what can symbiotic relationships portrayed in science fiction tell us about the way we perceive real-life relationships?  

Symbiosis is a very interesting thing in nature, two or more parties benefiting from one another in some way, shape, or form. Although a lot of these relationships can vary from being equal to completely one sided. This type of phenomena not only apply to organic creatures like plants and animals, but it can also apply to more abstract ones like machines and humans. Science fiction has offered a lens into how we live, explore, and discover things about the universe while also commenting on today and tomorrow. So, what happens when we look at these Symbiotic relationships through the realm of science fiction? From parasites feeding off of host, to people becoming cyborgs symbiosis put in perspective how we react, learn, or influence one another.

For this project (proposal), I will be talking about different types of symbiosis and looking through various sources across the medium of science fiction. By the end I will draw the connection between these examples and show how symbiosis can change the way we perceive life.


“Examples Of Symbiosis: Types Of Relationships In Nature”. Examples.Yourdictionary.Com, 2020, https://examples.yourdictionary.com/examples-of-symbiosis.html.

There are myriad of symbiotic relationships that go beyond just one side benefiting more than the other there are about five different types in total. There’s mutualism where both parties benefit from each other, think your basic you clean me I feed relationship. Commensalism where it’s more for one sided relationship or neutral between one party and the symbiote. Parasitism is your classic one species requires a host to live off of where all too familiar with. But then there are also things like competition symbiosis, where even though they compete for resources there actually dependent on each other to help each other, kind of like having predators hunt for a meal and then the scavengers get to feed without having to fight large game. Finally there is predication an herbivory where one Organism feeds off another one another, basically when one animal plant or another animal eat another animal. At first it doesn’t seem like a symbiotic relationship but it’s beneficial for both parties in terms of everything coming full circle to feed one another.


“The Human-Machine Symbiosis”. Medium, 2020, https://medium.com/hello-tomorrow/the-human-machine-symbiosis-3aa11b66eae5.

When most people think of symbiosis, they mostly think of symbiotic relationships they often think more organic ones like humans, plants, and animals. But one of the more interesting pairs would be between man machine, i.e. the cyborg. There are robotics and neuroscience companies working together to create artificial limbs, organs, and autonomous devices that link with the brain. This way it can give the otherwise disabled control over body parts to help them live, while also provide important research in field of neuroscience and how we can constantly improve upon it.


“Parasyte: Exploration Of What It Means To Be Human | The Artifice”. The-Artifice.Com, 2020, https://the-artifice.com/parasyte-analysis/.

One of my favorite anime of all time is called “Parasyte: the Maxim” its about these alien parasites blending into society and murdering/devouring people. The main character gets infected through his hand and now must live a symbiotic relationship while fighting other parasites. The thing about this show is that it asks the question of what means to be human and overtime as the relationship between the protagonist and the symbiotic grow. They start to learn from and influence each other’s thoughts and actions until they’re pretty much in sync.


“Venom (Eddie Brock) In Comics Powers, Villains, History | Marvel”. Marvel Entertainment, 2020, https://www.marvel.com/characters/venom-eddie-brock/in-comics.

One of the most well-known symbiotes of all time is venom from the Marvel comic series. he comes from a race of aliens known as the “Symbiotes” ironically and there one mission is to travel the galaxy reproduce and heal people. The only thing is they also take characteristics from host to host so one person could be a hero and then the next person could be insane which leads us to the current day incarnation. Venom helped cure his current host’s cancer but in exchange they go out and eat people. But being influence by the many hosts over the years he finds himself playing as more a chaotic neutral character.


“Upgrade Movie Ending & STEM Explained”. Screenrant, 2020, https://screenrant.com/upgrade-movie-ending-stem-explained/2/.

Upgrade is a movie about a man who’s against technology who get paralyzed from the neck down tracking his wife’s killer. He gets a chip implanted in his body to help him walk, fight, and attach weapons to his body all controlled by an Ai. The only twist is that the ai is smart and self-aware enough of his existence to trick him into taking over his mind and body. A lot of the time ai in sci-fi is either trying to kill everyone or just badly coded machines trying learn how to be human, but with this movie he actively sets out to become human by any means necessary just feel more human, putting in perspective how some relationships can be just a means to an end.

Film Analysis: The Blob (1958) | bulb (bulbapp.com)

“The Blob: Film Analysis”. Bulbapp.Com, 2020, https://www.bulbapp.com/u/the-blob-film-analysis.

The Blob is a movie about an alien substance crashing to earth and slowly but surely starts to feed on the inhabitance of earth. When it comes to this type of symbiosis it’s knows as predation where an organism feeds off another organism in order tell, think the circle of life. What make this different from parasites is that the blob is self-sufficient enough to survive without a host and eats humans to keep expanding rather than spread its offspring.

