The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, a 10th-century Japanese folktale, tells of a mysterious Moon Princess growing up on Earth as the adopted daughter of a bamboo cutter and his wife, dazzling human Princes and the Emperor himself with her beauty, and finally going back to her people at "The Capital of the Moon" (Tsuki-no-Miyako 月の都), leaving many broken hearts on Earth. It is among the first texts of any culture assuming the Moon to be an inhabited world and describing travel between it and the Earth.
John Heywood's Proverbes (1546) coined the famous phrase that "The moon is made of a greene cheese", "greene" meaning "not aged", but Heywood was probably being sarcastic.
One of the earliest fictional flights to the Moon took place on the pages of Ludovico Ariosto's well-known Italianromanticepic "Orlando furioso" (1516). The protagonist Orlando, having been thwarted in love, goes mad with despair and rampages through Europe and Africa, destroying everything in his path. The English knight Astolfo, seeking to find a cure for Orlando's madness, flies up to the Moon in Elijah's flaming chariot. In this depiction, the Moon is where everything lost on earth is to be found, including Orlando's wits, and Astolfo brings them back in a bottle and makes Orlando sniff them, thus restoring him to sanity.
In the Great Moon Hoax of 1835, a newspaper reporter concocted a series of stories purporting to describe the discovery of life on the Moon, talking of such creatures as winged humanoids and goats.
Roverandom by J.R.R. Tolkien was written in 1925 to console his son Michael, then four years old, for the loss of a beloved toy dog. In the story, the dog has flown to the Moon and had a whole series of amusing adventures there. The story was only published posthumously. In addition, Isil and the guidesman Tilion in J. R. R. Tolkien's fictional Middle-earth cosmology are based in Tolkien's familiarity with Norse and Gaelic myths of the moon.
Doctor Dolittle in the Moon (1928) was intended to be the last of Hugh Lofting's Doctor Dolittle books. The Doctor, with his unique ability to communicate with animals, arrived in the Moon on the back of a giant moth and finds a considerably different kind of fauna (for example, Moon insects are far bigger than the local birds), and more startlingly, intelligent plants whose language he learns (as he never did with earthly plants). He also meets the Moon's single human inhabitant, a prehistoric man who has grown into an enormous giant due to lunar foods and conditions (which soon happens to the doctor himself). But it is doubtful whether he would ever be allowed to return to Earth.
Lucian's Icaromenippus and True History, written in the 2nd century AD, deal with imaginary voyages to the moon such as on a fountain after going past the Pillars of Hercules. The theme did not become popular until the 17th century, however, when the invention of the telescope hastened the popular acceptance of the concept of "a world in the Moon", that is, that the Moon was an inhabitable planet, which might be reached via some sort of aërial carriage. The concept of another world, close to our own and capable of looking down at it from a distance, provided ample scope for satirical comments on the manners of the Earthly world. Among the early stories dealing with this concept are:
The Dream (Somnium) (1634) by Johannes Kepler (written before 1610, but not published during Kepler's life). An Icelandic voyager is transported to the Moon by aërial demons; an occasion for Kepler to offer some of his astronomical theories in the guise of fiction.
In Les Exilés de la Terre (Exiled from Earth, 1887), by Paschal Grousset (writing as André Laurie), a Sudanese mountain composed of pure iron ore is converted into a huge electro-magnet and catapulted to the Moon where the protagonists have various adventures.
The First Men in The Moon (1901) by H. G. Wells in which a spaceship gets to the moon with the aid of Cavorite -a material which shields out gravity. It is inhabited by insect-like Selenites who are ruled by a Grand Lunar, and who prevent Cavor from returning to Earth after learning of humanity's warlike nature.
Na srebrnym globie [The Silver Globe] (1903), by Polish writer Jerzy Żuławski in which a first expedition from Earth gives birth to a lunar society. The story was continued in Zwycięzca [The Conqueror] (1910) and Stara Ziemia [The Old Earth] (1911). This so-called Lunar Trilogy was the first modern Polish SF story. It was adapted to the screen as On the Silver Globe by Andrzej Żuławski.
Trends is a 1939 short story by Isaac Asimov in which religious fanatics oppose a fictional first flight to the Moon in the 1970s.
"Requiem" 1940. A lyrical story about Harriman, the man who financed the first Moon landing (see also "The Man Who Sold the Moon", below).
Rocket Ship Galileo 1947. A physicist and several prodigy teenagers convert a sub-orbital rocket ship to reach the moon where they are profoundly surprised and have to act quickly to deal with a malignant menace.
"Columbus Was a Dope", as Lyle Monroe, 1947. In a bar on the Moon, a chance encounter reveals both deep and practical attitudes about space exploration.
"The Long Watch" (aka "Rebellion on the Moon", 1948). An officer in charge of a nuclear arsenal on the Moon makes tough decisions.
