New illustrated editions of a chapter from ‘Northern Lights’
Posted on by Aletheia Dolorosa

Philip Pullman writes that one of the chapters from Northern Lights, ‘A Outrance’ (‘Mortal Combat’ in US editions) has been released as an illustrated letterpress book by small publisher Oaktree Fine Press. This is the chapter in which Iorek Byrnison fights Iofur Raknisson for kingship of the armoured bears.

The books are illustrated with engravings and signed by the artists and Pullman. They will be available in three editions, details of which can be found on the Oak Tree website. The proceeds will go to children in Africa with HIV/AIDS.

The books will be on display in the Bodleian Library in Oxford on 15th December.

This entry was posted in Book Editions, The Book Trilogy. Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to New illustrated editions of a chapter from ‘Northern Lights’

  1. Australis says:

    Nice to have one of these in the Christmas stocking! Can’t imagine too many kids buying them. The publisher must be confident there are enough well-heeled mature fans around to justify limited editions of this kind. Makes me wonder yet again why His Dark Materials was pigeonholed as YA fiction in the first place.

  2. Brian says:

    Australis, you are right. HDM should never have been pigenholed into the Young Adult category. Now everyone thinks of them as children’s novels when they are so much more than that. People just don’t seem aware of how philosophically rich they are.

  3. Serafina_tikklya says:

    whoa! Pricey aren’t they?

  4. Brian says:

    Sadly, yes, they are expensive. But at least they’re “sophisticated” 🙂

  5. Hi everyone,

    My name is Freddy and I’ve wasted nearly a month of my life on this place 😉 I found it after being recommended by a few friends who have been hanging out here for quite some time.

    I am a writer, graphics artist, photographer and just about anything else that comes up around the office. Aside from the above interests i’m really into scifi as I know that is so much more out there to be discovered, and a feeling that the universe is just teaming with life.

    Well, I hope that I get to know more people here, share some experience and start learning. Have a greay day!

  6. Serafina_tikklya says:

    Hope that you enjoy it here! I don’t spend much time but I do check for news everyday!

    And alas, I must have been a naughty girl because Santa did NOT receive a copy of the aforementioned book in my stocking! :{

  7. Serafina_tikklya says:

    I mean Santa did LEAVE a copy in my stocking!~

  8. Serafina_tikklya says:

    Didn’t! Jeez I am slow today…

  9. Hi Captain Freddy, welcome to BridgeToTheStars! I highly recommend joining our forum and participating in the discussions. Anyway, I hope you’re enjoying BttS!

  10. Also, Brian and Australis, I agree with you that HDM is an incredibly deep and philosophically rich series, but why should that be incompatible with the YA genre? Decent YA writing is quite capable of packing a philosophical punch – and sometimes is capable of carrying much more interesting themes than some of the literature aimed at older readers. Rather than bemoaning HDM being ‘pigeonholed into YA’, we should applaud it for showing the potential of YA literature.

  11. Serafina_tikklya says:

    Alethia Dolorosa :

    I agree wholeheartedly! I am a great fan of YA lit, and probably would not have stumbled upon HDM otherwise! It was recommended by Barnes and Noble on a table with a sign that said “If you like Harry Potter you might like…” I bought a boxed set and was hooked after reading “Northern Lights”.

    I read both “adult” and YA fiction, and find that some of the themes in YA fiction are handled much better than in adult fiction. YA lit is soooo much better than when I was a teen (more years ago than I like to recall…).

    As a grandmother of a ‘tween and a 9 year old, I love reading YA and juvie fiction so I can discuss the books we all read with the “grands”. They recommend books for me and I recommend books for them. It’s a great way to keep in touch. And whenever I visit, I am more than happy to take them to a book store or the library where we can browse to our hearts’ content!

  12. Brian says:


    You are right, it does show the potential for how strong YA literature can be. My only issue with it is how the general public perceives such literature. How many times during the film’s marketing and press coverage was it referred to as a children’s movie? They made it look like it was just an average fantasy flick for 6 year olds when it really wasn’t. The novels themselves certainly do show how strong the YA genre can be, but I’m afraid many people might dismiss it because of preconceive notions about what YA fiction is.

  13. Australis says:

    I agree with you Brian, I would never say YA lit can’t be good, it’s just that some potential readers may pass it by because of that label. Read the Tomorrow series by John Marsden if you get a chance (a group of teenagers on the run in Australia following an invasion) – that’s marketed as YA, but there’s more in it than many “adult” books I’ve read.

  14. Brian, you are (unfortunately) absolutely right. I still agree that it’s better to challenge people’s assumptions about particular genres, rather than denying that books like HDM belong in such genres, however. Since I didn’t feel that the film should’ve been made at all, I have no opinion one way or another about how it was marketed, although it annoys me that some potential readers of the books might’ve been turned off by their perceptions of the film.

    Australis, I adore the Tomorrow series. It has all the strengths of good YA writing: it has a point to make, and it gets straight to the heart of things in a more direct (but no less complex) manner than many books aimed at adult readers.