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Character Biography

Carolyn Solon is a microbiologist who works for PlasmiCorp. She loves virology, dimensional units, geek culture, power metal, and her pet hamster, Chester. In her spare time, Carolyn encounters dragons and sorcerers. With her virus-granted powers of "the Fire and Flight of the Phoenix" and her brilliant analytical mind, she is up to any task.

You can follow @CarolynSolon on Twitter.

Book Quotes

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No Spoiler Synopsis

SOLON is a graphic novel. Within its pages, virologist Carolyn Solon discovers a unique genomic sequence based on the Phoenix Virus which allows her access to relativistic levels of power - enough to fly at an appreciable fraction of the speed of light, blast buildings to cinders, or power the city of Santa Fe for about 5,000 years.

She squares off against thugs, a dragon, and a troop of sorcerer-monks as she comes to terms with the fact that such power may come at a cost.

This is a story about a superpowered character who would rather solve problems with math than with violence, a story about fate and myth, a story about the mysteries of the human genome. It's An Idea Whose Time Has Come.

Minor Plot Spoilers, No Resolution Details

Carolyn Solon is a microbiologist in New Mexico. While visiting Egypt to research a bone-healing virus, she discovers a variant that can turn bone calcium into a golden fiery superpower. This allows her to fly, extend manipulative forces, and wield unlimited burning destructive energy. Her powers come to the attention of a well-armed, medieval-obsessed group called the Hogshead Gang, who have an extensive dungeon hidden beneath a brewery front. They attempt to forcibly acquire the secret of her power.

She meets Benjamin Arcos, an FBI investigator (with interests in the paranormal) who mentors her in the use of her power. He calls it "The fire and flight of the Phoenix." He requests her aid in subduing a rampaging silvery dragon. She tracks the dragon to its lair in the unexplored parts of Carlsbad Caverns. The dragon turns out to host a related, more ancient virus which grants it firepower using a platinum hoard as fuel. "This has happened before!" As these events unfold, Solon grows steadily weaker for reasons she does not understand.

Two new groups appear on the scene: a horde of violent, mindless, enthralled humans, and a group of monks who wield three limited powers which overlap with Solon's own. She enlists the latter to fight the former. The monks with their " magics " can only Slide (telekinesis), Shield (force field defense), and Spark (lightning energy offense). The energy resulting from these techniques is very similar to Solon's own.

The story culminates with Solon becoming bedridden from her mysterious illness. During the final part of the novel, she must work to cure her own illness while also fighting off enemies. Through it all, Solon refuses to disbelieve that these fantastic events are a result of anything other than science. The scientific content begins as feasible and accurate, but becomes steadily more entwined with mythology as the novel continues.

Revelations (Significant Spoilers)

The Virus: Carolyn theorizes that her virus converts bone calcium mass into energy directly, using some form of highly efficient mass-energy equivalence. It does so for its own energy source, but shares this energy with the host symbiotically, for it produces far more energy than it could ever use. The genome is found within all of mankind's DNA but has decayed over time into undreadable genetic code (this part is true!) Dr. Solon comes to understand the correct, hidden code sequence in a burst of inspiration - all others who tried before her create living viruses without extraordinary properties.

The Dragon: The dragon is an ancient creature that was holed up beneath the earth. Its herald on Earth was the Roadrunner. It also plays host to a powerful virus closely related to Solon's own, the source of its own power. A taste of Solon's power, kin to its own, awakened it. Solon eventually comes to ally with the dragon - it seems a more powerful enemy wishes for Solon and the Dragon to destroy or weaken each other.

The Gang: The Hogshead Gang is really no match for Solon when she is at her full powers. Their scientists are easily outwitted by Carolyn, and she attempts to spare as many of them as possible. However, later in the book, the weapons they develop are used by a more powerful enemy, who may have helped them come to power in the first place.

The Monks: There are many similarities betwen the monk spells and Solon's powers. The monk's technique is based on fundamental exceptions in the physics of the universe, keyed to extremely specific combinations. This requires rigorous training in fine control of the body, which also contributes to their great feats of athleticism. The monks have been refining their techniques for hundreds of years, yet they only know three spells.