"Gentlemen, Be Seated!", 1948. A dangerous leak develops in a lunar tunnel and the men devise a unique way to deal with it until a repair can be made.
"The Man Who Sold the Moon", a 1949 short story, first published in 1951. In this story, a prequel to "Requiem" (above), events revolve around a fictional first Moon landing in 1978.
"Nothing Ever Happens on the Moon", 1949. A 21st-century Boy Scout on the Moon encounters numerous hazards and predicaments in a bid to earn Eagle Scout (Moon).
The Rolling Stones 1952. The exceptional Stone family lives on the moon and after extensive background and preparation of their own ship they depart to tour and live in the Solar System.
"The Menace From Earth", 1957. A lunar teenage girl's romance is disrupted by a newcomer. Extensive descriptions, most noteworthy is the muscle-power flying in a huge sealed cavern.
"Searchlight", 1962. A short-short piece about a rescue on the Moon.
The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress (1966). In this Hugo Award winning novel, the moon is a penal colony, especially for political prisoners and their descendants. They revolt for independence from Earth-based control. The novel discusses issues of sustainability, health, transportation, family organization, artificial intelligence, and political governance.
The Cat Who Walks Through Walls 1985. About a third of the book takes place on a Free Luna that is a continuation of the Luna in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (TMiaHM above). Free-enterprise is rampant Luna City is called L-City. Hazel Stone from The Rolling Stones and TMiaHM appears.
In C. S. Lewis's That Hideous Strength (1945), the Moon (Sulva) is described as being home to a race of extreme eugenicists. On the near side, the elite caste seems to have dispensed with organic existence altogether, by some means never clearly described; the only holdouts against this trend are an embattled minority on the far side. The response of the characters to this state of affairs varies according to their status: Professor Filostrato, of the wicked N.I.C.E., considers the Sulvans "[a] great race, further advanced than we", while the Christian champion Elwin Ransom describes them as "an accursed people, full of pride and lust."
The Matthew Looney series of children's books by Jerome Beatty Jr (written 1961 - 1978) is an amusing set of stories about an inhabited Moon whose government is intent on invading the Earth.
The Lathe of Heaven (1971) by Ursula K. Le Guin. In one of the alternate realities in the novel lunar bases are established by 2002, only to be attacked by aliens from Aldebaran (who in another reality turn out to be benign).
Dark, Dark Were the Tunnels (1974) by George R. R. Martin. This story takes place on Earth, devastated by nuclear war 500 years earlier and being explored by descendants of a small remnant of humanity that survived on a lunar colony.
Inherit the Stars (1977) by James P. Hogan is the first book of the Minervan Experiment series. The Moon turns out to have previously orbited Minerva, a planet that exploded to form the asteroid belt 50,000 years ago.
The Lunatics (1988) by Kim Stanley Robinson. A group of enslaved miners forced to work under the lunar surface launch a rebellion.
Lunar Descent by Allen Steele (1991) Set in 2024, the novel describes a base called Descartes Station.
Transmigration of Souls (1996) by William Barton. An expedition from a moon base discovers an alien base with technology that allows teleportation and time travel. ISBN 0-446-60167-5.
Ice (2002) by Shane Johnson. A fictional Apollo 19 mission takes a disastrous turn when the LM ascent engine fails to fire. The astronauts then set out on their own as far as their new heavy lunar rover will take them. Their exploration leads miraculously to an ancient—but still functioning—lunar base.
The Moonrise and Moonwar books by Ben Bova tell the story of a lunar base built by an American corporation, which eventually rebels against Earth control. The books form part of the "Grand Tour" series.
In the Hyperion stories by Dan Simmons, the Moon is one of several hundred colonized celestial bodies; however, it is left almost entirely abandoned as 99% of the existing colonized planets are preferable to the moon.
Frau im Mond ("Woman in the Moon", 1929), written and directed by Fritz Lang. Based on the novel Die Frau im Mond (1928) by Lang's then-wife and collaborator Thea von Harbou, translated in English as The Rocket to the Moon (1930). The film was released in the USA as By Rocket to the Moon, and in the UK as Woman in the Moon. A silent movie often considered to be one of the first "serious" science fiction films, in which the basics of rocket travel were presented to a mass audience for the first time.
Things to Come (1936) was an early science fiction film and featured a spacecraft sending two people on the first manned flight around the moon launched into space by a space gun in the year 2036.
Moon Zero Two (1969). Billed as a 'space western', this Hammer Films production followed shortly after 2001: A Space Odyssey. In the year 2021 the moon is in the process of being colonized, and this new frontier is attracting a diverse group of people.
