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Tuf Voyaging

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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 features interior illustrations by Janet Aulisio. Included in it will be her original eight illustrations, along with 28 newly commissioned ones.

440 pages, Paperback

First published February 1, 1986

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About the author

George R.R. Martin

1,196 books106k followers
George Raymond Richard "R.R." Martin was born September 20, 1948, in Bayonne, New Jersey. His father was Raymond Collins Martin, a longshoreman, and his mother was Margaret Brady Martin. He has two sisters, Darleen Martin Lapinski and Janet Martin Patten.

Martin attended Mary Jane Donohoe School and Marist High School. He began writing very young, selling monster stories to other neighborhood children for pennies, dramatic readings included. Later he became a comic book fan and collector in high school, and began to write fiction for comic fanzines (amateur fan magazines). Martin's first professional sale was made in 1970 at age 21: The Hero, sold to Galaxy, published in February, 1971 issue. Other sales followed.

In 1970 Martin received a B.S. in Journalism from Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, graduating summa cum laude. He went on to complete a M.S. in Journalism in 1971, also from Northwestern.

As a conscientious objector, Martin did alternative service 1972-1974 with VISTA, attached to Cook County Legal Assistance Foundation. He also directed chess tournaments for the Continental Chess Association from 1973-1976, and was a Journalism instructor at Clarke College, Dubuque, Iowa, from 1976-1978. He wrote part-time throughout the 1970s while working as a VISTA Volunteer, chess director, and teacher.

In 1975 he married Gale Burnick. They divorced in 1979, with no children. Martin became a full-time writer in 1979. He was writer-in-residence at Clarke College from 1978-79.

Moving on to Hollywood, Martin signed on as a story editor for Twilight Zone at CBS Television in 1986. In 1987 Martin became an Executive Story Consultant for Beauty and the Beast at CBS. In 1988 he became a Producer for Beauty and the Beast, then in 1989 moved up to Co-Supervising Producer. He was Executive Producer for Doorways, a pilot which he wrote for Columbia Pictures Television, which was filmed during 1992-93.

Martin's present home is Santa Fe, New Mexico. He is a member of Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (he was South-Central Regional Director 1977-1979, and Vice President 1996-1998), and of Writers' Guild of America, West.


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Displaying 1 - 30 of 997 reviews
Profile Image for Mario the lone bookwolf.
758 reviews3,477 followers
July 4, 2021
Discover something different on a road trip through different worlds and planets with a stylish protagonist and full biotech fun in a seed ship full of wonder options that will be reality one day.

I am not sure if it´s that I like Martin so much and that my rating is even more subjective than usual or if this is really such an amazing hell of a ride, but the simple, one plotline, masterfully performed story of a cool dude cruising around in space, playing god, changing cultures and evolution, giving some indirect morality lessons, and sometimes even returning back to where he came from is something else.

Especially this idea of not just doing something seemingly Clarketech and walking, or flying, away afterward to do as if it never happened if it fails disastrously, but to go back and see what happened and actually happens, is a multifunctional Swiss army knife of sci fi because it enables to show any period of time of whatever fictional culture one has created.

It makes me wonder why there are thousands of epic fantasy journeys with quest like chapter style, while there aren´t so many adventurous quest novels in Sci-Fi, possible in general because fantasy is so extremely overrepresented in literature in contrast to sci-fi, although science fantasy has the biggest potential of them all, especially when including body horror, psychothriller, and comedy and satire elements. And all these paths, alternative earths´ nature, alien biology, any kind of tech, etc., there would be so many still fresh and unused options and especially combinations, I´ve already read so many never seen ideas of how to use old horse trope and stereotypical genre conventions surprisingly new in sci-fi .

Kind of strange that this novel didn´t gain more popularity after Game of Thrones lifted off, because there aren´t really that many of his novels circulating, so what lies closer than to pick this one to shorten the waiting time. And maybe a few dozens or hundreds of other books for sure. Sorry George, but you provoked it.

Tropes show how literature is conceptualized and created and which mixture of elements makes works and genres unique:
Profile Image for Felicia.
Author 28 books128k followers
July 30, 2015
This is a very odd George RR Martin book that I picked up randomly. It's almost serialized into 5 parts, but holds together nicely as a book. It's about a very odd trader who basically gets possession of the most powerful ship in the galaxy, and how he uses it to help people. Or...hinder them. And underneath the stories there are VERY powerful environmental and animal rights messages, it's kind of amazing and dark and has an amazing sense of humor. Definitely a really fun ride, I have to check if he wrote any more with the character, because I can see a ton more happening when you're in charge of basically a God-Vessel!
Profile Image for carol..
1,513 reviews7,684 followers
February 14, 2021
Originally published in 1986, 'Tuf Voyaging' contains seven stories largely published in Analog in 1985. You remember 1985, right? 'Money for Nothing,' 'A View to a Kill,' AIDS, Gorbachev, New Coke, Nintendo, and 'The Breakfast Club' all sound familiar? Yeah, that's right. The year where it seemed like the leaders just wanted to fight, greed was king and the youth movement was all about walking away from adults in the room. Clearly Martin was tapping into the zeitgeist, because his protagonist Tuf is all about being misunderstood, calling out governments and nobles, and expressing his desire to be left alone with his cats.

The first story is 'The Plague Star' and lays the foundation for the rest. A band of four people tied together by greed lights on Tuf as the solution to their transport problems. "The man is an independent trader, of sorts. Not a very successful one... He must be getting desperate--desperate enough, I'd think, so that he'll jump at this opportunity... He'll give us no trouble. He's big, but soft, inside and out. He keeps cats, I hear. Doesn't much like people. Drinks a lot of beer, eats too much." It is novella-length at 120 pages and describes just how a humble space trader ends up in possession of an ancient 'seed' ship.

