“The Dwindling Sphere,” Willard Hawkins, 1940 – Humans learn how to transform matter into plastocene and gradually strip the earth to the size of the moon. Story is told first by an inventor through diary entries, then by descendants of an hereditary empire, then through the commentary of historians.
Comments: A variety of ecologically-related themes, including use of resources, means of production, labor, idleness vs. work, forms of utility, and consumption. Also presents myopic future historians reflecting upon the past and trying to rationalize past actions using scientific rationale. Read in 18 Greatest SF Stories.
Author: Willard Hawkins was a writer of science fiction. He was also “the editor and publisher of a small magazine called The Student Writer, which eventually evolved into Author and Journalist.” (Colorado Authors’ League)