Planets in science fiction

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Planets in science fiction are fictional planets that appear in various media, especially those of the science fiction genre, as story-settings or depicted locations.[1]

History[edit]

Before Galileo turned his telescope to the heavens, the planets of the Solar System were not recognized as worlds, or places where a person could potentially set foot; they were visible to observers merely as bright points of light, distinguishable from stars only by their motion.

In the system of Claudius Ptolemy (fl. c. 150), the Alexandrian astronomer whose works were the basis of all European astronomy throughout the Middle Ages and Renaissance, the planets were lights set into a series of transparent spheres turning around the Earth, which was the center of the one and only universe.[2] Dante (1265–1321), in his Paradiso,[3] describes the ascent of his narrator through the spheres of the Moon, the planets from Mercury to Saturn, and thence to the sphere of the fixed stars and the heavens of the angels. Dante implies that the light of the planets is a combination of light imparted by Divine will and the radiance of the blessed souls that inhabit the spheres. These planets are, however, entirely ethereal; they have light but no physical form and no geography.

Ludovico Ariosto, in his epic Orlando Furioso (1513),[4] jestingly sent his hero to a Moon where everything lost on Earth eventually turns up; but it was not until Galileo discovered (1609–1610) that the Moon had surface features, and that the other planets could, at least, be resolved into disks,[5] that the concept that the planets were real physical bodies came to be taken seriously. In 1543, Nicolaus Copernicus had already posited that the planets orbited the Sun as the Earth does; combined, these two concepts led to the thought that the planets might be "worlds" similar to the Earth.[6] Public expression of such concepts could be dangerous, however; Giordano Bruno was martyred in 1600 for, among other things, imagining an infinite number of other worlds, and claiming that "Innumerable suns exist; innumerable Earths revolve about these suns ... Living beings inhabit these worlds" in De l'infinito universo e mondi ("Concerning the Infinite Universe and Worlds", 1584).[7]

At the time, such speculation was of a rather rarefied sort, and was limited to astronomers like Christiaan Huygens who wrote a book, Cosmotheoros (1698)[8] considering the possibility of life on other planets; or to philosophers like Campanella, who wrote in defense of Galileo. The concept of life on distant planets was not, however, much utilized in fiction. The most popular target of 17th century "science fiction" was the Moon ("visited" in fiction by Kepler,[9] Godwin,[10] Cyrano,[11] and Defoe).[12] Oddly, none of these fictions made use of the lunar maps contemporaneously created by Hevelius, Riccioli and others.

It was quite some time before such "extraordinary voyages" went beyond the lunar sphere. Eberhard Kindermann sent an airship to the planets in 1744 in Die Geschwinde Reise auf dem Lufft-schiff nach der obern Welt ("The Airship's Speedy Journey to the Upper World");[13] while a traveller from the star Sirius passes inward through the Solar System, stopping at various planets in Voltaire's Micromégas (1752);[14] followed by another outward voyage in Marie-Anne de Roumier-Robert's Voyage de Milord Céton dans les Sept Planètes ("Lord Seton's Voyage Among the Seven Planets", 1765).[15] These stories were generally unscientific and tended towards the satirical rather than the purely entertaining; their subject-matter was probably inspired by the popular writings of Fontenelle, notably his Entretiens sur la pluralité des mondes ("Conversations on the Multiplicity of Worlds", 1686).[16]

With the rapid developments in the magnifying and resolving power of telescopes in the course of the 19th century, it finally became possible to distinguish surface features on other planets and even to draw maps of some of them, notably Mars. In 1877, Asaph Hall reported two moons of Mars and Giovanni Schiaparelli found the surface of Mars to be adorned with continents, seas, and channels, and a very suitable habitat for life. From the beginning of the 1880s, fictions – some more, some less scientific – involving travels to and from Mars began to be produced in great quantities, even though the observations of Percival Lowell required reassessment of Mars as a more marginal desert planet.[17] Mars remained a favored destination for fictional travellers down to the early 1960s (see Mars in fiction). Since probes revealed the absence of any indications of intelligent life on Mars, the science fictional Mars has changed to a possible future home for the human race, e.g. through terraforming.

Venus was never quite so popular as Mars, probably because it obdurately refused to display any surface features (it is covered with sulfuric acid clouds only dimly translucent to visible light), making any statement about its nature disturbingly speculative. In 1918, chemist Svante Arrhenius, deciding that Venus' cloud cover was necessarily water, decreed in The Destinies of the Stars that "A very great part of the surface of Venus is no doubt covered with swamps" and compared Venus' humidity to the tropical rain forests of the Congo.[18] Venus thus became, until the early 1960s, a place for science fiction writers to place all manner of unusual life forms, from quasi-dinosaurs to intelligent carnivorous plants, and where hostile interactions with Venusian natives were reminiscent of European colonial projects in Africa and Asia (see Venus in fiction). In fact Venus's surface is hot enough to melt lead, and it is extremely hostile to life.

