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[[quoteright:350:[[Literature/JohnCarterOfMars http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rsz_jcmarspic.jpg]]]]

->''"I wanted to write about imaginary worlds. Now that our whole planet has been explored other planets are the only place you can put them."''
-->-- '''Creator/CSLewis''', ''A Reply to Professor Haldane.''

Stories, nominally ScienceFiction, set on an alien world described in lush detail. The world can be Earth in the far distant future, or an alien planet, but it is reached by science-fictional means, not magic.

However, the [[MohsScaleOfSciFiHardness science is largely handwaving]]. Visitors may arrive on the world by spaceship, and there might be items of LostTechnology present, but overall the world will feel like LowFantasy -- a {{feudal|Future}} society with small-scale magic but no BigBad -- and it will share most of the same tropes. Because the "romance" in the title stems from ChivalricRomance, a LoveInterest is not in fact required.

May involve WeirdScience. SchizoTech may occur. Even if the planet has futuristic transportation, expect, however irrationally, large parts of it to be unexplored, and it to be easy to be out of contact with one's home (and government). Prone to use MedievalEuropeanFantasy tropes, or feature a FeudalFuture. Overlaps heavily with the Dying Earth subgenre pioneered by Creator/JackVance's [[Literature/DyingEarth eponymous novel]].

SpaceOpera is closely related, but the action and adventure tend to take place more in space and on differing planets. Usually it involves at least InterplanetaryVoyage. One distinction is that Planetary Romances come from the JungleOpera tradition whereas {{Space Opera}}s come from the [[SpaceIsAnOcean nautical]] tradition.

Contrast with SingleBiomePlanet. See also PulpMagazine, {{Swashbuckler}}, ThudAndBlunder, TwoFistedTales.

Not to be confused with MarsNeedsWomen


* ''Manga/{{ARIA}}''
* ''Anime/LastExile''
* ''Anime/{{Simoun}}''
* ''Manga/{{Trigun}}''
* ''Anime/TheVisionOfEscaflowne'': Though it initially appears to be fantasy, all examples of "magic" in the series turn out to be highly advanced (read: reality-altering) technology, and no wizards or sorcerers appear, only super-scientists.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Paul Pope's version of ComicBook/AdamStrange in ''ComicBook/WednesdayComics''. (Not the mainstream version, whose Rann has too much high-tech stuff.) John Carter was his main inspiration for the series.
* ''ComicBook/{{Den}}'' by Creator/RichardCorben.
* Comicbook/TheIncredibleHulk:
** The [[ComicBook/PlanetHulk Planet Hulk]] storyline was essentially a planetary romance.
** After the Hulk returned to Earth for ''ComicBook/WorldWarHulk'', his son Skaar received his own title, also a planetary romance... at least until Galactus showed up to eat the planet.
** This wasn't the first time the Hulk had got a planetary romance; there were also his adventures in the Microverse in the 70s. The Hulk's other son, Hiro-Kala, visits the Microverse in a 2010 miniseries.
* In the Silver and Bronze ages, Franchise/{{Superman}}, ComicBook/{{Supergirl}} and the ComicBook/{{Legion of Super-Heroes}} often travelled around the galaxy and visited and explored other planets, mingling with their inhabitants.
* ''ComicBook/WarlordOfMars'', the comic book adaption of Creator/EdgarRiceBurroughs's ''Literature/JohnCarterOfMars'' by Dynamite Entertainment. The books were also adapted by Marvel at some point.
* ''ComicBook/TheWarlord''.
* A lot of the early, world-hopping stories in ComicBook/XMen and ComicBook/{{Excalibur}} are like this, usually written by Chris Claremont and/or Alan Davis, and of course usually centering around Nightcrawler (and sometimes Shadowcat or Wolverine).
* ''ComicBook/{{Starlight}}'': Tantalus fits this trope in flashbacks but in modern day it's more like Earth. Most fantasy creatures were wiped out and the population have turned into ApatheticCitizens who sit in front of their [=TV=]s while a dictator rules them.
* ''ComicBook/FlashGordon'': The planet Mongo and it's various moons are as much characters as the main cast.

