A Superior State of Affairs
An original novel by mintmaster Tom Maringer.
It is January, 2017. The Copper Country, on the shores of Lake Superior, is socked in by the biggest blizzard of the century. Beneath a heavy blanket of snow, the simmering separatist movement in Michigan's Upper Peninsula (the U.P.) is coming to a boil. Ever since the United States merged with Canada and Central America and formed the new "North American Federation," the state government had given scant attention to the problems of its northern outpost. Digger Puttonen is a freelance geologist who grew up poking around the old copper mines. Possessed of an uncanny ability to "find" things, he and two other Michigan Tech graduate students formed a small partnership called the Midnight Mining Company and developed a radically new technology based on an enhanced understanding of the laws of physics. George Frederick Sherman, a ruthless Chicago industrialist, gets wind of the tiny company through his computer people. He quickly sees how important it is, and decides that he must gain control of it before the government does, at any cost. The only flaw in his scheme seems to be a couple of his own employees, Steve Sanders and Eileen Donovan, a pair of computer geeks who have fallen in love with each other and seem to be just too damned smart for their own good. Kicked out of his own laboratory by Sherman's machinations, Digger Puttonen is trying to drown his sorrows in beer at a local tavern when he meets Arne Harjaala, an old-time miner down on his luck. Arne tells Digger an unbelievably tall tale of a mine disaster, yet Digger's sixth sense tell him the story is true, no matter how impossible it seems. Digger's quest to find out what happened to Arne leads in unexpected directions.