Concept

Tuf Voyaging

Summary
Tuf Voyaging is a 1986 science fiction fix-up novel by American writer George R. R. Martin, first published in hardcover by Baen Books. It is a darkly comic meditation on environmentalism and absolute power. This novel is a collection of related short fiction works, originally published over several years, beginning with 1976's "A Beast for Norn". The book includes a prologue and Martin's S'uthlam storyline (published in Analog Science Fiction and Fact), adding them as bridging material, and gathering them with other Tuf stories into one episodic novel. The novel concerns the (mis)adventures of Haviland Tuf, an exceptionally tall, bald, very pale, overweight, phlegmatic, vegetarian, cat-loving-but-otherwise solitary space trader. Tuf inadvertently becomes the master of the Ark, an ancient, "seedship" – a very powerful warship with advanced ecological engineering capabilities – after a deal between several of his venal and cutthroat passengers goes awry. Tuf travels the galaxy, offering his services to worlds with environmental problems, and sometimes imposing solutions of his own. The stories in Tuf Voyaging are set in the same fictional "Thousand Worlds" universe as several of Martin's other works, including Dying of the Light, Sandkings, Nightflyers, A Song for Lya and "The Way of Cross and Dragon". Martin cited fantasy fiction and science fiction Grand Master Jack Vance as having a large influence on his Tuf stories, and he emulated Vance's writing style in most of them. In 2006, Tuf Voyaging was nominated for a Seiun Award in Japan for translated long form novel. Several of the individual stories have also been honored. In 1982, "Guardians" won the Locus Award for Best Novelette and was nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Novelette. In the 1986 Analog Readers Poll in the novella/novelette category, "Loaves and Fishes" won and "Manna from Heaven" took second place.
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