"I stowed away on such a ship. I was young, alone, more than
a little desperate. I was more than lucky. The captain should
have evicted me but he had a kind heart. He was old and had no
son." He paused. "That was a long time ago. I was ten at the
He shook himself as if shedding unpleasant memories, beenAs I noted above, travelers journey between the stars naked in
traveling ever since, deeper and deeper into the inhabited worlds. "That's all there is to it, My Lady. Just an ordinary story of a runaway boy who had more luck than he deserved or thought existed. But Earth is very real."
"Then why haven't I heard of it? Why does everyone think of it as a planet that does not exist?" She stooped and picked up a handful of dirt. "Earth! This is earth! Every planet, in a way, is earth."
"But one planet was the original." He saw the look of shocked realization followed immediately by forceful negation. "You do not believe me—I cannot blame you for that, but think about it for a moment. Earth, my Earth, is far from the edge of the inhabited worlds. No one now, aside from a few, has any reason to go there. But assume for a moment that what I claim is true. Men would venture from that planet in which direction? To the stars closest to home, naturally. And from there? To other, close stars. And so on until the center of civilization had moved deeper into the galaxy and Earth became less than a legend." He paused. "No, My Lady, I can't blame you for not knowing of Earth. But I do."
coffin-like boxes with their sterilizing glow. Here was where the livestock rode, doped,Later books in the series establish more details about the nature of space travel, including lotteries based on the likelihood of a given passenger's surviving the trip in cold storage. Other details developed in later books include the Cyclan, an organization devoted to pure logic, the Universal Brotherhood, an interstellar religion, and the network of Free Traders. All of these make an appearance, if only briefly, in The Winds of Gath, which takes place on the inhospitable world of Gath, whose violent storm winds are among its only attractions to outsiders and whose secrets kick off this series in grand style.
frozen, ninety per cent dead. Here was the steerage for travelers willing to gamble against the fifteen per cent mortality rate.
Such travel was cheap—its sole virtue.
Over the course of more than 30 sequels, published between 1967 and 2009, Earl Dumarest's travels are presented in all their pulpy glory, as he goes from world to world, running afoul of all manner of antagonists and threats, and continuing his quest to find his "mythical" homeworld of Earth. The Dumarest tales aren't great literature, but they're fun and inspiring. You can easily see why Marc Miller liked them so much and incorporated so many elements from them into Traveller. This seems only fair, as Tubb himself seems to have swiped ideas from numerous other sci-fi authors, from Asimov to Brackett to Herbert, in creating these stories of interstellar adventure. In that respect, Tubb's great reading for referees looking to find creative ways to incorporate ideas form other sources into his campaign. So, if you can find a copy of The Winds of Gath or any of its follow-ups, do so.