Low-flying Aircraft and Other Stories

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James Graham J G Ballard 15 November 1930 19 April 2009 was an English novelist, short story writer, and essayist Ballard came to be associated with the New Wave of science fiction early in his career with apocalyptic or post apocalyptic novels such as The Drowned World 1962 , The Burning World 1964 , and The Crystal World 1966 In the late 1960s and early 1970s Ballard focused on a

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  • Mass Market Paperback
  • 185 pages
  • Low-flying Aircraft and Other Stories
  • J.G. Ballard
  • Portuguese
  • 22 August 2019

10 thoughts on “Low-flying Aircraft and Other Stories

  1. says:

    Seguramente, Ballard sea conocido por El imperio del sol , sobre todo por su estupenda adaptaci n cinematogr fica, quiz s demasiado edulcorada Puede que tambi n por Crash y toda la pol mica movida en torno a ella, y de su adaptaci n, que dej un poso de autor depravado y morboso, que tambi n lo es, aunque solo a veces Pero no cabe duda que Ballard es un excelente escritor, capaz de retratar mundos apocal pticos como pocos, siempre rodeados de una cierta poes a El paisaje es muy importante en su obra, casi realiza un retrato psicol gico del entorno, ruinoso, tanto como sus protagonistas Aparato de vuelo rasante Low Flying Aircraft and Other Stories, 1976 , recopila nueve cuentos donde los aviones suelen estar involucrados, as como los paisajes desolados.La ciudad ltima Halloway es un joven de Ciudad Jard n que decide visitar con su planeador una ciudad cercana que fue abandonada Magn fico relato, el m s largo de la antolog a, donde destacan las descripciones de la ciudad.Aparato de vuelo rasante La trama se sit a en la Costa Brava, una zona tur stica totalmente desolada y desesperanzada La despoblaci n mundial es evidente, y la pareja protagonista espera un hijo Otro estupendo relato.El astronauta muerto El protagonista se desplaza hasta Cabo Ca averal para cumplir el deseo de su esposa, poder recoger los restos de un amigo astronauta que muri y todav a sigue en rbita Excelente relato, mi favorito del libro, junto con el siguiente.Volando en sue os a Wake Island Relato aparentemente sencillo donde se narra del sue o del protagonista por poder volar hasta la isla del t tulo A recalcar la escenas sobre aviones abandonados en la playa.Vida y muerte de Dios Qu pasar a si se fuera demostrada fehacientemente la existencia de Dios Buen relato, humor negro.El espect culo de televisi n m s grande de la Tierra En este relato se puede viajar en el tiempo, lo que las grandes productoras de televisi n no dejar pasar, queriendo mostrar los momentos m s importantes de la Historia Aunque al ver la falta de emoci n, deciden a adir pica de su parte Buen relato, no exento de cr tica hacia los medios.Un lugar y un tiempo para morir Un peque o grupo de soldados deciden aguantar la invasi n de un gran ej rcito Interesante, aunque flojo.Los ngeles Comsat Donde se nos describe la investigaci n por parte de un periodista sobre una conspiraci n a nivel mundial Buen relato.Los cr menes de la playa No me gustan los experimentos literarios como este, basado en peque as escenas deslavazadas, como un puzzle, que ha de montar el lector.

  2. says:

    N o foi o melhor que j li do g nero, mas foi com prazer que me estreei na obras de Ballard Apresentado por um amigo meu, A M Catarino, tamb m apreciador deste g nero liter rio, Ballard foi de alguma maneira enaltecido pelo Catarino ao ponto de eu querer muito l lo Este livro um conjunto de contos nos quais Ballard explora uma s rie de ideias, hip teses, palpites, tudo projectado num futuro quase imposs vel, distante, mas que no entanto nos v o parecendo reais medida que os vamos lendo Claro que gostei mais de alguns contos do que de outros Houve alguns que n o me fascinaram, mesmo Outros que fizeram a minha imagina o viajar, ao mesmo tempo que pensava todos aqueles cen rios sugeridos pelo Ballard por exemplo imaginemos que Deus seria descoberto pela ci ncia e, desta feita, provado O que seria da sociedade mundial E numa narrativa a ro ar o jornal stico que Ballard nos conta estas hist rias Gostei.

