“Someone stabbed the sun. It’s dripping onto Baltimore, seeping through gauze clouds onto the cobblestone street, reflecting off wet tire tracks in pinpoint sparks like the ones that follow a two-by-four across the nose. It’s dimming, dying, falling in slow motion, but the city is oblivious. Couples in matching jackets and complementary scarves walk arm-in-arm down Thames and through Fell’s Point. They push strollers with babies double-wrapped in winter coats. Share hot chocolate and kiss the dot of whipped cream off their noses. Window-shop the poster place next-door, looking for the perfect thing for the TV room. Happy lives, happily self-contained in their happy little oblivious universes.”
I’ve known of this book for years, been reading it in our Write Club workshop, and was thrilled when it landed with me at Otherworld Publications. Nik is one of my neo-noir brothers, a guy that doesn’t mind laying on the mood, the setting, injecting the emotions, slapping you in the face with the harsh Baltimore weather, every grimy cobblestone on top of every chipped brick until you are immersed, a part of it all, trying to keep up, trying to find a way out, holding your breath as you turn the page.
Stay God is a neo-noir thriller, one that isn’t afraid to go dark. But it’s not one note. He puts your through the wringer, making you laugh, become friends with this cast of miscreants, understand their love, and then shatter it all in the blink of an eye.
Chuck Palahniuk said something like “Teach me something, make laugh, and then break my heart.” Nik Korpon does this and more. It is a book I really enjoyed reading, from start to finish.
Pick it up at Amazon or Otherworld Publications, and spread the word. This is Nik’s debut, not long after my debut, and part of the pantheon of excellent work that OWP is putting out. Keep an eye out for Caleb Ross, Brandon Tietz, and Michael Sonbert in 2011 on our label as well. More compelling fiction that isn’t afraid to punch you in the gut and walk away.