Titan in fiction


Titan is the largest moon of Saturn. It has a substantial atmosphere and is the most Earth-like satellite in the Solar System, making it a popular science fiction setting.[1][2] Science fiction set on Titan can be roughly divided into the pre- and post-Pioneer eras, with a division set by the flyby of Saturn by the Pioneer 11 space probe on September 1, 1979, which showed that Titan's surface was too cold to sustain (Earthlike) life.[3] Somewhat later, the arrival of Cassini–Huygens mission in 2004 with the Huygens probe's landing in 2005 showed the presence of hydrocarbon lakes on Titan, leading to further changes in its depiction in science fiction.


Artistic representation of a view from the surface of Titan, with dune fields, lakes, channels and Saturn in the background

Pre-Pioneer era

  • Flight on Titan (1935), short story by Stanley G. Weinbaum.[1] A couple from Earth struggles through the frigid, windswept Titanian landscape.
  • Sojarr of Titan (1941), novel by Manly Wade Wellman.
  • The Puppet Masters (1951) by Robert A. Heinlein. Titan is the home of an elf-like species, which has been enslaved by parasitic aliens who can control them. These "puppet masters" attempt to take over the Earth by controlling human beings.
  • The Sands of Mars (1951), by Arthur C. Clarke. An aircraft flying over an isolated part of Mars is forced down by a freak sandstorm. While awaiting rescue, one of the passengers recounts his adventures on the first manned mission to Saturn. Their ship, he explains, lands on Titan several times, taking advantage of its dense methane atmosphere (believed to be so at the time of the novel's publication) to refuel.
  • The Rolling Stones (1952), novel by Robert A. Heinlein. The family Stone heads for Titan Base, colony.
  • Trouble on Titan (1954), novel by Alan E. Nourse. Famously features a jet which uses the methane/ammonia atmosphere as fuel.
  • First Law (1956), short story by Isaac Asimov. The story is set during a massive storm that strikes Titan regularly, and features Mike Donovan, a roboticist who has to deal with a strange incident relevant to an unusual twist of the Three Laws of Robotics. The moon is correctly described as having no magnetic field.
  • Lucky Starr and the Rings of Saturn (1958), novel by Isaac Asimov. Humans from the Sirius system establish a settlement on Titan as a provocation against the Earth government. Lucky Starr and Bigman Jones have to avert an interstellar war. Also features an emergency landing inside Mimas which is correctly described as mostly ice.
  • The Sirens of Titan (1959), novel by Kurt Vonnegut. Features a journey that climaxes on Titan.
  • Perry Rhodan, German pulp science fiction series. Titan features in the series starting with Der Kaiser von New York (1962), when Titan has a secret base of the alien Springers.[4] Later in the series the moon has a prison and advanced medical facilities, and is terraformed to Earthlike conditions.[5]
  • The Game-Players of Titan (1963), novel by Philip K. Dick. A neurotic and suicidal man named Pete Garden must roll a three in Bluff, the game that's become a blinding obsession for the last inhabitants of post-apocalyptic Earth, against opponents who are from Titan.
  • How Beautiful with Banners (1966), short story by James Blish. A scientist is killed when her organic transport device is accosted by a Titanian lifeform intent on mating.
  • World of Ptavvs (1966), Known Space novel by Larry Niven. Titan is one of the few worlds in the Solar System (along with Earth and Mars), which is not under jurisdiction of the Belt government. It is the site of the Titan Hotel, a honeymoon retreat for wealthy flatlander couples.
  • As on a Darkling Plain (1972), by Ben Bova. Titan is the location of huge Alien machines.
  • Star Smashers of the Galaxy Rangers (1973), spoof Space Opera novel by Harry Harrison. Titan is the home of bug-eyed monsters which kidnap the heroine.

