After rereading Tin Star I immediately reread this short story about Heckleck. It's available as an ebook on amazon, but can also be read for free online.It is a beautiful story in my opinion, so if you read Tin Star or are a fan of SF, I can recommend you give this a try.
The Sound of Useless Wings
illustration by DOMINICK SAPONARO
In this prequel to Tin Star, we meet Heckleck, the Hort alien who befriends Tula Bane on the space station Yertina Feray in her fight for survival. In his modest beginnings, Heckleck is raised to understand that breeding and propagating his own kind is the sole reason for living. When he is called upon to settle on a new planet, he meets the daughter of a politician, Goglu, with whom he falls helplessly in love, and is determined to win over. But nothing is easy in love and space exploration, and when his plans become thwarted, he must find a new way of life.
This short story was acquired and edited for Tor.com by Connie Hsu.
Read it here