With the release of Soul Mirrors only a week away, I figured I'd provide a small teaser. What follows is the novel's opening, a brief introduction before the story itself begins. Enjoy!
In our age of media and information, it is easy to forget that a rare event is just that: rare. News outlets cover the unusual ad nauseum, citing every possible example so long as its novelty still makes it even mildly intriguing. Constant coverage dulls us to the utter improbability, and eventually the unique is rendered banal. That which is rare, by miracle of attention, seems suddenly commonplace.
Thus, I find it essential to start this lecture with a well-known—but apparently misunderstood—fact: Mirror births are rare.
The likelihood of any given pregnancy producing a Mirror is approximately one in 750,000. That almost certainly means nothing to you. Humans understand better through relative measurements than absolute ones, so I will compare it with a similarly unusual event. According to the accepted calculation, a natural pregnancy has a one in 729,000 chance of producing quadruplets.
Thus, if you found out today that you or your significant other were pregnant, you are more likely to welcome four normal children in nine months than you are to birth a single Mirror.
Depending on your point of view, that fact either makes Mirrors seem mythically rare, or quadruplets terrifyingly common. In truth, it’s somewhere in between. Mirrors are rare, but even at that rate, we still see an average of five or six such children born each year here in the United States.
At this point we still don’t know if these variables are independent. It’s possible genetics or environment or some other factor plays a role and would increase the odds of multiple Mirrors in a family. It’s always hard to be certain, though. In the fifty-two years since the first Mirror birth in Norway, we’ve never had two Mirrors in the same extended family, let alone the same birth.
—Excerpt from a guest lecture by Dr. Cole Bryant at
Harvard University shortly after the birth of the Ross twins