Ballard novels have never really impressed me - they seem too unfocused and convoluted. I am a big fan, however, of his short stories - generally well-written, interestingly plotted, and providing just the right amount of alienation, making even a mundane situation seem like an otherworldly experience. "The Best Short Stories of..." is a great place to start, with many fiction and sci-fi classics, a great representation of the short story form. "War Fever" is a worthy follow-up. I don't know why it took me so long to try these stories, but they are definitely worth it. Here, he doesn't really go out of his way to write in any established genre (sci-fi, horror), but his stories seem to drift that way ever so slightly, as if trying to just tread the edge of such. He uses some interesting variations with form as well, seeing what the reader will accept as a story: a questionnaire? An index? Both are equally valid, and Ballard uses them to great effect. Give this collection a try and see how well the stories hold up to his more classic works. I think you'll find that his output from the mid to late '80s was just as good.