Galaxies other than the Milky Way are popular settings for creators of science fiction, particularly those working with broad-scale space opera settings. Among the most common settings are the Andromeda Galaxy, the Magellanic Clouds, and the Triangulum Galaxy, all part of the Local Group close to the Milky Way, and in the cases of Andromeda and Triangulum the Local Group's two largest other galaxies. The difficulties involved in crossing the immense distances between galaxies are often overlooked in this type of science fiction.
Much of the fighting in the Revelation Space universe by Alastair Reynolds is caused by one race attempting to prepare the Milky Way for the impending collision with Andromeda, and attempting to wipe out any other race (including humanity) to prevent them interfering.
Also by Alastair Reynolds, the main story in the novel House of Suns revolves around the "absence", where millions of years ago the Andromeda Galaxy was rendered invisible from the point of view of our Galaxy in order that causality, which would normally be broken by attempted super-luminal travel, would not be violated.
In Schlock Mercenary, the Fleetmind Artificial Intelligence character known as Petey (also P.D., Post-Dated Check Loan, Sword of Inevitable Justice, The Rogue) is currently prosecuting a war against the Paan'uri in their home Galaxy of Andromeda.
In the 1961 BBC television series A for Andromeda, co-authored by astronomer Fred Hoyle, a radio signal is received from the direction of the Andromeda Galaxy. The signal contained instructions for building a super-computer, as well as the code needed to make it run. A year later the sequel series The Andromeda Breakthrough was released.
In the 1968 Star Trek episode "By Any Other Name", the starship Enterprise is hijacked by Kelvans, aliens from an empire spanning the Andromeda Galaxy; their home galaxy was approaching an uninhabitable state and thus they aimed to conquer our own. In another episode, I, Mudd, the lead android says their creators were humanoids from "Andromeda".
The second season of the 1970s anime series Space Battleship Yamato (known as Star Blazers to Western audiences) featured the Comet Empire, a massive empire contained in an artificial comet, which sought to conquer Earth after having enslaved the entire Andromeda Galaxy.
The television series Blake's 7 included a battle between Blake's ship (the Liberator) and invaders from the galaxy.
In the Renkin 3-kyū Magical? Pokān episode "The Spell of Dreams is Magic That Lasts One Day," Aiko has Umu use the magical Happy Chalk to draw a galactic train that could take them to the Andromeda Galaxy as one of Aiko's attempts to gain a human body since she has heard about something like this happening there before. Uma draws up the galactic train and they end up riding it to the Andromeda Galaxy even getting there faster when Uma drew a turbo boose enough for a trip due to the effects of the Happy Chalk lasting until the end of the day's first use. Upon landing on a planet in the Andromeda Galaxy, Uma, Pachira, Liru, and Aiko head to the area near Andromeda Tanashi where a robot would gain a real body or vice versa. It turns out that it takes a full day in order for the body changing to occur. The princesses leave and Aiko now knows that what she heard about the Andromeda Galaxy was true all along.
In Ben 10: Ultimate Alien, there is a small group of 5 aliens (An Orishan named Bivalvan, a Geochelone Aerios named Galapagus, a Prypiatosian-B named P'andor, a Talpaedan named Andreas, and an Amperi named Ra'ad) kidnapped from the Andromeda Galaxy by Aggregor.
In "District 9" the "prawns" are from the Andromeda Galaxy.
In "Julestjerner", a Danish Christmas show consisting of 25 episodes, alien travelers looking like elves visit the earth to bring happiness and peace. These travellers are from the andromeda galaxy
In the Sega video game series Phantasy Star, the instruction booklet of the first game states that the Algol Solar System is located deep in the Andromeda Galaxy (while the real Algol is only about 90 light years away from us)
In Star Trek Online, the alien race known as the Iconians are revealed to have a Gateway network and a Dyson Sphere in the Andromeda Galaxy, which is where they have been hiding since fleeing their homeworld in the Milky Way. Once their invasion of the Milky Way begins, the sphere teleports itself there.
