Vermilion Sands is a short-story collection by J. G. Ballard, first published in 1971. All the stories are set in an imaginary vacation resort called Vermilion Sands which suggests, among other places, Palm Springs in southern California. The characters are generally the wealthy and disaffected, or people who make a living off them, and parasites of various kinds.
Each story concentrates on different media - in some cases more than one
- and most of them focus on a particular innovative, usually rather
decadent/baroque twist on an existing artistic medium.
Although the characters themselves often exhibit the same obsession,
anomie and psychological disintegration typical of Ballard's characters,
the emphasis on elaborate and sometimes humorously imagined art forms
gives these stories a playfulness unusual in his other stories.
In the preface, Ballard himself wrote: "Vermilion Sands has more than
its full share of dreams and illusions, fears and fantasies, but the
frame for them is less confining. I like to think, too, that it
celebrates the neglected virtues of the glossy, lurid and bizarre."