Episode 020: His Dark Materials + The Book of Dust

This episode we’re tackling Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy (Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife, The Amber Spyglass) to catch everyone up for the upcoming release of his new series, The Book of Dust (beginning with La Bella Sauvage)! We tackle big, important topics like atheism, the death of god, the races in Pullman’s works, fantasy publishing and Morgan’s birthmark.

“They kill all those fools!”

Discussion includes:

  • Philip Pullman vs. Bill Paxton vs. Bill Pullman
  • 1 minute recap of the His Dark Materials trilogy
  • Your daemon is not your spirit animal (and not your Patronus animal)
  • The Golden Compass vs. The Northern Lights vs. The Alethiometer (hint: these are all the same book)
  • The movie, even though it stars Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig and, briefly, Christopher Lee, is horrible. Horrible. Horrible.
  • There’s a TV miniseries based on His Dark Materials in production at BBC that will hopefully be coming out in 2018.
  • The Book of Dust series isn’t a sequel, it’s an “equal” that takes place in Lyra’s world a few years before the beginning of His Dark Materials.
  • BREAKING NEWS: Morgan has a birthmark on her leg. Please don’t stop listening.
  • But…what is “dust” (answer: consciousness, a god particle, divinity…maybe)?
  • The symbiotic relationship between dust (consciousness) and love
  • The Gyptians might be the least creative race in Pullman’s universe, but they’re they most historically accurate.
  • Pretty much the Witches only  exist to  be messengers and prophets. Boooo.
  • What were you living for at 12? Answer: nothing important except Harry Potter and holographic Charizard cards.
  • Lyra is, at least for us, not an endearing protagonist.
  • The Armored Bears are the obvi standout race and subplot (think: indigenous peoples, the struggle of a minority group to be assimilated/safe but also stay who they are).
  • The Gallivespians (a modern take on fairies) round out the races.
  • The Angels: coolest part of Pullman’s world. Heaven is a republic, god is a dictator, and angels are just toadies, the Rosencrantzs and Guildensterns of heaven.
  • One of the main questions that will be tackled in The Book of Dust series: what happens to us when god dies?
  • Pullman is mad prolific – La Belle Sauvage is his 30th published book.
  • Lord Asriel is a villain…but he’s also her father. So whatcha gonna do?
  • The difference between flash fiction, short stories, novelettes, novellas and novels.
  • Pullman named a character in The Book of Dust after one of the victims of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

And a divine games corner that includes: 2 Truths and a Lie, Fallen Angels: Friendly, Fallen or Fabuloso, and Listen for the Rhyme.


Watch or read Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh for a very different (and very queer) take on the effects of religion on human beings.

Listen to My Favorite Murder if you love crime, mystery or laughing at life’s horrors.

Watch Mr. Robot if you’re late like Mic and enjoy beautiful Rami Malek, Christian Slater or sexy, sad futures.


Follow Morgan (@Morgandalf) and the podcast (@BandBcast) on Instagram!

Check out Mic’s collected writings and anxieties on his super chill person blog or contact him on his profesh freelance blog if you’d like him to edit your work, be a beta reader or produce content for your business or website.

Check out our Facebook page after you see the remake and tell us what you thought!

And, of course, listen to the newest episodes from our RSS Feed!

Thanks for listening, BBs! We sure do appreciate you!

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