Saturn's moons in fiction

Saturn's moons in fiction

Several of Saturn's natural satellites have figured prominently in works of science fiction.

Saturnian system

Some works of fiction refer to several of Saturn's moons, or to no specific moon.
*"Animorphs" novel series. The creature called the Veleek was originally found by the Yeerks on one of Saturn's moons.
*"Exosquad" animated TV series. Saturn's moons initially were home of the Pirate Clans before the discovery of the planet Chaos.
*The "Warhammer 40,000" game universe (1987-) places the headquarters and other facilities of the Ordo Malleus branch of Inquisition in Saturn's moons, including the main base of their most famous subordinates — the Grey Knights chapter of Space Marines.


Janus is a small inner moon of Saturn notable for having an orbit nearly identical to the orbit of the moon Epimetheus; the two swap orbital positions every four years.

*Janus features prominently in Alastair Reynolds' science fiction novel "Pushing Ice" (2005). In the novel, Janus is revealed to be a shell containing an extraterrestrial spacecraft which unexpectedly departs the solar system in the direction of a giant structure orbiting the star Spica. The novel tells the story of the crew of a human mining ship who establish a colony on the moon as it leaves the solar system.


Mimas is a small, icy moon orbiting close to Saturn, notable for being scarred by Herschel crater, whose diameter is very wide compared to the total circumference of the moon.

*In Isaac Asimov's 1958 novel "Lucky Starr and the Rings of Saturn" the hero, knowing that Mimas is almost entirely made of ice, guides his ship on a collision course towards it, melts its surface with his weapons, and thus hides the ship in order to escape from his enemies, the people from the Sirius System.
*In "Zero Summer," a short story by Caitlín R. Kiernan, Mimas is the destination of a starship manned by two androids.
*Comparisons have been made between Mimas' appearance and the appearance of the Death Star from the movie "" (see picture). The appearance is a coincidence, as Mimas was not photographed until three years after the release of the film; the similarity has led to Mimas sometimes being called "the Death Star moon".
* In the Red Dwarf series episode Dimension Jump, Mimas hosts a Space Corps test base for test pilot Arnold J. 'Ace' Rimmer. In the first novel (based in an alternate universe), Dave Lister is stranded on Mimas, which has become a seedy tourist resort. Both the book and the series refer to the local delicacy "Mimean Bladderfish".
*"The First Duty" (1992), episode of "". Mimas is the site of an evacuation station to which four Starfleet cadets, including Wesley Crusher, transport after their vessels collide.
*In Grant Callin's science fiction novel "Saturnalia", Mimas is one of the locations of an alien artifact. It is also the site of human colonization and mining called "M-Base".
*In the table-top science fiction game Warhammer 40,000, Mimas serves as as a high-security prison for the most dangerous prisoners of the Ordo Malleus branch of the Inquisition.


Enceladus is a small, icy moon orbiting close to Saturn, notable for its extremely bright surface and the geyser-like plumes of ice and water vapor that erupt from its southern polar region.

*In the 1930s Buck Rogers old time radio show, Enceladus makes an appearance. In the story entitled "Killer Kane and Ardala on Saturn's moon," the titular villains try to take over the peaceful government of the Saturnian moon. The moon is depicted as having an atmosphere and supporting a happy population of humanoid life. Buck races to the moon to set things right.
*In "Exosquad", Enceladus was the location of a heavily fortified Pirate Clans' outpost and the site of the second battle between them and the Exofleet just prior to the beginning of the Terran-Neosapien war.
*In Grant D. Callin's science fiction novel "Saturnalia", Enceladus is one of the locations of an alien artifact.
*In the Warhammer 40,000 universe, Enceladus houses the Inquisitorial citadel of the Ordo Malleus, where several of the Inquisitor Lords maintain personal estates.
*At the conclusion of the Time Machine book "The Rings of Saturn" (set in 2085), the spacecraft blows up Enceladus as it returns to Earth after meeting an alien life-form.


Dione is a medium-sized icy moon orbiting close to Saturn
*In Grant D. Callin's science fiction novel "Saturnalia", Dione is one of the locations of an alien artifact.
*In the early Noon Universe novel Space Apprentice by Strugatsky brothers as the heroes stop there on their way (one of them is a planetologist and has some interest in the moon's observatory) they found that its administrator made it a living hell for everybody. This revelation serves as the one of the major plot points in the novel.


Tethys is a medium-sized icy moon orbiting close to Saturn, very similar to Dione.

* An unnamed Tethys is the setting for the 1980 sci-fi thriller "Saturn 3".
* In the American animated television series "Exosquad", Tethys was the primary base of the Pirate Clans prior to the discovery of Chaos.
* Level 17 of the computer game "Descent" takes place in the Tethys H20 Mine.
*In Warhammer 40,000, Tethys is the location of the Librarium Daemonicum, a repositary of the knowledge of the Ordo Malleus branch of the Inquisition


Titan is the largest moon of Saturn. Its substantial atmosphere makes it the most Earth-like moon in the Solar System and hence a popular science fiction setting.


Hyperion is the largest irregularly-shaped moon of Saturn, orbiting between Titan and Iapetus.

