The Kaiju Preservation Society Workplace Guidelines: The Too-Short Version

The Kaiju Preservation Society, on sale now, is John Scalzi’s first standalone adventure since the conclusion of his New York Times bestselling Interdependency trilogy. When COVID-19 sweeps through New York City, Jamie Gray is stuck as a dead-end driver for food delivery apps. That is, until Jamie makes a delivery to an old acquaintance, Tom, who works at what he calls “an animal rights organization.” Tom’s team needs a last-minute grunt to handle things on their next field visit. What Tom doesn’t tell Jamie is that the animals his team cares for are not here on Earth. Not our Earth, at least.

This organization has some pretty strict rules. We’ve got an exclusive look at some of their top workplace safety guidelines.



Hello new team members! And welcome to Tanaka Base, the best KPS base on the planet (we’re actually kind of like third best but aspiration doesn’t hurt). We know you’re excited to get started on your new assignments here at Tanaka, meet the other staff, and explore what is to you a brand new world. We get it! We were where you are right now.

When you arrived at your quarters, you were given the KPS Workplace Guidelines Handbook. You must read this, it’s very important. But we also know that despite the word “must” there, some of you will not, and a lot more of you will just “skim.” We could warn you this might get you killed, but humans are just really bad at internalizing the concept of their own mortality. So we’ve created this, a ten-point workplace guidelines bulletpoint list. It’s short enough that you probably will read it, and if you don’t, well. Your time here is likely to be brief anyway.


1. Report to the Medical Office to Update Your Vaccines: Yes, we know you got a raft of shots back at home just before you arrived, but, guess what? Evolution marches on! We have some new variants. Sure, you could take your chances, but do you really want your skin falling off? That’s not a rhetorical question, by the way, it could actually happen. Seriously, get updated.


2. Schedule Your Weapons Training: If you’re going to do fieldwork, and most of you are, you should know the creatures here are very interested in you and how you taste. Your weapons training will help you dissuade them from nibbling. Schedule weapons training early and often!


3. Never Walk Alone: Thinking of taking a pleasant solo walk along the treeline? The local fauna will be delighted that you have decided to do so, and may even leave us a shoe to remember you by. Whether on fieldwork or just stepping onto the forest floor here at Tanaka Base, always travel with teammates, and be each others’ ears and eyes.


4. Did You Remember Your Gloves and Face Netting? It’s not only the larger creatures who want to eat you! The local insects can and will exsanguinate you in minutes, and leave behind exciting bacterial and viral infections that will give you sensations you never felt before, especially when you pee. Always wear gloves and face nets any time you leave Tanaka Base, even if just for a second.


5. Tree Crabs Are Not Pets: Yes, they’re everywhere, yes, they are small(ish), and yes, they seem like maybe they might be harmless enough. Some people even think they’re cute. They are not. They are venomous, they carry diseases, and they have bad dispositions that get worse when they are separated from other tree crabs. In short, take one home, and it will cut you, and every one of your roommates. Yes, it’s happened before. No, it’s not fun. Leave ‘em alone.


6. Tree Crabs Are Not Snacks: Just because we call them “crabs” doesn’t mean they are genetically related to crabs or taste like crabs, or, for that matter, are safe for humans to eat. The same goes for nearly everything here, with the exception of a small list of foods (which you will find in the Workplace Guideline Handbook — see, you should read it). We will not stop you from sampling tree crabs if you like. We do suggest you schedule it for when you can spend a lot of time in the lavatory and/or the medical office.


7. Waste Not, Want Not: Fun fact: Tanaka Base is on an entirely different planet! Everything you waste, from food to science and medical supplies, is essentially irreplaceable for the length of time you’re at the base. You will miss all of it by the end of your stay, and so will your teammates. Use what you need to use — but only what you need to use.


8. Police Your Garbage: Everything we bring onto this planet is meant to be part of a closed loop, to be recycled, reused, and shipped back out with us. Either at Tanaka Base or with field work, always — always — place your waste into approved receptacles. Yes, even that kind of waste. Leave no poo behind, people. This world doesn’t need what you have going on in your gut.


9. Police Your Garbage Attitude: There are less than two hundred people at Tanaka Base! You will get to know each of them! Some of them will be your new best friends and some of them will… not. But in every case a professional attitude will go a long way in making our workplace better for everyone. (This is for day-to-day getting along; for serious workplace issues, please consult the Handbook for reporting processes. We have a no-strikes policy and will and do remove people mid-tour.)


10. Loose Lips Kill Kaiju: Here at the Kaiju Preservation Society, our job is to learn about and protect the kaiju of this world, and all the other flora and fauna we encounter here. We have the privilege of seeing things no other humans will ever see — and the responsibility of keeping this world safe from the people, entities and even governments who would exploit these creatures or their world for their own use. It’s difficult not to share what you see here with others. But their lives literally depend on your discretion. Please, think of the kaiju… and keep it to yourself.

There you go, your ten things to remember.

But really: Just read the damn handbook, okay?


–Brynn MacDonald
Commander, Gold Team, KPS Tanaka Base



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