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Sue Burke Books In Order

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Publication Order of Semiosis Trilogy Books

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Publication Order of Anthologies

The Darkest Thirst(1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
Whispered from the Grave(1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
Vampyr Verse(2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
Year's Best SF 14(2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
Triangulation: Lost Voices(2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dying Earths(2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
European Science Fiction #1: Knowing the Neighbours(2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Sue Burke
Sue Burke is a translator and writer that has lived in Madrid, Milwaukee, Chicago, and Austin. She grew up in Milwaukee and attended the University of Wisconsin. She has published poems, short stories, and articles in various anthologies and magazines.

Sue has worked for forty years as a journalist, both as an editor and reporter, and she translates from Spanish into English.

In the year 2017, she received the Alicia Gordon Award for Word Artistry in Translation from the American Translators Association for her English translation of an excerpt from Joseph de la Vega’s Confusion de confusiones, written in Spanish in 1688.

“Semiosis” was a Finalist for a Locus for Best Science Fiction Novel, for a Campbell Memorial Award, and made Locus Recommended Reading List.

She started the research for “Semiosis” before even thinking about writing the novel. It began because one day she found that one of her houseplants had killed another—a pothos had wrapped around another plant, which ended up dying from a lack of light. Then a few weeks later another plant attempted to sink roots into some other plant.

Sue decided to find out if this was normal plant behavior, and it was. Plants are often aggressive against one another and sometimes against animals, as well. They often try manipulating animals, too. The more Sue learned, the more she thought there could be a story here to tell.

The research process took a while, since every answer she found led to another question and botany keeps on making new discoveries, however the research also gave her more ideas that would help enrich this story. She now has a shelf of books.

Slowly but surely, the novel started to take shape, even though she would have to research specific details here and there while she went along, like the communication scents of the Glassmakers (based on Earth ants) and exactly how plants were able to duplicate these odors. She also found out that the plant is able to see and then act on such information. And that’s here on Earth, not just in Sue’s own imagination.

The only real difference between botany on Pax and Earth is that Pax plants have nervous systems, and they can make much more conscious decisions and communicate with a lot more complexity. On Earth, plants are able to send information within themselves, however it moves from one cell to another through no real special route. One specific message, like an attack by a certain type of beetle, can take hours to get up and down a tree. Otherwise, Pax plants have the same capabilities as Earth plants, including the desire of fruit trees and plants to have animals spread their seeds and eat their fruit.

“Semiosis” is the first novel in the “Semiosis” series and was released in 2018. In this character driven novel about first contact, human survival hinges on this strange alliance.

Just mutual communication is able to forge an alliance with the planet’s sentient species and prove without a doubt that mammals are more than just tools.

Human colonists, having been forced to land on a planet that they are not ready for, rely on their limited resources in order to survive. The planet provides a lush yet inexplicable landscape: the trees offer edible, addictive fruit one day and then poison the next. All while the ruins of an alien race are discovered entwined in the roots of an odd plant.

Conflicts between generations pop up while they struggle to comprehend each other and wrestle with an unknowable alien intellect.

This novel has a magnetic and ethereal quality to it, one that makes the story feel like it is being observed behind a sheet of glass. She presents a truly fascinating and intriguing concepts as well as an interesting subject and themes to the reader.

“Interference” is the second novel in the “Semiosis” series and was released in 2019. The story started in “Semiosis” continues here, while the colonists and a team from Earth confront a new and more implacable intelligence.

Over two centuries after the first colonists landed on Pax, a new set of explorers arrives from Earth on what they are claiming is just a temporary scientific mission.

However the Earthlings misunderstand the nature about the Pax settlement and its true leader. Even while Stevland tries to protect his human tools, there is a more insidious enemy than the Earthlings makes itself known. Stevland is not the apex species.

When Karola schemes to get off of Earth in order to avoid becoming the official NVA, and Stevland manipulates the beasts all around him to ensure his seeds travel on back to Earth make for gripping reading.

“Immunity Index” is the first stand alone novel and was released in 2021. Sue gives readers a new near-future, hard sci-fi novel. “Immunity Index” blends “Orphan Black” with “Contagion” in this horrifying outbreak scenario.

In an America facing increasing food shortages, stark inequality, and a growing fascist government, three perfectly normal young women are soon going to discover that they have a great deal in common.

Their creator, Peng (the gifted geneticist), made them this way, before such things could be outlawed. Rumors about a virus spread through an unprotected population that is on the verge of a rebellion, just to have it turn deadly on them. While the women fight to stay alive and help out, Peng races to find some cure, and the cover up behind the virus.

“Dual Memory” is the second stand alone novel and was released in 2023. Antonio Moro lost it all to the global pirates, known as the Freebooters. Now he is all alone in a city that is on an Arctic island fighting the Freebooters without anything but lies, as well as the mistaken idea that he is actually a spy.

When things start looking bleak, he finds an unusual ally. Par Augustus, his new personal assistant program, is a nascent AI. He is also extroverted, insolent, moody, and not exactly legal.

Together, they forge this uneasy alliance, and create a rebellion from some unlikely recruits in order to defend this island city. The hitch is that nobody can ever know. Especially the humans.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Sue Burke

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