Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Oxygen (Oxygen, #1)” as Want to Read:
Oxygen (Oxygen, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Oxygen (Oxygen #1)

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating details ·  666 Ratings  ·  68 Reviews
Valkerie Jansen is tough, beautiful, and has an uncanny knack for survival. But that doesn't explain why NASA picks her to be part of a two man, two woman crew to Mars -- or does it?

Bob Kaganovski, the ship's mechanic, is paid to be paranoid -- and he's good at it. After a teeth-rattling launch, Bob realizes that his paranoia hasn't prepared him for this trip. He can deal
Kindle Edition, Second Edition (Writers Journey Edition)
Published September 28th 2011 by DitDat, Inc. (first published May 17th 2001)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Oxygen, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Oxygen

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Jul 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Oxygen” by John B. Olson and Randy Ingermanson is a great new science fiction/thriller. NASA wants to send a crew of four to Mars, two men and two women. While they are on their way to the Red Planet an explosion seriously damages their ship. Now the question is, who did it? And why?

I really enjoyed this novel. Christian fiction is not genre I normally read, and although there are religious questions throughout the book, I didn’t feel like it was being crammed down my throat. The questions were
Kelvin Liang
Originally I first heard of this book when I was fishing for tips on how to write novels and I came across Randy Ingermanson’s Snowflake Method. Then I noticed this book and thought I’d give it a read after having seen glowing ratings and compliments about its pace and story.

Upon finishing, my personal review was not one of glowing stars and meritorious comments.
The beginning of the novel sucked. Sure, I was thrown right into the fray with our protagonist, Valkerie fighting for her life, that
Jul 25, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ok, so I was really disappointed in this book, despite its heralded, award-winning reputation. Maybe I'm just not as big a sci-fi fan as I once was, or maybe I'm too selective in this genre, but I grew tired of it quickly and just wanted to get to the end simply to see who survived and how. My biggest complaint was too many conflicts--one after the other, after the other. I couldn't keep myself in "crisis" mode and still maintain caring for the characters. The author strove to impress on us the ...more
Kyra Halland
Jun 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Hard science fiction isn't my usual reading, but one of the authors of Oxygen, Randy Ingermanson, developed a popular outlining method for writers (the Snowflake method) and I found out about Oxygen on his site. I'll admit that what grabbed me was the romance aspect of "science fiction romance", but I ended up thoroughly enjoying everything about this book.

The story follows a team of four, two men and two women, who are to be the first astronauts on Mars. NASA is short on funds and has had to tu
Jul 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
A while ago I took advantage of a cheap Kindle download of John B. Olson and Randy Ingermanson's 2001 novel Oxygen. though I'm not a fan of its genre (near-future scientific thriller), I wanted to see if Snowflake guru Ingermanson could actually write fiction and was attracted by the "Bonus Goodies For Aspiring Authors" included in this edition.

The story is about a space mission to Mars. We meet the characters—the astronauts— when they are in training before the mission launches. The main male c
Kyle Pratt
Jan 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Christian science fiction
Shelves: science-fiction
Oxygen is a well-researched and crafted, near future, Christian science fiction novel. Published in 2001, the story is set in 2014 during the first manned mission to Mars. Microbial ecologist Valkerie Jansen is assigned to the Ares 10 as late replacement. This alone would cause strain for the crew but her faith adds another level of tension. When a near catastrophic explosion occurs the crew of two men and two women must learn to trust each other or perish in the cold of space. While I pray that ...more
I was surprisingly impressed by this book since sci-fi and Christian fiction are not usually a very good combination.
April Ann
ddddrrrraaaaawwwwwnnnnnnn out, way out.
Jun 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beginning is good, middle gets tedious, ending fairly good. Could give five stars but for the middle.
Lorrine Hughes
Apr 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Highly recommend this book. It's one of those that you hate to put down.
Carolyn Vandine west
Mar 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-book
Been many years since I read this book but I do remember I enjoyed it. I like sci fi if it is properly written and this was.
Aug 13, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Sci-Fi and Techno-thrillers, with a dash of mystery
Shelves: fantasysci-fi
[Edit--now available as an e-book! See my blog: ]

This is my friend John's first published book, so I suppose I'm a tad biased, but I really enjoyed this book. In fact, I started reading (stupidly) when I was supposed to be studying for finals back in my undergrad days, and ended up reading it all the way through ina bit under two day-- didn't get much studying done then!
It's unfortunate that the book went out of print, as this is a enjoyable and impressi
J.L. Dobias
May 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-shelf-10
I purchased the book Oxygen for two reasons one of those being to read the bit at the end for other Authors.

