What if the birrins' home system has another planet with sentient life on it as well? I just love that kind of idea. It would also make it easier on the birrin when meeting humans; they would already know that there are "aliens" out there.
I've never really taken the time to comment before, despite quite thoroughly browsing your work, but I love your non-humanoid take on alien life. It's such a shame that humanoid, bipedal lifeforms are the easiest to budget for in modern scifi, if only because it's actually only one of a myriad of shapes intelligent life could possibly take.
Pure awesome sauce! Something I am very curious about is how would first contact with humans go (assuming they are within a reasonable distance), to simplify it further, what if I was exploring the planet at the same time and happened upon and approached this lone dude just outside his ship?
PS: Talking to you is just about as cool as talking to Charles Darwin. Your art is inspiring and amazing, and I wish to some day be able to create art at least as half as good as this. Not to mention the life you create is ridiculously amazing and original.
I love the insectoid appearance of the lander and the iconic eye, as well as the weathered black hull, indicating a utilitarian vehicle on one of many missions. The white-clad Birrin astronaut's focus on his examination of the terrain generates interest. All-in-all, I'd say a very provocative SF book cover, speaking from over 40 years of enjoying the genre. Keep up the good work!