List of fictional colors

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This is a list of fictional colors which were invented for a fictional piece of work.

  • Actinic is an invented name used by Larry Niven in the Ringworld Engineers for the human sensation of color in vision-damaging ultraviolet light – for example, as seen in welding-torch light (see Actinism). The term "actinic light" was also used in E.E. Smith's Lensmen Series to describe UV light.
  • Amarklor and Kalish are colors in the ultraviolet range seen by Klingons in the Star Trek novel Pawns and Symbols by Majliss Larson. In this story, Klingons see amarklor between violet and kalish, but see the color red as black.
  • Blurple is a colour on Community that Pierce Hawthorne claimed to be able to see upon reaching level 6 of his cult.
  • Garrow  and Infra-White  – colors invented in the Nebulous episode "Madness is a Strange Colour". Both colors affect the human mind in odd ways, either destroying or creating sanity. Professor Nebulous claims that he discovered Infra-White by looking underneath and behind the visible spectrum.
  • Fuligin – both a color and a textile having that color, associated with the Guild of Torturers in Gene Wolfe's book, The Shadow of the Torturer. The color is defined as "the color that is darker than black" and also as "the color of soot."
  • Grue and bleen – colors that change after an arbitrary, but fixed time; coined by philosopher Nelson Goodman to illustrate what he calls "the new riddle of induction."[1]
  • Mull and glow - an infrared and an ultraviolet color seen by futuristic humans in Victor Emmanuel's The Messiah of the Cylinder (1917).
  • Hooloovoo – a superintelligent shade of the color blue in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series by Douglas Adams.
    In Life, the Universe, and Everything, Adams mentions Agrajag's lair as being painted in "the whole spectrum of eye-defying colours from Ultra Violent to Infra Dead, taking in Liver Purple, Loathsome Lilac, Matter Yellow, Burnt hombre and Gan Green on the way."[2]
  • Octarine – the color of magic in the Discworld fantasy novels, described as resembling a fluorescent greenish-yellow purple.
  • Squant – a fourth primary color publicized by the experimental band Negativland in 1993.
  • Jale, Ulfire and Dolm – Two new primary colors (Jale and Ulfire) and a compound color of ulfire and blue (dolm) from A Voyage to Arcturus (1920) by David Lindsay. Jale and Ulfire are described as "Just as blue is delicate and mysterious, yellow clear and unsubtle, and red sanguine and passionate, so he felt ulfire to be wild and painful, and jale dreamlike, feverish, and voluptuous."
  • The Colour Out of Space – a vaguely described alien hue, from the story of that name by H. P. Lovecraft (1927).
  • The colors tang and burn are colors in the infrared range seen by the albino mutant Olivia Presteign (whose vision only functions in the infrared) in the 1956 science fiction novel The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester.[3]
  • Berl, Crynor, Nusp, and Onsible are colors from the Star Wars universe. They are said to be somewhere in the ultraviolet spectrum, which can be seen by i.a. Hutts and Kaminoans.
  • Htun is a color similar to black only seen by gnomes in the book Fairest by Gail Carson Levine.
  • Sangoire is a color of red 'so dark and saturated it [is] almost black', it is also described as 'the color of blood spilled in moonlight', seen in the Kushiel's Legacy Series by Jacqueline Carey.
  • In The Golden Key, an 1867 fairy tale by George MacDonald, a boy sees additional colors in a rainbow in Fairyland: "He could count all the seven colours, and could see shade after shade beyond the violet; while before the red stood a colour more gorgeous and mysterious still. It was a colour he had never seen before."
  • In the Martian (Barsoom) novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs, the spectrum is divided into nine colors rather than the earthly seven, and the two unearthly colors are called "the eighth ray" and "the ninth ray". John Carter describes the additional colors as "... two beautiful rays which, to me, were new and nameless. I cannot describe them any more than you could describe red to a blind man. I only know that they were beautiful in the extreme." The eighth ray exerts an anti-gravity force and is trapped in tanks by the Red Martians to levitate and propel their flying craft. The ninth ray is processed by the great atmosphere factory to create breathable air for Barsoom.
  • Smaudre is a color from the fairy world in Jack Vance's Suldrun's Garden. The fairy folk find it lovely, but to the human eye, it appears colorless.
  • Rawn and Pallow are colors associated with circles of magic beyond white, black, purple and green in Jack Vance's Green Magic.
  • Plaid is one of the colors outside of the natural human spectrum visible to large intelligent arachnids in Vernor Vinge's novel A Deepness in the Sky.
  • Shattan is said to be a fourth primary color for Yalia people in Wonderland Online. It is said to have calming properties and appears to humans as a combination of golden and infraviolet colors.[citation needed]
  • Flange is "every color of the rainbow, all at once" in the book The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles by Julie Andrews Edwards.[4]
  • Apocyan, Cosmogone, Gant, Irrigo, Peligin, Violant, and Viric are colors found only in the subterranean Neath of Failbetter Games' Fallen London universe.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Nelson Goodman (1983). Fact, fiction, and forecast. Harvard University Press. p. 74. ISBN 978-0-674-29071-6. Retrieved 8 March 2012. 
  2. ^ An excerpt by Tom Snyder of H2G2, located here.
  3. ^ Boucher, Anthony, Editor A Treasury of Great Science Fiction Garden City, New York:1959—Doubleday Volume Two—The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester, Pages 361–522—Color reference Page 465
  4. ^