Grab Your Compass and Be Subtle About It, The Book of Dust Is Coming
Have you ever wondered what became of Lyra after the events of The Amber Spyglass? Well, wonder no longer, because soon we’re going to find out.
Philip Pullman, author of the immensely popular His Dark Materials trilogy, announced yesterday that there will be a new trilogy set in the world of Northern Lights (The Golden Compass, in America), The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass. The new trilogy, which will collectively be called The Book of Dust, will take place both before and after the events of the previous series. And guess what? The first book comes out October 19th! As in eight months from now!
Lyra will still be integral to the story, Pullman told NPR, but not the way that she was before. The first book will take place ten years before the events in Northern Lights, when Lyra is a baby. The second and third books are set ten years after The Amber Spyglass and will follow Lyra as a young woman in her early 20s. Still, Pullman is adamant that this new series is not meant to be a sequel to His Dark Materials, but rather a companion to it.
“The [new] story begins before His Dark Materials and continues after it,” he said to NPR. “… 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.”
In the same interview, Pullman explained the reasoning behind the name of the new trilogy:
Dust is something which terrifies the religious authorities in His Dark Materials. It seems to have something to do with human consciousness, it seems to have something to do with experience, or as they call it, “sin.” But they don’t know what it is, or why it’s important, and they’re terrified of it. Now, in the course of the story, Lyra and her companions discover something about Dust, something important: that it’s not a bad thing, it’s a good thing.
Pullman also talked about his motivation for returning to the world. “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.”
I personally cannot wait to jump back into the world of Dust and daemons, and this is the perfect excuse to do a His Dark Materials reread! Also, today I learned that there are two novellas and an audio book that already exist as follow-ups, so if you’ll excuse me, I’m about to go track those down…
Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from THE Ohio State University. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, and conventions in the NYC area.