Jupiter's moons in fiction

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Galilean moons of Jupiter

Jupiter's extensive system of natural satellites – in particular the four large Galilean moons (Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto) – has been a common science fiction setting.

Satellite system[edit]

Some references in fiction focus on more than one moon, or do not refer to a specific moon.


  • In Seetee Ship (1949) and Seetee Shock (1950) by Jack Williamson, the Jovian moons are colonised by the Soviet Union, which transfers its government there after the United States builds a nuclear base on the Moon, which enables the Americans to dominate the whole of Earth. The Jovian Soviet is one of the main powers contending for control of the mineral wealth of the Asteroid Belt.
  • Robert A. Heinlein's young adult novel Farmer in the Sky (1950) is set on Ganymede.
  • Arthur C. Clarke's short story, Jupiter Five (1953), has most of the action in the Jupiter system. Clarke also concentrates heavily on the system in his Space Odyssey series.
  • The novel The Runaway Robot (1965) by Lester Del Rey is set primarily on Ganymede.
  • "The Moons of Jupiter" (1978) by Alice Munro, though not a science fiction story, is named in reference to the protagonist's discussion of the moons with her dying father, as part of a meditation on the nature of facts and memory. Munro named her short story collection The Moons of Jupiter (1982) for this story.
  • In "The Deceivers" (1981) by Alfred Bester, Ganymede, Callisto, and Jupiter VI and VII are home of colonists, like other moons and smaller planets of the solar system.
  • The novels of Kim Stanley Robinson, including The Memory of Whiteness (1985), Green Mars (1993) and Blue Mars (1996) depict numerous ideas about the future colonization of Jupiter, focusing more on the moons than on the planet itself.
  • The Ilium/Olympos novels (2003-2005) of Dan Simmons depict numerous biomechanical organisms, called moravecs, that dwell on the Galilean moons and in the asteroid belt.
  • In Larklight (2006) by Philip Reeve, the moons of Jupiter have been colonised by the British empire and are the furthest outpost. Certain spores can have effects on their mind, though this is now only used for advertising. Millennia ago they warred with each other for control of other moons and used spores for this, until a spore produced by the King of Chumbley, but which blew back towards Chumbley, made them all peaceful. Jupiter is inhabited by sentient storms, the largest of which, Old Thunderhead, and worshipped by some Jovians as a god.
  • Jupiter Magazine, a science fiction quarterly published in Britain since July 2003 by Ian Redman, names each of the issues after one of the Jovian satellites, with the traditional number of the moon matching the issue number of the magazine.
  • The Expanse series of novels by James S. A. Corey partly take place on and around Jupiter's moons, particularly Ganymede, Europa and Io.
  • In the Earth's Last Gambit series by Felix R. Savage (2016-2017), a seemingly derelict alien spacecraft is discovered in orbit around Europa.

Film and television[edit]

  • In the anime Cowboy Bebop (1998), various episodes take place on Jupiter's moons. In "Mushroom Samba" en route to Europa the crew is forced to land on Io. The two-part episode "Jupiter Jazz" takes place on Callisto, and "Ganymede Elegy", takes place on Ganymede. There are also several reference to Titan throughout the series and in the movie, Cowboy Bebop: Knockin' on Heaven's Door.
  • The motion picture sequel 2010 involves Io and Europa.
  • The Canadian science fiction television series Starhunter often used the Jupiter system as the backdrop for the action, including a metropolis on Io called "Syn City", and a space station called "Clarke Station" (presumably a tip of the hat to Arthur C. Clarke.[original research?]) Various other moons are mentioned, including a prison on Ganymede.
  • The British science fiction television series Red Dwarf mentions the moons of Ganymede and Titan in the first two series. The ship Red Dwarf belongs to the Jupiter Mining Corporation.
  • The science fiction drama Cloud Atlas (2012) depicts humans living on a terraformed Europa or Callisto after a nuclear holocaust destroys much of Earth.
  • The science fiction horror drama Europa Report portrays 6 astronauts on a space mission to Europa after studies show life being possible in the underground ocean of Europa.
  • In the 2016 television series Ready Jet Go!, Syndey's comic book Commanda Cresita, is shown 4 moons of Jupiter. Cresita's spaceship is also named Jupiter.
  • In The Expanse, Io holds a facility where Dr Strickland is working on a hybrid between humans and the Protomolecule.


  • In The Lost Episodes of Doom, an unofficial expansion pack for the game Doom, the three episodes take place on Io, Callisto, and Jupiter's Great Red Spot (depicted as a gateway to Hell).
  • The futuristic racing computer game POD - Planet of Death takes place on Io where a corrosive biosubstance known as "Pod" emerges from under the ground and devours the moon, eventually tearing it apart.
  • Jupiter's Masterdrive is a racing game for the Amiga that takes place on the moons of Jupiter.


