Moorcock on Ballard


This photo is believed to have been taken in 1968 at the Brighton Arts Festival. From the left, Michael Moorcock, Brian Aldiss, Mike Kustow (director of the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London), JG Ballard (photo courtesy Michael Moorcock).

“He inspired his contemporaries, like Aldiss and Brunner, for instance, to concentrate increasingly on contemporary imagery and issues. He was so far removed from even the best genre writers, such as Dick or Pohl and Kornbluth, that he was our finest model in showing new writers how to develop their own vocabularies. I didn’t want to write like Jimmy any more than the rest of our best writers, but he showed that it was possible to write idiosyncratically about what we saw as the urgent issues of the day, that genre conventions need only be employed where they were useful to the individual. Previous to that I think Jimmy would argue only Bradbury had managed that transformation. Bradbury was Jimmy’s inspiration before Burroughs. I had seen Bester and the Americans who influenced him as a similar inspiration. Neither of us could read what is generally called ‘Golden Age’ SF.”


“I think we were all part of a broad movement which was rejecting, as I said, the played out conventions of Modernism. We were looking for methods which worked for us. Some were eventually abandoned. Some were modified. We now live in a world where many of our innovations, techniques and subjects we considered our own, have become so commonly used nobody even knows where they originally came from. We’ve probably, therefore, achieved what we set out to do, to establish fresh conventions better able to deal with contemporary life.”

One great contemporary writer discussing another at Ballardian.

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