Applied Ballardianism

Applied Ballardianism:
Memoir From a Parallel Universe

Simon Sellars

Published by Urbanomic
June 2018
Paperback 197x130mm, 400pp.


The mediascapes of late capitalism reconfigure erotic responses and trigger primal aggression; under constant surveillance, we occupy simulations of ourselves, private estates on a hyperconnected globe; fictions reprogram reality, memories are rewritten by the future…

Fleeing the excesses of ’90s cyberculture, a young researcher sets out to systematically analyse the obsessively reiterated themes of a writer who prophesied the disorienting future we now inhabit. The story of his failure is as disturbingly psychotropic as those of his magus—J.G. Ballard, prophet of the post-postmodern, voluptuary of the car crash, surgeon of the pathological virtualities pulsing beneath the surface of reality.

Plagued by obsessive fears, defeated by the tedium of academia, yet still certain that everything connects to Ballard, his academic thesis collapses into a series of delirious travelogues, deranged speculations and tormented meditations on time, memory, and loss. Abandoning literary interpretation and renouncing all scholarly distance, he finally accepts the deep assignment that has run throughout his entire life, and embarks on a rogue fieldwork project: Applied Ballardianism, a new discipline and a new ideal for living. Only the darkest impulses, the most morbid obsessions, and the most apocalyptic paranoia, can uncover the technological mutations of inner space.

An existential odyssey inextricably weaving together lived experience and theoretical insight, this startling autobiographical hyperfiction surveys and dissects a world where everything connects and global technological delirium is the norm—a world become unmistakably Ballardian.




PART I: MACHINES. 1. Psychic Combat; 2. Sacrificial Weapon; 3. Still World; 4. Kick the Dog; 5. Technolust; 6. The Sign; 7. Roadkill; 8. Unfamiliar Planet; 9. Queens of the Cyber Age; 10. The War Inside Me; 11. Weird Dream; 12. Spatial Dyslexia; 13. This Alien Earth; 14. Paralipsis; 15. Mob Rule; 16. See Yourself Going By; 17. Dismal Jargon; 18. Threshold Moment; 19. Sub-Ballardian; 20. Kill the Head; 21. Pathogen

PART II: ZONES. 22. Deep Assignments; 23. Bending Time; 24. Tohoku Rising; 25. Disaster Zone; 26. The Man From Morioka; 27. Beset By Demons of the West; 28. Dreams of the Weak and Puny; 29. Hyper-Convenience; 30. Sync Error; 31. Bunker Logic; 32. The Virilian Gaze; 33. Maggot Brain; 34. Biomechanoid; 35. Repetition; 36. Replication; 37. Star Cult; 38. Scar Tissue; 39. Cartographies of the Infinite; 40. Cubist Dream; 41. Urban Splinters; 42. Untourism;

PART III: MIRRORS. 43. Frozen Time; 44. New Victims; 45. Fugue State; 46. Stress Test; 47. Black Hole; 48. Metanoia; 49. Lost in Saipan; 50. Time Wars; 51. Malign Potential; 52. Airless and Casino Black; 53. Broadcast Signal Intrusion; 54. Tripwires; 55. Synthetic Violence; 56. Secret Affinities; 57. Ballardcraft; 58. Connected to Machinery; 59. Black Shadow;

PART IV: IMPLANTS. 60. Reverse Angle; 61. Inside the Skull; 62. Sick Music; 63. Stranger Danger; 64. Dangerous Bends; 65. Psychodrama; 66. Melborea Moronica; 67. Suicide by Thug; 68. Hostile Takeover; 69. Applied Ballardianism; 70. Roaring Mice; 71. Alter Vu; 72. New Gold Sunset; 73. Vat-Grown; 74. Sodium Ecstasy; 75. Hangar Three; 76. Galactic Eyes; 77. Solace in Dystopia; 78. Ballardian Seed; 79. Flyblown; 80. Stasis Without a Cause; 81. Kick Me; 82. State of Mind 

PART V: CLONES. 83. Towards a Philosophy of Jetlag; 84. Sentient Land; 85. Purple Light; 86. Photoreality; 87. Scalar; 88. Delta Sierra Juliet; 89. Emergence; 90. Animal Kingdom; 91. Digital Tattoo; 92. Wire Music; 93. Double Exposure; 94. Deformed Machine; 95. Project Cancelled; 96. Shadowplay; 97. James and Jim; 98. Negative Space; 99. Moebius Strip; 100. Expulsion; 101. Broken Circle; 102. Sleepy Brain; 103. The Hum; 104. Memory Hacker