Cycle of Fire by Hal Clement
Ballantine Books, 1957
Price I paid: 50¢
Nils Kruger was the Earthman. A castaway with a smashed spaceship on the parched surface of the inhospitable planet Abyorman.
Dar was his non-human castaway companion. But Nils, a latter-day Robinson Crusoe, quickly learned that his intended Man Friday was a superior creature.
They would both die.
Typically, Nils the Human opted to do something about it. Typically, Dar, who knew the day, date, and hour of his death in advance, opted to do nothing.
Which of them was right?
Or, perhaps both of them were!