Pioneer era

  • Imperial Earth (1976), novel by Arthur C. Clarke. Titan is home to a human colony with a population of 250,000 and provides an important role in the Solar System's economics; Titan's atmosphere supplies the hydrogen needed to support interplanetary travel.
  • If the Stars Are Gods (1977), novel by Gregory Benford and Gordon Eklund. Astronaut Bradley Reynolds makes direct contact with an alien artificial intelligence spread across Titan's surface.
  • Eyes of Amber (1977), novelette by Joan D. Vinge. Titan is the home of extraterrestrial intelligence, the Tropemen.
  • Titan (1979), novel by John Varley. Although Titan is the name of the novel, it is only a reference to a type of lifeform: a hollow living entity of very large size. The entity experienced by the protagonists of the novel, Gaea, is actually the Hypothetical Saturn satellite Themis.
  • Code of the Lifemaker (1983) and The Immortality Option (1995), novels by James P. Hogan. Titan is inhabited by a race of Clanking Replicators.
  • Bio of a Space Tyrant (1983), series by Piers Anthony. Titan has been colonized by the Japanese, whereas Saturn has been colonized by the Russians, Chinese, and other former Asian nations in the post-diaspora future.
  • Fiasco (1986), novel by Stanisław Lem. The first several chapters are set on Titan, with a character ending up frozen on the surface for several hundred years.
  • Saturnalia (1986), novel by Grant Callin. Titan is one of the locations of an alien artifact. A fictional volcano, Mons Gargantua is described in the book as being so large as to even dwarf Olympus Mons.
  • Saturn's Child (1996), novel by Nichelle Nichols and Margaret Wander Bonanno. In the late 21st century, Earth's first expedition to Titan discovers a highly evolved race of beings - the Fazisians - from another planet already living there.
  • Mars trilogy (1996) by Kim Stanley Robinson. Nitrogen from Titan is used in the Terraforming of Mars.
  • Titan (1997), novel by Stephen Baxter. A NASA mission to Titan must struggle to survive after a disastrous landing. Contains vivid depictions of a journey through the Saturnian system.
  • Alpha Centauri (1997) by William Barton and Michael Capobianco. Titan is the birthplace of Maeru kai Ortega ("Kai"), one of the novel's primary point-of-view characters.
  • Half Life (1999) by Hal Clement. Humanity is going extinct due to disease, scientists are sent to Titan in the faint hope of finding biochemical clues to a cure.
  • Slow Life (2002) by Michael Swanwick. An expedition with human explorers and robotic fish exploring an ocean on Titan; won the 2003 Hugo Award.
  • Saturn (2003) and Titan (2006), novels by Ben Bova. Part of the Grand Tour series. Titan is being explored by an artificially intelligent rover which mysteriously begins malfunctioning, while a mobile human Space Colony explores the Rings and other moons.
  • Sombras en Titán (Shadows in Titan) (2006), novel by José Antonio Suárez, features the moon prominently.
  • Audience of One (2007), short story about First Contact.
  • Storm in a T-Suit (2010) and subsequent short stories collected in Wide Brown Land: stories of Titan (2018), and the novella Matters Arising from the Identification of the Body (2017), stories by Simon Petrie. A sequence exploring future human colonization of Titan.
  • Communion of Dreams (2012), a novel by Jim Downey. A mysterious alien artifact is discovered on Titan that has strange effects on anyone who observes it.
  • A Titan for Christmas (2012), a novelette by Aria Kane, romance featuring a mining engineer who works on Titan and is trying to get home to Earth in time to spend Christmas with her family.
  • Children of Time (2015), a novel by Adrian Tchaikovsky. Humanity partially terraforms Titan but the colony dies out during a civil war.
  • Titan Mine (2015), novel by B.L. Alley. Book Two in the Arosil Series. A group of methane miners working on Titan make a discovery that could mean the end of all life on Earth.
  • On the Shores of Titan's Farthest Sea: A Scientific Novel (2015), by Michael Carroll. Exploring Titan's oceans.
  • In Higher Reality (2015) by Alexander Janzer, a large colonization ship is sent to Titan to establish the first large-scale mining colony.

