We see artificial destruction of a planet lots of times. Famous examples are:

  • Destruction of Alderaan by Death Star in original Star Wars movie (1977)

  • Destruction of Earth to build Hyperspace Bypass in original Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy BBC radio series (1978) and later book, movie adaptations

Which Sci-Fi work first showed artificial destruction of a planet?

  • I used artificial destruction word to distinguish it from destruction caused by natural supernova (destruction caused by TARDIS supernova would be artificial). If you've better word, please replace. Thanks. – Umbrella Corporation Apr 1 '18 at 20:01
  • Does the complete destruction of the biosphere count, or is it required that the planet no longer exists as an astronomical object? In Roger Zelaznys "Isle of the Dead", published 1969, the protagonist Francis Sandow remembers taking part at the destruction of the home planet of a xenophobic and aggressive race. I recall that the destruction happened essentially by bombing the planet with asteroids, but I'm not sure whether the planet got obliterated completely. – straycat Apr 1 '18 at 20:48
  • Do moons count as planets? – user14111 Apr 1 '18 at 20:50
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    Seaton blows up the Fenachrone planet in "Skylark Three" so let's not have anything later than that. If moons count, a dark moon of Venus is destroyed in an obscure 1929 story, and The Moon is destroyed in a 1927 story. – user14111 Apr 1 '18 at 21:06
  • @user14111 I was about to propose something from the Lensman series, then you beat my E.E. Smith with more E.E. Smith. The man was not afraid to go for the big kaboom. – user18979 Apr 1 '18 at 21:12

1930: Skylark Three, a novel by Edward E. Smith, originally published as a serial in Amazing Stories, text available at Project Gutenberg. The Fenachrone planet is destroyed in Part III of the serial, which appeared in Amazing Stories, October 1930, available at the Internet Archive.

"I agree with you that the time has come to destroy the planet of Fenachrone. As for pursuing that vessel through intergalactic space, that is your problem. You must figure out some method of increasing our acceleration. Highly efficient as is this system of propulsion, it seems to me that the knowledge of the Norlaminians should be able to improve it in some detail. Even a slight increase in acceleration would enable us to overtake them eventually."

[. . . .]

"Well, then, let's mop up on that planet. Then we'll go places and do things."

Seaton had already located the magazines in which the power bars of the Fenachrone war-vessels were stored, and it was a short task to erect a secondary projector of force in the Fenachrone atmosphere. Working out of that projector, beams of force seized one of the immense cylinders of plated copper and at Seaton's direction transported it rapidly to one of the poles of the planet, where electrodes of force were clamped upon it. In a similar fashion seventeen more of the frightful bombs were placed, equidistant over the surface of the world of the Fenachrone, so that when they were simultaneously exploded, the downward forces would be certain to meet sufficient resistance to assure complete demolition of the entire globe. Everything in readiness, Seaton's hand went to the plunger switch and closed upon it. Then, his face white and wet, he dropped his hand.

"No use, Mart — I can't do it. It pulls my cork. I know darn well you can't either — I'll yell for help."

"Have you got it on the infra-red?" asked Dunark calmly, as he shot up into the projector in reply to Seaton's call. "I want to see this, all of it."

"It's on — you’re welcome to it," and, as the Terrestrials turned away, the whole projector base was illuminated by a flare of intense, though subdued light. For several minutes Dunark stared into the visiplate, savage satisfaction in every line of his fierce green face as he surveyed the havoc wrought by those eighteen enormous charges of incredible explosive.

"A nice job of clean-up, Dick," the Osnomian prince reported, turning away from the visiplate. "It made a sun of it — the original sun is now quite a splendid double star. Everything was volatilized, clear out, far beyond their outermost screen."

"It had to be done, of course — it was either them or else all the rest of the Universe," Seaton said, jerkily. "However, even that fact doesn't make it go down easy. Well, we're done with this projector. From now on it's strictly up to us and Skylark Three. Let's beat it over there and see if they've got her done yet — they were due to finish up today, you know."

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1915 (if moons count): "John Jones's Dollar", a short story by Harry Stephen Keeler; first published in the August, 1915 issue of The Black Cat, a scan of which is available at the Internet Archive. The text of the story is available at Project Gutenberg.

"To continue. In the year 2714 A.D., an important political battle was concluded in the Solar System Senate and House of Representatives. I am referring to the great controversy as to whether the earth's moon was a sufficient menace to interplanetary navigation to warrant its removal. The outcome of the wrangle was that the question was decided in the affirmative. Consequently—

"But I beg your pardon, young men. I occasionally lose sight of the fact that you are not so well informed upon historical matters as myself. Here I am, talking to you about the moon, totally forgetful that many of you are puzzled as to my meaning. I advise all of you who have not yet attended the Solaris Museum on Jupiter to take a trip there some Sunday afternoon. The Interplanetary Suburban Line runs trains every half hour on that day. You will find there a complete working model of the old satellite of the Earth, which, before it was destroyed, furnished this planet light at night through the crude medium of reflection.

"On account of this decision as to the inadvisability of allowing the moon to remain where it was, engineers commenced its removal in the year 2714. Piece by piece, it was chipped away and brought to the Earth in Interplanetary freight cars. These pieces were then propelled by Zoodolite explosive, in the direction of the Milky Way, with a velocity of 11,217 meters per second. This velocity, of course, gave each departing fragment exactly the amount of kinetic energy it required to enable it to overcome the backward pull of the Earth from here to infinity. I dare say those moon-hunks are going yet.

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