The celebrated author of His Dark Materials has announced the publication of a new trilogy which will constitute an "equel" to the series of fantasy novels that sold more than 17.5 million copies worldwide.
Philip Pullman said the follow-up will be called The Book of Dust, and the first instalment will come out on 17 October.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today Programme, Pullman said: "People say, 'Is it prequel? Is it a sequel?' Well, it is neither."
"It's an 'equel'. It's a different story which begins roughly 10 years before His Dark Materials and ends roughly 10 years after."
In another interview, Pullman said that at the centre of The Book of Dust is "the struggle between a despotic and totalitarian organisation [the Magisterium], which wants to stifle speculation and inquiry, and those who believe thought and speech should be free”
The first book of the original trilogy, Northern Lights, was adapted for a 2007 film, The Golden Compass, starring Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig and Dakota Blue Richards.
In the new trilogy, Pullman will return to the story of brave Oxford girl Lyra Belacqua and will begin when the heroine is a baby and continue to when she is 20 years old.
As news of The Book of Dust emerged, Pullman took to Twitter to respond to excited fans. It was pretty hilarious:
Someone even named their daughter Lyra after the main character in Pullman's books:
@Matb1ack Well, hello, Lyra! You look exactly like the Lyra I imagined. I hope you'll read her story one day.
— Philip Pullman (@PhilipPullman) February 15, 2017
People thought 2017 was not going to be that bad after all, to which Pullman responded: