Fans of all things fantasy rejoice because Philip Pullman is releasing a new work in October 2020. The story picks up where Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy leaves off and takes us up to the beginning of The Book Of Dust series.
The upcoming book, titled Serpentine, was announced by his publishers Penguin on July 9, roughly 16 years after it was first completed by the author. The Guardian reports that Pullman hadn't endeavoured to publish the story and the manuscript before now as it had been written for a charity auction, requested by former director at the National Theatre Nicholas Hytner.
"When I wrote Serpentine," Pullman explained to the Guardian on July 9, "I had no idea that I was going on to write another trilogy, showing Lyra as an adult, but she and her world wouldn’t leave me alone."
As Penguin explains, the new novella will be based in the Arctic and "Lyra and her daemon Pantalaimon have left the events of His Dark Materials far behind." The short bio continues: "In this snapshot of their forever-changed lives they return to the North to visit an old friend, where we will learn that things are not exactly as they seem" The short story acts as a bridge in Lyra's transition to adulthood, from the old trilogy into a completely new one in Pullman's multiverse.
Speaking to the Guardian about why he has finally decided to publish Serpentine, Pullman said: "Because with the development of The Book of Dust, especially after the events described in The Secret Commonwealth, we can see a change in the way Lyra understands herself, and her relationship with Pantalaimon, which is prefigured in this little Arctic episode."
Serpentine is available to preorder here.