Published: Thu, February 16, 2017
Culture | By Ray Hoffman

'Golden Compass' Author Philip Pullman Is Writing A New Spin-Off Trilogy

'Golden Compass' Author Philip Pullman Is Writing A New Spin-Off Trilogy

Rejoice, anyone who dearly, deeply misses stories of Lyra and dæmon: Philip Pullman is FINALLY releasing follow-up books to His Dark Materials.

The first two books of the new series will star the protagonist of His Dark Materials, Lyra Belacqua, and other characters from the trilogy. The series has sold over 17.5 million copies and been translated into 40 languages.

Pullman says that the series is not a prequel or sequel but an "equel", and will begin with Lyra's story as a baby before fastforwarding to the heroine as a 20-year-old. Any appearance of Lord Asriel, her "guardian", or Marisa Coulter, her mother, will trail future-story alongside any back-story that Pullman fills in. He said he was motivated to revisit the world of Lyra and her companions with a full trilogy because "I sensed a big story". She will not be the hero this time around, but Pullman says "Lyra is at the centre of the story". Meaning, it's a great time for fans of Lyra and her armored Polar Bears.

What Philip Pullman describes as an "equel" - a story that extends the His Dark Materials trilogy with a complementary narrative - has become the fashion for continuing entertainment mega-franchises aimed at an initial audience of children. "His Dark Materials" has been pulled from some Catholic school library shelves in Canada and the United States over the years. Dust, in the first books, was shown to be an elementary particle indicative of a creature's/human's growing consciousness, and something that the Church believes to be Original Sin in particle form. The latest example is the introduction of dramatist Jack Thorne, who (with Rowling and John Tiffany) wrote Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and is now adapting His Dark Materials for a BBC television version. The second two books, meanwhile, will follow Lyra as a young woman, a decade after the events of the third Materials novel (The Amber Spyglass).

"I've been writing it for several years, and I've been very parsimonious with information about it".

Daunt said a generation of young readers "read first Harry Potter, then the complex, gripping and provocative 'His Dark Materials'".

Speaking from his home in Oxford, Pullman scrupulously guards the secrets of the new book.

I've been greatly criticized for the attention to religion that I give in the books, but I've been criticized, on the whole, by people who haven't read the books. As soon as it becomes public and political, it's risky.

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