With J. G. Ballard’s recent death, it’s time to assess his impact. I loved Ballard’s early work, and that’s why I choose Chronopolis, a fabulous short story collection that includes “The Voices of Time,” “The Terminal Beach,” “Billenium,” “The Garden of Time,” and “The Drowned Giant.” These are classic stories that reward rereading. I’m also recommending what I consider Ballard’s best novel, The Crystal World. Almost all of Ballard’s work is apocalyptic, but The Crystal World destroys the world most beautifully. And the first edition had the incredible wrap-around cover of Max Ernst’s Eye of Silence. I dutifully read Ballard’s later works like Crash and Concrete Island as they were published, but they lacked the impact of his earlier works. Ballard was a singular talent. We won’t see his like again.