There is a nice article at BBC News today about the relationship between spaceship art and spaceship design.
There is even a quote at the end of the article by my favorite professor from college, Eric S. Rabkin.
But space is a particularly romanticized part of our vision of exploration, says Dr. Eric Rabkin, a professor of English at the University of Michigan who specializes in science fiction.
“It’s because of the unknown,” he says. “Trains must go where tracks have previously been laid down and planes have to fly where they can ultimately land.”
“Ships are inherently romantic because they can go where no one has before. Ships are associated with freedom and conquest,” says Rabkin.
Rabkin has been teaching courses in science fiction and fantasy for decades at the University of Michigan. And he’s bloody brilliant. I once wrote a screenplay adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein under his guidance. One of the best college experiences I had.
If you are a student at the University of Michigan, I highly recommend his courses. If not, you can catch his lectures at Great Courses.