Memories of the Space Age

J. G. Ballard, Author
J. G. Ballard, Author Arkham House Publishers $21.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-87054-157-5
Reviewed on: 11/01/2002
Release date: 11/01/2002
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Ballard ( Empire of the Sun ; The Day of Creation ) is arguably the pre-eminent living science-fiction writer, and recognized as a literary force by readers and critics outside the SF field. This collection brings together Ballard's ``Cape Canaveral stories,'' eight in all, written between 1962 and 1985, and set in a future when the space program has ceased and civilization itself seems on the wane. Images of waste, abandonment, emptiness and desolation recurtoppling towers, dead astronauts circling the Earth endlessly, deserts, empty swimming pools. In ``News from the Sun,'' life itself is slowly draining away as people are increasingly subject to long fugue states, recalling Eliot's line, ``Not with a bang but a whimper.'' In the title story, the protagonist alternately wanders a deserted Canaveral and tends his dying wife. Ballard writes a clear, flawless prose, rich in deft phrase and vivid imagery. This book is not for the ray-gun and bug-eyed monster crowd. (Dec.)
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