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Run Lab Rat Run

Run Lab Rat Run Cover

Run Lab Rat Run is the first-released novel in the Modified series.

From the Cover

To earn her freedom, she has to survive the deadliest race on Earth

The tests never stopped. When Media woke up after seizures or CPR, they just reset and started the tests again. You’ll be fine, they said. You can take it. You’re nearly indestructible.

She knew it was a lie. Genetic test subjects like her usually died by thirty, and they always died in pain.

But on her 21st birthday, she’s given a chance to escape the lab. She just has to run in the deadliest race on earth so the company that owns her can do illegal off-book testing on her “product line.” If she finishes the race and the tests work, she and her family will be safe and she might live forever. If she doesn’t, they’ll be deoptimized and dumped back in natural slums to starve and die.

In the near future, there’s nothing worse than being merely human. Or is there?


Release Date: August 11, 2021

Buy it Now: Amazon | Goodreads | UBL | Others TBD

Critical Praise

“Shawn C. Butler pulls the reader into a world of genetic enhancements and mutations, artificial intelligence, robots and implants…a cautionary tale; a complex, thought-provoking and twisted story of specieism and discrimination, competition, power and control.” – ReadingCafe

“I was instantly immersed in the book. Such fantastic, descriptive language without being verbose. Written so that it was a scarily believable future. A strong female lead who is also beautifully flawed such that we can empathise with her.” – Isobel Ross, Ultra Runner & Coach

“A fun and entertaining read that presents science fiction in a very believable way. Brilliant metaphors and imagery that could only be written by someone with personal experience in pushing a body to its limits.” – Tim Y

“Shawn Butler presents us with a glimpse into this possible future in an entertaining tale of an athletic competition gone mad.” – Lazarus Lake (aka Gary Cantrell), Founder of the Barkley Marathons

And Run Lab Rat Run has been an Amazon bestseller in several categories, including #6 in Genetic Engineering science fiction, #4 in Humorous SF;  and #1  in Running and in Extreme Sports. Which is pretty cool.


Run Lab Rat Run was originally called Modified, as its core message is about what it means to be genetically engineered. What does “human” mean, and how will we share the planet with bioengineering humans who are, possibly, far superior physically and mentally to our “natural” selves. Will we have a caste system, a hierarchy analogous to white supremacy, with the most modified on top?

Those questions and many more occurred to me when CRISPR was introduced to the world. CRISPR offered new way of genetically modifying pretty much anything, cheaply and easily. It’s obvious that within a few years, and far less than a generation, human beings will be editing themselves–first for disease resistance, then for genetic anomalies, and then for, well, whatever we want. If that doesn’t scare you, you’re not paying attention. Run Lab Rat Run is about one very possible world where value is determined by degrees of modification; a world I sincerely hope we do not choose.

Related Books

Coming soon in the Modified Series, Beasts of Sonara. See where it all started.

More about Run Lab Rat Run

For Readers

Additional resources for fans of RLRR:

For Authors

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