The Natural Disaster Quartet
The texts under consideration in this chapter include Ballard’s first four novels, all of which involve different types of global cataclysms and fall into the apocalyptic subgenre of SF: The Wind from Nowhere, The Drowned World, The Drought and The Crystal World. The latter three are inner-spatial narratives that center on one man’s terrestrial and psychological journey through a dystopian “landscape of decline and desire”; all three protagonists are “becoming-Adams” who seek transcendence by navigating their respective new Edens, “gardens of ruin” that hold the promise of demolition and re-birth. Wind, on the other hand, is a “cozy catastrophe” full of clichés that Ballard wrote to jumpstart his career, although it is much better than some critics (and Ballard himself) have given it credit for.
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