I wanted to thank the authors for a good read. I read the story first knowing it probably would have spoilers at the end.

I normally don't write much about what I read and it tends more towards the saccharin than anything else. Probably because mom said if you don't have anything nice to say...

In this case though I have so much nice to say I have to say a bit more.
I've read science fiction
Jo Murphy
May 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: young adult audience
Recommended to Jo by: Randy
John Olson and Randy Ingermanson have now complimented Oxygen by another eBook called The Fifth Man.
I hope the two books set the scene for series of enlightening outer space excitement! The main appeal of the books is the subtlety of the Christian message, which lightly winds throughout both texts
Although the writers ask Christian questions throughout, they do not hit the reader over the head with a moralistic bludgeon; rather, they touch on timeless issues, which lead the narrative through such
Feb 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who enjoy learning through fun stories, and without having to feel like they're learning
Shelves: sci-fi
My father-in-law gave me this book when he finished it, thinking I'd like it. Since we don't always have the same taste in media, and since I've never really gotten into sci-fi, I was reluctant to read it. It sat on my nightstand for several months. Finally one day, it was time to either read it or take it to the book exchange. I decided to give it a go and couldn't keep my nose out of it for the next few days until I'd finished it. This one is definitely going on my shelf for future reads, rath ...more
Jul 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, religion
Rather surprised this book is always put forward as a christian book because christian content exists in this book only slightly more than the christian god exists in the real world (and as as Yahweh doesn't exist at all, it would be difficult for it to be less). The only spiritual content in the book is a couple of characters who happen to be christian, one of whom considers life the universe and everything at one point. She come to the conclusion there is no evidence what so ever for her choic ...more
Anne Campbell
Jul 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This has got to be one of the most intense romantic suspense/space adventure/science fictions I’ve ever read—I’m thinking it would make a great movie, but one you might want to watch early enough in the day that you have time to breathe for a while after it’s over.

Valkerie Jansen is interviewed as a possible astronaut on the first manned venture to Mars, one of four who will make the long voyage to the red planet. Her problem is that obviously the interviewers missed her grades as a freshman in
Kerry Nietz
Nov 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There were periods of my life when I genuinely dreamed of being one of the first astronauts on Mars. When I thought how great it would be to be on a rocket ship bound for another planet. (A rocket ship typically manned by my best friends, of course.) And then to finally reach the Red Planet. To stand under an alien sky. To see Earth as a distant blue star in the night sky…

What those dreams always overlooked, of course, was the reality of space travel over long distances. The myriad of dangers. T
Ed Tinkertoy
The best I can say for this book is it was OK. The first 25% of the book read more like a soap opera than a science fiction book. There is second guessing on decisions based on who liked or was friends with who. Then after the crew of the ship is set and takes off there is an explosion and the crew members are again at it blaming each other. And also blaming the mission controllers for the explosion. So it was more soap opera stuff.

The middle of the book does have some action that is akin to wh
Sep 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
it was great. read next one too.
Anna Marie
Jul 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
A sorta who-dun-it in space and actually really gripping. I am surprised how much I enjoyed this. At first I thought it might be getting a bit too technical, but it wasn’t too much information that I was lost. The suspense had me riveted. In fact, I got choked up in one part. Makes me wish NASA would attempt to go to Mars.

Biggest flaw to me was that the characters even though they all had backstory and personality, felt a little bit unrealistically perfect and borderline cheesey. Like they felt
Monica Rodriguez
I rarely read science fiction, and now I'm wondering why, I enjoyed Oxygen so much. This story of humans' first attempt at reaching Mars grabbed me right away. Once the suspense started, it rarely let me go. In fact, this story kept me up one (week) night until 2:00 a.m.! I think I can safely say I couldn't put it down. There were a couple of short lulls, when a character would go into some introspection about what finding life on Mars might mean for humanity and for their personal religious bel ...more
Timothy Bateson
Jun 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Science meets thriller while heading to Mars

