A collection of never-before-published interviews, by the author of "Cocaine Nights" (Flamingo), "Crash" (Vintage), and "Millennium People" (Flamingo). It presents thoughts on the Internet and virtual reality, the impact of 9-11, extremism, the media industries, the meaning of Las Vegas and gated communities, and the infantilization of America and the world. This new volume of interviews from RE/Search shows Ballard whole - a moralist, standing at the intersection between Jonathan Swift and Salvador Dali. Over four decades Ballard has exerted a deep influence over diverse writers like Angela Carter, Jean Baudrillard, Michel Houellebecq and Don DeLillo. His Booker Prize-nominated "Empire of the Sun" was filmed by Steven Spielberg. Never has Ballard sounded so concerned, fatherly, or political. (In an earlier, 1984 RE/Search interview, Ballard impishly exclaims, "I want more nuclear weapons!") The interviews make it abundantly clear that while Ballard has always proclaimed the death of reason and the visceral origins of technology, he now sees these developments as almost wholly negative.
"What bothers me," the author says of that notorious techno-pornographic novel "Crash," "is that something is happening that you could almost call the 'Normalizing of the Psychopathic' - the greater and greater areas of what used to be regarded as the psychopathic by, say, my parents." It doesn't seem to occur to Ballard that anyone might have read his violently sexual stories literally.