The remainder of the stories are basically Tuf going to different places in the universe and 'solving problems,' although there's a reoccurring visit to the Port of S'uthlam, a sophisticated space repair station. 'Loaves and Fishes' refers to how Tuf solves the problem of repairs at the Port. At 75 pages it's the second-longest story, while the remaining ones are under 50. 'Guardians' is fishing world beset by leviathans and whom Tuf offers to help. 'Second Helpings' is a return to Port looking for another miracle of the fishes. 'A Beast for Norn' and 'Call Him Moses' are next. You would almost think 'Beast' is going to be a morality tale after witnessing how Tuf, a vegetarian, imposes his no-meat rule on anyone visiting his ship, but, not at all. He treats animals as disposably as his clients do. Lastly is 'Manna From Heaven,' a final confrontation at the Port which contains a philosophical showdown with the Port Manager.

This felt very old-school sci-fi. The universe felt like it had less to do with cohesive world-building and more the sci-fi version of Star Trek. The ship, you see, is thirty kilometers long, normally crewed by two hundred, but able to be ran--largely--by one person after reading a few manuals. You can clone anything you like, from cat to T.rex, and the defense system includes monsters from the lesser-known pockets of the universe. 

It's a great premise, and I was expecting something along the lines of 'humble man achieves power and imposes order to chaotic systems,' but instead it felt like half morality tale, half destructive wish fulfillment fantasy. Much like a djinn, Tuf often obeys the letter of the requests made to him--giving people what they ask for, but not what they need. In exchange, just a few million or so, to help him pay off his own debt. I'd have less problem with it if it wasn't clear from the story that hundreds, to thousands to millions were suffering while he let the leaders screw around, essentially punishing them until they agreed to his point of view. Early on, the Port Manager makes the point of how absolute power corrupts. While I'm not sure Tuf was corrupted, I think being an asshole plus having an excessive amount of power certainly facilitated his being an asshole on a very large scale. Larger questions of the stability of a society are indirectly referred to as a potential consequence, but neither Tuf nor the reader gets to see them.

I don't know about you, but I was giving serious consideration to Tuf as George R.R. Martin's alter ego. Drinking his dark beer, complaining about the quality of food on other planets, and basically complaining about how no one gives him the benefit of the doubt or treats him with suspicion when he does so very badly at conveying his ideas. His solution in 'Loaves and Fishes' takes 45 days of him isolating himself and working away without a word to anyone. (I suspect Tuf was working on the outline to GoT). I mean, tell me that this quote doesn't sound like George commenting on a policy of choice: "Yet, poisonous cynic that I am, I cannot help but suspect that ultimately the S'uthlamese may decide that some lives are more sacred than others."

I was reminded a great deal of James White's Sector General series, about a deep-space hospital that catered to beings of all natures. While Tuf Voyaging does manage to avoid a lot of the misogyny and cultural centrism that that time period can be known for, the collection has limitations. 'Guardians' is by far the least problematic story, and got Martin nominated for an award or two. 'The Plague Star' is interesting in it's fallout, although most of the players in the story are unlikable. Basically, I wanted more interesting problem-solving or discussion thereof and more aliens. Enjoyment hinges on being able to just let details go and see where the ride takes you. Oh, and it helps if you love cats.
Profile Image for Harris.
Author 6 books35 followers
July 12, 2013
So I tried to like this. After all, I dig SF and I'm a huge George R. R. Martin fanboy.

Which makes it kind of a shame that it REALLY didn't work for me.

The book is a collection of the Haviland Tuf short-stories. Tuf is a former space-trader who, after agreeing to ferry a motley and untrustworthy crew to the archeological discovery of a lifetime, finds himself in control of the most powerful ship in the universe - the last seedship of the long-lost Ecological Engineer Corps.

And therein lies the problem.

The point of Tuf is that he's supposed to not be the standard space-opera hero. He's a chalk-white, bald, fat giant instead of a swashbuckling ship's captain. He has no crew of merry misfits; instead, he prefers the exclusive company of his beloved cats. He's polite and eloquent nearly to the point of parody instead of being a merry quipster or deadpan snarker. He abhorres violence (and physical contact in general), is scrupulously honest, coming on top through his intellect and the power of his seedship.

He's also unlikable. Not in the sense that he's an anti-hero or a despicable character but in the sense that there's no real reason to like him other than the fact that he's the protagonist. HIs personality is flat and one-note, he's borderline emotionless, he's perpetually arrogant and aloof and has very little to recommend to him other than being the living definition of "lawful neutral". You never feel for him; the closest you come is when tragedy strikes in the first story... but even then, it's done so matter-of-factly that it's hard to believe he gives a shit at all. We know he does because the story tells us... but it sure as hell doesn't show us.

It also doesn't help that his ship is an almost literal Deus-Ex-Machina. The seedship may as well be called The Plot Device because there is never a moment when he can't pull a rabbit out of his ass as needed. Whatever he needs - gene-spliced plants to feed an overpopulated planet, exotic monsters for a fighting arena, even a telepathic cat - he gets without any fuss. There's never any conflict or sense of real threat; every time a problem arises, he just pulls yet another miracle out of the seedship.

