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The Last Stand of the California Browncoats (weekly shorts)

Sunday Weekly Shorts – No. 18

The Last Stand of the California Browncoats (weekly shorts)If you are wondering what happened to Sunday Shorts, the basic consensus was people wanted to not be limited to one day of the week. That and I wanted it to be more of a feature anyone can do. I added the updated info below on what it all means. Pretty basic, nothing complicated at all; short stories, anthologies or novellas you found at Amazon, B&N, someone’s a website or one from your shelf. The idea is to share something you can read over an afternoon or evening.

Short Stories are an under-appreciated genre but with the advent of ebooks it is allowing for authors to share single stories instead of being dependent on acceptance to anthologies. It is also a great way to get a taste of the flavor of an author. This definitely happened to me today and boy was I in for a surprise!

The Last Stand of the California Browncoats (weekly shorts)

When Kim the Caffeinated Book Reviewer posted her review on this book she had me at Browncoats, if you are are here for the same reason, read on. If you are here because of Weekly Shorts, read on, if you are here because you like zombies grab your cricket bat and read on, not that it will do much good.

The Last Stand of the California Browncoats (weekly shorts)


San Diego 2014: The Last Stand of the California Browncoats (Newsflesh Trilogy 0.6)

San Diego 2014: The Last Stand of the California Browncoats (Newsflesh Trilogy 0.6)

  • length 120 pages
  • Series: Newsflesh Trilogy (bonus novella)
  • Genre: Adult Post-Apocalyptic /Zombie
  • Purchase*: Barnes and Noble/Amazon

The Last Stand of the California Browncoats (weekly shorts)

It was the summer of 2014, and the true horrors of the Rising were only just beginning to reveal themselves. Fans from all over the world gathered in San Diego, California for the annual comic book and media convention, planning to forget about the troubling rumors of new diseases and walking dead by immersing themselves in a familiar environment. Over the course of five grueling days and nights, it became clear that the news was very close to home…and that most of the people who picked up their badges would never make it out alive.


The Last Stand of the California Browncoats (weekly shorts)The only difference between a Comic-Con and a siege is whether or not they’re actually trying to kill you. And sometimes these ones try to kill you anyway, just to keep things interesting.

The author, Mira Grant had me first at Comic-Con and second at Browncoats**. The fact it as a zombie story had me clicking buy before you could moanbraaaaaaaaainnnnsss“. I cannot think of a more perfect setting for the zombie outbreak. Just who are the real risen and who are in makeup? I giggled purely with the thought of how I would deal with that “little” problem. It is one of those book discoveries you end up doing “facepalm” after recovering from your “OMG” face and then asking yourself how in the world you missed it! The perfect Weekly Shorts entry at $2.99, sitting at 120 pages an, what I believe to be the perfect length for a novella (approx 30K). 

A viral-based zombie story (Kellis-Amberlee),  is told in the form of flash-backs and memories being compiled by Journalist Mahir Gowda 30 years after the “Rising”. He has the task of obtaining an interview with a the only known survivor of the 2014 Comic-Con “event”, from a very reluctant CPT Lorelei Tutt  USCG. Due to the wi-fi being turned back on the people who ended up trapped inside the San Diego Convention Center, the stories of the hero’s, the fallen and the general chaos were uploaded and preserved in digital format. This novella reads as a window to the past, or at least the column of blood and hunger.. despair and sacrifice making up this tale. It tells the stories of the first hero’s of the zombie apocalypse.

Ms. Grant introduced and developed definitive characters we immediately fall in love with. The challenge with the novella is to do this in a very focused presentation. It is a challenge that many film writers have when trying to take a novel and make it into a 2 hour film. What will need to be cut, or at least in this instance, what details can be left out or glossed over but still have a new reader to the series, like me, “get” the story and be sucked in. There were references and “whispers” to the news that was all over the wire and blogosphere about a zombie outbreak, and that was all I needed to know this was part of a bigger plot. 

Referencing so many sci-fi pop-culture tales, as well as one made up one (which honestly I wish would be made into a real TV Show) it made the fan-girl in me giggle and smile, even though I knew having Browncoats in the title, it was bound to be tragic in the end, especially when we know that Lorelei was the only known survivor. I cannot shout loud enough about this novella. It was out of this world fantastic, festive and phenomenally fun!

I would recommend this for not only those fans of zombie reads, but of anyone who likes a tragic adventure to boot! Grab a hold of a cricket bat, 2×4 or weapon of choice and dive in! I am giving this a bio-hazard rating of: 

☣ ☣ ☣ ☣☣


** There are two kinds of Browncoats: Those within the fictional story of Firefly & those outside the story. These would are the latter. Browncoats reference those that wear the uniform and still follow the politics on the side of the Independents. Still refusing to joint he Alliance. It is part of the story arc for the Sci-Fi cult show,  Firefly

I found out after I read the novella it was part of the Newsflesh Series (FeedDeadlineBlackout and an earlier prequel novella, Countdown, ). How I missed the trilogy I have no clue. I am spending my whole month’s budget at Amazon to grab these books  and I am sure I will not be disappointed. I believe that Kim said “…did you read all of the Newsflesh trilogy? Cause if you didn’t I might have to shoot you! ” It is not, however, my first exposure to the writer. I am a huge fan of the authors October Daye series which she pens under the name of Seanan McGuire.

The Last Stand of the California Browncoats (weekly shorts)This is an Orbit Short Fiction publication. To find out more about this great new venture from Orbit click on their icon. You can keep up with the latest shorts being presented by signing up for their newsletter or liking their page on Facebook.

Weekly Shorts is the revised feature for Sunday Shorts. The idea is pretty basic share a short story, an anthology of short stories, a novella, or a quick weekend read that is also short on your wallet!


  • CHOOSE your own selection of: a short story, an anthology of short stories, a novella, or a quick weekend read that is also short on your wallet! (from Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, free download, a blog post to a short story, etc generally under $3)
  • You do not need to review it, you can say “OOOH LOOK this is awesome sounding!” It is an unsolicited share and potentially a great way to find new blogs to follow. So make sure you comment and share your choices and if you post make sure you share your link!
  • Tweet it with the #weeklyshorts hash tag! 

Please join us at our Goodreads Group and see whats on our shelf! Add a comment with a link to your find of the week so we all can go and see!  If you choose to share your own short story or flash fiction please link and include the info of this feature so folks can find out how to share in the fun!  If you are not writing a Weekly Short Post but happen upon one while perusing the freebies, short stories etc, add it here, and add a comment on one of the participating blogs. Author sites are great to find short stories to read BTW. It is an under-appreciated genre.  If you do not have a blog, you can leave it in the comment section, add it to the group list, share it with your friends on Twitter using #weeklyshorts when you share! Remember to have fun! Any questions feel free to contact me!

The Last Stand of the California Browncoats (weekly shorts)

The Last Stand of the California Browncoats (weekly shorts)

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  1. thanks for the shout out cupcake..and so thrilled you enjoyed San Diego 2014 as much as I did! {{hugs}}}
    Show me some love!

  2. Hiya! Great review! I just wanted to point out two errors I see in the review that I’m not sure you’d want to fix, but I figure it’s worth a mention (especially since this is seriously my favorite zombie series of all time):

    You called Mahir Gowda a “she.” Mahir is definitely male, and he’s one of the more important characters in the main trilogy.

    The main trilogy is called the Newsflesh trilogy, not Newstribe. This might confuse some folks who’re new to the trilogy, so I thought I’d toss that out there. 🙂

    • HAH thanks Jessica! I have not read the others and I think I had just finished approving stuff over on Triberr! *faceplant* OK all fixed!

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