Myrmecologists in Armani Suits?

Hey look, a new ant book!

The Colony, a thriller by A. J. Colucci, is due out in November:

A series of gruesome attacks have been sweeping New York City. A teacher in Harlem and two sanitation workers on Wall Street are found dead, their swollen bodies nearly dissolved from the inside out. The predator is a deadly supercolony of ants—an army of one trillion soldiers with razor-sharp claws that pierce skin like paper and stinging venom that liquefies its prey.

The desperate mayor turns to the greatest ant expert in the world, Paul O’Keefe, a Pulitzer Prize–winning scientist in an Armani suit. But Paul is baffled by the ants. They are twice the size of any normal ant and have no recognizable DNA. They’re vicious in the field yet docile in the hand. Paul calls on the one person he knows can help destroy the colony, his ex-wife Kendra Hart, a spirited entomologist studying fire ants in the New Mexico desert. Kendra is taken to a secret underground bunker in New York City, where she finds herself working side by side with her brilliant but arrogant ex-husband and a high-ranking military officer hell-bent on stopping the insects with a nuclear bomb.

When the ants launch an all-out attack, Paul and Kendra hit the dangerous, panic-stricken streets of New York, searching for a coveted queen. It’s a race to unlock the secrets of an indestructible new species, before the president nukes Manhattan.

A.J. Colucci’s debut novel is a terrifying mix of classic Michael Crichton and Stephen King. A thriller with the highest stakes and the most fascinating science, The Colony does for ants what Jaws did for sharks.

Flesh-dissolving venom, whatever. What does it say that I find the most implausible bit to be the protagonist’s wardrobe? Has A. J. Colucci ever met a real myrmecologist?

What, no Armani for us? Real myrmecologists Bonnie Blaimer, Paco Garcia, and Corrie Moreau model the latest in 2012 Ant Fashion. Note the must-have aspirators and hand-lenses.

We don’t want to over-dissect the science, anyway. After all, if we pick on The Colony too much they won’t ever make a movie. And based on just the blurb, the Insect Fear Film Festival really, really needs this to be a movie.

18 thoughts on “Myrmecologists in Armani Suits?”

      1. I also notice it says that this book will do for ants what Jaws did for sharks, which was to make people irrationally afraid of an organism vital to its ecosystem, resulting in irrational fear and mindless slaughter (by humans).

  1. Well, Ed Wilson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning myrmecologist, is usually very sharply dressed. Just because most entomologists dress like bums doesn’t mean that some cannot have more class than the rest of us 🙂

  2. I’m trying to imaging a colony excavation in August, in Florida in an Armani suit. I think it might actually be lethal.

  3. The thing I don’t understand is he’s the greatest ant expert and he’s a Pulitzer prize winner? Why not a Nobel or an actual science award? Makes me think he’s a journalist.

    Of course the only person who can save main character dude’s bacon is actually an entomologist, the real ant expert.

    Bad, bad, blurb.

  4. I want to know how something can have “no recognizable DNA.”
    Does it literally not have DNA, or can they just not share any DNA with known ants? Why would they even think it was still an ant at that point?

  5. From one of the reviews on the linked page:

    Two years after a geneticist releases a huge queen ant in Manhattan’s Riverside Park…

    That’d be right. Something has to be done about those crazy geneticists releasing giant mutant hymenopterans in major cities.

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