As opening lines to books go I must say that John Scalzi's Old Man's War takes some beating and the book itself is one of the best military SF stories I have read for many a year.
The basic premise is that Earth is a backwater and humanity's colonisation of the stars is undertaken by the Colonial Defense Forces, unfortunately the universe is a very hostile place and the CDF needs a large army. Interestingly the CDF don't want young people, but those who have retired with the knowledge and skills amassed through decades of living. Obviously their OAP's bodies are not up to the task, but the CDF has an answer for that...
I must say Old Man's War is a highly enjoyable book (in fact SWMBO pinched it off me to read before I got round to it having herself read the opening line!) and contains lots of really cool ideas for the SF wargamer (I especially liked the nano-bot ammunition block that creates whatever particular round for your rifle you need, whenever you need it) and as such if you haven't read it, check it out asap!
Unfortunately on the painting side I've got absolutely nothing done over the last week as life has got in the way (aka being Saul's taxi...). Hopefully I can grab a few hours to finish off the CDSU and maybe slap some paint on my (based and primed) 6mm English Republic Gen:I troops now that Old Man's War has given me some better ideas than just painting them blue!