STEM-inist Fiction: Five Fictional Heroines of Science

National Women’s Day takes place during March, read on for 5 of my favorite fiction titles featuring extraordinary women in the STEM fields!

Author's Corner Female Voices Fiction Recommendations Science Fiction
Faded pink background with a ink sketch of the back of a woman, sitting. Three book covers are shown for The Chemist by Stephanie Meyer, The Rose Code by Kate Quinn, and The Recovery Agent by Janet Evanovich.

International Women’s Day (observed on March 8th every year) celebrates the achievements of women across all fields and calls for the promotion of gender equality. And what better areas to celebrate where women have made significant contributions and innovations than the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields. Facing many challenges and barriers in pursuing careers in STEM, it is important to have positive female role models and inspiring stories that showcase the potential and passion of women. Read on as I introduce you to five of my favorite books in the fiction section that feature extraordinary women in the sciences.

background is a soft cranberry pink color, with some lighter pink circle/bubbles. There are a variety of diverse female figures - features vague. Across the top it says, in a light peach color, "International Women's Day 8th March."

March 8th is National Women’s Day

Why not celebrate National Women’s Day this month with a sci-fi reading list full of beautiful female leads dominating the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics? These riveting stories are my favorites in the growing trend of STEM-inist fiction!

The Chemist by Stephanie Meyer

They’re Hunting Her….and She’s Lying in Wait.

Cover with a white background and black smoke or ink spreading through the middle from top to bottom. Across the top is white letters it says National Bestseller. Below that in red text it says, they're coming for her. She's ready for them. In the center of the cover in yellow text it says the title, The Chemist, and below that in white text among the black part of the background it says the author is Stephanie Meyer. Below that in yellow text again it says, Author of the Twilight saga. Across the bottom of the cover in white text is a quote from USA Today saying "Engrossing...Consistently fast-paced fun."

As a molecular biologist who invented chemical agents to torture and interrogate people, Dr. Juliana Fortis finds herself on the run from her former employer. A government operative is sending agent after agent to silence her. Moving from place to place, always in disguise and off-grid, she rigs traps and explosives using self-created chemical weapons every day like a strict routine and sleeps in the tub with a gas mask on every night. And her mind is not the only thing she has to rely on. Her training came with physical skills and weapons knowledge, enabling her to survive and fight like any soldier — only soldiers don’t have chemical boobytraps hidden all over their bodies. She’s tempted back by her old handler for that “one last job” in exchange for her freedom and — of course! — it all spins wildly beyond her meticulous preparation. The Chemist is full of non-stop action, espionage, romance, betrayal, and unlikely alliances.

The First Harm by Steven Piskula

A Thrilling Medical Conspiracy

Cover with a blueish green background with beads of moelcules forming a chain running through it. In the foreground is the silhouette of a woman from the shoulders up, and in the silhouette is shadowy scene of a woman with long hair running down a street with a metro city landscape behind her. In large yellow text across 3/4 of the cover is the title, The First Harm. Below that on the right it says, A thriller. On the left of that are 4 stickers for various awards. Across the bottom in white text is the author Steven Piskula.

Tanna is a smart and ambitious first-year medical student who discovers the cadaver in her class has unsettling genetic abnormalities. Following her own suspicions and instincts, she uncovers a deadly conspiracy to create genetically enhanced humans, and now she and her friend are the next targets. On the run from a ruthless killer and his employer, Tanna uses her wits and her medical skills to survive and expose the truth. A true medical thriller, The First Harm also has the exciting elements of crime and spy novels, with a twist of biotechnology in a realistic and deadly plot.

The Recovery Agent by Janet Evanovich

Move Over, Lara Croft — There’s a New Tomb Raider in Town!

Cover showing the backside silhouette of an adventurous and capable woman. The cover suggests she's in something like a jungle finding something interesting that is beyond the bright orange glow around her. The cover is reminiscent of Lara Croft in Tomb Raider. The words are all in white or yellow. Across the top are the words New York Times Bestseller. Across the middle it says the author is Janet Evanovich and the title is called The Recovery Agent. And across the bottom it says A new adventure begins, then a quote by Lee Child saying, "Tense, suspenseful, funny, and wise- no one does it better than Evanovich."

This brand-new series features the hot new heroine-on-the-block Gabriela Rose, a professional treasure hunter and tomb raider who uses the sciences and technologically advanced gadgets to get what she needs. And her latest job brings her…. back home. To save her family home and its neighbors after a devastating hurricane, her own family hires her to find a legendary artifact using an old relative’s long-lost map. There’s just one catch — her ex-husband Rafer has the map! Under a reluctant alliance, they embark on a high-risk journey across Peru, combing through cults, drug lords, and ancient mysteries to decode puzzles and decipher secret clues. While The Recovery Agent is a wild adventure with fast-paced action, it is also a story full of humor and wit.

The Rose Code by Kate Quinn

The Everlasting Friendship of Codebreaking Besties

Rich gold tapestry background with a regal woman in a dark pink dress and fancy up-do hairstyle standing before it, back turned to the reader. Across the top it says New York Times Bestselling Author of The Alice Network Kate Quinn. Across the middle it says the title, The Rose Code. And A Novel is written on the bottom left in small lettering.

This historical fiction story starts with World War II at top-secret Bletchley Park, where Olsa, Mab, and Beth work as codebreakers and weave back and forth with their lives after the war. Although from vastly different backgrounds, they form the Mad Hatters Tea Party book club and an unshakable friendship. As their lives are changed by the war, they also uncover a traitor on the inside who has been sabotaging the facility and passing information to the enemy. Two years after the war is over, one of them sends a coded message to her two besties pleading for help to prove her innocence and catch the real betrayer. Their only lead is a book of poems filled with a series of hidden clues. Blending action and suspense together, The Rose Code offers codebreaking science, romance, historical details, and good ol’ puzzle solvin’!

The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren

If DNA Analysis Was the Science for Finding True Love

Book cover with a dark blue background. There is a double helix DNA strand fading yellow to green to blue and ending in a heart shape on top. The title is show in the middle and the author's name is shown across the top: The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren. It shows a quote by Jodi Picoult over a yellow strip on the right, saying "I loved, loved, loved The Soulmate Equation."

Ok, so what list like mine is complete without one of those sexy contemporary romance titles? Freelance statistician Jess is skeptical but curious when she signs up for a DNA-based dating app that claims to match people together based on genetics. She is 98 percent matched to the founder and CEO of the company, an extraordinary scientist himself. Despite their initial misunderstandings and differences, they do develop an attraction. Evaluating his data and challenging his scientific claims at every turn, they overcome various life obstacles and fall in love — even if the numbers weren’t entirely accurate. Written under the pen name of two best friends, The Soulmate Equation mixes wit, science, and love to create a humorous and engaging story.

Whether they are cracking codes, finding soulmates, chasing criminals, saving lives, or escaping danger, these heroines demonstrate the power and diversity of women in STEM. They also inspire us to pursue our own dreams and passions, regardless of the challenges we may face. This International Women’s Day, let us celebrate and support women in the sciences who are making a difference in the world. We can do anything as long as we have curiosity, creativity, and courage.

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