Dr Christopher Richardson is the author of children’s fantasy novel Empire of the Waves (Penguin) and six non-fiction picture books from Scholastic. In 2016, 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.
Dr Richardson has a BA (Hons) in English 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.
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 writing education in Australia, whilst also deepening his research into North Korean educational practices and refugee education outside NK. He has Teacher Accreditation from the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) and extensive classroom experience in NSW.
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 and he remains a lifelong disciple of Roderick West. 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…