For immediate release on Friday 21st September 2007
David Fickling Books to Publish New Philip Pullman Story
David Fickling Books is delighted to announce the worldwide
publication of Once Upon a Time in the North by
Philip Pullman, a beguiling and intriguing new episode
Pullman’s His Dark Materials universe.
A new and completely original episode from Philip Pullman’s
bestselling His Dark Materials universe will be published
on 3rd April 2008 by David Fickling Books Ltd, part of
The Random House Group in the UK. The book, Once Upon
a Time in the North, opens another extraordinary window into
the universe of His Dark Materials, and is Philip’s
first new work for five years.
Once Upon a Time in the North will appear under the David
Fickling Books imprint in the UK and will be published
in association with Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers,
an imprint of Random House Children’s Books in the
Once Upon a Time in the North is a companion volume to
Lyra’s Oxford (though about double the length of
that story) and, like that work, set in Lyra Belacqua’s
world and not our own.
The events of Once Upon a Time in the North happen before
Lyra was born and in it we meet two of the most popular
and enduring of Philip’s characters, the tough American
balloonist Lee Scoresby and the great armoured bear and
Lyra’s guardian, Iorek Byrnison. The story recounts
the very first meeting of these two heroes, an encounter
eagerly awaited by all Pullman fans. Lee Scoresby and his
hare daemon, Hester, crash land their trading balloon on
to Novy Odense, a port in the far Arctic North, and so
find themselves right in the middle of a political powder
keg that threatens to explode into a street-fight. Honour
is at stake and Lee is not a man to duck a matter of honour.
And this is the very first time that Lee gets to use his
trusty and celebrated Winchester rifle . . .
Like Lyra’s Oxford, the story is presented as an
exquisitely designed cloth-bound book and includes many
other teasingly authentic memorabilia and clues from the
His Dark Materials universe gathered together, it seems,
by Lyra herself. This includes photographs, newspaper cuttings,
bills of lading and an exciting and gorgeous Arctic Balloonist
Board Game, Challenge the Wind, all beautifully illustrated
and rendered by master engraver John Lawrence.
Philip Pullman says, “Writing this story was a matter
of pure enjoyment. The two characters at the heart of it,
Lee Scoresby and Iorek Byrnison, were old comrades-in-arms
when Lyra met them first in Northern Lights. It was obvious
that they had a history, and it was my son Jamie who first
suggested that I should write about it. When David Fickling
had the idea of doing that in a similar format to Lyra’s
Oxford I leapt at the idea at once. I hope readers will
enjoy this tale of the first meeting between these two
honourable but down-at-heel adventurers.”
Philip Pullman is one of the most highly acclaimed authors
of our time. Worldwide sales of over 15 million copies
reflect the enormous global appeal of His Dark Materials.
He has won the Whitbread Book of the Year (The Amber
Carnegie Medal (Northern Lights) and the Guardian Prize
(The Amber Spyglass). He is also a recipient of the Eleanor
Farjeon Award for Services to Children’s Literature
and the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, the world’s
largest children’s literature prize.
He is the author of over 20 books and two plays. He lives
near Oxford, England.
David Fickling says, “A brand-new, completely original
piece of Philip Pullman storytelling is one of the most
exciting publishing events imaginable, and doubly so this
time because with Once Upon a Time in the North Philip
is on absolutely top form.”
A major film of The Golden Compass (Northern Lights) starring
Daniel Craig and Nicole Kidman will be released by New
Line this autumn.
Once Upon a Time in the North will be published in the
UK by David Fickling Books on 3rd April 2008 and in the
US by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers on 8th April
Lyra’s Oxford will be published into paperback by
Corgi on 1st November 2007 at £4.99, and is currently
available in hardback from David Fickling Books.
For further information please contact:
In the UK – Philippa Dickinson tel: 020 8231 6628
In the US – Judith Haut tel: (212) 782-8626