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Australian philosopher, literary critic, legal scholar, and professional writer. Based in Newcastle, NSW. Author of FREEDOM OF RELIGION AND THE SECULAR STATE (2012), HUMANITY ENHANCED (2014), and THE MYSTERY OF MORAL AUTHORITY (2016).

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Death of J.G. Ballard

J.G. Ballard, the greatest of all the writers of the 1960s British New Wave, has died, aged 79.

Contemporary science fiction has absorbed so many layers, among them the innovations of the New Wave style, which brought a new approach to the genre, challenging its tradition of narrative realism; opening up explorations of the mind; flouting sexual taboos; and depicting Western culture, not in the triumphalist mode of much Golden Age SF, but as corrupt and doomed. Ballard, and others who gathered around Michael Moorcock at New Worlds in the early 1960s, brought the sensibility of Modernist literature to science fiction.

We've all gained immensely from having Ballard in this world with us for a time; without him, the best science fiction of the last few decades would have had nothing of the same sophistication. So just a suggestion: give him a moment in your thoughts as you go about your day.

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