  • The first single from Pop/Cowpunk band Scruffy The Cat's 1988 album Moons of Jupiter was also called "Moons of Jupiter".



Io is the closest of the Galilean satellites to Jupiter. It is almost the same size as the Moon. Because of its position, it is subject to constant tidal flexing and heavy radiation from Jupiter's magnetic field. Since 1979, it has also been known for its abundant volcanism.


  • The Mad Moon (1935), short story by Stanley G. Weinbaum. Io is home to two native races, the moronic balloon-headed loonies and the ratlike slinkers.
  • Lucky Starr and the Moons of Jupiter (1957), young adult novel by Isaac Asimov. Climactic confrontation between Lucky and a Sirian spy on Io.
  • Bio of a Space Tyrant - Volume 1 - Refugee (1983), novel by Piers Anthony. Io is a hellish planet where the protagonist, Hope Hubris, seeks the aid of a scientist, Mason, at a research station. Hope is shown a picture of Megan, Mason's niece, who would later become Hope's wife.
  • The Very Pulse of the Machine (1998), Hugo award-winning short story by Michael Swanwick. Features the volcanic, sulfurous landscape of Io, as well as the powerful electrical flux between Io and Jupiter.
  • Ilium (2003), novel by Dan Simmons. Io's magnetic flux tube is used to hyper-accelerate spacecraft throughout the Solar System. It is also the home of a moravec named Orphu.
  • In Camouflage (2004), by Joe Haldeman, several scientists attempt to communicate with an extraterrestrial object found on the floor of the Pacific Ocean by (among other methods) subjecting it to the atmospheres of various planets and moons, including Io. Haldeman writes, "Io's atmosphere is exotic and variable... The fact that it's a poisonous mixture of sulfur dioxide and sodium isn't relevant to human survival; a human would freeze solid in the middle of explosive decompression, not having time to notice that the air smelled bad."[1]
  • Kim Stanley Robinson's novels Galileo's Dream (2009) and 2312 (2012) both include descriptions of human colonies on Io, in the 29th and 24th centuries, respectively. In both novels, Io is an inhospitable, dangerous place and lava plays a significant role.
  • In Jake Stephen Jackson's The Dawning Clocks of Time (2011), Io is a habitable planet home to an extraterrestrial city.
  • Gregory Benford has in various writings described Io as being the color of pizza.[2]


Back cover illustrations for Fantastic Adventures (May 1940)

Film and television[edit]

  • 2010 (1984) - sequel to 2001: A Space Odyssey. The ship from 2001 (the Discovery) is in orbit around Io where a joint Soviet and U.S. mission revive the ship and solve the mystery of the Monolith.
  • Outland (1981) - film written and directed by Peter Hyams (who also wrote and directed 2010, as above) which is set in a mining colony on Io.
  • V: The Series (1984–1985) - NBC TV series. Io is destroyed (vaporized) by the most powerful single weapon possessed by the Visitors from Sirius, the Particle Beam Triax.
  • Five Faces of Darkness, episode of The Transformers, animated series. Autobots Blurr and Wheelie end up stranded on Io after a Decepticon attack.
  • Red Dwarf (1988–2017), television comedy. Character Arnold Rimmer was born and raised on Io.
  • Exosquad (1993–1995), animated series. Io is the Exofleet's main base of operations after the Neosapien conquest of the homeworlds and the scene of several critical battles in the Terran-Neosapien War in the series' second season.
  • Babylon 5 (1993–1999), television series. Io is home to an Earth Alliance colony, second in size only to the colony on Mars. The Sol system's jumpgate is stationed in orbit around Io along with an Orion-Class Starbase serving as a transfer station for all spacecraft entering or leaving the system. There is also a research colony on Ganymede and an "ice mining operation" that is referred to as "a real cesspool of crime" on Europa.
  • Escape from Jupiter (1994), Australian ABC television series. Colonists in a mining colony on Io must evacuate to the orbiting space station KL5 when the moon's core destabilises.
  • Space Odyssey: Voyage to the Planets (2005), BBC docudrama about a hypothetical manned mission to various points of the Solar System. An astronaut lands on Io to collect samples of its rocks. Due to radiation risks and the astronaut becoming exhausted, the EVA on Io is aborted early and the samples are abandoned.
  • Heroic Age (2007), anime. Jupiter is destroyed when a high-powered energy gun is used to knock Io out of orbit. It plummets into the atmosphere and ignites it, and intervention by the Silver and Bronze fleets leads to a cataclysmic explosion.
  • Captain Vyom (1998), is a live action superhero science fiction adventure series focusing on capturing escaped criminals from a jail on Io.


