Praise for HERE AND NOW AND THENOne of BookBub's Best Science Fiction Books of 2019One of Book Riot's Best Books of 2019 So FarOne of The Nerd Daily’s Best Debut Novels of 2019Featured in The Millions “A Year in Reading” One of Entropy’s Best Fiction Books of 2019A Goodreads Choice Awards 2019 Semifinalist
“Clever, thrilling and full of heart, it is an instant sci-fi classic.” —Hypable.com
"A subtly woven meditation about the fragility of time raises the bar in this smart, fun, and affectionate story." —Kirkus Reviews
“In this heartfelt and thrilling debut, Chen revitalizes the trope of the absent and unavailable father… Chen’s concept is unique, and [his characters’] agony is deeply moving. Quick pacing, complex characters, and a fascinating premise make this an unforgettable debut.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“This gripping, fast-paced time-travel thriller is also a warm, moving story of a man pulled between two lives and families. With plenty of humor and suspense, Chen has crafted an original and captivating story.” —Shelf Awareness, starred review
“At its core, Chen's book is really about the prides and perils of parenthood, and I'm certain that's what I'll always remember about it…. The plot twists and turns…in speedy, page-flipping style, defying me each time I thought I knew what was coming. But even more than these delightfully surprising turns, the novel's strength lies in Kin's actions as he tries to save [his daughter,] Miranda.” —NPR
"Chen’s debut novel is a welcome addition to this well-traveled genre, with the theories and mechanics of time travel not getting in the way of the character- and plot-driven story. Highly recommended for readers both new and familiar with the genre, and for fans of Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife or books by Connie Willis." —Library Journal, starred review
“Chen carefully balances heart, humor, and precise world building to bring alive an emotional and genre-bending story.” —Booklist
“[An] enjoyable venture into time travel. … Although Chen’s novel is set in a futuristic world, it is ultimately about the bond between a father and his daughter. While Kin’s dilemma is one that readers will never face, they will be drawn in by the human questions at its heart.”—BookPage
“A charming and satisfying tale of a father’s devotion and the hard choices required by love.…The people in the story are all well-drawn and believable, with no real villains.…The ending is clever and surprising, a twist that neatly ties up all loose ends and provides a happy ending for all involved.” —New York Journal of Books
"Chen’s novel about time-travel and protecting those you love resonated strongly for me, but nothing prepared me for how deeply I would be affected by its ending. I want to say something like Chen’s writing is deceptively good but I don’t want that to sound like a backhanded compliment. What I mean is his characters and their story work their magic beyond the text while you’re just flying through the pages. By the end of the book, I was so enthralled to the story I couldn’t help but ugly cry. Only Les Miserables has elicited a similar response, so bravo, Mike Chen." —Jason Jimenez, author of The Wolves, The Millions “A Year in Reading”
"A powerful, tightly paced and plotted book that succeeds equally as a sci-fi story and a clever, character-driven novel.... This is breathable, believable sci-fi...compelling, sensitive, innovative... a glorious read that filled my heart and kept me turning the pages, all the way to the poignant and satisfying conclusion." —20somethingreads.com
"Intelligent, caring characters in an amusingly crafted debut novel that packs an emotional wallop... Convincing and truly wonderful.” —Christian Science Monitor
“A rare, fresh gem of a story that blends high tech time travel thrills with the all-in stakes of a parent's love for their child. The world needs more butt-kicking middle-aged chef heroes.” —Delilah Dawson, New York Times Bestselling Author of Star Wars: Phasma
"Both a tale of a family pulled apart and a brilliant take on time travel. Full of clever worldbuilding, a determined main character, and a heart of gold, Here and Now and Then will not only make you wish Mike Chen had a million books out that you can immediately dive into, but will also probably make you sob."—Rachel Strolle, Glenside Public Library District
"Mike Chen's Here and Now and Then takes time travel past the 'what if?' and into the 'what after?' all while dealing elegantly 'with what could possibly go wrong!?' A strong and very real father-daughter relationship is tested across the centuries, as Chen's characters navigate adventure and consequences together. A tight net of excitement and wonder." —Fran Wilde, award-winning author of Updraft, and Hugo and Nebula finalist
"Gripping and gorgeously crafted. Chen takes the fabric of space-time and gives it real humanity in this compelling tale of love, family, and the choices made to protect them." —Cass Morris, author of From Unseen Fire
"Chen does what the very best sci-fi writers dohe takes a fascinating concept and elevates it with brilliant execution and deeply heartfelt plot twists that make this story less about the (fun) conventions of the genre and more about the profound experience of being human. Here and Now and Then is a page-turner, an examination of love and loss, and, most of all, a dazzling debut from a wonderfully unique new voice." —Michael Moreci (Black Star Renegades, Star Wars)
“Mike Chen's debut novel is a generous, warm-hearted adventure. It's the story of a father, a daughter, and a love stronger than time itself. I absolutely loved it.” —Kat Howard, Alex Award-winning author of An Unkindness of Magicians
“This thought-provoking read makes us consider what lies ahead and how far we’d go to protect the ones we love.” —BookTrib.com
A time-traveling father must save his teenage daughter from secret agents who want to eliminate her to protect the historical timeline in this debut novel.
It's 1996 in suburban San Francisco. Kin Stewart, an agent for the Temporal Corruption Bureau, is on a mission to stop a time-traveling merc who's been hired to disrupt important legislation. There's a problem: Kin's been shot, and the implanted beacon that's supposed to help him return to 2142 has been damaged. Stranded in the past, Kin gradually forgets his previous life. He gets married, and he and his wife, Heather, have a daughter, Miranda. When Kin's spent 18 years in the past, Heather accidentally triggers the indestructible "metal thingy" he's kept hidden in their garage, inadvertently summoning Markus, a fellow TCB agent and the brother of Penny, Kin's fiancee in 2142. Markus gives Kin 24 hours to "close out" his life in the 20th century. When Kin realizes the TCB intends to eliminate 14-year-old Miranda as a timeline error, he's forced to risk everything to try to save her life. Plot holes are neatly sidestepped as Kin explains who can time travel, when and how often, what the grandfather paradox is, and why he can't bring his daughter with him to 2142. Naturally, it takes time to set out the rules, and the explanations don't all make sense, but Kin's story isn't primarily about time machines or the Museum of the Modern Era that serves fast food as a curiosity in 2142. It's about a father who learns the value of being honest and authentic with the daughter he loves because in the end, there is never enough time.
A subtly woven meditation about the fragility of time raises the bar in this smart, fun, and affectionate story.