An interview with legendary author J. G. Ballard (1930-2009), conducted for KPFA’s Probabilities radio program in 1988, digitized and re-edited in 2016 by Richard Wolinsky.
J. G. Ballard, who died in 2009 at the age of 78, was one of the greatest of all British speculative fiction writers, and one of the major writers of the period known as the British New Wave. In novels such as The Crystal World and The Drowned World, and in short story collections like Vermillion Sands, he dissected our present world through looking at disaster scenarios. Two of his novels became well-known films. Crash was directed in 1996 by David Cronenberg, and his fictionalized memoir Empire of the Sun, was turned into a film by Steven Spielberg, introducing a young actor named Christian Bale. A filmed version of High Rise, starring Tom Hiddleston and Jeremy Irons, was just released.
On May 8th, 1988, the Probabilities crew (Lawrence Davidson, Richard A. Lupoff and Richard Wolinsky) had a chance to sit down with J. G. Ballard while he was on tour for his novel, The Day of Creation. It turned into a fascinating career retrospective.
A shorter version of this interview aired on KPFA’s Arts-Waves program and on the syndicated Bookwaves program.