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This section of the Guide concentrates on the magazine publication of Ballard's short
stories. In the early years, Ballard was published exclusively in two U.K. science
fiction magazines, New Worlds and Science Fantasy, both of which were at the time
edited by John Carnell. Gradually, Ballard's stories also started appearing in U.S.
science fiction magazines. Then, from the mid-
I have concentrated on the first publication for each story, also mentioning any noteworthy subsequent appearances. In particular, I've tried to note those that might erroneously be claimed as first publications. I have not thought it worthwhile including scans of the front cover of every magazine, since most are easily identified by date and/or issue number.
It is worthwhile making a few general comments about the relative scarcity of those magazines in which Ballard appeared most frequently. Most issues of the science fiction magazines (Amazing, Fantastic, Interzone, Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Science Fantasy, Worlds of If, and the early issues of New Worlds) appear frequently on Abebooks and eBay. Ambit appears occasionally at those venues, but most issues are still available from the magazine itself. Bananas was a large format magazine printed on newspaper quality paper; copies tend to be rather difficult to find and are often subject to the usual browning and brittleness that affects old newspapers. Occasional copies are to be found on Abebooks and eBay, but one suspects their large size and inferior quality paper makes them a rather unattractive storage proposition to booksellers.
New Worlds has a complex publishing history, for which see the magazine's entry at
the website of the Visual Index of Science Fiction Cover Art (Visco). Issues up to
and including #172 tend to be readily available, as for other science fiction magazines.
Starting with issue #173, New Worlds was published as a large format glossy magazine,
and became less an SF publication and more a magazine for imaginative and avant garde
literature. From this point, the magazine also had significant distribution difficulties,
which affected some issues more than others. These later issues are occasionally
seen on Abebooks and eBay; they can also be obtained from John Davey, who holds a
substantial amount of Moorcock-
THE VIOLENT NOON: Varsity, 26 May 1951
The Violent Noon was written when Ballard was aged 20 for a short story competition in the Cambridge University magazine Varsity. The story is set in Malaysia in the late 1940s, a period when British colonials were fighting infiltration by Marxist guerrillas. Needless to say, it is not easy to locate an original copy of the story's one and only publication (indeed, outside of libraries it may well be impossible), although scans of the story do exist.
PRIMA BELLADONNA: Science Fantasy, #20, December 1956
The science fiction editor John Carnell had been impressed by the stories that Ballard had submitted, and published two of them in separate magazines in December 1956. It appears that this was the first one in print, since the December issue of New Worlds contains a brief profile of Ballard, which includes the statement that "Mr. Ballard's debut into science fiction was made in the current Science Fantasy with Prima Belladonna."
ESCAPEMENT: New Worlds, #54, December 1956
New Worlds, #54
This story was later revised and re-
MOBILE: Science Fantasy, #23, June 1957
This story was later substantially re-
MANHOLE 69: New Worlds, #65, November 1957
TRACK 12: New Worlds, #70 April, 1958
THE WAITING GROUNDS: New Worlds, #88, November 1959
NOW: ZERO: Science Fantasy, #38, December 1959
THE SOUND SWEEP: Science Fantasy, #39 February, 1960
ZONE OF TERROR: New Worlds, #92, March 1960
CHRONOPOLIS: New Worlds, #95, June 1960
THE VOICES OF TIME: New Worlds, #99, October 1960
THE LAST WORLD OF MR GODDARD: Science Fantasy, #43, October 1960
STUDIO 5, THE STARS: Science Fantasy, #45, February 1961
Science Fantasy, #45
DEEP END: New Worlds, #106, May 1961
THE OVERLOADED MAN: New Worlds, #108, July 1961
MR F IS MR F: Science Fantasy, #48, August 1961
An early version of the novel The Wind from Nowhere. The serialized version contains a short epilogue that is missing from the novel.
BILLENIUM: New Worlds, #112, November 1961
THE GENTLE ASSASSIN: New Worlds, #113, December 1961
A short version of the novel The Drowned World, which preceded its first book publication. The magazine Science Fiction Adventures was from the same stable as New Worlds and Science Fantasy.
SF Adventures, #24
THE INSANE ONES: Amazing Stories, January 1962
First publication of a Ballard story in a U.S. magazine.