In Star Ocean: Till the End of Time the Andromeda Galaxy is referenced when a message regarding the "closing" of the Milky Way Galaxy server is issued to all Eternal Sphere players. Due to the player party's emergence into 4D space from the Milky Way server of the Eternal Sphere MMO, all current players in that server are advised to relocate to the Andromeda server, which houses its titular galaxy.
The Andromeda galaxy has also featured heavily in the central theme of Enigma's sixth album A Posteriori, in which a collision involving the Milky Way is prophesied to occur in the distant future. The most explicit reference to this appears at the album's close with a doom-laden yet mysterious statement, suggesting a collision of the galaxies will give rise to a "new, gigantic cosmic world" being born.
The Andromeda Galaxy as M31 (its Messier catalog designation) appears in the song Out of the White Hole of the album Flight of the Migrator by Ayreon. There the protagonist after, in the two previous songs of the album, falling into a supermassive black hole located in the center of the quasar3C 273 and crossing a wormhole located on it, finds and explores the Planet Y, that it's located on Andromeda, before leaving towards Earth.
In the children's book and animated series Alien Characters, aliens from the Large Magellanic Cloud come together aboard The Celestial Breeze Space Ship and its companion planet Elizabeth with a mission to create a relationship with the aliens of the Milky Way Galaxy. The first 3 series are set within The Large Magellanic Cloud with much of the fourth series spent travelling across the void to the Milky Way Galaxy. Further series refer to regularly flash jumping between the galaxies.
In Olaf Stapledon's 1937 science fiction novel Star Maker, there is a group of aliens that live in the Large Magellanic Cloud called the Symbiotics, a super-intelligent symbiotic race composed of telepathically linkedarachnoid beings and whale-like ichthyoid beings. The "Symbiotics" are the most advanced intelligent life in the Milky Way Galaxy and its satellite galaxies. The reason is because they combine the manipulative tool-using intelligence of the arachnoids with the contemplative meditative and mathematicalintelligence of the ichthyoids. The "Symbiotics" travel in starships equipped with tanks of water for the ichthyoids and piloted by the arachnoids. They conduct vast terraforming projects, terraforming planets in numerous different planetary systems. They also construct large artificial planetoids, hollow spheres filled with water inhabited on the inside by the icthyoids and on the surface by the arachnoids. They have the most advanced and powerful telepathic powers of any race in our galaxy and its satellites and are thus able to stop the War of Galactic Empires within the Milky Way Galaxy by telepathically attacking the military forces of the various Galactic Empires and causing them to have doubts about imperialism. This causes the various Imperial military forces to become totally disorganized. The Galaxy is led into a new era of galactic peace supervised by the democratic and communistic Galactic Community of Worlds, which emerges after the fall of the Galactic Empires.
The Large Magellanic Cloud is the destination of the spacecraft Yamato in the first season of the 1970s anime series Space Battleship Yamato (known as Space Cruiser Yamato or Star Blazers to Western audiences). The LMC is the host galaxy for the destination, Iscandar, and the home planet of the alien force attacking Earth, Gamilas. The Yamato must use an untested faster-than-light drive to make the 296,000 light year round trip in one Earth year.
In Scientology, these are said to be literal clouds. They are involved in the fictional story of Helatrobus.
In Marvel Comics, the Large Magellanic Cloud is home to the Kree empire but its territory may extend into other galaxies.
In Arthur C Clarke's novel Rendezvous with Rama, the giant spaceship Rama is at the end directed towards the Large Magellanic Cloud. Its journey through the solar system was apparently just to use the Sun to refuel and as a gravitational slingshot.
In A. E. van Vogt's Mission to the Stars an Earth's Spaceship, the Star Cluster, is searching for the long lost human colonies of the Fifty Suns.
In The Forever War, a 1974 science fiction novel by Joe Haldeman, a significant battle takes place on a 'collapsar' portal planet in the Large Magellanic Cloud.
