The Terminal Beach  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The Terminal Beach (ISBN 1857990218) is a collection of science fiction short stories by the British author J. G. Ballard, published in 1964.


British edition

  • "The Terminal Beach" - A man who does not come to terms with the premature death of his wife and son steals away onto an island once used for testing nuclear weapons. Between the decaying buildings on the island, the reader follows his mental and physical decline.
  • "A Question of Re-entry" - This story has some parallels to Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, with the protagonist traveling upriver in the Amazon rain forest, to meet a European who went native. The story evolves around the clash between civilisation based knowledge and native belief.
  • "The Drowned Giant" - A giant human(oid) body washes ashore. The initial wonder soon gives way to banality, until the carcass has disappeared. With the disappearance comes even negation that it was human-like.
  • "End-Game" - A psychological match between a person on death row, who lives with his executioner in a comfortable house, and does not know the time and day of his execution. To pass the time, they are playing chess and at the same time the death candidate tries to win a game of persuasion.
  • "The Illuminated Man" - A precursor to the novel The Crystal World.
  • "The Reptile Enclosure"
  • "The Delta at Sunset"
  • "Deep End"
  • "The Volcano Dances"
  • "Billennium"
  • "The Gioconda of the Twilight Noon"
  • "The Lost Leonardo"

US Edition

  • "End-Game"
  • "The Subliminal Man"
  • "The Last Word of Mr. Goddard"
  • "The Time Bombs"
  • "Now Wakes the Sea"
  • "The Venus Hunters"
  • "Minus One"
  • "The Sudden Afternoon"
  • "The Terminal Beach"

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