Star Trek: First Contact (1996). By the 24th century there were approximately 50 million people living on the moon, and on a clear day, at least two cities and man-made Lake Armstrong were visible from Earth - as such, time-traveler William Riker, sitting in the cockpit of the first warp prototype, marvels at the sight of the "unspoiled" moon in 2063.
Titan A.E. (2000). When an evil alien race called the Drej destroys Earth, huge chunks of the Earth collide with the Moon and break it in half.
The Time Machine (2002). The moon is destroyed by human efforts at colonization in 2037. The film is not specific as to how exactly it occurs, but the use of nuclear weapons for creating underground caverns is cited as a cause. The destruction causes humanity to divide into Morlocks and Eloi.
Wall-E (2008) depicts human colonization on the moon by the early 22nd century.
Moon (2009) Film about a solitary lunar employee mining for new energy resources who experiences a personal crisis as the end of his three-year contract nears. It is the feature debut of director Duncan Jones starring Sam Rockwell.
UFO (1970). A moonbase is used as the launch site for interceptor spacecraft sent to destroy invading alien spaceships.
Space: 1999 (ITC Entertainment, 1975–1977). Featured "Moonbase Alpha" on a Moon that had been blasted out of its orbit by a nuclear explosion at phenomenal velocity. The opening episode indicates that the base coordinated nuclear waste disposal, spaceflight operations and training, and subsequent episodes suggest mining, surface surveys and exploration, indicating a versatile base for multiple use, overseen by an international organization on Earth, the "International Lunar Commission".
Star Cops (1987). The titular police force has its base of operations on the Moon.
Colonization of the Moon is mentioned several times in the Star Trek franchise.
Deep Space Nine mentions settlements on the Moon called Tycho City, New Berlin, and Lunaport. It is also revealed that Earth's moon is referred to by its Latin name, Luna, probably to distinguish it from the thousands of moons throughout the universe. It is also revealed that living on the moon is seen by many humans as something of a novelty, as Jake Sisko uses the slang term Lunar schooner somewhat affectionately when he meets a girl from there.
Sailor Moon. In this Japanese anime and manga series, the Moon was once home to the Silver Millennium (Moon Kingdom in the dub). Eventually conflict destroyed the Kingdom and caused the Moon to take its current form. Usagi Tsukino (Serena Tsukino in the dub) is a play on words for Moon Rabbit, the translation for "tsuki no usagi" in Japanese, is the current incarnation of the show and manga's titular character. Her attacks are based on love and justice.
Mr Moon is a 2010 children's TV series in which the main character is anthropomorphism of the moon exploring the Solar System which his friends.
In the manga and anime series Naruto, the primary antagonist Madara Uchiha's goal, known as the "Eye of the Moon Plan", involves casting an illusion on the moon, allowing him to gain dominance over everyone in the world. According to the series' mythology, the moon was created when the originator of ninjutsu imprisoned the body of a powerful demon within it.
Planetes (2003). A Japaneseanime TV series set at a time when travel to the Moon has become an everyday occurrence.
Mobile Suit Gundam. Throughout most of this anime saga, the Moon has been extensively colonised, with underground cities built inside of the larger craters.
Exosquad. In this American military science fiction series, the Moon is the site of the fiercest battle between Terran and Neosapien forces. The victory achieved by the Terrans on the Moon soon leads to the liberation of Earth.
Futurama. By the year 3000, a theme park has been constructed on the moon inside a giant dome with an artificial atmosphere, and an artificial gravity.
Megas XLR. on one episode the Glorft attempt to convert the moon into a Missile. Coop also ends up Blowing half the moon up. (in the credits he's seen putting the moon back together)
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. The moon is used by the Anti-Spirals as the "Human Extermination System", and is designed to fall on the Earth once a million humans live on the surface. It is later discovered that the moon is actually one of Lord Genome's battleships.
Origin: Spirits of the Past. An anime movie set in Japan 300 years in the future. An apocalypse was brought about by extensive genetic engineering on trees, conducted at a research facility on Earth's moon, in order to produce trees capable of growing in harsh, arid conditions. The trees became conscious and spread to Earth in a fiery holocaust, wiping out most of modern civilization and fragmenting the moon.
The Tick. Supervillain Chairface Chippendale attempts to create the ultimate act of vandalism by writing his name on the moon's surface with a powerful laser. He is only able to write "CHA" before being thwarted by The Tick. Some time later a mission to the moon is mounted with the intent of repairing this damage. The Tick is given a backpack full of explosives and told to wait in the carved-out "C". When the backpack explodes, The Tick is hurled out of the Solar System, but the "C" is repaired, leaving "HA" still visible from Earth.
In Despicable Me the world’s #1 super villain, Gru, decides to steal the moon in an attempt to prove himself better than his arch-rival (#1 super villain), Vector.
