To the delight of His Dark Materials fans, Phillip Pullman has confirmed that a "companion" trilogy to his HDM series is on the way - and that the first title in The Book of Dust is set for publication on October 19th! Needless to say we here at W&M are pretty chuffed about that, and we're sure we're not alone.
The new trilogy is being referred to as a 'companion' series by the author. But Pullman is also referring to them as an 'equal'. In speaking to American National Public Radio (NPR) Editor, Glen Weldon, Pullman explained his reasoning:
The story begins before His Dark Materials and continues after it...You don't have to read it before... this is another story that comes after it, so it's not a sequel, and it's not a prequel, it's an equal.
A little bit of semantic linguistics required, but the new trilogy will be set before and after the events of Northern Lights, The amber Spyglass and The Subtle Knife. We also know some additional details. Like, as The Book of Dust title suggests, that the bookswill explore the dust particle featured in His Dark Materials.
That's what I really wanted to explore in this new work. More about the nature of Dust, and consciousness, and what it means to be a human being.
Of course Pullman's series is in part so well-regarded because of the parallels we see between his narrative and the real world; because of the raw connection he conjures between readers and characters. We feel confident that will continue (indeed Lyra Belacqua and "an ordinary boy" will feature in the new series), but ultimately we're really looking forward to getting stuck into another Pullman trilogy!
Some additional thoughts to finish with:
- Hear from Pullman himself via this clip from BBC Radio 4 Today, and read a little more at NPR here.
- Not much reference to Pullman's 'other' His Dark Materials titles - Once Upon a Time in the North and Lyra's Oxford - doing the rounds. However, both are excellent extensions pf the HDM series and well worth your time!