The Golden Compass
- A slow rate of evolution -
September 1st, 2003
Thanks to everyone who entered our August contest - we'll read the entries and render our judgment by September 15th. However, if you're still jonesin' for a contest, The Book Collection and BridgeToTheStars.Net are running a His Dark Materials trivia contest, with the prize being a copy of the new His Dark Materials Reader's Guide!
August 9th, 2003
Continuing in the subject of book covers, this cover of The Subtle Knife, by Eric Peterson, has always caused debate as people wondered about the creature on the right. ShadowFax managed to find an edition of the book without the enigmatic creature - it can be seen here - which simply serves to thicken the mystery over the cover.
So! We're running a contest over the cover's deeper meaning and symbolic importance. Feel free to enter! You have a really good chance of winning a free copy of Philip Pullman's Clockwork!
In other news, the principal maintainer of this site (i.e. Adobe) will be moving up to college next week, so please pardon any inattention on her part for the rest of the month. It's not because she doesn't love you.
July 12th, 2003
Robert Logemann has been kind enough to contribute the full cover of the collected His Dark Materials volume from the Science Fiction Book Club, comprised of the front cover, back cover, and inside flaps.
It has been a slow news week (or fortnight, if we're being technical), so here's something to ponder: Philip Pullman published a book in 1987 called How To Be Cool. In 1988, Granada TV produced a television version of the book (which presumably only aired in the UK) which starred Jason Nardone, Tricia Penrose, Julie Foy, and Russell Lee (among others). Aside from that data (which was gleaned from the book cover), there's virtually no information available on the TV series. At some point I'll have to break down and actually follow up on leads and contact people. However, at the moment I'm trying the passive approach and just throwing this information out for your consumption, on the off-chance that someone out there might know anything about this enigmatic show. If you do, letting us know at email@example.com would be highly appreciated.
June 21st, 2003
Little is known about Philip Pullman's ambiguous upcoming "fairy tale", The Scarecrow and His Servant, except its estimated length (100 pages) and that its completion has been repeatedly delayed (probably due to the time required by Lyra's Oxford and The Book of Dust) and...at this point, we're just speculating. But Pullman has mentioned the project several times in the beginning of 2003, and so we're relatively confidant that he is working on it.
An extremely small section about Eric Rohmann, acclaimed illustrator for the initial North American His Dark Materials covers, has been assembled. I still get mail about Rohmann, and while you still can't get posters of his His Dark Materials cover art, you can quench that craving by looking at his other work.
Speaking of books - we're chuffed to bits to see that the Philip Pullman Bibliography is nearly complete (and the two "unknown" titles, The Three Musketeers (1986) and Frankenstein (1990), are just theatrical adaptations of well-known works). This is no small accomplishment, considering how obscure several of these titles are. We could not have assembled this list without so many visitors raiding their local libraries and submitting information, so a heartfelt thanks to all that contributed.
Emily Park has recommended "Potter's place in the literary canon", which discusses the literary merit of the Harry Potter books by examining its place in the larger field of children's fiction. Of note is the mention of Philip Pullman and the place Iorek the armored bear has achieved as a "literary icon".
June 10th, 2003
Also, The Times reported on June 8th that Tom Stoppard "...just completed the screenplay for the first part of what should be a trilogy of films of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials..." The article can be found here, but it is freely accessible only to UK residents (and only for a week, at that). Don't fret, however - His Dark Materials is only mentioned in one line. This is significant news because it is the first time we've heard that the screenplay - for the first part, anyway - was complete.
June 7th, 2003
Those who have read Philip Pullman's Clockwork will be excited to know that Unicorn Children's Theatre will be adapting the story to an opera! "The Unicorn's artistic director, Tony Graham, will direct, with music by Stephen McNeff and libretto by David Wood. The opera will embark on its national tour in March 2004, with performances at the Royal Opera House's Linbury Studio and various other venues throughout the UK."
In related (theatrical) news - The Firework-Maker's Daughter may have ended its run at Sheffield Theatres, but the site designed for the production is still up and provides a fascinating look at the effort the cast poured into the play! Even better, there's an essay by Philip Pullman about the history behind the book and original play!