In James Blish's series Cities in Flight, hero John Amalfi and the New Earth planet escape to the Greater Magellenic Cloud to avoid unjust prosecution for an atrocity.
In the Robert Silverberg novel, Collision Course, a wayward space ship trying to fly back to Earth gets lost in "null-space" and ends up emerging into normal space within the Large Magellanic Cloud; the captain suggests they find a permanent home there as their chances of getting home are extremely remote and they are fortunate to have dropped into normal space within a galaxy. Ultimately, they are returned to the Milky Way by sympathetic, superior aliens. The Milky Way galaxy is easily visible, evoking a feeling of loneliness and separation when the crew realize they're looking at their home galaxy.
In the game Infinite Space, the main character flees to the Large Magellanic Cloud after the civilizations of the Small Magellanic Cloud are taken over by an invading empire. Most of the second half of the game is spent in this galaxy.
In Halo, the parasitic Flood was said to have come from Large Magellanic Cloud on ancient cargo ships. In the novel Halo: Silentium, Forerunners (who called it "Path Kethona") were revealed to have chased the surviving Precursors during a Forerunner war and ruthlessly killed off nearly the entire species to the Magellanic Cloud. The Forerunners that committed this act were ashamed and lived the rest of their lives on a planet in the Magellanic Cloud.
In two Star Trek books from Pocket Books - The Lost Era: The Sundered and Titan: The Red King, the Small Magellanic Cloud is home to the Neyel, an offshoot of humanity who dominated several species native to the Cloud.
In the Star Fleet Universe, the Small Magellanic Cloud (referred to in that setting as the Lesser Magellanic Cloud) is home to a number of starfaring empires; such as the Baduvai Imperium, the Eneen Protectorates and the Maghadim Hives. All of these empires were conquered by the Andromedans, who then used the Cloud as a jumping off point into the Milky Way. The Cloud was eventually liberated from Andromedan rule in Operation Unity; a coalition of task forces sent by the Federation, Klingons and other Alpha Octant powers.
In Dan Simmons' Hyperion series, the planet Earth is thought swallowed up by a black hole but is actually transported to somewhere within the Lesser Magellanic Cloud.
In Larry Niven's Ringworld novels, the Puppeteers are fleeing the Milky Way core explosion in the five planet Fleet of Worlds. They are heading in the general direction of the Magellanic Clouds at sublight speed.
In the Star Fleet Universe, the Triangulum Galaxy was once dominated by a now-defunct precursor empire; the civil war, which tore the Old Empire asunder, left two major successor states (the loyalist Imperium and the rebel Frigian Kingdom) picking up the pieces. Another elder species, the Helgardians, appeared in M33 at the same time; in the modern era, an array of younger powers (such as the Mallaran Empire) would emerge on the back of Helgardian-traded warp technology.
In the Orion's Arm universe, the Triangulum galaxy is home to the only known extra-galactic civilization, having sent a powerful warning message about a massive artificial object heading towards the local group several million years ago.
In the 2004 Iain M. Banks novel The Algebraist, the Triangulum Nebula was the starting point of the Long Crossing, a 30-million-year journey undertaken by the Dweller civilization to return to the world of Nasqueron where much of the novel is set.
In the Crysis video game series, the alien antagonists, named the "Ceph", originate from this galaxy.
The 2000 computer game Gunman Chronicles takes place in M33, where humanity has established multiple colonies and has the ability to trigger supernovae.
In March 2012 the news satire website The Onion reported that a fleet of warships from the planet Zarklan 12 in the Triangulum Galaxy has arrived at Earth to intervene in the Syrian War on the side of the Syrian rebel alliance. "Supreme Emperor and Dynastic Overlord Thuu'l", the Onion reported, is disturbed by Earth's apathy toward the massacres of innocent Syrians.
