Sirius in fiction
||This article may contain an excessive amount of intricate detail that may only interest a specific audience. (February 2013)|
- The name "Sirius" is also often applied to people, animals, or things not directly connected with the star. For other uses, see Sirius (disambiguation).
The planetary systems of stars other than the Sun and the Solar System are a staple element in much science fiction. Sirius, a double star system with the binary designation Sirius AB, is the brightest stellar object in the night sky. Its component stars are Sirius A (the primary—twice as massive and 25 times more luminous than the Sun) and Sirius B (the secondary—a faint white dwarf). The distance separating Sirius A from its companion varies between 8.1 and 31.5 AU, reflecting the eccentricity of their mutual orbits. The system contains no known extrasolar planets (see Traveller below)—and even if such were eventually discovered, with an estimated age of 230 million years the system is too young to have fostered the development of life or a complex biosphere.
Sirius AB is the alpha star of the constellation Canis Major (the great dog, sometimes styled as Orion's hunting dog), whence its cognomen the dog star. The most commonly used proper name of this star comes through the Latin Sirius, from the Greek Σείριος (Seirios, glowing or scorcher). The ancient Greeks observed that the appearance of Sirius heralded the hot and dry dog days of summer, and feared that it caused plants to wilt, men to weaken, and women to become aroused. (see The Iliad below). The star was also an important harbinger of winter to Maori and Polynesian cultures, and central to the animist beliefs of the Dogon people of Mali. To this day it is frequently mentioned in science fiction and related popular culture.
General uses of Sirius
Sirius may be referred to in fictional works for its metaphorical (meta) or mythological (myth) associations, or else as a bright point of light in the sky of Earth, but not as a location in space or the center of a planetary system:
- The Iliad (c. eighth cent BCE), epic poem attributed to Homer. Homer describes the final approach of the Greeks' shining warrior, Achilles (see graphic), toward Troy by comparing him to the dazzling star Sirius: The aged Priam was the first of all whose eyes saw him / as he swept across the flat land in full shining, like that star / which comes on in the autumn and whose conspicuous brightness / far outshines the stars that are numbered in the night's darkening, / the star they give the name of Orion's Dog, which is brightest / among the stars, and yet is wrought as a sign of evil / and brings on the great fever for unfortunate mortals. / Such was the flare of the bronze that girt his chest in his running. (sky, myth)
- Absalom and Achitophel (1681), satirical poem by John Dryden. Sirius was commonly thought to cause madness in 18th century England, and it is alluded to in the context of showing that it would plainly be mad to think that Charles II should "displease" the English people: If David's rule Jerusalem displease / The dog-star heats their brains to this disease. / Why then should I, encouraging the bad, / Turn rebel and run popularly mad?  (sky, myth)
- Far from the Madding Crowd (1874), novel by Thomas Hardy. Sirius makes several appearances in this book as a companion of other prominent stars (The kingly brilliancy of Sirius pierced the eye with a steely glitter, the star called Capella was yellow, Aldebaran and Betelgeuse shone with a fiery red.), then as the follower of the Pleiades (The Dog Star and Aldebaran, pointing to the restless Pleiades...). (sky)
- Tess of the d'Urbervilles (1891), novel by Thomas Hardy. Tess sits with her new husband Angel before the embers of a fire, and her jewelry sparkles in its crimson glare: Tess's face and neck reflected the ... warmth, with each gem turned into an Aldebaran or a Sirius — a constellation of red, white, and green flashes, that interchanged their hues with her every pulsation. (Compare Sirius and Aldebaran in Far from the Madding Crowd above.) (meta)
- Dogsbody (1975), juvenile novel by Diana Wynne Jones. The star Sirius (the dog star) is an intelligent being falsely accused by his peers of murdering another star. As expiation he is sent to Earth in the body of a newborn puppy to find the weapon supposedly used in the alleged crime. “Denizen of Sirius,” said Polaris, “you are hereby sentenced to be stripped of all spheres, honors and effulgences and banished from here to the body of a creature native to that sphere where the missing Zoi is thought to have fallen…" (meta)
- The Silmarillion (1977), compendium of mythopoeic works by J. R. R. Tolkien, including the creation myth limning the origins of the Elvish race: Sirius is called Helluin by the Elves, who awoke to the world "when first Menelmacar strode up the sky and the blue fire of Helluin flickered in the mists above the borders of the world..." (sky, myth)
- Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas (1994), novel by Tom Robbins. The plot involves an eclectic mix of characters and complicated scenarios, and mixes the mundane with the mysterious, in the form of the Sirius mysteries and the mythology surrounding the Dogon people of Mali in west Africa, a hypothesis of Robert Temple first published by St. Martin's Press in 1975 under which the Dogons preserve an ancient tradition of contact with intelligent extraterrestrial beings from the Sirius star system. (myth)
There follow references to Sirius as a location in space or the center of a planetary system, categorized by genre:
- True History (c. second cent CE), travel tale by the Greek-speaking Syrian author Lucian of Samosata. The earliest known fiction about travelling to outer space, alien life-forms and interplanetary warfare, it has been referred to as "the first known text that could be called science fiction." The work was composed by Lucian as a savage satire debunking the idiom and the ideals of contemporary romantic travelogues, which regularly represented fantastic and mythical events as the truth. In the novel, the seafaring protagonists are lifted to the Moon by a great waterspout, where they encounter war between the king of the Sun and the king of the Moon. The former counts among his minions the alien Sirian acorn-dogs ("dog-faced men fighting on winged acorns"), who help him carry the day.
- "Micromégas" (1752), short story by Voltaire. The tale recounts the visit to Earth of a giant from a world circling the star Sirius, with his companion from our own planet Saturn. The technique of using an outsider to comment on aspects of western culture was popular at this period; Voltaire used it to make several satirical points, not least that our species may not be so very important in the larger Universe. The story begins: On one of the planets that orbits the star named Sirius there lived a spirited young man, who I had the honor of meeting on the last voyage he made to our little ant hill. He was called Micromégas, a fitting name for anyone so great. He was eight leagues tall, or 24,000 geometric paces of five feet each...
- "A Vision of Judgment" (1899), short story by H.G. Wells. At the Last Judgment, a jaundiced god finds that all of humanity—saints and sinners alike—is wanting. Mankind, freshly "enlightened" and "in new clean bodies," is given a second chance: God shakes them "out of his sleeve upon the planet he had given us to live upon, the planet that whirled about green Sirius for a sun," saying "now that you understand me and each other a little better ... try again." Spectrally, Sirius is classified as a white star, so it is not clear whether Wells' reference to a green Sirius is a metaphor for rebirth, or is literally meant. Writing eight years earlier, Thomas Hardy had suggested the possibility of green flashes in the appearance of the star (see Tess of the d'Urbervilles above).
- The Struggle for Empire: A Story of the Year 2236 (1900), novel by Robert William Cole. The story, an early space opera, describes escalating rivalries and a devastating interstellar war between Earth's Anglo-Saxon Empire and the natives of the Sirian planet Kairet, a struggle that culminates in its invasion of Earth. The novel is notable for the sheer bloodiness of its combat narrative, in which millions of lives are lost in futile battles, and for its early depiction of antigravity, interplanetary radio, television, various forms of death ray, industrial transmutation, and force fields. Neither the natives of Kairet nor their culture are described in any detail.
- "Proof" (1942), short story by Hal Clement published in Astounding Science-Fiction. In this story two intelligences embodied by complex electromagnetic fields shaping fluxes of incandescent star stuff—one of them inhabiting the interior of the star Sirius and the other the Sun—conduct a spirited debate over the "dubious proposal" that relatively cold non-plasma matter could exist in the cosmos. The tale's conceit is lent some plausibility by the fact that plasma (see graphic) is by far the most common state of ordinary matter in the universe, occurring primarily as the rarefied intergalactic substance of galaxy clusters, and in stars.[note 1]
- Foundation series (1951- ), novels by Isaac Asimov. The star system 61 Cygni, in the Sirius Sector, is advanced by Lord Dorwin as a potential site for the planet of origin of the human species. Later the precocious galactic archaeologist Bel Arvardin in his dissertation "On the Antiquity of Artifacts in the Sirius Sector with Considerations of the Application There of to the Radiation Hypothesis of Human Origin," proposes Earth as this planet. Between 800–900 of the Galactic Era, the Sirius system was one of the ten most populous in the Galaxy.
