George R.R. Martin was just 26 when he won the Hugo Award for Best Novella, an impressive feat for such a young writer. But he was published in print over a decade before that ― in the fan mail section of “Fantastic Four #17.”
In an upcoming History channel documentary about comics, Martin says that this letter was the first time his writing appeared in print.
In a post about the letter, Entertainment Weekly notes that the “A Song of Ice and Fire” author shows an early penchant for unexpected plot twists, a staple of his own writing.
“In what other comic mag could you see things like a hero falling down a manhole,” Martin wrote. He continued to shower the issue with effusive praise:
“You were just about the World’s worst mag when you started, but you set yourself to an ideal, and, by gumbo, you achieved it! More than achieved it, in fact ― why, if you were only half as good as you are now, you’d still be the world’s best mag!!!”
Read the entire letter below: