One day in April, 1973, 35-year-old architect Robert Maitland races home from a conference and a few nights with his mistress, but his Jaguar crashes through a highway barrier and into a large island between freeways. The vehicle is not drivable, and Maitland is unable to escape the island during the several days no one is apt to miss him. He tries to flag down traffic, scrambles for food and shelter, even tries to burn his Jaguar to create a signal flar... The Crystal World
Dr. Edward Sanders, a physician with a leper hospital in the Cameroon, is puzzled by letters from his recent lover Suzanne at the jungle clinic where she's gone with her husband. He makes his way upriver as the army is shutting down the area because of some sort of ecological anomaly: a virus or something that is turning everything -- plants, animals, the surface of the river, army vehicles, even humans -- into brilliant crystals. Sanders hooks up with a... The Drought
For ten years, drought conditions around the planet have been worsening. Dr. Charles Ransom, separated from his wife Judith, has been hanging on in the mountain community of Hamilton as the lake and river dry up and people flee for the ocean. Eventually he joins the exodus, while a few religious and other crazies stay and fight among one another. For another 10 years, people fight and steal from one another at ocean's edge, where the government has set u... The Drowned World
In the second of Ballard's early end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it novels, 60 or 70 years of increased radiation due to solar instability have driven up temperatures some 60 degrees in the equatorial zones and submerged much of the coasts and lowlands of the world, and the UN has supervised colonization of the Antarctic plateau and the northern borders of Russia and Canada. Robert Kerans, 40, works at a biological research station at some submerged European...
The Wind From Nowhere
Researcher Donald Maitland is separating from his wife Susan and preparing to leave London for a job in Vancouver when he finds himself grounded like everyone else because windspeed has been climbing around the world. The wind picks up roughly 5 mph a day, reaching 55 mph, then 90 mph, then 180 mph and far beyond, and turning the skies black with loosened topsoil and debris. Cities collapse, millions seek refuge in subways, sewers, military bunkers, cave...