- "Allamagoosa" (1955), short story by Eric Frank Russell published in Astounding Science-Fiction. The Bustler is taking a well-deserved rest: "She lay in the Sirian spaceport, her tubes cold, her shell particle-scarred..." Suddenly a dispatch warns of an imminent snap inspection by the martinet admiral Vane W. Cassidy. The officers and crew immediately go into crisis mode, and they discover the worst—the ship's register of stores lists one offog; nobody knows what it is, and they certainly don't have one. They decide to fake it, with comedic results, and discover only too late that it is a misprint of "off. dog," referring to the ship's official dog, Peaslake.
- Wasp (1957), novel by Eric Frank Russell. Earth, at war with the crypto-nazi Sirian Empire, is technologically superior but outnumbered and out-gunned by a factor of twelve-to-one. Virtuoso conniver James Mowry is recruited to infiltrate the Empire as a wasp: an undercover trickster whose pranks, ranging from the mischievous to the deadly, are to combine in a nine-phase plan that will first weaken and eventually destroy the enemy's morale and will to fight. Initiating his mission on the Sirian outpost world Jaimec ("From now on, he must be wholly a Sirian named Shir Agavan. Agavan was a forestry surveyor employed by the Jaimec Ministry of Natural Resources...") he executes phase one mildly enough, posting 80 stickers with subversive slogans all over town. But that's only the beginning...
- Lucky Starr and the Rings of Saturn (1958), sixth and final novel in the juvenile series written by Isaac Asimov as by Paul French. The Sirians have established a colony on Saturn's moon Titan and claimed the moon for their own, contrary to the established precedent for worlds in inhabited systems. As Starr has it, “... Sirius is occupying this part of it [Titan] and, pending an interstellar conference, there isn’t anything Earth can do about it.” At the conference, Starr executes a diplomatic ruse that catches the Sirians in a contradiction, and they are ordered to leave the moon.
- Seed of Light (1959), novel by Edmund Cooper. The tale concerns the voyage of a generation starship to the Sirius system, fleeing a post-apocalyptic Earth (one of Cooper's frequent themes). Thirteen-year-old protagonist Kepler, by virtue of his esp talents, directs the ship to Sirius B (five planets, with Sirius B III suitable for human settlement) rather than Sirius A (no habitable planets). But he also foretells danger there, and indeed after the ship makes planetfall, seven members of the crew die mysteriously.
- Unearthly Neighbors (1960), novel by Chad Oliver. The humanoid inhabitants of Sirius A IX have a nature-centered worldview based on intuition and meditation. After first contact with terrestrial humans, the vast difference in cultures leads to deep misunderstandings and conflict. Better natures win out, however, and the two civilizations reconcile—to the lasting benefit of both.
- Space Opera (1965), novel by Jack Vance. The formidable Dame Isabel Grayce proposes to bring culture to the wastes of space by forming an opera company for a tour of suitable planets on the starship Phoebus; singers, orchestra, and a famous conductor are all engaged. The ship's cast and crew are to perform Beethoven’s Fidelio for the edification of the byzantaurs of Sirius Planet, which occupies a Trojan position with Sirius A and Sirius B. Under the "blazing white pellet" of Sirius A, encumbered by alien costumes and bizarre plot modifications pandering to native sensibilities, the renowned singers deliver a flat Fidelio; the byzantaurs riot, and are driven from the show tent with fire hoses.
- The Starlight Barking (1967), novel by Dodie Smith; sequel to her children's novel The Hundred and One Dalmatians (1956). All the humans in the world (or at least in England) fall into a deep sleep, while their dogs are compelled to Trafalgar Square where they are addressed from the top of Nelson's Column by Sirius, Lord of the Dog Star (see graphic). "… The light grew strong enough for him to see that it was on the top of Nelson’s column… Nelson vanished and there was nothing but the light… which soon became a dazzling blaze." Sirius takes physical form and invites them all to travel back to his home in the Sirius system where they will be safe from the dangers of nuclear war ("terrible bombs, in a terrible war")[note 2], not to mention the whims and potential abuse of humans. Some dogs are for this, some against, but in the end they all decide to stay on the Earth—they cannot abandon their human companions.
- "Foeman, Where Do You Flee?" (1969), novelette by Ben Bova published in the collection Maxwell's Demons (1979). An expedition sent from the Earth to explore the Sirius system comes across a war-ravaged planet, and the remnants of a shattered human civilization that populate it.
