With 1973's CRASH, I believe Ballard began a track of social examination that leads from his science fiction work of the 1960s to his current speculative fiction novels. The interaction of man and technology is one of Ballard's favorite topics, and here we see the explorations of man and the automobile. With the birth of the freeway, Ballard somehow looks forward, correctly imagining the future role of the car as surrogate partner and habitat for humanity, laboratory of pathology. Vaughn and his black Lincoln are a rolling experiment, blurring the separation of driver and vehicle. Set in London, the story seems to be unconciously channeling the American/Californian car experience, where life is what you live in your car and your house is where you store your belongings. The victim of a car accident, the titular Ballard and his wife Catherine are drawn to Vaughn and his pursuit of the perfect car wreck, trying to expand and explore their own lives in the wake of their experiences following Ballard's crash. A unique psychological exploration.