The Whirlpool Galaxy or M51 was used as the basis for the galaxy in which the story of the Homeworld series of games takes place. The original Homeworld game takes the player on a journey from the galaxy's outer rim to its core; this is accurately illustrated by the background images as the game campaign progresses.
The Whirlpool Galaxy appears in the video game, Ōkami where it is summoned by the main character, Amaterasu, to create a whirlpool in the ocean that she uses to travel to an aquatic palace.
M51 also features in the Wingmakers.com mythology, in which it is said to be the home galaxy of an extremely advanced synthetic race (called 'the Animus'), who invade earth in the early part of the twenty-first century in order to conduct genetic experiments.
In the fictional Star Fleet Universe, M81 is the home galaxy for a number of star-faring species, including the Tholians (who conquered that galaxy and ruled it for many centuries), the Nebuline (one of the Tholians' former enemies, whose remaining nebula-bound colonies laid the groundwork for M81 piracy.) and the Seltorians (the last of a series of enforcer species for the Tholians; their Revolt virtually exterminated the Tholians as a people, and their subsequent Tribunal fleets pursued exile Tholians to other galaxies, such as the Milky Way ) and the Bolosco (some of whom established themselves in the Omega Octant of the Milky Way).
Part of the Lensman series by E. E. Smith takes place in Lundmark's Nebula. This is a clear reference to astronomer Knut Lundmark whose particular area of specialization was the study of galaxies, and may refer to the Wolf-Lundmark-Melotte Galaxy. — albeit this hypothesis would be contradicted by the series establishing material stating that "Lundmark's Nebula" and the Milky Way Galaxy collided "edge-on" during the "planet-forming era, as well as by stated discrepancies in the books regarding distances and structures compared to the real Wolf-Lundmark-Melotte."
Murray Leinster's novel The Last Spaceship has escapees from our galaxy founding a new civilization in a remote galaxy.
The Stargate movie and television series feature several fictional galaxies, including the Kaliem galaxy (a vague reference to the constellation Caelum, perhaps), in which the planet Abydos is located in the film (this was later retconned to be in the Milky Way), and the Ida galaxy, home of the Asgard alien species. The Ori in Stargate SG-1 come from another unnamed galaxy that's in a different supercluster of Galaxies, and use the Supergate to travel to the Milky Way galaxy.
In Marvel Comics, the Shi'arImperium is within a region referred to as the "Shi'ar Galaxy" and is controlled by the Shi'ar race. As this region is said to be situated close to the Skrull and Kree Empires mentioned above, and is one of the three main alien empires of the Marvel Universe, the Shi'ar empire may actually be the Triangulum Galaxy or one of the many dwarf galaxies within the Local Group. The Black Galaxy is the home of Ego the Living Planet.
In Power Rangers: Lost Galaxy, Terra Venture and the Lost Galaxy Rangers travel to the 'Lost Galaxy', a galaxy that seems to exist outside our dimension and which can only be reached by portal. After many adventures in this galaxy Terra Venture and the Rangers escape the Lost Galaxy through a portal opened by reciting the Lost Galaxy Spell backwards.
In the book Skylark of Valeron (part of the Skylark of Space series by E. E. Smith), the protagonists visit another galaxy after being rotated through the fourth dimension and visit a number of different galaxies in the last book in the series, Skylark DuQuesne.
The finale of the 2007 anime series Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann features the titular mecha as being larger than a galaxy, and capable of wielding small galaxies as deadly projectiles.
In Space Battleship Yamato (also known as Star Blazers), the final major battle before reaching Gamilas/Iscandar is said to occur in what the characters call "The Rainbow Galaxy". However, onscreen, this looked more like a group of planetary masses than an actual galaxy. Presumably, the name comes from the different color of the different planets. This designation was only used in the English language Star Blazers. In the original Japanese Yamato, it was properly called the Rainbow System.
In the lore of space MMORPG EVE Online humanity has colonized a distant galaxy named "New Eden", where the game takes place.