Richard Harland wrote the first Australian Steampunk novel I recognised as being part of the Steampunk genre: The Black Crusade. We met at a Freecon in Sydney, where I was enchanted by both Richard and his book. Since then, he has gone on to write the Worldshaker series, also in the Steampunk genre. We meet up once in a while at various conferences, usually Supanova. Richard has two of my favourite Steampunk accessories, his hat and his guitar. Like Michael Pryor, he is very approachable and a charming man.
The Black Crusade is both a comedy and a horror story, as well as having the best Steampunk gadgets. It certainly has Absurdist overtones, with some really lurid, technicolour adventures. One of the main characters in the book is Volusia, aka ‘the Australian Songbird’, so there is a strong Australian connection. Though an Englishman by birth, Mr Harland has lived in Australia since 1970.
His website is at: http://www.richardharland.net/