In part 3 chapter 3 (the "Voyage to Laputa") of Jonathan Swift's famous satire Gulliver's Travels, a fictional work written in 1726, the astronomers of Laputa are described as having discovered two satellites of Mars. This was considerably prior to their actual discovery by Asaph Hall in 1877.
James Blish's 'Mission to the Heart Stars' features a hollow Phobos, which has been placed in orbit by a galactic hegemony and acts as a detector/transceiver in a similar manner to the lunar artifact in Arthur C. Clarke's 'The Sentinel'.
In Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom novels, Phobos is known by the name of Thuria, and is described as "a great and glorious orb, swinging swift across the vaulted dome of the blue-black night, so low that she seemed to graze the hills" (The Chessmen of Mars). In reality, Phobos actually appears smaller from Mars than Earth's Moon does from Earth. John Carter of Mars visits a miniature civilization on Thuria in the novel Swords of Mars.
The first episode of the computer and video gameDoom takes place in a UAC base on Phobos, where it is erroneously depicted as having mountains and an atmosphere with an overcast sky. The moon is also featured in the Doom novels.
In Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy Phobos soon becomes a source of conflict between the Arab community and the rest of the colonists after permission to build a mosque there is refused; instead, a city is built within the crater Stickney by the first colonists. Later, the moon is taken over by multinational forces and is then de-orbited by the Martian rebels so that it impacts Mars. Much later, an asteroid that happens to look similar to Phobos is named Pseudophobos and moved into Martian orbit to replace the original body.
Phobos is the final mission in the video game Armored Core 2. The game reveals that the moon is actually an artificial satellite created by an extinct Martian civilization. The player must battle to the center to destroy the orbit control mechanism and prevent it from crashing into Mars and destroying the newly formed Martian colonies.
In Greg Bear's Moving Mars, quantum computers allow the Martian colonists to teleport Phobos and Deimos into Earth orbit. This threat forces the Earth military to stand down from its confrontation with Mars.
Phobos is the final level in the PS2 game Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner (2003) where it is used to build a battle station called Aumaan, capable of destroying anything in the solar system. The protagonist, Dingo Egret, fights the antagonist, Col. Noman here to stop him from activating it.
Phobos appears in two stories by Alastair Reynolds. In Great Wall of Mars it is where the Conjoiners secretly construct a starship to escape their imprisonment on Mars. Century Rain has Phobos as the location of a secret base which holds an ancient relic that opens a portal to the far side of the galaxy.
The first level of the PlayStation 2 video game RTX Red Rock takes place on a small space station anchored to the surface of Phobos.
Phobos is the site of Purple Hall, the abode of the ousted Imperial family, in Jack Williamson's Legion of Space novels.
In Dan Simmons's novel Olympos, Phobos is the site of a moravec base from which some of the main characters depart for Earth.
In the 1955 science fiction novel Secret of the Martian Moons by Donald A. Wollheim, Phobos and Deimos are actually interstellar spacecraft disguised as moonlets, built by a race of humanoid aliens from the Vega system who fled from an imagined invasion by "Marauders" who were actually the inhabitants of Mars itself on an extended journey of exploration and adventure.
The TV show Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons features Phobos in the episode "Shadow of Fear", in which they land a secret satellite on the moon to take pictures of the Mysterons. A mention is also made by the character Dr Breck in the episode that the Greek name of Phobos is 'Fear' and states, "The name is appropriate. Because of the Mysterons, the whole world lives in the shadow of fear".
In Larklight, by Philip Reeve, the British Empire has spread to other planets and it is mentioned that the industrialist Sir Waverly Rain has factories on Deimos and Phobos. There are so many that smoke has clouded the worlds.
In the RPG Mutant Chronicles Phobos and Deimos were used by the Capitol Corporation who ruled Mars as Prison Planets (for men and women.) However with the coming of the Darkness Phobos and Deimos were invaded by Troops of two of the Dark Apostles and now exist as permament Citadels.
In Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom novels, Deimos is known by the name of Cluros, and is described as "stately, majestic, almost stationary, shedding his steady light upon the world below" (The Chessmen of Mars).
Kim Stanley Robinson's Green Mars (1993) includes a detailed description of a manned landing on Deimos. Deimos is later de-orbited and sent off into the asteroid belt.
The second episode of the Computer and video gameDoom takes place in a UAC base on Deimos. Before the beginning of the game, Deimos disappears from Martian orbit, and is reached by the unnamed Marine after he steps into a large teleporter on Phobos. Eventually, it is discovered that Deimos is floating above Hell itself. The moon is also featured in the Doom novels.
The UESC Marathon of the Marathon computer game series is a hollowed-out Deimos.
A hollowed-out Deimos is also featured in the ##Zone of the Enders## saga of games and anime. In the series - notably the IdoloOVA - the moon serves as a linear catapult facility for launching vehicles in Mars orbit to Earth, and possibly to the Jupiter colonies as well.
A satellite base around Deimos is featured as a map and in the storyline of Unreal Tournament 3.
The Eighth Doctor & Tamsin Drew land on Deimos in the Doctor Who audio adventure Deimos, set in the 23rd Century, where Mars and its moons are popular tourist destinations. They meet the original inhabitants of Mars, the Ice Warriors.