Top 10 With Rinzen: Sci-Fi Films & Novels

Since 2016, Rinzen has used the art of worldbuilding and progressive-tinged techno arrangement to capture the hearts and minds of crowds all over the globe. Having first made a name for himself on mau5trap, where he was chosen as direct support for deadmau5 in shows from New York to London, the burgeoning talent later carved his niche in the European arena with numerous releases on Parquet and Yoshitoshi, in addition to records on Chapter 24 and Steyoyoke. In 2019, he was named an “Emerging Artist To Watch” by Billboard Dance, cementing his spot among the elite of his generation, and additionally hosted a Point Blank Masterclass in the summer of this year. Now returning the Desert Hearts Black label with his solo EP “Resonate,” we had the opportunity to chat with the prodigal talent for his top 10 on Sci-Fi films and novels.

1. Blade Runner

It’s almost cliché at this point for an electronic artist to list Blade Runner as his favorite piece of science fiction, but I’d be lying if I said it was something else. This movie — and I’m speaking about the original here — has had a profound impact on me creatively. The glimmering, yet desolate neon cityscapes are imprinted in my memory. Deckard’s sulky, moody romanticism feels entirely relatable as an artist. And of course, Vangelis’ score for the movie is utterly genius and unquestionably my favorite part about the whole thing.

2. Anathem

Neal Stephenson is my favorite author, and Anathem is, in my opinion, his best work. It’s the most ambitious novel I’ve ever read, merging philosophy, mathematics, religion, and aliens into a seamless, expansive vision of the future. Stephenson inspires me to build my worlds even bigger; to invent entire universes and tell stories within them.

3. Interstellar

I remember walking out of Interstellar and thinking to myself, “this is the best movie I’ve ever seen.” I was, and still am, blown away by the spectacle of it. The portrayal of the blackhole, the exoplanets, and of course, Hans Zimmer’s impeccable score make for an incredible film. 

4. Neuromancer

William Gibson and this beautiful novel gave birth to the cyberpunk aesthetic. Reading Neuromancer is akin to falling into a dreamy daze of techno-poetic visions — oftentimes dark, oftentimes downright magical, it is easily one of the best novels I’ve ever read. 

5. Arrival

Arrival, by Denis Villeneuve, is a masterpiece of a film. Regardless of your interest in science fiction, one can’t help but appreciate Villeneuve’s mastery of his craft. The non-linearity of the film, the focus on language, and the jaw-dropping sound design make it an incredible work of art from start to finish.

6. Annihilation

I love everything that Alex Garland creates, and Annihilation, more than anything else he’s done, left an indelible mark on me. It’s the kind of film that lingers in your psyche long after you’ve finished watching it (for better or worse). It has this unshakeable, alien quality to it that is both perturbing and exhilarating.

7. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

The novel that gave birth to Blade Runner. Philip K. Dick’s dystopian classic is a wonderful read for any sci-fi fan, particularly those who enjoy other canonical dystopian works like Brave New World. Fun fact: I wrote my thesis in college on this book and its portrayal of android consciousness. 

8. Love, Death, & Robots

I stumbled upon this anthology series on Netflix purely by chance (bless you, algorithm gods) and fell in love with it. There are so many clever, expertly-crafted shorts in the series (nearly all of them animated). It really opened my eyes to the incredible work being created by independent sci-fi animators and filmmakers.

9. The Matrix

While an obvious pick, The Matrix is a perennial favorite of mine. From the ‘90s electronic soundtrack, to the iconic dialogue, to the overt Joseph Campbell/hero’s journey archetypes, it never fails to bring a smile to my face.

10. Exhalation

Exhalation is a collection of short stories by Ted Chiang — the same author responsible for “Story of Your Life”, which became the basis for the film Arrival. Chiang’s stories are haunting, prescient, and delectably concise.





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