Matthew Woodring Stover, best known for his contribution to the Star Wars extended Universe, but also the author of the brutal (and under-read) The Acts of Caine series. Br’er Robert isn’t for the faint-of-heart, but should give a good idea of whether Stover’s uncompromising storytelling is up your alley.

Sometimes it’s tears in a shopping mall. Sometimes it’s solemn watching while others play. Sometimes it’s calling for a runaway puppy.

This time it’s the skitter of gravel under bicycle wheels, long after dark.

This time.


US 30 unrolled under their wheels like a red carpet to Nebraska, bleached gray by the van’s headlamps. Heavy clouds like boulders in the sky knocked together and rolled apart in their eastbound avalanche. Each glimpse of the huge round moon transformed the highway into a twisted silver spine. Headhigh corn lined the road either side, swaying in the wind like breathing walls in a morphine nightmare.

Frankie slouched down in the passenger seat and slicked his tangled hair back with the sweat from his palms. His imagination was getting away with him again.

“Iowa,” he said, a little too loud. “Breadbasket to the world. God’s country. Buckle on the Bible Belt. Land of cornfed Republicans.”

“Shut up,” Decker said flatly. He squinted at the road through the greasy smoke of the Pall Mall that dangled from his lower lip. Decker didn’t have any imagination at all. Sometimes Frankie admired him for that. “We’re hittin Carroll in about five minutes. Get in back an sit on the littlefuckers.”

You can read the whole story HERE.

  • […] over at A Dribble of Ink brings us some Free Readin’ from Matthew Woodring Stover, contributor to the Star Wars line of novels and author of The Acts of […]

  • Joseph November 7, 2009 at 8:38 am

    What’s with the name of the story? Makes me think of Brer Rabbit (of course).

  • aidan November 7, 2009 at 9:42 am

    ‘Brother’ Robert.

    It’s a weird name, indeed.