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"Poised between intransigent scepticism and uncritical credulity, it [science fiction] is par excellence the literature of the open mind."
- John Brunner

Light Traps (Dyson Sphere)  
  Surrounding a sun, a set of devices to capture or focus solar power.  

Resolved to pursue the adventure of life and of spirit in the cosmical, the widest of all spheres, it was in constant telepathic communication with its fellows; and at the same time, conceiving all kinds of strange practical ambitions, it began to avail itself of the energies of its stars upon a scale hitherto unimagined. Not only was every solar system now surrounded by a gauze of light traps, which focused the escaping solar energy for intelligent use, so that the whole galaxy was dimmed...
From Star Maker, by Olaf Stapledon.
Published by Methuen in 1937
Additional resources -

Compare to Ringworld from Larry Niven's Ringworld (1970).

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