itself that is the problem. He suggests that ‘it is dystopian thinking we most need.’ We must, if […]



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 […]



UFOpunk: Mac Tonnies' Strange Blue World

By • Jul 3rd, 2007 •

Category: alternate worlds, Bruce Sterling, cyberpunk, David Cronenberg, interviews, paranormal, posthumanism, science fiction, William Burroughs

Mac Tonnies is a Kansas-based writer of post-cyberpunk science fiction (recently published by the redoubtable Rudy Rucker). He’s also the author of the book After the Martian Apocalypse, a speculative search for life on the Red Planet, as well as the originator of a ‘cryptoterrestrial’ philosophy that ambitiously seeks to explain (with ‘balanced skepticism’) a […]



Ballardosphere Wrap-Up: Part 6 (addendum)

By • Jun 10th, 2007 •

Category: Ballardosphere, visual art, William Burroughs

This should have been included in yesterday’s wrapup, but wasn’t. + BALLARD/BURROUGHS This very brief interview with Ballard (scroll down to the end of the V. Vale piece to find it) slipped under my radar when it came out earlier this year, but is definitely worth mentioning for the little extra light it sheds on […]



Ballardosphere Wrap-Up: Part 6

By • Jun 10th, 2007 •

Category: academia, architecture, Ballardosphere, David Cronenberg, dystopia, film, gated communities, leisure, utopia, visual art, William Burroughs

+ IDEAL, RADIANT In his excellent paper, ‘Ballard’s Banlieue Radieuse’, delivered at the Ballard conference, Owen Hatherley locates JGB’s Vermilion Sands stories as a vision at right angles to the dystopian tradition in which Ballard is normally housed — the Vermilion collection posits, Hatherley writes, ‘an actual, liveable future utopia that is eminently possible’. And […]



'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 […]



Ballardosphere Wrap-Up, Part 4

By • May 1st, 2007 •

Category: academia, architecture, Ballardosphere, Chris Petit, film, psychogeography, psychopathology, short stories, surrealism, theme parks, William Burroughs

+ CATALOGUE OF CONTEMPORARY ATROCITIES Jeannette Baxter, organiser of this weekend’s J.G. Ballard Conference at the University of East Anglia, delivers a challenging examination of Surrealist influences in Ballard’s Running Wild for Issue 5 of the online journal, Papers of Surrealism. ‘The Surrealist Fait-Divers: Uncovering Violent Histories in J. G. Ballard’s Running Wild': Abstract In […]



Collapsing Bulkheads: the Covers of Crash

By • Mar 12th, 2007 •

Category: advertising, Ballardosphere, David Cronenberg, fashion, features, visual art, William Burroughs

by Rick Poynor ‘Missing the point': (detail, Livre de Poche edition, 1973; design: Atelier Pascal Vercken). NOTE: This is an edited version of an essay published in Designing Pornotopia: Travels in Visual Culture by Rick Poynor, Laurence King Publishing, 2006. First published in Eye no. 52, Summer 2004. Reproduced with permission. J. G. BALLARD’S Crash […]



The Atrocity Exhibition (1970)

By • Oct 8th, 2006 •

Category: bibliography, inner space, media landscape, medical procedure, sexual politics, short stories, speed & violence, William Burroughs

OPENING LINE: “Apocalypse. A disquieting feature of this annual exhibition — to which the patients themselves were not invited — was the marked preoccupation of the paintings with the theme of world cataclysm, as if these long-incarcerated patients had sensed some seismic upheaval within the minds of their doctors and nurses.” For many, The Atrocity […]



Fantasy Kits: Steven Meisel’s State of Emergency

By • Sep 25th, 2006 •

Category: fashion, features, Jean Baudrillard, sexual politics, terrorism, William Burroughs

‘Obscene mannequins’. ‘Conceptual deaths’. The eroticisation of violence in the media landscape… the stunning ‘State of Emergency’ spread in the current Vogue Italia seems to come straight out of JG Ballard’s Atrocity Exhibition… Guest post by Mark Fisher (k-punk) A few weeks ago, I asked whether it would be possible ‘for there to be a […]



Hello America (1981)

By • Sep 16th, 2006 •

Category: America, bibliography, celebrity culture, deep time, media landscape, William Burroughs

OPENING LINE: ‘There’s gold, Wayne, gold dust everywhere! Wake up! The streets of America are paved with gold!’. From the Carroll & Grad 1981 edition: A century after America’s financial collapse and the climactic upheavals of the 1990s, Wayne stows away on SS Apollo, bound for the New World on a voyage of rediscovery. He […]



A User's Guide to the Millennium (1996)

