When I picked it up, Containment seemed like an interesting choice. It picks an interesting location to set its story: a colony on Venus. It’s not exactly a setting that you see everyday, even in science fiction. The planet is just considered too unforgiving to set up shop. Naturally, I wanted to see how the topic was handled. Hard sci-fi, check. Interesting premise, check. Writer I’d never heard of before, check.
As it turns out, the reality falls a little short, and the result is a highly flawed book with occasional flashes of brilliance. Some parts are really good, while others just drag on and on. In the end, Containment had many of the makings of being a modern hard sf classic, but unfortunately was unable to put them together in a satisfying way. I’ll show you what I’m talking about after the jump.