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Phobos and Deimos, the two moons of Mars, are locations frequently mentioned in works of science fiction.


  • In part 3 chapter 3 (the "Voyage to Laputa") of Jonathan Swift's famous satire Gulliver's Travels, a fictional work written in 1726, the astronomers of Laputa are described as having discovered two satellites of Mars.
  • In Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom novels, Phobos is known by the name of Thuria, and is described as "a great and glorious orb, swinging swift across the vaulted dome of the blue-black night, so low that she seemed to graze the hills" (The Chessmen of Mars). In reality, Phobos actually appears smaller from Mars than Earth's Moon does from Earth. John Carter of Mars visits a miniature civilization on Thuria in the novel Swords of Mars.
  • In the novel The Sands of Mars by Arthur C Clarke, Mars is terraformed when Phobos is ignited as a second sun using a meson-resonance reaction.
  • In the short story 'Hide and Seek' (collected in Expedition to Earth) a man evades capture by landing on Phobos.
  • In the novel Phobos the Robot Planet (also known as Lost: A Moon) by Paul Capon, Phobos is an enormous computer, the last relic of a long-vanished race of Martians. Phobos learns human languages by listening to radio broadcasts, and kidnaps humans using flying saucers in order to learn about human emotions.
  • The first episode of the computer and video game Doom takes place in a UAC base on Phobos, where it is erroneously depicted as having mountains and an atmosphere with an overcast sky. The moon is also featured in the Doom novels.
  • In Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy, a city is built within the crater Stickney by the first colonists to Mars. Later the moon is overtaken by multinational forces and is then de-orbited by the Martian rebels so that it impacts Mars. Much later, an asteroid from the asteroid belt that happens to look similar to Phobos is named Pseudophobos and moved into Martian orbit to replace the moon.
  • Phobos is the final mission in the video game Armored Core 2. The game reveals that the moon is actually an artificial satellite created by an extinct Martian civilization. The player must battle to the center to destroy the orbit control mechanism and prevent it from crashing into Mars and destroying the newly formed Martian colonies.
  • In Greg Bear's Moving Mars, quantum computers allow the Martian colonists to teleport Phobos and Deimos into Earth orbit. This threat forces the Earth military to stand down from its confrontation with Mars.
  • Phobos is the final level in the PS2 game Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner (2003) where it is used to build a battle station called Aumaan, capable of destroying anything in the solar system. The protagonist, Dingo Egret, fights the antagonist, Col. Noman here to stop him from activating it.
  • The video games Unreal Tournament and Unreal Tournament 2004 contain a deathmatch arena located on a satellite base of Phobos.
  • Parts of Leather Goddesses of Phobos, the interactive fiction game from Infocom, take place in fanciful interpretations of the environments of Phobos, Mars, and Venus.
  • In the Noon Universe, Phobos is discovered to be an artificial satellite, most likely, built by the Wanderers.
  • A portion of Caitlin R. Kiernan's story Zero Summer (2006) is set on Phobos.
  • Phobos appears in two stories by Alastair Reynolds. In Great Wall of Mars where the Conjoiners secretly construct at starship to escape their imprisonment on Mars. Century Rain has Phobos as the location of a secret base which holds an ancient relic that opens a portal to the far side of the galaxy.
  • The first level of the Playstation 2 video game RTX Red Rock takes place on a small space station anchored to the surface of Phobos.
  • Phobos is the site of Purple Hall, the abode of the ousted Imperial family, in Jack Williamson's Legion of Space novels.
  • The Doctor & Lucie Miller land on Phobos in the Doctor Who audio adventure Phobos which is popular with extreme sports fans in the future.


  • In Edison's Conquest of Mars, Deimos is used as a base by Edison's expedition against the Martians.
  • In Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom novels, Deimos is known by the name of Cluros, and is described as "stately, majestic, almost stationary, shedding his steady light upon the world below" (The Chessmen of Mars).
  • Kim Stanley Robinson's Green Mars (1993) includes a detailed description of a manned landing on Deimos.
  • The second episode of the Computer and video game Doom takes place in a UAC base on Deimos. Before the beginning of the game, Deimos disappears from Martian orbit, and is reached by the unnamed Marine after he steps into a large teleporter on Phobos. Eventually, it is discovered that Deimos is floating above Hell itself. The moon is also featured in the Doom novels.
  • The UESC Marathon of the Marathon computer game series is a hollowed-out Deimos.
  • A hollowed-out Deimos is also featured in the Zone of the Enders saga of games and anime. In the series - notably the Idolo OVA - the moon serves as a linear catapult facility for launching vehicles in Mars orbit to Earth, and possibly to the Jupiter colonies as well.
  • Like Phobos, Deimos is discovered to be an artificial satellite in the Noon Universe, likely, built by the Wanderers.
  • In an episode of the 2003 Astro Boy series, "Destination Deimos", as the episode title suggests, Dr. O'Shay went to Deimos.
  • Deimos appears in Great Wall of Mars by Alastair Reynolds, as a base used to observe the Conjoiners.

See also



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