Various other planets of the Solar System were used as settings for science fiction stories in the first half of the 20th century; but dissatisfaction with the limits imposed by science led many writers early on to forsake the Solar System for fictional planets around distant stars. As increasing knowledge of the Solar System made the prospects of life in the vicinity of Earth marginal at best, the extrasolar planet has become almost the only venue for contemporary science fiction.

In many works of science fiction, planets are only described casually, as points of origin and departure, or as interchangeable backdrops for space battles. This is particularly true of space opera. In other works, the planet takes center stage as the primary scene of events, and particular attention is paid to its environment and any culture that may exist on it. Adventure stories that stick to a single, well-described planet are sometimes called planetary romances; some of these planets are not very realistic and are effectively fantasy worlds.

Planets may be treated in different ways depending both on the interests of the author and the genre he or she is writing in. In some stories, a planet is mainly considered as an object in space: the interest of the fiction depends upon its astronomical characteristics, such as its mass, its geological composition, its atmosphere, how many moons it has and what size they are, how close it is to its sun (or suns) and how hot they are. Such considerations are found prominently though not exclusively in the hard science fiction genre.

In other stories, a planet is considered as a world or setting. Such a planet will be described from the point of view of a person dwelling on it, rather than from the point of view of an outside observer: the fiction may describe its geography, its history, and the social and cultural characteristics of its civilizations. Since authors usually adopt human protagonists, such planets are typically described as very hospitable to human life and, other than in geography, nearly indistinguishable from Earth; Brian Stableford calls such planets "Earth-Clones".[19] Conversely some fictional worlds are never more than marginally habitable, which has a profound effect on societies that developed or moved there. Numerous examples of this are to be found in the Known Space stories of Larry Niven.

In some works of fiction, such as Pournelle's CoDominium or Card's Ender's Game series, certain planets are settled by specific ethnic groups. However, in novels set in distant futures, e.g. Dune, the inhabitants have usually forgotten about the original settlers.

While some authors choose to treat a planet in depth, considering it to have a wide diversity of geography, climate, politics and culture, others prefer to characterize their planets by some single global characteristic. Many of these uniform settings have become stereotypes, used in a variety of science fictional works. Such stereotypes include: the planet covered by a single city; the planet whose surface is entirely desert; the planet covered by ocean, with no landmasses; the planet on which it is perpetually winter; the planet that is self-aware; and the planet which has been artificially constructed.

Other planets appear in humorous or comical settings, sometimes spoofing more conventional science fiction. Such planets are often described with no pretense to scientific accuracy; their strange characteristics are primarily intended to amuse.

For the Star Trek universe, a detailed planetary classification system has been devised; it is not actually used by scientists.

Planet lists[edit]

For planets from specific fictional milieux, use the following lists and categories:

Literature[edit]

Comics[edit]

Film and television[edit]

Animation[edit]

Computer/video games[edit]

Other games[edit]

Other[edit]

Planet types[edit]

Ice planets[edit]

Ice planets have figured prominently in science fiction, such as Hoth, an ice planet featured in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.

Lava planets[edit]

Lava worlds can be seen occasionally in science fiction. In Star Wars, one such planet is Mustafar, with its heat caused by tidal forces from nearby gas giants. Mustafar scenes take place in Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.

Ocean planets[edit]

Desert planets[edit]

Mars as a desert planet[edit]

Before, and certainly after, the results sent back by the Viking landers, some science fiction set on Mars portrayed it as a desert planet. Science fiction stories that do so include:

