One night our unit got ambushed. We were cut down by guerrillas of an NC Deep Incursion squad, and in minutes I learned the true meaning of what was euphemistically described as close-quarters combat. No line-of-sight particle-beam weapons now; no delayed-detonation nano-munitions. What close-quarters combat meant was something which would have been infinitely more recognisable to a soldier of a thousand years earlier: the screaming fury of human beings packed so close together that the only effective way to kill each other was with sharpened metal weapons: bayonets and daggers, or with hands around each other's throats; fingers pressed into each other's eye-sockets. The only way to survive was to disengage all higher brain-functions and regress to an animal state of mind.
So I did. And in doing so, I learned a deeper truth about war. She punished those who flirted with her by making them like herself. Once you opened the door to the animal, there was no shutting it.
- ALASTAIR REYNOLDS, Chasm City (Canada, USA, Europe)
This science fiction novel is awesome thus far!