The UN (really the US) sets up a colony on a seemingly useless planet (all the useful ones having been taken by alien species). It turns out to have a factory, built by aliens long gone, for producing an extremely strong superconducting cable. This makes the world the center of a multi-sided rivalry between the colony, the UN, the US, various alien races, and liberal groups within the colony.
This report prepared by Ken Norlie
In Timothy Zahn's Spinneret, Earth invents a stardrive and sets out to colonize the galaxy. The only problem is..someone else has gotten there first. Lots of someones. And the only planets available are the ones other races dont want. So when the Earth receives a relatively worthless planet with almost no metals in the soil and not much to recommend it, they colonize with somewhat mixed feelings. Overpopulation demands that they expand, but with other races so technologically superior expansion must be slow and discreet.
Lt. Col Meredith has the unenviable task of supervising the new colony..when suddenly it becomes obvious that the planet isn't worthless after all..and that there may be a war over the ancient alien machinery beneath the planets surface.
This report prepared by Timothy Obenshain