Or HUSSAR! as we say in this house.
Pausing first to wish Nik the happiest of happy birthdays on this, the 24th of December, 2010 - HAPPY BIRTHDAY, NIK! - let us proceed directly to the awesome sauce that is The Primary Clone’s Reasonably Difficult 12 Days of Christmas Quiz.
First, the rules. There are no rules! I laugh and throw small bits of rolled-up toilet paper at rules! Rules? Hah! Bother me not with rules!
Okay, here’s the way it works. It’s just for fun, see? Fun? Yeah? Remember that? They used to sell it by the ounce back in the nineteen seventies (ready-rubbed or shag). So this quiz is all about a bit of mind-probing fun. I’ll post the questions today, and the answers on New Year’s Day, so you can find out how clever you’ve been. BUT...there is a thirteenth question. Post your answers to that on the blog here during the course of this week (ie before midnight on the 31st of December, 2010), and I will choose three winners who will receive special prizes. Prizes! Prizes, I tell you!
Now, what that means is anyone can enter, as many times as they like, but if you sign in anonymously, I’ll never be able to identify you and send you that prize. So...when you post your answer, IDENTIFY yourself, and email the answer to the site with your name and address so I can get back to you if you’ve won.
That’s got all that out of the way. Let’s have some Christmas Inquisitorial fun! Warm yourself a nice Santa hat, put your Yule log in the upright position, pull up a mince pie and, if you’re sitting comfortably, I’ll begin.
On the First and Only day of Christmas, my true love sent to me... a Colonel-Commissar Gaunt. What was the name of the no-nonsense Major in the Hyrkan regiment who used to keep an avuncular eye on Gaunt when he was still Oktar’s cadet?
On the second day of Christmas, my true love sent to me... two Downlode sharks. 2000AD’s hitman gunsharks Sinister Dexter, of course, who are Finnigan Sinister and Ramone Dexter. But what are their middle names (hint: Ray has got two)?
On the third day of Christmas, my true love sent to me... three Ordo works. Looming on the creative horizon is the Bequin Trilogy, which will complete the cycle begun in Eisenhorn and Ravenor to form a trilogy of Inquisition trilogies (threes, geddit?). Anyway, what’s the name of Ravenor’s most famous work, and for an extra point, who’s favourite book is it?
On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me... four Mournivals. According to the Horus Heresy series, the “Mournival” of the Luna Wolves has had many different members over the years. Discounting the four that were serving during Horus Rising (Loken, Abaddon, Aximand and Torgaddon), name four previous members of the confraternity.
On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me... five War Of Kings! Well, Marvel Cosmic anyway. Springing out of the big War of Kings and Thanos Imperative events, we’ve just announced a new cosmic superteam, The Annihilators, made up of Quasar, the Silver Surfer, Ronan the Accuser, Beta Ray Bill and Gladiator. What are the alter-egos of all five members... and, therefore, which one doesn’t use a ‘stage name’?
On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me... six saucy swear words. Where do the following cuss-words come from (you may be geographically specific, or simply refer to the series or franchise): feth, funt, sprock, hjolda, gak, flark?
On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love sent to me... seven Doctors Who-ing. I have a particular soft spot for the Seventh Doctor, Sylvester McCoy, because he was the TARDIS resident when I was writing strips for Doctor Who Magazine. That early work lodged in the memories of good folk like Gary Russell fondly enough to get me an invite back to write audios and novels for Who and Torchwood in the noughties. My two Big Finish audios actually starred Sylvester and Sophie. But what was the name of the new assistant I introduced to the series in them?
On the eight day of Christmas, my true love sent to me... eight legs of badness. In Kingdom, for 2000AD, drawn by the fabulous Richard Elson, the big bad is Them, hyper-evolved insectoid horrors that have conquered the Earth. Who’s the hero standing in Them’s way, and what is he (and the others of his kind) named after?
On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me... nine
Heroes Hiring. Marvel’s Heroes For Hire has a huge guest list and rotating cast of classic Marvel “street level” characters. Heroes are brought in - “hired” - for missions specific to their skill sets. In the first four issues alone we’ll have Falcon, Black Widow, Paladin, Misty Knight, Electra, Moon Knight, Silver Sable, Ghost Rider and... well, who will the ninth be? Actually, that’s not the question, because that would just be a guess, really, wouldn’t it? So try this: who is Control, and who’s REALLY in control?
On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me... ten battle brothers. Ultramarines The Movie is out there now, in all its glorious shooty-death-kill-in-space wonder. So, Astartes, what’s the name of the mission team’s cynical apothecary? And, for the record, “Astartes” is pronounced Az-tar-tease. Not ‘arse-tarts’. I mean, come on.
On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love sent to me... eleven mangled lyrics. We like a mangled lyric in this house, we really do. From “Bring me an iron lung”, to “It’s all right, babies come in bags”, to “Don’t stand so colostomy”. But which Hussar-inspired jazzy Christmas lyric do we traditionally mangle in this household at this time of year (hint: Nik mentioned it on our Twitter feed this week).
On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me twelve Angry Robots, eleven mangled lyrics, ten battle brothers, nine Heroes Hiring, eight legs of badness, seven Doctors Who-ing, six saucy swear words, five War of Kings! Four Mournivals, three Ordo works, two Downlode sharks, and a Colonel-Commissar Gaunt! Those splendid, if slightly irate, mechanoids at Angry Robot published my novel “Triumff: Her Majesty’s Hero” this year, and I’ve recently finished my second book for them, the combat SF thriller “Embedded”. For a brand new publishing venture, AR have enjoyed considerable success. Which (excellent) book won them a well-deserved Ditmar award in September? And, while we’re at it, which two books split the 2010 Best Novel Hugo award?
And the crucial, prize-winning thirteenth question...
Complete the following sentence: “I wouldn’t say that Magister Anakwanar Sek, whose voice drowns out all others, was fat, but...”
There you have it. I hope it titivates your brain-cells for a short while over the Christmas break. If you’re not breaking for Christmas, for whatever reason (and I know that at least one reader is a policeman rostered on over the weekend, another is a doctor on-call, and at least half-a-dozen are serving in Iraq or Afganistan), be well and be safe. To everyone, wherever you are, a very Merry Christmas, and a peaceful and prosperous New Year.
Thanks for reading.