Rabbit Book Cover Evolutionary Convergence
Weird Huh? We noticed this yesterday in a copy of Fortean Times, the finest magazine of weirdology in any of the 3987 known parallel universes. My book on the left, Harvey's on the right. (I think that's obvious, Fforde, don't you?)
Evolutionary Convergence is when two unrelated animal or plant species end up looking the same due to being moulded by adaptation to an identical environment. An ichthyosaur looks a little like a dolphin and a herring (if you squint a bit), but the three are unrelated.
Convergence happens quite often in the bookworld, but before this only to me by genre. Shades of Grey , (yes I know, that one, *sigh* the one without a sequel so far) was written by me without thinking too hard about genre - but when it came out, there were a raft of post apocalyptic dystopian novels kicking around. There was something in the water.
Similarly, when I was doing mash-up in the early noughties, there were others playing with the genre too - all of us working independently. If I hadn't have written about the Bookworld, someone else surely would have.
Karen Harvey's book came out January of this year, and my book is due out July. I'm published by Hodder, Karen by the Oxford University Press. We had no idea of the other's existence. Karen's book was out first so it was designed first, but if anyone on Hodder's design team had had a whiff of it, they would have gone off on another direction.
This happens from time to time. Movie Posters sometimes look the same, and Chicklit and Ladlit covers were often very sameish, but what's odd here is that one of us was comedy satire, the other non fiction. There must have been subconscious triggers made by the designer that related to subject matter and content.
Ears are a rabbit's most famous feature, so that would have been an obvious choice, and the red colour and general layout? Perhaps the odd medical claim in Karen's book and the understated menace in mine. Red/Danger/Blood.
We might never know.
I haven't read Karen's book but is a subject of which I am vaguely familiar. It looks to be a good read. Here's the blurb:
"...In October 1726, newspapers began reporting a remarkable event. In the town of Godalming in Surrey, a woman called Mary Toft had started to give birth to rabbits. Several leading doctors - some sent directly by King George I - travelled to examine the woman and she was moved to London to be closer to them. By December, she had been accused of fraud and taken into custody. Mary Toft's unusual deliveries caused a media sensation. Her rabbit births were a test case for doctors trying to further their knowledge about the processes of reproduction and pregnancy. The rabbit births prompted not just public curiosity and scientific investigation, but also a vicious backlash..."
Good stuff, eh? Here's a review of The Imposteress Rabbit Breeder from The Guardian.