Film and television

  • "The Glowing Eggs of Titan" (1962), episode Space Patrol TV series. Husky's discovery of a luminous egg of the Saturnian moon of Titan could prove to be the solution of the Martian energy crisis.
  • The Invisible Enemy (1977), a Doctor Who serial. Takes place partly on a manned base on Titan in the year 5000, by which time the human race has spread across the galaxy. Titan's methane atmosphere bursts into flames after the Doctor releases vast amounts of oxygen as a trap to destroy an enlarged virus.
  • Transformers G1 (1985), TV series. In the episode, The God Gambit, a group of people, known as Titans, live on Titan and have a belief in the Sky Gods. However, this is only a ruse from the temple workers to deceive the people and give them harsh laws. Talaria and her group of rebels attempt to stop them, and free the peoples of the Decepticons' ruse. They rebuild their homes on another side of the moon, as the side with the temple on it was burned.
  • Beetlejuice (1988 film) The otherworldly dimension outside the Maitlands house is implied to be Titan, since Saturn can be seen in the distance.
  • Creature (The Titan Find) (1985), horror film. Titan is where ancient aliens preserved dormant creatures from all over the galaxy.
  • Red Dwarf (1988), BBC TV series. The character Lister illegally imports a cat from Titan that, through the action of hard radiation over millions of years, becomes the progenitor of a well-dressed, but not particularly intelligent species called Felis sapiens. In the first series Lister also often sings a song mentioning Titan, as well as Ganymede.
  • "Chain of Command" (1992), Star Trek: The Next Generation episode. Titan's Turn is a daring spacecraft maneuver around Titan, often carried out by shuttle pilots flying between outposts in orbit of Jupiter and Saturn.
  • Gattaca (1997), film. Titan is the goal for a manned space mission, which is seen lifting off in the final sequence.
  • Starhunter (2001), TV series. Titan features prominently as the former home of the character Dante, and is the site of a large colony.
  • Star Trek Nemesis (2002): The USS Titan (NCC-80102) is the name of William Riker's first command. The Titan is a Luna-Class ship, all of which are named after moons in the Terran System.
  • Star Trek (2009). The USS Enterprise drops out of warp inside Titan's atmosphere, using its magnetic field to hide from the Romulans' sensors long enough for Kirk and Spock to beam aboard the enemy ship.
  • In the animated TV show Futurama, titanium mines on Titan cave in, causing the value of titanium to skyrocket, convincing Bender to sell most of his body, save his own head.
  • Eureka (2010), TV series. The second half of the fourth season centers around the secret preparations for the first human expedition to Titan.
  • Oblivion (2013) The narrator in the film states that all humans have left planet Earth and moved onto Titan.
  • The Titan (2018) In 2048, on an Earth overpopulated and ridden by violent conflicts, scientists are looking to Saturn's moon Titan as a new home for humanity. A soldier is chosen to be a part of an experiment that forces humans to adapt to the surface of Titan, due to his past ability to survive in extreme conditions.[6][circular reference]

Comics and anime

  • Judge Dredd, part of the 2000 AD comic series. Titan is used as a penal colony, but, due to a writer's error, is placed in orbit around Jupiter. This was later explained as being due to a scientific experiment in teleportation, revealed in the Games Workshop adventure for Judge Dredd: The Role-Playing Game - Judgement Day.
  • Space Battleship Yamato (Star Blazers) (1974). The Yamato crew land on Titan to mine "titanite", a mineral necessary for energy transmission units.
  • "Money is Everything" (1986), episode of The Transformers animated cartoon. In the year 2006, Titan has been terraformed by humans.
  • Cowboy Bebop (1998), anime. Titan was the site of a war over hydrocarbon extraction in the year 2068. It is unclear whether there was a colony on the moon.
  • Chi-Chian comics, animated series, and a role-playing video game by Voltaire. The albino character Nahm flees from her oppressive childhood on Titan, which is home to a colony of bigoted genetic purists.
  • Aim for the Top 2! (2004), anime. Titan is the location of the Titan Variable Gravity Well. A living habitat exists on Titan to house the team attempting to extract the artifact as well featuring plush facilities for visiting members of Topless and their Buster Machines.
  • In the Marvel Comics Universe, Titan is home to a colony of Eternals, a godlike race of men and women created from primitive humans by the powerful 'space gods' the Celestials as part of an experiment, and also spawned the super villain Thanos, and the final resting place of Mar-vell. Also, the Stone men of Saturn briefly lived around Titan.
  • In the DC Comics Universe, Titan is home to a race of very powerful telepaths, originally genetically adapted Terran immigrants. Depending on what part of the continuity you are reading, they may have been seeded there in the late 20th century as a colony by Lar Gand (variously known as Mon-El, Valor and M'Onel). Among them is 30th century telepath Imra Ardeen (aka Saturn Girl), who appeared as a founding member of the Legion of Super-Heroes in Adventure Comics #247 (April 1958).
  • In the 1979 anime movie Galaxy Express 999, the 999 makes a stopover on Titan, which has been terraformed to support human life. Titan is a "paradise" planet where there's no rule or no law.
  • In one Wonder Woman story Titan is shown to be in a state similar to Earth millions of years ago, with dinosaurs and various other pre-historic reptiles on it. Wonder Woman saves a group of caveman and bestows wisdom to them, which she thinks will help them gain sentience.
  • In Marvel Family #16 the mightiest being of Titan appears. It is metallic, and claims on Titan they eat metal. He is kidnapped by a Plutonian tyrant to fight other beings and is beaten by Captain Marvel.
  • In Sailor Moon, the Sailor Guardians are revealed to have a castle named after a moon of the guardian planet; Sailor Saturn's Titan Castle.


