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"Brazen, exhilarating, fun, and surprising! I couldn't predict where this novel was going, but I was definitely along for the ride." -- Ling Ma, author of Severance

A blazingly original and stylish debut novel about a young man whose reality unravels when he suspects his mysterious employers have inadvertently discovered time travel--and are using it to cover up a string of violent crimes . . .

Four days before Christmas, 8-year-old Bo loses his mother in a tragic accident, 28-year-old Brandon loses his job after a hostile takeover of his big-media employer, and 48-year-old Blue, a key witness in a criminal trial against an infamous now-defunct tech startup, struggles to reconnect with his family.

So begins Jinwoo Chong's dazzling, time-bending debut that blends elements of neo-noir and speculative fiction as the lives of Bo, Brandon, and Blue begin to intersect, uncovering a vast network of secrets and an experimental technology that threatens to upend life itself. Intertwined with them is the saga of an iconic '80s detective show, Raider, whose star actor has imploded spectacularly after revelations of long-term, concealed abuse.

Flux is a haunting and sometimes shocking exploration of the cyclical nature of grief, of moving past trauma, and of the pervasive nature of whiteness within the development of Asian identity in America.

About the Author

Jinwoo Chong received an MFA from Columbia University. His short stories have appeared in The Southern Review, Chicago Quarterly Review, and Salamander. Flux is his first novel. He lives in New York.

A Literary Hub Most Anticipated Book of 2023

"Brazen, exhilarating, fun, and surprising! I couldn't predict where this novel was going, but I was definitely along for the ride." -- Ling Ma, author of Severance

"Mind-bending... Chong writes with such subtlety and skill that readers won't realize the true nature of the speculative mystery at play until they're already waist-deep in these interlocking narratives. The result is a gorgeous speculative gem for fans of Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone's This Is How You Lose the Time War." -- Publishers Weekly, STARRED review

"Not yet 30, Chong bursts forth, Athena-like, with an impossible-to-simply-label masterpiece that melds various genres--from Bildungsroman to speculative fiction, coming-of-age drama to epic tragedy, crime documentary to noirish thriller--into an intricate literary mosaic...Chong stuns readers with a multipronged, multilayered, multivoiced, magnificent enigma." -- Booklist, STARRED review

"Part speculative fiction, part neo-noir, with some time travel thrown in for good measure, Flux is a wildly imaginative and mind-bending read." -- Buzzfeed

"Jinwoo Chong's experimental debut brings to mind Charles Yu's similarly genre-bending novel Interior Chinatown Both express a deep affection for Hollywood nostalgia, cut through with the bittersweet reckoning with their imperfect heroes who nonetheless made for unprecedented representation." -- Literary Hub

"A...brilliant time-travel puzzle box." -- Polygon

"The prose here is brilliant and honest, and the plot cleverly crafted. You can try to guess what might happen in Flux, but it's better to let it bloom beautifully before you." -- TOR.com

"Flux stands out as a novel with ideas, dramatic scenes, and shifts in genre." -- Counterpunch

Flux is a powerful debut - deft and fluid, sharp and dreamy. Employing the vehicle of a breakneck sci-fi thriller, Jinwoo Chong explores interstitial spaces of ethnicity, sexuality, trauma, pop cultural memory and, finally, time itself, with wit, tenderness and alacrity. The result is provocative and deeply moving. - Sam Lipsyte, author of Venus Drive

A smart and stylish addition to the tech thriller genre with interesting things to say about family, society and, indeed, reality itself." -- Gary Shteyngart, author of Little Failure

Alluringly seductive and highly imaginative, reading Flux was like puzzling out a mystery always two steps ahead of me that I didn't want to end. Chong has written an intricately layered and boldly cinematic debut that interrogates how the past collides with the present, and how our choices are bound up in not just who we wished we were, but who we dare to be. At once mind-bending yet grounded in timeless questions about forgiveness and hope, Flux is a kaleidoscope of a novel." --Elaine Hsieh Chou, author of Disorientation

"A compelling, deft, and mesmerizing book taking Korean American literature in a riveting and bold direction." -- Joseph Han, author of Nuclear Family

Jinwoo Chong manages to combine a time-bending mystery, genre-bending adventure, and mind-bending literary novel into one stylish and propulsive thriller. You'll tear through it. --Lincoln Michel, author of The Body Scout

Flux is the book of my dreams--expertly mashing genres and deftly playing with both time and perspective to tell a deeply human, personal story. It's almost hard to believe this is a debut, and it instantly elevates Jinwoo Chong to must-read status. --Rob Hart, author of The Warehouse

"Provocative and propulsive, Flux is a delicious genre bender about the evolution of identity--the moments that bifurcate our lives and the ways in which we lose ourselves to trauma and time. A poignant, expertly constructed puzzle with an intellectual bite. I'll be thinking about this book for a very long time." - Julia Fine, author of The Upstairs House

Publisher: Melville House Publishing
Pub date: March 21, 2023
352 pages
Format: Hardcover