The Ballard Book Concordance
This concordance is based on Ballard's published books together with various uncollected pieces. Completed in 2008 and thought to be the first ever full concordance of a living author.
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Henry Rhodes Hamilton (PDF)
Ballard described his exquisite short work The Index as the story that was the greatest intellectual challenge to write. The Index suggests that the book it belongs to has been lost. I have imagined the original text, but the censor has again managed to redact the parts not mentioned in the index!
You can buy the hardback from Lulu
Deep Learning with Ballard
In Ballard's short story Studio 5, The Stars, he imagines a
computer that can produce poetry without pain. In 2018 I set up a Ballardian
'artificial intelligence' to do the same
High-Rise: The Movie
Ballard was always an intensely visual writer and in the novel High-Rise
he gave detailed descriptions of the tower block itself and the floor
locations of nearly a hundred residents. Using SketchUp
I created my own vision of the tower block and its denizens.
Ballard in Legoland
Inspired by Ballard's inherent playfulness and my grandkids subversion of the blocks, I imagined a scene from each of Ballard's novels as a Lego diorama. See if you can name them all.
Another Terminal Beach
Interactive Fiction makes concrete the postmodern trope of the reader
creating the fiction; and The Terminal Beach is the most
postmodern of stories. In order to complete my online version of the
story you must become Traven, inhabiting the mind of this increasingly
disturbed survivor of the modern world. Cheat
sheet here if you get stuck.
Ballard's Invisible Library
This site is building a collaborative online catalogue of the 'Invisible
Library' that fed Ballard's uniquely fertile imagination.
It includes the books and other written materials that Ballard talked
about reading, the items in his home library and the many books he
Ballard's Experiment in Chemical Living
The scientific, technical and imaginative motifs that shape the very essence
of what we’ve come to know as 'Ballardian' were in no
small part forged in his five-year stint as deputy editor of this
An interactive map of 550 of the locations JG Ballard mentioned in his fiction, together with links to the relevant text. This demonstrates Ballard's canvas was indeed global.
The Real Concrete Island
I was fascinated to discover that Ballard had hung around Notting
Hill in the 70s with Moorcock and the New Wave SF writers. I was moved
to do some geo-detective work on Concrete Island.
The Beach Murders
In the introduction to this short story, Ballard suggests: "Readers
hoping to solve the mystery of the Beach Murders ... may
care to approach it in the form of the card game..." I have turned
it into a Twine
The Crash Test Dummies Speak
One of the key scenes in JG Ballard's novel Crash is
set at the Road Research Laboratory — but what might the crash
test dummies involved have made of it?
Ballard's Book of Knowledge
The young Ballard avidly consumed this family encyclopaedia, and went on to sell it door to door as a young man. I have scanned all eight volumes so you can share what first fired his young imagination.
Towards Concrete Island
"During the few seconds before his crash he clutched at the
whiplashing spokes of the steering wheel, dazed by the impact of the
chromium window pillar against his head." Now, thanks to Google
Street View, we can follow Maitland as he crashes onto his Concrete
Ballard's Psychic Bidding
The young Ballard was fascinated by Bridge and the older Ballard was equally fascinated by Time magazine. I've combined the two with appropriate Ballard quotes, click on them to reshuffle.
Talk to the Ballard-bot
I've made a JG Ballard AI using Ballard's real answers from more than 300 interviews, translated into 50,000 lines of code and hosted by Pandorabots. The Ballard-bot is waiting to answer your questions . . .
JG Ballard in the Dissecting Room
Ballard noted in his autobiography: "Nearly sixty years later, I still think that my two years of anatomy were among the most important of my life, and helped to frame a large part of my imagination." I wrote about my own experiences of medical school and also compared some of Ballard's output with the dissection manual he used. You can also see a complete copy of his Cunningham's Manual (100MB).
The hypnotic effect of reading The Atrocity Exhibition encouraged
me to make this electronic 'cut-up' version. With each hit
of the refresh button a unique page of Another Atrocity is created.
Suitably macabre illustrations provided by Versalius.
My hand-crafted Twitterbot used to tweet a random Ballard sentence twice daily.
New Ballard Tweets
My third Twitterbot used to spout chains of Ballard-like text based on his 'urban' novels, until X happened.
The Annotated Atrocity
In the 1990 reprinting of The Atrocity Exhibition, Ballard
added a series of explanatory annotations. I have extended this process
by adding Wikipedia links.
Crash Cutup Tweets
One of my Twitterbots used to cut up sentences from Ballard's novel
Crash in a poetically NSFW way, until X came along
"It's a little as if I were leading the reader to a deserted laboratory, and that I put a collection of specimens and all the necessary equipment at his disposal. It's his job then to relate these elements together and create reactions from them."
JG Ballard, interviewed by Robert Louit, 1974.
Out of a deep respect for JG Ballard's work and a desire to carry out some of those experiments he speaks of, I've been interpreting his work using a variety of digital tools. Some of the results are shown here.
Mike Bonsall - September 2017