Empire of the Sun: Either a great intro or the ultimate conclusion of your Ballard reading. Here all his obsessions are presented but given to a more accessible protagonist and tied to a real time and place, the fall of Shanghai. It’s possibly one of the best books on this aspect of World War Two. This is an almost a mainstream effort by Ballard but only in reference to its coherency and accessibility. It is still a parade of surreal visions with burning pilots, drained pools, and flickering, haunting images of film and other obsessive images that fit into Ballard’s apocalyptic oeuvre alongside Concrete Island, Crash, Atrocity Exhibition, and High Rise.