Jan 27 2011 3:40pm

Snow Planets!

Ice planet Hoth

Because our little corner of the universe is covered in snow, we decided to ask our Twitter followers to name as many snow planets as they could as fast as possible. Everyone knows Hoth from The Empire Strikes Back, but what else is there?

Here’s what happened when we crowd-sourced freezing worlds:

Art from The Left Hand of Darkness by Alex Eben

User NAS482 on Twitter asked, “does Winter count?” [From The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin.] It’s really cold there. And Ursula K. Le Guin is tops. You bet.


Delta Vega from Star Trek

Delta Vega from the new Star Trek. Never mind how close it orbits to Vulcan, or the whole thing about Vulcan supposedly having no moons, or the fact that it was actually a totally different planet in the original series. Look! Snow!!

(Thanks csilibrarian and abaddondave)


Rura Penthe from Star Trek VI

Rura Penthe from Star Trek VI and Enterprise

Speaking of cold Star Trek planets visited by Kirk (and Archer, too!) We can’t forget Pura Penthe. We know it’s not technically a planet, but rather an asteroid, but come on.


Planet of the Ood

The Planet of the Ood from Doctor Who

It may be cold on the Planet of the Ood, but those folks sure can carry a tune! And they have a giant brain there, too.


Map of Darkover

Darkover from The Darkover Series by Marion Zimmer Bradley

It’s a planet stuck in a neverending ice age! Thanks to Elizabeth Bear (matociquala) for reminding us of this one!


New York Public Library lion statue

New York Public Library lion statue

We also recieved a tweet from mlvalentine asserting that Wisconsin was a snow planet. Usually that would win the argument right there, but right now we think it might just be New York City!

How many snow/ice planets have we missed?

Gabriele Campbell
1. G-Campbell
Akkabarr, the planet on which most of Rebel Ice takes place ( book 5 of S.L. Viehl's Stardoc series).
I think the Stargate episode where they were convinced they'd landed on an ice planet deserves a bonus mention, even if it did turn out to be Antarctica.
3. Mike G.
Tran-Ky-Ky from Alan Dean Foster's _Icerigger_.
Patti Taylor
4. sapience14
Stargate Universe had an Ice Planet in the episode "Water."
5. Mike G.
Oh, and the ice planet in the old Battlestar Galactica episode
"Gun on Ice Planet Zero"...

No, I didn't remember the name of that episode - Wikipedia came to my rescue.
Rob Munnelly
6. RobMRobM
Sol Draconi Septum from Dan Simmons' Endymion (and perhaps even briefly in Hyperion). Inhospitable frozen planet where local sentients live in tunnels under the ice.

7. Mike G.
Hey, this is fun :)

Helliconia, in the right season...
8. JH-S
The Stargate episode 'Beneath the Surface' also has a snow planet, though its name escapes me at present.

Having done two theses discussing Ursula Le Guin (and other wonderful SF writers), I think she's tops too!
Rob Munnelly
9. RobMRobM
Not really a planet but there is Kyril Island base above the Arctic Circle on Barryar in Bujold's The Vor Game.
10. Gerry__Quinn
Pandora's Star by Peter F. Hamilton has a snow planet where the Silfen hunt ice whales.
Adam Miller
11. AdamM
There's also the asteroid from Alistair Reynolds' Pushing Ice
13. firkin
does Earth in the movie Sunshine count?
14. jacques hughes
U.V.6 from the opening sequence of 'Chronicles of Riddick'.
15. OtterB
I'd count Earth, in that classic Fritz Leiber story, "A Pail of Air."
Michael Burke
16. Ludon
Robert Silverberg's 'Time of the Great Freeze'.

The past Spock travels to in the Star Trek episode 'All Our Yeaterdays'.
Steven Halter
17. stevenhalter
There is the Jaghut warren of Omtose Phellack--The Hold of Ice, in Steven Erikson's Malazan series.
18. Mike G.
If we allow Earth, then I nominate Fritz Leiber's "A Pail of Air":
19. Mike G.
Oops, Otter B. @15 beat me to it.

