Semiosis

A novel of first contact

eBook, 336 pages

Published Aug. 8, 2018 by HarperVoyager.

4 stars (9 reviews)

In this character driven novel of first contact by debut author Sue Burke, human survival hinges on a bizarre alliance.

Only mutual communication can forge an alliance with the planet's sentient species and prove that mammals are more than tools.

Forced to land on a planet they aren't prepared for, human colonists rely on their limited resources to survive. The planet provides a lush but inexplicable landscape--trees offer edible, addictive fruit one day and poison the next, while the ruins of an alien race are found entwined in the roots of a strange plant. Conflicts between generations arise as they struggle to understand one another and grapple with an unknowable alien intellect.

7 editions

reviewed Semiosis by Sue Burke (Semiosis Duology, #1)

A refreshing take on first contact

4 stars

Very interesting concept of having intelligent plants and looking at things over several generations.

Some point of views were a bit too short though and early on it felt too rushed to me. The ending however was very good in my opinion.

reviewed Semiosis by Sue Burke (Semiosis Duology, #1)

Not many books have chapters narrated by bamboo.

5 stars

Semiosis is a fascinating take on space colonization, intelligence, and language. The multi-generational story starts with the founding of a small human colony on an alien world where, as they soon discover, plants have evolved intelligence and use animals for tools. Needless to say, things don't work out the way the colonists intended, and their descendants find ways to adapt to a world where they can't forget that they're only one part of the ecosystem -- and not a necessary part, either. And the plants have their own ideas!

Each chapter picks up a character from a different generation. Burke gives them all distinct voices and attitudes, and while each looks back at the previous narrator from this new perspective, their stories are their own.

I found the middle chapters the most interesting. At this point the colony has established itself, and all the founders have died off, leaving only …

reviewed Semiosis by Sue Burke (Semiosis Duology, #1)

Great read! Realistic and yet positive and hopeful.

5 stars

Loosely a Cli-Fi but with out any unbearable dread. Not usually a fan of that specific scifi subgenre (not because it isnt good but because you know..the whole world.), and kind of exhausted with generation ship or space colonies, but damn the action kept coming and the world building was amazing. Loved all of the characters and felt attached to their hardship, struggle and success. Would highly recommend. Also good for plant lovers 🌿🌿🌿🌿!

reviewed Semiosis by Sue Burke (Semiosis Duology, #1)

Review of 'Semiosis' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

The story takes place over the course of centuries on a distant planet, like many other ambitious science fiction stories, but its basic premise is not like any other tale to my knowledge. "Semiosis" is the term invented by Charles Peirce meaning the process whereby signs get attached to meaning, and the concerns of language are central to the tale. To up the stakes, the human settlers of Pax must learn to communicate with a foreign intelligence which is not only alien but not animal in nature, for it is the plant-life which which has the highest degree of intelligence. It requires quite a bit of ingenuity to tease out those aspects of plant life which make for a compelling character: the way a single consciousness can extend over a large area, the sensitivity to chemistry, to heat, and and to light, an extended lifespan for perennials, a form of …

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