We Chose to Put a Man on the Moon

Gary Westfahl has written an intriguing essay on the science fiction of J. G. Ballard. Here are a couple of excerpts to whet your appetite:

“The question that should be haunting science fiction is: why did Ballard get it right, while all of the other science fiction writers were getting it wrong? Why did their apparently logical and well-grounded predictions about ongoing advances further and further into space prove to be so flawed?”

“Yes, I know, you undoubtedly think of Ballard as one of those “New Wave” writers who abhorred science and focused all their energies on literary craftsmanship and avant-garde experimentation—and there are works in the Ballard oeuvre that would match that stereotypical perception. But it is important to recall that Ballard spent years at medical school studying to become a psychiatrist, which means that he received a better and more thorough scientificeducation than the vast majority of science fiction writers.”

Read entire essay