The Progress of The Book of Dust So Far
The Book of Dust is intended to be a companion to the His Dark Materials trilogy. It will explain Lyra's world and, most importantly, the background histories of secondary characters like Lee Scoresby and Serafina Pekkala.
Rumors about The Book of Dust practically date back to the publication of The Amber Spyglass in 2000, but Philip Pullman has set no possible publication dates and has worked on several separate projects in the interim. The Book of Dust is definitely in the process of being written - the press release of Lyra's Oxford mentions it by name - but there's no way to gauge how near it is to completion or when it will finally be published.
In his "January Message" on his website in 2006, Philip Pullman stated that "I've just about got to the end now of all the engagements and talks and lectures and so on that I was getting out of the way. No more for two years, that's the rule I'm going to put in place. 'The Book of Dust' will have my full attention, and everything else will have to wait." In his "May Message," he stated that "I've been busy. Busy writing 'The Book of Dust', that is." Clearly, work on tBoD is progressing seriously, and is no longer a fuzzy possibility.
At the Oxford Literary Festival in March, 2007, Philip Pullman stated that "I’m well into the story, but I’ve had a lot of interruptions. It will be published in two years or so." That would mean a release date of late 2008 to mid 2009.
Ideas on The Book of Dust
The Book of Dust will be a richly illustrated story-driven companion novel? Sounds like a story encyclopedia to me. I wonder how he´s going to pull it off. Anyway, it´s sure to be a huge book, with Pullman wanting to explain a lot of things in detail, like the Origin of Dust.
Also, in an interview a few years ago, Philip mentioned that he was going to write another book, a companion novel to His Dark Materials, also telling about Lyra, a few years after The Amber Spyglass, when she´s sixteen.
It seems that Pullman decided to publish the Lyra at sixteen story seperately, as the book Lyra´s Oxford. A smart move, as it seems that Lyra´s Oxford is a huge commercial success. Why he decided to publish it separately... we can only guess. To whet our appetite? To make money? Or was Lyra's Oxford simply growing to large to be put in a companion novel?
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