As a youth, Martin became an avid reader and collector of comic books. Fantastic Four 20 (Nov 1963) features a letter to the editor he wrote while in high school. He credits the attention he received from this letter, as well as his following interest in fanzines, with his interest in becoming a writer. Martin wrote short fiction in the early 1970s, and won several Hugo Awards and Nebula Awards before he began writing novels late in the decade. Although much of his work is fantasy or horror, a number of his earlier works are science fiction occurring in a loosely-defined future history.