After almost two decades, Philip Pullman has announced the publication date of The Book of Dust.
And it is more than we could have expected. Much more.
At an event last night, Pullman revealed that his follow-up to the bestselling trilogy His Dark Materials would in fact be a new trilogy, the three books taking place alongside The Golden Compass and its two sequels. The new trilogy’s first book, which remains untitled, will publish October 19, 2017.
What are the three books that comprise The Book of Dust about? And how do they tie into His Dark Materials? “The [new] story begins before His Dark Materials and continues after it,” Pullman said, “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.” According to its author, the first book in The Book of Dust will take place ten years before The Golden Compass, when Lyra is still an infant. The second and third books will take place after the original trilogy when Lyra is an adult.
And what about the Dust that we saw in the original trilogy? “That’s what I really wanted to explore in this new work,” he said. “More about the nature of Dust, and consciousness, and what it means to be a human being.”
There are few books as rare as The Golden Compass. Once upon a time in 1999, I was a young bookseller and at the same time I began webmastering for bestselling author Terry Brooks, a man who has impeccable taste in books. He has only recommended maybe a dozen books to me over the years — books that are so good he wants me to experience the same magic he did — and the first one of those was The Golden Compass. Like millions of others, I loved the book. And over the next five years, I sold countless copies of the three books to customers. I would simply put the books in their hands and say, “Read them. If you don’t like them, return them to me.” They saw the look in my eyes.
Not a single person returned those books.
In other words, I highly recommend The Golden Compass, especially now that The Book of Dust trilogy will begin making its way to readers by year’s end!
I am excited to return to Lyra’s Oxford. It is a magical world perfect for young readers as well as old.
The Book of Dust will begin publishing October 19, 2017!