Harry Collins is the main protagonist in Bloch's dystonian "This Crowded Earth" novel.
"In the nightmare Harry found himself looking down at the mistakes and the failures and he recognized them for what they were, and he knew then why the incinerators were kept busy and why the black smoke poured.
In the nightmare he saw the special units containing those which were not mistakes or failures, and in a way they were worse than the others. They were red and wriggling there beneath the glass, and on the glass surfaces hung the charts which gave the data. Then Harry saw the names, saw his own name repeated twice—once for Sue, once for Myrna. And he realized that he had contributed to the successful outcome or issue of the experiments (outcome? Issue? These horrors?) and that was why Manschoff must have chosen to take the risk of keeping him alive. Because he was one of the good guinea pigs, and he had spawned, spawned living, mewing abominations.
He had dreamed of these things, and now he saw that they were real, so that nightmare merged with now, and he could gaze down at it with open eyes and scream at last with open mouth.
Then, of course, an attendant came running (although he seemed to be moving ever so slowly, because everything moves so slowly in a dream) and Harry saw him coming and lifted a bell-glass and smashed it down over the man's head (slowly, ever so slowly) and then he heard the others coming and he climbed out of the window and ran.
The searchlights winked across the courtyards and the sirens vomited hysteria from metallic throats and the night was filled with shadows that pursued.
But Harry knew where to run. He ran straight through the nightmare, through all the fantastic but familiar convolutions of sight and sound, and then he came to the river and plunged in.
Now the nightmare was not sight or sound, but merely sensation. Icy cold and distilled darkness; ripples that ran, then raced and roiled and roared. But there had to be a way out of the nightmare and there had to be a way out of the canyon, and that way was the river.
Apparently no one else had thought of the river; perhaps they had considered it as a possible avenue of escape and then discarded the notion when they realized how it ripped and raged among the rocks as it finally plunged from the canyon's mouth. Obviously, no one could hope to combat that current and survive.
But strange things happen in nightmares. And you fight the numbness and the blackness and you claw and convulse and you twist and turn and toss and then you ride the crests of frenzy and plunge into the troughs of panic and despair and you sweep round and round and sink down into nothingness until you break through to the freedom which comes only with oblivion.
Somewhere beyond the canyon's moiling maw, Harry Collins found that freedom and that oblivion. He escaped from the nightmare, just as he escaped from the river.
The river itself roared on without him.
And the nightmare continued, too...."
This Crowded Earth, Robert Bloch