“Semiosis” will have a sequel!

The contracts have been signed, the manuscript has been accepted, and the novel Semiosis will have a sequel. In it, Earth sends a mission to the planet Pax, and — no surprise — things don’t go well, for a variety of reasons. Stevland is forced to act.

I’ve begun revisions with my editor at Tor, Jen Gunnels, who is a delight to work with. The novel should come out in 2019, and the title has yet to be decided. It’s been referred to as Semiosis: Pax, but in my computer, it’s just “Pax II.”

In addition, Tor wants to buy a third, unrelated book, and I’ve begun work on that. It will be about perfect human clones and their struggle to fit into an imperfect world. At this stage in the process, which is still the zero draft (not even close to a first draft yet), it’s hard to say more because I’m still exploring the story. It should be published around 2020.

I want to thank my agent, Jennie Goloboy at Donald Maass Literary Agency, for all her work to make this happen.

26 thoughts on ““Semiosis” will have a sequel!

  1. Pingback: Semiosis aura bien une suite – Albin Michel Imaginaire

    • Thank you. And here’s more news: the sequel will be titled “Interference” — because of certain kinds of interference that happen in the book. I hope you enjoy it just as much.


  2. Great news that Semiosis will have a sequel! I just finished it and wanted more. The book I am reading now is suffering because I wish I was still reading about Pax and Stevland.


  3. I’m really excited to know there will be a sequel!

    I’d also be really interested to know more about this: when the computer chose Pax over the original destination planet, what was the reason? I’m curious what the original planet was like. Perhaps you could do a parallel story where Earth is also able to send a small colony ship there as well. Presumably, the planet would be slightly more hostile to humans than Pax.


    • Good question. The original planet showed signs that it could support life, such oxygen and water, but the computer was instructed to look at the parameters for life elsewhere, too, and as it got closer looks at other planets, it found one that was “better” — that is, better suited to human life. But exactly what was better? The level of gravity, the quantity of water, the ideal amount of oxygen, the clear presence of other life, a more Earth-like length of year? The text doesn’t say, and to be honest, I haven’t fully thought that through.
      So your idea of a parallel story would be wonderful fun! What exactly was worse? And worse for humans might mean better for some other life form. Thanks! I’ll put some thought into a trip to the less-ideal planet.


  4. Ooooh – I’m so glad to hear the story of Pax didn’t end with Semiosis! I’ve just been staying up later than I should, when I have work in the morning, to finish listening to Semiosis on audiobook – and when I finished it I immediately had to look up if there was a possible sequel. Now I can finally go to sleep (and tell my sister to start read/listen to your wonderful book tomorrow!)


    • Thank you very much! I’m glad you enjoyed the book — aren’t the narrators of the audiobook wonderful? I’m sorry about making you stay up, and I hope you can sleep late soon. I also hope your sister likes the book just as much.
      Again, thanks, and get some rest!


  5. More angry tulips, dastardly orange trees and haggling pineapples please!

    Levity aside, your technique of world building is wonderful. Exploring and revealing new tid-bits through varied perspectives and not through the typical omniscient narrator was delightfully refreshing for those of us who are used to seeing most twists and turns from far away. Thank you for treating the audience as intelligent (just like Steveland), it makes it all the more addictive to read and added many levels of nuance.

    I for one can’t wait to learn about both the Glass Makers’ origins and the Eagles’.


  6. Great news, I can´t wait for the sequel! I hope that some things will be explained, for example how and why the Glassmakers had left Stevland and also the Parents’ first expedition to the Glassmakers city. Somehow I can’t shake the feeling that Stevland is “evil”, still he controls humans through drugs.


      • Thanks for the explanation. But I thought how did they brake free from Stevland’s conditioning and drugs. We see that it is not easy to do at all, humans can’t do that for almost 100 years, although there were several people who said that they should leave Stevland. And I understand that from evolution’s perspective Stevland can not be “evil”, he only does everything to survive and thrive, humans are only another symbiont animal to him. But he clearly has consciousness, and that raises other ethical questions. I hope that sequels deals with that a little more. PS, sorry for my English, German is guilty for that 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hello Dusan,
        Your English is good! And you ask a good question. I think the answer is that breaking away from Stevland’s drugs and conditioning is not the problem. The drugs and conditioning are more temptations — pleasures — than enforced compulsions. The problem is, if the colonists leave the city and Stevland, where do they go? How will they survive without his help? The answer to the question is: they have to stay if they want to survive. They need Stevland too much. Stevland has power of life or death, and, as you say, that raises many ethical questions.


  7. Thank you, it’s really a privilege when author replies and discuss with readers:). And regarding Stevland and his conditioning with drugs, I got an impression that it was very strong. When Sylvia and Julian came back from the city they were so addicted to Stevlands fruit that they would do anything to go back. That’s why I thought that Glassmakers had troubles leaving Stevand and that their civilization deteriorated later, due to lack of Stevlands protection and support. Stevland would do anything so that his symbiont animals thrive when they are serving him. That is why I find upper explanation that Glassmakers left because their colony in the city was failing a little bit strange. But we can also see from Glassmaker’s example that it is very hard to survive on Pax without Stevland’s help. And as you’ve said, that is maybe the main reason for humans to stay with him, although I like to think that the main reason is addiction to his drugs:). In any case I am looking forward to sequel and hope that this unique SF with plants as intelligent aliens will have a lot of success. Sorry for the long post and all the best! 🙂


  8. I love this story!!! My small book club (4) is made up of Master Gardeners for those cold months when gardening is too challenging. I was tasked with finding a science fiction book and this was not easy as there are so many types of this genre. Our phenomenal public library has ‘Semiosis’ in several different formats which is convenient for readers who like to read on a Kindle, etc. Anyway, I am blown away by this book and really appreciate the botany behind the story. I have always held a belief that plants control animals and seeing a sci fi novel with this same thinking has been cool! One of our book club discussion questions is “is this book good enough that you would keep it on your book shelf?” Oh, yes it is!! I am super excited to learn there will be a sequel. Thank you Sue Burke, you are brilliant!


    • Hello MaryAnn,
      Thank you! I put a lot of research into this book and tried to make it as realistic as I could. Plants are not passive and can do quite a bit to get what they want. Gardeners have long known this.
      If you like, I can make a virtual visit to your book club via Skype. I’ve done this with other book clubs, and we’ve had a great time.
      You might enjoy reading this article about how the book started: on my dining room table when the plants there misbehaved. https://chireviewofbooks.com/2018/02/06/semiosis-sue-burke-explained/
      Thank you again!


  9. Both the books in this series were amazing! It was an amazing read. I wonder alot though if you think about making a third you left so much open for one and you gave the story so much potential to run on. Id love to read another.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s