* The second half of ''Disney/AtlantisTheLostEmpire''.
* ''Film/{{Avatar}}'' is primarily an adventure set on the alien moon Pandora and completely unapologetic about the fact that it's all about a fantasy of [[MagicalNativeAmerican Magical Natives]] in a paradisal world.
* ''Film/JohnCarter''.
* The two Ewok movies spun off from the ''Franchise/StarWars'' franchise, which featured sci-fi versions of giants, orcs, and witches.
* The original ''Film/{{Stargate}}'' film. The [[Series/StargateSG1 subsequent]] [[Series/StargateAtlantis television]] [[Series/StargateUniverse shows]], however, follow the WagonTrainToTheStars format pioneered by ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'', exploring strange new worlds and seek out new life forms and new civilizations.
* ''Film/ATripToTheMoon'' and several other of Creator/GeorgesMelies's longer films.
* ''Film/ThorRagnarok'' is a deliberate throwback to the genre. Much of the action takes place on Sakaar, a chaotic LandfillBeyondTheStars ruled by a mad EvilOverlord, populated by countless alien species and located at a [[PortalCrossroadWorld nexus of wormholes]], all constantly [[SuperSargassoSea dumping the lost junk of the universe onto its surface]]. Director Creator/TaikaWaititi cited the cult '80s movie Film/FlashGordon1980 as a major influence on ''Ragnarok''.

* ''The Book of Ptath'' by Creator/AEVanVogt.
* The ''Bunduki'' series by Creator/JTEdson.
* ''Literature/{{Coyote}}'' by Creator/AllenSteele (though it's technically a moon, not a planet. Lunar romance?)
* ''Literature/TheDarkangelTrilogy''.
* ''Literature/{{Darkover}}'', Creator/MarionZimmerBradley
* ''Literature/DragonridersOfPern'', the entire series by Anne [=McCaffrey=], [[HighConcept features]] [[OurDragonsAreDifferent dragons]] [[InSpace on an alien world]].
* ''Literature/{{Dune}}'' by Frank Herbert. The book, while perfectly serviceable as a straight example, is actually a DeconstructorFleet of the genre's conventions. [[Film/{{Dune}} David Lynch's]] FilmOfTheBook plays the tropes much straighter.
* ''Literature/{{Gor}}''
* Creator/JackVance
** ''Literature/DyingEarth'',
** ''Literature/PlanetOfAdventure''
** ''Big Planet'' series
* Brian Aldiss's ''Literature/{{Helliconia}}'' series.
* ''Ivory'', Doris Egan.
* Creator/EdgarRiceBurroughs's ''Literature/JohnCarterOfMars''. Between these and his ''[[Literature/{{Amtor}} Carson of Venus]]'' books, pretty much the TropeCodifier.
* ''Kregen'', Alan Burt Akers
* Creator/UrsulaKLeGuin's [[ScienceFiction SF]] novels tend to steer this way: ''Literature/TheLeftHandOfDarkness'', ''Literature/RocannonsWorld'', etc. At least in the sense of having the planets be a pseudo-feudal setting -- she generally avoids the more magical elements.
* ''Literature/TheLastGuardian2001'' while being a religious story, utterly glories in the alien world of Noron, the people and culture, the dinosaurs.
* ''Literature/TheLordsOfCreation'' series by S. M. Stirling is set in a present day AlternateHistory where Mars and Venus, thanks to the intervention of AncientAstronauts, are similar to the worlds portrayed in Creator/EdgarRiceBurroughs novels.
* ''Literature/MajipoorSeries'', Creator/RobertSilverberg
* Creator/LeighBrackett's Mars, Venus, and Skaith series, which are essentially LowFantasy DarkerAndEdgier versions of Burrough's series.
* The ''Literature/NovelsOfTheJaran'' start this way, but become more sci-fi as the series progresses.
* ''Old Mars'' and ''Old Venus'' are two (forthcoming) anthologies edited by Creator/GeorgeRRMartin and Gardner Dozois homaging old planetary romance stories set on Mars and Venus.
* Mary Gentle's ''Literature/{{Orthe}}'' series. Slightly different in that Orthe is an alien world, populated by a race who apparently destroyed the high-tech and highly advanced race who once ruled it, and deliberately regressed to a much less technologically advanced state.
* In Mark Hodder's ''A Red Sun Also Rises'', a doubting priest and his hunchbacked sexton are taken by a tribe of cannibals and transported to an alien world which starts their adventure.
* Most of ''Literature/TheSpaceTrilogy'' by Creator/CSLewis, including ''Out of the Silent Planet'' (set on Mars) and ''Perelandra'' (set on Venus) but not ''That Hideous Strength'', which takes place on Earth.
* Ray Cummings' ''Tama of the Light Country'' is a surprisingly feminist work for 1930. It also zilches the one-culture-per-planet rule. Tama is a very young woman who leads a revolt of "winged virgins" against a long-established law that women must have their wings amputated (sans anesthesia) upon marriage.
* ''Terminal World'' by Creator/AlastairReynolds, is set in the far future on a planet hinted to be a terraformed Mars.
* Gary Poulsen's ''Literature/TheTransallSaga'', although it has no magic.
* Creator/SheriSTepper's ''Literature/TheTrueGame'' series.
* Creator/LSpragueDeCamp's ''Literature/ViagensInterplanetarias'' series is an attempt to do a semi-Hard SF version of Burroughs.
* ''Jane Carver of Waar'', intended as a DistaffCounterpart to ''Literature/JohnCarterOfMars''.
* Terry Dowling's ''Wormwood'', a compilation of short stories taking place on a future Earth, which explore the place of humans in a world long since conquered by -- and modified to suit the needs (whims?) of -- a [[HigherTechSpecies technologically-superior alien race]], as well as several client species.
** From the same writer: ''Literature/TheAdventuresOfTomRynosseros'', featuring a [[SandIsWater sandship]] captain in a far future Australia, now [[PersecutionFlip reclaimed]] by the Aboriginal nations.

