English novelist and short‐story writer, born in Shanghai and educated at Cambridge, the most prominent ‘New Wave’ science fiction writer of the 1960s. His first short story was published in 1956 in New Worlds, a periodical to which he continued to contribute during the influential editorship of Moorcock. His first novel, The Drowned World (1962), a ‘catastrophe’ novel in which the world turns into a vast swamp, was followed by The Drought (1965), in which he imagined post‐apocalyptic landscapes and populated them with ultra‐obsessive characters. Crash (1973) was an outrageous work with its focus on the eroticism of car accidents. His collections of short stories include The Terminal Beach (1964), The Disaster Area (1967), Vermilion Sands (1971), and Complete Stories (2001). Empire of the Sun (1984, filmed 1988) relates Ballard's own wartime experiences in a Japanese prison camp in China. Other novels include The Venus Hunters (1986), The Day of Creation (1987), Running Wild (1988), War Fever (1990), The Kindness of Women (1991), and Rushing to Paradise (1994), a disturbing contemporary fable about eco‐fanaticism. Cocaine Nights (1996), set in a high‐security Mediterranean resort complex, Super‐Cannes (2000), Millennium People (2003), and Kingdom Come (2006) represented Ballard at a new peak in his considerable storytelling powers.