  • The anime series Cowboy Bebop repeatedly portrayed Mars as a prominent colonized world in the 21st century. It serves as a central hub for the solar system after Earth was left uninhabitable following the warp gateway disaster.
  • Leigh Brackett's Martian stories, in which Mars is largely desert with sporadic oases of civilization.
  • Larry Niven's "Known Space" novels and short stories (including Eye of an Octopus and Protector), where water is completely alien to the biochemistry of the planet's inhabitants.
  • Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles collection of short stories depict Mars as a mostly hospitable desert home to first an indigenous Martian civilization, who are displaced by an encroaching homo sapiens population. The stories use a "Cowboys vs Indians" theme which benefits from the red desert backdrop of Mars.
  • Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy, where Mars is gradually terraformed from a frozen desert planet to a more hospitable Earthlike environment.
  • Martian Time-Slip, by Philip K. Dick, in which Mars has been colonized by Earth's UN; scarce water is closely apportioned, and the president of the Water Workers Union is one of the more powerful figures.
  • The 2000 film Mission to Mars is about a difficult rescue attempt following a disaster during the first manned NASA voyage to this red wasteland that is Mars; humanoid Martians are discovered to have once been native inhabitants, and the Cydonia Mensae 'face formation' is used as a major plot device.
  • The 2000 film Red Planet is about a terraforming expedition from Earth to Mars gone awry due to voracious indigenous Martian insects; Earth's Australian and Jordanian deserts were used as filming locations.
  • In the Star Trek universe, Mars is the first planet to be terraformed by the people of Earth and by the 24th century its orbital Utopia Planitia Shipyards are a key Starfleet facility.
  • The Sands of Mars by Arthur C. Clarke
  • The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, also by Philip K. Dick, set primarily on Mars. Drafted colonists, such as those in the ironically-named Fineburg Crescent region, relieve the bleakness of Martian life by huddling in "hovels" and taking psychedelic drugs.
  • Total Recall, in which Mars is inhabited by mutants and labourers, and air is supplied at a tax.

Titan as a desert world[edit]

  • Cowboy Bebop episode "Jupiter Jazz" features Saturn's moon Titan as a terraformed desert-world similar to Saharan conditions.
  • The DC Comics universe portrays Saturn's moon Titan as home to a race of telepaths; the most prominent example of a superhero from Titan is Saturn Girl, a founding member of the 30th Century Legion of Super Heroes.
  • Flight on Titan (1935), short story by Stanley G. Weinbaum: an Earth couple struggles through the cold, windswept Titanian desert.
  • In the Star Trek universe, humans have established a series of domed settlements on Titan by the mid-21st century, one of which became a safe haven as Earth was ravaged by WWIII. Zefram Cochrane spent time on Titan. Later, Enterprise (NX-01) Commander Charles Tucker III nearly died in a training mission on the harsh lunar surface. The moon was a favored way-point for Starfleet spacepilots attempting the dangerous Titan's Turn stunt maneuver. By the 24th century this desert-world had been terraformed.
  • Titan (1997), novel by Stephen Baxter: NASA's mission to Titan turns bad following a disastrous landing, and the astronauts must struggle to survive; Baxter writes vivid depictions of what a hypothetical journey through the Saturnian system might be like.
  • In the Transformers universe, Saturn's moon Titan is a desert-world inhabited by a neolithic pagan humanoid species; the Quintessons briefly establish a ground base which they ultimately abandon; later the super-Destron Metrotitan is constructed on Titan, taking its name after the moon.
  • Part of The Invisible Enemy, an episode of Doctor Who takes place on Titan.

Fictional desert planets[edit]

Other desert planets have been used as story motifs in fictional works:

