Vermilion Sands is a fully automated desert-resort designed to fulfil the most exotic whims of the idle rich, but w languishes in uneasy decay, populated only by forgotten movie queens, solitary impresarios and the remittance men of the artistic and literary world. It is a lair for beachcombers, hangers-on and malignant obsessions - a place where sensitive pigments paint portraits of their mistresses in a grotesque parody of art; where prima donna plants are programmed to sing operatic arias; where dial-a-poem computers have replaced poets; where psychosensitive houses are driven to murder by their owners' neuroses; and where love and lust, in the hands of jewel-eyed Jezebels, pall before the stronger pull of evil.
J. G. Ballard was born in 1930 in Shanghai, China. After the attack on Pearl Harbour the family was interned in a civilian camp. They returned to England in 1946. In 1956 Ballard's first story was published in New Worlds. His first novel, The Drowned World, was published in 1962. Empire of the Sun, a novel based on his own experience in China, was published in 1984 and won the Guardian Fiction Prize, the James Tait Black Award and was filmed by Steven Spielberg. He is the author of many collections of short stories and novels, including Cocaine Nights and Super-Cannes.