- The Age of the Pussyfoot (1969), novel by Frederik Pohl. Charles Dalgleish Forrester is revived from cryopreservation in the year 2527, and furnished with a large fortune. There follows an episodic narrative detailing his exploits and misfortunes in the world of the 26th century. For a time—until fired by his charge—he serves as a handsomely paid docent and tour-gide to a "Sirian" visitor/detainee on Earth, the alien so called because it was apprehended along with a boatload of its conspecifics in the Sirius star system, and sequestered to prevent its reporting the location of our planet to its homeworld.
- As on a Darkling Plain (1972), novel by Ben Bova. An insterstellar expedition explores the planet Sirius A II, or Makta, in whose daytime sky "Sirius was a blowtorch searing down on them," and even at night "the Pup [white dwarf Sirius B] bathed [the] world in a deathly bluish glow far brighter yet colder than moonlight." They discover the descendants of primeval Neanderthal colonists from Earth, whose ancient civilization was blasted by the same mysterious Others that had destroyed Earth's pre-Atlantean cultures, and had left enigmatic doomsday machines on Saturn's moon Titan to plague homo sapiens down the ages. (Compare similar events in the novelette "Foeman, Where Do You Flee?" above, written by Bova in 1969.)
- "The Borderland of Sol" (1975), Known Space short story by Larry Niven published in the collection Tales of Known Space (1975). JInx is a massive moon of the gas giant Primary in orbit around Sirius A. The satellite is distended by tidal forces into a prolate spheroid, with a surface gravity in the habitable zones near the upper limits of human extended tolerance. The poles lie in vacuum; the equatorial regions are Venus-like (and inhabited only by the Bandersnatchi); the zones between have an atmosphere breathable by humans. "The orange trees that lined the walks were foreshortened by gravity; their trunks were thick cones, and the oranges on the branches were not much bigger than ping pong balls... The Jinxians we passed were short and wide, designed like bricks,..."[note 3]
- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1979), novel and series by Douglas Adams. Most of the technology mentioned in the Hitchhiker series consists of products of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation, a decidedly inept company responsible for the design and creation of a wide range of robots and labor-saving devices, none of which work as intended, "their fundamental design flaws being completely hidden by their superficial design flaws." The firm's most successful division is the Complaint Department, which takes up all of the major landmasses on the first three planets in the Sirius Tau system.
- The Sirian Experiments (1980), third novel in the Canopus in Argos series by literature Nobelist Doris Lessing. The Sirian Empire, centred in the Sirius star system, has advanced technology that makes its citizens effectively immortal and sophisticated machines that do almost everything for them. But the empire encroaches on the superior Canopean Empire; war ensues, and is eventually settled with a peace pact and joint colonization of Rohanda (Earth), where Sirian technocrat Ambien II carries out a number of bio-sociological and genetic experiments on the indigenous population. As in all Lessing's Canopus novels, the Sirian novel can be interpreted as a Sufi-inflected drive towards union with universal principles (God).
- The Songs of Distant Earth (1986), novel by Arthur C. Clarke. Scientists in the 1960s discover that the neutrino (νe) emissions from the Sun are far less than predicted by theory;[note 4] it is soon confirmed that the Sun will go nova around the year 3600 CE. Humankind embarks on a massive project to send robot-tended human and other mammalian embryos to habitable worlds orbiting nearby stars. The first destination is Pasadena, a marginally viable planet of Alpha Centauri A; "... the next likely target was more than twice as far away. The voyage time to Sirius X would be over four hundred years; when the seeder arrived, Earth might no longer exist."
- The Garden of Rama (1991), novel written by Arthur C. Clarke and Gentry Lee, a sequel to the novels Rendezvous with Rama and Rama II. The Rama of the title is an alien starship, a prototypical Big Dumb Object that arrives without warning in the Solar System in 2130 (see graphic). Explorers discover that the huge vessel is a hollow world-environment in the style of an O'Neill cylinder. Over the course of seven decades and three novels humanity slowly apprehends the nature of the purpose and the advanced alien intelligences behind the Rama artifacts; in Garden a small crew of astronauts sails the Rama II to a Raman Node in the Sirius system where they undergo psychological tests administered by unseen agents, and are then sent home to recruit 2000 more of their kind as colonists destined for an unspecified world.
- Great North Road (2012), novel by Peter F. Hamilton. The story is set partially on the habitable world of St Libra in the Sirius star system.
