News

Author Marie Brennan Demonstrates Karate In a Victorian Dress

Photo © Tor.com

Editor's Note:

Today’s roundup also contains updates from the desk of Ursula K. Le Guin, and a tip for building your own literary time capsules. Welcome to your Daily Blunt!

Filmmakers like Guy Ritchie would have us believe that period attire imposes no limitations on a woman’s ability to kick ass, but historians know otherwise. Author Marie Brennan (by way of Tor.com) has gone so far as to film herself performing a karate kata while encased in a Victorian dress. Hers even has a bit more room in the sleeves than anything a proper 19th century lady would have worn, and even so, Brennan cites this area as the most inhibiting — not the skirt or corset, as others might assume. Watch the video below, which must have been a humbling experience overall. Brennan’s review: “As a karateka, I’m not very pleased with my performance—but as a writer? It was a fascinating experience, one that left me with a lot of thoughts about fight scenes in fantasy novels.”

Speaking of badass heroines, Ursula K. Le Guin indulged The Times Literary Supplement in a round of 20 Questions, bringing her characteristically tart sense of humor to the session. In addition to revealing what changes she’d make to her existing works (she’s aggrieved that a detail about communal pickle barrels didn’t make it into The Dispossessed), Le Guin goes out of her way to inform us that she’s not actually ahead of her time, but perfectly situated in it, responding to the question If you could be a writer in any time and place, when and where would it be? with the following snappy rejoinder: “Here and now will do very nicely, thank you.”

Before everyone hastens to laud “Alien: Covenant” as the true revival of Ridley Scott’s “Alien” franchise, /Film wants to voice the unpopular opinion that “Prometheus” is actually one of the boldest science fiction movies in recent memory. Highlighting what it’s easy to love (and therefore, to overlook) about the 2012 blockbuster, the critic makes sure we look back at all the anachronistic flourishes that helped visually integrate “Prometheus” into the world that appeared so cutting-edge when Scott first brought it to the screen in 1979. Also, hard-hitting questions such as: “How is it possible that we have a $130 million summer blockbuster that ends with humanity desperately fighting against the genocidal urges of its gods? That suggests that there is no spark of divinity in humanity, only the misguided alchemy of a biological weapon?” It’s time to admit we failed to give this movie a fair shake the first time around.

Since hardly anyone owns property anymore, if Millennials want to try their hands at a time capsule, they’re going to have to attempt something like this plan laid out on Reddit, which suggests using an envelope as a bookmark and then using it to stash a letter to yourself upon reading the last page. Later, when you re-explore your personal library, you’ll be gifted with insights into the effect these works had on you, and how you’ve grown since then. (Just be sure to skim for these before you loan a book to someone, lest they learn a little more about you than they ever wanted to).