  3. says:

    I m not sure when exactly these stories were written My guess would be the 1960s, since this seems to be earlier Ballard, which was when he wrote some really great short stories He seemed to move into novel writing later The book begins with a novella titled The Ultimate City One can see some of the themes that Ballard develops later in his novels, and throughout his work the desolate, deserted urban landscapes, the lone masculine hero, the aftermath of advanced technology gone wrong The story starts out in an amusing manner, with a depiction of Garden City one of the high tech environmentally friendly little towns that have sprung up in the aftermath of an unclearly explained urban calamity The hero crosses over the river in a glider into the deserted city, and encounters a few other eccentrics there Soon they are on the road to rebuilding the city into a strange, distorted version of what it once was.The strongest pieces though, are some of the stories that follow In Low Flying Aircraft a couple are stuck in a mostly empty Costa Brava resort town An infertility epidemic has reduced the human population, and people and animals are giving birth to strange mutants A random pilot flies his little plane around the town, along with his companion, an attractive, blind girl At the end one sees that the pilot has a purpose, and that the freak births are seen as a new step in evolution.In The Dead Astronaut a couple goes to a mostly deserted Cape Canaveral to watch the descent of a dead astronaut s spacecraft The woman has some strange crush on this man, something that her husband tolerates, and she hopes to grab some debris from the wreckage as a memento My Dream of Flying to Wake Island is about another astronaut with a painful fate The story starts by creating one expectation, which is gradually revealed to be something else At first the astronaut s obsession with building a plane and flying to Wake Island is presented as some sort of worthy extreme urge He meets a young woman aviator who develops some interest in his dream But then a bizarre and troubling scenario is revealed.Following these three gems come a few lighter stories that are like intellectual jokes In The Life and Death of God , God himself is discovered by scientists He is a some sort of microwave like being that exists throughout all life At first people are astonished and societies grind to a halt, but eventually institutions reassert themselves and God is declared dead The Greatest Television Show on Earth is about TV producers who go back to the past and film historical events and wars, and begin tampering with the product to make the shows better The Comsat Angels has a terrific premise there is a group of a dozen young geniuses, scattered around the world, and born to single women who are being well taken care of and do not talk to the media The Beach Murders is one of Ballard s best experimental fictions a story told in brief snippets, each labeled with a word that begins with a letter which runs from A to Z One can try to piece together a story from these various fragments it is a James Bond like thing involving a murder, a princess, and a spy.So three cheers for Ballard These earlier stories show me what I liked about him in the first place the fascinating ideas, the mood of solitary, high tech decay, and the clear, precise prose.

  4. says:

    There s an independent portuguese film based on this book, directed by a swedish lady Solveig Nordlund on 2003 never saw it I wish I did.

  5. says:

    An pleasant little novella and short story collection mainly of mildly dystopic stories combined with a few sardonic ones It has that curious quality of whilst not striking you as brilliant writing you can nevertheless find it quite hard to put down One of the curious stories is the Beach Murders story found right at the end It has 26 paragraphs arranged alphabetically and its up to the reader to figure out the true order of a bawdy murder mystery Its a format which adds an interesting interactivity whilst also being something that could be quite fun to do with others.

  6. says:

    fairly varied selection of earlier Ballard the rating is for the better stories The Greatest Television Show on Earth 1972 and The Life and Death of God 1976 are nice and somewhat representative sardonic Ballard shorts.other than The Beach Murders 1966 and My Dream of Flying to Wake Island 1974 , the rest of the shorts are ok, as is the novella The Ultimate City also quite in line with his earlier long form.

  7. says:

    This is an interesting selection of stories and very Ballardian in style and content There are some well developed stories with characters with depth and others which are like concept pieces, both in their style and their content The Ultimate CityThis first story is a novella set in a post industrial world where the cities of the past were abandoned very suddenly The reduced population lives in idyllic, pastoral villages with environmentally friendly technology and an almost puritanical lifestyle The protagonist is an 18 year old man who flies a glider into the deserted city across the bay where he meets a number of outcasts living there Each is cultivating the abandoned spaces in their own homage to things past He entices a mute electronics genius and a violent ex murderer to help him revive a part of the city with promises and lies His experiment is a grotesque microcosm of our own industrial society which grows and destroys itself in a matter of months.This story has all the hall marks of a JG Ballard from the gaudy language of destruction and abandonment, the nostalgic tone and the raft of cultural criticisms implicit in the very environment Low Flying AircraftThis story has a similar tone to the first story and is set in a similar world This time people still inhabit the abandoned towns and cities, which have become that way due to a dramatic drop in population It is again very Ballardian in that it dwells on the darker emotions like jealousy and sexual deviance It leads to a very dark revelation which questions our judgments of other people and especially people with disabilities The Dead AstronautThis is a post space age story set in the desolate landscape of the abandoned Cape Kennedy Space Center Whilst it is set amongst a group of gory relic hunters the story is really about a married couple and their inability to get over something that happened many years ago It is about unasked questions and untold secrets The narrative cleverly slips between revealing reminiscences and that which is happening in the present to tease the reader with clues right to the end The final scene is as much a damning indictment of the worst aspects of modern man as it is of the couple s long held secrets My Dream of Flying to Wake IslandLike most of the stories in this collection this one has flying at its core It s about coping with trauma and obsessions The main character is a pilot who dreams of flying to a deserted Pacific atoll in an old plane which he is excavating from under the sand dunes near his beach house This desire to get to the island overshadows everything else, even his brief relationship with a female pilot There are hints of a bigger picture involving war and destruction as the plane he s digging up is an old bomber and the island was once an air force base but is now abandoned The Life and Death of GodThis is a concept story presented like a brief historical aside The premise is that the existence of God is discovered and proved scientifically It examines how the entire world might react to this and for a brief time humanity changes its ways but it seems that this enormous truth is too much for us to live with and before long we re reverting to our old ways The writing style is very dry as it is like an historic account and there are no specific characters Instead, the characters are the different groups within society rather than individual people I personally think the way the world initially reacts to the news is unrealistic and overly optimistic but that global reaction is required to allow the finale to have its effect and for that reason it s appropriate for the concept that s being presented The Greatest Television Show on EarthThe story has a similar tone to the previous one It s written almost like an historical account of a short period in history when man learnt how to time travel and sold it out to the TV channels Inherent in this story is an implied criticism of two aspects of the television culture One is that of the viewers who waste their lives away watching telly requiring and extreme content to get any pleasure The other is of the companies themselves who will go to any lengths possible to gain viewers and cream off profits This is a short, short story and feels a bit like a filler but it s an interesting concept played out to a different conclusion than your standard time travelling paradox The Beach MurdersThis is an experimental little who done it where 26 separate paragraphs are arranged alphabetically according to their headings rather than their chronology An introduction says it s up to the reader to solve the mystery and then suggests that it s not possible It s a fun read that requires flicking back to previous sections to try to piece the story together accurately It s highly sexualised and there are quite a few murders to try and work out I didn t manage to solve the whole puzzle but I feel like time and multiple readings would be required to do that An interesting exercise would be to cut out the paragraphs and try to place them chronologically So, worth a read but probably not worth tearing your hair out trying to solve it.