  • Mobile Suit Crossbone Gundam (1994-1997) heavily features the moon in its narrative. The President of the Jupiter Empire is said to operate from Io.
  • Action Comics #775: What's So Funny About Truth, Justice & the American Way? (March 2001) is a story that was published by DC Comics. In the story, Superman battles the anti-hero group The Elite on Io. It was broadcast on live television. The story was adapted into the second DC Animated film Superman vs. The Elite (2012).
  • Gany-Wars (2018) is a science fiction graphic novel by artist Akshay Sharma, featuring a future war between humans & androids. The events of the novel take place in the year 2223 on the icy Ganymede. The androids were believed to be from an unknown planet or from the nearby moon Io.


  • Ultima II (1982) computer game. The player must travel through various worlds, including Io, to complete the game.
  • Pipeline (1989), Superior Software computer game. Set on a sulfur mine on Io.
  • Descent (1995), computer game. Level 11 is set in a sulfur mine on Io.
  • Disruptor (1996), game for Sony PlayStation. A level is set within "the sulphurine mines of Io".
  • Final Doom (1996) computer (and Sony PlayStation) game. The first set of levels, "Evilution", takes place on a research base on Io.
  • POD - Planet of Death (1997) computer racing game. After colonization for mining, a corrosive biosubstance known as Pod emerges from the ground, devoring the moon, eventually tearing it apart.
  • ZeroZone (1997), computer game. Io is one of the settings.
  • Battlezone I (1998), computer game. Some missions are set on the surface of Io and Europa. Ganymede is featured exclusively in the Red Odyssey expansion.
  • System Shock 2 (1999), computer game. During the character creation process, a tour of duty at the Io Survival Training School grants the character +2 Endurance.
  • Halo (2001), Xbox game. Early in the series' backstory, the United Nations Colonial Advisors on Io came under attack by "Frieden" secessionist forces which eventually led to the "Interplanetary War". Later, in Halo 2, detector stations on Io pick up a space-time "whisper" that warns of Covenant vessels approaching Earth via slipspace.
  • Dead Space 2 (2011), Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 game. While traversing through the church of Unitology on Titan Station, an announcer describes several stained glass windows of the church are in fact made from refined sand from "Jupiter's long lost moon, Io", suggesting that Io was planetcracked and mined into nonexistence long before the start of the game.
  • Dota 2 (2013), PC and Macintosh game. Dota 2 features a hero that goes by the name of Io. Io has various abilities, one of which summons orbs that appear to orbit around the hero similar to that of multiple moons. Io is commonly played as a support hero to various other heroes.
  • Offworld Trading Company (2016), PC and Macintosh game. The "Jupiter's Forge" DLC introduces Io as a third location where matches can take place. Compared to Mars and Ceres, energy and fuel are much easier to produce, whereas water and food involve a more difficult process. Resources deplenish on Io. The days also last much longer.
  • Destiny 2 (2017), PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 game. Io is one of the worlds in which players (Guardians) can visit. In the game's lore, Io is considered a sacred and holy place for the Guardians, especially for Warlocks, as it was the last place the Traveler visited during the Golden Age and before the Collapse. Despite this, the moon is now populated with Vex, Taken and Cabal Red Legion enemies.
  • Warframe (2015), PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 game. Several missions of the game take place in various locations on Jupiters orbit and one of them is set in Io.


  • The song "Message From Io" performed by Enigma is from sixth album "A Posteriori" (2006).
  • The song Trust Fall by Incubus Mentions Io
  • The moon is sung about in the Blur song "Far Out".
  • "Songs from Io" an album by Absolution Project.
  • Kayo Dot's "Coffins on Io" takes place on the moon.
  • The "Dark Jovian" EP by Amon Tobin features two tracks about Io; "Io" and "Encounter on Io".
  • Six Organs of Admittance's "Visions (From Io)" on the Album "Ascent" (2012).
  • Io (1987; large ensemble, electronics) by Kaija Saariaho, 20th century classical composer


  • In the Big Finish Doctor Who audio drama Zagreus it is claimed that Winkle's Wonderland was located on Io in 2367. However, it was later relocated.



Europa is the smallest of the four Galilean satellites and the second closest to Jupiter. It is theorized to have an ocean of liquid water underneath its icy surface; the thickness of the ice is much debated. The probable presence of the water ocean has made it a favored location for modern fictional speculation about extraterrestrial life in the Solar System.


