in response to all that stuff about pullman's anti-god attitude, he is an outspoken atheist. i read an article about him, His Dark Materials are going to be three movies soon, and he said that his books were banned in a lot of places and that the Catholic Church publicly denounced them, for obvious reasons. i, on the other hand, see pullman's interpretation of the death of Authority as very interesting. It might be a metaphor for what is going on in the real life present. the death of god, not in the literal sense, but in the figrative sense, is a common point of discussion. A lot of peple these days are losing faith for various reasons and this is a sort of "death" for god and his (or her) control over humanity. I might be reading too much into all of this, but it seems pretty clear to me that t his is the parallel that Pullman is trying to make in these books. he is writing for modern times and a modern audience that is not god-fearing and (hopefully) has a more open mind. i recently finished rereading them (as in earlier today) and now i can't wait for the films.