Richard Harland's childhood was spent in various parts of England. At the completion of his schooling he studied at Cambridge University before moving to Australia in 1970 to undertake a Master of Arts degree at Newcastle University. He continued his studies at Sydney University, commencing a PhD on the theory of narrative before moving to the University of New South Wales where he completed a PhD on the development of Structuralism, Semiotics and Poststructuralism. Harland, who became an Australian citizen in 1990, lectured in the English Department of the University of Wollongong and published several books on literary theory before turning to full time creative writing in 1997.
Among Harland's achievements as a speculative fiction author are several prestigious literary awards. In 2004 he was the recipient of three Aurealis Awards - Best Horror Novel and Golden Aurealis Award for Best Novel (for The Black Crusade), and joint winner of the Award for Best Fantasy Short Story ("Catabolic Magic"). In addition to The Black Crusade, which is a prequel to his first published novel The Vicar of Morbing Vyle, Harland's other major works included the trilogies Eddon and Vail (1997-1999) and Heaven and Earth (2000-2003).
Worldshaker2009single work novel young adult science fiction Set in a pseudo-Victorian parallel world, a 'brilliant steam punk fantasy that will hook you from the very first page, set aboard a huge ship in which the elites live on the top decks while the Filthies toil below. Strong writing, a vivid alternative world and characters you'll never forget. (Libraries Australia record)