Review: "The Last Turanga III: Having Faith"

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Gulliver63
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Review: "The Last Turanga III: Having Faith"

Postby Gulliver63 » Thu Dec 13, 2012 4:17 pm

Here is the third and the concluding story of the Last Turanga series, an alternate Futurama series placed nearly two decades ahead of the show where Leela has found her cyclops homeworld. In this story Leela finally finds an end to the war inside of herself while on a spiritual journey on her home planet, but then ends up in the middle of a war that pits the Desoxo corporate machine against the standing galactic government. As Fry tries to achieve his coveted freighter captain's rating, Bender and Amy's daughter have declared a war of practical jokes against each other. And in this tale we see a return of bureaucrat Morgan Proctor, but we find out that she might not be the "dragon woman" that we thought she was. We also get introduced to a corporate admin by the name of Jennifer Yoshida, who is forced to make a terrible choice. In typical style, I enjoy throwing a few chuckles into an otherwise serious story. Thanks again for enjoying this series.
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"I always remember an epitaph which is in the cemetery at Tombstone, Arizona. It says: 'Here lies Jack Williams. He done his damnedest.' I think that is the greatest epitaph a man can have - When he gives everything that is in him to do the job he has before him. That is all you can ask of him and that is what I have tried to do."
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Re: Review: "The Last Turanga III: Having Faith"

Postby Just Chris » Sat Dec 15, 2012 10:16 pm

Typoes: "along hull" needs a "the"; "tv" should be in caps; "Ensure that there are no other civilians are nearby"; "than what’s left" should be "then"; the first time you mention the ship L'Image, the "I" isn't capitalised.

Also, something that confused me: several characters referred to Leela as "Miss". I thought she and Fry were married in this timeline.

I think I like this part best of your "The Last Turanga" saga. To start with, this is a well-written story. The occasional sentence uses a couple of words too many, but that's all the complaints I have. (I feel I need to say this since I tend to find your writing a bit dry and dialogue-heavy.) There's some very good dialogue, too, especially from Colton and Morgan. A couple of scenes could have done with more description, but they're in a minority.

Pretty much everyone seems to be in character. I'm particularly happy with Fry: you gave him a chance to shine and be competent, while keeping him perfectly in character. He felt very credible as an older and more mature Fry. Bender is great as well, as are the less central characters in the story, such as Hermes. Leela is a lot more in character here than in Part II, which I know I complained about a little. I'm especially happy that you've toned down her slight Mary-Suishness from the previous two parts: she's not getting a free pass on dickish actions, and people are generally kowtowing a lot less to her. She's still very central to the story, but it doesn't feel overdone.

I also like what you did with Morgan in this story. You've given her a bit more depth than on the show, and it all gels with her character. Hacking seems like her kind of thing.

Spoiler


As for original characters, Jennifer is an interesting and well-written character. Colton Winchester is a pretty nicely-drawn antagonist (with a great name!). Even Benny, while minor, gets nicely fleshed-out.

The plot works well. My one complaint is that it felt a bit oddly-paced to me: the conflict set up on the first page looks massive, but then it plays out on a very much smaller level. I do like the fact that
Spoiler
though. Anyway, this isn't necessarily a bad thing, just my personal taste. The way the conflict is resolved at the end is good, and the mini-subplot about Bender and Annie is cute without being saccharine.

I don't have a lot of complaints about this story. Like I said, it feels a bit odd in scope, but that's not a problem. However, some bits of it didn't really grab me, and the climax with the bomb didn't quite work for me. I do like that
Spoiler


However,
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I do like Morgan's message to the Desoxo Corporation. Very dramatic.

One thing I don't get:

Spoiler


All in all, well-written and with good characterisation, but some parts of the plot didn't grab me, and the most dramatic moment felt a bit too melodramatic. Still, good. My rating: B+
Last edited by Just Chris on Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Review: "The Last Turanga III: Having Faith"

Postby Gulliver63 » Sun Dec 16, 2012 4:56 am

Thanks! I wrote this nearly two years ago, and did a bunch of re-writing in recent weeks. I toned down much of Leela's violent nature, and tried to show her as a person that has evolved. Good point about the Mary Sue issue...she isn't going to be universally loved and accepted, no more than if I would if I were to suddenly become head of an Irish clan...I'm sure some folks would resent a Yank just waltzing in and becoming a chieftan.
Loads of homages in here...the shirt deal with Fry happens when a pilot solos, at least here in America. "Si chou gau" was taught to me by that Chinese teacher, and really does mean "dirty, smelly dog " - she used to see me in the high school halls and yell, "Si chou gau, si chou gau" and laugh. She was really fascinated that I wrote about a Chinese character like Annie.
The concept of the grotto came from the stone grotto just off of the Notre Dame campus, that you walk down into...I said a rosary there once years ago http://nd.edu/~wcawley/corson/corson1.htm . The Dorsinians were a race that I created for a GURPS Space game in the mid 1990's. Benny is actually based on the big lug sumo guy that tried to kill Bond in "You Only Live Twice," and the name of the Ning Po comes from the same movie. And, as I had an aunt from Finland, it was really fun having a Finnish character. Colton was a fun character as well, the idea of someone who glorified the slaughter of the Native Americans...I grew up in Phoenix very close to reservation land, and we knew the hardships they went through (by the way, I was also amused to find out that Colton's hero Custer was an Ohio native like myself...I didn't know this).
From here I move on to bigger and better things. I've got a concept of a science fiction yarn for a younger audience, and I'm anxious to start a treatment for that and see how it goes. But I really liked this Leela of House Turanga, the last of the old palace guardians, and daughter of Hurkon and Filga, with her two hearts and her oval eyeball.
"I always remember an epitaph which is in the cemetery at Tombstone, Arizona. It says: 'Here lies Jack Williams. He done his damnedest.' I think that is the greatest epitaph a man can have - When he gives everything that is in him to do the job he has before him. That is all you can ask of him and that is what I have tried to do."
Harry S Truman

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Re: Review: "The Last Turanga III: Having Faith"

Postby Gulliver63 » Thu Dec 27, 2012 11:02 pm

Chris, you've said that you really liked my antagonist Colton Winchester...I had an actor in mind when I created him; if I were to make my story into a movie, Colm Feore would get the first phone call... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYJAk8WwWmQ . Just picture him in a dress shirt and tie, doing more of his Lord Marshall type acting.
"I always remember an epitaph which is in the cemetery at Tombstone, Arizona. It says: 'Here lies Jack Williams. He done his damnedest.' I think that is the greatest epitaph a man can have - When he gives everything that is in him to do the job he has before him. That is all you can ask of him and that is what I have tried to do."
Harry S Truman


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