More than a quarter-century later, Ballard inverted the conceit with “The Enormous Space,” in which a man’s refusal to leave a suburban house bloats it until, psychotic, he perceives it as a universe. (In a slighter variation, “Report on an Unidentified Space Station,” the entirety of our cosmos exists within one set of rooms.) The pornography of infinity is a longstanding science fiction trope. H.G. Wells, Arthur C. Clarke and Olaf Stapledon, among many others, counterpose the vasty deeps of the universe, the interplanetary sublime, with a specklike human subjectivity to produce a by-now rather well-worn satori of unconvincing humility. (This is brilliantly and affectionately parodied by Douglas Adams in The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, with its Total Perspective Vortex.) In “The Enormous Space,” Ballard’s skewed fidelity to the trope transforms the banal topography of a living room or a kitchen into something unthinkable, and we respond with genuine awe at the narrator’s lunatic Scott-of-the-Antarctic explorations of his kitchen. Whether they contract or expand, Ballard’s rooms never change, and never let us go.