This is a fun and fantastic book that immediately sent me to wikipedia to read up on Role Playing Games. In the opening chapter we find ourselves immediately in a close play by play narration of a baseball game, a potential perfect game thrown incredibly by a rookie pitcher on the night his retired baseball legend father had been honored. As we slowly make our way out of the game, we pull back to realize that what we’re actually watching in the inventive imagination of a fantasy baseball creator rolling dice to decide on every single moment of a game, while also creating the fantastical world of the baseball in his mind. The novel continues on in the season where an event triggers a special dice role — an extraordinary event — and in 1-1-1 dice roll the young pitcher of the perfect game is beaned by a pitch while hitting and dies. The fantasist and his creations are stunned and horrified by the events which alters the baseball season, but also awakens in the creator J Henry Waugh a sense of terror and dread as his feelings spiral him out of his fantasy.
Like I said, I looked up role playing games and having not remembered military games, I didn’t realize that versions of games have been around for 1000s of years. That said, this book predates Dungeons and Dragons, fantasy baseball, and video games by a stretch and shows the absolutely creative power of the novel to make us question the nature of reality, but more so the realities that we create on our own.