Hello again, everyone, and welcome back to Meet Mr Inquisitor, the h2g2 interview feature that sometimes even makes its deadlines. Joining us in the smart Inquisitorial chair-cum-commode this week is Vercingetorix, a fellow who's keenly active, both in various social aspects of h2g2 and also as a publicist for his ongoing Post serial The 168th Greatest Story in the Universe - A Tribute. I thought I would cut to the chase and ask about that first?
Verc, I suspect you'd like to plug your story while you're here, so tell us a bit about it...
Well what can I say... probably quite a lot, which could be the problem, but
here goes nothing...
Well, the story revolves around a fairly average guy called Terry Horowitz. He quickly finds himself being dragged out of his normal existence and falls through the Earth towards a rather unconventional activity room. In this room there are groups of people waiting to qualify to hear a story - the 168th greatest story in the Universe. It is the 168th greatest story by virtue of its position in a Universe-wide ranking system. As it transpires, the people, called Scavengers, who have gained the rights to the book from an ancient trader, have tried to lure Terry there for some unknown reason.
By a stroke of good fortune, whilst looking for the toilet, he ends up going through a portal which takes him to a pub. In the pub the only people who can see him are Revo Recma (a large beer-bellied red eyed alien) and a guy from the 1950s called Turk (presumably his nickname) - oh and there is a guy in the pub car park who can hear him, but he just thinks he's gone mad.
Anyway Turk and Recma lead Terry to their base (called the Callack organisation), which is invaded, shortly after Terry Horowitz finds out that their leader is called Emily Horowitz, and apparently knows him even though she is a complete stranger to Terry.
Anyway, the invaders are called the Blieg (who have spherical bodies, four arms with powerful jaws as hands, pimples for eyes and a collective hive intelligence), and this has been pre-arranged by a man called Norman, in order for him to get the bounty for the
members of the base, and to capture Terry Horowitz for his employers, the Scavengers.
Terry and his new companions have ended up in a 7th century forest after escaping the Blieg. But Norman is waiting with a group of people who have it in for the Callack Organisation, and Terry has just been warned about this by a strange bald, pale faced, robed stranger, who disappears as soon as he appears. Unfortunately for Terry he bumps into a few locals, and is hence captured by one of the gathered spacecraft.
And that is pretty much up to date so far (unless this is released later on).
(Er? suffice to say that due to Verc going on holiday for a fortnight in the middle of the interview, we are now some way 'later on'. But anyway?)
I think you'll find the closing parts to the story of interest, which will unravel a number of the mysteries of the story.
And I don't want to say too much at this stage, but I've also got some plans for a sequel in the not too distant future (as long as Shazz agrees to it). So keep your eyes peeled for future adventures of Terry Horowitz in the Post!
Oh, what, is it me again? Sorry. I'd just like to add that Verc's story is also outstandingly well-edited. Onto weightier matters now. Verc, what kind of an impact has the dissolution of S Club 7 had on your life? (For the benefit of readers from outside the UK, the aforementioned group were a multimedia art collective of great social influence.)
Yes I agree that whoever does the editing is a jolly good chap.
Erm... tricky, I guess I'd have to say at this moment in time very little. Though I guess over the course of time it may have a huge effect on me. I mean I have felt obliged to at least listen to the last song for posterity's sake. Who knows what effect that will have on my life, eh? What paths have I now been led down because of their split? I mean all because they split I could either turn left for some reason instead of right, and bump into a beautiful young woman, get married, and live happily ever after. Or perhaps because of what they did, I will end up going through a succession of disasters.
Maybe their split will mean that I don't get run over by that car, or get arrested for a crime I didn't commit, or maybe what they did might just push my thought processes into picking the right numbers for the National Lottery and win a few million.
Who knows what could come of their split? Ask me again in ten years (assuming what they've done hasn't killed me by then).
I always liked Jo best. A quick visit to Google informs me that you share your name with a chieftain of the Gallic tribe the Arverni, who led a revolt against Julius Caesar in 52BC and was initially successful, but was eventually captured and executed six years later; and also with a contestant in Robot Wars. Do you feel a great sense of personal kinship with either of these individuals?