Film and television
- "Mudd's Passion" (1973), episode of Star Trek: The Animated Series written by Stephen Kandel and directed by Hal Sutherland, as part of the film, television, and print franchise originated by Gene Roddenberry. In 2269, the planetary government of Sirius IX charges Federation outlaw Harry Mudd with fraud and swindling, to wit, selling fake love-crystals. The USS Enterprise is given the task of arresting the perennial—if lovable—scoundrel. Taking him into custody, the officers and crew of the Enterprise discover that the crystals are all too efficacious. Complications ensue.
- "Frontier in Space" (1973), serial of the British television series Doctor Who, written by Malcolm Hulke and directed by Paul Bernard. The Doctor and his companion Jo Grant are the victims of an elaborate frame-up as career criminals. Who's old nemesis, the Master, poses as an official from the Dominion government of the semi-autonomous Earth colony Sirius IV, and he brings "proof" of The Doctor's origin in the Sirian system and his incontrovertible guilt. After many twists, The Doctor discovers that the machinations against him are part of a larger Dalek plot to foment war between Earth and Draconia; he suffers a wound; he attempts to contact the Time Lords... (The serial ends in a cliffhanger.)
- V (1983–1985), miniseries and regular television series created by Kenneth Johnson. Carnivorous reptilian humanoids from Sirius IV invade the Earth. At first styling themselves as "Visitors" and friends, they wear a thin, synthetic skin and human-like contact lenses in public. Soon enough the jackboots appear, and a nazi-style takeover follows, with persecution of scientists and the birth of a resistance movement whose slogan is "V" for Victory. According to critic Peter Nicholls, the first miniseries started well, but the franchise decreased steadily in quality after that, until at last the TV series was cancelled halfway through its run.
- "The Caves of Androzani" (1984), serial of the British television series Doctor Who, written by Robert Holmes and directed by Graeme Harper. The colonized planets Androzani Major and Androzani Minor are in the Sirius system. The main antagonist of the story, Trau Morgus, is the chairman of the Sirius Conglomerate, an organization that regulates the mining and sale of spectrox, a drug that extends the normal human lifespan. The Doctor and his companion Peri explore the caves where bats produce raw spectrox, and become involved in an insurgency based there.
- Children of the Dog Star (1984), New Zealand television program written by Ken Catran and directed by Chris Bailey. Three children on holiday in rural New Zealand find and assemble the parts of what turns out to be a space probe from the Sirius B system—one of three sent to the Earth long ago. At the end of the program, the three establish communication with the probe's originators who, much in the manner of adults, tell the children not to meddle in others' affairs. In the tale, it was another of the three probes that led to the prehistoric acquisition of advanced astronomical knowledge by the Dogon people of Mali.
- Screamers (1995), film written by Dan O'Bannon and directed by Christian Duguay. The film is set on Sirius B VI, called Sirius 6B, once a thriving commercial and mining hub, now reduced to a wasteland by long-term civil war between the Alliance, a resistance group of the colony's former rank and file, and their employers, the New Economic Bloc. The Alliance develops an automated self-replicating—and indiscriminate—killing machine which screams in mid-kill, and thereby lends its name to the motion picture. By the end of the film nearly everyone is dead.[note 5]
- Voices of a Distant Star (2002), Japanese original video animation (オリジナル ビデオ アニメーション) written and directed by Makoto Shinkai. In this girl power wish-fulfillment saga, young protagonist Mikako Nagamine is recruited from middle school to the UN Space Army in a war against the alien Tarsians. Once in the Army, Special Agent Mikako pilots her own tactical fighter, a Tracer. The showdown comes at the habitable moon Agartha of the gas giant Sirius IV where Mikako outfights the Tarsians, saves her mother ship the Lysithea, and lives to reunite with her fantasy love, the older Noboru.
- Good Boy! (2003), film written by Zeke Richardson and John Hoffman, and directed by John Hoffman. Dogs came to Earth thousands of years ago to colonize and dominate the planet. A canine emissary (Hubble, or Canid 3942) has been sent by the powerful Greater Dane on a mission from the Dog Star (Sirius VII) to make sure dogs have fulfilled this destiny. They have not. Things get complicated for Hubble and his human friend Owen then the Greater Dane herself decides to visit.
- Power Rangers: S.P.D. (2005–2006), television series written by Bruce Kalish and Jackie Marchand, and directed by Greg Aronowitz and Andrew Merrifield. Commander Anubis "Doggie" Cruger, the commander of Space Patrol Delta's Earth Branch, is a Sirian, an alien species resembling dog-headed humanoids (see graphic). He is in S.P.D. because he is trying to find his wife, Isinia, who was abducted by one of Emperor Grumm's underlings.
