A critical sensation when first published in 1976, THE BALLOONIST by MacDonald Harris is an intense love story told with the sci-fi adventure of Jules Verne. A Swedish scientist, an American journalist and a French-speaking adventurer attempt to become the first people to set foot on the North Pole, to arrive and return travelling in a huge red and white balloon. In 2006, Philip Pullman brought attention back to this classic text, highlighting the immense talent of the writer which had been overlooked for years. THE BALLOONIST forms the inspiration for some of the scenes in Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy. In this edition, Philip Pullman offers an introduction to this much deserved rediscovery of a long-neglected classic.