The Homeward Bounders is a fantasy novel with elements of science fiction, in which Diana Wynne Jones develops the idea of war gaming by playing with live characters in an infinite number of different worlds. As in her previous novels, her apparently inexhaustible imagination takes in many moods and themes. The book contains terror, humour, adventure, everyday problems of survival and references to mythical characters.
The story begins in our own world in 1879 when thirteen-year-old Jamie stumbles unknowingly into forbidden territory and witnesses "Them" (faceless grey-cloaked figures) playing a mysterious game involving minute worlds, huge dice and complicated machines. This is the "Real...
(The entire section is 427 words.)