Tuf goes from being a humble trader to being a god, with next to no transition in between, and the stories suffer for that lack in the middle.
Profile Image for Althea Ann.
2,232 reviews1,003 followers
March 4, 2013
It took me a long time to get ahold of this book (I finally received it as a present!) Don't wait as long as I did to read it - this is a great book. It's certainly very different from the epic fantasy that Martin has become best known for, but fans of Martin are aware of his breadth of styles.
The book collects stories about Haviland Tuf, Ecological Engineer (and cat lover), that were originally published separately, but they come together as a coherent novel.
The first section is a classic "subtraction" story. Tuf, a minor space trader, owner of the ship 'Cornucopia Of Excellent Goods At Low Prices', is hired by a diverse group of disreputable types who suspect they know where to find untold booty - an intact 'seedship' of a defunct Empire, more powerful than anything now known to the galaxy. Unfortunately, disreputable characters tend to behave disreputably, and soon infighting and plots occur. Due to a combination of ingenuity and luck, Tuf ends up the sole owner of the ship, and sets himself up as an Ecological Engineer, available for hire to fix any sort of planetary problem.
Although he has a variety of comissions and adventures, he keeps getting called back to the planet of S'uthlam, a place (over)populated by a 'nice' but religious people who believe it is their manifest destiny to breed as much as possible. In the past, this has caused major problems with their planetary neighbors, who don't care to be overrun by S'uthlam. Now they are confined to their own planet - but they are running out of food and resources.
Tuf helps with improved agricultural strains and methods - but this just enables the S'uthlam to breed more rapidly. The hard-headed, tough Portmaster, Tully Mune, who knows her people have an even more serious problem than they realize, has to keep calling Tuf back... and drastic problems may call for drastic measures.
This book is clever, funny, entertaining - and also deals deftly with some of the most serious problems that we here on earth have, much like the S'uthlam, refused to engage. More than anything else I've read lately, I keep finding myself talking about this book to other people.
Profile Image for Peter Tillman.
3,528 reviews306 followers
January 9, 2023
If you haven't tried "Tuf Voyaging," you really should. 1986 fixup 'novel' of earlier stories. Haviland Tuf is an "honest space-trader who likes cats." And quite a character, and quite a setup. I've read it twice, both times with pleasure. Hasn't dated a bit. 4+ stars. And here's a full-size scan of the gloriously lurid Baen cover: http://www.isfdb.org/wiki/images/d/dd... Cats in Spaaace! Art by David Willson.

The reliable Althea Ann has an excellent review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

This was published long before GRRM became a celebrity. He was just another toiler in SF/F's midlists back then....
Profile Image for August Reads.
108 reviews51 followers
April 26, 2022
La primera novela de Martin que leí en mi vida y un muy buen ejemplo de su genialidad.

Acá Martin explora en el terreno de la ciencia ficción presentándonos a Haviland Tuf, un mercader amante de los gatos, que logra hacerse con "El Arca", una enorme nave ultra tecnológica, con la que viajará a través del espacio entregando sus diversos servicios a diversas culturas. Por lo tanto este es un libro con distintas historias, las cuales tendrán, por supuesto, como hilo conductor al queridísimo Tuf y sus gatos.

Creo que no es necesario enrollarme más para decir que ésta novela me ha encantado, la pluma de Martin, por supuesto, es magnífica y las historias muy interesantes, abarcando tópicos que son pura diversión y otros más serios, como lo es la sobrepoblación, la religión, lo sucio de la política... entre otros que me hicieron reír y reflexionar.

No obstante, es en su continuidad dónde hallamos algunos problemas y es que la variación, en calidad, entre unos relatos y otros es notoria. Averiguando un poco respecto a ellos me di cuenta que Martín escribió estos relatos en distintos periodos de su vida (unos antes que otros) y eso se nota. En especial en "Los guardianes" y "Una bestia para Norn", relatos que Martín escribió cuando recién se iniciaba como escritor... y pese a que tengo entendido que el autor hizo revisión de ellos para publicarlos como novela, no logran igualar en calidad a los demás, haciendo que el libro no terminé de ser tan redondo como quisiéramos. Por supuesto tampoco significa que dichos relatos sean bazofia, de hecho son bastante legibles, más no espectaculares como el resto de la novela.

En conclusión, un muy buen libro que me hizo reír y disfrutar. Lo recomiendo a todo fan de Martin y por supuesto a todo fan de los gatos.

¡Muy buena!
Profile Image for Бранимир Събев.
Author 33 books184 followers
October 19, 2019
Изключително приятна и хубава книга, може би най-добрата от Мартин, която съм чел досега (Симеоне, ето ти качествен концептуален сборник, а не като оня!) Космическа фантастика с много тънък хумор и забавни моменти, в която главният герой се забърква в различни приключения, всяко от които е отделен разказ. Запознайте се с Тъф - висок два метра и половина шкембест дебелак, вегетарианец, който обича да си хапва, да пийва бира и вино и най-вече огромната му любов са неговите котки, които щъкат насам-натам из целия кораб. Тъф е възпитан, културен, интелигентен и винаги се опитва първо и преди всичко с добро - може да помогне много, тридесеткилометровия му кораб е способен да реши проблемите на цели планети... Или пък да ги затрие, ако сте достатъчно тъпи и агресивни. Много, много препоръчвам.
Profile Image for Велислав Върбанов.
322 reviews24 followers
February 5, 2023
4.5 ⭐

„Пътешествията на Тъф“ е страшно забавна приключенска фантастика! Написана е от Джордж Мартин с много готино чувство за хумор, но също така предизвиква и сериозни размисли за бъдещето на човечеството... Книгата съдържа 7 свързани помежду си разказа, чийто главен герой е страхотният образ Хевиланд Тъф! Тези истории са по-различни от останалите научнофантастични творби на Мартин, но също толкова въздействащи...

