A war-ravaged Beirut is the setting for the title story of this visionary collection, a tale in which a young street fighter inadvertently discovers how to bring an to the bloodshed only to find that his solution is all too effective as far as some supposedly neutral observers are concerned. Other stories feature an assassination plot against an American astronaut, the leader of an authoritarian religious movement; a man who is destroyed by a car crash and resolves never to leave his apartment again; and the survivor of a toxic-waste ship wrecked on a deserted Caribbean island.
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J. G. Ballard is the author of more than twenty novels and short-story collections. He lives in Shepperton, England.From Library Journal:
This fascinating collection of stories, written over the last 15 years, is loosely tied together by Ballard's overall themes: our isolation in time and the psychological implications of technology. Some stories are eerie and surreal, others ironic and humorous, but each is uniquely insightful. Largely because of their treatment of the concept of future time, the stories may be classified as science fiction. But the locations are actual rather than conceptual, with descriptions of such locales as Florida and London bolstered by tangible allusions to well-known modern artists and public figures. In "The Secret History of World War 3," the time is 1995 and Ronald Reagan has been elected to a third term of office. As Reagan's health bulletins obscure the most significant conflict of the era, it is both funny and frightening to see the media manipulating the public perceptions of reality. The space program, astronauts, Beirut, and toxic chemical disposal are some of the subjects explored in these stories. They show the scope of Ballard's preoccupation with life in the future and recommend him to a wider audience than traditional science fiction fans.
- Patricia C. Heaney, Nassau Community Coll., Garden City, N.Y.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Collins, 1990. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0002237709