Best Of 2012, Guest Editors: Barry Adamson On J. G. Ballard

As 2012 comes to an end, we are taking a look back at some of our favorite posts of the year by our guest editors.

Barry Adamson is in a weird position. After winning acclaim for the noir-cinematic atmospheres of solo projects such as Moss Side Story and the mash-up of Back To The Cat, writing songs for directors such as Danny Boyle, Oliver Stone and David Lynch, and composing film scores for Delusion and Out Of Depth, the 53-year-old writer/multi-instrumentalist found himself directing, writing and acting in his own movie with 2011’s The Therapist. “I’m a marketing man’s nightmare,” he jokes. To make things more intense, Adamson—post-punk’s most legendary bassist, with roles in Magazine and Nick Cave’s Bad Seeds—returned to the scene of the live-music crime by playing gigs with Howard Devoto’s re-united Magazine after decades of being a lone wolf. What was he thinking? And how did all of that recent interaction inspire his newest project, the aggressive Destination? Read our new Q&A with him below. Adamson will also be guest editing all week.

Adamson: James Graham Ballard (1930–2006) was an English novelist, short-story writer and prominent member of the New Wave movement in science fiction. His best-known books are Crash (1973), adapted into a film by David Cronenberg, and the semi-autobiographical Empire Of The Sun (1984), made into a film by Steven Spielberg.

The literary distinctiveness of his work has given rise to the adjective “Ballardian,” defined by the Collins English Dictionary as “resembling or suggestive of the conditions described in J. G. Ballard’s novels and stories, especially dystopian modernity, bleak man-made landscapes and the psychological effects of technological, social or environmental developments.” I feel completely at home with the paranoid, psychopathological prophetic nature of Ballard’s novels, since lying in bed with chicken pox in my teens reading The Atrocity ExhibitionConcrete Island is also a favourite.

Video after the jump.