“Symbiosis In Human Relationship”. Relationships-Explained.Com, 2020, https://www.relationships-explained.com/Symbiosis.html#:~:text=In%20a%20relationship%20with%20a,of%20ego%20states%20between%20them.

When it comes to humans our relationships are a lot more complicated than most organisms, but no matter the label you slap on it we all are involved with some form of symbiosis. According to this study what are the main factors when it comes to symbiosis between humans is the concept of our ego. When two or more parties’ egos start to collide with each other negatively, it results in a less flexible type of relationship. However, If both parties manage to take on stable roles when it comes to this symbiosis it results in society becoming more and more comfortable with conflicting ideals and roles.

“Dr. Stone Manga Review”. Medium, 2020, https://medium.com/@nomadomen4/dr-stone-manga-review-4706f7bc8b3d#:~:text=Created%20by%20Riichiro%20Inagaki%20and,experiment%20in%20the%20science%20room.

In the anime/manga “Dr. Stone” all the humans of the world get petrified for thousands of years and modern society reverts to nature. Now task with the responsibility of restarting civilization a young scientist (Senku) must create a cure from scratch while also figuring out the mystery of their petrification. Throughout the story Senku faces a bunch of different enemies who all have one goal in mind, restart society in their image by any means necessary. As weird as it may sound this is an example of a competition symbiotic relationship being that many of these characters are fighting over this one resource (the miracle water), and doing so they’re constantly trying to create an inventions and fight the other side. This competition breeds innovation to a point where they’re building phones from rocks and armor from paper all to gain control over the miracle water.


In turns of my proposal then versus now, it was more of an unfocused concept I only scratched hour could be possible. Sure, everybody knows about symbiosis and some of the types of symbiotic relationships, but with my original proposal it was more focused on why parasitic symbiotic relationships are are used in science fiction. The only problem with that was it was more of a negative connotation headset from saying that science fiction depicts it as only a revolting thing. So rather than lean into one direction I’m goanna address it as a whole and relate it back to our perception to the world and the way we look at sci-fi.

The Concept of Symbiosis and why do most science fiction stories see it as negative?

symbiosis in nature is a very fascinating topic. when two or more parties benefit from one another in some way, shape, or form, sometimes for the better sometimes for the worst. This does not just apply to organic creatures but also inorganic ones like machines and humans. despite a lot of benefits that can come from this type of relationship it is often treated as something far more dangerous when it comes to science fiction. a lot of books and media portrayed as and all for one type of situation, leaving the host has some sort of husk. In law there are types of symbiotic relationships like that, we do not often see any other types portrayed despite being just as interesting.


For this project (proposal), I will be talking about different types of symbiotic relationships and also looking through various sources and media to find examples of these relationships that are not just parasitic in nature. From plants to animals, animals to animals, humans to machines, and any other relationship we can think of. Not to mention what types of advantages and disadvantages each party gets beyond just food or protection.



2020, https://www.jstor.org/stable/25746441?seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents. Accessed 1 Dec 2020.



“Examples Of Symbiosis: Types Of Relationships In Nature”. Examples.Yourdictionary.Com, 2020, https://examples.yourdictionary.com/examples-of-symbiosis.html.



“The Symbiote – TV Tropes”. TV Tropes, 2020, https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheSymbiote.



“The Human-Machine Symbiosis”. Medium, 2020, https://medium.com/hello-tomorrow/the-human-machine-symbiosis-3aa11b66eae5.



Editors, BD. “Symbiosis”. Biology Dictionary, 2020, https://biologydictionary.net/symbiosis/.

Time and Punishment

I saw spike lee’s “See you yesterday” when it first came on, but after seeing it again especially with recent events I noticed a few things that I had not before. In the movie these two smart Caribbean kids from Brooklyn named C.J and Sebastian build these backpack time machines. But after C. J’s brother Calvin gets killed by the police, they decide to go back in time to save him. But in the process, Sebastian gets killed in his place. Stuck between saving her brother and her friend C.J goes back in time to try and save them both.
In most science fiction whenever someone changes anything slightly, something just as if not worse can come as a result of it. Around (5:00) the prof. talks about “if you had the power of time what would you change?” and it is interesting to see how the use and rules of time travel can also play with current events. In terms of this movie, Calvin was profiled in an already volatile time for people of color, and while there could have been a chance to de-escalate the situation he got murdered. But every time CJ and Sebastian jumped by in time, they left little seeds that left drastic changes. If they get Jared’s arm broken by the car accident, they would not have gotten slowed down by him. If CJ never incited conflict at the corner store Sebastian would not have died. And if they never told Calvin about the robbery, then Calvin probably would not have had to sacrifice himself. Now with the ending being ambiguous how knows what could happen.

