Opening pages of George R.R. Martin’s novelette, “A Song for Lya,” from microfilm
Many of us are aware that George R.R. Martin is the fantasy author who first started writing the epic Game of Thrones series more than twenty years ago (the first book of the series was published in 1996).
Yet not many people are aware that before that, George R.R. Martin was a science fiction author whose first short story, “The Hero,” was published in 1971 (he was only 21 years old when he got this published). He also dabbled in the horror genre as well.
“The Hero,” which appeared in the February 1971 issue of Galaxy, features a soldier who is matter-of-fact and accomplished in the field, yet politically naïve. “Readers might see some hints of Ned Stark in the story’s protagonist (New York Public Library).”
Finding these short works can be difficult because George R.R. Martin had his stuff published in pulp magazines. However, a large collection of his shorter works was published in Dreamsongs: A RRetrospective which is available on Amazon.