Brave Enough - Jessie Diggins / University of Minnesota Press Winter 2020 Memoir by 2018 Winter Olympic Gold Medalist Jessie Diggins. Brave Enough is a unique memoir that features a young woman at the height of her athletic prowess and international popularity who is deeply involved in a societal change across several fronts. As Jessie travels the world as an Olympic gold medalist and World Champion cross country skier she is on the front lines of advocacy for action on climate change (Protect Our Winters), gender equality in the world of sports and a clear advocate for positive body image messaging for young female athletes. Diggins has also been central in the effort to bring a World Cup Cross Country Ski race to the U.S. in 2020.
The Power of Choice - Melissa Stockwell / Post Hill Press Summer 2020 The story of the first female soldier to lose a limb in the Iraq war who overcame adversity to become a 3x World Champion Paratriathlete and Bronze medal Olympian. 14 Degrees Below Zero - Quinton Skinner / Fentum Press Winter 2019 Think of this thriller as Gone Girl meets The Shining. In the dead of a Minnesota winter a man slowly becomes unhinged in the wake of his wife's death and loss of his corporate job finds he will do anything to protect his daughter
Good Craic - Jim Walsh / University of Minnesota Press Winter 2020 A series of essays from a curious, embedded journalist in love with the people of Minnesota, and the fabric that binds them together from art, music, politics and the people that power them
Works in progress - publisher inquiries welcome
Winter Rules: From near elimination to domination, the story behind the 2002 NCAA University of Minnesota Mens Golf Team National Championship - By Mike Seats
On April 11, 2002, University of Minnesota President Mark Yudof convened a press conference at which he announced his recommendation to eliminate the Men’s Golf Program at the conclusion of the 2002 spring season. It was part of a larger plan to address budget shortfalls within the athletic department.
With the future of their program very much in doubt, the players (one of whom was current Minnesota Men’s Associate Head Golf Coach Justin Smith) took the view that it was, “us against the world.” Using that as motivation they captured the Big Ten Men’s Golf Championship for the first time in thirty years.
As conference champions the Gophers received an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. They were placed in the West Regional, which in Coach Brad James’s opinion was the toughest of the three Regionals. Led by Smith they breezed through Regionals and advanced to the 30-team NCAA Championship Tournament to be played at the famously difficult Scarlet Course in Columbus, Ohio.
The Gophers went to Columbus intent on disproving the well-founded notion that northern teams do not win NCAA golf championships. Winning a national championship was an audacious goal for a team that entered the tournament ranked only 22nd in the nation.
The Gophers did not play championship caliber golf the first two days of the NCAA Championship Tournament. In fact, it took a bit of luck for them to avoid being cut at the conclusion of Day Two. But on Day Three, the Gophers, again led by Smith, rebounded. Heading into the final round they were tied with the University of Texas for fourth place. (Coincidentally, on that same day President Yudof announced that he was leaving the University of Minnesota to become Chancellor of the University of Texas.) The tournament leader was number one ranked Georgia Tech, a perennial powerhouse in men’s college golf.
In the final round the Gophers surged from behind to capture the NCAA Championship for the first and only time in school history.
To this day the Gophers’ 2002 NCAA Championship in Men’s Golf stands out as an exceptionally rare accomplishment for a northern school in a sport dominated by schools from the South and West.
Edina, Minnesota native Matt Anderson was a Cinderella story within the Cinderella story. Anderson led the Gophers on that final day with a score of 5 under par 66. That tied him with future U.S. Open Champion Graeme McDowell for low round of the tournament. Anderson had not even been recruited coming out of high school and surprised everyone when as a virtual unknown he made the team as a walk-on at a tryout in his junior year of college.
While the players were focused on golf, the Gopher boosters mounted a furious “Save Gopher Sports” fundraising campaign led by Harvey MacKay and Bob McNamara. Upon learning of the recommendation, Men’s Athletic Director Tom Moe had cut a deal with President Yudof: the three programs targeted for elimination (Men’s and Women’s Golf and Men’s Gymnastics) would be spared if $2.7 million could be raised within 10 months. The goal was achieved when a large contribution from an anonymous donor arrived only a few days before the deadline.
All five of the starters from the championship team went on to play golf professionally on foreign tours or satellite tours. Unlike many of the players against whom they competed in the 2002 NCAA National Championship season, none ever earned a PGA Tour Card.
Terminal Dispatch - The First in a Trilogy - Dawson Nichols
Tab’s parents are in a religious sect that doesn’t allow integrative tech, so he can’t get the skeletal reinforcements or gecko grips that would allow him to play normal sports. He can’t get neural enhancements either, so he’s way behind in school. And now his parents have dragged him to an uninhabited planet where they’re working as terraformers and Tab’s only friends are two synthetic companions. Not long after arriving, however, a ship crashes near their homestead and Tab’s parents go missing. When Tab contacts his home planet, they don’t seem to want to help. But they do let slip that his synthetic friends may, in fact, be human.
When the attacks begin, Tab must work with his friends to figure out who is trying to kill them and why. Together they tackle more and more technology as they race from atmospheric scrubbers to buried silo cities in vehicles they never expected to use. Eventually, Tab undertakes surgeries that integrate technology into his very body and brain. He thinks that this is the ultimate violation of his faith, but when the planet itself faces destruction he realizes that he must take one final, irrevocable step away from his parents’ ways.
As the planet comes apart, Tab appears to sacrifice himself when he helps his companions escape in the one remaining ship. But before they’re even out of the solar system, Tab travels ahead of them by uploading into the dataverse. His transformation is complete. Someone wanted him dead, and he’s determined to figure out who, even if it means leaving his body behind.
PROJECT CHRYSALISThe First in a Trilogy - Quinton Skinner Mykol is a worker in a shop on a mysterious project involving uploading vast amounts of personal data to a huge network after the Grip, a plague that killed ninety percent of humanity twenty-five years before. Jenn is an officer in the Authority, which has taken control of the planet and stockpiled power and technology; she works on another mysterious project utilizing human-controlled robots mining the moon. They meet when Jenn asks Mykol to upload data belonging to her late father, which eventually unravels secrets dating back to the pre-Grip era and the hidden intentions of the mysterious Thomas Gibson, the leader of the Authority.
After Jenn is expelled from her post and is forced to live outside the Authority walls, she and Mykol fall in love and plot to regain memories of her Authority work that have been removed from her mind, as well as planting the seeds for a new future. After Gibson reveals his true nature, his essence escapes the Earth and he uploads himself into the dataverse and joins others of his kind in the cosmos.