Latest Issue

JG Ballard

The author of "Crash" and "Empire of the Sun" talks to Prospect about sex, technology and the 1960s. Do his dark obsessions amount to a serious quest to understand modernity?

The near future, JG Ballard once wrote, provides a better key to the present than does the past. For much of his career, certainly until the publication, in 1984, of Empire of the Sun, a fictionalised account of his childhood in a Japanese internment camp in Shanghai, Ballard was marginalised as a maverick science fiction specialist. He was seen as a writer trapped in a circle of generic obsession, a futurologist whose exotic preoccupations were out of step with the bland realism of the postwar period. He contributed to the hard-edged science fiction magazine New Worlds and organised exhibitions of…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect