The Demolished Man
EXPLOSION! Concussion! The vault doors open. And deep inside, the money is racked and ready for pillage, rapine, loot. Who’s that? Who’s inside the vault? Oh God! The Man With No Face! Looking. Looming. Silent. Horrible. Run… Run…
Run, or I’ll miss the Paris Pneumatique and that exquisite girl with her flower face and figure of passion. There’s time if I run. But that isn’t the Guard before the gate. Oh Christ! The Man With No Face. Looking. Looming. Silent. Don’t scream. Stop screaming…
But I’m not screaming. I’m singing on a stage of sparkling marble while the music soars and the lights burn. But there’s no one out there in the amphitheater. A great shadowed pit… empty except for one spectator. Silent. Staring. Looming. The Man With No Face.
And this time his scream had sound. Ben Reich awoke. He lay quietly in the hydropatlhic bed while his heart shuddered and his eyes focused at random on in the room, simulating a calm he could not feel.
– Alfred Bester, The Demolished Man
Early Penguin Editions included covers by David Pelham