Good news, readers of fantasy: Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials is getting another series. But it’s neither a prequel nor a sequel.
The series will be "an equel."
According to the BBC, "It's a different story which begins roughly ten years before His Dark Materials and ends roughly ten years after."
I can't wait. Pullman's His Dark Materials, published between 1995 and 2000, is a powerhouse of a series, an unsentimental look at a young girl, Lyra Belacqua, who has to save herself and other children from the machinations of adults — which include her father and mother.
It's not an easy story to describe, but here goes: Lyra possesses an alethiometer, which gives her the ability to read the past, present and future. Others want the alethiometer for themselves. The Church wants to kill her, to prevent her from becoming the new Eve. Plus, there are alternate worlds and particle physics. Oh, yeah, and a substance called Dust is the physical embodiment of original sin.
See? I told you it wasn't easy. But it is eminently readable and thoroughly enjoyable.
The new series, entitled The Book of Dust, will reconnect us with Lyra from the time she is born until the time she is 20. A minor character from the original trilogy will be turned into a major one, but Pullman does not say who.
The first novel in the series, The Golden Compass, was translated to film in 2007. Two sequels, based on the second and third novels The Amber Spyglass and The Subtle Knife, were canceled before filming began.
The first novel in The Book of Dust will be released on October 19. I'll be unavailable until October 20.