Reading Climate Change in J.G. Ballard

Jim Clarke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


J.G. Ballard's early novels The Drowned World (1962) and The Crystal World (1966) take a climatological approach to apocalyptic dystopia. This has led survey studies of climate fiction to identify these novels as founding texts of the genre. Yet Ballard wrote in an era before global warming had been identified by climate scientists, and his fiction is as much psychological and ontological as it is physiological. Ballard both adheres to and deviates from the global warming narrative now accepted by contemporary climatology, working within and beyond the SF subgenre of post-apocalyptic fiction. This paper assesses the extent to which these dystopian narratives can be understood as climate fiction and explores the debt that more recent cli-fi may owe to Ballard.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-21
Number of pages15
JournalCritical Survey
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013


Dive into the research topics of 'Reading Climate Change in J.G. Ballard'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this