Philip Pullman Announces New “His Dark Materials” Trilogy


Philip Pullman announces a new trilogy returning to the world of “His Dark Materials.” He says it is not a sequel, nor a prequel, but “an ‘equel.”

For those unfamiliar with Philip Pullman, his 90s era trilogy, His Dark Materials, is one of the UK’s most highly decorated and best selling fantasy series of the last twenty years. The series has proved so popular that they attempted to make a movie franchise out of it, though they only made it as far as the first novel The Golden Compass. There has also been a stage play, and a radio drama of it, and the BBC is currently working towards having a television series made from it.

It is also famous for being one the UK’s more controversial series, with a heavily atheistic tone, including the concept of killing God. Luckily for Pullman, those themes were too subtle for low brow American Christians who missed it entirely while yelling about witchcraft in Harry Potter. UK Christians on the other hand, were highly offended on God’s behalf.

Despite these trails, Pullman has continued to explore the world he created in his books, including publishing short stories Lyra’s Oxford in 2003, and Once Upon a Time in the North in 2008. Now he has announced a brand new trilogy of novels set in the same world, called The Book of Dust.

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"The series will return to the story of Lyra Belacqua, and will begin when the heroine is a baby, and move on to when she is 20 years old.“People say, ‘Is it prequel? Is it a sequel?’ Well, it is neither,” said Mr Pullman, speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme. “It’s an ‘equel’. It’s a different story which begins roughly 10 years before His Dark Materials and ends roughly 10 years after.”"

The first novel in the new series will arrive October 19th, 2017, almost 18 years to the day since The Amber Spyglass (the final novel in the first trilogy) was released, back in October in 2000.

"“I know from their letters and tweets that my readers have been waiting patiently (mostly) for The Book of Dust for a long time. It gives me great pleasure and some excitement at last to satisfy their curiosity (and mine) about this book. At the centre of The Book Of Dust is the struggle between a despotic and totalitarian organisation, which wants to stifle speculation and inquiry, and those who believe thought and speech should be free.”"

Next: Review: “King’s Cage” by Victoria Aveyard

Sounds rather timely no? We’ll be eagerly anticipating returning to the world of dust, and spending time with Lyra and her Daemon again this year.