Saturday, 26 September 2009

Book Review: The User's Guide to the Millennium: Essays and Reviews by J.G. Ballard

J.G. Ballard also wrote reviews and articles for newspapers and magazines and the User's Guide to the Millennium is a varied collection of these non-fiction works from the 60's up the mid 90's. They display J.G's wide interests, covering everything from Hollywood to Science Fiction, making manifest his completely original take on the world. Many of the reviews run at a tangent from the subject discussed, drawing from his own reflections and ideas and in no way pretending to be objective, but this does not matter in the slightest as J.G. Ballard is my definition of a genius-totally unique. The best writing for me is mostly from New Worlds magazine in the 1960's, when he was at his most 'cutting edge' and literary respectability (Empire of the Sun) a long way off. Here he defines his own unigue type of science fiction stories against the classic space fiction of conventional SF, looks at the surrealist painters and their influence on him, discusses the importance of William Burroughs for literature and how Hitler and the Nazi's would not be out of place in the garish media landscape of the swinging sixties.

2 comments:

DAVE BONES said...

Interesting blog. Good taste in music too. What bands are considered African Psychedelic Funk or is that a band name?

Underground Man said...

Thanks, Dave

'African Psychedelic Funk' is a genre of music coming out of West Africa mainly from Nigeria in the 70's, influenced by Sly & the Family Stone and James Brown. See 'Nigeria Rock Special: Psychedelic Afro-Rock & Fuzz Funk in 1970's Nigeria' CD, on Sound Way Records.

Regards

George (Underground Man)