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(Critical Survey of Science Fiction and Fantasy)

J. G. Ballard is known as a leading author of catastrophic science fiction, and he is one of Britain’s most highly esteemed science-fiction writers. His creative talents focus on the physical and psychological deterioration of people who are caught in extreme circumstances.

Empire of the Sun (1984) is Ballard’s most acclaimed book. It is a somewhat autobiographical account, with elements similar to his experience as a child interned in a Civilian Assembly Center in China during World War II. To have witnessed the death, violence, disease, and human perversion there surely affected his writing.

In High-Rise , the building is a microcosm of the violent atrocities of which people are capable when left to their own devices. None of the residents move out of the building, even as the violence escalates toward and beyond absurd...

(The entire section is 268 words.)