1st U.S. cloth edition of The Drowned World & 1st cloth edition of The Wind From Nowhere. The Wind from Nowhere, 1st published in '61 is the debut novel by English author J.G. Ballard. Prior to this, his published work had consisted solely of short stories. The novel was the 1st of a series of Ballard novels dealing with scenarios of natural disaster, in this case seei1st U.S. cloth edition of The Drowned World & 1st cloth edition of The Wind From Nowhere. The Wind from Nowhere, 1st published in '61 is the debut novel by English author J.G. Ballard. Prior to this, his published work had consisted solely of short stories. The novel was the 1st of a series of Ballard novels dealing with scenarios of natural disaster, in this case seeing civilization reduced to ruins by prolonged worldwide hurricane force winds. As an added dimension he explores the ways in which disaster & tragedy can bond people together in ways that no normal experiences ever could. This, too, is a recurring theme in his works, making one of its 1st appearances here. Written in ten days, Ballard later dismissed this novel as a "piece of hackwork", referring instead to The Drowned World as his 1st novel. The Drowned World is a '62 science fiction novel by Ballard. In contrast to much post-apocalyptic fiction, the novel features a central character who, rather than being disturbed by the end of the old world, is enraptured by the chaotic reality that has come to replace it. The novel is an expansion of a novella with the same title published in Science Fiction Adventures magazine of 1/62, Vol. 4 No. 24 (Nova Publications)....
|Title||:||the drowned world the wind from nowhere|
|Number of Pages||:||316 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
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the drowned world the wind from nowhere Reviews
"The Drowned World" drew me in immediately and lost me towards the latter half while "The Wind From Nowhere" lost me at first and drew me in towards the latter half. I suppose it's quite a nice fit to put them both together in a perfectly balanced bound book. In the style of Ballard's later fiction, these stories have the ability to induce the reader to trance-like states or momentary comas where the world inside the stories takes over a portion of one's brain. It's almost mechanical and not dissimilar to the beating of the ever glowing sun in "The Drowned World." While I can discern these stories as earlier ones in Ballard's career (the language isn't as refined), I still appreciate them for what they become in his later novels. The themes and extreme situations as presented in many of his works seems to touch me in a very visceral manner - working and weaving it's words into the very fiber of my brain tissue, down into my "reptilian brain." As certain smells trigger images from childhood - his stories trigger something even more primal.
A double-feature of the sort of apocalypse porn that dominated '60s sci-fi. My dad used to say he stopped reading sci-fi in the '60s and '70s because of stuff like this, and it's not hard to see how a steady diet of doomsaying and nihilism would wear thin pretty fast.That said, these books, in-and-of-themselves are not bad. "The Wind From Nowhere" is an early apocalyptic, while the "The Drowned World" is a late apocalyptic, bordering on post. Both are well-written in terms of attention to detail and conveying worlds where "slight" (in the cosmological sense) changes result in catastrophic conditions for human civilization.Looking at it factually, our protagonists in "Drowned" appear to be neurotic, affected by a disease that draws them deeper into this new, very hot, wet, jungle world where triassic life forms are re-asserting dominance. Besides the people affected by this condition, the two main factions are remnants of the old civilization, and looters who seem to be trying to reclaim land from the encroaching swamp. There's a suggestion that, somehow, the crazy people are reverting to an ancient archetype, but not only is this not backed up, it's essentially refuted at the end, at least by the facts. I didn't hate it because there seemed to be at least a hint of truth or validity given by the author, or maybe just a convincingly sold delusion. It avoids utter nihilism this way.The only thing that tripped me up with "Drowned" is that periodically Ballard would describe moisture as evaporating instantly (due to the heat) but I couldn't see how that made sense given, you know, the whole drowned thing. I mean, where I live, I can spill some water and it'll be gone by the time I've gotten back with something to wipe it up with, but this is an anti-swamp.A minor point, but given the detail he put into the "Drowned" ecosystem, it was sort of jarring.In "Wind" the wind just starts kicking up. No explanation given. It just gets faster and faster until all the soil of the earth is flying through the air at 500mph. In this case, the protagonists are just trying to survive, and the only neurotic is a millionaire hotel mogul (kaff!) who decides he's going to not hide underground with the proles. That and the wife of one of the protagonist's who decides...well, I don't know what was going on in her head, but it doesn't end well for her.One might wonder about Mr. Ballard's relationships with women from these two books."Wind" was a little harder to track some of the characters on, and I don't know if that's due to environmental distractions I had, or if they weren't super-strongly drawn, or because Ballard alternates between them chapter-by-chapter, in very intense chapters, so that it becomes easy to lose particular identities in the struggle to survive. Or maybe it was because there were so many last names beginning with the letter "M", I don't know.The Trumpian might-be-villain is introduced at the very end of the book, with only a hint earlier on. That might be part of it, too.Anyway, largely books about enduring. Our characters don't demonstrate a lot of adaptability or ingenuity so much as timing and luck, and there's a distinct callback to England during the Blitz. Interestingly, "Wind" was Ballard's first novel (1961) and not one he considered "serious", probably because he hadn't ladened it with the necessary '60s/'70s-era angst found in 1962's "Drowned".But no big surprises here. We have left the optimistic, science-as-a-way-out, SF of the '50s, and are well into the "man can do nothing in the face of nature" phase of SF, which at least hasn't given way to the "man screwed everything up" phase of SF yet.
Two novella length stories that feel like novels. Both could easily be pared down into short stories. There were some interesting ideas, and they were generally enjoyable, but the prose is heavy and dry and requires serious effort to climb through. This isn't a book that I'd recommend except to fans of classic science fiction, and even then would recommend it with qualifiers.
I can understand that readers of Ballard's apocalyptic novels might not be overly enthusiastic. They demand some patience and are not "action" stories by any stretch. They are, however, epic disaster novels, artfully rendered tales of earth in decay from unexplained causes. The prose will have you dreaming...
These two science fiction novels are the first novels by J. G. Ballard to be published, so I am told. The Drowned World is post apocalyptic, earth as a tropical hothouse, global warming, that sort of thing. The only thing I remember about The Wind from Nowhere is that an inexplicable wind of global proportion starts blowing and intensifies, threatening mankind, then mysteriously abates. Ballard is very good at coming up with interesting "what if" premises but not very skilled at building and sustaining a credible plot. Three stars for The Drowned World. Two stars for The Wind from Nowhere.
I first knew J.G. Ballard as a much anthologized science fiction author whose work often appeared in the pulps. These two disaster novels were likely the first whole books by him which I read knowing that he was something more than just an sf writer. I liked them both both for their themes and for the quality of the writing and characterization. Later, much later, I was exposed to his non-genre writing, but only indirectly by seeing the movie versions of Empire of the Sun (good) and Crash (terribly bad--I couldn't see it through).
Ballard was hailed as the successor to John Wyndham on the basis of his first novel The Wind from Nowhere. But with The Drowned World he had found his voice, and the themes he developed in his later stories and novels are all found here. This novel uses the disaster of global warming (long before it was ever discussed in scientific journals) to explore the adaptation of humans to the new ecosystem, a world friendly to reptiles, and thus an environment that awakens the dormant reptile brain in human beings. Brilliant!
Meh. Despite Ballard's disdain, I like Wind From Nowhere more than Drowned World, but neither are my cup of tea.DW is a bunch of delusions and WFN started off decent then just got weird, even if you accept the overall plot.
THE DROWNED WORLD is the star here. Ballard presents eco-horror as contemplation of embracing the new and dangerous versus draining the swamps of the old and hoping to find something recoverable there. Uncomfortable.
The Drowned World has an interesting setting but Ballardian (delusional) characters. The Wind From Nowhere is a fairly typical thriller.