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No Doors No Windows [MultiFormat]
eBook by Harlan Ellison

eBook Category: Horror
eBook Description: YOU HAVE NOTHING TO FEAR BUT FEAR ITSELF! The only trouble is, fear comes in so many different shapes and sizes these days. It comes as rejection by a beautiful woman. It comes in the brutalization of your love by an amoral man. It comes with the threat of impending nuclear holocaust; with the slithering shadows in the city streets; with the ripoff artists who lie in wait behind every television commercial. Fear is the erratic behavior of all the nut cases and whackos walking the streets--they look just like you and me and your lover and your mother--and all they need is a wrong word and there they go to the top of an apartment building with a sniperscope'd rifle. Fear is all around you. You have nothing to fear but fear itself, right? Sure. The only trouble is, the minute you get all the rational fears taken care of, all battened down and secure, here comes something new. Like what? Well, like the special fears generated in these 16 incredible stories. Fear described as it's never been described before, by the startling imagination of Harlan Ellison, master fantasist, tour-guide through the land of dreadful visions, unerring observer of human folly and supernatural diabolism. Or, quoting the Louisville Courier-Journal & Times, Ellison's "stories are kaleidoscopic in their range, breathtaking in their beauty, hideous in their deformity, insulting in their arrogance and unarguable in the accuracy of their insight." AND HERE ARE 16 NEW TERRORS TO SCARE THE BEJEEZUS OUT OF YOU!

eBook Publisher: E-Reads/E-Reads, Published: 1975
Fictionwise Release Date: February 2009




INTRODUCTION

BLOOD/THOUGHTS

"Writing, has nothing much to do with pretty manners, and less to do with sportsmanship or restraint...

"Every fictioneer re-invents the world because the facts, things or people of the received world are unacceptable. Every fiction writer dreams of imposing his invention upon the world and winning the world's acclaim. (Such dreams are known as delusions of grandeur in pathology but tolerated as expressions of would-be genius in bookstores and libraries.) Every writer begins as a subversive, if in nothing more than the antisocial means by which he earns his keep. Finally, every fantasist who cannibalizes himself knows that misfortune is his friend, that grief feeds and sharpens his fancy, that hatred is as sufficient a spur to creation as love (and a world more common) and that without an instinct for lunacy he will come to nothing."

GEOFFREY WOLFF, 1975

What are we to make of the mind of humanity? What are we to think of the purgatory in which dreams are born, from whence come the derangements that men call magic because they have no other names for smoke or fog or hysteria? What are we to dwell upon when we consider the forms and shadows that become stories? Must we dismiss them as fever dreams, as expressions of creativity, as purgatives? Or may we deal with them even as the naked ape dealt with them: as the only moments of truth a human calls throughout a life of endless lies.

Who will be the first to acknowledge that it was only a membrane, only a vapor, that separated a Robert Burns and his love from a Leopold Sacher-Masoch and his hate?

Is it too terrible to consider that a Dickens, who could drip treacle and God bless us one and all, through the mouth of a potboiler character called Tiny Tim, could also create the escaped convict Magwitch; the despoiler of children, Fagin; the murderous Sikes? Is it that great a step to consider that a woman surrounded by love and warmth and care of humanity as was Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, wife of Percy Bysshe Shelley, the greatest romantic poet western civilization has ever produced, could herself produce a work of such naked horror as Frankenstein? Can the mind equate the differences and similarities that allow both an Annabell Lee and a Masque of the Red Death to emerge from the same churning pit of thought-darkness?

Consider the dreamers: all of the dreamers: the glorious and the corrupt:

Aesop, Attilla; Benito Mussolini and Benvenuto Cellini; Chekhov and Chang Tao-ling; Democritus, Disraeli; Epicurus, Edison; Faur´┐Ż and Fitzgerald; Goethe, Garibaldi; Huysmann and Hemingway, ibn-al-Farid and Ives; Jeanne d'Arc and Jesus of Nazareth; and on and on. All the dreamers. Those whose visions took form in blood and those which took form in music. Dreams fashioned of words, and nightmares molded of death and pain. Is it inconceivable to consider that Richard Speck--who slaughtered eight nurses in Chicago in 1966, who was sentenced to 1,200 years in prison--was a devout Church-going Christian, a boy who lived in the land of God, while Jean Genet--avowed thief, murderer, pederast, vagrant who spent the first thirty years of his life as an enemy of society, and in the jails of France where he was sentenced to life imprisonment--has written prose and poetry of such blazing splendor that Sartre has called him "saint"? Does the mind shy away from the truth that a Bosch could create hell-images so burning, so excruciating that no other artist has ever even attempted to copy his staggeringly brilliant style, while at the same time he produced works of such ecumenical purity as "L'Epiphanie"? All the dreamers. All the mad ones and the noble ones, all the seekers after alchemy and immortality, all those who dashed through endless midnights of gore-splattered horror and all those who strolled through sunshine springtimes of humanity. They are one and the same. They are all born of the same desire.

Speechless, we stand before Van Gogh's "Starry Night" or one of those hell-images of Hieronymous Bosch, and we find our senses reeling; vanishing into a daydream mist of what must this man have been like, what must he have suffered? A passage from Dylan Thomas, about birds singing in the eaves of a lunatic asylum, draws us up short, steals the breath from our mouths; and the blood and thoughts stand still in our bodies as we are confronted with the absolute incredible achievement of what he has done. The impossibility of it. So imperfect, so faulty, so broken the links in communication between humans, that to pass along one corner of a vision we have had to another creature is an accomplishment that fills us with pride and wonder, touching us and them for a nanoinstant with magic. How staggering it is then, to see, to know what Van Gogh and Bosch and Thomas knew and saw. To live for that nanoinstant what they lived. To look out of their eyes and view the universe from a never before conquered height, from a dizzying, strange place.


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