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Containment (Children of Occam Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Christian Cantrell
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (823 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The colony on Venus was not built because the destruction of Earth was possible, but because it was inevitable…

A brilliant young scientist and one of the first humans born on Venus, Arik works tirelessly to perfect the science of artificial photosynthesis, a project crucial to the future of his home, V1. The colony was built on the harsh Venusian surface by the Founders, the first humans to establish a permanent extraterrestrial settlement. Arik’s research becomes critical when he awakens from an unexplained, near-fatal accident and learns that his wife is three months pregnant. Unless Arik’s research uncovers a groundbreaking discovery, V1’s oxygen supply will not be able to support the increase in population that his baby represents.

As Arik works against time, he begins to untangle the threads of his accident, which seem inextricably linked to what lies outside the protective walls of V1—a world where the caustic atmosphere and extreme heat make all forms of known life impossible. For its entire existence, Arik's generation has been expected to help solve the problems of colonization. But as Arik digs deeper and deeper, he discovers alarming truths about the planet that the Founders have kept hidden. With growing urgency and increasing peril, Arik finds himself on a journey that will push him to the limits of his intelligence and take him beyond the unimaginable.

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: 802 KB
  • Print Length: 297 pages
  • Publisher: 47North; 47th edition (August 7, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007264H36
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,560 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
243 of 261 people found the following review helpful
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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202 of 228 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comparable to Asimov 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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146 of 165 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ABCs of Science Fiction: Asimov, Bradbury, Cantrell 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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126 of 147 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too smart for his own good yet. 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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75 of 86 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Exposition, exposition, some more exposition 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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83 of 98 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very Disappointing Conclusion May 25, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
To begin, I guess I would say that I was surprised at all of the very highly ranked reviews out there. Many of the reviews talk about how well the story is written, how tightly the plot is woven, and the overall quality of the science fiction. However, the book doesn't end, and this left me feeling cheated that I had committed time to reading a book without a conclusion. In fact, the ending came so quickly that I thought the Kindle edition must have been missing sections that appeared in the print version. It just didn't seem plausible to me that an editor would allow a book to be submitted without it being finished. The best analogy I can think of, would be reading a Sherlock Holmes novel in which Homes states to Watson that the conclusion is "elementary", and then the book ends, leaving the reader to figure out how the crime was actually committed.

This feeling of abruptness started to occur about halfway through the book, right at the same time as the plot starts to grab you. As mentioned in several other reviews, there are several very interesting twists, and they are all very compelling. The reader finds themselves with lots of questions, and trying to figure out what is happening. However, there is one plot twist which is illogical, considering that the main characters are all a group of scientists, who have been extensively studying their environment and performing experiments for the past twenty years. I don't want to give away any surprises from the book, but basically there is something different about the characters' environment which should be glaringly obvious to any individual who is a scientist, and is doing regular testing on their environment.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very good
Published 1 day ago by CRAIG E. BERKLEY
3.0 out of 5 stars Confusing at times, but okay
It took a while to figure out how it was structured but it seemed to make more sense at the end. Not the greatest but good enough that I will probably read part 2.
Published 3 days ago by Red Reader
2.0 out of 5 stars Good idea, poor story.
The idea behind containment is interesting, and the writer is good at writing about science and technical matters in general, but that doesn't make a good book. Read more
Published 3 days ago by crashdown
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing sci fi. Intelligent, vivid, yet practical.
Great choice for my first sf. Captivating and intense. Just enough probably to keep me reading. Twists, turns, suspense,friendships,love,betrayal, and tragic triumphs.
Published 13 days ago by C Groom
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good book
Published 13 days ago by LaserBlue
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
The plot kept you engaged with interesting characters. Detail was not overly done, allowing for a quick read.
Published 19 days ago by R. Gutmann
1.0 out of 5 stars ... 3 books a week and this is my first poor rating. Not great story...
I read about 3 books a week and this is my first poor rating. Not great story and poor end.
Published 1 month ago by Paul T. Herron
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and refreshing
Very well written, imaginative. I never knew what direction the story was going to take next, which is rare given the explosion of mediocre books on Amazon. Read more
Published 1 month ago by J. Schwarzer
3.0 out of 5 stars OK, but not great. Will not buy a sequel.
Expected something closer to Kim Stanley Robinson's Red Mars series. Science ideas were ok, neatly presented (it's obvious the author likes them himself), but the view on how the... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Piotr Rozenfeld
3.0 out of 5 stars unique but long
Arik is the pride of Gen V. The first Generation of humans born on Venus..Due to strict population controls, only 100 children are allowed to be born due to oxygen limits. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Kindle Customer
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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

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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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