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"The SF approach: an awareness that things could have been different, that this is one of many possible worlds, that if you came to this world from some other planet, this would be a science fiction world."
- Neal Stephenson

Alien Life Form  
  Living organisms of non-Earth origin.  

This is likely the first use of this great phrase.

As in the past, I have tried not to invent things that are too far removed from life as we know it on this Earth. The weird ‘whip’, for instance, has its Earthly counterpart not only in the ant-eater, but in the sphinx-moth,which sports a hoselike tongue a good deal longer than its own body. Cousins to the ‘Venusian buzzard’ can be found under any microscope in the biology lab. While the Murri, of course, finds its obvious image in the Proboscis Monkey‥. I do this because I feel that if a reader has some basis of comparison, when reading about alien life forms, he will be able to visualize the story more clearly and perhaps give himself an added measure of enjoyment and appreciation.
From The Hothouse Planet, by Arthur K. Barnes.
Published by Thrilling Wonder Stories in 1937
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