Guild of Xenolinguists

The Guild was founded on Earth in the middle of the 22nd century after first contact with a race from somewhere in the Orion Arm of the Milky Way Galaxy. This alien visit was traumatic enough to bring the last holdouts into a united world government that made exploration and research of extra-solar space a priority. A few early linguists, neurolinguists, ethnographers and computer scientists established the Guild which then took over the responsibility for training xenolinguists to make first contact and to record alien languages in the field. Later, the Guild provided translation services for the expanding commerce and colonization of the following centuries.

The Two [most important] Laws of the Guild:
1. Never let emotion color the interface.
2. Never judge the message or its sender.

Bibliography of Lingster Material


Reading the Bones, Tachyon Press, 2003

"Triad," Bantam Books, 1986

Related stories

"Nor Unbuild the Cage," F&SF, September 2000

"Sequoia Dreams," Amazing Stories, July 1990


"Future Tense: Reflecting Language Change in SF,"
SFWA Bulletin, Spring 2004

"Berlitz in Space," Amazing Stories, May 1988.

Short Stories

"The Language of the Silent," with Juliette Wade,
The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, March/April 2016

"First Was The Word," F&SF, June 2008

"Stranger Than Imagination Can," Guild of Xenolinguists, Sept 2008

No Brighter Glory, F&SF, April 99

The Naked Face of God, F&SF, June 99

Reading the Bones, F&SF, January 98

The Roaring Ground, F&SF, April 97

A Flight of Words, F&SF, February 97

Out of the Mouths, F&SF, Nov-Dec 96

Communion of Minds, F&SF, September 96
A World Waiting, F&SF, August 89

Babel Interface, Amazing Stories, May 88