Top positive review
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Someone you should meet.
on 21 August 2015
I originally came across the stories of Havilland Tuf in Analog in the later 70's/early 80's, well before Game of Thrones, and was delighted to have the convenience of them all in one place. Tuf is a character I found very easy to relate to, rather happier to be accompanied by cats than irrational humans, similar in someways to Royd Eris in 'Nightflyers'.
As with the best SF there is some serious thinking going on within the tales, for example, playing the ecology game is seldom as simple as it appears (Guardians), as China discovered to it's cost when an ill thought out campaign to eliminate sparrows (to stop them eating grain) backfired in a major way, when the insects, not longer held in check by bird predation ate far more grain than the sparrows ever would.
In one of the later stories, Tuf makes the point that the ownership, and ability to operate the seedship 'Ark' gives him literally the power of life or death over entire planets would have made him god-like for most of human history, and those he deals with should be grateful that he uses such powers carefully, and ultimately benevolently, because he is no longer really answerable to the rest of humanity.
As we gain the sort of knowledge, (ability to control and manipulate the genetic code and it's expressions), that could evolve into things like the 'Ark', it is to be hoped that we also gain the ethical sense that Martin has characterised in Havilland Tuf.
In short, read the book, you'll meet an interesting character who thinks most problems are better solved with thought than firepower, some one you'd quite like to meet. Of course, if you get into trading. . . well, be very careful of what you are asking for.