The American Southwest was the location for rocket and atomic bomb tests in the late 1940s and 1950s, and thus served as the backdrop for popular images of the future. Arid southern California served as the landscape for many Hollywood science fiction films of the 1950s and the alien planets in Star Trek: The Original Series. The succulent plants that grow in the deserts of the American Southwest appear "alien" to the unconscious anticipations about life on Earth held by western Europeans, people exposed to the wet, cool temperate environments on either side of the North Atlantic. Finally, the earliest images of the lansdscape of another planet space were of the desert-like Mars. Ergo, other planets are desert worlds.
- Anarres - Ursulla K. Leguin's utopian novel The Dispossessed
- Argus II - James Blish's Cities in Flight universe
- Arrakis - Frank Herbert's Dune universe
- Baugenphyme - Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen's novel Heaven, brief reference, p. 20
- Blenjeel - Star Wars universe (compare to Arrakis)
- Dis - Harry Harrison's novel Planet of the Damned
- Dune - Frank Herbert's Dune universe
- Geonosis (close to Tatooine) - Star Wars universe
- Geta - Donald Kingsbury's 1982 novel Courtship Rite
- Gienah-9 - Arkady Martine's novel A Memory Called Empire
- Lok - Star Wars universe
- Manipool - Robert Silverberg's novel Thorns
- New Enid - Jack C. Haldeman II's novel Perry's Planet, brief reference p. 42
- Parchmont - Don D'Ammassa's novel Haven, brief reference, p. 9
- Rakis a.k.a. Arrakis or Dune - Frank Herbert's novel Heretics of Dune, Dune universe
- Selantro - Robert Kroese's novel Starship Grifters
- Socorro - Star Wars, West End Games's Star Wars: The Geta - Donald Kingsbury's 1982 novel Courtship RiteRole-Playing Game adventure, "The Black Sands of Socorro"
- Stella Maris - Una McCormack's Weird Space Universe
- Swamp Moon of Akdar - Robert Kroese's novel Starship Grifters
- Tatooine (close to Geonosis) - Star Wars
- Vulcan - "Amok Time," Star Trek: The Original Series Episode 34, Season 2, 9-15-67; Star Trek: The Motion Picture Different Portrayals of Vulcan are discussed in this Ex Astris Scientia Article
- Alien Life More Likely on ‘Dune’ Planets Charles Q. Choi. Astrobiology Magazine. September 1, 2011.