Planet Source Year Medium Details Reference
Abydos Stargate and later in the TV series Stargate SG-1 1994 Film
Altair IV Forbidden Planet 1956 Film [21]
Anarres The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin 1974 Novel Not strictly a desert planet; has oceans and is predominantly steppe
Arrakis (aka Dune) Dune by Frank Herbert, and subsequent works in the Dune universe 1965 Novel Homeworld of the Fremen and source of the valuable spice melange [22]
Athas Dark Sun setting for Dungeons & Dragons 1991 Role-playing game
Bara Magna Bionicle 2009 Toy line Large utopian planet struck by a cataclysm 100,000 years previous
Beachworld "Beachworld" by Stephen King 1985 Short story
Byss Star Wars: Dark Empire 1991–1992 Comic book
Canopus III Star Trek: The Animated Series episode "The Eye of the Beholder" 1974 Animated TV series
Cardassia IV Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "The Homecoming" 1993 TV series
Ceti Alpha V Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Space Seed" 1967 TV series Devastated by destruction of nearby Ceti Alpha VI
Dorvan V Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Journey's End" 1994 TV series
Dozaria Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Indiscretion" 1995 TV series
Fire Lexx season 3 1999 TV series An afterlife planet for the souls of deceased people, who made unvirtuous choices when they were alive. The inhabitants build their cities high above the ground to avoid the deadly heat emanating from the planet's core.
Fyrine IV Enemy Mine 1985 Film
Gamma X Les Maîtres du temps 1982 Animated film
Geonosis Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones 2002 Film
Gunsmoke Trigun Manga series
Imecka Dragonball GT 1996 Anime
Kerona Space Quest: The Sarien Encounter 1986 Computer game
Kharak Homeworld 1999 Real-time strategy video game Planet bombed by the Taiidan Empire
Khoros Ben 10 2005–2008 Animated TV series Homeworld of the alien Fourarms
Klendathu Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein, and subsequent works 1959 Novel Homeworld of the Arachnids
Kolarus III Star Trek Nemesis 2002 Film
Korhal StarCraft and subsequent games in the StarCraft franchise 1998 Real-time strategy video game Once-lush throne world of the Terran Dominion
Korriban Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2003 Computer game
M6-117 Pitch Black 2000 Film Gas giant's moon
Marak's World Hammerfall (and later 2004's Forge of Heaven) by C. J. Cherryh 2001 Novel
Ocampa Star Trek: Voyager 1994–1997 TV series Devastated homeworld of Kes and the Ocampa
Osiris IV Futurama episode "A Pharaoh to Remember" 2002 Animated TV series
Perdide Les Maîtres du temps 1982 Animated film
Plyuk Kin-dza-dza! 1986 Film
Resurgam Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds 2000 Novel
Salt Salt by Adam Roberts 2000 Novel
Socorro Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game adventure The Black Sands of Socorro 1997 Role-playing game
Starbuck Galactica 1980 episode "The Return of Starbuck" 1980 TV series
Tallarn and other planets Warhammer 40,000 universe Miniature wargame
Tatooine Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope 1977 Film
Titania Star Fox 64 for Nintendo 64 1997 Video game
Tophet Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles 1999 Animated TV series
Torga IV Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "The Ship" 1996 TV series
Toroth Star Trek: Enterprise episode "Desert Crossing" 2002 TV series
Trisol Futurama episode "My Three Suns" 1999 Animated TV series
Tyree Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episodes "Image in the Sand" and "Shadows and Symbols" 1998 TV series
Unnamed planet Snare by Katherine Kerr 2003 Novel
Unnamed planet Star Trek episode "Arena" 1967 TV series
Vega Spaceballs 1987 Film Home planet to Schwartz-master Yogurt
Vulcan Star Trek: The Original Series, and subsequent works in the Star Trek universe 1966 TV series Homeworld of the Vulcan race

Alphabetical list[edit]

Contains planets not found in the preceding lists.

A[edit]

  • Abydos - The first world that humans were brought to as slaves to the Goa'uld Ra.
  • Aegis VII – The setting for the video games Dead Space and Dead Space: Extraction.
  • Aldébaran-4 — From the ongoing series of graphic novels "Les Mondes d'Aldébaran" by Léo.
  • Altair IV — From the movie Forbidden Planet, formerly inhabited by the mysteriously extinct race of Krell.
  • Amel — Amel is a planet in the Frank Herbert novel The Godmakers, where all the religions of the universe co-exist with no conflict, under the Ecumenical Truce.
  • Antar — The home planet of the alien-human hybrids who are the main characters in the TV show "Roswell" and the book series "Roswell High".
  • Anus — The home planet of the gay black males in the Danish short film Gayniggers from Outer Space.
  • Athena — A planet in Tom Godwin's Space Prison (aka The Survivors) and The Space Barbarians, claimed by the Gern Empire and colonized by Terran slave labor before being liberated by the Ragnarokans.
  • Aurelia and Blue Moon — An attempt at theorizing what a habitable planet orbiting a red dwarf star and a habitable gas giant moon could actually be like.
  • Avalon – Setting of The Legacy of Heorot and Beowulf's Children by Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle and Steven Barnes.

B[edit]

  • Ballybran — A planet in Anne McCaffrey's Crystal Singer series. Ballybran is a toxic world where the inhabitants must form a symbiotic relationship with a spore in order to survive.
  • Belzagor — A planet colonized by Earth, whose natives are the elephant-like nildoror, in Downward to the Earth by Robert Silverberg.
  • Big Planet — An enormous but not very dense planet, settled by Earth colonists and divided into a large number of colorful social groupings, in the novels Big Planet and Showboat World by Jack Vance.
  • Botany — An Earth-like agricultural world to which prisoners and slaves are transported in the Catteni Series by Anne McCaffrey.
  • Bronson Alpha and Bronson Beta — Planets that enter the solar system in Philip Gordon Wylie and Edwin Balmer's novel When Worlds Collide. Bronson Alpha collides with the Earth, destroying it. Bronson Beta is settled by survivors of the catastrophe in the sequel After Worlds Collide.

