When I was a kid watching Star Trek (the original television series), it struck me as odd that planets were always right there and never more than a few days away, that they were often inhabited by people (including beautiful women) who were mammalian and spoke English.
At that time also, like any self-respecting kid, I was deeply interested in paleontology, the study of dinosaurs, those wonderful monsters which sadly met a tragic end. It was only through that cosmic catastrophe did the little mammals step forward and eventually evolve into (among other things) human beings.
So… if reptiles came first naturally, then surely that would happen on other planets, too, hence Zumaridi in The Khekarian Series – and no, let’s get this straight right now, the series is not a sci-fi on a dinosaur world. There are just a lot of reptiles there, some of them quite large (but nowhere near the size of a Diplodocus or a Brontosaurus) and yes, some are dangerous (but there is no Tyrannosaurus Rex), so don’t expect a dinosaur adventure, okay? Good. None of the stories are confined to that planet in any case.
So, by logical reasoning, not all such planets could be expected to be imperiled by meteorites, so some of those dinosaur worlds would have survived and developed onward. It made sense to me.
Then there were the dinosaurs (on Earth) found to have an opposable thumb and walk upright, giving good brain development – had they not been wiped out, would this be the creature to evolve into a niche much like our own? Why not? We did it. Trying to look up which one that might have been, it seems Troodon is the most likely, although I read about it in the 1980s (in Omni Magazine).
Anyhow, this was my reasoning for making Thain (from Zumaridi) a reptilian. I already had three civilizations known – two of them linked (Terrans and Khekarians), with the Chiddran the outsiders, but all three were mammalian. I didn’t want to go down that path and make the same assumptions that previous sci-fi writers have made – Why always mammalian? And why always “advanced”?
Thain and his people are still at primitive levels in terms of society and technology. They also have some interesting thoughts on mammals – their hair, those weird bumps on females that are breasts, nipples of course – which are completely alien to them – and the Terran inclination to eat some pretty repugnant stuff. I had a lot of fun as Thain worked through his revulsion for mammals and their disgusting eating habits.
Which goes to prove that reptilian people can have issues, too.
Sounds fair – we can’t be the only ones.
Cheers all! 😀