* Some ''Series/DoctorWho'' stories have fit this genre, particularly in the early years when the show was more heavily influenced by Burroughs-like fiction:
** "The Daleks" - the crew land on the post-apocalyptic jungle planet Skaro, and go to explore the gleaming city in the distance to find a vital component for the TARDIS. They accidentally spark war between the NobleSavage Thal race, and the LittleGreenManInACan Dalek race, and lead the Thals into the Dalek city to attack them for good and get the TARDIS back.
** "The Keys of Marinus" - written by the same writer as "The Daleks". The crew land on the planet Marinus, with seas of acid and strange hostile aliens called the Voord. An old man blocks off the TARDIS and [[TheChooserOfTheOne tasks them as heroes destined]] to return four [[PlotCoupons Keys]], which they have to explore four different areas of the world to retrieve. There's a LotusEaterMachine city, an ice city, a jungle, and a KangarooCourt culture...
** "The Web Planet" - probably the most clear example of this. The TARDIS is ensnared in a web and when Ian and the Doctor leave to investigate, Barbara becomes possessed and the TARDIS console is stolen, seemingly by giant ant creatures the Zarbi [[BeePeople under the instructions of their Queen]]. The [[InsectoidAliens Menoptera]] save Barbara and befriend the rest of the crew, and they set off on a journey exploring their planet, encountering various different kinds of insect people, and battling the Animus (a sinister [[PlantAliens Plant Alien]] that has taken control of the Zarbi). Has lots of very dreamlike imagery such as the Menoptera flying in space through an AlienSky, the surreal sounds made by the Zarbi and their larva that they use as weapons.

* The Sword's ''Warp Riders'' is this as a ConceptAlbum.

* ''TabletopGame/BluePlanet'' from Fantasy Flight Games is set on the [[SingleBiomePlanet water world]] of Poseidon and exploring it and surviving its inherent dangers are major parts of most campaigns. As a twist to its obvious "new colony" setting it's actually [[spoiler: inhabited by SufficientlyAdvancedAliens.]]
* ''TabletopGame/EmpireOfThePetalThrone''
* ''[[TabletopGame/GURPSSettings GURPS Planet Krishna]]'' adapts Creator/LSpragueDeCamp's ''Literature/ViagensInterplanetarias'' series, and ''[[TabletopGame/GURPSSettings GURPS Planet of Adventure]]'' is based on Creator/JackVance's ''Literature/PlanetOfAdventure'' series.
* "The Iron Lords of Jupiter" was a scenario published in ''Polyhedron'' magazine for ''TabletopGame/D20Modern''; its rules could also be adapted to ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons''. The setting posited that beneath Jupiter's cloud cover, the planet is solid just like Earth and home to hundreds of alien cultures with Iron Age-level technology, and the player characters are either natives or stranded humans. The reason for Jupiter having the same force of gravity as Earth was left as an exercise for the game-master.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Pathfinder}}''[='=]s Golarion is set up to facilitate this. The elves are actually of alien descent, and their ancient portals to other planets still exist. Some creatures such as nightgaunts can fly through space. Spells which allow this kind of travel are listed. The entire Distant Worlds source book exists to flesh out the rest of the solar system as well, which generally consists of a mix of earlier ideas of the solar system mixed with eldritch horror. 'Mercury' is a sun-baked world inhabited by robots with scattered habitable ice caverns, 'Venus' is a jungle with dinosaur riding amazons and is the homeworld of the elves, 'Mars' is a dying world covered in ancient ruins and is home to Expies of [[Literature/JohnCarterOfMars Green Martians]] and a colony of [[Literature/AtTheMountainsOfMadness Elder Things]], and so on.
* A major inspiration for ''TabletopGame/RocketAge'', especially Mars.
* ''TabletopGame/SkyrealmsOfJorune'' had almost unplayable game mechanics, but an overwhelmingly complex and facinating alien world setting that also incorporated AfterTheEnd.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Space 1889}}'' is [[UsefulNotes/VictorianBritain Victorian]] colonial adventures on carefully described planets with a heavy dose of SteamPunk. Unlike most planetary romances, the science (particularly the one which is based on different natural laws and thus doesn't really work in our world) is carefully described.

