Just Announced: A Follow Up Trilogy to Philip Pullman's Famous "His Dark Materials"

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Some very exciting news came out this week for fantasy book lovers! It was just announced that Philip Pullman, the author of the hugely successful trilogy - "His Dark Materials" - will be writing a companion trilogy that will collectively be called - "The Book of Dust."

Mark October 19, 2017 on your calendars because that's when the first book in the new trilogy is slated to come out! The original "His Dark Materials" trilogy consisted of the 3 titles: The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass. Pullman published this series over a period of 5 years from 1995 to 2000. Since then, the series has sold over 1.75 million copies and it has been translated into 40 languages. 

The events of the first trilogy took place across several parallel worlds — including our own — and touched on disparate ideas related to theology, particle physics, and the loss of childhood innocence. One of the main characters was a headstrong and fiercely intelligent young girl named Lyra Belacqua.

Pullman has revealed that The Book of Dust will return to the world(s) and characters of His Dark Materials, and that Lyra will be integral to the new story — but not necessarily in the way that she was before. The first volume will take place when Lyra is an infant, a decade before the events of His Dark Materials. The second and third volumes of the new trilogy will then be set ten years after the original trilogy's conclusion (i.e. The Amber Spyglass), and will follow Lyra as a young woman.

Pullman has been quoted saying this about his new trilogy: 

The [new] story begins before His Dark Materials and continues after it ... 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.

Pullman wants readers to consider the new work not as a simple extension of the original trilogy, but as a "companion" to it.

In case you're wondering, the title, The Book of Dust, refers to an invisible substance that figures largely in the earlier books — a fictional elementary particle that harbors a mysterious affinity with human consciousness.

When asked about the title and the "dust" Pullman shared that he wanted to further explore the nature of the Dust, as well as themes of what is consciousness and what it means to be human.

Ultimately, Pullman decided to write this new trilogy because, as he shared:

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.