Europa was originally 150 pages longer than it is now. Although given a fair amount of leeway, I was forced to cut a significant amount of material due to the publisher's word count limit (which is an industry norm). I will continue to add the occasional bit of extra information here and on my website that was cut from the original work.
I will eventually release a ten page side story about Eric and Quinn that was also cut from the original manuscript.
Swords used as close quarters weapons aboard spacecraft: Bladed weapons do not pose the same hull rupturing risks as projectile weapons. In most cases ships are built of materials sturdy enough to repel small meteoroids and the occasional stray bullet does not pose a significant risk. Pirates who are interested in looting a ship and leaving it would not worry about punching a few leaks in the hull, however, if a ship was meant to be captured it may be an issue. Most bladed weaponry is in the form of daggers and short swords since hallways and small rooms aboard ships would be impractical places for longer weapons. These weapons are not as common as pistols and rifles, but are still carried by some and occasionally used in combat.