Avatar: The Last Airbender: In this Nickelodeon cartoon series the Moon is a major part of the lore and spirituality of the Water Tribes. According to legend the first waterbenders learned how to bend water by watching the moon push and pull the water and were eventually able to do so themselves.
In Space Jam, Mr. Swackhammer, the villain of the film gets sent there at the end of the game by the Monstars.
In Transformers: Armada, The Mini-Con ship Exodus crash-landed on the Moon, scattering its stasis-locked passengers all over Earth. Later, the Decepticons would set up a base inside the derelict ship, from where they would teleport to various locations on Earth to search for the Mini-Cons.
In official supplemental materials for Neon Genesis Evangelion, the impact that created the Moon - known in-universe as First Impact - is revealed to have been caused by the "Black Moon", an artificial construct carrying the Angel Lilith; as an allusion, Rei Ayanami is frequently depicted in the series and in official artwork with a full moon motif. During Third Impact as depicted in The End of Evangelion, Lilith's blood is shown to splatter onto the moon from low Earth orbit. In the Rebuild of Evangelion movies, the existence of NERV's Tabgha Lunar Base is revealed. Various features depicted on the surface in the first film include a large red stain not unlike the one created by Lilith in The End of Evangelion, a series of coffin-like objects - one of which is revealed to contain Kaworu Nagisa - and a large humanoid entity resembling Lilith's original depiction. In the second film, Gendo Ikari and Kozou Fuyutsuki travel to the base in a large spacecraft but are denied entry; they subsequently observe the giant entity from above, revealing it as the under-construction Evangelion Mark.06.
In the popular animation show My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, the moon and the sun are raised each day and night by two alicorn princesses called Luna and Celestia, respectively. A thousand years prior to the first episode, Luna grew jealous that the ponies living in the world slept during her night, and tried to make the night last forever, taking the name 'Nightmare Moon'. Celestia subsequently banished her to the moon, and arranged for the show's main characters to assist in redeeming her.
Battlezone - Set during the 1960s with an alternative history plot, in which the space race is used to cover up the military deployment of US and USSR into space, the moon is set a stage as the first mission in the NSDF Campaign.
Command & Conquer: Yuri's Revenge - In one of Soviet Campaign missions, the general was assigned to establish his base there in order to destroy Yuri's Lunar Command Center to prevent the Earth from falling under his psychic mind control.
Darius II - The moon is inhabited by enemy forces and underground bases players must confront on the fourth level.
Dead Moon - Aliens crash land on the moon and use it as their headquarters for invading Earth.
Descent – the main character (the Material Defender) has to clean the Solar System of infected PTMC mines, starting from the moon. Consequently, the first three levels of the game take place in an outpost, a sci-lab, and a military base on the moon.
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask - In perhaps the Moon's most memorable appearance in games, Link, the protagonist, must prevent the Moon from crashing to Earth within 3 days. The Moon carries a face that dreads its inevitable destruction.
Mass Effect - One of the sidemissions is set on the Moon.
Metal Black (video game) - After a massive alien invasion on Earth, the moon is overtaken by the aliens so as to involve it in their plot and its darkside sets the scene for the second level boss fight.
Sonic Adventure 2 - Dr. Eggman destroyed half the moon with the ARK's Eclipse Cannon.
Strikers 1945 - In the original Japanese release of the game, players are rocketed towards the enemy's real headquarters situated on the moon's surface for the last two levels.
Terra Diver - In the future, the moon is one of many points of galactic resources utilised by companies on Earth and hosts a company owned outpost stationed on a nearby asteroid where the fourth boss awaits.
In an early Ibis the Invincible story the Moon has members of a humanoid race composed of stone that competed with humanity over the Earth and were exiled to the Moon thousands of years ago where they are frozen. A Professor makes a rocket ship to go to the Moon with Taia, and Ibis follows them. Two of the creatures are take on the ship, and revive on a journey back to Earth, but are killed when the spaceship crashes.
In the Marvel Universe, the Moon contains the Blue Area, the home of the Inhumans. It was built by the Skrull race, in events which led to their Inter-galactic war with the Kree race. The powerful Watcher, Uatu, watches the Solar System from a base on the Moon. In FF #13 the Fantastic Four make the first landing on the Moon (this was published before 1969), and battle the communist villain the Red Ghost and his Super-apes.
In Judge Dredd the moon is the site of a small colony named Luna City One.
^Bennett, Maurice J. (1983). "Edgar Allan Poe and the Literary Tradition of Lunar Speculation". Science Fiction Studies10 (2): 137–47.
^Cowan, M. E. (2007). "Heinlein Concordance". Venice, California: The Heinlein Society. Retrieved 2010-09-11. "Luna[:] Name used for the moon, as colonized by humans, in most of Heinlein's novels and stories. Rarely do characters refer to 'the moon' if it's inhabited."