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"I think we're still on that topic, still trying to figure out what computers are, how they change us, why we use them."
- Neal Stephenson

Manufactured Planet  
  Is that a moon - or a space station?  

Our first vague impression was corroborated; the object was a vast sphere of perhaps a thousand feet in diameter and of a dark, greenish metal. It was encircled by criss-crossing and massive bands of the same material. There were no other distinguishing features...

...what was our astonishment to find ourselves close to and moving steadily toward the green sphere, and a great door in its side yawning to receive us!

From The Heritage of the Earth, by Harley S. Aldinger.
Published by Amazing Stories in 1932
Additional resources -

This iconic picture should be familiar, at least in outline:


(We were pulled inside!)

The reader might be reminded of the Death Star pulling in the Millennium Falcon in Star Wars.

The author does not describe the means by which the craft is drawing others in side, saying only "we were drawn forward by a force not our own..."

Elsewhere in the story, the sphere is described as "the little manufactured planet, swinging through space, bearing its precious burden, the Heritage of Earth."

Compare to the battle sphere from The Space Rover (1932) by Edwin K. Sloat and the Transparent Spherical Ship from Schachner and Zagat's 1931 novel The Emperor of the Stars.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Heritage of the Earth
  More Ideas and Technology by Harley S. Aldinger
  Tech news articles related to The Heritage of the Earth
  Tech news articles related to works by Harley S. Aldinger

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