In the late 1980s I came across many representations of orbital directed-energy weapons. In 1987-1988 alone there were the "Finger of God" weapons in Vinge's "True Names" (1981, but read in True Names ... and other Dangers 1987), the laser satellites in Bova's "Battle Station" (1988, in the eponymous collection) and SOL in Akira.
This previous question seemed to want to ask about orbital beam weapons, but accepted as an answer one that showed nuclear-armed missiles being stored in orbit.
I'm wondering what was the first work to depict orbital directed-energy weapons?
- not spaceships capable of moving beyond orbit or re-entering
- not platforms for dropping bombs or missiles stored in orbit
- not kinetic weapons (a.k.a. "rods from God")