Despite the conventional narrative of Empire of the Sun, Ballard is probably better known for the science fiction slant in his fiction, especially related to future, generally dystopian, societies.
His novel, High-Rise (I. G. H. in Europe) is the distillation of many elements of a dystopian future into a single high-rise building. The idea is good, although not that original (although a decidedly different and vastly superior novel, make sure you read Georges Perec’s Life A User’s Manual [La Vie mode d’emploi]). Ballard envisions a cluster of self-contained forty story condominiums, one of which is the focus of the novel.
Continue reading “Dystopia In Forty Stories”
This last quarter of 2014 we will read a novel that begins a very interesting trilogy, a strange and often disturbing book (which has pictures to support the text), a themed collection of short stories by an often overlooked writer, and a dash of Bizarro from the master.
That’s four books but none are too long or difficult. Besides, think of sitting alone in the evening waiting for Santa to arrive and casually reading about a bizarre Hungry Bug (what was that noise in the corner behind the electric fireplace?).
So, read all four; read one or two; or read other experiment fiction that you might be planning to read. Note also that I avoided anything obvious for the holidays, but there is always Sausagey Santa if you’re so inclined. Carlton Mellick III and the Bizarro crowd have some strange alternatives to quench your Christmas cheer.
Continue reading “XFX: Experimental Reading for the Fourth Quarter”