The Vocabulary of Fandom: R

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The vocabulary of fandom gets rebellious with the letter R. This is the letter for readers, rebels, romance, and role-playing. The R is quite a fashionable letter with many words in its ranks. Let’s begin!

R&R: stands for “read and review.” When an author leaves an R&R, they’re asking for readers to click on their story and review it somehow. It could be by just leaving a comment. You can find this on However, it’s unclear how successful it is to attract readers and get feedback.

Rape: refers to the presence of non-consensual or sexual assault in the story. It can be a detailed description of it or implied in the story. Many stories describe the trauma of the victim. This can be easily a squick for many readers, so it should be listed in the author’s warnings.

Rarepair: it’s a relationship that’s not very famous among the fan base. Only some fans ship it. It can be a ship with minor characters or the main character with a minor one. It can also have crossovers.

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Rating: is the classification system that many sites use to rate the story so that it finds the correct readers. Ratings also tell about the contents of the story, if it has violent language, abuse, sexual content, etc. Many rating systems follow the USA Motion Picture Ratings stablished for movies. For example, G is for general audiences, PG is for parental guidance, PG-13 is for parental supervision for kids under 13, etc. However, many sites are using other rating systems with values that are similar.

Reader: it can be the person who reads books and fan fiction stories, or it can be a type of fanwork where the author or reader insert themselves into the story. It might even use Y/n (your name) without any descriptions.

Reboot: happens when there’s a new version of a fanfic story or canon, where all or most of the original continuity is lost for the sake of a new fresh one. It recreates the story from scratch.

Rec: is short for recommendation. Readers suggest stories to other fans. Some fans call this “pimping” since you’re selling a story to someone else.

Remix: are stories by a second author who even rewrites the first story. They often use a new perspective, or they just change the ending. These are common in ficathons, or the second author has permission to do so. Unauthorised remixes could easily be plagiarism. So, if you want to write a remix, ask the original author first.

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Retcon: is a combination of two words: retroactive continuity. These are stories that are shared or written to add something or change something to an existing fic piece or canon. Many fans use them to smooth the continuity in the original source, so there are no gaps. Or, it could change the meaning and ends up being a reboot.

Review: is a public comment, or a story written by a reader. Many reviews are anonymous. However, it’s good etiquette for you to sign your reviews. The author can later thank you (if the review is good). Many anonymous reviewers use their anonymity to leave flames. Don’t be surprised that many sites ask you to sign-in before leaving any comments or reviews. This is to make sure that the chances to leave flames are lower.

RPF and/or RPS: stands for “real person fiction and/or slash.” These are stories that feature the actors and actresses and not the characters they play. It can also be celebrities or even historical figures. Not all the stories are slash, but those cataloged as RPS are. While many fandoms don’t like it and banish who try to post such stories, many others encourage it. Think about Supernatural. However, this is still a squick for many people, and thus should be specified in the author’s warnings. Since it also depends on each fandom, make sure that your chosen fandom does allow these stories.

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RPG: is an acronym for “role play game.” These are stories that are around multiplayer role-playing game characters (gamers.) RPGs are very open and diverse, so it’s easy for the stories being very far away from canon. So, it’s easy to find lots of AU stories.

Round Robin: are stories that are written by different authors that take turns to write the story. These can be open to the public so anyone can take part in them.

RST: is an acronym for “resolved sexual tension.” These stories are around a relationship, and in the story, we can see what happens with it. Many stories are around already established relationships or a relationship that becomes one before the story ends.

Rule 34: is one of the Rules of the Internet that states “if it exists, there is porn of it.” If a fan can think of a topic, a ship, or anything else, someone else has probably already written all about it. If not, rule 35 states that someone will write such porn.

Rule 63: states that “for any male character, there’s a female version of it.” Hence, the “genderswap” trope in fandom. You can find all the rules of the internet here.

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(C) Marvel, Loki AoA #14

Have I missed any words? Leave them in comments 🙂

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A Geek Girl interested in Geek Anthropology, comic books, books, Superheroes and discovering all about pop culture.

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