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March 22, 2009 8:10 PM   Subscribe

David Cronenburg's Alien: novelisation by JG Ballard. Starsky and Hutch: novelisation by JG Ballard.
posted by WPW (24 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
The idea of a Cronenburg Alien is almost as staggering as the idea of a Jodorowsky Dune...
posted by mr_roboto at 8:40 PM on March 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Enjoyable just by themselves, but it would help for me to know who the heck J.G. Ballard is supposed to be ... the pages indicate he's a Brit author, but ... ?
posted by WCityMike at 8:41 PM on March 22, 2009


Enjoyable just by themselves, but it would help for me to know who the heck J.G. Ballard is supposed to be ... the pages indicate he's a Brit author, but ... ?

Hmm ... How to describe? He wrote the book that became the David Cronenburg film Crash. He also wrote Empire of the Sun, later a film by Steven Spielberg, based on his childhood experiences in Japanese-occupied Shanghai. Much of his work is characterised by extraordinary verbal pyrotechnics, sexual perversity, the fetishisation of industrial artifacts, and a brilliant romanticisation of the banal, making it terrible and glorious at the same time. Central reservations, shopping malls, car parks, airports - these are Ballardian spaces. The Alien pastiche above draws heavily on The Atrocity Exhibition, an experimental novel of Ballard's written in the 1970s.
posted by WPW at 8:52 PM on March 22, 2009 [6 favorites]


Man, I really love Ballardian...
posted by brundlefly at 8:57 PM on March 22, 2009


Oh! Also, it's CronenbErg.
posted by brundlefly at 8:57 PM on March 22, 2009


Oh! Also, it's CronenbErg.

Darn. Judging from your username, you would know ...
posted by WPW at 8:59 PM on March 22, 2009


I hope someone did a novelisation of Waterworld by JG Ballard.
posted by Artw at 9:06 PM on March 22, 2009


Puppets miming to a song inspired by a novel by Ballard that was later turned into a film by David Cronenberg.

I guess Ballard will be doing his own novelisation of CSI soon.

Ballard on BBC4, complete with Smiths intro.
posted by maudlin at 9:09 PM on March 22, 2009


Ballard was so great up until he started writing the same novel again and again. The Drought is still one of my favourites.
posted by turgid dahlia at 9:15 PM on March 22, 2009


Can you imagine if Ballard started hosting Top Gear or Grand Designs???
posted by doobiedoo at 9:44 PM on March 22, 2009


Too true, turgid dahlia.

SPOILER FOR EVERY BALLARD NOVEL SINCE COCAINE NIGHTS

I wonder which character Ballard identifies with more—the all-too-human Vulcan-like genius who puts his sociopsychotic theories into practice, or the protagonist who channels the Bacchanal in an effort to uphold Apollonian ideals.

That being said, doobiedoo, I'd love to see JG Ballard's Extreme Home Makeovers.
posted by infinitewindow at 9:50 PM on March 22, 2009 [4 favorites]


JG Ballard's Scrapheap Challenge would be something.

Turgid dahlia, it's a pity he didn't continue to grow his range, but those six books were a hell of a book.
posted by WPW at 9:55 PM on March 22, 2009


It was Brett who got pulled up into the air shaft. Kane had just recently come to an untimely end at the dinner table.
posted by Brainy at 11:34 PM on March 22, 2009


In your universe.
posted by Artw at 12:10 AM on March 23, 2009


it would help for me to know who the heck J.G. Ballard is supposed to be

Here's an excerpt from Why I Want to Fuck Ronald Reagan.
posted by benzenedream at 12:45 AM on March 23, 2009


but it would help for me to know who the heck J.G. Ballard is ... ? Really? Cool. Or not, depending, but (as mentioned above) he wrote a couple really interesting books.

In the comments in the first link there's this nugget.
posted by From Bklyn at 1:38 AM on March 23, 2009


I once wrote a fan letter to Clive Barker (I received a form-letter, thank-you-for-your-interest reply) in which I said I'd like to see a collaborative effort from Barker and Cronenberg. I think that would have been more marketable than a Ballard-Cronenberg venture . . . but it wouldn't really stink, y'know what I'm sayin,' like a Ballard-and-Cronenberg melange.

Oh yeah.

But mr_roboto's mention of Jodorowsky's Dune reinforces in my mind how much Alien is about H.R. Giger.
posted by Restless Day at 4:10 AM on March 23, 2009


I hope someone did a novelisation of Waterworld by JG Ballard.

I imagine the producers of Waterworld picking up his novel The Drowned World and thinking, nice idea ... but it needs more water.

(Here I am, making facetious remarks on mefi when what I really should be doing is writing a thank-you letter to him before he succumbs to cancer. I hate to think that Conversations with My Physician: The Meaning, if Any, of Life could well be a posthumous publication in the U.S. if the publishing industry here doesn't get its head out of its collective ass.)
posted by Doktor Zed at 4:53 AM on March 23, 2009


Ballard was so great up until he started writing the same novel again and again.

Well, it was ever thus. Ballard's whole career has been about repeatedly exploring the same ideas and his novels break up into distinctive periods. You have:

The disaster novels (1961-66) - I agree that The Drought is the best of these
The urban disaster novels (1974-79)
The contemporary novels (1984-94)
The millenial novels (1996-2006)

Plus the crazy little one offs like The Unlimited Dream Company. Anyway, if his career wasn't being curtailed by cancer perhaps he would be moving into a new period now and it wouldn't just be Cocaine Nights ad infinitum.
posted by ninebelow at 7:49 AM on March 23, 2009


I've previously described the soft spot I have for Alien, the movie and the novel, and how it ties into a sentimental attachment to Crispin Glover.

I'm a complicated man.
posted by MrMoonPie at 8:10 AM on March 23, 2009


collaborative effort from Barker and Cronenberg.

That'll be Nightbreed then. Well sort of.

The best of JG Ballard
Strange fiction - A Life In Books JG Ballard
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:38 AM on March 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


Someday, all novels will be J.G. Ballard imitations.


*Goes back to staring unblinkingly at the sun, lovingly caressing the burns and scars, from the fiery jet crash, that was his roaring searing white hot evolutionary chrysalis unto a breathtaking new vista of a more modern, more perceptive, ultimately more truly compassionate psycho-emotional mental landscape. *
posted by Skygazer at 10:47 AM on March 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Hey look kids, it's the build your very own J.G. Ballard sentence game:


*Goes back to staring unblinkingly at the sun, lovingly caressing the burns and scars, from the fiery jet crash, blender explosion, haircut accident, tuna casserole deviation, stuffed teddy bear meltdown, porno magazine malfunction, [Insert cataclysmic event here], that was his roaring searing white hot evolutionary chrysalis unto a breathtaking new vista of a more modern, more perceptive, ultimately more truly compassionate psycho-emotional mental landscape. *
posted by Skygazer at 11:19 AM on March 23, 2009


I once wrote a fan letter to Clive Barker (I received a form-letter, thank-you-for-your-interest reply) in which I said I'd like to see a collaborative effort from Barker and Cronenberg.

Does Nightbreed count? Directed and written by Clive Barker, and starring David Cronenberg? Not the best movie, but I have a soft spot for it because it has some great ideas. It's an adaptation of Barker's Cabal.
posted by Kafkaesque at 6:03 PM on March 23, 2009


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