Category Shrinklit

Vertical Empathy

He who shrank is a 1936 sci-fi story by Henry Hasse, originally published in Amazing Stories Quarterly. It is about a man who is forever shrinking through worlds nested within a universe with apparently endless levels of scale. Written long before moon travel and our current explorations of Mars, and decades before Richard Feynman gave his […]

Abundance Fantasies: The Grapes of Canaan

Our desire for abundance represents both the cause for the planet’s perilous condition and the incentive for a possible solution. If (despite Earth’s dwindling resources) we want to continue our present lifestyles, and the desire for abundance is stronger than the desire for being tall, eventually we’ll be forced to seriously consider shrinking the human body into […]

This Crowded Earth

This Crowded Earth by Robert Bloch is a 1958 novel set in a future where overpopulation has inspired science to create a small human race with the use of hormone therapy. The story starts in the late 1990’s when suicide, crime and accidents have increased steeply because of the ‘maddening proximity of the crowds’. As a […]

Subliminal Tinker Bell

If we want to convince mankind that we should downsize the human body it will not be sufficient to present the endocrinological and genetic possibilities to shrink, or point out the amount of damage we are causing because of human size, or any of the other strong arguments against increasing body size. The notion of […]

Anthropology of Small Mythological Characters

Undoubtedly myths have some responsibility for how we define our relationship with the small. Mythical explanations of the world often present small beings as metaphors for the unexplainable. The small have become a space to project human desires, fears, ideals and ideas. Knowledge of this vast component of global mythology can be of some importance if […]

Last Words Before Infinity

The Incredible Shrinking Man takes its name from a 1957 movie, based on a book by Richard Matheson. In it the protagonist Scott Carey slowly starts shrinking after having been exposed to radioactive pesticides. The film (and book) is about coping with this situation. Towards the very end of the movie, when Scott is getting […]

Children’s Shrinklit.

There is a lot of of children’s literature involving little or shrunken characters. These stories sparked our imagination as a child and in many cases continue to do so, consciously and subconsciously. In the Netherlands we have Pinkeltje and Wiplala, in Sweden it’s Simon Small, in England you have the Borrowers. We will try over […]


Literature, both high and low, has a lot of insights to offer when it comes to our view on size differences. Here’s a list of books, periodically updated and expanded, in which size  plays a key role. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift (published 1776-7). In this political satire Gulliver meets with the very small (in the land […]