Around the 70s or 80s, as a kid, I read much of a series about a sort of federation of interstellar-knowledgeable civilizations. They often ran into advanced but pre-interstellar civilizations that they had to contact gingerly. They had a sort of investigator or liaison who worked for them.

One of the worlds had a bunch of creatures who were sort of "modular," and would come together as new creatures then dissolve at will back into smaller, component creatures. In another case, they had made contact with a fairly primitive, mostly water world with huge creatures that were delicious to eat. Some company from the federation had managed to set up some country-club like resorts there, causing issues since there could be exploitation. Can anyone give some titles from this series, and/or the author?

  • You mention an investigator/liason, was that the main character? Was it the same person in each book? – Harry Johnston Dec 27 '18 at 23:10
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    Could it be the Retief series by Keith Laumer? Retief is a sort of cosmic diplomat. – sueelleker Dec 28 '18 at 9:32
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    @sueelleker I was wondering the same thing. Laumer's novel Retief's Ransom is set on a word where various stray body parts somehow survive out in the wild until they gradually link up for mutual protection. An eyeball here, a foot there, a lung, a kidney . . . it was all treated for laughs, of course. On the other hand, the "country-club like resorts" bit instantly reminded me of Monument by Lloyd Biggle Jr. -- I don't remember, offhand, a Retief story with a similar plot. – Lorendiac Dec 28 '18 at 11:55
  • I just want to point out that whitefood are delicious to eat... – Spencer Dec 28 '18 at 21:20
  • Thank you so much! I had conflated the Monument title into the Retief series. I read both Monument and some of the Retief titles. Very much obliged. – Kenneth Childers Dec 29 '18 at 14:42

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