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Rollerball Murder

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  60 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
In the near future, there will only be corporations, comfort, conformity & Rollerball. In the very near future, they will produce a war every week during prime time & televise it to the rest of the world. They will call it Rollerball. Within the eye of Jonathan E., the world's most gifted athlete performer, you can see the murderous game which has replaced war. ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 174 pages
Published July 1st 1975 by Warner Books (NY) (first published 1974)
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Aug 19, 2012 Tfitoby rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lit, short-stories
It's quite a terrible thing, to write one science fiction short story in your career yet be known as a science fiction writer.

I look at this book, its reviews, its selving/tags and I wonder if most people even read the other stories. Perhaps they, like me, thought they were opening a book of science fiction stories and (unlike me) didn't respond to reading literature instead.

I wonder if Harrison identified with all the lonely men in this collection? Every story features a man in isolation in one
Jan 02, 2016 Rhys rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very important book for me.
When I was young (about 10 or 11 years old) I read many novels that were "tie-ins", in other words they were based on films and film-scripts, such as Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, etc. For some reason I only read tie-ins. So when I obtained this book I assumed it would be the same kind of thing.
But it wasn't.
It was a collection of 13 stories for adults.
This book was therefore my very first introduction to grown up literary ficti
Mark Speed
This book will blow your mind. I was only ten when I read this, and I remember exactly where I was and what was happening in my life at the time. It had that big an impact on my deviant little imagination. It's a set of extraordinarily bleak (if you think about them) and quite brutal short stories, in which he gets right inside some heads to discover and describe some horrific inner logic and motivation. The kind of thoughts that 'good' people aren't supposed to admit to thinking, but that they ...more
Jul 19, 2012 Simon rated it liked it
William Harrison’s Rollerball Murder Stories is a collection of somber unrelated vignettes about men who occupy - for better or worse - lonely existences. The book’s thirteen stories touch on themes of rejection, awakening, growth, restraint, ambition, potential, and duty, but the plots serving these values are often less memorable than the privileged and sometimes pious authorial tone. This is especially true for the book’s title chapter, Roller Ball Murder, which features a mega-celebrity athl ...more
Agatha Diaz
Jul 23, 2012 Agatha Diaz rated it liked it
Rollerball Murder is a collection of short stories. All of the short stories have a running theme of a man whose fate is to lead a lonely, despaired life. My favorite was The Hermit as it shows the vulnerability of the character and his character struggling to evolve. Harrison is descriptive in his prose, albeit a bit chauvinistic and offensive to women, in my opinion.
Jul 09, 2016 Drew rated it liked it
I was debating two or three stars, but looking back at my reading notes, I realized that two of the stories demanded that I give it the higher mark. I really enjoyed The Hermit (1968), probably my favorite piece in this collection of short stories. A well-developed story of two private men who hide themselves from the outside world. I also enjoyed The Good Ship Erasmus (1971), an intriguing story of a man surreptitiously selling cigarettes aboard a quit-smoking cruise. Many of the other stories ...more
May 01, 2012 David rated it it was ok
Rollerball is a collection of short stories by the author William Harrison. After reading this book, the only story that really stood out for me was "Roller Ball Murder" which the movie Rollerball was based on. The movie is fairly true to the short story but is only 15 pages long and really only touches on part of what the movie was about. I found all of the other stories fairly dry and uninteresting and reading this will add nothing to what the original movie had. (originally posted on ...more
Jeff Salzmann
May 05, 2016 Jeff Salzmann rated it it was amazing
I read "Roller Ball Murder" as part of "Best of SF 73" so this isn't about the anthology. What I find most fascinating about this story, as a dystopia of plenty, is the entire world is run by corporations. Not too different than life in 2016.

The author does an amazing job of making the reader sympathize with the main character- a talented gladiator, on a world-class level. None of the nonsense in the 1975 movie made it into this 15-page short. Ultimately it's a love story with a horrifying bend
Erik Graff
Oct 10, 2011 Erik Graff rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Harrison fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: sf
First I saw the film (1975) based on the fifteen-page short story which headlines this collection, then I read the collection with that story, then, recently, I saw the remake of the film (2002). The story which originally appeared in Esquire in 1973 is the best. The original James Caan film is the more serious adaptation. The remake is stupid but visually impressive.
Raegan Butcher
Jan 31, 2009 Raegan Butcher rated it it was amazing
13 stories written with style and imagination. Some favorites: The Warrior, The Arsons of Desire, The Good Ship Erasmus, and the title story, which is actually quite wistful and scary. This is one of the best short story collections I've ever read. Very unique.
Take Me To Your Reader
Kind of a bleak, episodic story, with an interesting (if slow) film adaptation and a creatively bankrupt remake.

Listen in to our conversation about it on Take Me To Your Reader.
Timothy Boyd
Feb 21, 2016 Timothy Boyd rated it liked it
Great futuristic sports story. The classic movie follows the book better than the remake. Recommended
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Jul 28, 2014 Brenda rated it liked it
Shelves: academic
Had to write a paper on this for an English class
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William Neal Harrison was an American novelist, short story writer, and screenwriter perhaps best known for writing the short story "Roller Ball Murder" which was made into the movie Rollerball in 1975.
Harrison was the adopted son of Samuel Scott and Mary Harrison and grew up in Dallas, Texas, attending public schools. His mother read widely, kept elaborate scrapbooks featuring both family members
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“The game, the game: here we go again. All glory to it, all things I am and own because of Roller Ball Murder.” 0 likes
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