George R. R. Martin
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Long before A Game of Thrones became an international phenomenon, #1 New York Times bestselling author George R. R. Martin had taken his loyal readers across the cosmos. Now back in print after almost ten years, Tuf Voyaging is the story of quirky and endearing Haviland Tuf, an unlikely hero just trying to do right by the galaxy, one planet at a time.
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 a seedship, the last remnant 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 have the godlike ability to control the genetic material of 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.
“A rich blend of adventure, humor, compassion and all the other things that make being human worthwhile.”—Analog
“A new facet of Martin’s manysided talent.”—Asimov’s
him. He was disappointed. The caller’s features were hidden by a faceplate of black plasteel, inset into the helmet of a mirror-finish warsuit. A stylized representation of the globe of S’uthlam ornamented the flanged crest upon his forehead. Behind the faceplate, wide-spectra sensors glowed red like two burning eyes. It reminded Haviland Tuf of an unpleasant man he had once known. “It was unnecessary to dress formally on my account,” Tuf said flatly. “Moreover, while the size of the honor guard
expire and decay, and you will of necessity be forced to employ crop rotation for a few years before those particular plots are capable of sustaining manna once again. Yet, meanwhile, the manna shall have completed its real work, First Councilor Mune. The dust that collects upon the underside of each leaf is in actuality a symbiotic microorganism, vital to manna pollination, yet with certain other properties. Borne upon the wind, carried by vermin and human alike, it shall touch every cranny and
at him, opened her mouth, closed it, blinked to hold back tears. Tears of despair, tears of rage? She could not say. Not tears of joy. She would not let them be tears of joy. “Deferred genocide,” she said, forcing out the words. Her voice was hoarse and raw. “Scarcely,” Tuf said. “Some of your S’uthlamese will display a natural immunity to the effects of the dust. My projections indicate that somewhere between point oh-seven and point one-one percent of your base population will be unaffected.
listen to me. Maybe war isn’t my concern, but trade is. The port is our lifeline. We import thirty percent of our raw calories now—” “Thirty-four percent,” Rael corrected. “Thirty-four percent,” Tolly Mune agreed. “And that is going to go nowhere but up, we both know it. We pay for that food with our technological expertise—both manufactured goods and port profits. We service, repair, and build more starships than any other four worlds in the sector, and you know why? Because I’ve busted my
you do as I bid, I will use this.” She nodded at her laser. Haviland Tuf folded his arms. “If you use that,” he said, “you will be very foolish. No doubt you could learn to operate the Ark. In time. The task would take years, which by your own admission you do not have. I shall work on in your behalf, and forgive you your crude bluster and your threats, but I shall move only when I deem myself ready. I am an ecological engineer. I have my personal and professional integrity. And I must point out