Uranus in fiction

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Uranus was discovered in 1781 and has comparatively rarely been featured in fiction since then.[1][2] The earliest such works, such as Stanley G. Weinbaum's 1935 short story "The Planet of Doubt" and Clifton B. Kruse's 1936 short story "Code of the Spaceways", portray it as having a solid surface; in the former, humans landing on Uranus encounter hostile aliens.[3][4] Later works depict it more accurately as a gaseous planet; for instance, Cecelia Holland's 1976 novel Floating Worlds depicts floating cities in the Uranian atmosphere.[2][3] Towards the end of the 20th century, there was a slight uptick in appearances by Uranus in science fiction, including the 1985 short story "Dies Irae" by Charles Sheffield about life in the atmosphere and the 1999 short story "Into the Blue Abyss" by Geoffrey A. Landis where there is life in the ocean below.[1][4]

Of Uranus' moons, Ariel was discovered in 1851 and appears in J. Harvey Haggard's 1930s novella "Evolution Satellite", and Miranda was discovered in 1948 and appears in the 1993 short story "Into the Miranda Rift" by G. David Nordley.[1][4][5]


  1. ^ a b c Stableford, Brian M. (2006). "Uranus". Science Fact and Science Fiction: An Encyclopedia. Taylor & Francis. pp. 540–541. ISBN 978-0-415-97460-8.
  2. ^ a b Clute, John; Langford, David; Sleight, Graham (eds.). "Outer Planets". The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (4th ed.). Retrieved 2021-11-20. Uranus is little discussed in traditional sf. Stanley G Weinbaum's "The Planet of Doubt" (October 1935 Astounding) is one of the rare stories set on this world. The titular Cities of Cecelia Holland's Floating Worlds (1976) float above Saturn and Uranus.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ a b Westfahl, Gary (2021-07-19). "Outer Planets". Science Fiction Literature through History: An Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. pp. 485–487. ISBN 978-1-4408-6617-3.
  4. ^ a b c McKinney, Richard L. (2005). "Jupiter and the Outer Planets". In Westfahl, Gary (ed.). The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy: Themes, Works, and Wonders. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 449. ISBN 978-0-313-32951-7. Among stories dealing with Uranus are Stanley G. Weinbaum's "The Planet of Doubt" (1935), involving strange aliens on its surface; Charles Sheffield's "Dies Irae" (1985), about adapting life to survive in the planet's atmosphere; and Geoffrey Landis's "Into the Blue Abyss" (1999), in which alien lifeforms are found in the Uranian ocean. G. David Nordley's "Into the Miranda Rift" (1993) is about human explorers trapped on the mysterious, jigsaw-puzzle moon, Miranda.
  5. ^ Clute, John; Langford, David; Sleight, Graham (eds.). "Haggard, J Harvey". The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (4th ed.). Retrieved 2021-11-20. Haggard had included them in a previously-written novella, "Evolution Satellite" (December 1933-January 1934 Wonder Stories), which Gernsback had rejected but later published and praised for its downbeat ending. It is set on Ariel, the satellite of Uranus (see Outer Planets), which has not hitherto been explored but turns out to be a world where lifeforms are infinitely adaptable and soon absorb the explorers.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)