In the ringworld-novels of Larry Niven the author uses a giant ring around the sun as setting. The concept that is going more extrem in this direction is a Sphere around a sun. That concept is called Dyson Sphere. Does a work of SF explores this concept?

10 Answers 10


Yes, there's a list of them at Dyson spheres in popular culture. The idea originated in a novel called Star Maker.

  • Wow, what a list.
    – Mnementh
    Jan 11, 2011 at 22:13
  • @Mnementh: I'm definitely looking forward to reading some of those. The Ringworld itself was my favorite part of that novel. Jan 11, 2011 at 22:16

Bob Shaw's Orbitsville novels:


If you don't count just the written word, one of the episodes of Star Trek: TNG does. The episode is called "Relics."

This episode was also novelized by Michael Jan Friedman, and a sequel novel named Dyson Sphere was written by Charles Pellegrino and George Zebrowski.


In Accelerando, civilizations that advance past the technological singularity tend to build concentric Dyson swarms of computronium around their stars, a construction known as a matrioshka brain.


In Iain M Banks book, Matter on the Shellworld of Sursamen, which is multiple concentric dyson shells built on top of each other with a artificial sun on each level and each level holding a more advanced alien race than the level below. In the core lives a super advanced alien, and on level 7 lives the parasites that lived on the shell of the advanced alien, but have advanced enough to have the their own level.

  • 2
    The Shellworld is not a dyson spere... a shell that completely encloses a natural star. The Shellworld in Matter is described as planet sized. Jun 1, 2012 at 2:45

The 'The Time Ships' (1995) by Stephen Baxter has the most interesting depiction of a Dyson Sphere I have read in Science Fiction. The novel is a sequel to the classic ‘The Time Machine’ (1895) by H. G. Wells (where there are no Dyson Spheres).

A more recent book with a memorable Dyson Swarm is ‘House of Suns’ (2008) by Alastair Reynolds.


The Halo universe has Dyson Spheres. The setting of Halo:Wars was a Dyson Sphere.


In "Implied Spaces", by Walter Jon Williams, there are several Dyson spheres, although they are each in their own closed universe, reachable only by wormhole so it's maybe not your run-of-the-mill Dyson sphere.


The ones that come to mind, are:

A gravity pulse from a research station awakens an alien buried in the moon who opens a wormhole and takes Earth elsewhere. And the chaos that ensues.

Turns out there is a species that grabs planets, and brings them into solar systems where they have already built Dyson Spheres.

Great series. By Roger Allen Macbride


Already many good answers... I'll just throw out the Virga series by Schroeder, starting with the first book in the series, Sun of Suns. It is a fantastic series, with each book continuing the story, focusing on a different main character.


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