Monday, 5 May 2014

A Tuf Act To Follow [Review: Tuf Voyaging]

Five mercenary treasure hunters are on the trail of a real find - a massive ancient starship packed with bioweaponry and genetic secrets. They need a ride willing to keep his mouth shut, so they turn to the eccentric, cat-loving captain Haviland Tuf.

Tuf Voyaging is a novel, or more accurately, a series of novellas detailing the adventures of Tuf as he styles himself an Ecological Engineer, travelling the galaxy with his newly-acquired seedship and offering its services for a sharply-negotiated price. It's written by some upstart fantasy novelist called George R.R. something who you've probably never heard of.

Tuf is a curious character - a hermit who prefers feline to human company, smarter, greedier and more devious yet also more honest and honourable than most of his fellow humans. His personality contains the genetic seeds of some of George R.R.'s other characters - in my mind he appears as Varys, perhaps due to the intelligence and the curious interweaving of deviousness and honour, but he also has Ned Stark's determination and is capable of breaking one of his beloved cats' necks as a mercy when it becomes infected.

The stories presented here are fun and inventive. They're also well thought out, although somewhat over-moralistic, not unlike much Golden Age sci-fi. The central theme is power and its' many abuses, something that crops up once or twice in Game Of Thrones too.


Maurice Mitchell said...

Martin has a real gift with world-building so this sounds like a worthwhile read.

Sci-Fi Gene said...

It's a lot of fun and there's a real sense of an author flexing his creative muscles. Some good world building but not yet on the scale or complexity of Westeros.