„— Която и планета да посетя, откривам, че героите са застрашени същества и винаги са преследвани от опасности. Вероятно нося много по-голямо естетично удоволствие, когато ораторствам успокоителни лъжи през филтъра на лицевото си окосмяване в мелодраматични видшоута, изпълнени с фалшив оптимизъм и посткоитусно удовлетворение. Това е само симптом за най-големия проблем на С’ютлам. Вашето сляпо предпочитание към нещата, каквито ви се иска да бъдат, а не каквито са в действителност.“
Profile Image for Jennifer.
416 reviews167 followers
January 17, 2021
There was no way I wasn't going to like this. It's about a cat-loving-vegetarian-misanthrope with a dim view of humanity. (Who knew there were that many of us around?) He unexpectedly gains a ship called the Ark that allows him to shape the ecology of whole planets, thus making him savior or scourge (and sometimes both at the same time) to the people who ask him for help. Haviland Tuf is the name. Ecological engineering is the game.

Tuf Voyaging is composed of seven loosely related vignettes starring Tuf and his cats as they take on various jobs 'round the galaxy. There's the vexing problem of the S'uthlamese, caught in a neverending population boom yet heading inexorably toward starvation. The plight of the planet Namor, besieged by a sudden onslaught of sea monsters. A false prophet called Moses recreating each of the biblical plagues on Charity. Tuf solves each of these handily and profitably, though usually not (okay, never) in ways that fully satisfy his clients.

Tuf is my kind of anti-hero. Our basic outlooks on life and humans-as-meh-biological-organisms sync up remarkably well. He demonstrably loves his cats more than the entire species of humans. He likes mushrooms and tidy solutions but not being touched. He is intensely (and I think justifiably) cynical about humans, our ability to make rational decisions on a collective basis even with disaster threatening, see reality when it is right in front of our faces, or make choices unclouded by our biological imperatives though we attempt to justify them with pleasant-sounding ideology.

"I am pleased to learn that it has never occurred to you or to any of your associates on the High Council that the Ark might be employed in its original capacity as an istrument of biological warfare. Sadly, I have lost this refreshing innocence, and find myself prey to uncharitable and cynical visions of the Ark being used to wreak ecological havoc upon Vandeen, Skrymir, Jazbo, and the other allied homeworlds, even to the point of genocide, thereby preparing those planets for mass colonization, which I seem to recall is the population policy advocated by your troublesome expansionist faction."

"That's quite a goddamned implication," snapped Tolly Mune. "Life is sacred to the S'uthlamese, Tuf."

"Indeed. Yet, poisonous cynic that I am, I cannot help but suspect that ultimately the S'uthlamese may decide that some lives are more sacred than others."

This is my first George R. R. Martin book. I tried to get through A Game of Thrones fifteen years ago when it was my only book on a transatlantic flight, and I ended up watching Finding Nemo about six times in a row instead. This was in the days before plane TVs had on demand options. I have never been able to sit through Finding Nemo since.

Anyway. I'm impressed with Martin's understanding of population dynamics and unintended consequences of ecological meddling. (Also, he gets cats right.) He's most certainly read about the overcrowded rats experiment (spoiler: the rats go crazy even though they have enough food) and knows something about the Green Revolution of the 60s that prevented lots of humans from starving...and was also instrumental in the doubling of the human population in a mere 40 years. We are still in exponential population growth, by the way. People like to argue that the planet has enough resources to support many more humans, and it does - as long as we're okay with causing the mass extinction of many other species that live here and have the misfortune to coexist at the same time as humans. On S'uthlam, Tuf's cats are regarded as vermin because the only plants and animals still on the planet are ones that humans actively find useful. As a biologist, I would shudder to live on such a planet.

The humor is exceedingly dry and often dark, but I for one am tickled by an early scene in which Tuf is too preoccupied with trying to clone his beloved dead cat to notice that there is a T-rex behind him. I completely get it.

Tuf Voyaging is definitely not for everyone, and especially not for people in whose veins the milk of human kindness overflows. (Not me, in other words.) For those who share Tuf's cynicism about the role of humans in the ecosystem, I think the ideas in here are provocative and interestingly portrayed, and Tuf's solutions ultimately satisfying.
477 reviews
September 30, 2012
First read: 2002

Maybe I am biased, loving Martin's work as much as I do, but Tuf Voyaging is a real treat. It's about a sarcastic lover-of-cats who comes into possession of an old Earth Imperial seedship of the Ecological Engineering Corps, and turns himself into an "ecological engineer." The dialogue in this book is priceless--Haviland Tuf takes everything very literally, and responds with gravity and sarcasm that makes me laugh out loud. Tuf is a great character and the stories here are so engaging. I've read quite a lot of Martin's work, but other than his ASOIAF universe (including the Hedge Knight series, which is a must read for anyone who is a fan of ASOIAF), and the short story Sandkings, not too much has made a great impression. But Tuf Voyaging.. I remember the first time I read it and passed it along to my college boyfriend and how much he loved it. He bought his own copy, and then started buying copies for other people and harassing them to read it. It's that kind of book.
Profile Image for Emma.
2,391 reviews819 followers
June 30, 2021
Attention all sci fi loving cat lovers! Unexpectedly good! Martin has managed to pen my favourite vampire book (Fevre dream) and now a sci fi to add to my favourites list too. This was a wonderful and thought provoking concept.
Profile Image for that_scarlet_girl.
78 reviews25 followers
September 5, 2017
"The sad truth of history has always been that the unreasoning masses follow the powerful, and not the wise."

