Eight-Wheeled Freedom: The Derby Nerd's Short History of Flat Track Roller Derby
242 pages | ISBN 978-1-928088-13-4
D. D. Miller is fascinated by roller derby. As the Derby Nerd he has been covering roller derby since 2009, travelling to games across Canada and the United States, including two world championships, reporting back to an ever-growing audience the details of the sport. In this entertaining and thorough book he explains roller derby to newcomers and charts the sport’s rise from small groups of women looking for people to skate with over the Internet to the world presence it is today.
Along the way he considers roller derby’s roots in Riot Grrrl and DIY culture, and the importance of the LGBTQ community both inside and outside of the sport. This is a warm, thoughtful look at a sport that Miller understands intimately, which takes us beyond the costumes and showmanship, into the heart of what he feels may be the first truly feminist sport.
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“As a broadcast announcer, D. D. ‘Derby Nerd’ Miller has long since emerged as one of modern roller derby’s best narrators, so it comes as no surprise that sitting down with his book Eight-Wheeled Freedom is like attending a master course in oral history. Miller’s passionate account of the rise and success of Canadian roller derby is so well woven into the fabric of the sport’s global history that this book is not only an essential collection of soon-to-be well-known anecdotes, but an important component to understanding roller derby’s unique cultural impact.” – Jennifer "Kasey Bomber" Barbee, co-author of Down and Derby: An Insider's Guide to Roller Derby
“Dave is the perfect writer for this topic. He is more than a ‘Derby Nerd’ (as we all know him), he is a derby lover, a derby fan. He understands and knows the sport both statistically and culturally, he is interested in skaters and teams of all levels, he loves roller derby through and through. You best believe this book is not only accurate, but heartfelt.” – Plastik Patrik
"Chicks Ahoy: It's Roller Derby Time" (Dene Moore, Toronto Star, 07/08/2016)
"The bright spots come when Miller gets personal, describing the scenes unfolding around him at big matches or interviews with some of the best players."
Shelf Life (Jessica Rose, Hamilton Magazine, 09/27/2016)
"In this fast-paced work of non-fiction, Miller explores roller derby's roots in Riot Grrrl, DIY ethos, the LGBTQ community, and the sport's presence today."
D. D. Miller is originally from Nova Scotia but has lived, worked and studied all across the country. His work has appeared in a number of journals and anthologies including The Malahat Review, The Fiddlehead, Eleven Eleven: Journal of Literature and Art and Dinosaur Porn. As the Derby Nerd, Miller is known around North America for his writing and commentary on roller derby, one of the world’s fastest growing sports.
A graduate of Mount Allison University, the University of Victoria and the University of Guelph (where he completed his MFA), Miller currently lives in Toronto where he works as a college English instructor. He also announced at both the 2011 and 2014 Roller Derby World Cups and was part of the ESPN's broadcast crew for the 2015 WFTDA Championships.