Mark Reads ‘San Diego 2014’: Part II

In the second part of San Diego 2014, the true nature of the outbreak at the 2014 Comic-Con is revealed. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read San Diego 2014.

Part II: The Siege Begins

Well, this is fucked up.

  • “We are incapable of imagining a return to a world where we could abandon all care and spend a week living in a fantasy. But that’s exactly where these people died.” WELL, JESUS GODDAMN CHRIST, THAT IS SUCH A BRUTAL SENTENCE. Oh my god.
  • You know, that’s really something I didn’t pick up on in Newsflesh that Mira Grant did include. Well, it was an inclusion in her worldbuilding that worked solely because it was technically omitted. People didn’t read or watch anything fantastical in the future. The only element of this present in that timeline belonged to the Fictionals, and even that didn’t ever seem close to the same thing.
  • Gosh, I love world building.
  • I mean, look at Mahir’s article! (I’m taking that post of his titled San Diego 2014 as confirmation that I’m reading Mahir’s actual piece.) It’s worldbuilding within worldbuilding. She’s giving us the reality of fandom within a zombie apocalypse. IT IS PERFECTLY META FOR MY TASTES.
  • In that sense, I’m not surprised at all that the Browncoats are the most organized of all the fandoms at Comic-Con. (Though I’m willing to take suggestions in the comments about which fandom might be more prepared for an apocalypse scenario.) Their call-and-response movements, their attempts to find a way out, their dedication to getting information out… they’re quite crafty, aren’t they?
  • Which isn’t to ignore the fact that Mira Grant deliberately hangs the cloud of dread above this whole novella. We know from Lorelei that this is a massacre, so I read this with basically no hope in mind. It dulls the pain.
  • Oh god, does that make me a cynical reader? Probably not, since I generally approach things with a lot of joy and optimism, but in this context, I am really expecting every character to die. IT MAKES LIFE LIVABLE AGAIN.
  • One of my favorite horror tropes is the use of noise and silence to build atmosphere. It’s why I find No Country for Old Men to be an utterly terrifying film. It’s why The Wages of Fear is so amazing. It is one of my very favorite things. Mira Grant does something fascinating to me here: She punctuates silence in the San Diego Convention Center with bursts of screaming, and it’s beautifully effective. I know how loud that convention gets, and it unsettles me to think of that place dropping into silence.
  • Y’all, I was wrong about Kelly!!! I honestly thought she was dead, so I was completely taken aback by another POV section of hers.
  • And then I was shocked by the image of a Rainbow Dash cosplayer being eaten by a zombie.
  • Because… holy shit, it’s too weird to think about! However, that’s why this is so fun to read. It’s kind of like a violent love letter to Comic-Con? Because if I was written into a book as a cosplayer being eaten by a zombie, I think I’d be flattered.
  • Or if I was written as an actress meeting two of her fans who are actually respectful people, that would be awesome, too. I find Elle’s segments to be super entertaining, which then worries me because she’s gonna die, right? So is Patty, and so is Matthew. DON’T GET ATTACHED, MARK. DON’T GET ATTACHED.
  • Which is why I’m okay getting kind of attached to Lorelei. This is going to be heartbreaking to read regardless, though, because we know Lorelei outlives the people she cares for. Because of her behavior towards her parents, she gets out of the convention hall, and it’s one of the main reasons she survives. Jesus, she must be dealing with some unreal guilt. I wouldn’t be surprised to see that show up later in the novella, especially given how tragic her conversation with Shawn is. Of course, at the time, she wouldn’t know the extent of what was happening at Comic-Con. Shit, is she going to speak to her parents again before they die?
  • (Seriously, everyone’s going to die, right?)
  • Is it weird that every time Dwight is around, I pictured him as Dwight Schrute? He’s so handy!
  • Well, initially. Whoops.
  • GODDAMN IT, MIRA GRANT. DID YOU INTRODUCE A BLIND WOMAN AND HER GUIDE DOG AS CHARACTERS LOCKED IN THE CONTROL ROOM? NOPE, I CANNOT DEAL WITH THESE CHARACTERS . Oh my god, you did this Thing and it’s going to hurt me, isn’t it?
  • Considering that Rebecca and Dwight meet a very violent end, I’m going to assume that is the case. I’m impressed that Grant is able to pull out these moments of subtle heroism from the story, though, and explain why such things matter. As Rebecca and Dwight realize that the zombies came into Comic-Con, rather than originating from inside, it’s a realization that comes too late for them. (I will admit that it’s possible I’m reading this wrong. The part where Dwight asks if they “managed to lock them all inside” could imply that some just got out into the garage, but I think it instead suggests how Kellis-Amberlee got indoors.) In a moment of clarity, Rebecca locks herself outside with the zombies. It’s not lost on me that she shares a name with another character who sacrificed herself to save others.
  • Becks. 🙁

 

Mark Links Stuff

The Mark Does Stuff Summer Tour is happening soon! Check out the posted dates, suggest new ones, help bring me to YOUR TOWN.
– I have been nominated for a Hugo in the Fan Writer category! If you’d like more information or to direct friends/family to vote for me, I have a very informational post about what I do that you can pass along and link folks to!
– Mark Reads Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is now published and available for purchase! It’s available in ebook AND physical book format, and you can also get a discount for buying the ENTIRE SET of digital books: $25 for 7 BOOKS!!!
– Video commissions are open, and you can commission a Mark Reads/Watches video for just $25!

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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