Monthly Archives: January 2012

About Ballard

by John Boston

The second wave of J.G. Ballard stories commenced at the end of 1959 and the beginning of 1960, two each in Science Fantasy and New Worlds. They are “Now: Zero” (SF 12/59), “The Sound-Sweep” (SF 2/60), “The Waiting Grounds” (NW 11/59), and “Zone of Terror” (NW 3/60). There was a hiatus of over 18 months between these and his last previous story, “Track 12” (NW 4/58), which as David Pringle mentioned followed Ballard’s traumatic encounter with an SF convention. (In Ballard’s words, from David’s and James Goddard’s 1975 interview: “I had this gap after I went to the SF convention in ’57. Don’t take this personally or anything — I think times have changed — but it put me off. I didn’t do any writing for about a year and a half, so there was a sort of gap.”)