TUF VOYAGING by George R.R. Martin


Tuf Voyaging is an early work by George R.R. Martin, the man that wrote Game of Thrones. Not having seen any of the groundbreaking TV series nor have I read the books that spawned it, I cannot draw any similarities therefore I’m completley unbiased.

Tuf Voyaging is set in the very distant future with the discovery of a recorded message sent 276 years ago in which a desperate angry soul tells of a life of absolute misery brought abought by a “Plague star” which has brought all manners of diseases and apocolyptical imaginings.

Our main “hero” is Tuf Haviland, a down on his luck trader who is used to take a small party to a set location, for reasons unknown, for a modest fee.

The party consists of a scientist Celise Wann, an old decorated soldier and all round war historian named Lion, an unlikable character called Kaj Nevis who is the muscle of the outfit, Rita Dawnstar hired by Lion to keep order and keep their mission on track, and lastly, Anittas the Android.

Tuf is a naive trusting soul with a very curious nature. To his credit though, he is very astute and when posed with a problem a solution is never far away. So when we learn of the true nature for the party’s trip – the Plague star is actually a Starship like no other, one so old it has become a myth therefore its discovery is priceless -greed and mistrust become rampant and second guessing sees the team turn on each other, but a ship this old holds many dark secrets, secrets of Biblical proportions.

However Tuf has made his deal at the beginning a modest fee for transportation and with all good intentions he feels honour bound to keep to his word.

However when his ship is damaged and events unfold aboard the Starship, Tuf finds himself captain of the newly accquired Starship/Seedship/Ark.

I would love to tell you about what he does with the Ark but that would only spoil it. I mentioned biblical proportions as this is a strong running theme throughout as the chapters suggest: Loaves & fishes, Call him Moses and Mana from Heaven to name a few.

Certainly from the beginning we get the sense of the meek shall inherit the earth or in this case a 30 kilometer long Starship complete with Biowar technology and a whole host of scary goodies.

While most of us dream of winning the Lottery and benefiting our families and a few close friends, imagine finding something of unimaginable power (god-like) and the ramifications of even the smallest act of charity can have on…well, the universe.

We follow Tuf as he travels to distant worlds helping in the plights of their civilisations whilst trying to keep hold of his beloved ARK.

If you have read Contest by Mathew Rielley or indeed anything by him and loved it you will love this book. I think deep down we would all like to think of ourselves as a Tuf Haviland although sadly I suspect we are all far from it

This book is out at the right time as the movie industry is releasing After Earth and Pacific Rim to name a few. I only mention the movies as Tuf puts me in mind of Spock – emotionless and logical – something my poor unfortunate suffering wife belives of me – no heart just a large black hole with a swinging brick inside.

On that note I’m off to watch Game of Thrones Series 1.

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