- "Last of the Present Sirius" (2006), episode of the Nebulous comedy radio show written by Graham Duff and directed by Nicholas Briggs. In this merrily unhinged view of goings-on in the year 2099, Professor Nebulous escapes from a time looped reality television series, only to find himself on Sirius, the Dog Star (a.k.a. Poodle Sphere Six). The star is the center of an interstellar broadcasting network—somewhat like Mr. Universe's interstellar data nexus in the science fiction film Serenity—run by the last two surviving Sirians in the universe.
- In the Doctor Who audio drama Dead London it is claimed that the marsh world Quagreeg is in the Sirius System.
- The Doctor Who audio drama Max Warp involves the Sirius Inter-G Cruiser Show, broadcast from the Sirius Exhibition Station. There is also mention of Sirius Alpha.
- On the John Peel show, BBC Radio One, on 21 November 1984 the alternative pop group Sudden Sway played a session of tracks (A Walk in the Park, Problem-Solving Broadcasts 1-3, T Minus Tranquility) that included a surreal narrative in which an individual engaging in HypnoStroll (a method for acquiring large amounts of life data in just a few minutes) visits the World Ecosystem Control Convention in Greenwich Park and encounters his friend Yang, a shapeshifter from the third planet of Sirius (initially in the form of a dog, then as a Tibetan human). Yang took the form of a dog in order to observe the convention without arousing suspicion. The narrator later investigates a nearby observatory and steps on the Meridian Line. This activates a vortex gate which takes him to the mothership Tranquility, also of the third planet of Sirius.
- Legend of the Galactic Heroes (1982), Japanese light novel (ライトノベル), written by Yoshiki Tanaka. Human colonies across the Milky Way protest that they are underrepresented in the Humanity Congress, controlled by Earth. Sirius becomes the leader of the dissident colonies and in 2685 establishes the rival Sirius Congress; Earth responds by waging war on Sirius. In 2689 Earth attacks Sirius VI (Rondolina) and her rampaging troops massacre the population of Laglane City. In the resulting galaxywide backlash, Earth herself is vanquished and then destroyed. This is only the beginning of an ongoing saga that sweeps back and forth across the star lanes, detailing the rise and fall of military heroes, and providing ongoing sustenance for the anime, manga, and print Heroes franchise.
- Traveller (1977), tabletop role-playing game designed by Marc Miller and published by GDW. The Sirius system is barren of planets, swept clean by the searing radiation and intense stellar wind of its dominant star Sirius A.
- Frontier: Elite II (1993) and Frontier: First Encounters (1995), computer games written by David Braben et al. The Sirius system is the location of the headquarters of the Sirius Corporation, a monopolistic producer of fuel for military spaceships. (Compare with the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy above.)
- Independence War (1997–1998), computer game developed by Particle Systems and published by Infogrames. In the game, the player takes the role of a 23rd-century spaceship captain in the Earth Commonwealth Navy, commander of the Dreadnaught (see graphic). The primary antagonists are rebellious insurgents called the Indies, a group distinguished by their elaborately and colourfully painted ships; it is the captain's job to bring them back under the control of Earth. The Commonwealth Navy is financed and ultimately controlled "by an insidious merchant organisation known as COSA"—based in the Sirius B system.
- Descent: FreeSpace – The Great War (1998) and FreeSpace 2 (1999), computer games developed by Volition, Inc. and published by Interplay Entertainment. Sirius is one of the three star systems falling under the control of the Neo-Terran Front (in 2366) in their war for independence against the Galactic Terran-Vasudan Alliance and is used as a staging ground for NTF assaults on Alpha Centauri and Deneb, the latter culminating in a 72-hour battle the following year for control of the system.
- Serious Sam (2001–2002), video game series developed by Croteam and published by Gathering of Developers. In ancient times, Earth was involved in a massive conflict between Mental, an evil extraterrestrial being who wants to rule the universe, and the Sirians, a sentient alien race that left many of its artifacts to be discovered by humanity. In the game's present time, Mental again threatens and "Serious" (sounds like Sirius) Sam heads back to ancient Egypt to make contact with the Sirians—hopefully to ride a starship to their homeworld Sirius.