In related (writing) news - the cover of Lyra's Oxford is available! The ISBN is 0375828192; the book will retail for £9.99 in the UK and $10.95 in the US!
May 30th, 2003
As I'm sure you were all waiting on the edge of your seats - Heidi Berthiaume has won the "write a haiku about The Golden Compass" contest for her entry:
Tremendous thanks to Monika for providing information on The Shadow in the Plate and Ancient Civilizations. Information on Sherlock Holmes and the Limehouse Horror and Using the Oxford Illustrated Junior Dictionary has also been added. Once we have information on Pullman's theatrical adaptations of The Three Musketeers and Frankenstein, we may have a complete bibliography! I'm excited!
April 12th, 2003
On the lovely lemon sidebar to the left, there is the astounding additions of Further Stories (which now contains information on Lyra's Oxford and The Book of Dust) and Resources (which...doesn't really contain anything at the moment, but one day will hopefully house all the non-Pullman analyses of His Dark Materials).
The absurdly wonderful Simon has supplied information on the elusive Philip Pullman book, How To Be Cool, which leaves us with just a couple titles (Using the Oxford Junior Dictionary (1979), Ancient Civilizations (1979), and Pullman's two adapted plays, Frankenstein (1990) and Sherlock Holmes and the Limehouse Horror (1992)) of which we are still horribly ignorant. If you can provide any information on the above books (or find a copy in your local library?), we would love you forever.
Covers have been added (thanks Joao Augusto Matos de Carvalho!) and information has been fiddled with (Sam Mendes, Terry Jones, and Stephen Daldry have also expressed an interest in directing the His Dark Materials movies, which means Mr. Ratner is no longer able to have his tea party by himself). Most excitingly, there is now a large scan of the cover of The Haunted Storm (Philip Pullman's disowned first book) available here from mentha piperita, courtesy of jessia. Hurray!
March 29th, 2003
March 21st, 2003
I added some book covers and fiddled with some artist information - my favorites from this patch are The Subtle Knife cover from Spain and The Amber Spyglass cover from Croatia. So thanks to Jose Luis Benavente Leiva and Tihana!
The stage adaptation of The Firework-Maker's Daughter began running on the 12th, with Philip Pullman reportedly enjoying the production. Anyone who has seen the production is encouraged to discuss it on the Forum!
The incredibly cool John Howe apparently submitted a cover (or two?) for The Amber Spyglass, which the publisher rejected but which can be mercifully found on Howe's site here. Thanks to Nick for finding this!
March 5th, 2003
Also for those in the UK - truculent peach Jeff informs us that there will be a South Bank Show about Philip Pullman on Sunday, March 9th.
I still get frequent inquiries about the cover art for the initial North American editions of His Dark Materials (available here, here, and here) and the artist, Eric Rohmann, so it may interest some of you that Rohmann won the 2003 Caldecott Medal for illustration for his children's book My Friend Rabbit in January.
February 16th, 2003
According to Amazon.co.uk, Philip Pullman's latest work, The Scarecrow and His Servant (described as a hundred-page fairy tale), should have been released already. However, given that there's been no publicity for the book and Amazon.co.uk is also listing it under the working title "Scarecrows", it's probably safe to assume that the site is using old information. So far, there's been no word on when The Scarecrow and His Servant will be really released - in recent interviews, Pullman has only said that he hopes to have it done soon.
Philip Pullman's The Firework-Maker's Daughter will be converted into a theatrical production in March by the United Kingdom's Sheffield Theatres. Go here for more information (and if anyone manages to attend a performance, we would love to hear about it).
February 7th, 2003
Thanks to Cameo Wood for bringing this to our attention - I really should have posted it yesterday, but so it goes in the land of slacker webmistresses.
His Dark Materials, The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, The Amber Spyglass and all related characters, concepts, and commercial offspring are the property of Philip Pullman, Scholastic Books, Random House Inc, New Line Cinema and all other right-holders. This unofficial site is neither affiliated nor endorsed by any of the former parties. This site is not for profit and is not intended to infringe upon any commercial endeavors. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org