  8. says:

    These are trademark Ballardian tales which summon up the works of painters like Giorgio De Chirico and Paul Delvaux, and musicians like Terry Riley and Jon Hassell instead of works of literature Here s the summary of the opening novella, The Ultimate City This lengthy story is set in the early mid 21st century Halloway is a young aviator and a resident of Garden City, a self supporting and advanced agrarian town of the post technological age Halloway finds everything in Garden City far too amiable, bovine and uncritical so he decides to visit a neighbouring ghost metropole which was evacuated in late 20th century when the world s reserves of fossil fuels had finally been exhausted Surrounded by all kinds of defunct machinery, abandoned cars, televisions, typewriters and buildings, Halloway meets the only remaining residents of the city Olds an extremely capable electrician who is mute and only able to communicate by using pocket calculators , Buckmaster a former prominent industrialist and visionary who is occupied with his dream of byilding monuments of dead machinery , Miranda Buckmaster s flower obsessed daughter and Mr Stillman a former petty criminal Always fascinated by the 20th century s limitless appetite for steel, power, concrete and raw materials, Halloway decides to reanimate the city and with the help of Olds, he succeeds in doing that The city s population increases to several hundred, but all the ills that had beset the city in its prime reappear too pollution, traffic congestion, inadequate municipal services, crime, inflation and deficit public financing At first underestimating these as the quintessential facts of a city, Halloway gradually becomes unable to cope with the city s problems All citizens except Halloway leave, and the the city shuts itself down again, making The Ultimate City a story of an abandoned dream waiting to be reoccuppied just to be abandoned again.

  9. says:

    Sometimes it pays to take a chance on a 4 book in a used bookstore I saw this quaint little paperback with totally 1970 s sci fi cover art in Housing Works two weeks ago and picked it up on a whim I was not disappointed The book leads off with a novella, The Ultimate City, about a man exploring an ancient abandoned city in an age when society has retreated to simple self sustaining garden villages In our age, where anyone with half a brain is quite rightfully fretful about the destructiveness of our modern way of life, it is a fun release to read this celebration and rediscovery of urban vice.The rest of the stories have a similar flavor human population declines after a worldwide epidemic of deformed births, a long dead astronaut returns to earth into the arms of a couple that has been waiting for years to put him to rest, an unsettling pattern is discovered in the emergence and sudden disappearance of child prodigies True to the pop sci fi horror genre, all these stories except for the novella, which is of a study in impulses lead up to a hook, or punch line that is satisfying and immaginitive, if a little predictable after the first few.

  10. says:

    A repurchase, ordered from Powells after selling it 7 or so years ago to sate late night drives to Portland forfor perusing the cathartic aisles of this pleasure palace Always nice to have some store credit Includes The Life and Death of God For my money, the best prose description of God and how proving Him won t make a difference in the long run, thus the death.The Greatest Television Show on Earth TV producers bank on a new reality program involving time travel then realize that history wasn t nearly as bloody as believed so they travel in troops to fight Napolean, etc Mr B is Mr B.

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