12 Days of Christmas – Richard Harland

We welcome another wonderful contributor to these 12 Days of Christmas … Richard Harland, who has a quirky sense of humour, is a wonderful writer and has a very interesting Christmas memory impacted by a long plane trip which I can completely relate to this morning! Super having Richard along.

richard harland


My strangest ever Xmas was many years ago, after my girlfriend and I came back from a long holiday in Europe. We flew with Malaysian Air, and maybe it wasn’t their fault, only the fault of the fog – but we were bused back and forth from one UK airport to another, and by the time we got back where we’d started –  Heathrow – they very generously told us they were going to feed us a meal by way of compensation. Accommodation and a bed would have been more use! We almost had a revolution  on the spot – we were one very angry bunch of passengers!

Anyway, our original plane finally took off twenty-four hours late, and we arrived back in Sydney having not slept for two full days. That was on Xmas Eve, and we were like zombies in the taxi home. We couldn’t wait to get back to our shared house and drop into bed. Zzzzz-zzzz!

When we woke up, it was already quite late in the morning – we thought we must’ve slept in. We headed downstairs for the Xmas Day festivities, hoping everyone hadn’t started without us. Guess what? It was Boxing Day! We’d more than slept in, we’d missed Xmas completely!

We still did presents ourselves, of course, and ate yesterday’s leftovers, but it wasn’t the same somehow. That was the year of the Christmas that never was!


Richard Harland lives in Figtree near Wollongong, NSW and has been a folk-rock musician, poet and university lecturer, but after twenty-five years of writer’s block, I finally became what I always wanted to be – a writer of fantasy fiction! My latest YA steampunk novels have been my biggest international successes yet. He’s won 6 Aurealis Awards, the Tam Tam Je Bouquine Award in France, and the A. Bertram Chandler Award for lifetime contribution to Australian SF and fantasy. His latest book(s) are WorldshakerLiberator and The Song of the Slums and more is revealed at Richard’s website: www.richardharland.net

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