"the [science fiction] writer should be able to convince the reader (and himself) that the wonders he is describing really can come true...and that gets tricky when you take a good, hard look at the world around you."
Ran Argal gives his dimension shifting apparatus its head after moving out of our galaxy into intergalactic space, heading toward the great Andromeda galaxy.
I can't think of an earlier direct reference to this exact idea, but take a look at this manual search for a habitable planet by EE 'Doc' Smith in Skylark of Valeron.
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