Sorry, didn't mean to post a dupe.
20. brentodd
Dezoris in the classic video game Phantasy Star.
21. Fenric25
Several more snowy/icy planets from Doctor Who-Ribos from "The Ribos Operation", a planet whose society was similar to 12th century Russia, stuck in the middle of a 32-year winter; Nekros, planet of mourning (and secret refuge of Davros) from "Revelation of the Daleks"; Svartos, home of the exiled alien criminal Kane's Iceworld base in "Dragonfire"; Earth itself, stuck in the middle of a new Ice Age in "The Ice Warriors" as well as the setting of Antarctica in "The Seeds of Doom". Can't think of any others off the top of my head at the moment.
22. omegawolf1987
An obscure but personal favorite of mine is Tharkad, capital world of the Lyran Alliance in the universe of the battletech tabletop war game and its expanded fiction universe.
Alex Johns
23. almuric
Pluto in Heinlein's Have Spacesuit; Will Travel
24. Mike G.
almuric @23: d'oh! Can't believe I forgot Pluto. I just reread that book after the Heinlein juveniles came up in Jo Walton's rereads, too...
Amber Poore
25. Razorgirl
Well... ok so it isn't really a planet... but a tasty, snow-ball looking, improbably made dessert... the Ice Planet from Firefly.
Robert Evans
26. bobsandiego
Pluto is not a planet.
(Now running for saftey.)
Amber Poore
27. Razorgirl
And again, not so much a planet, but if asteroids can count, how about Frigia, from Flash Gordon :-) the floating ice kingdom of Mongo.
28. drragoon83
New Syrtis also from the Battletech universe is a frozen planet
29. Evan H.
We just had a post about The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe and yet you forgot Narnia? Always winter and never Christmas!
30. RandolphF
EE Smith's Palain IV (Lensman series)
James Blish's Jupiter ("Bridge," They Shall Have Stars)
31. Jan the Alan Fan
Denali from Julian May's Saga of the Exiles / Galactic Milieu books (the icy home of Elizabeth Orme). A skier's paradise, apparently.
32. Gorbag
There's that planet the agent known as Cheradenine Zakalwe, better forgotten as Elethiomel the Chairmaker, was fighting on, just before Diziet Sma recruited him for The Culture's Special Circumstances - you remember, his own crew got sick of him, bashed him up and tossed him out into a subzero blizzard ... the book? Iain M Banks' Use of Weapons.
Chris Hsiang
33. Grey_Area
Lankiveil, home of the fur whales, from the Expanded Dune series.
34. xi'an101
Is there too much snow to compile the final ranking for the Best SFF Nocels of the Decade Reader Poll?! We are waaaaiting!!!
35. a1ay
32: not an ice world; he was just living in an airbase built on top of a tabular iceberg.

So, ice worlds:
Europa: 2001, 2010 etc.
Diadem, in the Alistair Reynolds short story "Glacial" - the world with the little worms that burrow through the ice and leave trails for each other.
The unnamed ice planet that the crew crash on in "Red Dwarf: Marooned".
Schar's World, in "Consider Phlebas".
The frozen Earth in Michael Moorcock's"The Ice Schooner".
Half of Mercury, in Niven's "The Coldest Place", and all of Pluto, in "World of Ptavvs".
36. Chindi
I seem to remember Leigh Bracket's Skaith was an ice planet.
37. fuzzyillogic
There's Dhrawn from Hal Clement's Starlight. A great piece of worldbuilding, near to his Mission of Gravity...
38. Gregory J Gunther
Here's an very cold planet that I can't forget from Kevin J Anderson's Saga of the Seven Suns.

Plumas - An ice-bound planet where Roamer operated water mines are located. Run by the Tamblyn clan, the main settlement on Plumas was deep under the icy surface in caverns lit by artificial suns.

PS. Roamers Rule!
Sky Thibedeau
39. SkylarkThibedeau
Aquaria/Aquarion in the Reimaged Battlestar Galactica is a frozen ice planet populated by scientists and hippies according to Bob Harris' "Beyond Caprica: A Guide to the 12 Colonies'.
Gabriele Campbell
40. G-Campbell
The world in J.V. Jones' Sword of Shadows series is arctic, and Brian Ruckley's Godless World may count as winter world as well. And what about the lands north of GRR Martin's Wall? :)
Michael Ikeda
41. mikeda
In Arthur Clarke's short story "History Lesson" the earth almost completely freezes over. And in the epilogue of his novel "Fountains of Paradise" the earth has also frozen over (temporarily in this case).
42. Jeff R23
Andoria, as well as most of the Andorian colonies in Star Trek Enterprise, should make the list.
René Walling
43. cybernetic_nomad
All is relative, I nominate Earth in Hal Clement's Iceworld
Wesley Parish
44. Aladdin_Sane
Helliconia Spring - at least, the first part of it; and Helliconia Winter.
Morgan Thomas
45. morganova
a rather obscure, but entertaining Children's fantasy series has another one: Garth Nix's The Seventh Tower. his planet is "the dark world" and due to the existence of a magical veil blocking the sun, the inhabited world is perpetually encased in freezing, icy darkness.
46. filkferengi
Don't forget Marta Randall's _The Sword of Winter_.
Henrik Tornberg
47. HenrikSwe
USS Voyager crashes on a snow planet in episode Timeless
Cora Anderson
48. coraa
If computer games count for this, there's Noveria of Mass Effect. (The fact that it's barely habitable by the standards of most of the sentient species in the game, and therefore not terribly desirable as territory, is actually a plot point.)
49. Janov Pelorat
Ultima Thule was an early stopover for the travelers on Moonbase Alpha (Space: 1999; Death's Other Dominion).

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