About Me

Dr Christo­pher Richard­son is the author of epic mar­itime fan­ta­sy nov­el Empire of the Waves  (Pen­guin) and six non-fic­tion pic­ture books from Scholas­tic. Richard­son grad­u­at­ed with a PhD from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Syd­ney. His the­sis inves­ti­gat­ed the child­hood poli­cies and prac­tices of the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of Korea (DPRK). Richard­son’s research has been fea­tured in Sino-NK, The Guardian, The Wash­ing­ton Post, El Pais, the BBC World Ser­vice, BBC News Mag­a­zine, ABC Radio Nation­al, ABC Week­end Break­fast, 3AW, SBS Radio, The Chris­t­ian Sci­ence Mon­i­tor, UPI, The Dai­ly Tele­graph (Syd­ney), Radio Free Asia, Voice of Amer­i­ca Kore­an, the Dai­ly Mail,  Izves­tia, Triple J, Obser­vador (Lis­bon) and Vice. Dr Richard­son has a par­tic­u­lar inter­est in the his­to­ry of Chris­tian­i­ty in north­ern Korea. Richard­son is also research­ing the life of Cyril Birnie, the Aus­tralian man whose lega­cy of peace is the extra­or­di­nary nation­al park in Hakone, Japan. Richard­son’s most recent pub­li­ca­tion con­cerns the his­to­ry of pan­demics in Korea and is work­ing on a nov­el about North Korea. Richard­son is founder and edi­tor of the online jour­nal North Lights and Co-Founder of Very Small Press.

Dr Richard­son has a BA (Hons) in Lit­er­a­ture and a Mas­ter of Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty (with Mer­it) from the Cen­tre for Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Stud­ies at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Syd­ney. He has guest lec­tured under­grad­u­ate and post­grad­u­ate IR and secu­ri­ty stud­ies class­es at the Aus­tralian Nation­al Uni­ver­si­ty, Uni­ver­si­ty of Syd­ney, Uni­ver­si­ty of New South Wales, and Bond Uni­ver­si­ty. In 2013 Richard­son co-direct­ed Voic­es in Exile: Panop­tic Per­spec­tives in Syd­ney and Can­ber­ra, a film fes­ti­val inves­ti­gat­ing North Kore­an human rights and cul­ture

ABC Week­end Breakfast

In July 2015, Pen­guin pub­lished Richard­son’s debut nov­el Empire of the Waves: Voy­age of the Moon Child to won­der­ful reviews. Junior Books + Pub­lish­ing described the book as “beau­ti­ful­ly writ­ten, action packed and engag­ing.” Since the pub­li­ca­tion of Empire of the Waves he has spo­ken fre­quent­ly at schools, libraries, and lit­er­ary fes­ti­vals about his writ­ing, and is avail­able to book through The Chil­dren’s Book­shop Speak­er’s Agency . In 2020 Dr Richard­son com­menced a Mas­ter of Teach­ing at the Uni­ver­si­ty of New Eng­land so he might con­tribute fur­ther to edu­ca­tion in Aus­tralia, whilst also deep­en­ing his research into North Kore­an edu­ca­tion­al prac­tices and refugee edu­ca­tion out­side NK. 

At school Richard­son’s favourite sub­jects were Eng­lish, Ancient His­to­ry, Dra­ma, and Latin. With­out a doubt, Latin had the deep­est impact on his intel­lec­tu­al devel­op­ment.  For his Hon­ours the­sis Richard­son researched the poet­ry of Edward Lear, and he writes chil­dren’s verse of his own. You can read or lis­ten to them free on this site.

Dr Richard­son is the author of six non-fic­tion pic­ture books in the X‑Zone series from Scholas­tic. These include: Pirates, Spe­cial Effects, The Beat Goes On, So You Want To Be An Astro­naut?, Sun Struck and You Ate That! With the X‑Zone series he ful­filled the ambi­tion of a life­time and inter­viewed a NASA astronaut!

Dr Richard­son is an avid read­er, so is steeped in the world of books and lit­er­a­ture, and can’t wait to share his own sto­ries with you. He is cur­rent­ly work­ing on a new instal­ment in the adven­tures of Anni Tidechild and Duck Knife­tooth, ten­ta­tive­ly titled Empire of the Waves: Sea of Fire. Oth­er works-in-progress include a dystopi­an sci-fi thriller set in a divid­ed future Aus­tralia, enti­tled Occu­pa­tion Zone, and a nov­el about North Kore­an child­hood called Chil­dren of the Sun.  

Some of Richard­son’s oth­er pas­sions are cin­e­ma, music, the­ol­o­gy, and pon­der­ing the pos­si­bil­i­ty of extra-ter­res­tri­al life. His favourite places in the world are India and Korea. On this site you will find a some­times odd con­coc­tion of inter­ests and influ­ences, but they all coa­lesce in Richard­son’s mind to make some sem­blance of uni­ty. But then again, per­haps uni­ty is overrated…

Per­form­ing with Azart aboard el Bar­co de los Locos in Barcelona

Inter­view with Christo­pher Richardson

The Book of Beasts: Ani­mal & Human Nature in Chil­dren’s Literature