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About Varied / Professional Premium Member Rob-CaswellUnited States Groups :iconsci-fitech: Sci-FiTech
Designs of Tomorrow !
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Deviant for 7 Years
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I guess this is a second chapter to my earlier blog, “Are SF Writers Leading or Following?” I think the answer to that question is “both”. Since that earlier piece I’ve only seen more retreat – particularly with my middle-aged peers – from embracing new SF in favor of going back to the well-worn path of creative fruits from the late, mid, or early 20th century. The most obvious reason seems to be that the outlook from where we stand now is not particularly inviting, with global warming (or the exhausting effort to deny it), a reduction in ambitious visions of manned space  exploration (unless you’re Chinese), an increase in global obesity, the continued rise of religious extremism, the uncertainties of where the digital age is leading us, the empowerment of plutocracies in “the Free West” and the coming tests (and turmoil) over the validity of the capitalist model.

Given all that who can blame someone for looking “backwards” for a vision of the future. It’s not realistic… but it can be comforting. However now more than ever scifi has a role to play. The future before us is probably less predictable than the one we saw in the latter 20th century, but face it: while that “old future” seemed brighter, it didn’t turn out to be the path reality chose to walk.

So increasingly I see a division in SF fandom (and pros): those who accept the challenge of unblinkingly looking to the future from today’s vantage, and those turning their backs in favor of “comfort food fiction”. One is a pursuit of scifi’s mission. The other is an exercise in nostalgia (I think this includes all Star Trek’s manifestations, to date). The old stuff may still be entertaining, but it’s “off-mission”. Fresh SF has a shelf life.

I expect to see this audience divide (let me label it “progressive SF” vs. “conservative SF”, for lack of better terms, though the political associations are not relevant) grow even more obvious in the next few years, or at least become more clearly divided.

[disable cranky SF purist mode] OK. You’ve endured that, now a treat – ART!!!! GO!, my DA brothers and sisters!!! Feed your eyes and imaginations!

Max Rebo Band by Montygog Do your best impression of Batman by jadenwithwings Contact by Abiogenisis Super Dreadnought Axbet by Daemoria Snowgoose spaceplane 1 by Alex-Brady-TAD Lava Drones by JadrienC Gargoyle by KaranaK 2010 - The Year We Make Contact by Steve-T3D Arriving by martydesign
  • Mood: Apprehensive
  • Listening to: Various SOMA-FM feeds
  • Reading: "Up Against It" by M.J. Locke
  • Watching: Person of Interest


Rob-Caswell's Profile Picture

Artist | Professional | Varied
United States
I am a child of the Space Age and a largely self-taught artist.... but the best way to learn is by doing, and I've been at it since I could lift a pencil. Throw in a lifelong passion for astronomy, sci-fi, and scale modeling, and there you have it - the ingredients for Caswell Stew. Though my educational background is in hard science, my professional career has been a meandering path through many graphics/creative roles (illustrator, writer, editor, computer game design, photography, web design, etc, etc...). For the time being I've settled on "digital print maker".

I live in a beautiful corner of the US Northeast with my wife, two hamsters, and a constantly changing cast of wildlife in the yard. I have no super powers… that I can reveal.

What percentage of SF authors that you read REGULARLY are women? 

35 deviants said Less than 10%
24 deviants said 10-20%
18 deviants said None
11 deviants said 20%-50%
5 deviants said 50%-75%
3 deviants said More than 75%
No deviants said All!


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DigitalSaxon Featured By Owner 17 hours ago
Hey Rob,
I love your work ever since Mega-Trav. I've just been checking out your Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov work, and I'm must say they're great along with most of your gallery, and I just had to ask, if you're going to do any Star Ships, or anything from 2300AD?
beltminer Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2015
Hey man!
Thanks for the fav, always nice to get one from one of my teachers.
That guy below there says something about Clarke's Tsien. Is that in the pipeline?
I'd really like to see you guys give that one the Leonov treatment.
Anyway, thanks again, my friend.
Rob-Caswell Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Professional General Artist
I'd like to do the Tsien sometime, but I can't say it's on a front burner, at the moment.
GwynConaway Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2015  Professional
Thanks for faving!
garryts Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hey Rob, thank for the likes and the Watch - very kind of you!

Assume that it also means you survived snowmaggedon (relatively) unscathed! ;-)
Rob-Caswell Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2015  Professional General Artist
Oh yeah.... no real problems.... aside from a now leaking roof from snow melt! :p
garryts Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm amazed you got away that lightly - from the pictures I saw, you guys had a ton of the stuff fall on you!

Oh to be 12 years of age again, eh? When those issues were for someone else to deal with - you were just able to go out and enjoy the snow!
Rob-Caswell Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2015  Professional General Artist
The Eastern part of the state got it MUCH worse than we did. We got about 1/2 the snowfall that Boston did.
pinkythepink Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2015  Professional Artisan Crafter
Your signature quote is fantastic. :)
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