  • Redemption Cairn (1936), short story by Stanley G. Weinbaum. Europa has a small Earth-like area on its Jupiter-facing side.
  • The Wizard of Linn (1962) by A. E. van Vogt. A barbarian from Europa tries to conquer the Empire of Linn.
  • 2010: Odyssey Two (1982) and 2061: Odyssey Three (1988) by Arthur C. Clarke. Aliens taking interest in the primitive life forms under Europa's ice transform Jupiter into a star to kick-start their evolution. Fifty years later, Europa has become a tropical ocean world from which humans are banned.
  • The Memory of Whiteness (1985) by Kim Stanley Robinson. The protagonists visit Europa, which hosts large human colonies who live around pools of melted ice.
  • Schismatrix (1985) by Bruce Sterling. Europa is inhabited by genetically re-engineered posthumans as a philosophical/political statement by Abelard Lindsay's Lifesider's clique.
  • The Forge of God (1987) by Greg Bear. Europa is destroyed by aliens who use chunks of its ice to terraform planets.
  • A Spy in Europa (1997), short story in the Revelation Space series by Alastair Reynolds. An advanced human society called the Demarchists live in colonies on Europa on the underside of the ice crust at the top of the subsurface ocean. In later novels they become one of three social groups that dominate interstellar colonization. The race of genetically altered humans adapted to live in the subsurface ocean who feature in A Spy in Europa also appear later in Reynolds's 2006 short story Grafenwalder's Bestiary.
  • Ice Dragon's Song (1998), novella by Bud Sparhawk. A 12-year-old treks across the face of icy Europa.
  • Europa Strike (2000) by Ian Douglas. A massive ancient alien spacecraft lies in an ocean beneath the moon's surface, the discovery of which leads to a battle between Chinese forces and US Marines in 2067.
  • Outlaws of Europa (2002) by Michel Savage. Europa has been turned into a prison planet.[4]
  • Ilium (2003) by Dan Simmons. Creatures from Europa feature prominently.
  • Riding the White Bull (2004), short story by Caitlín R. Kiernan. Probes discover an ecosystem in the sea beneath Europa's ice and subsequently infect Earth with a sentient Europan microbe.
  • Ocean (2004), comic book by Warren Ellis. An ancient race of aliens is discovered in hibernation below the surface of Europa. At the climax the moon is destroyed by a horrific weapon.
  • The Quiet War (2008) by Paul J. McAuley. Europa's subsurface ocean is home to the only non-Terran (microbial) life in the Solar System, although as a result of panspermia from a microbe-laden meteorite from an early Solar System body's collision with Earth billions of years ago.
  • Galileo's Dream (2009) by Kim Stanley Robinson. Galileo is transported to Europa in the 29th century. The colonists live in a Venice-like underground city carved from ice. Under the ice live vast, sentient organisms in a subsurface ocean.
  • In Jeremy Robinson's Beneath (2010), a manned expedition travels to Europa to explore the moon and its potential for extraterrestrial life.
  • In Genevieve Valentine's "A Bead of Jasper, Four Small Stones" (2012), terraformers attempt to build a colony on Europa.
  • In Ernest Cline's Armada (2015), Earth is in a military conflict with an alien species from Europa.
  • In Jeff Carlson's Frozen Sky trilogy (2012, 2014, 2016), an intelligent alien lifeform is discovered on Europa which is considered older than mankind.


  • Back cover illustrations for Amazing Stories (September 1940, January 1942) by Frank R. Paul. Europa is inhabited by red, beetle-like intelligent beings who ride domesticated centipedes and live inside immense transparent plastic domes in a city called Oor.

Film and television[edit]

  • The movie sequel 2010 based on the similar book by Arthur C. Clark briefly depicts Europa.
  • In the anime series Geneshaft, Europa is not merely a moon, but a giant computer housing an AI called Oberus. Oberus uses Rings of its own creation to monitor the evolution of humanity and acts as a failsafe, should humanity threaten the natural order of the universe. In the final episode of the series, Oberus is forced to run its final program, attempting to use its rings to "crush" the sun. It is stopped from completing the process when the Shaft creates a Ring around Europa, terraforming the entire moon.
  • In the anime series Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, George Glenn explores the moon and finds evidence of alien life forms.
  • In the Futurama episode "Put Your Head on My Shoulders", Fry, Amy and Dr Zoidberg go on a picnic to Europa.
  • Voices of a Distant Star features Europa as a United Nations Naval Base, where it is visited by the Lysithea, a battleship that shares its name with another one of Jupiter's moons.
  • In the Internet film To Boldly Flee, by ThatGuyWiththeGlasses.com, Europa is a major plot point.
  • The film Europa Report (2013) is about a manned expedition to Europa to search for signs of life.
  • The Deep Search episode of the TV show Thunderbirds Are Go features a rescue of explorers trapped in the ocean beneath Europa's frozen surface and an encounter with a aquatic lifeform.


  • The French comics Les Fantômes de Neptune (2015), by Valp is a steampunk adventure. The stories begin on Europa. A group of exoarcheologists finds an artifact of an antique civilisation. Just after the discovery, they are attacked by the Prussian army.


