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.”