Care is needed with issues of the The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction from the early 1960s. Between December 1959 and June 1964, a U.K. edition was published with contents that were mostly taken from a U.S. issue published three or four months earlier. For example, most of the contents of the U.S. issue for February 1962, which included The Garden of Time, also appeared in the U.K. issue for June 1962. The last U.S. edition to be reprised as a U.K. edition was that for February 1964, so it appears that there is just one other Ballard story that may have appeared in a later U.K. edition: Now Wakes the Sea.
THE THOUSAND DREAMS OF STELLAVISTA: Amazing Stories, March 1962
THIRTEEN TO CENTAURUS: Amazing Stories, April 1962
PASSPORT TO ETERNITY: Amazing Stories, June 1962
THE CAGE OF SAND: New Worlds, #119, June 1962
THE SINGING STATUES: Fantastic Stories, July 1962
THE MAN ON THE 99th FLOOR: New Worlds, #120, July 1962
THE SUBLIMINAL MAN: New Worlds, #126, January 1963
THE SHERRINGTON THEORY: Amazing Stories, March 1963
This story was later retitled The Reptile Enclosure.
A QUESTION OF RE-
Fantastic Stories, March 1963
NOW WAKES THE SEA: The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, May 1963
This story may also have appeared in the U.K. edition of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction dated September 1963 (see comments above on the magazine's U.K. edition).
THE ENCOUNTER: Amazing Stories, June 1963
This story was later retitled The Venus Hunters.
MINUS ONE: Science Fantasy, #59, June 1963
THE SUDDEN AFTERNOON: Fantastic Stories, September 1963
THE SCREEN GAME: Fantastic Stories, October 1963
TIME OF PASSAGE: Science Fantasy, #63, February 1964
PRISONER OF THE CORAL DEEP: Argosy, March 1964
This is the U.K. magazine Argosy, not the U.S. magazine with the same title.
Argosy, March 1964
THE LOST LEONARDO: The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, March 1964
THE TERMINAL BEACH: New Worlds, #140, March 1964
This story was later re-
Later expanded into the novel The Crystal World.
This was the first issue of New Worlds to be edited by Michael Moorcock, with a new
publisher and a somewhat smaller, paperback-
New Worlds, #142
EQUINOX (Part 2): New Worlds, #143 July/August 1964
THE DELTA AT SUNSET: in The Terminal Beach, Gollancz, June 1964
The U.K. hardback edition of The Terminal Beach contained the first publication of four of Ballard's stories. The Delta at Sunset does not appear to have had a subsequent magazine publication.
THE DROWNED GIANT: in The Terminal Beach, Gollancz, June 1964
This story also appeared in the May 1965 issue of Playboy with the alternative title of Souvenir. Most subsequent publications in short story collections have reverted to the original title.
THE GIOCONDA OF THE TWILIGHT NOON: in The Terminal Beach, Gollancz, June 1964
Apparently no magazine publication.
THE VOLCANO DANCES: in The Terminal Beach, Gollancz, June 1964
Again, this story does not appear to have appeared in a magazine.
CONFETTI ROYALE: Rogue, February/March 1966
Pringle (1984) gives first publication of this story to the January/February issue
of Rogue, a U.S. 'mens' magazine. In fact, first publication was in the issue dated
February/March 1966. The confusion seems to have arisen because Rogue had a bi-
This story appeared three years later in New Worlds #189 (April 1969) with the title The Beach Murders. Subsequent appearances have retained this later title.
Rogue, Feb/Mar 1966
YOU AND ME AND THE CONTINUUM: Impulse, #1, March 1966
Impulse was a new title for the magazine Science Fantasy, which was by now in the same paperback sized format as New Worlds.
THE ASSASSINATION WEAPON: New Worlds, #161, April 1966
THE DAY OF FOREVER: in The Impossible Man, Berkley, April 1966
Three of Ballard's stories found their first publication in Berkley's U.S. paperback collection The Impossible Man. This story, The Day of Forever, had a subsequent magazine publication in New Worlds #170 (January 1967).
THE IMPOSSIBLE MAN: in The Impossible Man, Berkley, April 1966
There appears to have been no magazine publication of this story.
STORM BIRD, STORM DREAMER: in The Impossible Man, Berkley, April 1966
There was a subsequent magazine appearance in New Worlds #168 (November 1966).
YOU: COMA: MARILYN MONROE: Ambit, #27, Spring 1966
Ambit, a magazine that mixed poetry, fiction, and art, was started by London paediatrician
Martin Bax in 1959 -
You: Coma: Marilyn Monroe was re-
THE ATROCITY EXHIBITION: New Worlds, #166, September 1966
Although this was to become the title piece for one of Ballard's most famous books,
it played second fiddle on its original publication to Moorcock's award-
The Atrocity Exhibition also appeared in the magazine Encounter in March 1967, which is sometimes erroneously described as the story's first publication.