  • In the video game Infantry, large cities lie underneath the ice sheets of Europa.
  • In the video game Battlezone, Europa is featured as a cold, ice covered world, where battles take place in cracks between the ice.
  • In the video game Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, the first mission, "Rising Threat", takes place on Europa. It is also the setting for a map of the game's multiplayer mode, Frost.
  • In the video game Galaga: Destination Earth, Europa is featured as the third stage of this game.
  • The computer game Abyss: Incident at Europa involves an underwater base in Europa's ocean.
  • The computer game Descent has two levels set on Europa: level 13 (Europa Mining Colony) and level 14 (Europa CO2 Mine). Its second sequel, Descent 3 also has a level on Europa in which the player must destroy an energy refinery. The game depicts Europa as a snowy landscape.
  • In the role-playing game Transhuman Space (2002), life is discovered around hydrothermal vents in the oceans of Europa. Subsequently, a war begins under the ice between those who seek to preserve the native microbial fauna and those who wish to adapt sapient life of Earthly origin to live near the vents.
  • In the video game Starlancer, the introductory cinematic depicts a surprise attack on Fort Kennedy located on Europa.
  • In the PS1 game Carnage Heart, Europa is one of three of Jupiter's moons on which you battle to defend the mining outposts from the Drakken Group, a huge conglomerate comprising a few hundred of the world's biggest corporations.
  • The PC action/shooter Absolute Zero depicted a battle between strange aliens that rose from the ice of Europa and the human colonists.
  • The Amiga game Uropa 2, is set on the surface, and in underground bases of Europa.
  • In the video game Redout, humanity attempted to terraform Europa and failed. It is also the site of a SRRL complex.
  • In the indie game Barotrauma you're a submarine crew member beneath the ice of Jupiter's moon Europa.


  • Rosetta released The Galilean Satellites in 2005 with Translation Loss. The album revolves around an astronaut's voyage to Europa, in a quest for solitude, only to find himself longing for what he's left behind on Earth.
  • The song "The Tale of Europa" by The Phenomenauts uses a conflict between humans and fictional Europan aliens to draw parallels to human wars on Earth.



Ganymede is the third of the Galilean moons from Jupiter. It is the largest moon in the Solar System, bigger than the planet Mercury (though less massive), almost 52% larger than the diameter of the Moon and with twice its mass. It is 77% the diameter of Mars. Ganymede's size made it a popular location for early science fiction authors looking for locations beyond Mars that might be inhabitable by humans. In reality, Ganymede is a cold, icy, cratered world with a vanishingly thin atmosphere.


