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Vermilion Sands Mass Market Paperback – September 1, 1988


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Mass Market Paperback, September 1, 1988
$92.84 $4.89

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Carroll & Graf Publishers (September 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0881844225
  • ISBN-13: 978-0881844221
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,996,059 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Ballard is amongst our finest writers.” –Anthony Burgess --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Inside Flap

Like a latter-day Palm Springs, Vermillion Sands is a fully automated desert resort designed to fulfill the most exotic whims of the idle rich. But now it languishes in uneasy decay, populated only by forgotten movie stars, solitary impresarios and artistic and literary failures, a place where love and lust pall before the stronger pull of evil. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

More About the Author

Born in Shanghai in 1930, J. G. BALLARD is the author of sixteen novels, including "Empire of the Sun," "The Drowned World," and "Crash." He lived in London until his death in April 2009.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 12 customer reviews
It is more futuristic fantasy than science fiction.
Robert Moore
He couldn't believe I found it and bought it and sent it to surprise him!
Karen
The writing is very evocative of a different place and time.
E. N Ritchie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Robert Moore HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 16, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This magnificent collection of stories was first published in 1971. Although this book frequently shows up on lists of the greatest books of all time in that genre, it is not science fiction so much as a vision of possible forms that the arts could take in the future. It is more futuristic fantasy than science fiction. This volume marked J. G. Ballard's maturation as an author. Before this work, much of his work had been highly inventive but more mainstream science fiction. More specifically, he specialized in novels along the theme "this is the way the world ends." For instance, THE DROWNED WORLD concerns the fate of individuals living in tropical London after the polar ice caps have melted, leaving much of the world underwater. In THE WIND FROM NOWHERE a never-ceasing wind destroys the planet by blowing away all the soil and making agriculture and most other forms of human endeavor impossible.
What makes VERMILLION SANDS is the sheer inventiveness of the world he imagines. It is a cheap, tacky world, not unlike a tawdry Las Vegas or Palm Springs, populated by futuristic artists and cultural has-beens. The art forms that Ballard imagines are brilliant, and feel far more familiar thirty years later than they must have felt to those in the early 1970s. After all, computers and the Internet and digitalization has constantly forced us to rethink the possibilities and forms of art. Ballard describes architecture that responds to the emotional experiences of its inhabitants and imparts some of that feeling back to those entering it. He imagines machines rather than people producing poetry, on long ticker tape like rolls of paper. Plants that sing. Sculptors who work with clouds as their preferred medium.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 8, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This collection of elegant, minatory stories about the has-been resort community of Vermilion Sands and the human flotsam that washes up on its derelict shores comprises some of author J.G. Ballard's most accessible work. His imaginative gifts and jade cool prose are everywhere on display in these stories. Sailplane artists sculpt the clouds into likenesses of their patrons. Psychosensitive houses are driven insane by their owners and bio-fabrics shimmer and pulse to their wearers moods. Ballard likes to create strange, surreal outerscapes and unite these with the straitened innerscapes of his protagonists, then narrate what happens next. In Vermilion Sands he exceeds wonderfully
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Rae Schwarz on July 23, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
My personal favorite collection of stories from Ballard, and many people I've spoken to also hold a fondness for this group of stories. Although many of the story concepts repeat the theme of the tragic female figure and the tortured man who loves her and gets caught in the dramatic conflict, it is a lush and expansive vision that weaves through the collection. The title refers to a fictional beach resort, a playground of burnt out executives and movie stars at play, or in retreat from the rest of the world. As with most Ballard fiction, you get the distinct impression that these stories are actually taking place somewhere, and perhaps Ballard has just changed the names to protect the decadent. The vivid details of living clothing, cloud sculptors and singing sculptures are so intense, it's a bit of a surprise that Hollywood hasn't adapted some of these stories to the currently CGI movie craze. Then again, like most of what Ballard writes about, that could be coming just around the corner...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ozzbucket88 on June 18, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Cloud Sculptors of Coral D opens this impressive collection, and sets the tone for the nine stories of a deserted interior beach, this decadent and decaying Vermilion Sands. No story here is weak or simply filler. Ballard weaves fascinating pseudo-biological origins of singing plants, he writes descriptively and harmoniously of the derelict statues with their elusive sonic cores that screech and whine, half buried in the sand. Ballard has the daily stuff of our lives--clothes, houses, even paintings-- transform themselves in response to unconscious moods and desires, no longer everyday commonplaces but disguised totems, consuming their owners in a strange reversal of the consumer paradise. And he stretches the physics of cloud phenomena in his best story where daredevil flyers control tornadoes. All the places where the imagination wrestles freedom for itself from quotidiana and hard reality, Ballard stocks with jewels and insects and the playthings of a degenerate latter-day aristocracy--film stars mostly, but also visionary artists. Everything that makes the inventory of an Egyptian crypt fascinating to us three millennia later, Ballard re-creates by excavating the archaeological artifacts of the here and now. The only things in his world that seem unchanged are the vices of humanity--vanity, vengeance and cruelty, which are the most durable. Ballard writes in the preface (circa 1970) that this is his vision of the future. There are too too many bloated novels, too few short story collections like this.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mr. BBQ on September 5, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This collection of short stories has a unifying theme of happening in a very strange desert resort, Vermillion Sands. I read this book maybe twenty years ago, and many of the images have followed through my life since. Enjoyable, going from the level of soap-opera guilty pleasure to the sublime and thought provoking. Ballard is the sober man's Bukowski, laying bare the emotions of the tragedies of everyday life and also putting the extraordinary in the context of normal human experience. My favorite book of his, and one of my favorites overall. "Crash" is my next favorite, so if you like this check it out next...
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