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"I realized there was a heavy-duty change coming in biology, and I could write a really compelling novel about catastrophic evolution, punctuated equilibrium."
- Greg Bear

Assault Ship  
  A one-way, one-use spacecraft for depositing troops at the scene of a space battle.  

These new ships were ugly as hell. Just an open framework with clamps to hold you in place, swiveled lasers fore and aft, small tachyon powerplants below the lasers. Everything automated; the machine would land us as quickly as possible and then zip off to harass the enemy. It was a one-use, throwaway drone...

We clamped in and the assault ship cast off from the Sangre de Victoria with twin spurts from the yaw jets. Then the voice of the machine gave us a short countdown and we sped off at four gees acceleration, straight down.

From The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman.
Published by Not Known in 1974
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