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Non-Fiction Miscellaneous Media Books About Ballard
J G BALLARD: A COLLECTORS’ GUIDE

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MISCELLANEOUS MEDIA

The dividing line between Ballard's fiction and his non-fiction is unclear, especially his vignettes dating from the mid-1960s to the mid-1980s. Ballard’s bibliographer, David Pringle, solves this problem by classifying a number of pieces under the separate heading of Miscellaneous Media. This section of the Guide lists those items, and describes the nature of each piece.


HOMAGE TO CLAIRE CHURCHILL: Ambit, #32, Summer 1967

The first of a series of what Ballard termed 'advertiser's announcements', consisting of a photograph accompanied by some brief text. These appeared in Ambit and New Worlds, usually on the back cover, with Ballard purchasing the space in the magazine just as a normal advertiser would have done. This, the first in the series, also appeared in New Worlds (#176, October 1967).

All of the advertiser's announcements were reproduced in Re/Search 8/9: J. G. Ballard (1984) and the catalogue for Crash: Homage to J. G. Ballard (2010).


DOES THE ANGLE BETWEEN TWO WALLS HAVE A HAPPY ENDING?: Ambit, #33, Autumn 1967 

The second 'advertiser's announcement'; this one also appeared in New Worlds (#178, December 1967), and then a second time in Ambit some years later (#60, Autumn 1974).


THE BATHROOM: A FILM IN PROGRESS BY STEVE DWOSKIN: The Running Man, #2, July-August 1968

A film review, of sorts, this was sufficiently 'impressionistic' for David Pringle to classify it as Miscellaneous Media rather than non-fiction. This issue of The Running Man also contained the second publication of Ballard's story Love and Napalm: Export U.S.A.


A NEURAL INTERVAL: Ambit, #36, Summer 1968 

A third 'advertiser's announcement'; also appeared in New Worlds (#185, December 1968). This issue of Ambit also contained Ballard's story The Great American Nude.

Ambit, #36

Ambit, #36, advertiser's announcement on back cover

J. G. BALLARD'S COURT CIRCULAR / LOVE: A PRINT-OUT FOR CLAIRE CHURCHILL: Ambit, #37, Autumn 1968

This issue of Ambit was in a newspaper format; its 'Court Circular' was a collage, which included the concrete poem Love: A Printout for Claire Churchill, some 'found' artwork, and a series of drawings by Bruce Mclean. This newspaper issue of Ambit also contained a piece by William Burroughs. It should still be available from Ambit directly.

The 'Court Circular' was eventually reprinted in the catalogue for Crash: Homage to J. G. Ballard (2010).

Ambit, #37

HOW DR CHRISTOPHER EVANS LANDED ON THE MOON: New Worlds, #187, February 1969

A spoof computer printout.

This was one of the large format issues of New Worlds, albeit not one of the scarcest.


PLACENTAL INSUFFICIENCY: Ambit, #45, Autumn 1970

Another 'advertiser's announcement'.


VENUS SMILES: Ambit, #46, Winter 1970/1971

The final 'advertiser's announcement'.


THE SIDE-EFFECTS OF ORTHONOVIN G.: Ambit, #50, Spring 1972

The Side-Effects of Orthonovin G. was originally thought to be a set of satirical monologues. However, according to Martin Bax, editor of Ambit, they are 'found texts' - short biographies written by two American women.

The photo on the front cover of Ambit #50 was taken to mark a public reading of The Side-Effects of Orthonovin G. The reading was performed by Euphoria Bliss, professional stripper and friend of Ballard and Martin Bax. Among Bliss's admirers in the cover photo are Ballard (seated, middle), Bax (standing, right) and Eduardo Paolozzi (seated, left).

'Side-Effects' was reprinted in Re/Search 8/9: J. G. Ballard.

Ambit, #50

THE INVISIBLE YEARSAmbit, #67, Summer 1976 

The Invisible Years was a series of texts to accompany drawings by Ronald Sandford, written by Ballard, Martin Bax, and various others. The series ran for fourteen issues of Ambit, #66 to #79. The credits for all fourteen of the individual texts refer to both Ballard and Bax, although David Pringle attributes just six of these texts directly to Ballard, mainly on grounds of style, and only these six are noted here.

Ambit, #67

Ambit, #67, extract from The Invisible Years

THE INVISIBLE YEARS: Ambit, #69, Winter 1976/1977


THE INVISIBLE YEARS: Ambit, #72, Autumn 1977


THE INVISIBLE YEARS: Ambit, #73, Winter 1977/1978


THE INVISIBLE YEARS: Ambit, #75, Summer 1978

This issue of Ambit also contained Ballard's story Zodiac 2000.


PROJECT FOR A NEW NOVEL: New Worlds, #213, Summer 1978

During the 1950s, Ballard put together a series of textual collages that incorporated themes and names that were later to resurface in the stories that formed The Atrocity Exhibition. These collages were eventually published in New Worlds #213, one of a small number of large format issues of the magazine that were issued in the late 1970s. Though a scarce issue, the occasional copy is seen on Abebooks or eBay.

Strictly speaking, the collages are untitled, Ballard subsequently referring to them as 'Project for a New Novel' when they were re-printed in Re/Search 8/9: J. G. Ballard. In 2008, the original pages were on display at J.G. Ballard: Autopsy of the New Millennium, which exhibited at the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona. The exhibit included a further two-page spread that was not published in New Worlds #213; you can see a photograph of it here. The complete set (so far as is known) of five double-page spreads was reprinted in the catalogue for Crash: Homage to J. G. Ballard (2010).

New Worlds, #213

One of the collages from New Worlds #213

THE INVISIBLE YEARS: Ambit, #78, Spring 1979


CRYSTAL OF THE SEA: INTRODUCTION TO PHOTOGRAPHS BY IKKO NARAHARA: Light and Waves, 1980

A prose poem, published in a two-volume book devoted to the photographer Ikko Narahara and the sculptor Kyoko Asakura (text in Japanese and English).

WHAT I BELIEVE: Interzone, #8, Summer 1984

A prose poem, originally published in French in Science Fiction #1 (ed. Daniel Riche) in January 1984; its first English appearance was later the same year in Interzone. This piece was re-printed in Re/Search 8/9: J. G. Ballard.

Science Fiction, #1

Interzone, #8

NEIL ARMSTRONG REMEMBERS HIS JOURNEY TO THE MOON: Interzone, #53, November 1991

A prose poem; possibly an account of one of Ballard’s dreams.