One Book Four Covers: Vermilion Sands by J.G. Ballard

How about those covers, eh?

I dig the ones at either end, although the left one fits the book better. That one on the right, though? Gosh. I totally want to read that book.

For folks who don’t want to Google, Vermilion Sands is a fictitious resort at some undetermined time in the near future populated by the bored, artistic, insane, and/or wealthy. Ballard said his inspiration was Palm Springs, but I always imagine a Mediterranean locale. It’s also one of those books you’re either going to love or hate. If you’re a Ballard fan you won’t really mind that every story is more or less the same featuring nearly identical characters and plots. If you’re not a Ballard fan then I’m sure that will bother you — but only if you try to tackle the book head-on. If you were to approach each story on its own, you’d probably have better luck.

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10 responses to “One Book Four Covers: Vermilion Sands by J.G. Ballard”

  1. asakiyume says :

    The book on the left is the only one I’d be tempted to pick up these days, though in my younger days either of the two center ones would have appealed too. The one on the right? Yeah, not so much.

  2. R. H. Kanakia says :

    Haha, yes, every story in the book is about a rugged adventurer who is damaged by an encounter with a jaded socialite. Yes, when I read it, I spent a few moments wondering if the narrator was actually the same person in each story, before concluding that he was not. Still good, though.

    • Justin says :

      I did the same, especially since some of the secondary characters repeat. It gets confusing. The only way to differentiate the stories is by remembering which weird art form is in each.

  3. liviallewellyn says :

    I would have picked the one on the right, only because when I was a girl, I read so many books with covers like that, I honestly thought I’d grow up to look like that – Future Xena in Space. Which, would have been awesome.

  4. Rick Bowes says :

    (Love this 4 covers series) The one I read back in the day – and thus the perfect edition – is the second from the right (the only one with a Vermillion (Chinese Red) cover. It didn’t include “The Singing Statues” which caused a bit of a controversy at the time – especially since the book was considered a fix-up (a novel composed of short stories) and thus a missing story was a hole in the plot.

    Maybe I’ve been spoiled by too many perfect porn body book covers but the pair on the far right look vaguely deformed. .

    • Justin says :

      I can only imagine this would make a tenuous fix-up novel at best, since it’s the same thing over and over again.

      Ha. Yeah, they’re sort of Reginald Marsh deformed.

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