I want more Tuf! Martin should have kept going with this series!
Nov 11, 2008
Originally a collection of shorts published in Analog magazine as a continuing saga, Tuf Voyaging is all the pieces put together into a smooth novel with an extremely unique protagonist.
Haviland Tuf and his ship, the 'Cornucopia Of Excellent Goods At Low Prices', has been hired by a group of five people to travel towards what is known as The Plague Star. When upon arriving, they discover it is not a star at all but a long abandoned Seedship, left over from the war a thousand years ago. Their first problem is getting past the ship's automated defenses and boarding, their second problem is the greed that has filled every head except Tuf's.
Tuf, of course, winds out in charge of the Seedship, named the Ark. (no details, just read the book! The first chapter details these events, and is most excellent!) the remaining six chapters chronicle Tuf's voyages from planet to planet, using the Ark to solve problems such as overpopulation, sea monsters, cruel animal-fighting pits, and religious plagues.
Eccentric and droll would be the best way to describe Haviland Tuf, a very tall and very large bald man. He travels alone, except for his cats, Havoc and Mushroom. The cat family expands, and Tuf is inspired by his human encounters to name the new kittens Suspicion, Doubt, Hostility, Ingratitude, and Foolishness. Tuf is a loner, intelligent, peculiar, a vegetarian with an enormous appetite, and a dry wit. Indeed.
The Seedship is a marvelous invention of Martin's, thirty kilometers long and three kilometers high, the pinnacle of the old Earth Ecological Corps inventions. Although the EEC used their Seedships for war, Tuf has only benign uses for it. Inside the Ark are stored millions and millions of cell samples, and all the equipment, including a chronowarp engine, to genetically engineer or clone any species.
Travel with Tuf through space, and revisit the planet S'uthlam (three chapters have S'uthlam) where Tully Mune is the acerbic Portmaster who lives her life in zero gravity. Tully's will and determination prove to be a match for Tuf, and the chapters in which they face off with each other are excellent.
This is SciFi at it's best, very character oriented with enough strange planets, strange beings, strange traditions, and technology to satisfy the hungriest of SciFi palates. Even more enjoyable if you are a cat lover like myself. Get out and buy this book now! Enjoy!
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I want to thank Everyone for welcoming me back! :) I'm here to stay folks, my sabbatical on writing reviews is over and I'll continue to review for Lunch. It's great to be back, too! Thanks again for … more
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From Publishers Weekly This "novel" brings together a decade's worth of stories about Haviland Tuf, an honest but thoroughly small-time interstellar trader who happens to acquire a centuries-old and miles-long seed-ship of the once powerful Earth Ecological Corps. Originally a deadly weapon, it alone preserves the secrets of a now-forgotten science and still functions well enough to create, gene-splice and clone any of a myriad species of plant and animal, both benevolent and destructive. The eccentric but ethical Tuf now styles himself an ecological engineer and wields his ship's treasures to solve the problems plaguing farflung settlements, from famine to sea serpents. These colorful tales mostly skirt the more interesting and prickly issue of Tuf's playing god to fundamentally change the cultures he encounters. Still, the seed-ship is a wonderful idea and Tuf, protecting his pet cats from the charge they are useless "vermin," is a droll hero. Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Product Description From the multiple award-winning, best-selling author of The Song of Ice and Fire series: Haviland Tuf is an honest space-trader who likes cats. So how is it that, in competition with the worst villains the universe has to offer, he's become the proud owner of the last seedship of Earth's legendary Ecological Engineering Corps? Never mind, just be thankful that the most powerful weapon in human ...