“Ballardian—resembling or suggestive of the conditions described in JG Ballard’s novels and stories, especially dystopian modernity, bleak man-made landscapes and the psychological effects of technological, social or environmental developments.”
–Oxford English Dictionary
“It seems to me that what most of us have to fear for the future is not that something terrible is going to happen, but rather that nothing is going to happen… I could sum up the future in one word, and that word is boring. The future is going to be boring.”
–JG Ballard, 1991
Drained swimming pools and drowned cities, crashed cars and deserted highways—the term “Ballardian” has not just entered dictionaries but also the public and media consciousness in the years since the author’s death. But by doing so there is a danger that some sense of meaning has been lost; that by becoming a soundbite to be thrown about by lazy critics, journalists and even politicians it has not just lost multiple layers of nuance, but come to represent something Ballard never intended—a cliche of inhumanity and dystopia associated with a man that, contrary to popular perception, never celebrated either.