My Martian wouldn’t have any conception of smiles or frowns or tears. But, being alive, he would have to have similarities to us. Though I did make the reckless assumption that he would have a mind. Having physical needs, and being subject to injury, he would probably know hunger and thirst, distress and comfort. Needing to defend himself, he would probably understand fear and courage. Needing to reproduce, and to look after his young, he would probably have the equivalent of love. And, possessing a mind, he would probably have intense curiosity, a yearning to find out.
So what if he wanted to learn more about Earth, just as I wanted to know more about Mars? Here was a solid likeness, to contrast dramatically with all the differentness! A basis for sympathy that would stand out! Something beyond the rather tiresome story motivation of conquest and defense, common in many yarns, including mine. Instead, just to learn—to find out! The scientist’s fundamental drive….
Raymond Z. Gallun (1911-1994) is also the author of Skyclimber (1981), a novel in which “a space settler is torn between loyalty to his Martian home and allegiance to Earth.”