I love this movie but one thing I found annoying, however, was CJ’s temper and her stubbornness. A lot of events happen as a result of her messing with time and trying to fix everything. It pains me to see as smart as she is, she often doesn’t plan ahead very well. Around 1:00:00 in when CJ and Calvin were in discussing what happened in the car, he even calls her out for not having a decent plan to save both of them. Even in the last scene of while she says she knows how to fix everything, rather than letting Calvin go or meeting him around the barbeque to stopped him sooner, she stubbornly runs in headfirst and may actively make the situation worse. Overall, it is sad to see situations where innocent people of color get killed by police, but it’s even worse to see how people make bad decisions because of it. But the best thing we can do is hope for a better tomorrow and not mess with time.

Class notes for 10-27-2020

Topics Discussion 


 Destroyer (Continuing)


  • Freewriting about 


    •  Destroyer and how the experience of reading this text is different/similar to other mediums(Movies, short stories, etc…)


    • Central themes of “Destroyer”


  • Share thoughts on a story such as


    • Elements of fiction
      • Settings
      • Character
      • Relationships
      • Conflicts 
      • Central questions and themes
      • Plot


  • What’s it like reading a graphic novel like this?
    • It requires our attentiveness in ways different texts don’t.
    • Difficulty in scenery overload.
    • Violent imagery 
    • Confusion panel alignment 
    • Text isn’t always linear



Octavia Butler’s  “Parable of the Sower”



  • Central themes



    • Race
    • Vengeance
    • Idea of immortality
    • The morality for bringing someone back to life
    • How Dr.Baker and Pliers handle Akai’s death
    • The driving force with every person, extending from grief to perseverance
    • The proportionality of response to injustice
    •  The consequences of one’s actions
    • The struggle of love and loss
    • What makes a person change?


  • Marie Shelley “Frankenstein” is The modern Prometheus (Prometheus gave fire to humans in greek mythos) basically creating humans and molding them from clay.


  • The beliefs we carry inside us and how that influences our decision 


“As I write this I wonder what seems more fantastical, that a woman can bring her dead son back to life or a country can hold itself accountable for the injustice that is perpetrated. Technology is improving at an astonishing rate, honest conversation and actual change move at a much slower pace. For all this appearance pessimistic there’s a reason Akai refuses cynicism in this comic because Akai represents the best that humanity has to offer, despair doesn’t do a damn thing, and fear only turns people into animals. But as long as we have kids like Akai in the world there’s still a chance for us, the trick is to make sure they are in the world. 



  • Penultimate -last but one in a series of things; second last.


Antepenultimate –last but two in a series; third last

The morals and ethics of Destroyer, Shamach campbell

After reading the graphic novel “Destroyer” by Victor LaValle all I can say is the title does it justice. The story is essentially a modern-day version of Frankenstein, more specifically what if Frankenstein was around in a climate like today? The story opens with “The Destroyer” relaxing in the artic when an innocent whale gets killed by fishermen, he kills them and learns about the world while he was away. Seeing how society advances and how cruel people can be he sets out to seek and destroy all forms of cruelty. Meanwhile, an organization wants to hunt down a lady for her research and her reanimated son. Chaos incuses, a lot of people and property get eradicated, the son and the destroyer meet, sacrifices are made now the son must live his own life with the knowledge of what it’s like being both black and immortal in these times.


There are a lot of interesting themes and concepts brought up in this novel, from race to ai technology to immortality, but one of the main themes that’s I felt was the strongest was the concept of morals and ethics. Though out the story many people have died at the hands of the destroyer, and that is only a result of the creator messing with something he should not have. We always ask the question of “can we do this?” but not “should we be doing this?” and as a result the guilty, the innocent, everyone suffers from the destroyer wrath. Later in the story, the organization wants to achieve immortality by 3D printing with biological material, the only problem is the rate of cellular decay is short and pointless. They 3D printed a live chicken that expired in minutes so imagine what happens when it comes to humans, should something like that be ethically sound.  Not to mention the use of nanobots to bring back the son, his cells are rapidly decaying and the nanobots fix it. But there may come a time when those nanobots can’t keep up or replace his body completely, living the rest of his life (probability in constant pain) because his mom was angry and want her dead son back. Even his father gets transformed into an android permanently because of this. Overall the moral and ethical ramifications are what I found interesting about this graphic novel since a lot of people want to focus on achievement and not just the aftermath.

