Lake was born in India and lived there until the age of sixteen when he went to England to read English at Trinity College, Cambridge. Following his studies Lake taught in England for about ten years and then continued teaching in various countries of South-East Asia.
In 1967 he took up a lectureship at the University of Queensland where he initiated a course in science fiction. He became an Australian citizen in 1975. Since his retirement in 1994, Lake has been working predominantly on editing scholarly editions of the novels of H. G. Wells.
Lake's published essays include 'White Sphinx and Albino Griffin: Images of Death in the Scientific Romances of H. G. Wells' (Steller Gauge, 1980).
The Changelings of Chaan1985single work novel young adult fantasy "A story set in a mythical southeast Asian Kingdom of Chaan. John, a young English boy is befriended by the son of a Chaanish prince, and the two use their psychic powers to recover a long-lost treasure from another world." (Source: Trove)