New Worlds, #166
TOMORROW IS A MILLION YEARS: Argosy, October 1966
This appearance in the U.K. magazine Argosy was this story's first, though it also appeared in New Worlds just a couple of months later (#169, December 1966).
THE ASSASSINATION OF JOHN FITZGERALD KENNEDY CONSIDERED AS A DOWNHILL MOTOR RACE: Ambit, #29, Autumn 1966
Also published a few months later in New Worlds (#171, March 1967).
PLAN FOR THE ASSASSINATION OF JACQUELINE KENNEDY: Ambit, #31, Spring 1967
This piece was retitled for inclusion in the collection The Atrocity Exhibition,
appearing there as Notes Towards a Mental Breakdown. To make matters even more confusing,
that later title was used again in the mid-
This was the first issue of New Worlds in the large magazine format. #173 is one of the scarcer issues, possibly because of distribution difficulties consequent on the changeover in formats.
New Worlds, #173
CRY HOPE, CRY FURY!: The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, October 1967
THE RECOGNITION: in Dangerous Visions, ed. Harlan Ellison, Doubleday, 1967
Ballard's contribution to the famous 'new wave' anthology was actually one of his more minor stories. A first edition of Dangerous Visions in decent condition will probably cost a hundred pounds or so, rather a lot for the first publication of a single Ballard story! There are usually a number of much cheaper book club editions, with a similar dust jacket, for sale on eBay and Abebooks.
Dangerous Visions, Doubleday, 1967
This is the piece that led to the pulping of what would have been the first U.S. edition of The Atrocity Exhibition in 1970. Senior management at Doubleday ordered the book's destruction shortly before publication, after reading Why I Want To ...
But where had the piece first appeared? It's common to see Ronald Reagan: The Magazine
of Poetry #1 (1968), edited by John Sladek and Pamela Zoline, being credited with
first publication, and the piece was very possibly written with that magazine in
mind. However, this appearance must have been in the second half of 1968, since an
advertisement for 'Magazine of Poetry' appeared in New Worlds, but not until October.
An appearance in International Times (#26, 16-
It was the Unicorn Bookshop edition that led to the prosecution of the publisher, Bill Butler, for obscenity, as recounted by Ballard in the annotation notes that are included in recent editions of The Atrocity Exhibition. The police raid on the bookshop's premises, in which three copies of the Why I Want To ... chapbook were seized, occurred on 16th January 1968. The book had been published that same day and the rest of the copies had already been sent to London for distribution, so that the Unicorn Bookshop publication did indeed precede that in International Times.
In 1980, when Reagan did actually run for President, the piece was circulated (without the title) at the Republican Party Convention, as a spoof report from the National Republican Congressional Committee, under the title Official Republican 1980 Presidential Survey. There is a full page reproduction of this leaflet in Re/Search 8/9: J. G. Ballard.
The Unicorn Bookshop chapbook is very rare, and even an unsigned copy will probably cost a couple of hundred pounds or more; issue 26 of International Times is seen fairly frequently on eBay, usually without the Ballard piece being mentioned, and doesn't command a premium price; Ronald Reagan: The Magazine of Poetry is occasionally seen on Abebooks and eBay and may cost around £50. As for an original of the Presidential Survey, I've really no idea.
Official Republican 1980 Presidential Survey
Unicorn Bookshop, 1968
International Times #26, Feb 1968
Ronald Reagan: The Magazine of Poetry #1, 1968
THE DEAD ASTRONAUT: Playboy, May 1968
This issue of Playboy is regularly seen for sale on eBay.
Playboy, May 1968
LOVE AND NAPALM: EXPORT U.S.A.: Circuit, #6, June 1968
The magazine Circuit was published by a group of students in Cambridge and London, including David Bieda and others, and ran for 12 issues between 1966 and 1969. The contents were largely about contemporary art and politics, with the aim of 'enabling the student mind to escape from the imprisonment of the narrow compass of academic degree requirements'. This is a pretty obscure publication.
