Concrete Island (I), 2012
Concrete Island was J.G. Ballard’s sixth novel. It was published in 1974. It tells the story of a man who finds himself marooned on a traffic island (some wasteland in the middle of a motorway intersection), and his attempt to survive on the contents of his car and what he can scavenge from his immediate surroundings. The focus of the book is tighter than in Crash, which preceded it, or High Rise, which came after. But the main character’s mental transformation from horror to acceptance of his situation (a common feature in Ballard’s novels) is felt more acutely because of this.
Ballard was a prominent member of the New Wave of Science Fiction which was rooted in New Worlds Magazine. Other notable members were Michael Moorcock and M. John Harrison. According to Wikipedia the New Wave was “characterized by a high degree of experimentation, both in form and in content, a “literary” or artistic sensibility, and a focus on “soft” as opposed to hard science.” Ballard continued to experiment with the novel’s form throughout his career, but always regarded himself as a science fiction writer.
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For the next fortnight I will be naming my posts and photographs after Science Fiction novels.
As always thanks to John Pindar and Deanne who set this whole titling thing in motion. And to my collaborator and all-round cool dude, Richard over at CK Ponderings, who is naming his photographs after Pet Shop Boys songs.