Chris Bell was born in Holyhead, North Wales in 1960.
After working in the UK and Germany variously as a writer for and editor of a music magazine, musician, record company runner and song lyricist, in 1996 Bell published The Bumper Book of Lies, a collection of short stories, several of which had previously been published in periodicals including The Third Alternative, Grotesque, The Heidelberg Review, Transversions, Not One of Us and Takahe. The anthology The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror (10th Annual Edition), which included Bell's story The Cruel Countess, described the collection as 'an impressive debut', while Asimov's Science Fiction  said the book was 'highly recommended'. The book came with a 'recommended soundtrack' featuring a diverse list of songs by Frank Zappa, Steely Dan and others for listening to while reading the book.
Bell's first novel Liquidambar (2003), a surreal take on film noir and 1940s pulp thrillers inspired by the paintings of Edward Hopper, won the 2004 UKA Press international Search for a Great Read competition.
In 2005 Bell edited the 'celebratory booklet' published to coincide with the Russell Hoban Some-Poasyum, an international convention celebrating the novelist's 80th birthday. The booklet included contributions from a number of Hoban enthusiasts and collaborators including Glenda Jackson, Andrew Davies and Sir Harrison Birtwistle.
Bell now lives and works in Auckland, New Zealand.