  • In the short story Tidal Moon (1938) by Stanley G. Weinbaum and Helen Weinbaum, most of Ganymede's surface is flooded every three months due to Jupiter's tides.
  • In the short story Christmas on Ganymede (1940) by Isaac Asimov, native beings on Ganymede are introduced to the holiday.
  • In the short stories Not Final! (1941) and Victory Unintentional (1942) by Isaac Asimov, a conflict arises between humans living on Ganymede and the inhabitants of Jupiter.
  • In Arthur C. Clarke's novels 2061: Odyssey Three (1987) and 3001: The Final Odyssey (1997), Ganymede is warmed by the new sun Lucifer and contains a large equatorial lake. Anubis City is the centre of human colonization of the Jovian system.
  • In Robert A. Heinlein's work:[5]
    • In Space Cadet (1948), a recruit is a third generation colonist from Ganymede, and a mission is sent there.
    • In The Rolling Stones (1952), Ganymede is mentioned in passing as a human colony.
    • In Farmer in the Sky (1953), a young man and his family emigrate to Ganymede and join an agricultural pioneer settlement. The story describes the terraforming and colonization of this satellite. The novel assumes that Ganymede has a rocky surface under an ice layer.
    • In Double Star (1956), Ganymede is represented by a political party.
    • In Time for the Stars (1956), Ganymede is again mentioned as having a human colony.
    • In I Will Fear No Evil (1970), the Lunar Commission proposes terraforming Ganymede.
    • In Variable Star (2006; written by Spider Robinson from the notes of R.A. Heinlein), Ganymede is a birthplace of the novel's protagonist, Joel Johnston.
  • Leigh Brackett's short story The Dancing Girl of Ganymede (1950) is set on a volcanic, jungle-covered Ganymede.
  • In Poul Anderson's novella The Snows of Ganymede (1954), a party of terraformers visits a settlement on Ganymede called X which was established two centuries earlier by American religious fanatics.
  • In Lester del Rey's novel Outpost of Jupiter (1963), a plague strikes the human settlement of Outpost on Ganymede. In another novel, Space Jockey, Ganymede is a former penal colony of Earth, now independent and distrustful of terrestrials.
  • In the title story of Alan E. Nourse's collection of science fiction short stories The Counterfeit Man (1963), the crew of an exploratory spaceship is suspected to have been infiltrated by at least one highly malicious and intelligent shapeshifting alien on its return from Ganymede, a seemingly empty moon.
  • In Poul Anderson's Three Worlds to Conquer (1964), human settlers on Ganymede, threatened by the power-mad captain of a space warship, make contact with a sympathetic culture on the Jovian surface—tribespeople menaced by invading cruel barbarians—and eventually manage to help each other overcome their respective enemies.
  • Ganymede is referred to in virtually all of Philip K. Dick's novels from the 1950s and 1960s, although it seldom receives more than a brief mention, with two exceptions: Clans of the Alphane Moon (1964) introduces Lord Running Clam, an intelligent slime mold from Ganymede, while The Ganymede Takeover (1967) involves sentient wormlike gestalt aliens who have invaded Earth.
  • In Lester del Rey's novel The Runaway Robot (1965), the main character Paul and his robot live in a colony on Ganymede at the beginning of the story.
  • The Goddess of Ganymede (1967) and Pursuit on Ganymede (1968) are sword and planet adventures by Mike Resnick.
  • Yo visité Ganímedes (I visited Ganymede, 1972) and Mi preparación para Ganímedes (My preparation for Ganymede, 1975) by Peruvian writer José Rosciano, relates in first person the story of a friend Pepe that keeps contacts with a civilisation in Ganymede. In this perfect civilisation, whose inhabitants communicate via telepathy, there are no wars or illnesses. The book follows the UFO religion line and plays with the story being actually true.
  • In the short story Marooned (1976) by John W. Campbell, the advanced base camp of the Corliss Jovian exploration mission is set on the frozen surface of Ganymede.
  • James P. Hogan wrote the Giants series that eventually spanned five books (Inherit the Stars (1977), The Gentle Giants of Ganymede (1978), Giants' Star (1981), Entoverse (1991) and Mission to Minerva (2005)) in which an alien race which inhabited a destroyed fifth planet between Mars and Jupiter is discovered in the hulk of an abandoned spacecraft discovered on Ganymede.
  • In the series of novels collectively called Bio of a Space Tyrant (1983–86) by Piers Anthony, the moon is analogous to 20th century Cuba, and is the focus of a futuristic missile crisis.
  • The science fiction novel Buddy Holly Is Alive and Well on Ganymede (1991) by Bradley Denton[6] begins when television sets throughout the world suddenly begin broadcasting a concert by an apparently living Buddy Holly, who says he is on Ganymede.
  • The majority of events in The Ganymede Club (1995), a science fiction mystery by Charles Sheffield, take place on Ganymede.
  • In the science fiction novel Bloom (1998) by Wil McCarthy, Earth's ecosystem is destroyed by a grey goo, annihilating all biological life. The grey goo then develops its own unique “ecosystem”. The only human survivors are colonists on Jupiter's moons and in the asteroid belt.[7]
  • In the novel Orphanage (2004) by Robert Buettner, an alien race uses Ganymede as a staging area for a war against Earth.
  • In Paul J. McAuley's The Quiet War (2008), Ganymede is one of the earliest sites for human colonization in the outer Solar System. Due to its proximity to Jupiter, its inhabitants live several kilometers beneath its ice cover. It is one of the dominant forces in "Outer" system politics due to its early settlement.
  • In James S. A. Corey's (pen name of authors Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck) science fiction novel Caliban's War (2012), there is a conflict in the Solar System that involves Earth, Mars, and the Asteroid Belt. This book continues the story from Leviathan Wakes, and follows James Holden and the crew of Rocinante. In the book they're drawn into a search for a missing child on the colonized mining moon of Jupiter; Ganymede, which is in the midst of war and on the verge of destruction.
  • In the Horus Heresy series of books by a large collaboration of authors (2006 - Current), Ganymede is briefly mentioned as "Another of the moons of Jupiter with shipyards centering around it, as well as the dozen other smaller, artificial moons." It is part of the Shipbuilding complex of Jupiter that supports the ongoing galaxy wide war of the Imperium of Man in the 30th millennium. It is led by the Emperor of mankind in an attempt to exterminate the "Xenos" (aliens) in the Milky-way Galaxy and unify mankind.


  • In Frank R. Paul's series of back cover illustrations for Amazing Stories (October 1940, February 1942), Ganymede was inhabited by ferocious tiger-women who ride Dinosaurs. They live in the crater city of Gatos, which derives its power from the moon's magnetic field.

Film and television[edit]

