Football, or soccer as it is more commonly referred to in Australia and the US, is arguably the world’s most popular sport. It generates a proportionate volume of related writing. Within this landscape, works of novel-length fiction are seemingly rare. This paper establishes and maps a substantial body of football fiction works, explores elements and qualities exhibited individually and collectively. In bringing together current, limited surveys of the field, it presents the first rigorous definition of football fiction and captures the first historiography of the corpus. Drawing on distant reading methods developed in conjunction with closer textual analyses, the historiography and subsequent taxonomy represent the first articulation of relationships across the body of work, identify growth areas and establish a number of movements and trends. In advancing the understanding of football fiction as a collective body, the paper lays foundations for further research and consideration of the works in generic terms
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