Author Philip Pullman shot to fame in 1995 when he published the first installment in ‘His Dark Materials’ trilogy, which finished in the year 2000. Consisting of The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass, these fantasy books went on to sell over 17.5 million copies, have been translated into over 40 languages, and, in the case of The Golden Compass, was adapted into a Hollywood film starring Danial Craig and Nicole Kidman.
Fans of His Dark Materials will be pleased to read that Pullman has now announced a new companion trilogy to the original series. The new series will be called The Book of Dust and the first installment is set to be released on October 19. The Book of Dust will return to the world and characters found in His Dark Materials, including The Golden Compass’ heroine, Lyra. The first book will take place ten years before the events of The Golden Compass, when Lyra was just an infant. The following two books will be set ten years after and will follow Lyra as a woman.
Pullman stated to NPR that he doesn’t want readers to consider the new trilogy as a simple expansion to the original books, but as a companion.
“The [new] story begins before His Dark Materials and continues after it,” he said, “… you don’t have to read it before you read [the original trilogy] … this is another story that comes after it, so it’s not a sequel, and it’s not a prequel, it’s an equal.”
The title, The Book of Dust, references an invisible elementary particle featured in the earlier books that has a strong link to human consciousness. Pullman explained, saying: “That’s what I really wanted to explore in this new work,” he said. “More about the nature of Dust, and consciousness, and what it means to be a human being.”
Since the end of the original His Dark Materials trilogy, Pullman has followed it up with two novellas and an audiobook. He stated he feels it’s time to revisit the world with a full trilogy as “I sensed a big story. I sensed the presence, in the way that you do, of another story that hadn’t been told, and I went closer and … thought about it and lived with it for a while and discovered that yes, it was a big story, and it did deserve to be told, it deserves its own books.”
Fans were already treated to the publications of Highballs for Breakfast (US – UK) late last year, a collection of passages dedicated to drinking taken from the best of Wodehouse. It was an instant bestseller last Christmas and did very well in the literary gift market. Read More
Whilst it’s a treat for more mature audiences, Die Hard certainly isn’t suitable for kids, until now! This Christmas, you can tuck your little ones into bed and send them off to the land of nod with this children book that teaches young one the story of the no nonsense cop John McClane.
The short story dates back to the traditional form of oral storytelling which, for obvious reasons, could not take hours to resolve. Long tales (such as Homer’s Odyssey) would be recited in sections- often with rhyme and rhythm to aid remembering each verse. Often separate short tales would be told but would be linked in some way (such as Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales).
2017 has seen this traditional form flourish still, and remain ever more popular. Perhaps modern life calls for shorter, snappier tales to fit in with our busy lives?
John Green is an enthusiastic You Tuber, and a big reading advocate. His channel is a varied explosion of creativity, books, literature and life and fans of the author should probably subscribe. Read More
Happiness in this Life out December
Pope Francis is no stranger to publishing, releasing his first book ‘The Name of God is Mercy’ in 2016. Now we hear from Pan Macmillan’s imprint Bluebird that they have acquired the rights to a new book by the pontiff full of his thoughts on Happiness.
The new release will be published in hardback on 5th December 2017 and will be called Happiness in this Life: A Passionate Meditation on Material Existence and is earmarked as an uplifting read and likely to be a Christmas bestseller. Read More