C[edit]

D[edit]

E[edit]

F[edit]

G[edit]

  • G889 — A planet 22 light-years from Earth in the television series Earth 2.
  • Gaia — The first planet of the star Betelgeuse, inhabited by the Syreen people in the Star Control computer game series.
  • Gehenna — The planet in C. J. Cherryh's novel Forty Thousand in Gehenna and home of the Caliban.
  • Gor — An inhabited counter-Earth in John Norman's Gor series, marked by slavery and rigid gender roles.
  • Gorta — A planet circling Proxima Centauri, home of the hostile alien Furons in the video game Destroy All Humans!.
  • Gurun — Home planet of Majka, main character in the Slovak TV-series Spadla z oblakov.
  • Gallifrey – The Doctor's homeplanet in the science-fiction series "Doctor Who".

H[edit]

  • Halvmörk — A twilight planet in Harry Harrison's novel Wheelworld.
  • He — A planet sent out of its orbit by spindizzys in James Blish's novels Earthman Come Home (1955) and The Triumph of Time (1958); collected in Cities in Flight (1970)[23]
  • Helghan — a planet of Alpha Centauri with a very hostile environment in the Killzone video game series.
  • Helliconia — A planet orbiting a binary star in the trilogy of the same name by Brian Aldiss. On Helliconia, with a 3,000-year "Great Year", civilizations rise and fall with the change of seasons.
  • Hesikos — A high eccentricity asteroid in Angus McVicar's The Lost Planet series.
  • Hiigara — A lush planet in the Homeworld videogame, where the player must travel towards.
  • Hocotate — The home planet of Olimar, the main character in Pikmin and Pikmin 2.
  • Hydros — A water-covered planet, whose population lives only on artificial floating islands, in Robert Silverberg's novel The Face of the Waters.

I[edit]

  • Ireta — A planet in Anne McCaffrey's Planet Pirates series, inhabited by both people and dinosaurs, and so also called Dinosaur Planet – the name of the novel in which it first appears.
  • Ishtar — A planet in orbit around three suns, whose northern hemisphere undergoes catastrophic heating every thousand years as it draws near to one of them. From Poul Anderson's novel Fire Time.
  • Iszm — A planet in Jack Vance's novel The Houses of Iszm, a world on which bioengineering of plants is the dominant technology form (as opposed to mechanical engineering on Earth). Houses on Iszm are trees with room-sized pods; all furnishings are integrated as part of the growth.
  • Irk – the homeworld to the irkrn race, a highly self praising militant alien race from invader ZIM. It is also ZIM's home world.[citation needed]

K[edit]

L[edit]

  • Lagash — A planet in the story Nightfall by Isaac Asimov, in a globular cluster, and in a system with six suns. The orbit of the planet is such that all sides of it are almost always illuminated by at least one sun; only once in every 2,049 years is Lagash oriented in such a way that one of the suns is eclipsed by a dark companion body. Only at such times are the stars visible from Lagash's surface. In the novel developed from the short story, the planet was called Kalgash.
  • La Maetelle — A dying planet whose orbit changes drastically once in a millennium; the home of Queen Promethium and her daughters in the manga and anime of Leiji Matsumoto.
  • Lamarckia — A planet in Greg Bear's novel Legacy, whose continent-sized superorganisms mimic Lamarckian evolution.
  • Land and Overland — Twin planets revolving about a common center of gravity, sharing a common atmosphere and connected by an hourglass-shaped atmospheric tunnel. The setting for Bob Shaw's The Ragged Astronauts, The Wooden Spaceships and The Fugitive Worlds. Travel between the two planets occurs by hot air balloon.
  • Leera — Home of the amphibious Leerans in the Animorphs book series.
  • Lithia — A planet peopled by an alien species with a well-developed natural ethics but no form of religion, in James Blish's novel A Case of Conscience.
  • LittleBigPlanet -- Planet featured in the video game franchise of the same name
  • Lumen — The Planet of Light in the British puppet TV series Space Patrol.
  • LV-223 — The moon featured in the 2012 Ridley Scott film, "Prometheus." It is part of a larger system of otherwise unnamed moons orbiting a likewise unnamed planet, and hosted the advanced race known as the Engineers, which, according to the film, were precursors to the human race.
  • LV-426, or Acheron — The planet on which the derelict ship and its deadly cargo are found in the movies Alien and Aliens.
  • LV-1201 — Planet in the Aliens vs. Predator 2 video game.

M[edit]

N[edit]

  • Nacre — A planet populated primarily by fungi, including an intelligent variety; from Piers Anthony's novels Omnivore, Orn and OX.
  • New Earth (Planet Bob) – The Earth-like planet created in the Titan AE animated movie.
  • New Terra — In the computer game Outpost 2, New Terra is the world chosen by humanity as its last hope for survival, colonized by the last survivors of Earth in starship Conestoga.
  • Nidor — A cloudy, oceanic planet in stories by Robert Silverberg and Randall Garrett.
  • Nihil — An additional planet of Earth's solar system; due to a flaw in space, the planet is invisible except at close range, although it can see most of the other planets. The inhabitants attempt to conquer Earth during the 30th century. From the novel Beyond the Spectrum by Martin Thomas.
  • Nirn — Nirn is the name of the planet where The Elder Scrolls games are set in.