- Freelancer (2003), video game developed by Digital Anvil and published by Microsoft Game Studios. Facing defeat in a civil war against the Coalition, the Alliance placed its population in stasis and sent them from the Solar System to Sirius, where they settled and transformed the surrounding space (the Sirius sector) into a region of political intrigue and opportunity, comprising 48 known star systems. Players roam the sector, engaging in exploration, trade, piracy, protection, and bounty hunting.
- Star Ocean: The Last Hope (2009), anime-flavored video game developed by tri-Ace and Square Enix, and published by Square Enix. In the post-apocalyptic storyline of this game, the last tatters of humanity band together in "Star Date 0010" to send the first human expedition into outer space to locate a suitable planet for the relocation of mankind. During their mission, the explorers visit Aeos, a planet orbiting Siriius.
Sirius is referred to as a location in space or the center of a planetary system unusually often in fiction. For a list containing many stars and planetary systems that have a less extensive list of references, see Stars and planetary systems in fiction.
Sirius is a double star. For a general article on imagined binary and multiple star systems in fiction, see Binary stars in fiction.
Notes and references
- It is often stated that more than 99% of the material in the visible universe is plasma.
- The novel The Starlight Barking was written in 1967, during a time of widespread fear of global annihilation through nuclear war, and shortly after the concerted promulgation by the USA and the USSR of the strategic doctrine of Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD).
- Substantial or passing references to Jinx and its extensively adapted human inhabitants—the Jinxians—appear in almost all of Niven's tales of Known Space.
- Clarke's science was solid for its time (1986). The "solar neutrino problem" perplexed scientists from the 1960s until 2002, with the discovery that neutrinos can oscillate between three states (νe, νμ, ντ), the latter two types previously undetected in the solar flux. The Sun will not go nova anytime soon.
- The screamers, as out-of-control killing machines, come from a long and distinguished lineage. See, for example Fred Saberhagen's Berserkers, Cordwainer Smith's Menschenjägers, and Jack Vance's Kokor Hekkus (the Killing Machine), "... which split bodies in half with an axe. As dreadful as the axe was the scream the metal ogre emitted with every strike."
- Liebert, J; Young, P A; Arnett, D; Holberg, J B; Williams, K A; Arnett, David; Holberg, J. B.; Williams, Kurtis A. (2005). "The Age and Progenitor Mass of Sirius B". The Astrophysical Journal 630 (1): L69–L72. arXiv:astro-ph/0507523. Bibcode:2005ApJ...630L..69L. doi:10.1086/462419.
- Schaaf, Fred (2008). The Brightest Stars. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons. p. 94. ISBN 0-471-70410-5. Retrieved 2012-04-17.
- Homer (1962). Iliad. 22:25. Trans. Richmond Lattimore. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. pp. 435–436. ISBN 0-226-46940-9.
- Holberg, J B (2007). Sirius: Brightest Diamond in the Night Sky. Chichester, UK: Praxis Publishing. p. 19. ISBN 0-387-48941-X.
- The editors of Analog and Asimov's Science Fiction (1993). Writing Science Fiction & Fantasy. New York: St. Martin's Griffin. p. 108. ISBN 978-0-312-08926-9.
- Dryden, John (1681). "Absalom And Achitophel". Read Book Online. pp. [etext: search on quotation]. Retrieved 2012-04-18.
- Hardy, Thomas (2000). Far from the Madding Crowd. London: Penguin Classics. pp. 9; 12. ISBN 978-0-14-143965-5.
- Hardy, Thomas (2009). Tess of the d'Urbervilles. London: Arcturus. p. 218. ISBN 978-1-84837-322-8.
- Jones, Diana Wynne (1975). Dogsbody. New York: Greenwillow Books. p. 5. ISBN 0-06-441038-2.
- Tolkien, J R R (1977). The Silmarillion. ed. Christopher Tolkien. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 32. ISBN 978-0-547-95198-0.
- Hoyser, Catherine E; Lorena Laura Stookey (1997). Tom Robbins: A Critical Companion. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. pp. 9; 150. ISBN 0-313-29418-6. Retrieved 2012-04-21.
- Temple, Robert (1998). The Sirius Mystery: New Scientific Evidence of Alien Contact 5,000 Years Ago. passim. Merrimac, MA: Destiny Books. ISBN 0-89281-750-X.
- Fredericks, S C (1976). "Lucian's ‘’True History’’ as SF". Science Fiction Studies 3 (1): 49–60. Retrieved 2012-04-22.