* Level 16 of the computer game "Descent" takes place in a methane mine on Hyperion.
* In Dan Simmons' Hyperion, the eponymous planet was first colonised by settlers from a colony on the moon Hyperion.
* In the Science fiction computer game Starcraft the character Jim Raynor's command ship was named the Hyperion.


Iapetus is a large moon orbiting further from Saturn than any of its other large satellites. Half of its surface is very bright while the other half is extremely dark. Investigations since 2004 have also noted its irregular shape, immense impact basins, and a high mountainous ridge on the equator.

* Iapetus is the setting of Richard Hoagland's short story "Moon with a View".
* In Theodore Sturgeon's short story "The Comedian's Children" (1958), a manned expedition to Iapetus in 2034 creates a public craze for black/white designs and "bi-colored gimcrackery", but is later linked to "iapetitis", a disease in children where one side of the body turns white and paralyzed, the other black.
* In Arthur C. Clarke's novel ' (1968), astronaut Dave Bowman finds an enigmatic alien monolith waiting for him on the surface of Iapetus. Iapetus's two tone coloration is caused by a vast white ellipse on the moon's surface, with the monolith appearing as a black dot in its exact center. When the "Voyager" space probes arrived at Iapetus thirteen years later, they discovered that there was indeed a black region within the moon's brighter hemisphere. Clarke reports that Carl Sagan, who was on the Voyager imaging team, sent him a photo, with the note "Thinking of you ...". [Arthur C. Clarke, Introduction to ' (1984)] Because of achieving a convincing model of Saturn's rings, the film version of "" relocated the monolith to an orbit around Jupiter.
* In Kim Stanley Robinson's futuristic novel "The Memory of Whiteness" (1985), Iapetus is populated by the descendants of Soviet colonists who retain a Communist political system.
* In Grant Callin's 1986 science fiction novel "Saturnalia", Iapetus is one of the locations of an alien artifact. There is also human colonization and mining at an installation called "I-Base".
* In David Weber's novel "The Armageddon Inheritance" (1993), genocidal aliens (the Achuultani) attempt to use Iapetus as a kinetic energy weapon to destroy all life on Earth.
*In the Warhammer 40,000 universe, Iapetus acts as a dockyard for the Ordo Malleus fleet, as well as that of the Grey Knights chapter of Space Marines.
* Iapetus appears in Ian McDonald's Chaga. "Sixty percent of Iapetus' surface had turned black."
* In Jack McDevitt's "The Engines of God" (1996), there's a strange ice-made icon on Iapetus. It leads to a depressing discovery that every intelligent civilization of the Galaxy could be obliterated by an unknown Dark Force from the void between Galaxy's arms.
* Iapetus is the second site of the mysterious phenomenon called "goorm" in Sergey Pavlov's hard SF novel "Moon Rainbow", first being the Uranus' moon Oberon.
* Iapetus is the setting for "The Saturn Game" by Poul Anderson.


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Jupiter's moons in fiction — Jupiter s extensive system of natural satellites ndash; in particular the four large Galilean moons (Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto) ndash; has been a common science fiction setting. Satellite system Some references in fiction focus on more… …   Wikipedia

  • Saturn in fiction — The planet Saturn is featured in numerous science fiction novels and films, although the planet itself usually serves more as a pretty backdrop than as the actual setting.On Saturn Literature * In Voltaire s Micromégas (1752), the eponymous hero… …   Wikipedia

  • Moons of Saturn — Artist s concepts of the Saturnian ring–moon system Saturn, its rings and major icy moons from Mimas to Rhea …   Wikipedia

  • Saturn — Infobox Planet bgcolour = #FFCC66 name = Saturn symbol = caption = Saturn, as seen by Cassini orbit ref =cite web last = Yeomans | first = Donald K. | date = 2006 07 13 url = title = HORIZONS System | publisher …   Wikipedia

  • Moons of Jupiter — Jupiter and its four largest moons (montage) Jupiter has 64 confirmed moons,[1][2] giving it the largest retinue of moons with reasonably secure orbits of any planet in t …   Wikipedia

  • Saturn's Norse group of satellites — The Norse group is a large group of retrograde irregular satellites of Saturn. Their semi major axes range between 12 and 24 Gm, their inclinations between 136° and 175° and their eccentricities between 0.13 and 0.77. Irregular satellites of… …   Wikipedia

  • Moons of Uranus — Uranus and its six largest moons compared at their proper relative sizes and relative positions. From left to right: Puck, Miranda, Ariel, Umbriel, Titania and Oberon Uranus, the seventh planet of the Solar System, has 27 known moons …   Wikipedia

  • Moons of Neptune — Neptune (top) and Triton (bottom), three days after the Voyager 2 flyby Neptune has thirteen known moons, by far the largest of whi …   Wikipedia

  • Moons of Mars — Color image of Phobos obtaine …   Wikipedia

  • Moons of Pluto — Hubble image of the Plutonian system Pluto has four known moons. The largest, Charon, is proportionally larger, compared to its primary, than any other satellite of a known planet or dwarf planet in the Solar System. The other moons, Nix, Hydra,… …   Wikipedia