First things first. Όσοι περιμένουν κάτι παρόμοιο με το GoT θα απογοητεύτουν. Καμία σχέση, εκτός ίσως από την μία κάποια ωμότητα και το φοβερό χιούμορ. Ο Ταφ λοιπόν είναι ένας γατόφιλος, χορτοφάγος, φίλος του καλού φαγητού και της μπύρας -και γενικά πολύ περίεργο και ενδιαφέρον τυπάκι- πρώην έμπορος που βρέθηκε να είναι ο ιδιοκτήτης και χειριστής ενός τεράστιου και πανίσχυρου διαστημοπλοίου, απομεινάρι μιας άλλης εποχής. Παρέα με τις γάτες του ταξιδεύει στον γαλαξία προσφέροντας τις υπηρεσίες του όπου τις χρειάζονται, αλλά όχι πάντα με τον τρόπο που αναμένεται. Το βιβλίο είναι χωρισμένο σε τμήματα, κάθε τμήμα και διαφορετικό ταξίδι, αλλά σχεδόν όλα συνδέονται μεταξύ τους. Με έξυπνο τρόπο θίγει οικολογικά ζητήματα, τα δικαιώματα των ζώων, τον υπερπληθυσμό, την ανθρώπινη ηθική, το πολιτικό σκηνικό. Σε κάποια σημεία πλατειάζει αλλά γενικά είναι ένα "ευχάριστο" ανάγνωσμα.
Profile Image for Artemy.
1,041 reviews947 followers
August 25, 2017
Tuf Voyaging is George Martin's excellent earlier sci-fi book. It's basically a collection of short stories, all focused on a space traveller named Tuf. He is a vegetarian, he lives with several cats, and he has a giant bio-engineering spaceship that can clone any kind of life form and grow it in a matter of hours. So he travels the galaxy, trying to help worlds with their socioecological problems. It's a fun read, if maybe a bit repetitive, and as with any collection of short stories, their quality is varying. I particularly liked the S'uthlam trilogy (Loaves and Fishes/Second Helpings/Manna from Heaven) about an overpopulated planet facing war and global hunger. It's an interesting look at a world which embraces reproduction against all common sense, and I especially liked Tuf's final solution to their problem. Other stories range from 'good' to 'meh', but overall, it's a strong book, and a lot of fun if you're a fan of space-travelling adventures.
Profile Image for Galadrielė.
294 reviews147 followers
February 1, 2018

▪Plot 5/5
▪Details 4.5/5
▪Characters 5/5
▪World building 5/5
▪Logic 4.75/5
▪Writing style 5/5
▪Enjoyment 5/5

My very first real sci-fi. I am so glad I have picked it up. The world building is f-a-n-t-a-s-t-i-c, all the characters are insanely interesting.

Gosh, I recommend it to everyone!

Spoiler: You are going to enjoy it
Profile Image for Alytha.
279 reviews52 followers
January 8, 2012
Finished Tuf Voyaging by GRRM.

I quite liked these stories, although I'm not really sure if I should. If you think about it, Tuf is not a nice person, and his actions create problems more often than they solve them. He's an extremely arrogant, patronising and sarcastic person, who doesn't really care about any living creature in the universe, unless it's a cat. or pays him nicely. The moral to all of the stories is that these people wouldn't have their problems if they'd been more intelligent and sensible in the first place. It looks like a morality tale about the stupidity of mankind.

(Spoiler: the people of S'uthlam would be much better off if they stopped reproducing uncontrolledly, the people of Lyronica are just greedy, the people of Namor behave in the usual human colonialist way and just eat the locals without ever wondering if they might be sentient...etc)

Nevertheless, the stories are fun to read. The universe is pretty complex, with loads of different planets with their own cultures, about which it would be interesting to find out more. It's set in the same world as Dying of the Light. Also, Tuf's arrogance and sarcasm are just fun to read. He's like a snarky evil overlord who can be persuaded, for a nice fee, to do what you want. The consequences are yours to bear though, and usually not nice. At least, he's nice to his cats, who count as secondary characters in many stories.

All in all, a good read for a GRRM fan :)

Profile Image for Angel.
76 reviews12 followers
July 18, 2018
Qué alegría volver a leer a tito Martín.

El libro muy chuli por cierto.

(Review de calidad ante todo)
Profile Image for Jean.
197 reviews12 followers
April 18, 2013
More a novel in an unusual format than it is a short story collection, as it's touted, centering around the bizarre and enigmatic Haviland Tuf. I love the sense of humor, which remains evenly subtle, and the change in Tuf works very well, from big-hearted do-gooder to the Lord God Himself (as he himself declares in the second to last story, one of my favorites in the book), Tuf shows that there is no such thing as the incorruptible man (and the dangers of holding not only such dangerous and advanced technology, but separation from humanity, first bodily, and then in attitude and spirit.) The stories are uneven, and while I was happy to see Tolly Mune reappear a couple of times, I preferred the individual tales; I felt more as if the ones that advanced the overall arc were too talky about the ideas of the story, too expository. In the very last story, which almost got the book knocked down a star for the unsatisfying and abrupt ending, they discuss Tuf's believed godhood instead of that leaden feeling one got reading the story directly previous when he declares simply, "I am the Lord God."

But, the end. I think it could have used an epilogue, as it was given a prologue to tie some things together. Some might find the quick ending edgy or brilliant; I only found it jarring.
Profile Image for Jose.
336 reviews67 followers
October 15, 2020
George R.R. Martin escribió Los viajes de Tuf a través de una serie de relatos desde 1976 hasta 1985, y un año después, añadiéndole algo más de contenido, la publicó como novela. Los capítulos son experiencias que el protagonista vive en un determinado planeta y algunos podrían leerse perfectamente en un orden distinto. Que no haya una continuidad en la historia hizo que mi interés disminuyera poco a poco.

