Battle without Honor or Humanity: Volume 1

Battle without Honor or Humanity: Volume 1

Publication Information

Publication Date: October 2015
Publisher: Raw Dog Screaming Press
ISBN: 978-1-93-573876-3

$12.95 paperback
$4.99 ebook

128 pages
5 x 8 inches

RDSP Publicity
Cover Design: Bradley Sharp


© 2015 Raw Dog Screaming Press

Taking its cue from the theme song from Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill by Tomoyasu Hotei, Battle without Honor or Humanity is a thought experiment in the short story form. The deranged politicians, simian film directors, choleric tyrants, fevered academics and berserk everymen that populate this first volume scurry like vermin through dreamlike environments that have been imploded by the hammer of media and information technologies. Based in part on the author’s lifelong practice of the martial arts, especially judo and Jeet Kune Do, unlikely English professor D. Harlan Wilson weaves a tapestry of narrative violence and wages an attack against conventional fiction while calling for a higher understanding of what it means to write, to read, and to make meaning. Challenging, absurdist and stylish, this book is a mad Rottweiler that goes for the jugular at every turn.


"D. Harlan Wilson has found a new language festering on the dark side of the moon." —MARK AMERIKA, author of The Kafka Chronicles and Grammatron

"In this volume of testosterone-fueled and intentionally disorienting short fiction, Wilson invokes not a dialogue with the reader but a bare-knuckle fistfight. The dizzying journey through a violent capitalist nightmare is braved without aid of plot. Immediacy is prioritized over comprehension; personality is elevated above characters. As frantic and sharp-edged as an unexpected drug dream, these tales and their subjects are at once fascinating and horrifying. In the hilarious and ultraviolent “Presidency,” Wilson makes physical what is usually metaphorical in American politics, putting gun-wielding bodybuilders in charge of a bloody and broken political landscape. In the title story, he delivers a few clarifications of his intentions, with style and subtlety. Some books that feel like drugs are smooth and shocking. This one is made of the bad drugs, and it delivers a rough, crunchy high. There is no resolution, only the lingering threat that Wilson intends to do all this again." —PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

"D. Harlan Wilson moves so fast he strips his labels." —STEVE AYLETT, author of Slaughtermatic and Lint

"Battle Without Honor or Humanity: Volume will exist as a perfect snapshot of our imperfect times. Before he chose to check out of the Hotel California with a bullet to the head, Hunter S. Thompson chose to describe our time as the 'Age of Doom.' D. Harlan Wilson provides the play-by-play of the game of Doom. Rape, death, terrorism, paranoia, monsters, impersonality, secret police and the false imaging of TV and movies—they are all here. These stories (or chainsaw sections of a violent conveyor belt) force the reader into thinking along the same paths or rivers as Wilson. This is the most dangerous journey since Ronny Cox plopped up, arm askew, from the river in the movie version of James Dickey’s Deliverance. Wilson takes the curled strips of film left on the cutting room floor, splices them together and creates a monster movie. A brilliant, challenging book." —SAN DIEGO BOOK REVIEW

"Wilson is scary brilliant." —LIT REACTOR

"Wonderfully demented. A thesaural explosion. Gonzo prose for the information age." —STARBURST MAGAZINE

"D. Harlan Wilson is a top chef in the fast-paced test kitchen of language. In Battle without Honor or Humanity, his cutting board-u-copia includes, to name but a few ingredients, the cinematic eye, Naked Lunch scraps, New York School echoes (poetry and/or painting, take your pick), the sweet science soured, literary theory gone off the rails, and, yes, the Kennedys. The joy is in the cooking." —PETER CHERCHES, author of Lift Your Right Arm and Between a Dream and a Cup of Coffee

"D. Harlan Wilson’s work is like a movie directed by the love child of Jean-Claude Van Damme and Jacques Lacan if he grew up on a steady diet of action movies, bodybuilding shows, and dense philosophical texts." —VERBICIDE MAGAZINE

"A rebellion against the idea of meaning. Un Chien Andalou for the age of mainstream consumption." —DEAD END FOLLIES

"Each story in this wonderful collection goes right for the vitals as Wilson uses his savage pen and his serrated wit to carve up the soft white underbellies of language and life. His prose froths off the tongue, words all convulsing as they struggle for final breath." —ECKHERD GERDES, author of How to Read and editor of Journal of Experimental Fiction

"Wilson has put the mark on me and now my brain throbs in the exact pattern of an ancient curse." —APOKRALIPTIHKAL

"Wilson takes a samurai sword dripping with LSD through our assumptions of what fiction can and should be, directly and indirectly skewering literary criticism, the artist’s ridiculous sense of self-importance, and audience expectations and entitlement." —MUZZLELAND REVIEW