Some of my favorite excerpts:
"I first came across Jim Ballard when I was a teenager in the 1960s. My father, Kingsley Amis, championed his work, calling him 'the brightest star in British postwar SF' (all purists call science fiction SF, and have the greatest contempt for 'sci fi'); and Jim was a frequent visitor to the house ... In retrospect I see that the friendship between the two did not survive Jim's increasing interest in experimentalism, which Kingsley always anathematised as 'buggering about with the reader'. But I always felt a strong surge of warmth whenever I saw Jim later on; funnily enough, he was an exceptionally lovable man, despite the ferocity of his imagination."
"Ballard was beleaguered by obsession. In his work, mood and landscape are indivisible. He had very little curiosity about human beings in the conventional sense, i.e., as individuals (and a revealingly weak ear for dialogue); he was utterly visual, and his mind, like his settings, was in his own phrase 'lunar and abstract'."
"As a man, Ballard was a great exemplar of the Flaubertian principle: writers should be orderly and predictable in their lives, so that they can be ferocious and sinister in their work ... When I visited him in 1984, he said, 'All these French Crash-freaks used to come out here to see me, expecting a miasma of child-molestation and drug abuse.' What they found was a robustly rounded and amazingly cheerful suburbanite."
"To begin with he could only get through the day by drinking a large scotch every hour, starting at nine in the morning. It took him quite a while to push this back to six in the evening. I asked him, 'Was that difficult?' And he said, 'Difficult? It was like the Battle of Stalingrad.' But push it back he did, and everything suggests that he was a tolerant, pragmatic, and impeccably adoring father."
– Martin Amis, London, May 2009. "The Complete Stories of J. G. Ballard".