Quería empezar a leer al autor con algo diferente al mundo de Juego de Tronos y creo que no ha sido una buena opción.
Profile Image for Castillo de libros.
447 reviews22 followers
May 15, 2018
Me han encantado todas las aventuras que he vivido junto a Tuf y sus gatos. Este libro me ha vuelto a recordar porque me gusta tanto leer y Tuf va a ser para siempre uno de mis personajes favoritos. 😻😻😻😻
Profile Image for Monica.
754 reviews
July 3, 2015
El presente libro era una lectura pendiente en mi lista porqué quería probar al Martín más clásico, previo a su famosa saga de fantasía épica y ver su desenvoltura en la ciencia ficción, un género tan estimado por mí y el cual es uno de los más difíciles de narrar.
Cual ha sido mi ‘mediana’ sorpresa, pues esta novela , SIENDO UNA LECTURA CORRECTA, NO ESTÁ A LA ALTURA NI HACE JUSTICIA A UN GÉNERO QUE PRECISA DE MUCHO REQUISITOS.POR ELLO, y PARA MÍ TIENE DOS GRANDES ‘PEROS’ ( los cuales pasaré a relatar más adelante)

Pero voy allá con el argumento y demás aspectos a comentar...

El libro se compone de siete relatos más una introducción, en los cuales veremos la vida, los viajes y cambios de Haviland Tuf (todo ello aderezado por el comportamiento de su gatos a bordo, cada vez más numerosos y los placeres de la buena mesa, cosas que se nota disfruta Martín), que pasa de ser un comerciante penoso con una nave más pequeña que su nombre: la cornucopia de mercancías a excelentes precios, a un Ingeniero Ecológico con éxito, especialista en guerra biológica..aunque realmente nunca deja ser los primero; lo único es que mediante a la adquisición del Arca (una sembradora militar especializada en guerra biológica, la única que queda del antiguo imperio) puede extorsionar a placer a los que lo contratan..

Ahora paso a relatarlos un poco cada historieta:

1/ La estrella de la plaga:
Un grupo de varios especialista contratan a Tuf para que les lleve a H’ro Brana y así estudiar una plaga que se extiende a través de una estrella de dicho planeta, cuando en realidad lo que pretenden es apoderarse de cierta nave para fines militares y lucrativos. A partir de entonces comenzarán los conflictos, enfrenamientos y separación por bandos por la obtención de la codiciada nave y consecuente fuente de poder.
A caballo entre la sci fi y el terror. Historia de ajustes de cuentas, de buenos y malos, acerca de la justicia y la inevitable corrupción humana. Guarda muchas influencias de Alien y Star Wars.
2/ Los panes y los peces:
Puerto de S’uthlam. La maestre, Tolly Mune es avisada que el Arca de Tuf pretende atracar allí para reparar y mejorar las instalaciones y ciertos aspectos de su nave. Una vez más querrán el control del Arca personas ajenas para sus propios fines. Al final Tuf, logrará un acuerdo con el consejo del planeta regente del puerto para solucionarles su problema a cambio de dejarlo marchar y mejorarle la nave...igualmente, correrá peligro.
Historia con tintes políticos y legislativos, sociales, aderezado con descripciones felinas encantadoras.
3/ Guardianes:
Tuf, a raíz de la visita a un exposición universal, escucha que en Nandor están pasando dificultades con cierta plaga de mostruos marinos. Es por ello que se pone rumbo a prestar sus servicios y librarle de éstos.
Relato de paralelismos metafóricos militares pero dotado de un fondo existencial de la biología.
4/ Una segunda ración:
Tuf regresa a S’Uthlam para pagar su deuda. Por segunda vez, tendrá que solucionar los problemas de hambruna que tendrán en el futuro mediante correcciones y modificaciones en el campo biológico...o quizá a un extremo que desencadene consecuencias de acción fulminantes.
Historia con atisbos significativos de contenido político y religioso
5/ Una béstia para Norn:
Un maestre de animales de las doce casas mas importantes de Lyronico, las cuales compiten entre sí, contrata a Tuf para que le fabrique monstruos mejores a los que posee actualmente y así medirse en condiciones con las otras casas, mejor situadas que la suya.
Una excusa del autor para dar rienda suelta a la invención de bestiario, muy en la línea de su famosa saga, presumo. Así pues, un relato más fantástico que de sci fi.
6/ Llamadme Moisés:
Tuf y su gato Dax sufren una agresión. Al pagar la fianza de su agresor y mediante la ley que opera en K’theddion, éste debe servirle en calidad de criado.
Relato acerca de las consecuencias que conlleva el trabajo de la clonación genética. Algo extraño, todo sea dicho.
7/ Maná del cielo:
Cuando Tuf decide regresar por tercera vez a S’uthlam a solventar lo que le resta de deuda, se encuentra que es zona restringida, ya que actualmente hay una guerra en la republica...por lo cual, una vez más se verá envuelto en un conflicto y tendrá que tomar serias medidas en el asunto.
Relato final del libro, que cierra el ciclo de s’uthlam, con la culminación del mensaje religioso vs humanidad que pretende transmitirnos el autor.


Parece que por ser de George R.R. Martin, se tenga que puntuar de notable para arriba. Pues bien, no deja de ser UNA OBRA BASTANTE CORRECTA PERO QUE FRACASA ALGO AL TRATARSE DE CIENCIA FICCIÓN, Si bien se deja leer, NO ES MUY DINÁMICA (en parte por los excesivos diálogos que hacen los relatos demasiado largos para lo que explican) y NO ME HA INTERESADO EN DEMASÍA, NI ME HA MOTIVADO SU DESARROLLO POSTERIOR. Esto es algo IMPRESCINDIBLE Y QUE CARACTERIZA LA SCI FI, LA CUAL ES FUENTE, ADEMÁS, DE HISTORIAS IMAGINATIVAS Y/ O ADICTIVAS, POR SU ACCIÓN, CONOCIMIENTOS E IMAGINACIÓN. Grave fallo el de Martín, NO ESTÁ A LA ALTURA DE ÉSTE GÉNERO.

Tuf, se nos quiere plantear cómo un tipo a priori simplón y llano en su discurso (más bien directo y punzante), incorrupto (falso), honesto (demasiado y cuando no toca),solitario y amante de los gatos (y decididamente no amante de las personas)...