By • Sep 5th, 2006 •

Category: advertising, architecture, bibliography, boredom, celebrity culture, consumerism, death of affect, deep time, dystopia, enviro-disaster, fashion, film, flying, humour, invisible literature, media landscape, medical procedure, non-fiction, photography, politics, psychogeography, psychology, Salvador Dali, science fiction, sexual politics, space relics, speed & violence, surrealism, television, urban decay, visual art, William Burroughs, WWII

OPENING LINE: “In his prime the Hollywood screenwriter was one of the tragic figures of our age, evoking the special anguish that arises from feeling sorry for oneself while making large amounts of money”. (from ‘The Sweet Smell of Excess’). From the 1996 Harper Collins edition: The first-ever collection of J.G. Ballard’s articles and reviews, […]



A Whirlpool with Seductive Furniture: The John Foxx Interview, part 2

By • Sep 2nd, 2006 •

Category: Australia, Brian Eno, cyberpunk, film, interviews, John Foxx, music, punk, William Burroughs

Interview by Simon Sellars John Foxx live at Shrewsbury, 1998. © Extreme Voice. This is part 2 of my interview with John Foxx, former lead singer of Ultravox before the band’s Midge Ure era, and an on-and-off solo artist for the past 25 years. Foxx’s Ultravox purveyed a damned, dreamy, paranoid — and often playful […]



'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 […]



A Whirlpool with Seductive Furniture: The John Foxx Interview

By • Jul 11th, 2006 •

Category: architecture, Chris Marker, Chris Petit, film, Iain Sinclair, Ian Curtis, interviews, music, Philip K. Dick, psychogeography, surrealism, William Burroughs

by Simon Sellars an image from John Foxx’s Cathedral Oceans project John Foxx, the former lead singer of Ultravox, is an undisputed electronic music pioneer. Before Midge Ure came along, the band’s three Foxx-driven albums, Ultravox! (1977), Ha! Ha! Ha! (1978) and Systems of Romance (1978), fused near-future melancholy with icy man-machine interfaces and the […]



'No-One Dances in Ballard': An Interview with Mike Ryan

By • Jun 15th, 2006 •

Category: architecture, Ballardosphere, Brian Eno, David Cronenberg, Futurists, Ian Curtis, interviews, music, Steven Spielberg, William Burroughs

by Simon Sellars I think I’m the only person I know who doesn’t own a record player or a single record. I’ve never understood why, because my maternal grandparents were lifelong teachers of music, and my father as a choirboy once sang solo in Manchester Cathedral. But that gene seems to have skipped me.” —————————————————– […]



JG Ballard vs the Metal Eaters

By • Jun 11th, 2006 •

Category: Ballardosphere, cyberpunk, William Burroughs

Here’s a review of an interesting-sounding Japanese cyberculture book, Full Metal Apache by Takayuki Tatsumi. In its analysis of Japanese popular culture — of ‘metal eaters’, ‘pink samurai and punk cats in space’ — Tatsumi brings into play Neuromancer, Blade Runner, Thomas Pynchon, JG Ballard, Burroughs, cyborg theory… Wow — it all seems so…uh…last century. […]



Review: JG Ballard Conversations & Quotes

By • Oct 13th, 2005 •

Category: Ballardosphere, photography, politics, reviews, terrorism, William Burroughs

Reviewed by Andrea Simonis Review of JG Ballard: Conversations (ed. V Vale, 2005) and JG Ballard: Quotes (selected and edited by V Vale & Mike Ryan, 2004). Published by RE/Search Publications V Vale has been an underground publishing icon in San Francisco for quite some time, kicking off with late-70s ‘punk tabloid’ Search and Destroy […]



'Child of the Diaspora': Sterling on Ballard

By • Oct 7th, 2005 •

Category: Ballardosphere, Bruce Sterling, cyberpunk, enviro-disaster, flying, interviews, invisible literature, medical procedure, science fiction, sexual politics, Shepperton, urban decay, William Burroughs

Bruce Sterling is a prolific science-fiction writer, futurist, social critic and design professor, best known for his bestselling novels and seminal short fiction, and as the editor of the Mirrorshades anthology that defined the ‘cyberpunk’ subgenre. His nonfiction includes works of futurism such as Tomorrow Now; a regular column and blog for Wired; and his […]



William Burroughs: Preface to The Atrocity Exhibition

By • Jul 9th, 2005 •

Category: archival, celebrity culture, psychopathology, sexual politics, speed & violence, suicide, visual art, William Burroughs

by William Burroughs (1970) The Atrocity Exhibition is a profound and disquieting book. The nonsexual roots of sexuality are explored with a surgeon’s precision. An auto-crash can be more more sexually stimulating than a pornographic picture. (Surveys indicate that wet dreams in many cases have no overt sexual content, whereas dreams with an overt sexual […]