Genetic manipulation and all it’s controversies is always interesting. I was not expecting to be pulled in to the world of marathon races as well. I was surprised at how compelling and exciting every minute was. At times I actually felt as if I were in the race with Media, willing her to keep pushing, not to give up, feeling exhausted and exhilarated right with her. The obstacles were thrilling, the race was grueling, and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough to keep up with every turn. … Shawn Butler has told an excellent story and I’m eager to see what is next. -Amazon Review
To earn her freedom, she just has to survive the deadliest race on Earth
Media’s eyebrows were blue for nine weeks and her bones nearly dissolved. She even spent a month smelling like salted pork but no one ate her and she never died. She came close enough to require CPR and a genomic flush on several occasions, but she’s nearly indestructible. That’s what they told her on bad days in the lab.
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. 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?
“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
“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
Run Lab Rat Run’s 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 Author
Shawn C. Butler is the award-winning author of Run Lab Rat Run, the first book in the Modified series about genetic engineering, human modification, and our often violent search for immortality. He lives in Southern California. You can visit him online at shawncbutler.com or on Twitter @ShawnCButler. You might even find him out running the trails of San Jacinto when he’s not injured like the natural he is.