Although born in Melbourne, Victoria, Chris Lawson spent a number of years in New Guinea, where his father worked as a biologist on a crocodile farm and his mother studied the psychology of personal identity in the local community. An avid reader in his childhood, Lawson can't remember a time when he didn't want to be a writer, and recalls that his first completed story was a science-fiction horror narrative involving tentacled alien invaders and an motorcycle chase action scene. While studying medicine in Melbourne, he worked as a service station attendant and a computer programmer. In 1985, he also appeared in a minor role in Troy Kennedy Martin's Edge of Darkness. After completing his medical degree and working his way through internship, residency, obstetrics, paediatrics, neuro-rehab, general practice, a job with a multinational pharmaceutical company, and a short period of time working in fringe medicine, Lawson returned to general practice, the field that he has since specialised in.
During his years as a student and doctor, Lawson continued to develop his writing skills, before realising that his niche would be to combine his knowledge of medicine, philosophy and ethics with his passion for science fiction. His early short stories were published in the Australian science fiction and fantasy journal Eidolon (q.v.), while his first professional sale, 'Unborn Again', was accepted into the World Fantasy Award-winning anthology Dreaming Down-Under. 'Unborn Again' was later re-published in Event Horizon and the Dozois Year's Best Science Fiction anthology, and was listed in the Year's Best Fantasy and Horror reading list. He found success again with 'Written in Blood', which first appeared in Asimov's Science Fiction and was reprinted in both the Dozois and the Hartwell Year's Best anthologies.
Lawson's later works demonstrate his desire to move away from har- core biological science fiction. They include 'Chinese Rooms'; 'Lacey's Fingerprints', a police mystery; 'Faster, Higher, Stronger'; and 'No Man's Land', a story about elite athletes, co-written with Simon Brown (q.v.).
'Chris Lawson’s “Body Parts” provides both a history of anatomy and a reflection on changing social, ethical etc. attitudes towards human flesh as both a physical and metaphysical entity' (Tim Kroenert, Australian Speculative Fiction in Focus).