Biofiction: Public Health Edition



CBHD often receives requests from educators and other individuals for popular resources that engage bioethics through various media (fiction, film, and television). In this resource, we offer an overview of materials relevant to public health in fictional books and series. Readers are cautioned that these works represent a wide variety of genres and may not be appropriate for all audiences. If there is a work you think we missed, email us at


Public Health

  • Bova, Ben. The Immortality Factor (Tor, 2009)
    • Researcher Arthur Marshak has developed a potential means to cure spinal cord injuries and regenerate limbs and organs. The novel follows the personal and public firestorm that erupts when Marshak submits his ideas for scrutiny before a court of science. (Topics: Regenerative Medicine, Stem Cell Research, Research Ethics, Global Healthcare Access and Disparities, Biotechnology and Politics)
  • Brown, Dan. Inferno (Doubleday, 2013)
    • In this latest installment, esteemed Harvard professor Robert Langdon finds himself in a life and death mystery in the streets of Florence to track down a rogue geneticist bent on releasing a bioterror attack as his final answer to the impending "population bomb," and inaugurate a transhuman future. (Topics: Bioterrorism, Genetic Engineering/Gene Therapy, Population Control, Public Health, Transhumanism)
  • Cline, Ernest. Ready Player One (Broadway Books, 2012)
    • (Topics: Emerging Technology, Neuroethics, Technology & Society, Virtual Reality)
  • Dashner, James. The Maze Runner Series 
    • The Maze Runner (Reprint edition, Delacort Press, 2010).
    • The Scorch Trials (Reprint edition, Delacort Press, 2011).
    • The Death Cure (Delacort Press, 2013).
    • The Kill Order (Reprint edition, Delacort Press, 2014).
    • (Topics: Biotechnology, Bioterrorism, Disaster Ethics, Neuroethics, Public Health, Research Ethics) 
  • Grant, Mira. Parasitology Trilogy
    • Parasite (Orbit, 2013)
    • Symbiont (Orbit, 2014)
    • Chimera (Orbit, 2015)
    • (Topics: Bioterrorism, Biotechnology, Chimera/Cybrid, Disaster Ethics, Genetic Engineering, Human Enhancement, Informed Consent, Neuroethics, Personhood, Radical Life Extension, Regenerative Medicine, Research Ethics, Transhumanism/Posthumanism)
  • Polansky, Stephen. The Bradbury Report: A Novel (Weinstein, 2010)
    • Pseudonymous chronicle of Raymond Bradbury, a retired teacher in New England, who encounters his copy (Alan) - A human clone who has been created as part of the U.S. government's solution to the developing healthcare crisis by creating a ready supply of spare organs. Ray's copy is the first known escape from the heavily guarded government cloning farms, and Ray is brought into a conspiracy to help Alan evade government capture. (Topics: Euthanasia/Assisted Suicide, Healthcare Ethics, Human Cloning, Organ Trafficking, Personhood)



Updated Summer 2019