joeybrash: I need a new writer to read.
I watched Empire of the Sun, and I loved it! One of my greatest movies to date, actually (haven't read the book)
and Crash was disturbing, yet asteeg. Cronenberg is a genius. mad, but a genius
what J.G. Ballard books should I read (this question esp. for Noel Vera )
Good luck on him. He's unsettling and difficult to read. The movie of Empire of the Sun does little to capture the flavor of his works, which feel as if they were set on some alien planet, even the more realistic of them like this one is (it's somewhat autobiographical).
Check out the short stories first, preferably the earlier ones before you try the more avante-garde stuff (one of his stranger shorts is "Why I Want to Fuck Ronald Reagan"). Then hunt down his disaster novels before trying works as advanced as High Rise, The Concrete Island and Crash.
For fantasy on a level beyond Tolkien, try The Unlimited Dream Company, where the hero strews his seed on the ground, and flowers sprout where the semen lands.
He takes a lot of patience, but I think he's worth it.