It is perhaps the day after tomorrow, or maybe the day before yesterday. Two lone scientists work in isolation at a deserted vaccine laboratory, in what may or may not be an apocalyptic America beyond their locked compound, attempting unspeakable experiments in combining plant and insect DNA to produce crops that can defend themselves against attackers. One gets pregnant with twins. A minor lab accident mixes this DNA with her embryos, producing hideous monsters locked in an age-old battle. And that's when the mysterious Solo shows up and decides to make things really interesting. The Chicago Center for Literature and Photography is proud to present solo/down by Lauryn Allison, a dark and surreal body-horror tale in the spirit of David Cronenberg or J.G. Ballard, her full-length literary debut after the self-published and cultishly popular The Beauties in 2011. CAUTION: Not for the weak of either stomach or spirit.

"I couldn't stop turning the pages to find out what happens next, but I was absolutely terrified to find out. The ending was sad, bittersweet in an odd way, shocking, and absolutely bone chilling. solo/down is a thrilling sci-fi novella with just enough horror and magical realism thrown in.... This was an exciting read, one that will appeal especially to sci-fi fans." --A Lovely Bookshelf On the Wall

The electronic version of this book is being offered for free download to increase readership, although you're encouraged to make a voluntary payment through Paypal. To start the process, choose one of the options below:

Download the free ebook
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Kindle owner? Click here to buy the ebook at Amazon.

solo/down: The Hypermodern Paper Edition

Want a paper copy of solo/down? Then order it in its "Hypermodern Edition," a series of special high-quality, handmade books designed for collectors but reasonably priced. It can be ordered with either recycled or cotton paper, and can be delivered through cheaper First Class Mail or faster Priority Mail. Use the drop-down menu below to choose the option most suited for you:


solo/down poster and refrigerator magnet

And if you especially like that paper cover image by Blake Lewis, why not order a 16 x 20 inch poster featuring it, or perhaps a 2 x 3 inch refrigerator magnet? All orders are fulfilled by, and should arrive in four to six days.

solo/down poster: US$20 plus shipping

solo/down refrigerator magnet: US$5 plus shipping

Supplemental and promotional material:

An interview with the author, explaining more about how this book came out

A critical essay by the publisher on why he signed the book

A "passing the torch" critical essay by Sally Weigel, CCLaP's last published author, on what she likes about this newest book

This book's listing at

Lauryn Allison Lewis's personal website

Creative Commons License
This book has been released under a Creative Commons license (click the above icon to actually read it in full); this gives you permission to make unlimited copies for yourself, convert it into other formats, translate it into other languages, and use it as a basis for nonprofit multimedia projects (audio, film, animation, stage performance, calligraphy, etc), in return for you not changing the contents or removing the credits.

Cover: Blake Lewis.

Special additional thanks to Sarah Bradford, who served as assistant editor of this book as part of her internship with the center.

CCLaP is always on the lookout for great unsigned manuscripts. Click here for more on how to submit your own.

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