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Run Lab Rat Run

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

From the Cover

To escape the lab, she has to survive Earth’s deadliest race

The tests never stopped. You’ll be fine, they said. 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.


Release Date: August 11, 2021

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Also Profiled: Bookbub | Goodreads | Google Books

Critical Praise

If Michael Crichton wrote the Hunger Games. Engrossing story in a futuristic (pre-post-apocalyptic?) world where genetic engineering has reignited a full-blown caste system with have’s, have-not’s, and a thirst for social media-driven voyeurism.”  –Jonathan Isaacs, author of Stopwatchers

Vivid and fast-paced, Run Lab Rat Run explores the coming era of human augmentation at every level, from scientific to ethical, asking ‘What if every possibility comes true? Might we split into dozens of species?’ This is the real deal in speculative fiction.” – David Brin, author of The Postman and Existence.

Gattaca meets the Hunger Games in this dystopian science fiction adventure” – K.A. Fox, USA Today Bestselling Author of the Murphy’s Law

“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

“5 stars! Recommended to lovers of gripping futuristic tales with themes of society, inequality, and genetic modification. Run Lab Rat Run proved to be an insightful and gripping read, surrounding core themes of society, discrimination, and genetic modification. It was a highly thought-provoking read.” – Bookish Beyond

“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.

About the Cover

RLRR Cover Front Digital v2 Final

This is the updated (second) cover, designed by myself and then finalized by Jayelle Morgan at DreamSaver Covers. Hopefully, this one is more true to market and compelling for the science fiction audience.





Run Lab Rat Run Front Cover

This was the original cover. I had no experience with book covers at the time, so I fiddled around in Canva, gave up, and paid for one on Fiverr. It’s not bad… though I decided to update now that I know more about how important covers are for conversion. You can see some really bad initial ideas on Pinterest.



Related Books

Take a look at Beasts of Sonara to 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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