New Treasures: Semiosis by Sue Burke

New Treasures: Semiosis by Sue Burke

Semiosis Sue Burke-smallSue Burke’s short fiction has been published in Interzone, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Asimov’s SF, Clarkesworld, and many other fine places. Her first novel Semiosis, released this week by Tor, is the tale of a tiny human colony on an alien world of strange ruins and even stranger plants.

It’s already generated a lot of excited buzz from places like SyFy Wire, The Verge, Kirkus, and the Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog. James Patrick Kelly says it’s “A first contact novel like none you’ve ever read… The kind of story for which science fiction was invented,” and Adrian Tchaikovsky calls it “top class SF, intelligent and engaging… I loved every moment of it.”

Here’s Liz Bourke from her feature review at

Semiosis is… an easy read, and a pretty compelling one. The novel opens with a small human colony — fifty-odd people set out, with a store of sperm and ova to avoid the problems of inbreeding — landed and settled, rather precariously, on a planet they have named Pax. They intend to create a utopia, free of the problems that dogged Earth: violence, religious oppression, inequality. But Pax is an older planet than Earth, and its biosphere has had longer to evolve. The colonists discover that some of Pax’s plants are intelligent in their own way. The first generation of colonists become, essentially, the servants of a plant they call the snow vine. Their story is recounted by Octavo, the colony’s botanist, as he investigates the mystery of their new environment and comes to hate and resent their new plant overlords…

Semiosis is a very strong debut, and well worth checking out.

Semiosis was published by Tor Books on February 6, 2018. It is 333 pages, priced at $25.99. The cover was designed by James Stafford-Hill. Read an excerpt here.

See all our latest New Treasures here.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x