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About Varied / Professional Premium Member RobCaswellUnited States Groups :iconsci-fitech: Sci-FiTech
Designs of Tomorrow !
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Deviant for 8 Years
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While I haven’t yet seen it yet, the theme’s in Brad Bird’s “Tomorrowland” movie have a certain tangency with my own recent thoughts and observations on science fiction and futurism. Many – particularly in my own generation – seem to pine for the future we were promised in the 60’s and 70’s. The reading (and re-reading) choices of many of my peers seem to reflect that by turning our imaginations back to the future possibilities painted when looking ahead from the mid-20th century.

Coupled with that trend of looking backwards for our future, I hear again and again that optimism is harder to find when looking forward from today and/or that today’s scifi writers are wallowing in dystopian futures. And I can’t disagree with either of those observations. But the question that now plagues me is “why”?

The human capacity for hope is great, as is our ability to make lemonade from lemons. So what’s impeding that? Our problems today are great, but they’re not insurmountable. What stands in the way of our ability to see beyond our current challenges? My own answer to that is the lessening power of the public will in the face of moneyed an corporate interests. The unregulated free market is consolidating the power to steer our species’ direction towards their increased profits and power, not to interests that serve the greater public - that is OUR dreams and desires.

In short, the average citizen feels increasingly powerless to affect change and realize their larger dreams for the future. So when we look forward, we tend to see this trend grow. At least that’s my own working theory. What’s yours? What’s getting in the way of looking ahead with optimistic eyes? And how do we get past it?


So while we’re on the subject of inspiration, dig some of the great, recentish (OK… and some golden oldies) works around DA!

 USS Discovery  XR-d1 NASA by bagera3005 Prepare For Arrival by overseer Strike Force by rOEN911 February 2105 by DarrenMyners Dodge 110 Custom Truck by GaryCampesiOrion III at Sunrise by WarrenZoell Prometheus Base by SMPritchard Return of the Argonauts by Drell-7 A Mother's Embrace by Ebonenee The wasteland starlift by thefirstfleet Interstellar Wormhole by ErikShoemaker Territorial Dispute by KatePfeilschiefter

Mature Content

Lali's little afterparty by erogenesis-art
 Nomad Desert Blimp by TK769 The Galactic Nomads by Fredy3D  NASA Shuttle Concept Advanced Next Generation by GeneralTate  Bathing with blossoms by gestiefeltekatze B5 Kudu Twins by CrazyAsian1 Seaplane by Lipatov  A Day At The Beach (revised) by Paul-Lloyd Spring Day is Coming by SharksDen H. P. LOVECRAFT - 125th Anniversary Exhibition by RUIZBURGOS 007 Skyfall by MarkRaats 
  • Mood: Optimism
  • Listening to: Various SOMA-FM feeds
  • Reading: "Apex" by Ramez Naam
  • Watching: Mad Max: Fury Road!


RobCaswell'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.

Putting on your realist hat, when do you thing mankind will first set foot on Mars? 

62 deviants said 2030's
60 deviants said After 2050
46 deviants said 2040's
23 deviants said 2020's
16 deviants said Never
15 deviants said After 2100


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erogenesis-art Featured By Owner 2 days ago  Professional Digital Artist
Caswell dude, check this out:
dana-redde Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Happy Pluto Flyby Day!! SPACE IS AWESOME!!
trafalgarsquare Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2015
Hi!  It recently occurred to me to do a search for "traveler rpg" and there you were!  Not surprisingly, I discovered you through Traveller...I don't remember if it was in the Starter Traveller boxed set or a few years later when I subscribed to Challenge.

Still, I damn well remember your illustrations in the magazine and in the MegaTraveller sourcebooks.  When I realized you're on DeviantArt an atrophied part of my soul tried to do a cartwheel.  I think it's time to give it some exercise.

Thank you for the art!
TetsuyaKenshi Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2015  Student General Artist
thx for the fav :D
nobody-kadaj Featured By Owner Edited Jul 4, 2015
I have a question: Did you give permission for someone else to upload your work? Because I found this ( in someone else's gallery.
ahmedhse Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You have cool stuff, Keep it up Wink/Razz 
dana-redde Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Can't help but brag a bit since you're one of the only people I know who will appreciate it: this weekend I managed to attend book signings for both Neal Stephenson AND Paolo Bacigalupi :D Both really cool guys, although poor Neal was too sick to do a reading.

Have you had a chance to pick up either of their new books yet? I'm halfway through Seveneves and really enjoying it. Between those books and Nemesis Games this has been an excellent few weeks of sci fi.
RobCaswell Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2015  Professional General Artist
I'd heard (via io9) that Bacigalupi was in town, but I didn't know about Stephenson. Cool! I'm glad you got to see them (and a tiny bit jealous ;) ). Right now I'm reading "Corsair" - the new book by my friend Jim Cambius. Set in 2030 it's about ROV-enabled space piracy of robotic Helium 3 cargo ships. The new S.A. Corey just loaded onto my Kindle last night, so that's next... followed by "The Water Knife" and "Seveneves", neither of which I've bought yet but both were already part of acquisition plan.

I just finished Greg Egan's "Luminous" collection. It's stories written around '93-'95 that are set mostly in the first two decades of the 21st century. So it's been fun to see what he got right... and wrong. He predicted things like the death of photographic film, but he put its demise in the 2015-2020 range. He also predicted cheap, consumer-level genetic testing for ethnicity.... but he missed the mark when predicting it'd cause a kind of religious revolution.

Anyway... yeah, some great reads out now! Yummy mind candy!!!! :squee:
Ptrope Featured By Owner May 12, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I sure am gonna miss those days when you would walk into a bar and say, "Hey, my middle name is Hyphen ..."
RobCaswell Featured By Owner May 12, 2015  Professional General Artist
Time marches on.

Well... actually it kind of Silly Walks on.
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