Tuf está omnipresente en la obra, los demás personajes son meros secundarios ‘totalmente’ opuestos a los principios del protagonista. Todos son seres codiciosos, ambiciosos, corruptos, pendencieros...Tuf aquí es HÉROE DE LA HISTÓRIA, el bueno al que se le quieren hacer tretas y se ve ‘OBLIGADO’ a la acción ...y de paso a su beneficio. Un tipo que aunque DOTADO DE CIERTA GRACIA E IRONÍA, RESULTA PEDANTE, CON UN DISCURSO CASI ILIMITADO, ALGUNAS VECES ROZANDO EL SOFÍSMO. ÉL ESTÁ POR ENCIMA DE TODO Y DE TODOS..PERECE POSEEDOR DE LA VERDAD ABSOLUTA Y SER UN SER INMACULADO (un mentira absoluta), Y LO PEOR DE TODO ES QUE SE JACTA DE DECIR LO QUE LE PLACE A TODA PERSONA DELANTE DE SUS NARICES y EN TODO MOMENTO, CON UNA FALTA DE TACTO INTOLERABLE...no se puede ir así por el mundo, a menos que quieras acabar cómo Sócrates (de filosofía va la cosa, sí, el es libre pensador y castigador verbal..xd).
Resumen: me ha caído mal.

Para Los incondicionales del autor, los que hayan leído poco del género y amantes de las sci fi sin mucha ambición ( cosa que les sobra a los personajes del libro, curioso). Mi nota final: 2.5.
Profile Image for Librukie.
502 reviews262 followers
February 8, 2021

Muy sorprendida con este libro, la verdad. Hace años (y bastantes) que no leía nada de R. R. Martin y me alegra ver que hay mundo más allá de Canción de hielo y fuego con el autor.

En esta space opera vamos a seguir a Tuf, un mercader regordete y obsesionado con los gatos que de repente y por distintas causas se encuentra en poder de una de las naves más poderosas de la Galaxia. A partir de aquí, y después de un primer capítulo que me dejó un poco en shock (no me esperaba leer algo sobre tiranosaurios en el espacio) vamos a ser testigos de la labia e ingenio de nuestro protagonista a la hora de resolver distintos conflictos en sus viajes y "aventuras". Y entrecomillo esta palabra porque no sé si mantener conversaciones ingeniosas, acariciar gatetes y comer muchas verduritas en salsas se podría contar como aventuras... Pero es la sensación que da la novela, que es increiblemente entretenida.
Tiene una estructura un poco particular, ya que cada capítulo conforma un viaje o aventura diferente, entre los que a veces transcurren varios años... Sin embargo todas tienen algo en común: Tuf es el único "ingeniero ecológico" que existe en la Galaxia, y como tal se enfrente a problemas ambientales de los distintos planetas por los que va pasando, siendo uno de ellos recurrente.

Un libro muy chulo, divertido, con toques de humor y alguna que otra reflexión no muy pretenciosa, ya que se trata de una historia más bien sencilla pero muy resultona.
Es ciencia ficción más bien ligerita, así que si os llama la atención no creo que os suponga mucho reto en ese aspecto.
Profile Image for Rebecca.
1,214 reviews106 followers
April 5, 2014
I'd never heard of this book/series of short stories Martin wrote back in the early 80s.

There's a reason for that.

The first story, in which Tuf and a band of mercenaries find and squabble over an enormous, incredibly powerful derelict starship, is quite frankly terrible. Really, truly awful. If I hadn't been trapped on a train, I never would have bothered finishing it. The plot is fairly predictable, even when it thinks it's being clever. Every single character is a cardboard cut-out, and if he was trying to make you celebrate their deaths, he succeeds. I'd wished his protagonist had joined them. There's the venal, foolish, glutton. There's the proud, foolish retired soldier who thinks he still has it. There's the mustache-twirling mercenary, and the backstabby mercenary, and the cyborg who...is a cyborg? No point in wasting characterization on a cyborg. And there's Tuf, who speaks with the flowery self-deprecation you'd expect of a bad stereotype of an Arabic merchant. The dialogue is execrable. The action was mediocre, but literally every time a character opened his or her mouth, I wanted the character to die. Fortunately, most of them do.

From there, we have a series of episodes in which Tuf rolls into orbit, the natives have a problem, and he solves the problem in a way such that the natives get what they deserve but not what they want. These are better than the first story, at least. But they're very much in an older mode of science fiction in which the protagonist calmly and reasonably mansplains to the hysterical people why they are stupid and wrong. The hysterical people learn a Very Important Lesson and are upset about it because they're not as calm and logical as the protagonist, who does not have a character arc, is never wrong, and does not need to learn anything other than Other People Are Hysterical. It should be noted that said protagonist is white and male and very tall, vegetarian, atheist, cultured, and likes cats. Nearly all of the other people are female, non-white, and/or religious. Some of the plots are vaguely clever, but usually in a fairly predictable way. They're competent enough, but just...eh.

