The Apicians are an alien species from a world known as Gustible's planet.
Apicians, resembled nothing more than oversize ducks, ducks four feet to four feet six in height. At their wing tips, they had developed juxtaposed thumbs. They were paddle-shaped and sufficed to feed the Apicians. They had moderate telepathic powers.
Angary J. Gustible discovered Gustible's planet where he made contact with the inhabitants, who immediately mind-read Angary J. Gustible's entire mind and life history, and embarrassed him very deeply by making up an opera concerning his recent divorce.
Before Gustible began to get ready to go back to Earth, he discovered that the Apicians had copied his ship. There was no use hiding this fact. They had copied it in such detail that the discovery of Gustible's planet meant the simultaneous discovery of Earth.
The Apicians using their copied technology followed the human home to Earth. There they found themselves to be partial to the culinary foods of Earth to the point that they insisted that their kind move permanently. Using their mental powers they showed the humans, that force would not work on them. They kept their greed within bounds—by their standards. A mere seventy-two thousand of them swept the earth, hitting every wine shop, dining hall, snack bar, soda bar and pleasure center in the world. They ate popcorn, alfalfa, raw fruit, live fish, birds on the wing, prepared foods, cooked and canned foods, food concentrates and assorted medicines. Even when some died fo food poisoning more came, and soon the people of Earth were getting sick of the alien moochers.
The tragedy of the relationship of the two race came during the unfortunate picnic of the lady Ch'ao, who prided herself on having ancient Chinese blood. The original intent was to arrange a feast in Asiatic style to compel a sense of reason to the Apician leaders for their people to leave. However a fire broke out killing the leader of the Apician, baking his body crisp. The result as it turned out made the Apician a delectable delicacy, and the human diners began eating the corpse with gusto on televised media.
Within twenty-four hours most of the Apicians on Earth had been served, some with cranberry sauce, others baked, some fried Southern style. The serious leaders of Earth dreaded the consequences of such uncivilized conduct, even while eating had their morsels finding it impossible to control their behavior.
Apicians eventually left to avoid being eaten and even closed their planet to Earth.
Apicians reflected Earth culture, in the dishonesty of the inhabitants, in their enthusiasm for good food, in their instant capacity to understand the human mind.
- From Gustible's Planet by Cordwainer Smith (1962)