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Tuf Voyaging by George R. R. Martin
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Tuf Voyaging (1986)

by George R. R. Martin

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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So Haviland Tuf is a middling space trader, later an excellent ecological engineer, who tools around the universe with his cats Havoc and Chaos in the most excellently named spaceship the Cornucopia of Excellent Goods at Low Prices. He manages to extract himself from all manner of potentially deadly predicaments due either to a combination of extreme naivete and extreme luck, or to a devious intelligence hidden behind the appearance of the previous two. A rival calls him "the last goddamned innocent," though as the book goes on one calls into question (or at least I called into question) this judgment.

This book was a lot of fun, and almost deceptively fun, given that the main characters are forced into some pretty chilling decisions. I'm not quite sure why it ended up feeling more like a 3-star book than a 4-star book for me -- possibly because of the structure. I've seen it described as a "fix-up novel," i.e. one made up of previously published short stories; while the individual stories work really well together, and there ultimately is an arc, the tempo still comes out a bit staccato.

If you're a Song of Ice and Fire fan... this might not be your thing. If you're a fan of fun yet thinky space opera, give it a try. ( )
  ellen.w | Jun 1, 2014 |
So Haviland Tuf is a middling space trader, later an excellent ecological engineer, who tools around the universe with his cats Havoc and Chaos in the most excellently named spaceship the Cornucopia of Excellent Goods at Low Prices. He manages to extract himself from all manner of potentially deadly predicaments due either to a combination of extreme naivete and extreme luck, or to a devious intelligence hidden behind the appearance of the previous two. A rival calls him "the last goddamned innocent," though as the book goes on one calls into question (or at least I called into question) this judgment.

This book was a lot of fun, and almost deceptively fun, given that the main characters are forced into some pretty chilling decisions. I'm not quite sure why it ended up feeling more like a 3-star book than a 4-star book for me -- possibly because of the structure. I've seen it described as a "fix-up novel," i.e. one made up of previously published short stories; while the individual stories work really well together, and there ultimately is an arc, the tempo still comes out a bit staccato.

If you're a Song of Ice and Fire fan... this might not be your thing. If you're a fan of fun yet thinky space opera, give it a try. ( )
  ellen.w | Jun 1, 2014 |
Large and bald Haviland Tuf gets his hands on a great space Ark, capable of creating life, and travels the galaxies - using his biological creations to aid the cause of struggling colonialists. Although portrayed as honest and humble, Tuf is anything but. He is cold and emotionless, with little affection for anything except his feline friends - for which he would do almost anything. Whilst he will aid the struggling civilians, he does so with money in mind. In personality, he reminds me a bit of Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler - with his droll humour, sarcasm and constantly playing up his "honest and reliable" nature. He is very reliable, and honest - but not to a fault for whilst he never actually lies, that doesn't mean he'll speak the whole truth either. As a character, he is entertaining and interesting, but not especially likeable or easy to empathise with. For a zoology nut like me, I loved the strange creatures, but shuddered at the ways in which he messed with the various ecosystems.

Sometimes he helps, sometimes he hinders, but the moral of the story is - as one person pointed out - that in most cases it is the colonies own fault that they have brought about ecological ruin or other disasters upon themselves, and perhaps if they thought about the problem with as much consideration as Tuf, they would not be in the situation in the first place.

If Tuf were to switch to an evil mastermind, then all the universes would find themselves in grave peril. ( )
  LemurKat | Sep 12, 2013 |
Ever since Game of Thrones hit TV, George Martin has become hot property and fans who are eagerly awaiting the conclusion of his Song of Ice and Fire series will be disappointed by the publication of a book which has nothing to do with the GoT saga.

Tuf Voyaging is not new however: the publishers have raided his back list and reprinted an old collection of stories about an enigmatic space trader and cat lover, Haviland Tuf.

Set in the far distant future, the loosely connected tales relate to adventures and quandaries of Tuf, a giant, bald albino, who has acquired a giant space ship devoted to genetic engineering, and travels the universe as a profiteering problem solver.

Tuf may not be a very sympathetic hero but he is a very engaging character, wry, dry and probably autistic, who gives moral complexities short shrift – and would probably be quite at home in the Kingdom of Westeros. ( )
  adpaton | Aug 22, 2013 |
For fans of George R. R. Martin's fantasy books, this may come as a surprise, this is something completely different. I have always been a fan of Martin's Haviland Tuf stories and I particularly like this one. Tuf is an oddball who just happens to own a galactic ark/seedship, and tries to solve environmental problems for hire. 'Tries' is the key word, and everyone is out to get him and his ship. Interesting, well done and enjoyable. ( )
  Karlstar | Jan 31, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
Witty and satirical, Tuf Voyaging is an entertaining sidestep from Martin's more serious work.
 

» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
George R. R. Martinprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Aulisio, JanetIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Komarck, MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Murphy, KevinCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pagel, StephenEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilson, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0671656244, Paperback)

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 space is in good hands-hands which now control cellular material for thousands of outlandish creatures. With his unique equipment, Tuf is set to tackle the problems human settlers have created in colonizing far-flung worlds: hosts of hostile monsters, a population hooked on procreation, a dictator who unleashes plagues to get his own way... and in every case the only thing that stands between the colonists and disaster is Tuf's ingenuity-and his reputation as an honest dealer in a universe of rogues... Tuf Voyaging interior illustrations by Janet Aulisio. Included will be her original eight illustrations, along with 28 newly commissioned ones.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:45:59 -0400)

"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 space is in good hands--hands which now control cellular material for thousands of outlandish creatures. Armed with this unique equipment, Tuf is set to tackle the problems that human settlers have created in colonizing far-flung worlds: hosts of hostile monsters, a population hooked on procreation, a dictator who unleashes plagues to get his own way...and in every case, the only thing that stands between the colonists and disaster is Tuf's ingenuity--and his reputation as a man of integrity in a universe of rogues."--from cover, p. [4]… (more)

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