O[edit]

P[edit]

  • Pandarve — A living, sentient planet, considered to be a goddess, in the Storm comic book.
  • Pandora – A so-called "treasure planet" featured as the setting of the 2009 video game Borderlands.
  • Perdide — A planet that serves for much of the setting of the 1982 French animated science fiction movie Les Maîtres du Temps (Time Masters), by René Laloux.
  • Peaceland – Home planet of the Sakimori family who fled to Earth after it was destroyed, in the 1973 Japanese TV series Ryusei Ningen Zoon (Meteor Man Zone).
  • Pern — A planet pelted by a deadly spore (called Thread), capable of eating anything but rock and metal, for periods of fifty years every two to four centuries in Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern novels. The people of Pern live in caves or stone houses and ride genetically engineered flying reptiles ("dragons") capable of incinerating the spore in midair.
  • Petaybee — A living planet, becoming sentient, in Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough's Petaybee Series.
  • Pharagos — A fantasy planet in the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game.
  • Placet — A planet that revolves in a figure-8 orbit around the twin suns Argyle I and Argyle II, and is subject to several different spatio-temporal anomalies in Fredric Brown's Placet is a Crazy Place.
  • Planet X — an inhabited planet of unknown location in the Tom Swift, Jr. juvenile "Tom Swift and the Visitor from Planet X" (1961).
  • Planet X — a planet, light years away, ruled by the tyrant "Kurrgo, the Master of Planet X" in Fantastic Four #7 (Oct. 1962) and episode #9 of Fantastic Four (1967 TV series).
  • Polyphemus and Pandora — A gas giant and its inhabited moon in the film Avatar (2009).
  • Prysmos — A planet orbiting three stars in the cartoon Visionaries: Knights of the Magical Light.
  • Pyrrus — An inhabitable planet whose ecosystem, consisting of psychic plants and animals, seems to be unremittingly hostile to human life. From Harry Harrison's Deathworld trilogy.

R[edit]

  • Ragnarok — A planet in Tom Godwin's Space Prison (aka The Survivors) and The Space Barbarians. Ragnarok's inhabitants suffered from high gravity, temperature extremes, Hell Fever, unfriendly wildlife such as prowlers and unicorns, and a dearth of natural resources.
  • Reach – A human colony in the Epsilon Eridani System in the Halo video game series.
  • Regis III — A planet populated by evolving machines in Stanisław Lem's novel The Invincible.
  • Remulak — A planet from the Saturday Night Live skit "Coneheads."
  • Requiem - An artificial planet constructed by the ancient Forerunner in the Halo game series.
  • Reverie — A planet with extreme social division between the haves and have-nots, in Bruce Sterling's The Artificial Kid.
  • Riverworld — The title planet of Philip José Farmer's Riverworld series, where all humans in history are reincarnated along a spiral river.
  • Rocheworld — A pair of twin planets that almost touch in the book of that name by Robert Forward.
  • Rosetta – Home planet of Rosemary and Takeshi Shishidou, who fled to Earth when it was invaded by the Black Star Army; in the 1979 Japanese TV series Honou no Choujin Megaloman (Megaloman: Superman of Flame).
  • Rubanis — A megalopolitan planet plagued by constant traffic congestion, appearing in several volumes of the French comic book series Valérian and Laureline, particularly in The Circles of Power.
  • Rylos – Planet (along with Earth) defended by Alex Rogan in The Last Starfighter.

S[edit]

T[edit]