* ''Franchise/MastersOfTheUniverse'', mostly in the early minicomics where Eternia was an ScavengerWorld.
* ''Toys/{{Bionicle}}'' is ambiguous at first when there is only a single island, then becomes a clear example as an underground alien civilization is uncovered (actually the body of a downed HumongousMecha). A new planet that's later introduced is an archetypal example of this trope.

* ''VideoGame/{{Albion}}'' kicks off with the heroes crash landing on a planet. They first arrive in an alien world inhabited by cat people who use magic and OrganicTechnology, but later regions accessed in the game could easily look like medieval europe, complete with celts as inhabitants who worship ancient celtic deities.
* ''VideoGame/DarkScavenger'' describes the species and cultures of the world in detail.
* Bungie's ''VideoGame/{{Destiny}}''
* The ''Videogame/IronGrip'' series arguably counts, but is sort of a subversion, since it averts MedievalStasis (in favour of timeless SchizoTech) and combines PlanetaryRomance with the [[DuringTheWar War Drama]] genre.
* ''VideoGame/LesbianSpiderQueensOfMars''.
* The first two ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime'' games have protagonist Samus exploring a single world each. She is tasked with saving each world from sheer destruction and can find in-depth information about the planets' rich history and wildlife through scanning lore, research and creatures. The third game becomes more of a space opera with the ability to explore and travel between multiple planets.
* ''VideoGame/StarFoxAdventures''
* The ''VideoGame/StarOcean'' series.
* ''VideoGame/UltimaWorldsOfAdventure2MartianDreams''
* While the individual games are mostly just HighFantasy, the ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' franchise as a whole indicates that it is this via its CanonWelding. It has been established that all of the worlds of ''Final Fantasy'' are part of a shared multiverse separated by a nothingness called the Void, something that occasionally spawns (or defeats) villains and can be crossed by characters with sufficient magical or technological means. Space travel between the worlds is theoretically possible and has happened once or twice, or has been part of villains' plots (e.g. Sephiroth's plan to use the Planet as a spaceship to find another planet in ''Anime/AdventChildren''). ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyV'' in particular involves travel between different planets via meteorites.
* ''VideoGame/HorizonZeroDawn'' is an example of this trope set on post-apocalyptic Earth, where a FeudalFuture society of viking-like clans battle enormous robot dinosaurs and each other.
* The ''VideoGame/{{Oddworld}}'' series takes place on the titular Oddworld, and is a Dystopa story about the endless destruction caused by industrialized species and the effects that out-of-control business excesses with no morals have on the more vulnerable races. There's plenty of [[SlaveRace Slave Races]] and LastOfHisKind to go around with a heavy GreenAesop.

* ''[[http://www.perilsonplanetx.com Perils on Planet X.]]''
* ''Webcomic/{{Pibgorn}}'' [[http://www.gocomics.com/pibgorn/2003/02/05/ Drue is dropped in one.]]

* ''Animation/FantasticPlanet'' (''La Planète sauvage''), the bizarre, surreal French animated film.
* The ''Den'' and ''Taarna'' segments from ''WesternAnimation/HeavyMetal.''
* ''WesternAnimation/TheHerculoids''
* ''WesternAnimation/ThundarrTheBarbarian''