San Diego 2014: The Last Stand of the California Browncoats by Mira Grant (A Newsflesh Novella)
Quick Thoughts: San Diego 2014 has everything you want in a Zombie novella, wonderful characters, heroic stands, epic deaths, zombie killing badassery, dark humor and emotionally jarring moments.
So, it’s Zombie Awareness Month and I was faced with a bit of a problems. How can we have a celebration of Zombies without discussing Mora Grant? Her Newsflesh Series has been the highlight of my Zombie loving life the past three years, and she was the first author ever to allow me to ask her some awkward questions in interview format. The problem was, I had already listened to all of Mira Grant’s audiobooks, even the short non-zombie Apocalyptic Scenario #683: The Box which she narrated herself. Then I remembered that I can also consume words through my eyeballs and not just my earholes. While I had listened to all the audio entries in the Newsflesh series, I had yet to read the one Newsflesh Novella not yet available in audio called San Diego 2014: The Last Stand of the California Browncoats. Also, I had this rectangular shaped plastic thingy called a Nook which you can actually download word strings that form stories onto making it a perfect devise for ocular word consumptions. Hence, my problem solved.
San Diego 2014: The Last Stand of the California Browncoats takes place in the early stages of The Rising, at a time where Zombies were still fictional, and the weird stories being spread around about a new disease were basically just rumors, and rumors are not enough to keep the die hard fans from attending the annual ComicCon is San Diego. Mahir Gowda, newsie for Georgia and Shawn Mason’s After the End Times blog, has tracked down the last survivor of that fateful ComicCon, the daughter of two members of a Firefly fan group. Through his interview and other means, the tragic story of the infestation of Kellis/Amberlee into the ComicCon is told. San Diego 2014 is simply another bit of evidence proving Mira Grants place as one of the premiere Zombie novelist of our time. In just about 100 pages, she managed to make me care about a group of characters and laugh and cry with them through their last moments. San Diego 2014 has everything you want in a Zombie novella, wonderful characters, heroic stands, epic deaths, zombie killing badassery, dark humor and emotionally jarring moments. Heck, Grant even manages to fit in a courageous service dog. One thing I loved about San Diego 2014 was, unlike her other Newsflesh Novella Countdown, this was a story that can stand on it own. Grant creates a loving image of Fandom, highlighting its quirks and eccentricities without making them seem like freaks. There were moments when reading this novella when I groaned at the fate of a character, or laughed at a simple line like "We are in the middle of what looks increasingly like a zombie apocalypse. Moaning people don’t need help…" Yeah, that. San Diego 2014 was the perfect Mira Grant fix needed for Zombie Awareness Month.