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Synonyms: rare lit, rare literature, rare books, book fandom
See also: litfic, Yuletide, Rareslash, movie fandom, microfandom
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Rarelit, rare lit, rare literature, or rare books[1] refers to fanfiction in small book-based fandoms; it is a subset of litfic. Usually drama such as Shakespeare is included, and sometimes also myths & legends where there is no single textual source, such as Greek & Norse mythology. It includes slash and gen, and more rarely het.

Rarelit covers a broad spectrum of source texts, including 'literature' classics, children's & young adult novels, and genre crime, sf, fantasy, romance and so on. Many rarelit fandoms have only one or a handful of online stories, some have a few hundred. Opinion differs on where exactly the boundary lies: medium-sized fandoms such as Good Omens, Narnia, Pride and Prejudice, Sherlock Holmes or Vorkosigan, which have their own communities, are sometimes excluded. Often fiction based in literary adaptations for television/film is included, but sometimes it isn't.

Rarelit functions essentially as a fandom, with common archives & distribution systems, and fans who write & read fanfiction based in a wide range of literary sources.

Archives, Communities & Recs

The rarelitslash community on livejournal forms a central resource. It was founded at the end of 2003 originally just for slash, but from January 2005 onwards has accepted all genres. It maintains a list of rarelit livejournals, archives and mailing lists.

The Yuletide exchange has significantly boosted the fandom's profile. Some historical rarelit was archived at the Slash Cotillion archive, now defunct. Some multifandom archives have a significant rarelit presence, including Archive of Our Own and Skyehawke. There was also some rarelit archived at the RareSlash archive, now defunct.

Rarelit reccers include Beth H, Espresso Addict, and Norah; facetofcathy sometimes reviews rarelit fic. Recommendations have occasionally appeared on Crack Van under the literary fandoms tag.

Some Rarelit Fandoms

A few examples include:


  1. ^ Called "Rare books" on the Newbieguide masterpost, and "Book fandoms (rare)" in that fandom overview post. (Accessed 23 Jan 2012).