About Me

Hul­lo! I’m Dr Christo­pher Richard­son from Syd­ney, Australia.

I’m the author of fan­ta­sy nov­el Empire of the Waves  (Pen­guin) and six non-fic­tion pic­ture books from Scholas­tic. I am also an aca­d­e­m­ic with a back­ground in lit­er­a­ture and secu­ri­ty stud­ies. In 2016 I grad­u­at­ed with a PhD from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Syd­ney. My the­sis inves­ti­gat­ed the child­hood poli­cies and prac­tices of the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of Korea (DPRK) or North Korea. My 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. I also have a par­tic­u­lar inter­est in the his­to­ry of Chris­tian­i­ty in north­ern Korea

I have 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, I co-direct­ed Voic­es in Exile: Panop­tic Per­spec­tives in Syd­ney and Can­ber­ra, a film fes­ti­val inves­ti­gat­ing North Kore­an human rights and cul­ture. On this site you’ll find some of my work, as well as sug­ges­tions of oth­er places to vis­it, if you are inter­est­ed in fur­ther explor­ing the pol­i­tics and cul­ture of the DPRK.

ABC Week­end Breakfast

In July 2015, Pen­guin pub­lished my 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.”  Here you will find my thoughts about writ­ing and pub­lish­ing, as well as news and updates about the world of Empire of the Waves and oth­er writ­ing projects. Since the pub­li­ca­tion of Empire of the Waves I have spo­ken fre­quent­ly at schools, libraries, and lit­er­ary fes­ti­vals about my writ­ing, and am avail­able to book through The Chil­dren’s Book­shop Speak­er’s Agency . I also offer pri­vate lit­er­a­ture and writ­ing class­es for high school stu­dents. In Octo­ber 2020 I com­menced a Mas­ter of Teach­ing at the Uni­ver­si­ty of New Eng­land so I might con­tribute fur­ther to writ­ing edu­ca­tion in Aus­tralia, whilst also deep­en­ing my research into North Kore­an edu­ca­tion­al prac­tices and refugee edu­ca­tion out­side NK. 

What else can I tell you about me? At school my favourite sub­jects were Eng­lish, Ancient His­to­ry, Dra­ma, and Latin. With­out a doubt, Latin had the deep­est impact on my intel­lec­tu­al devel­op­ment and I am a life­long dis­ci­ple of Rod­er­ick West. Since leav­ing high school in 2000 I have com­plet­ed a Bach­e­lor of Arts with Hon­ours in Eng­lish Lit­er­a­ture and a Mas­ter of Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty (with Mer­it), both at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Syd­ney. For my Hon­ours the­sis I researched the poet­ry of Edward Lear, and I write chil­dren’s verse of my own. You can read or lis­ten to them free on this site!

I am 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 I ful­filled the ambi­tion of a life­time and inter­viewed a NASA astronaut!

I am an avid read­er, so am steeped in the world of books and lit­er­a­ture, and can’t wait to share my own sto­ries with you. I am 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

On this site you will find a some­times odd con­coc­tion of inter­ests and influ­ences, but they all coa­lesce in my mind to make some sem­blance of uni­ty. But then again, per­haps uni­ty is overrated…

Inter­view with Christo­pher Richardson

Our Cho­sen Sto­ries: Reflec­tions on Empire of the Waves