When an American spy comes to investigate the uncanny "changes" which have made the people of England revert to a medieval machineless state, he is declared a witch and stoned, until two children risk their lives to save him.
Peter Dickinson was born in 1927 in Livingstone, Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) the second son of British colonial civil servant and a South African farmer's daughter. The family returned to England in 1935, but his father died suddenly in the same year. He was educated at Eton College and was researching for a PhD in King's College, Cambridge,when in 1952 he was offered a offered a job on the editorial staff of Punch magazine, where he stayed until l969.
In 1968 he published his first two books, a crime novel, Skin Deep (aka The Glass-sided Ants' Nest) and a children's adventure story, The Weathermonger. Since then he has published about 50 books in both genres , and has been translated into many languages. He has won a number of prizes and awards (see Bibliographies for details.)
He has been chairman of the Society of Authors and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He was awarded and OBE for services to literature in 2009.