I can't help thinking that when we write science fiction about aliens we are just as blinkered as I was then. Take for example:
At least one species, the Manti, were found to be intelligent. [...] Within several months of first contact, the scientists were able to develop a common language with the Mandi.(From Conundrum on Titan by Patricia Stewart on 365 Tomorrows.)
I'm not sure that I can believe that if we find creatures that are less intelligent than we are that we will manage to find a common language. We don't seem to have done very well with chimps or bonobos and we certainly don't treat any Earth animals as intelligent beings on a level with ourselves.
If we meet aliens that are more intelligent than us, I wonder if they will treat us as we do the chimps, yet this is assuming that their culture is in many ways similar to ours. Somehow that feels rather like wondering what hymns the French children sing in assembly.