  • Ganymede is one setting in the 1977 Space Sentinels episode "The Jupiter Spore," in which a robotic alien lives on that world as a hermit, because he tires of all of the war throughout the galaxy, particularly on his own homeworld.
  • The made-for-TV German movie Operation Ganymed [de] (1977) tells the story of five astronauts returning from an expedition to Ganymede. They find a seemingly desolate Earth and are trying to find out what happened while they were in space.
  • In the Power Rangers television series (1993-), Ganymede is the hiding place chosen by Zordon as the hiding space for a fleet of Zords known as the Mega Vehicles, which combine to form the Mega Voyager. The Space Rangers locate these Zords after winning Key Cards from Darkonda in a card game. ("Flashes of Darkonda", "The Rangers' Mega Voyage").
  • In the science fiction television series Babylon 5 (1993–1999), the Shadows bury a ship under the surface of Ganymede, which is dug up during the third-season episode "Messages from Earth" (1996).
  • In Space Battleship Yamato (also called Star Blazers), Ganymede has a base where the Yamato/Argo goes for repairs while fighting the Comet Empire.
  • In the anime series Cowboy Bebop (1998), Ganymede is depicted as an aquatic planet, a terraformed world that is entirely covered in water. Animal life, most likely created by human intervention, is also depicted, such as the Ganymede searat, a species of rodent-like seal. About 7 million people live on it in floating colonies which are supported on large barge-type foundations. The character Jet Black was a police officer on Ganymede, and presumably was born there. Jet also has a watch that is apparently from Ganymede which seems to imply a 30-hour day. Jet has been quoted during the series[8] saying "A woman's heart is as fickle as the skies of Ganymede."
  • In the anime series Geneshaft, Ganymede is the home of a human research outpost. It is also the former home of the extinct race that are assumed to have created humanity, the Giants of Ganymede. Their technology was unearthed and studied, culminating in the construction of the Bilkis and the Shaft.
  • In the anime Getter Robo Armageddon, after Invaders caused Jupiter and many of its moons to become a new Getter Ray Sun, Ganymede was thrown out of its orbit beside Jupiter and was then on a collision course with Earth, prompting the Getter Robos to stop the disaster.
  • Ganymede is the location of a mining colony in the series Return to Jupiter.
  • In the anime series Sei Jūshi Bismarck, Ganymede is a human colony and the base of operations of the protagonists.
  • In the 2017- television show The Expanse, Ganymede is a planet where much of the solar system's food production takes place. A battle on Ganymede and its consequences for food security and the peace between Mars and Earth plays a pivotal role in the second season. In addition, Ganymede harbors a secret station for research on the extra-solar molecule at the core of the series.


  • In the 32nd Millennium of the Warhammer 40,000 (1987) universe, Ganymede is destroyed during a Warp Core experiment that goes horribly wrong.
  • In the Sharp X68000 game Star Cruiser, The game begins with the protagonist running a virtual combat training simulation on Ganymede.
  • In the DOS game One Must Fall: 2097, the prize for victory in the tournament is the development right to Ganymede, which is also the home of the Angels, who seek to prevent their home being developed.
  • In the PC game FOM, Ganymede is a space colony which has been terraformed to support humanity.
  • In the game Target Earth for Sega Genesis, the first level "Assault on Ganymede", takes place on a space station set on Ganymede where the space-outcast enemies make their first strike.
  • In the PS1 game Carnage Heart, Ganymede is one of three of Jupiter's moons on which you battle to defend the mining outposts from the Drakken Group, a huge conglomerate comprising a few hundred of the worlds biggest corporations.
  • In the PC game Shadowgrounds and its sequel Shadowgrounds Survivor, the story takes place in colonized and terraformed Ganymede.
  • In Halo 3, the EVA armor was built in a zero-g testing facility on Ganymede.
  • In Spore, Ganymede is one of the planets (or, in this case moons) from the Sol system that the player can terraform and colonize.



Callisto is the outermost of the Galilean satellites. It is a large moon, only slightly smaller than the planet Mercury. It is cold, icy, and heavily cratered, with a very tenuous atmosphere. Despite its size and early discovery, it has not been featured in fiction as much as the other Galilean satellites.




  • In Frank R. Paul's series of back cover illustrations for Amazing Stories (August 1940, December 1941), Callisto was inhabited by blue-skinned, white-haired, four-tentacled humanoids. Their city, Serenis, consists of colonnaded dwellings around the rim of a green lake.

Film and television[edit]

  • Jupiter Moon (1990) was a short-lived British soap opera. It was set on a space university that orbited Callisto.
  • Cowboy Bebop (1998) features a snowy, Siberia-like Callisto, filled with fugitives and populated only by men.
  • Terrahawks (1983) Series 1, Episode 8, "The Sporilla" is set in a radio surveillance post on Callisto.


  • In the game Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner (2003), the protagonist, Dingo Egret, finds the Orbital Frame Jehuty buried in ice under Callisto's surface. It is also on Callisto, that Metatron is discovered.
  • In the video game series G-Police, your character is a pilot for a police force on Callisto.
  • In the computer game Descent, level 12 takes place at the Callisto Tower Colony.
  • In the PS1 game Carnage Heart, Callisto is one of three of Jupiter's moons on which you battle to defend the mining outposts from the Drakken Group, a huge conglomerate comprising a few hundred of the worlds biggest corporations.
  • In the arcade game Captain Commando, Callisto is the last stage, and headquarters of the game's main villain Scumocide.


  • The moon is sung about in the Blur song "Far Out".

Other moons[edit]


Two views of Amalthea

Amalthea, or Jupiter V, is the third moon from Jupiter and the largest of the inner satellites of Jupiter.

