Well, it's not like one couldn't see it coming- J.G. Ballard has been dying of prostate cancer for the last few years; actually, he apparently completed a manuscript on the subject, which one hopes will be released soon.
And yet, it's sad to think that we'll never get to read another new J.G.Ballard novel. There were a few imitators, but nobody who could quite replicate his visionary writing style. He was 78.