  • Takis — The home planet of Dr. Tachyon.
  • Tallon IV - Planet from Metroid Prime. Once home to the ancient Chozo civilization, now inhabited by space pirates' mining operation.
  • Tanis — Destination of the sleeper ship Elysium in the film Pandorum.
  • Targ — The planet on which the computer game Mercenary and its sequels take place.
  • Thalassa — A watery planet colonized by Earth, and revisited by a ship travelling to the planet Sagan 2 in Arthur C. Clarke's novel The Songs of Distant Earth.
  • Thra — The world of The Dark Crystal.
  • Thundera — Home planet of the ThunderCats.
  • Tiamat — An oceanic planet whose sun orbits a black hole, socially divided into two moieties (Summer and Winter), ruled by a queen with abrupt changes in social conditions every 150 years. From Joan D. Vinge's The Snow Queen.
  • Tirol — The homeworld of the Robotech Masters in the anime Robotech.
  • Titan — The setting of the Fighting Fantasy gamebooks; not to be confused with the Saturnian satellite Titan.
  • Tormance — A planet orbiting Arcturus in David Lindsay's novel, A Voyage to Arcturus.
  • Tralfamadore — A planet populated by the phlegmatic Tralfamadorians in the works of Kurt Vonnegut.
  • Tran – The main setting of Jerry Pournelle's Janissaries series.
  • Tranai – The utopian planet from Robert Sheckley's novella A Ticket to Tranai, where very unorthodox methods, such as legalizing street robbery and granting each citizen a right to murder the planet's president, are practiced to maintain a free society.
  • Troas — An Earthlike planet featured in the stories "Sucker Bait" by Isaac Asimov and "Question and Answer" by Poul Anderson.
  • Tschai — The sole planet of Carina 4269, 212 light-years from Earth, slightly larger than Terra and populated by three alien races, one sentient native species and various human races, as described in "Planet of Adventure" by Jack Vance.
  • Twinsun — A planet lit by two fixed suns, both fixed relative to it, in the Little Big Adventure computer games. Twinsun has three climates: the poles are hot and desert, the equator is cold and Arctic, and between them lie temperate lands.

V[edit]

W[edit]

  • Wait-Your-Turn — A planet inhabited by vacuum-cleaner-like aliens from 3-2-1 Penguins!.
  • Water-O — The water-covered planet from the cartoon series TigerSharks.
  • Worlorn - A wandering planet that is the setting for George R. R. Martin's novel Dying of the Light.
  • Wormwood — In the role playing game Rifts, a chaotic planet in another plane. Wormwood is alive, and its inhabitants can draw on its life force.

Z[edit]

Other lists[edit]

Parallel Earths[edit]

These planets are identical or nearly identical to Earth physically, but have a history that differs to some degree from that of our Earth.

Planets of the Solar System[edit]

Artificial planets[edit]

Some writers, scientists and artists have speculated about artificial worlds or planet-equivalents; these planets include:

Fantastic planets[edit]

Some invented planets have physically impossible shapes, and may be regarded as fantasy worlds:

Comic planets[edit]

These planets are not so much carefully constructed worlds as they are humorous backgrounds or gag references in various comedy shows and games:

  • Arazon — A prison planet featured in the comic novel Bikini Planet by David S. Garnett. It is colliquially known as "Clink".
  • Dave and Alvin – Twin planets in solar orbit beyond Pluto on the TV show ALF (Episode #24, Weird Science).
  • Druidia — Home of the Druids, ruled by King Roland and Princess Vespa in the film Spaceballs.
  • Freleng — Zadavia's and Optimatus' homeworld in the animated series Loonatics Unleashed. The name is an homage to animator Friz Freleng.
  • Gordon — A planet visited in the British Claymation series Rex the Runt. All the inhabitants of the planet are sapient plant-pots who are all called Gordon, with the exception of one named John. The planet is referenced frequently but is never actually seen.
  • Hideaway — An "entertainment planet" appearing in the comic novel Bikini Planet by David S. Garnett, and briefly in the precursor novel Stargonauts.
  • Htrae — A version of Earth in which everything is backwards, in the sci-fi television comedy Red Dwarf.
  • Jupiter Two — A planet mentioned by name in Spaceballs. It is mentioned as being close to Druidia, but it is not actually shown on-screen.
  • Koozebane — A mysterious planet full of weird aliens, encountered several times in the television puppet comedy The Muppet Show.
  • Kukurikabu — A scalene ellipsoid planet from the Philippine comedy-fantasy series, Kokey @ Ako. It is populated by the Kukurikabukan race.
  • Marklar — A planet that appeared in four episodes of the animated television series South Park, most prominently in Starvin' Marvin in Space, where all nouns are replaced by the word 'Marklar'.
  • Melmac — The home planet of the alien Gordon Shumway in the television situation comedy ALF.
  • Ork — The home planet of the humanoid alien Mork in the television situation comedy Mork & Mindy.
  • Planet X — The women-only planet of Queen Zombina in the parodic musical Zombies from The Beyond (1995).
  • Planet X — the source of Alludium Phosdex, the shaving cream atom, in the 1953 animated short comedy film Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century.
  • Pop Star — A planet in the Kirby series of video games. It is star-shaped and has a sun and moon that revolves around it.
  • Remulak — The home planet of the aliens in the comedy sketches (and film) The Coneheads.
  • Rigel IV — The home planet of drooling aliens Kang and Kodos on the animated comedy The Simpsons.
  • Rimmerworld — A planet populated by millions of clones of Arnold Rimmer who had spent six hundred years alone on this planet, creating clones of himself in a failed attempt to create a girlfriend. From Red Dwarf.
  • Shroob planet — The (assumed) homeworld of the alien Shroobs in the video game Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time.
  • Skyron — Planet in the Andromeda Galaxy, home of immense blancmanges, in a Monty Python's Flying Circus comedy sketch.
  • Spaceball — Planet of the Spaceballs, ruled by President Skroob in the movie Spaceballs, where it has a heavily polluted atmosphere.
  • Sushi — A metafictional planet mentioned in Ed, Edd n Eddy, mentioned as the setting for the (fictional) horror film I Was a Teenage Appetiser from Planet Sushi: The Second Coming.
  • Thargoidia — The homeworld of the Thargoids in the Captain Kremmen series by Kenny Everett. The city of Gortadia is the planetary capital city.
  • Thribb — A planet seen in an episode of Rex the Runt. The planet itself is merely an asteroid with a lecture hall at its north pole, and the inhabitants all resemble the Easter Island Statues.
  • Vega - In the film Spaceballs, the spaceship Eagle-5 crash-lands on the desert-moon of Vega after running out of fuel.
  • Xenon — The home planet of Roger Wilco, janitor, in the humorous computer game series Space Quest.
  • Yekok - homeplanet of protagonist, Kokey from the Filipino series Kokey @ Ako.
  • Yugopotamia — A comic "opposite" planet mentioned in the animated comedy The Fairly Oddparents.