  • An Apple II game called Titan Empire had human inhabitants of this moon attempting to take over the solar system.
  • In the table-top science fiction game Warhammer 40,000, the Grey Knight Space Marines chapter keep their Fortress-Monastery on Titan.
  • In the Commodore 64 video game Project Firestart, the setting of the story is located on a scientific space vessel which is floating near Titan in the Saturn system.
  • In the Activision game Battlezone (1998), Titan is the site of a Soviet base and several battles between the American, Soviet, and "Fury" forces.
  • The game Flashback (1992) takes place mostly on Titan.
  • Gremlin Interactive's game Hardwar (1998) takes place in a fictionalized city called Misplaced Optimism, which is on Titan. A later patch even used data from the Huygens (spacecraft) probe to make the environment more realistic.[citation needed]
  • Level 15 of Descent (1994), as well as its second sequel, Descent 3 (2000), take place on Titan. In Descent the player is in a mine, while in Descent 3 the player travels to a proving ground.
  • In Starlancer, Titan is the site of a major, decisive battle between Alliance and Coalition forces.
  • In the PlayStation game Colony Wars, Titan is the base of a Navy supergun. The League destroy Titan in the process of eradicating the weapon.
  • Titan serves as the final level of the game Solar Eclipse for the Sega Saturn. It is the central front for the LaGrange Mining Operation, which is spread out over Saturn's seven largest moons and controlled by the AI program "IRIS".
  • The plot of Huygen's Disclosure, published in 1996 by SegaSoft, actually involves not only Titan, but the pending arrival of the Huygens probe. It did not depict Titan realistically.
  • In the game Legacy of Time, third game in the Journeyman Project series, Titan is home to a prison colony.
  • An Amiga adventure game Suspicious Cargo published by Gremlin.
  • Originally released for the Commodore 64, and later re-released for Windows, Mines of Titan is a role-playing video game set in the 22nd Century where the player must assemble a team to determine the fate of the city of Proscenium, with which all contact has been lost.
  • In the Brazilian strategic game Outlive, Titan is a unique moon rich in minerals and resources.
  • In Mass Effect, Titan is being used by the Human Systems Alliance as a hostile environment training facility for marines, as well as a source of hydrocarbons.
  • In Titan Attacks, a game by Puppy Games, Titan is home to an evil alien race.
  • In Battletech Titan has a major yard complex originally built by the Terran Hegemony, and later controlled by ComStar for several years after the rest of the system is taken by the Word of Blake.
  • In Klingon Academy Titan is a possible destination for the player in the simulated level involving a Klingon invasion of the Sol system.
  • In the Master Levels for Doom II expansion pack for Doom II, one of the levels, Titan Manor, takes place on Titan.
  • In Spore, Titan is one of the planets (or in this case, moons) that can be Terraformed and colonized by the player.
  • In Dead Space 2, mankind has ripped Titan apart for resources and later built a metropolis on a shard of it.
  • In Destiny 2, Titan is a methane ocean world with blue-green hazy skies. The playable area is the New Pacific Arcology, consisting of multiple floating platforms and a Golden Age city.
  • In Overload, the levels 6–10 take place inside facilities located on Titan.


  • "Titan" is a song on HammerFall's album Threshold, dealing with the quest to colonize Titan after a disaster on Earth.
  • "Sirens of Titan" is a song on Al Stewart's album Modern Times, inspired by Kurt Vonnegut's novel.
  • All three albums by self-proclaimed "astro-rock" band Brave Saint Saturn revolve around the USS Gloria, a manned spacecraft which ends up becoming trapped in the orbit of Titan.
  • Titan is referenced in the Pink Floyd song "Astronomy Domine" off their debut album The Piper at the Gates of Dawn.


  1. ^ a b Outer Planets, Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. Accessed 4 April 2016
  2. ^ Stephen Baxter, "Under Titan's Green Sky: Titan in Science Fiction and Science", Foundation, #71 Autumn 1997.
  3. ^ NASA, http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegallery/image_feature_2483.html
  4. ^ Perrypedia, Der Kaiser von New York (in German). Accessed 4 April 2016
  5. ^ Perrypedia, Titan (Mond) (in German). Accessed 4 April 2016
  6. ^ The Titan (film)