First publication of Love and Napalm: Export U.S.A. is sometimes given as The Running
Man (#2, July/August 1968), but the story's appearance in Circuit pre-
The Running Man, #2
THE UNIVERSITY OF DEATH: Transatlantic Review, #29, Summer 1968
Transatlantic Review, #29
THE GREAT AMERICAN NUDE: Ambit, #36, Summer 1968
THE GENERATIONS OF AMERICA: New Worlds, #183, October 1968
#183 was one of the issues of New Worlds that suffered from distribution problems following the reluctance of the wholesalers to handle the magazine, and is therefore a fairly scarce issue.
New Worlds, #183
THE COMSAT ANGELS: Worlds of If, December 1968
THE SUMMER CANNIBALS: New Worlds, #186, January 1969
Another issue that was beset by New Worlds' distribution problems, this is possibly the scarcest issue to contain a story by Ballard.
New Worlds, #186
CRASH!: ICA Eventsheet, February 1969
Crash! first appeared in the 'eventsheet' of London's Institute of Contemporary Arts.
It was included in The Atrocity Exhibition collection (Cape, 1970), and also appeared
in The Aspen Box #7 (Roaring Fork Press, Spring-
ICA Eventsheet, Feb 1969
THE KILLING GROUND: New Worlds, #188, March 1969
New Worlds' distribution difficulties had now eased somewhat, so this issue and those dating from 1970 are not quite as difficult to find as some of the other large format issues.
TOLERANCES OF THE HUMAN FACE: Encounter, September 1969
Encounter, Sep 1969
A PLACE AND A TIME TO DIE: New Worlds, #194, September/October 1969
COITUS 80: A DESCRIPTION OF THE SEXUAL ACT IN 1980: New Worlds, #197, January 1970
This was a predecessor of Ballard's 'surgical fictions', where he took actual descriptions of surgical procedures and replaced the patient description with the name of a famous personality. None of these pieces were included in the 2001 collection The Complete Short Stories.
JOURNEY ACROSS A CRATER: New Worlds, #198, February 1970
Journey Across a Crater was written in the same style as the majority of stories
that made up The Atrocity Exhibition, but concerns a completely different character,
a man who is apparently a returned astronaut. It also contains themes and one of
the characters that were to appear in the novel Crash. Journey Across a Crater wasn't
included in The Complete Short Stories; which is rather strange in my opinion, because
it's a reasonable length story, rather than a slight vignette or a piece of quasi-
New Worlds, #198
PRINCESS MARGARET'S FACELIFT: AN INTERSECTION OF FICTION AND REALITY: New Worlds, #199, March 1970
One of the 'surgical fiction' pieces. Reprinted in the Re/Search and Flamingo/HarperCollins editions of the The Atrocity Exhibition.
MAE WEST'S REDUCTION MAMMOPLASTY: Ambit, #44, Summer 1970
Another surgical fiction, which is also reprinted in the Re/Search and Flamingo/HarperCollins editions of the The Atrocity Exhibition.
SAY GOODBYE TO THE WIND: Fantastic Stories, August 1970
THE GREATEST TELEVISION SHOW ON EARTH: Ambit, #53, Winter 1972/1973
MY DREAM OF FLYING TO WAKE ISLAND: Ambit, #60, Autumn 1974
THE AIR DISASTER: Bananas, #1, January/February 1975
A number of Ballard's short stories written during the mid-
THE LIFE AND DEATH OF GOD: Ambit, #66, Spring 1976
This story was originally titled (but not published as) The Rumour.
THE 60 MINUTE ZOOM: Bananas, #5, Summer 1976
THE SMILE: Bananas, #6, Autumn/Winter 1976
THE ULTIMATE CITY: in Low-
First published in one of Ballard's short story collections, The Ultimate City did have a subsequent magazine publication, in two parts, in CoEvolution Quarterly (#14, Summer 1977; and #15, Fall 1977), a magazine which derived from the Whole Earth Catalog project.
QUEEN ELIZABETH'S RHINOPLASTY: TriQuarterly, #35, Winter 1976
Another 'surgical fiction'. This one was included in the Re/Search annotated edition of The Atrocity Exhibition, but was omitted from the subsequent Flamingo edition in the U.K.
TriQuarterly is a U.S. literary magazine published three times a year by Northwestern University. Issue #35 consisted of two volumes contained in a rather plain cardboard slipcase. The first volume, in which Queen Elizabeth's Rhinoplasty appeared, contained a large number of very short stories, or 'minute stories'. Copies of this issue of TriQuarterly can usually be found for sale on Abebooks.
