The Complete Short Stories: Volume 1: v. 1

The Complete Short Stories: Volume 1: v. 1

J. G. Ballard

Language: English

Pages: 801


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

First in a two volume collection of short stories by the acclaimed author of Empire of the Sun, Crash, Cocaine Nights and Super-Cannes.

J.G. Ballard is firmly established as one of Britain’s most highly regarded and influential novelists. However, during his long career he was also a prolific writer of short stories, many of which show the germination of ideas he used in his longer fiction.

This, the first book in a two-volume collection, offers a platform from which to view Ballard’s other works. Almost all of his novels had their seeds in short stories and this collection provides an extraordinary opportunity to trace the development of one of Britain’s most visionary writers.

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about efficiently. In the same strict sequence she stacked the cups and plates in the dishwasher, slid the pot roast for that evening’s dinner into the auto-cooker and selected the alarm, lowered the air-conditioner, refrigerator and immersion heater settings, switched open the oil storage manifolds for the delivery tanker that afternoon, and retracted her section of the garage door. Faulkner followed the sequence with admiration, counting off each successive step as the dials clicked and

the fraud she had bought. I clenched the tape tightly in my hand while I walked across the lake, looking up at the rectangular outline of the terrace. As I reached the wall, a black-suited figure put his head over the ledge and looked down at me. It was Lunora’s chauffeur. Startled, I moved away across the sand. In the moonlight the chauffeur’s white face flickered bonily. The next evening, as I knew it would, the telephone finally rang. ‘Mr Milton, the statue has broken down again.’ Mme

carrying across to Connolly a sweet unsavoury odour of garlic and cheap pomade. ‘You’re a sensible man, Lieutenant. Anyone who stays up on deck is crazy. However,’ – he indicated Connolly’s pallid face and hands, a memento of a long winter in New York – ‘in a way it’s a pity you couldn’t have put in some sunbathing. That metropolitan pallor will be quite a curiosity to the Indians.’ He smiled agreeably, showing the yellowing teeth which made his olive complexion even darker. ‘You may well be the

sound of him latching the door on his return, bewildered by his pumping chest and perspiring face. From then on she spent all day looking over her shoulder through the window for any signs of the sea. What worried her as much as the vision itself was Mason’s complete calm in the face of this terrifying unconscious apocalypse. Tired by his walk, Mason sat down on a low ornamental wall, screened from the surrounding houses by the rhododendron bushes. For a few minutes he played with the dust at

Gioconda steadied him maternally. ‘Yes, Mangon,’ she said, her eyes on the discarded notes lying in the dust. ‘You’ve got a wonderful voice, all right.’ Sotto voce, she added: ‘But your hearing is even more wonderful.’ Paul Merrill switched off the SP player, sat down on the arm of the sofa and watched Mangon quizzically. ‘Strange. You know, my guess is that it was psychosomatic.’ Mangon grinned. ‘Psychosemantic,’ he repeated, garbling the word half-deliberately. ‘Clever. You can do amazing

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