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Containment (Children of Occam Book 1) Kindle Edition

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Length: 297 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews Review

Containment is a classic hard-SF novel with carefully wrought world-building and an intriguing premise. -Kevin J. Anderson, New York Times bestselling author of Sisterhood of Dune

From Publishers Weekly

“Cantrell’s debut takes a technically detailed, hard-SF look at possible planetary colonization of Venus…Cantrell has produced a thoughtful visualization of a possible future for humankind.”

Product Details

  • File Size: 807 KB
  • Print Length: 297 pages
  • Publisher: 47North; 47th edition (August 7, 2012)
  • Publication Date: August 7, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007264H36
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #68,279 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Christian Cantrell is a science fiction author and software developer living in Northern Virginia. You can find him on Twitter (@cantrell) or Google+ (christian.cantrell).

Visit Christian's blog at

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

245 of 264 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 12, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Mr. Cantrell has written a very tight story with Containment. The characters are believable. The references to modern science are accurate (at least the ones in my field were) and insightful. I felt like I was given just enough to connect with the main character and to understand his connection (or lack thereof) to the world around him. There was no extraneous fluff in this story which was appropriate for a tale about a space colony surviving on the bare necessities. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel and started downloading more of his work as soon as I finished this piece.
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203 of 230 people found the following review helpful By Jason Jackson on April 4, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
I would compare Cantrell to Asimov in style and substance, which is high praise. Containment contains several of the key ingredients of classic science fiction. The technology, the people, the plot within a plot within a plot, and the questioning of what is real all made me feel like I was reading the work of an up-and-coming scifi genius. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good scifi read.
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148 of 168 people found the following review helpful By Karen P. Oswalt on March 22, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Just finished Containment and thoroughly enjoyed it! A first rate book with a riveting plot. Christian Cantrell's writing and storytelling are so polished, I'd rate it every bit as good as Asimov or Bradbury. This book is so interesting and very suspenseful. Although I'm "known" for guessing endings, the twist was a complete surprise. The clues were all there, I just didn't put them together. That's really refreshing. Except for work-sleep-eat, I couldn't put this book down. It's fast paced and gripping. You'll love it!
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140 of 162 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 13, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This author, Cantrell, took a very interesting idea for a plot and extended it into a potentially captivating story line with neat tech, a good dilemma, and likable and interesting characters, but then was overcome by his experience in IT: too many words that are not "action" and do not directly sustain the pace of the story. For instance he spends 4+ pages describing a new computer interface (replaces the mouse, keyboard, etc.) that, while related to plot nuance, did not require a full historic review of more than 1/4th this text. Likewise several chapters on the history of Space Exploration and Colonization. Also he tends to describe "about what happened" instead of actually running the active scene so we can directly experience it. Whoever compared him to Asimov should go back and reread Asimov, he was all about actually "running the scene" so a reader could live it directly. While a fine communicator, Cantrell needs to learn forget most of the background filler and trust his skills to write each moment as it happens. The best author examples of this are Iain Banks and Larry Niven, both pull you excitingly through new tech and surroundings via the action as it unfolds. Cantrell needs better editors who push him to cut the chatter and deliver the electricity of the action.
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82 of 94 people found the following review helpful By James Aguilar on May 17, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'll try not to spoil too much, but I really don't think you should read this so I'm not going to worry about telling you things that are revealed early in the book.

This is a pretty lousy book. To summarize in one word why, let me tell you this: exposition.

This isn't so much a novel as an imagining of a future world with various interesting future technologies that we might someday achieve. It isn't a story. It doesn't have characters. It has people-shaped props that allow the author to tell you about ideas he finds interesting, be they electronics, sociology, morality, or politics.

What "characters" there are are zero or one-dimensional. The main character is a genius, strong, good looking, and the pinnacle of human achievement. I mean the last part literally; he is called that by one of the leaders of his colony very early in the story. He has no flaw that is revealed during the story, and additionally has unique powers of the mind that make him the best programmer in history and also the most talented biologist. He also has a wife (with whom he has zero chemistry, although that may be intentional), a best friend (also no chemistry, this character's sole purpose is to do things the main character cannot do for one reason or another), and a father (for wise-sounding advice). Other faces you might meet are his teacher who told him to question everything, a sort-of creepy colony manager, and various red shirts.

Besides characters, Containment's plot is also nonexistent for the first fifty percent of the book. The first part is dominated by a fairly boring description of a stereotypical colony on Venus. Daily life and daily technology are the subject of almost continuous exposition.
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60 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on January 30, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
I have no idea how other reviewers could compare this to Asimov... this is a really badly constructed book. I actually thought that the chapters in the kindle edition had been mis-numbered. The story (when it has a story) jumps from the future to the past to the present with no literary warning. I would think that I was still reading a section set in the stories "present" (or past or future) and then realize that it had switched again... this led to endless confusion. But if that had been the only issue, I would have simply put it down to poor construction by the author and editor. However, the writing itself was little better than a series of science-related "essays" or "white papers" that went into FAR too much pedantic detail and then were stitched together with only a few lines or paragraphs of "story"... (like a novel written by Dustin Hoffmans character in the movie "Rain Man").

And I have to say that it was one of the most unsatisfying endings I have EVER read in a life filled with reading... questions were left unanswered, conflicts and plot lines left hanging... even if the author was trying to set up for a sequel or a series, it cut off so abruptly that I (AGAIN) thought that my kindle had accidentally forgot to download the final chapter(s)...

On the "Pro" side... it had some interesting discussions about technical solutions to problems (but again, they were usually so overly detailed without being truly enlightening that they became huge speed bumps in the story)....

All of that being said... I have to wonder about the rave review some folks offered... were they planted? This story (and "Brainbox" by this same author), are so incredibly badly constructed that unless you want to end your reading of them by flipping the bird to your book/kindle out of sheer frustration... avoid them.
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Containment is not a new release
Agreed. Not sure what's new in this re-release, other than the cover, but anyone can plainly see that there are hundreds of reviews from the past few years, not the past few days.
Aug 8, 2012 by dextorboot |  See all 2 posts
Spoiler alert! I talk about the ending Be the first to reply
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