Tuesday, March 31, 2009
The Drowned World by J G Ballard
In 1962 Ballard imagined a world in which global warming had destroyed civilisation in any recognisable form. The world is flooded, with fewer and fewer areas inhabitable. London is being looted and the last remaining scientists there are tormented with nightmares.
Ballard explores the psychological impact of the destroction of all vestiges of human existence by the heat and encroaching natural world, leading the reader to a dramatic and uncomfoartable finale.
The novel has been cristicised for lacking narrative drive. I feel this is an unwarranted criticism, made in ignorance. If you are looking for science fiction full of space battles and robots, then this is not for you. However, if you want a thoughtful and subtle work exploring the psychological effects of changes to the recognisable world, you will find few better examples.