UK author J.G. Ballard, 78, died at his home in Shepperton in west London on April 19, 2009, after a long illness -- he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2006 -- according to reports from BBC and elsewhere. Author of 15 novels and many short stories, his most acclaimed novel was Empire of the Sun, based on his childhood in a Japanese prison camp in China.
His agent, Margaret Branbury, described his work as an "acute and visionary observation of contemporary life... distilled into a number of brilliant, powerful novels which have been published all over the world and saw Ballard gain cult status."
Reactions online include Jeff VanderMeer's post at Amazon.com's Omnivoracious and Graham Sleight's post at the Locus Roundtable, which includes numerous links.
Locus will have a comprehensive obituary and appreciations from Michael Moorcock and others in the May 2009 issue.