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Richard Harland
Richard Harland March 2009.jpg
Born 15 January 1947 (1947-01-15) (age 74)
Huddersfield, United Kingdom
Nationality British
Education BA, English Literature, PhD. Literary Theory
Occupation Novelist

Richard Harland (born 15 January 1947 in Yorkshire) is an English fantasy and science fiction writer, living in New South Wales, Australia. He was born in 1947 in Huddersfield, United Kingdom and migrated to Australia in 1970. He has been an academic, performance artist and writer, publishing 15 full-length works of fiction, three academic books, short stories and poems.

He is the author of the Eddon and Vail science fiction thriller series, the Heaven and Earth young adult fantasy trilogy and the illustrated Wolf Kingdom series for children. He has been awarded the Australian Aurealis Award on five occasions for his fiction.

The Wolf Kingdom series

The Wolf Kingdom Series comprises four illustrated fantasy books, aimed at older pre-adolescents, commencing with Escape! and completed by The Heavy Crown, all published in 2008. Harland wrote the story, and Laura Peterson provided illustrations which head each chapter and are mostly full page. Each tale functions as a self-contained narrative, but the series also interlinks as a larger story arc.

The books were launched in association with the Children's Book Council of Australia.

A race of talking, bipedal wolves have overrun and enslaved humankind, leaving only a determined resistance, known as the "Free Folk", who shelter in a subterranean refuge and plot to liberate themselves from their animal overlords and must discover how these creatures have risen from their former bestial state, to become oppressive rulers of humankind. The books focus on two children, a brother and sister, whose parents are taken by the wolves, and who subsequently join the "Free Folk" and become key to the success of the rebellion. Harland has long been fascinated with wolves; during his childhood in the United Kingdom he passed an ominous wood named 'Wolves Wood' on daily basis in a school bus and this left a marked impression upon him.

The series won the 2008 Aurealis Award for the "best children's illustrated work/picture book" category. In awarding the series an Aurealis the judges, acknowledging the dual work of Harland and his illustrator partner, Laura Peterson, commented: "The illustrations help to bring alive aspects of the story – muscular pictures for a muscular tale. Laura Peterson has shown attention to detail in all the artwork pertaining to the wolves and helps to support the atmosphere of peril that Richard Harland has created."

Awards

Richard Harland has won the following awards:

The Black Crusade

  • 2004 Aurealis Award for Best Horror Novel
  • 2004 Golden Aurealis for Best Novel

"Catabolic Magic"

  • 2004 Aurealis Award for Best Fantasy Short Story (tie with Louise Katz)

"The Greater Death of Saito Saku"

  • 2005 Aurealis Award for Best Fantasy Short Story (tie with Rosaleen Love)

'The Wolf Kingdom series' (Escape!, Under Siege, Race to the Ruins, The Heavy Crown)

  • 2008 Aurealis Award for Best Children's Illustrated Work/Picture Book (with Laura Peterson as Illustrator)

He was guest judge on the 2007 Australian Shadows award.

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