Fellow Tetrapod: speculative evolution, office politics, and cooking

Fellow Tetrapod: speculative evolution, office politics, and cooking

by DanielMBensen

Koenraad Robbert Ruis used to be a paleontologist, but now he's a cook at the United Nations embassy to the Convention of Sophonts. His bosses must negotiate with intelligent species from countless alternate earths, and Koen must make them breakfast. It turns out, though, that Koen is rather better at inter-species communication than any other human in this world (all nine of them). Everyone loves to eat (certain autotrophs excepted). 

Fellow Tetrapod is an speculative-evolution office comedy about food preparation, diplomacy, and what it’s like to be a talking animal.

Updates M-W-F. Find the Fellow Tetrapod gallery and playlist here or join my discord.

Cover art by Simon Roy. Illustrations by Tim Morris. Edited by Georgi Shopov.

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Word Count (9)
Group Leader (IV)
1st Anniversary
3 Review Upvotes
Fledgling Reviewer (I)
Table of Contents
89 Chapters
Chapter Name Release Date
1: A Hand On The door ago
2 The Grid of Faces ago
3 Save Us from the Whale part 1 ago
4 Save Us from the whale part 2 ago
5 The Inauthentic Scones ago
6 The Squinch ago
7 The Accelerator ago
8 Infinite Tension ago
9 The Bowl of Candy ago
10 Soft Power ago
11 The Stileto ago
12: Clammy Folds ago
13: Storming, Norming, And Performing ago
14: The Zogreion ago
15: An Eye at the Window ago
16: Amusing Snacks ago
Behind-the-Scenes 1 ago
17: Like Squid ago
18: Slimy Things ago
19: A Bird at the Window ago
20: The Door Opens ago
21: Let's Go Shopping ago
Interlude: Halloween ago
22 The pharyngeal slits of the acorn worm ago
23 Onrushing Hordes ago
24 Playing Shop ago
25 Regulating Salt ago
26 Screaming at You ago
27: The Chips ago
28: A Pick against the Cheek ago
29: The Secret of the Potato ago
30: The Chips Again ago
31: Caramelized Sugar ago
32: Koen Feeding People ago
33: Spiders Eating People ago
34: Butterflies in a Puddle ago
35: Spiders Feeding People ago
36: The Hard Problem of Consciousness ago
37: Mimic Predators ago
38: Wolf Licks Man ago
39: A Cook With No Food ago
40: Comfort Food ago
41: Crawling Meat ago
42: The Hailstone of an Idea ago
43: Frustrating Social Circumstances ago
44: Swarm intelligence ago
45: The Lever of Empathy ago
46: Real God-Damn Stamppot ago
47: Altruism and Safety ago
48: Eyes in Armor ago
49: A Golden Nail ago
50: The wick of the candle ago
51: Being a Bat ago
52: Human like us ago
Behind the Scenes 2: The cladogram ago
53: Fellow Tetrapod ago
54: The Heckling Graa ago
55: Kidnapping Mr. Grumbles ago
56: Jellyfish Trees ago
57: Dealing with Nelly ago
58: The Lever of Fear ago
59: The Ride Home ago
60: Vitrifer ago
61: Koen calls Graa ago
62: AlloGrooming ago
63: The Blush Response ago
64: The Dog Park ago
65: Toxoplasmotics ago
66: Being a Bicycle ago
67: Questions ago
68: Isolation ago
69: Bath Time ago
70: Sleepover ago
71: Reward and Punishment ago
72: Strangers on the Streets ago
73: Acts of Creation ago
74: Cooking with Self-Flinger ago
75: Personal Development ago
76: Emotional Intelligence ago
77: That Weird Monster ago
78: Meet and Greet ago
79: Hors D'oeuvres ago
80: The Main Course ago
81: Spices ago
82: Sodden Sheets ago
83: Emotional Arousal ago
84: Nonverbal Communication ago
85: Justice ago
86: New Missions ago

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a strong universe building served by a good style

Reviewed at: 19: A Bird at the Window

Had a slight difficulty starting this, because it is different from what I expected. but at chapter 19 I'm hooked.

Great univers building, the main characters and the very diverse aliens are really believable, and I've often found myself laughing at the awkward situations.

Also, I'm french, and a novel about a good cook cannot be bad.

My comment is apparently too short, so I'll add I did not find grammatical errors, the story reads itself, and I like the system of end of page notes.


Feels like a modern Lem

Reviewed at: 60: Vitrifer

This is by far the best story I have come across on RR. Running an embassy among aliens as a junior species has a Stanislav Lem feeling, At first I was a little afraid of this becoming just a "see next alien dance by" show. But while this happens, there is plenty of character development oh the humans. Not to forget about the humour which is not like Dauglas Adams but more subtle. There are some references to more or less current events like Brexit, but very few so that this story could indeed become a classic.

The style is a high point, which made me think of Lem or Strugatzki. I am sure the author is well versed in science, but he is also a gifted writer. The only thing are the footnotes which are not so practical on RR. Even though, they add a lot of atmosphere, especially the fully academic citations including doi (which is not really something to read while reading this story).

The choices of words and the grammar is also a nice departure, straining my academic passive vocabulary a lot. (Ok, but I am at the physical science end of the campus.) Again on par with some SF classics.

There are plenty of individual characters, human and otherwise. All are clearly individuals (well, apart from the hive mind members of course) while the human fulfill (or deliberately do not) stereotypes. And the aliens are the most alien aliens I have encountered in literature for a long long time. So alien, that character is a hard word to apply to quite a few of them.

Overall, this is a page-turner and I am happy to have come across it.