finally broke down and bought The Golden Compass, the first book in the His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman. First of all, this is a kid’s book series? I can’t imagine what kind of pale, boring, morose kids must dig this – these must be the kids who watched CSPAN instead of Teletubbies. I have never read a book that starts out as completely badly as this one – it’s like Chapter 5 got switched with Chapter 1. It does pick up, though, and it’s admirably gruesome in spots, although sections of the book do read like lectures, where characters stand around and explain things to one another. All that said, I have picked up the second volume and will read it one of these days.

This is relevant (sort of) because The Golden Compass is being made into a movie. This is news (ostensibly) because New Line, who is making the movie, has signed a deal with Sega to make a game from the movie, as well as the two planned sequels. I don’t know how you would make a video game out of this particular story, although it would be funny to have a game that’s 90% cut scenes – imagine a nation of children jamming the X button to skip each segment of endless exposition!

Sega is looking to ape what Electronic Arts has done with New Line and the Lord of the Rings license, which is make games that are separate from the films. This announcement is just the first in what is sure to be a wave of toys, games and other merchandise, which will start being unveiled in a couple of weeks. I can’t wait to get the Blood-Soaked Iorek plush bear (with heart-ripping and devouring action!), personally.

The Golden Compass will be hitting theaters next November.