With all the excitement in the last few years about discoveries that Mars might have once met the requirements to harbor life, I had to take a look at this book. I'm very glad that I did.
Olson and Ingermanson have taken four brave souls on a trip to Mars. Watch as an already assembled team has to take onboard an untrained and highly intelligent new member, and then decide who has to remain behind for the good of the mission. Then follow the drama build
Jan 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: must-read-again
Okay, I know I say this a lot, but I absolutely LOVED this book!!!!!!!!!!! I really couldn't put it down until I reached the very end! At which point I still didn't put it down for about five minutes while the whole thing sunk in! The only complaint I have about this book was, as always, the ending. Or rather, lack thereof. Too many books that I read these days just don't work hard enough on the conclusion, leaving the reader frustrated and confused. Whether you need to sell the next book or not ...more
Oct 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well researched tale of traveling to Mars. A resourceful months enroute with what could be total strangers. What could possibly go wrong. Apparently much in the manner of Apollo 13. As befitting most works of man, the best laid plans often go awry. In the far reaches of space, fear can overcome your thoughts and cloud your judgement.

I enjoyed the disasters, the suspicion and even the tortured thoughts of each player in this drama. The journey is filled with contradictions. Who to trust, how to s
Chas Funderburg
I must admit: this book was written by pros. They keep you turning the page, wondering how this particular conflict is going to resolve itself. I think the book covers every genre it undertakes well: romance, adventure, suspense, and of course, Sci-Fi. It is well-written and researched sci-fi, written by two guys who are very well educated geeks themselves. Their firm grasp of the technology of the space program, and of biochemistry and physics makes this book very believable. And they had a tec ...more
Tom Hooker
Nov 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was a total surprise. It is a roller-coaster of fear and excitement, sorrow and joy. It is one of the few books that brought me to tears. Valkerie Jansen is a last-minute substitution for a manned trip to Mars. Shortly after lift-off (where one of the rocket's stabilizer fins clipped the gantry), and shortly after the Mars trajectory burn. One of the vessel's solar panels is destroyed by an Apollo 13-like explosion, which may or may not be sabotage. The four crew members, CAPCOM and th ...more
I bought this book for the bonus material in the back for aspiring writers and didn't really plan on reading the story. The cover looked cheesy and the synopsis didn't grab my attention... I had just finished reading Hunger Games and the genre was so different I didn't know if I was up for it, but one bore night I started reading it. And then I couldn't stop. It was action packed and there was a point in the story where I could easily suspect any of the people involved for the explosion. The cha ...more
Ginny Jaques
Jun 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you like seat-of-your-pants suspense, and drama that keeps you reading until way past your bedtime, you'll love Oxygen. In this fast-paced space thriller/mystery/romance novel, Olson and Ingermanson put their very human and likable characters into situations where survival is impossible, over and over again. You're sure you're going to lose one of your favorites at any moment, but somehow they go on breathing, hanging onto every last molecule of oxygen, while you hold your breath trying to he ...more
Jul 02, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book - had a lot of action, suspense, plot twists, romance, etc. Was worried that it might have too much technical stuff but was very well written. This book was hard to put down as I wanted to see how the team got out of each situation and wanted to know how the book was going to end. However I was able to guess the ending a few pages before I read it – but still was good. I am not a big science fiction fan but liked this book – was not too hard to believe that we could be sending astrona ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Overall Impression/Thoughts? 6 11 Jun 05, 2013 07:38AM  
  • Double Vision
  • Shivering World
  • Arena
  • A Treasure Deep (Perry Sachs #1)
  • The Challengers
  • Remanence (Confluence, #2)
  • The Bloodstone Chronicles: A Journey of Faith (Journeys to Fayrah, #1-4)
  • The Restorer's Son (The Sword of Lyric #2)
  • Numb
  • Oxygen Level Zero (Mars Diaries, #1)
  • The Hunt for Xanadu
John B. Olson is a novelist who lives with his wife Amy and two children in the San Francisco Bay Area. John earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and did postdoctoral research at the University of California at San Francisco. His books have won several awards, including a Christy Award, a Christy finalist, a Silver Angel award, and placement on the New York Pu ...more
More about John B. Olson

Other books in the series

Oxygen (2 books)
  • The Fifth Man (Oxygen, #2)