Ballard, who died today age 78, was a great writer usually pigeonholed into the sic-fi genre. But as the Guardian‘s obit rightly points out, his style of science fiction was less about projecting the future than understanding the present:

The young science fiction author “wasn’t interested in the far future, spaceships and all that”, he explained; rather he was interested in “the evolving world, the world of hidden persuaders, of the communications landscape developing, of mass tourism, of the vast conformist suburbs dominated by television – that was a form of science fiction, and it was already here”.