THE DEAD TIME: Bananas, #7, Spring 1977
THE INDEX: Bananas, #8, Summer 1977
THE INTENSIVE CARE UNIT: Ambit, #71, Summer 1977
THEATRE OF WAR: Bananas, #9, Winter 1977
HAVING A WONDERFUL TIME: Bananas, #10, Spring 1978
ONE AFTERNOON AT UTAH BEACH: in Anticipations, ed. Christopher Priest, Faber & Faber, 1978
Ballard contributed to this collection of original stories, edited by fellow author Chris Priest.
Anticipations, Faber & Faber, 1978
ZODIAC 2000: Ambit, #75, Summer 1978
This issue also contained one of Ballard's contributions to The Invisible Years series that ran in Ambit in the late 1970s.
MOTEL ARCHITECTURE: Bananas, #12, Autumn 1978
A HOST OF FURIOUS FANCIES: Time Out, 19 December 1980
Time Out, 19 Dec 1980
NEWS FROM THE SUN: Ambit, #87, Autumn 1981
This story was published as a chapbook in 1982 by the SF magazine Interzone. However its first publication had been in Ambit the previous year. The chapbook was limited to 750 copies: 20 lettered and signed presentation copies plus 730 numbered copies, of which the first 100 were signed.
MEMORIES OF THE SPACE AGE: Interzone, #2, Summer 1982
A large proportion of Ballard's new stories appeared in Interzone over the course of the next ten years or so.
MYTHS OF THE NEAR FUTURE: in Myths of the Near Future, Cape, 1982
First published in the short story collection of the same name, Myths of the Near Future had a subsequent magazine publication in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction (October 1982).
REPORT ON AN UNIDENTIFIED SPACE STATION: City Limits, 10-
An appearance in another of London's weekly listings magazines. This story was reprinted in the paperback anthology Semiotext(e) SF, edited by Rudy Rucker (1989).
City Limits, 10-
THE SECRET AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF J.G.B******: Ambit, #96, Spring 1984 (first appeared
in French in Etoile Mecanique #1-
This vignette was reprinted in Interzone #106 (1996), but was not included in The
Complete Short Stories until the 2009 edition from W. W. Norton, where it was re-
THE OBJECT OF THE ATTACK: Interzone, #9, Autumn 1984
ANSWERS TO A QUESTIONNAIRE: Ambit, #100, Spring 1985
THE MAN WHO WALKED ON THE MOON: Interzone, #13, Autumn 1985
THE SECRET HISTORY OF WORLD WAR 3: Ambit, #114, Autumn 1988
LOVE IN A COLDER CLIMATE: Interview, January 1989
Interview was a U.S. magazine dealing primarily with media personalities and the like, and had originated with Andy Warhol. Love in a Colder Climate also appeared a few months later in the Observer Magazine for 16 July 1989.
Interview, Jan 1989
THE LARGEST THEME PARK IN THE WORLD: Guardian, 7 July 1989
A story published in one of the U. K.'s daily newspapers.
Guardian, 7 July 1989, page 29
THE ENORMOUS SPACE: Interzone, #30, July/August 1989
WAR FEVER: The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, October 1989
JANE FONDA'S AUGMENTATION MAMMOPLASTY: in Semiotext(e) SF, ed. Rudy Rucker 1989
The last of Ballard's 'surgical fictions' appeared in this paperback anthology of
(to quote the publishers) 'post-
Semiotext(e) SF, 1989
DREAM CARGOES: Shincho, September 1990
First publication was a translation into Japanese by Takayuki Tatsumi in a 'Science Fiction special issue' of the literary magazine Shincho. The story also appeared in November of the same year in the collection War Fever, where no prior publication details were given, and this was therefore presumably its first publication in English.
Shincho, Sep 1990
NEIL ARMSTRONG REMEMBERS HIS JOURNEY TO THE MOON: Interzone, #53, November 1991
A vignette that was not included in The Complete Short Stories.
A GUIDE TO VIRTUAL DEATH: Interzone, #56, February 1992
THE MESSAGE FROM MARS: Interzone, #58, April 1992
REPORT FROM AN OBSCURE PLANET: Leonardo, April 1992
Leonardo was a one-
Leonardo, April 1992
THE DYING FALL: Interzone, #106, April 1996
Ballard's last short story was included in a special edition of Interzone to mark his work. It did not appear in The Complete Short Stories until the 2009 edition from W. W. Norton.
THE HARDOON LABYRINTH: in Vermilion Sands, Editions Tristram, 2013 (in French as Le Labyrinthe Hardoon)
An early story, set in the fictional resort of Vermilion Sands and probably written
in the mid-