Shamach Reading Response #4, “The Last Question”

I read “The Last Question” By Isaac Asimov a story that tackles the concepts of progress, entropy, the meaning of finite vs infinite, and it honestly has a more melancholic introspective about life. The story starts out with this machine whose sole purpose was to answer any question, but when the resources started to run low humanity switched to the power of the stars. All was good until two guys talked about how to with the power of the start’s humanity can keep progressing forever and never run out of power. However, one of them explains that while will have the power for billions of years it’s technically not infinite and the entropy of the universe will reach its peak. The other skeptical of how thing decides to ask the mechanic if there was a way to reverse the entropy of the universe and it responds, “INSUFFICIENT DATA FOR MEANINGFUL ANSWER.”  As time went on the cycle continues, humanity evolves, the machine gets better and better, a pair of people bring up the question of “how can we reverse the entropy of the universe? ” and every time the machine response with, “INSUFFICIENT DATA FOR MEANINGFUL ANSWER.”  Until the end where the universe’s entropy is maxing out, humanity melded together and eventually died, and all that remained was the machine advanced to a point beyond comprehension is still trying to solve the question. In the machine’s last moments, it solves the problem and creates a new universe.

What I found interesting about it was how much humanity evolved as a species but could not solve the question until after they passed. Technology in the story goes from building large computers that eventually get smaller and smarter, to society exploring the galaxy and harnessing the power of the stars. But it’s also sad because of that rapid evolution, in part 3 (page 5) one of the characters says “Population doubles every ten years. Once this Galaxy is filled, we’ll have filled another in ten years. Another ten years and we will have filled two more. Another decade, four more. In a hundred years, we’ll have filled a thousand Galaxies. In a thousand years, a million Galaxies. In ten thousand years, the entire known universe. Then what?” with humanity expanding in this way it becomes a question of what are we even still progressing for? If we know that the entropy of the universe will max out and we currently reverse, it then why keeps going. There even moments were some tries creating new stars from the remnants of older ones, but it usually took tones of stars to die to make one new one. In the end, it can basically be summed up to three things humanity will never stop progressing, entropy can’t be reversed, and all good the things must come to an end. This story really makes you seem small n the grand scale of the universe

Shamach response #3 “COMEDY & PARODY”

The “COMEDY & PARODY” category of the Brooklyn Sci-Fi Film Festival have some very “distinct” number of short films. While comedy is subjective, parody /satire done right can always leave people with something to take was form it. That being said, the fact that most were not funny, but one “good” thing that most of them have in common is the satirization of Sci-fi flaws, tropes, and references. when done properly not only can make you laugh, but it can also point out flaws and tropes in film and in real life and can be used to help people think about certain situations.
The first film “Fun to Cook “World’s Best Food” is a parody of YouTube cooking shows like tasty, through the lens of an alien cooking it. The alien is cooking up some food full of some random weird sounding, disgusting-looking ingredients and that all get mixed up and deep-fried, all the while speaking in a random language. As a chef myself, the most disgusting thing about this recipe is the fact that she barely used any seasoning it would have come out way better. I say this is a good parody to YouTube cooking shows due to many factors, for one the title film “Fun to Cook ‘World’s Best Food” is pretty much a click-bait title enticing you to click. The way its filmed is from a top-down like a lot of popular channels do with random graphics popping in. Even how the food is prepped “(01:44- 01:50) take the Tromf sauce to cut it and crush it, crush the spicy Mechico sauce and mix with the Uracu sauce” is akin to “how to basic’s” “unique style”. But over combining an alien aesthetic with YouTube cooking show tropes very interesting parody.

The next film is “CAT-A-MORPHIS in it, the main character Marian is getting ready to undergo a procedure, a metamorphosis some my say. Slowly over time, she starts developing traits and eventually turns into a cat, while two doctors talk about it like an experiment. Now it is obvious that it’s a parody of old Sci-fi movies where dumb people ignoring signs for change and slowly turn into monsters, but what I like about this one is its execution. Trope number one, they parody the whole lab accident or fly bite that caused it, in this short film the process is all voluntary and she could stop at any time even in the beginning when she was hesitant (01:00). The next thing they parody is tone, they’re saying “what if we took this overly dramatic sense of tension and mystery and building up to an 11, over the fact she is turning into a cat.” Its an overall okay premise with decent execution and a good way to make a parody.
The last good film “BARTALITICUS” in it an alien from another planet comes to earth in the hopes of warning the human race and trying to save them with advanced knowledge. The only thing is Bartaliticus is late to the times and is shocked at the fact that not only did the humans know her info already, but they’ve done nothing with it disputed knowing for years (02:50-04:10). This one no doubt parodies all those alien visitor movies, but what made this film work as a parody is the info itself. We all assume that if an alien comes to earth the ones that are going to have the advanced information and technology, who’s to say that if we visit a planet with alien life, we’re more advanced than them. What I also like about Bartaliticus is her acceptance of earths flaws, in a couple of Sci-fi movies, the intelligent alien would vaporize everyone or disassociate with humans for not appreciating the planet. Overall Bartaliticus had good messages about the earth and is the best film in this category.

Ultimately, the “COMEDY & PARODY” category of science fiction when done properly not only can make you laugh, but it can also point out flaws and tropes in film and in real life and can be used to help users think about certain situations.