Crystal Carroll's Reviews > San Diego 2014: The Last Stand of the California Browncoats

San Diego 2014 by Mira Grant
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Oct 16, 12

Read in October, 2012

** spoiler alert ** On one hand, reading a story where the death toll is kind of baked right into the title made me not want to read this one, but having consumed in short order the rest of the series, I could not resist.

This story was especially interesting to me because I've been going to SD Comic-Con for twenty years (not I might add twenty times). I've seen the convention grow from a large convention to a humongous convention.

Now I was hoping the outbreak would happen during say the annual zombie lurch through the Gaslamp, but the author perhaps wisely decided to stage the meltdown during Preview night.

For those not familiar with this convention, there are about 130k attendees with another 40k or so artists/vendors/panelists etc. who attend this annual geekapolooza. And if I knew it was the last one, provided I didn't think I was going to die, I might try to cram one more SDCC in.

Preview night by comparison has a "limited" number of attendees. There are about 4500 or so attendees watching "previews" in Ballroom 20, which provided I was sitting near the doors in the back has pretty good access to the Marina area behind the convention center. The massive Dealer's room is also open, which absorbs the rest of the early attendees and the several thousand people doing setup. However, the non-stop programming hasn't really gotten underway.

This allowed the story to focus on events in the Dealer's Room without people like myself wondering what happened in the dozens of consecutive panels, or the people lucky enough to be in the 10k person line that stretches out into that Marina I mentioned. On one hand, higher death toll. On the other, more survivors just based on people jumping in boats. But I digress.

Actually, one more digression, if there is a zombie uprising in 2014, remember that when the Klingons/Jedi/Chibi-something are dying by the front doors that face out onto the crowded Gaslamp/Downtown SD, the entire back wall is filled with doors facing the Marina. Which given the crush during the event, is the best way to get around. Which if it sounds like a digression, well, that was my experience reading the story. I kept thinking, why don't they just do x. I mean, they'd still probably die, but there you go.

In any case, a very poignant story in the way of a lost way of life. Where people gather together in large groups and celebrate something they love.

The requisite number of people are introduced the better that we might have people to feel bad about as one by one the zombies rise. Hmm... somehow that puts a different spin on the Nolan:Batman quote, "Why do we fall. So we can get up again," as the undead.

Good story, but save something fluffy for immediately after for a pick you up. And maybe hum the theme song from Firefly.
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