Books[edit]

  • Comins, Neil F. What If the Moon Didn't Exist. 
  • Gillette, Stephen. World-Building. Writer's Digest Books. 
  • Stableford, Brian. The Dictionary of Science Fiction Places. 

See also[edit]

Similar fictions[edit]

Fan Fiction[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mann, George (2001). The Mammoth Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. Robinson. ISBN 1-84119-177-9. 
  2. ^ Ptolemaeus, Claudius (1984). Ptolemy's Almagest. New York: Springer-Verlag. ISBN 0-387-91220-7. 
  3. ^ Dante, Alighieri (2001). Paradiso. New York: Signet. ISBN 0-451-52805-0. 
  4. ^ Ariosto, Ludovico (1974). Orlando Furioso. London: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-212576-1. 
  5. ^ Galilei, Galileo (1987). Sidereus Nuncius. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-27902-2. 
  6. ^ Copernicus, Nicolaus (1995). De revolutionibus orbium caelestium. Amherst: Prometheus Books. ISBN 1-57392-035-5. 
  7. ^ Singer, Dorothea Waley (1968). Giordano Bruno, his life and thought. New York: Greenwood Press. 
  8. ^ "Cosmotheoros (1698)". Retrieved 2012-08-13. 
  9. ^ Kepler, Johannes (2003). Somnium. Mineola: Dover Publications. ISBN 0-486-43282-3. 
  10. ^ Godwin, Francis (1995). The Man in the Moon. Ottawa: Dovehouse Editions. ISBN 1-895537-42-8. 
  11. ^ Cyrano de Bergerac, Savinien (1965). Other worlds; the comical history of the states and empires of the moon and the sun. London: Oxford University Press. 
  12. ^ Defoe, Daniel (2001). The consolidator. New York: AMS Press. ISBN 0-404-63539-3. 
  13. ^ Kindermann, Eberhard (1923). Die geschwinde reise auf dem lufft-schiff nach der obern welt. Berlin: Dr. Otto. 
  14. ^ Voltaire (1995). Candide: and other writings. New York: Barnes & Noble. ISBN 1-56619-704-X. 
  15. ^ http://gallica.bnf.fr/scripts/catalog.php?CT=N081800
  16. ^ Fontenelle, Bernard le Bovier de (1990). Conversations on the plurality of worlds. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-06361-9. 
  17. ^ Lowell, Percival (1895). Mars. Boston: Houghton Mifflin and company. 
  18. ^ Arrhenius, Svante (1918). The destinies of the stars. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons. 
  19. ^ Stableford, Brian (1999). The Dictionary of science fiction places. New York: Wonderland Press. ISBN 0-684-84958-5. 
  20. ^ "What If All the Ice Melts?" Myths and Realities
  21. ^ Wright, Les. "Forbidden Planet (1956)". Culturevulture.net (Internet Archive). Archived from the original on May 7, 2006. Retrieved May 7, 2006. 
  22. ^ "Dune 40th Anniversary Edition: Editorial Reviews". Amazon.com. Retrieved January 26, 2010. 
  23. ^ Blish, James. Cities in Flight (New York: Avon, 1970)