J.G. Ballard is dead.

Ballard the masters at capturing the alienation and isolation of the 20th century. His stories contained the elemental horror of HP Lovecraft, but for Ballard the anti-human monstrosities were not uncaring and ancient universal forces, but the technology that man had unleashed. Enlightenment and the atom bomb, sex and the automobile, Ballard showed how our relationship with technology changed mankind into something new and different. Ballard was not anti-technology, nor was he a simple progressive technological determinist. He fully grasped the contradictions and majesty of modern science and the modern man.

Ballard's strength was also his weakness. As the 20th century became the 21st, his writing became less relevant, his themes solidified. Having an eponymous adjective is both an honor and curse, but there are few words that more accurately describe modern urban life than 'Ballardian.' I hope that the science-fiction community takes up his challenge to critically examine our continually changing, increasingly personal relationship with science and technology. His vision will be sorely missed.

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