- Clute, John; Nicholls, Peter (1993). "Lucian". The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. New York: St Martin’s Griffin. pp. 739–740. ISBN 0-312-13486-X.
- Reardon, B P (2008). Collected Ancient Greek Novels. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. pp. 619–622. ISBN 0-520-25655-7.
- Clute, John; Nicholls, Peter (1993). "Voltaire". The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. New York: St Martin’s Griffin. pp. 1287–1288. ISBN 0-312-13486-X.
- Volaire. "Micromégas, Philosophical History". Free eBooks by Project Gutenberg. p. [etext: search on quotation]. Retrieved 2012-04-23.
- Wells, H G (1927). "A Vision of Judgment—§9". The Short Stories of H.G. Wells. London: Ernest Benn. p. 114.
- Cole, Robert (1900). "Bibliography: The Struggle for Empire". Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Retrieved 2012-05-30.
- Clement, Hal (1942). "Bibliography: Proof". Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Retrieved 2012-04-23.
- Gurnett, D A; Bhattacharjee, A (2005). Introduction to Plasma Physics: With Space and Laboratory Applications. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 2. ISBN 0-521-36483-3. Retrieved 2012-04-24.
- Sherer, K; Fichtner, H; Heber, B (2005). Space Weather: The Physics Behind a Slogan. Berlin: Springer Verlag. p. 138. ISBN 3-540-22907-8. Retrieved 2012-04-24.
- Asimov, Isaac (2008). Pebble in the Sky. New York: Tom Doherty Associates. p. 23. ISBN 0-7653-1912-8.
- Asimov, Isaac (1962). The Hugo Winners 1. Robbinsdale, MN: Fawcett Crest. p. 86.
- Russell, E F (2007). Wasp. London: Pollinger. p. 31. ISBN 978-1-905665-45-7.
- Asimov, Isaac (1958). Lucky Starr and the Rings of Saturn. New York: Doubleday. p. 8.
- Clute, John; Nicholls, Peter (1993). "Cooper, Edmund". The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. New York: St Martin’s Griffin. p. 263. ISBN 0-312-13486-X.
- Vance, Jack (2005). Space Opera 18. Multiple editors. Oakland, CA: The Vance Integral Edition. pp. 54–74. ISBN 0-9712375-1-4.
- Smith, Dodie (1997). The Starlight Barking. New York: St. Martin's Press. pp. 111; 115. ISBN 0-312-15664-2.
- "Doomsday Clock Timeline". Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Retrieved 2012-04-29.
- "Bibliography: Foeman, Where Do You Flee?". The Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Retrieved 2012-04-29.
- Bova, Ben (1972). As on a Darkling Plain. New York: Dell. p. 86.
- Niven, Larry (1975). Tales of Known Space. New York: Ballantine Books. p. 157. ISBN 0-345-24563-6.
- O'Neill, Brian (2011). "Jinx". Encyclopedia of Known Space. p. [etext: search on Jinx]. Retrieved 2012-04-28.
- Clute, John; Nicholls, Peter (1993). "Lessing, Doris". The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. New York: St Martin’s Griffin. p. 714. ISBN 0-312-13486-X.
- Clarke, Arthur C (1986). The Songs of Distant Earth. New York: Del Rey Books. p. 23. ISBN 0-345-32240-1.
- Clute, John; Nicholls, Peter (1993). "Big Dumb Objects". The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. The satirical provenance of this ESF article is described in the Wikipedia article Big Dumb Object. New York: St Martin’s Griffin. pp. 118–119. ISBN 0-312-13486-X.
- Clute, John; Nicholls, Peter (1993). "V". The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. New York: St Martin’s Griffin. p. 1263. ISBN 0-312-13486-X.
- Smith, Cordwainer (1993). "Mark Elf". The Rediscovery of Man. Framingham, MA: NESFA Press. p. 34. ISBN 0-915368-56-0.
- Smith, Cordwainer. "Mark Elf". Baen Ebooks. pp. [etext: search on Menschenjäger and/or manshonyagger]. Retrieved 2012-05-03.
- Vance, Jack (2005). The Killing Machine 23. Multiple editors. Oakland, California: The Vance Integral Edition. p. 31. ISBN 0-9712375-1-4.
- "Independence War Deluxe". CodeWeavers. p. click on ellipsis for full review. Retrieved 2012-05-10.
- Sulic, Ivan (2003-01-07). "Freely Lancing". IGN. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved 2012-05-07.