Memories of the Space Age
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Memories of the Space Age

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4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  98 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Contents:

frontspiece by J.K. Potter
*The Cage of Sand · nv New Worlds Jun ’62 illustrated by J.K. Potter
*A Question of Re-Entry · nv Fantastic Mar ’63
*The Dead Astronaut · ss Playboy May ’68
*My Dream of Flying to Wake Island · ss Ambit #60 ’74
*News from the Sun · nv Ambit #87 ’81 illustrated by J.K. Potter
*Memories of the Space Age · nv Interzone #2 ’82 illustrated by J....more
Paperback, 216 pages
Published November 1st 2002 by Arkham House Publishers (first published November 1988)
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Nick
In nearly every one of these eight dystopian, post-Space Age tales of desolation you'll encounter the following:

1. At least one dead astronaut
2. Cape Canaveral, abandoned and decrepit with derelict rocket gantries
3. Antique aircraft (Wright biplanes, B-17 bombers)
4. Pallid, obsessive widows of dead astronauts
5. Sand
6. Mental instability (mania, fugues)

The stories were written between 1962-1985, an appropriate range given the popularity and subsequent decline of the US space program. Ballard's pr...more
Andrew Smith
Such an interesting view of the Space Age in this collection of beautifully written and often startling stories. Ballard's melancholy and brilliantly Ballardian take is that humanity's urge to enter the cosmos is an expression of almost child-like hubris - which is bound to end badly! As someone who's spent time thinking and writing about space (cf 'Moondust'), I loved this for the brilliance of its storytelling and the way it raised unusual questions.
Kathleen
It's been awhile since I last read this, I'm surprised that so few readers have posted about it and I'll have to read it again so as to better offer something to share; right now I have to go out and keep my date with all the dead astronauts parading across the night skies, I wonder who'll have dropped out since last they passed....
Coxy
I tracked this down as one of the books I wanted to read about the Apollo missions, and this collection (of short stories written before, during and after Apollo 11's mission to the moon) basically focus in on Ballard's feeling that humankind committed an evolutionary crime by going into space, for which we will be punished (in his imagination, it is by time lapses or "fugues" - like an illness, people increasingly lose parts of each day, as the past, present andf future flood in on one another)...more
David Merrill
About 15 years ago I was asked to write a review column for an e-zine that never quite got off the ground. As a result, I have 5 installments of that column languishing on my computer drive. Memories of the Space Age was one of the books I reviewed in the first installment. I've decided to "publish" them myself in the writing section on my Home page about once a month (maybe sooner, we'll see). Each installment has a theme and reviews two books that fit that theme. I took a no holds barred appro...more
Matthew
What can I say; the dude's got his own word in the dictionary to describe his particular style. I could say: science fiction at its most elaborate and impressive. Or: the modern condition at its most stylistic and poetic. Or: each story an apocalypse come softly, dreamlike, at once horrifying and inviting. But more importantly than anything else: the man writes like a freaking magician.

Incidentally, I highly recommend Ernst Reijseger's Requiem for a Dying Planet as a musical accompaniment.
Jk Huddleston
Ballard's bizarre psychological tales of ex astronauts, engineers and doctors exploring and encountering themselves and one another at the defunct NASA launch sites in Florida is as surreal in prose as any work by Dali or Magritte. Ballard can say more in one sentence than most writers in an entire story - blurs the present future of mankind with damning and prophetic stories of criminal ventures into space and its consequences.
Rachel
With every story I felt more and more disassociated with this world, till finally I couldn't read the last one because I had to come back from orbit! How can Ballard's words make me so damn lonely and lost! I'll have to come back to finish
Theo Baker
Mostly late career, but Ballard at his best. You may actually begin to hallucinate while reading "News from the Sun."
Brian
Jun 07, 2009 Brian added it
Shelves: science
I've never read Ballard...It's about time. Sci-Fi indeed.
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7010931
James Graham "J. G." Ballard (15 November 1930 – 19 April 2009) was an English novelist, short story writer, and essayist. Ballard came to be associated with the New Wave of science fiction early in his career with apocalyptic (or post-apocalyptic) novels such as The Drowned World (1962), The Burning World (1964), and The Crystal World (1966). In the late 1960s and early 1970s Ballard focused on a...more
More about J.G. Ballard...
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