is there any sci-fi that would rerate a life based on ammonia or silicon or any other type of life?
You're thinking of "The Dragon's Egg." "Flatland" was a 19th century novella about 2-D creatures inhabiting a 2-D plane.Flatland? Not sure if that's the right book. About neutron life on a neutron star.
There is no reason to doubt that silane would burn fantastically. I believe most of the exhaust would be fumed silica. Certainly some sort of silica. A build up of quartz inside an engine cylinder is not likely to be a good thing. Silica can be abrasive....
Regarding silicon-based, there's a lot of woo currently circulating about a hexasilane (Si6H14) isomer that is unexpectedly stable. Dr. Peter Plichta's scheme to use it in place of hydrocarbon fuels seems too good to be true. YMMV.
It's not "Flatland" that describes life on the surface of Neutron Star, but "The Dragon's Egg" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragon's_EggI think Asimov was the first to point out the similarities between carbon and silicon, and to write about silicon-based life. The Talking Stone was published in 1955.
I recall another story about life which evolved inside the sun and can only exist at high temperature, but can't recall any details except that I think they decide to explore the solar system eventually, with disastrous results.