Of all the writers I've read, this guy was the biggest influence on my own artwork. His science fiction stories always take place in the present and bring into focus a creepy side of life caused by industry, tv, psychosis, neurosis, & the machines we build.
The UK Guardian does a nice job eulogizing Ballard, his contributions, & his unique genius in these two articles:
How JG Ballard cast his shadow right across the arts : JG Ballard's influence on culture went far beyond literature. We look at his lasting impact on film, pop, architecture, TV and visual art
Crash author JG Ballard, 'a giant on the world literary scene', dies aged 78
Quoting from the second article:
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".After reading Ballard more than 20 years ago when I was in college, I never saw things the same way again. Abandoned buildings, empty swimming pools, highway overpasses, machinery, and tv always make me think of Ballard and the creepy side of modern life.