Basically, if you loved Game of Thrones and want more...don't bother with this book. Actually, just don't bother with this book.
Profile Image for Orestis.
122 reviews33 followers
November 15, 2019

✍️ Σύνολο: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Soundtrack: We shall overcome (https://youtu.be/_kANPTNgUrA)


---{🍿 Πλοκή 🍿}--- 👉 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

☐ Το παράτησα! (⭐)
☐ Βαρετό και μονότονο(⭐⭐)
☐ Μέτριο(⭐⭐⭐)
✅ Ενδιαφέρον (⭐⭐⭐⭐)
☐ Κρατούσα την ανάσα μου ως το τέλος (⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐)
☐ Με έκανε να κλάψω! (⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐)

---{💬 Αφήγηση 💬}--- 👉 ⭐⭐⭐

☐ Το καναρίνι μου γράφει καλύτερα (⭐)
☐ Χειροτερεύει την ιστορία (⭐⭐)
✅ Μέτριο (⭐⭐⭐)
☐ Ανέδειξε την ιστορία (⭐⭐⭐⭐)
☐ Σαν ποιητής! (⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐)

---{💡 Η ιδέα 💡}--- 👉 ⭐⭐⭐

☐ Δεν προσπαθεί καν! (⭐)
☐ Πολύ απλό και ανέμπνευστο (⭐⭐)
✅ Μέτριο (⭐⭐⭐)
☐ Ενδιαφέρον (⭐⭐⭐⭐)
☐ Μου έπεσε το σαγόνι! (⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐)

---{🍌 Λάθη 🍌}--- 👉 ⭐⭐

☐ Οτινάναι! (⭐)
✅ Χρειάζεται μεγάλη προσπάθεια για να παραβλέψεις τα κενά! (⭐⭐)
☐ Καταντά ενοχλητικό αλλά εντάξει... (⭐⭐⭐)
☐ Τίποτα το σημαντικό απλά είμαι ψείρας (⭐⭐⭐⭐)
☐ Αρτιότατο! (⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐)

---{👱 Χαρακτήρες 👱‍♀️}--- 👉 ⭐⭐⭐

☐ Δημόσιοι υπάλληλοι (⭐)
☐ Βαρετοί και μονότονοι (⭐⭐)
✅ Μέτριοι (⭐⭐⭐)
☐ Ενδιαφέροντες και έξυπνοι (⭐⭐⭐⭐)
☐ Εντυπωσιακοί (⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐)

---{😀Απόλαυση😀}--- 👉 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

☐ Σαν προεκλογική ομιλία (⭐)
☐ Άλλο ένα βιβλίο (⭐⭐)
☐ Δεν τρελάθηκα (⭐⭐⭐)
✅ Ευχαριστήθηκα (⭐⭐⭐⭐)
☐ Εκστασιάστηκα! (⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐)
Profile Image for Juan.
105 reviews9 followers
February 21, 2013
Imaginaos por un momento que durante toda vuestra vida habéis sido unos parias, con un trabajo horrible que os aporta únicamente lo justo para sobrevivir. Bien, ahora imaginaos que, de alguna forma, cae en vuestras manos un artefacto que es capaz de capaz de crear vida a vuestro gusto, cambiar la ecología de mundos enteros. Es decir, imaginaos que tenéis el poder de Dios.

Pues esto es lo que le pasa a nuestro humilde protagonista de la novela, Haviland Tuf. En la que se narra la forma en la que adquiere el citado artefacto (ya os adelanto que es espectacular) y como decide utilizarlo en los distintos mundos a los que ofrece sus servicios.

Un libro que refleja la esencia del mas puro Martin. Con personajes magistrales, llenos de dobleces. Y en el que destaca por encima de todos ellos nuestro Haviland Tuf. Mercader de saldos, amante de los gatos y honrado hasta rozar el ridículo.

Una novela que te engancha desde la primera página y no te suelta hasta la última.

Si te gusta el estilo de Martin, este libro te va a encantar. Y si no, apuesto a que también te gustará.
Profile Image for Tex-49.
606 reviews39 followers
March 4, 2022
Le avventure di questo personaggio si leggono piacevolmente, sia per la trama scorrevole che per l'umorismo che le pervade; simpatico questo ecologista che trova sempre il modo di fregare le sue controparti (tutte sopra le righe).
Profile Image for Leelan.
227 reviews3 followers
October 25, 2008
One of George R.R. Martin's best books! I originally found this book in a used-book store while in college and it has become an old friend. I don't read it as often as LOTR but when I do it is always a pleasure.

Haviland Tuf is a wandering trader of the spacelanes in the tradition of Star Trek's Cryano Jones. Like Jones, he isn't very good at his job --- he barely gets by. That is until he gets chartered to ferry some not-so-nice passengers in search of a dark and long-forgotten legend. What they find not only ends the lives that they once had --- in most cases, quite literally --- but launches Tuf on a new career.

I will say no more but let you discover it all to your own great pleasure.

Martin is at his very best in this book. His characters are thoroughly dimensional and thoroughly human. I my many readings I don't think I ever discovered a false note in any of his portrayals.
34 reviews11 followers
June 2, 2015
In sfarsit o carte sf foarte buna. Nici nu se poate "compara" cu multele carti superpremiate din ultimii ani.
Profile Image for natycuac.
342 reviews21 followers
May 6, 2018
Puede alguien convertirse en dios? Debería alguien tomar las decisiones por todos los que no toman una decisión importante? Demasiadas preguntas que siempre vuelven a una misma base.
Profile Image for Ringa Sruogienė.
436 reviews112 followers
June 15, 2018
Maloniai nustebino. Galima skaityti tiesiog kaip fantastiką, bet galima pamėginti paspėlioti, ką autorius iš realybės paėmė, kad fantastika paverstų. Skaičiau antruoju būdu. Buvo smagu.
4,4*. Kačių šūstrumas - persūdytas. Mielas mano katine, jei skaitai šitą sakinį, atsiprašau, Tu - nuostabus! :) Ir dar nesupratau, kodėl kas kurį laiką knygoje vis reikia paminėti, kad Tafas dėvėjo žalią kepuraitę su tokiu tai simboliu ant jos priekio, reiškiančiu tą ir aną (visąlaik tą pačią sumautą kepuraitę). Bet šiaip tai labai gerai, turint omeny, kad aš SF ir pan. neskaitau visai.
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