Mother Tongues

Codex Stories > Standalones

Original Publication:

“Mother Tongues.” Asimov’s, January/February 2018. 3,700 words.



  • Inhalations: Collected Works, Volume 1, February 2020.
  • Escape Pod 636, July 2018.
  • Clarkesworld 149, February 2019.    
  • The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Volume 13 edited by Jonathan Strahan, April 2019 from Solaris.
  • The New Voices of Science Fiction edited by Jacob Weisman and Hannu Rajaniemi, November 2019 from Tachyon.
  • The Best Science Fiction of the Year, Volume 4 edited by Neil Clarke, July 2019 from Night Shade Books.
  • The Long List Anthology, Volume 5 edited by David Steffan, December 2019 from Diabolical Plots.


  • Hugo Award long list, 2019.
  • Locus Recommended Reading List, 2018.
  • Asimov’s 33rd Annual Readers’ Award Poll finalist, 2019.


  • Magyar (Hungarian), as “Anyanyelv” in Az év legjobb science fiction és fantasynovellái 2019, ISBN 978-963-406-797-9.
  • 日本語 (Japanese), as 「母の言葉」 in Babelzine vol. 1. Translated by 藤川新京 (Shinkyo Fujikawa).

Trigger Warnings:


Content Notes:

Cultural assimilation, language loss, immigration, diaspora, mother–daughter relationships, Chinese language, Chinese-American characters, Cantonese language, nonexistent technology, linguistics, literally commodified language.