Well I have Celtic roots via my Irish connections, and people tell me I look kind of Gallic, so in some respects I feel a kinship with that man. I find Celtic history very interesting.
As far as the Robot Wars connection goes, I have actually had a great deal of interest in the series since it started, and was very close to designing a robot for the second series. But I guess in the end it was too much trouble. Although, I can't actually remember there being a robot called Vercingetorix, so that's a new one on me.
Well, I may be wrong about that, but no doubt someone will correct me if I am. Your kinship with the other Vercingetorix seems to have extended to you actually raising your own army of other h2g2 members. Have you anything to say about this frankly alarming behaviour, young man?
Oh... erm you've seen the Terranic Army then?
Well yes I suppose it is kind of disturbing isn't it? That said it is fairly harmless, though I'm not longer in control - spook is. I mean the army motto is to prevent cruelty to SEP's (someone else's problem) and to protect the right to believe the unbelieveable, so you can't say that we're exactly serious. But we're very serious about that.
I would recommend anyone join it. I started it about 6 days after I joined (well that's my excuse anyway), when I was the only person listed as a member, and at last count there were 60+ members, which is quite a leap - even if I do say so myself.
I decided a few months ago to allow someone new to take the reins. I felt to a certain degree that I had been TerranicArm-ied out, and that with my other commitments (RL, 168 - Tribute, being an ACE, the UnderGuide etc.), that I couldn't improve it more than I had, and that it was in danger of listing out of control. So I think spook is the best person to continue improving it. I developed the Regiments, the army itself and the ranking system (although spook, Rimmer and myself worked equally on the ranking and regiment symbols), and I now run the retirement home (for those who are no longer active members of h2g2, though I quite clearly still am) - so I feel I've done my part.
I hope to see it continue to grow and develop, with its new leader(s?) long into the
I also have created community pages for the Everton FC Fan Club and the No-
Things (a group of members dedicated to the liberation of the word Thursday from
the evils of Thing). Though I'm not sure how popular that last one will be?
Whatever will Thing's Aunt Petunia say? (A big 'hi there' to the three people who got that joke.) You mentioned the UnderGuide. Would you like to say a bit about that for anyone unfamiliar with it?
Well to put it simply the UnderGuide is designed to pick up those excellent
entries that, for one reason or another, have fallen through the cracks of the
Edited Guide. The main rule is that it has to be your own original work. There are many things which can be put into the UnderGuide, fiction is my personal favourite, but there are many other things such as real personal stories, or poetry, or whatever. But it still has to be at reasonably good to get in.
There are probably people who are better qualified to tell you about it to be honest
(i.e. GTBacchus and Jodan - the UnderGuide Editors). I am but a lowly Miner. But I
am a founding Miner, which I am very proud of.
So finally, then, what would you say was the most important thing h2g2 has taught you?
Probably time management. Well it has at least made me more aware that I need to manage my time better.
To give a considered reply to every conversation that you are involved in takes time. So unfortunately not every reply is as considered as I would like.
And of course writing an article for the Post, which has to meet the deadline, forces you to make time for things.
I have also recently quit two positions - Head of the Terranic Army (as already stated), and being an ACE - because I no longer feel I have time to give them the respect they deserve.
Also the pressures of being involved in Peer Review, has taught me that you can't fit square pegs in round holes. If the editors don't want it, they won't take it - and even if they do you might not like the outcome. That's kind of why I got involved in the UnderGuide, so that I could perhaps influence its development. But even then, you won't always get your own way.
But it doesn't hurt to try?
Well, there you have it: Vercingetorix, he's a writer, he's a miner, he's a lover and he's a singer, he plays his music in the sun? hang on, I'm getting him mixed up with the bloke in that song by the Steve Miller Band. Heigh ho.
If you would like to volunteer for the same kind of questioning, I recommend you seek professional help. Or, if that doesn't work, drop Shazz the Ed an email letting her know. On the other hand, if there's someone else you'd particularly like to see interviewed, nominate them at the bottom of the page and I'll pop round and put the frighteners on them. Until next time, I've been Mr. Inquisitor. Ta-ta!