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

If you loved His Dark Materials and always wanted to know what happened to Lyra Belacqua, you're in luck. Golden Compass author Philip Pullman is writing a new trilogy about more of Lyra's world. The first installment of The Book of Dust trilogy hits stores this fall.

In the His Dark Materials trilogy, Lyra was a young girl caught up in a war against the evil church known as the Magisterium. Pullman says that this "story came to its conclusion" with the publication of The Amber Spyglass in 2000, but adds, "[T]here are other stories that can be told about the people in the book and the world of the book, and one of them has been occupying my imagination for quite some time."

Lyra will feature in the first two volumes of The Book of Dust, which are set during her childhood and 10 years after the events of His Dark Materials. She will not be the hero this time around, but Pullman says "Lyra is at the centre of the story."

His Dark Materials fans will be familiar with the eponymous Dust, a fictional particle based on Genesis 3:19, which reads, in part: "for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return." What the invented particle is, exactly, has evolved over time. Now, with a better idea of what Dust is, Pullman is ready to return to it.

Even if you didn't read Lyra's original adventures, The Book of Dust is likely to grab your interest. Pullman says: "[A]t the centre of The Book of Dust is the struggle between a despotic and totalitarian organisation, which wants to stifle speculation and enquiry, and those who believe thought and speech should be free." Sounds awfully relevant to these dark and troubling times.

The as-yet untitled first installment of The Book of Dust will be available from your favorite bookstore on Oct. 19.