  • James Blish's Cities in Flight series begins with the story They Shall Have Stars (1956), where a base has been established on Jupiter V. This base is the remote operations centre for the Bridge Project on Jupiter proper.
  • Arthur C. Clarke universe
    • The short story Jupiter Five (1951) is set on Amalthea; its plot depends on the moon's weak gravity, and explores what might happen if an astronaut were thrown from its surface. Clarke continued referring to Amalthea as Jupiter V in his later works.
    • In an early draft of 2001: A Space Odyssey novel, the predecessor of the giant monolith is located on the surface of Amalthea (according to Clarke in The Lost Worlds of 2001 [1972]).
    • In A Meeting with Medusa (1971), space vessels use Amalthea as a natural particle/radiation shield.
    • Paul Preuss' Venus Prime series book five, The Diamond Moon (1990), and six, The Shining Ones (1991), deal with the exploration of Amalthea.
  • In Dan Simmons's Olympos, the moravec Retrograde Sinopessen is a member of the Five Moons Consortium from Amalthea.
  • The Way to Amalthea is a sci-fi story set on Amaltheia written by Boris and Arkady Strugatsky in 1959 (published in Russian in 1960, in English translation in 1963).
  • In the SHMUP Sol-Feace, the strongest line of the villain's defense and sixth level is on Amalthea.
  • In the 1980 animated series Astro Boy, Amalthea is destroyed by the illegal test-firing of an antiproton gun, with disastrous consequences.


Pasiphae (Jupiter VIII) is used as a setting in John Varley's novel The Ophiuchi Hotline, though it is referred to by its pre-1975 name, Poseidon.


Sinope, or Jupiter IX, is a small irregular satellite of Jupiter. From the time of its discovery in 1914 until the discovery of Megaclite in 2000, it was the outermost of Jupiter's known moons. It is still the most distant Jovian moon to have a diameter of more than 10 km.

  • In Isaac Asimov's 1957 novel Lucky Starr and the Moons of Jupiter, an experimental ship design is located on "Jupiter Nine". Asimov erroneously calls the moon "Adrastea", although in 1957 it had no official name and had been unofficially dubbed "Hades", while "Adrastea" was unofficially used for Jupiter XII (now called Ananke). Asimov's confusion may have arisen from the fact that, of the moons known in the 1950s, Jupiter IX was the twelfth most distant from Jupiter, and Jupiter XII was the ninth. To add to the confusion, Adrastea is now used as the name of an inner satellite of Jupiter that was not discovered until 1979.
  • In Exosquad (1993–1995), Sinope was the location of the Neosapiens' top-secret super-weapon, Fusion Pulse Cannon. After the Cannon has been destroyed by the Terrans, Sinope was blown to asteroids by the explosion and, thus, ceased to exist.


  • In Planet Comics #29 a fictional moonlet of Jupiter, Pan, is shown.
  • The B-movie Fire Maidens from Outer Space (1956) features a space mission to "Jupiter's thirteenth moon". This cannot refer to the moon now numbered Jupiter XIII (Leda), as it was not discovered until 1974, long after the film was made.
  • In Brenda Hiatt's 2013 teen, science fiction themed romance novel, Starstruck, Rigel impresses Marsha with a telescope that clearly sees Leda. Rigel is in turn impressed that Marsha knows so much about the obscure Moon of Jupiter, to include that it was not even discovered until 1974.
  • In the comic book series Letter 44, a moon believed to be Carme is destroyed by a test firing of the mysterious alien construct known as the Chandelier.[9]
  • In the TV show The Expanse (season two, episode nine), a spaceship hides beside Cyllene (somewhat mispronounced) which is also noted as the 54th of the "71 cute little moons of Jupiter".

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Haldeman, Joe (2004). Camouflage. New York: Ace Books. p. 172. ISBN 0-441-01161-6.
  2. ^ Benford, Gregory (2011). "Terraforming Ganymede with Robert A. Heinlein". Baen. Retrieved August 2, 2014. Io, the pizza planet...
  3. ^ Paul, Frank R. "Bibliography: Crystallis, Glass City of Io". Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Retrieved August 2, 2014.
  4. ^ "Outlaws of Europa". Greyforest.com. Retrieved 2011-05-15.
  5. ^ "G - Heinlein Concordance". Heinleinsociety.org. 2003-02-09. Retrieved 2011-05-15.
  6. ^ ISBN 0-688-10822-9 and ISBN 0-380-71876-6
  7. ^ McCarthy, Will. Bloom. New York: Ballantine Del Rey Books, 1998.
  8. ^ Episode "Hard Luck Woman"
  9. ^ Soule, Charles (2015). Redshift. Letter 44. 2. Art by Alberto Jiménez Alburquerque. Portland, Oregon: Oni Press. ISBN 978-1-62010-206-0.