In 2006, IAU changed its rules on what constitutes a planet. The most famous downstream impact of the new rules was that Pluto is now classified as Dwarf Planet (Plutoid) among Trans-Neptunial objects; and not as a planet as before.

Wiki list of popular culture impact doesn't mention any SciFi works that treat Pluto as a non-planet so far.

What was the first >=2006 SciFi work that explicitly referred to Pluto as NOT being a planet?

NOTE: Doesn't have to be a major plot point. Just the fact that the text/movie clearly states that Pluto is something other than a planet, in any context

  • Not sure if Google Ngram can be restricted to fictional works (as opposed to science publications) Commented Nov 9, 2013 at 17:56
  • 5
    I refuse to acknowledge the IAU. It's still a planet.
    – BBlake
    Commented Nov 11, 2013 at 14:21
  • 1
    @BBlake - is that you, Pluto? Commented Nov 11, 2013 at 14:22
  • @BBlake: Ug. Why do people care? I'm with Neil DeGrasse-Tyson that having Pluto be one of a whole other class of objects is way more fascinating. . You can get lost for hours following links around. Haumea. Sedna. Makemake. Quaoar. Orcus. Salacia. This is so much cooler than "Pluto is special". But if you want to stubbornly stick with the past, be my guess. Also, Lots of non-avian dinosaurs had feathers Commented Jul 1, 2015 at 14:52
  • @ThePopMachine there is one argument with it, which is that the classification is largely extrinsic to the composition and nature of the world it labels. It lines up well with our own system, but it's possible to imagine a system where Charon-like worlds meet the definition of "planet", while also having "dwarf planet" super-Earths. Whether that scenario could arise in practice isn't clear.
    – user36551
    Commented Aug 8, 2015 at 16:32

3 Answers 3


Destiny's Children, Exultant by Stephen Baxter (2004). Pluto isn't called 'not a planet', but it is called a Kuiper belt object and a worldlet:

There are many bodies out here, some massive. Pluto is one, Port Sol another... But they add up to only about a fifth of Earth's mass. There should have been thousands of worldlets the size of Pluto or larger.

It took the IAU a few years to decide Pluto belonged in the dwarf planet class, but many people, including authors, were aware of the reclassification before it was made official.


1966: World of Ptavvs, novel by Larry Niven. Pluto is one of Neptune's moons, that was knocked out of orbit by an interstellar craft. (Didn't see that coming, IAU?)

2007: Before Dishonor, a Star Trek: The Next Generation novel by Peter David. A large Borg cubeship "consumes" the newly recategorized planet Pluto, Charon, Nix and Hydra for resources before advancing to Earth's orbit. A character darkly remarked that after its status repeatedly bouncing back and forth over the past centuries, the problem of what to call Pluto had been eliminated.


Clifford Simak's Construction Shack (1973) - Pluto is a toolshed for making the Solar System, but the builder's screwed up as badly as hiring your cousin to redo the rec-room.

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