Thursday, May 30, 2013

How Do They Know?

Cicadas have begun to swarm along the East Coast, following 17 years living underground and sucking on tree roots. But the mechanisms and evolutionary reasons behind the timing of the insects’ emergence remain mysterious, according to Nature.

The cicadas currently climbing up out of the ground in the northeastern and mid-Atlantic coast are part of Brood II, one of 12 broods that emerge on a 17-year cycle. Three other broods further south emerge every 13 years. Read more by clicking the link below! 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Review By Nina Schuyler, Author Of The Forthcoming Book, The Translator

There are a lot of ways the world could end. The earth collides with a meteorite, a Zombie invasion, nuclear disaster, tainted water supplies, mutant monkeys, wild and abrupt changes in climate. In Michael Phillip Cash’s debut novel, Brood X, it’s an infestation of cicadas. And not just any cicadas, but swarms of them, enormous black clouds of three-inch insects descend from the high heavens and land on houses in the Northeast, caving in roofs and cracking windows. When the news reports first begin warning of the infestation, Seth, a 32-year-old unemployed former banker, is disbelieving, even dismissive. He tells his pregnant wife, Lara, not to worry. It’s a hoax, a way for stores to drive up sales of flashlights and batteries and canned goods. The couple blithely goes about their business, buying baby clothes and gear, decorating the baby’s room. When Seth finds a husk of a cicada, the story begins to unfold at a brisk, unflagging pace, and the invasion quickly becomes a visceral experience. Seth’s friend is attacked outside by a swarm. “Seth started yanking the cicadas off his body. He felt one of the bug’s abdomen tense. The threatened cicada let out a shrill that drowned out the girls’ screaming. Dominic wailed. Everyone watched helplessly as the cicada jolted down his abdomen, stabbing Dominic in the stomach with its stinger.” Soon, the cicadas enter the house via the air conditioner vents. The young couple— as well as the entire neighborhood—loses electrical power, food, water. The stakes are raised even further because Seth’s friend is dying—the bugs enter bodies to lay eggs—and his wife is approaching her due date. Donning a wet suit, Seth and his friend’s girlfriend head outside to raid a neighbor’s house for supplies. “The summer night was pitilessly hot. It was mainly quiet except for the distant echoes of the trillions of cicadas covering the land. There were no signs of humans. It was a black lunar landscape; the cicadas covered every surface.” Cash has written a harrowing tale of survival against all odds of a supernatural nature. As summer gets hot, Brood X will cool you down by sending chills down your back.

 Reviewer: Nina Schuyler is the author of the forthcoming book, The Translator, which will be published in July. (

Amazing Video By Samuel Orr

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Brood II Sightings!

If you have not yet seen cicadas where you live, there is a good chance that Brood II has missed your area.  Don’t worry, Brood X will probably get you in 2021.
So far, Brood II sightings of the 17-year periodical cicada have been mostly south of Washington, with a few scattered reports to the north.  Let us know if you have cicada sightings outside of the region that we show shaded on the map above.  Read more here!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Where Are They?

That the New York region has not yet reached peak cicada season is at once calming and alarming. The anticipation alone can be crippling for anyone in the Northeast with a yard or a patch of grass, soon to be swarmed by fornication sounds and then the remains of cicadas who have risen, done the deed, and left their shells to ruin your property in a hot, sweaty reminder of arthropods past. But it's best to prepare yourself, to get a decent pair of noise-canceling headphones for enjoying said yard, because Cooley says it'll be a couple weeks yet for the New York/New Jersey area. Forget the Insect Spring — you might have to deal with the bussing well into July. Read more here.

Monday, May 13, 2013

They're Coming!

Harmless scientific marvel though it may be, millions or even billions of cicadas rising up out of the ground for the first time in 17 years will make for a pretty gross summer of bug love once you see — and hear — your first buzzsaw-level backyard sexcapade, which could arrive as soon as this weekend, if it hasn't already. And for those of you with a fear of flying insects, it's downright terrifying. So we put together a handy guide for East Coast entomophobes, with the help of cicada expert Dr. John Cooley, who runs the online cicada bible Magicada. 

Get step-by-step survival instructions here. They are coming soon and you need to prepare! In the meantime, pick up a copy of Brood X and see what could happen!

Friday, May 3, 2013

The Buzz About Brood X

Their buzzing can reach 90 decibels, equivalent to some power motors. They have been seen in clusters of up to 1.5 million per acre. As if from some horror movie, cicada nymphs have been described as “boiling out of the ground.” Snow shovels are sometimes employed to clear them away. You can read more about the invasion here. Brood X hasn't made it to the big screen yet, but you can buy the book on Amazon! Be sure to leave a review. I'd love your feedback! 

The Buzz...

This is a must read.... Once the action started I couldn't put it down couldn't wait to see what happened next. I pray nothing like this ever happens in real life.

I enjoyed this book quite a bit, but must admit it had a somewhat slow beginning and rather abrupt ending. The characters were well thought out and the plot moved along nicely once it got rolling.

The cicadas are coming - and Seth and Lara don't really take it too seriously. Seth in particular is more interested in documenting with his camcorder than buying things such as batteries and water for the invasion. His neighbors are 'preppers' and much like the grasshopper and ant analogy used in the book Seth is definitely a grasshopper ( although later the reader finds out the outcome of this) To top it off, Seth and Lara have house guests during the invasion who really aren't the most helpful and tend to take advantage of their hospitality. Lara is pregnant, and that presents many more challenges for them.

All in all, this is a good book, and I would tell others to take the time to read it.

By Jules
I didn't know what to expect when I decided to read this book. Cicadas don't bother me where I live, but I've read about how annoying they can be. When I sat down to read Brood X, I latched on to each of the characters. They could be your next door neighbors or even family. I liked them a lot! The plot is realistic enough and well developed. The story quickly builds with the anticipation of the coming Brood X. Seth thinks the "preppers" are overreacting and he thinks the emergence of the cicadas will be an annoyance but nothing more. He convinces his wife that there is nothing to worry about.

This scenario seems to occur before every major storm. Reporters highlight these unprepared people on the news and things don't always turn out well. The characters made everything about Brood X a little more believable. The author does a wonderful job creating realistic scenes of chaos and panic. There are also situations where you can feel the desperation and experience the despair felt by the characters.

I can imagine billions of these bugs wreaking havoc and causing some of the problems mentioned in the book. I won't give away the details, but I will say that once I opened the book to read it, I couldn't put it down until I reached the end. It is better than I ever expected and for me, it was a quick read. It's a memorable book and it makes you think about how important it is to always be prepared!