Adventure fiction is fiction that usually presents danger, or gives the reader a sense of excitement.
In the Introduction to the Encyclopedia of Adventure Fiction, Critic Don D'Ammassa defines the genre as follows:
.. An adventure is an event or series of events that happens outside the course of the protagonist's ordinary life, usually accompanied by danger, often by physical action. Adventure stories almost always move quickly, and the pace of the plot is at least as important as characterization, setting and other elements of a creative work.
D'Ammassa argues that adventure stories make the element of danger the focus; hence he argues that Charles Dickens' novel A Tale of Two Cities is an adventure novel because the protagonists are in constant danger of being imprisoned or killed, whereas Dickens' Great Expectations is not because "Pip's encounter with the convict is an adventure, but that scene is only a device to advance the main plot, which is not truly an adventure."
Adventure has been a common theme since the earliest days of written fiction. Indeed, the standard plot of Medieval romances was a series of adventures. Following a plot framework as old as Heliodorus, and so durable as to be still alive in Hollywood movies, a hero would undergo a first set of adventures before he met his lady. A separation would follow, with a second set of adventures leading to a final reunion.
Variations kept the genre alive. From the mid-19th century onwards, when mass literacy grew, adventure became a popular subgenre of fiction. Although not exploited to its fullest, adventure has seen many changes over the years – from being constrained to stories of knights in armor to stories of high-tech espionages.
Examples of that period include Sir Walter Scott, Alexandre Dumas, père, Jules Verne, Brontë Sisters, H. Rider Haggard, Victor Hugo, Emilio Salgari, Louis Henri Boussenard, Thomas Mayne Reid, Sax Rohmer, Edgar Wallace, and Robert Louis Stevenson.
Adventure novels and short stories were popular subjects for American pulp magazines, which dominated American popular fiction between the Progressive Era and the 1950s. Several pulp magazines such as Adventure, Argosy, Blue Book, Top-Notch, and Short Stories specialized in this genre. Notable pulp adventure writers included Edgar Rice Burroughs, Talbot Mundy, Theodore Roscoe, Johnston McCulley, Arthur O. Friel, Harold Lamb, Carl Jacobi, George F. Worts, Georges Surdez, H. Bedford-Jones, and J. Allan Dunn.
Adventure fiction often overlaps with other genres, notably war novels, crime novels, sea stories, Robinsonades, spy stories (as in the works of John Buchan, Eric Ambler and Ian Fleming), science fiction, fantasy, (Robert E. Howard and J. R. R. Tolkien both combined the secondary world story with the adventure novel) and Westerns. Not all books within these genres are adventures. Adventure fiction takes the setting and premise of these other genres, but the fast-paced plot of an adventure focuses on the actions of the hero within the setting. With a few notable exceptions (such as Baroness Orczy, Leigh Brackett and Marion Zimmer Bradley) adventure fiction as a genre has been largely dominated by male writers, though female writers are now becoming common.
Adventure stories written specifically for children began in the 19th century. Early examples include Johann David Wyss' The Swiss Family Robinson (1812), Frederick Marryat's The Children of the New Forest (1847), and Harriet Martineau's The Peasant and the Prince (1856). The Victorian era saw the development of the genre, with W. H. G. Kingston, R. M. Ballantyne, and G. A. Henty specializing in the production of adventure fiction for boys. This inspired writers who normally catered to adult audiences to essay such works, such as Robert Louis Stevenson writing Treasure Island for a child readership. In the years after the First World War, writers such as Arthur Ransome developed the adventure genre by setting the adventure in Britain rather than distant countries, while Geoffrey Trease, Rosemary Sutcliff and Esther Forbes brought a new sophistication to the historical adventure novel. Modern writers such as Mildred D. Taylor (Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry) and Philip Pullman (the Sally Lockhart novels) have continued the tradition of the historical adventure. The modern children's adventure novel sometimes deals with controversial issues like terrorism (Robert Cormier, After the First Death, (1979))  and warfare in the Third World (Peter Dickinson, AK, (1990)).
A caveman is a stock character representative of primitive man in the Paleolithic. The popularisation of the type dates to the early 20th century, when Neanderthal Man was influentially described as "simian" or ape-like by Marcellin Boule and Arthur Keith.
While knowledge of human evolution in the Pleistocene has become much more detailed, the stock character has persisted, even though it anachronistically conflates characteristics of archaic humans and early modern humans.
The term "caveman" has its taxonomical equivalent in the now-obsolete Homo troglodytes ("cave-dwelling man", Linnaeus, 1758).Don D'Ammassa
Donald Eugene D'Ammassa (born April 24, 1946) is an American fantasy, science fiction and horror reviewer and author. He is chiefly known for his numerous reviews, written over a period of more than thirty years. He writes as Don D'Ammassa.Hollow Earth
The Hollow Earth is a historical concept proposing that the planet Earth is entirely hollow or contains a substantial interior space.
Notably suggested by Edmond Halley in the late 17th century, the notion was tentatively disproven by Pierre Bouguer in 1740, and definitively by Charles Hutton (1778).
It was still occasionally defended in the early-to-mid 19th century, notably by John Cleves Symmes Jr. and Jeremiah N. Reynolds, but by this time was part of popular pseudoscience and no longer a scientifically viable hypothesis.
The concept of a hollow Earth still recurs in folklore and as the premise for subterranean fiction, and a subgenre of adventure fiction (Journey to the Center of the Earth, At the Earth's Core).Japan Adventure Fiction Association Prize
The Japan Adventure Fiction Association Prizes (日本冒険小説協会大賞, Nihon Bōken Shōsetsu Kyōkai Taishō) were presented every year by the Japan Adventure Fiction Association (日本冒険小説協会, Nihon Bōken Shōsetsu Kyōkai) (JAFA) from 1982 to 2011. They honor the best in adventure fiction published in the previous year.
The Japan Adventure Fiction Association was founded in 1981 by Chin Naitō (1936–2011) and was disbanded in 2012 after his death.Jungle girl
A jungle girl (so-called, but usually adult woman) is an archetype or stock character, often used in popular fiction, of a female adventurer, superhero or even a damsel in distress living in a jungle or rainforest setting.Lost world
The lost world is a subgenre of the fantasy or science fiction genres that involves the discovery of an unknown world out of time, place, or both. It began as a subgenre of the late-Victorian adventure romance and remains popular into the 21st century.
The genre arose during an era when the fascinating remnants of lost civilizations around the world were being discovered, such as the tombs of Egypt's Valley of the Kings, the semi-mythical stronghold of Troy, the jungle-shrouded pyramids of the Maya, and the cities and palaces of the empire of Assyria. Thus, real stories of archaeological finds by imperial adventurers succeeded in capturing the public's imagination. Between 1871 and the First World War, the number of published lost world narratives, set in every continent, dramatically increased.The genre has similar themes to "mythical kingdoms", such as El Dorado.Nautical fiction
Nautical fiction, frequently also naval fiction, sea fiction, naval adventure fiction or maritime fiction, is a genre of literature with a setting on or near the sea, that focuses on the human relationship to the sea and sea voyages and highlights nautical culture in these environments. The settings of nautical fiction vary greatly, including merchant ships, liners, naval ships, fishing vessels, life boats, etc., along with sea ports and fishing villages. When describing nautical fiction, scholars most frequently refer to novels, novellas, and short stories, sometimes under the name of sea novels or sea stories. These works are sometimes adapted for the theatre, film and television.
The development of nautical fiction follows with the development of the English language novel and while the tradition is mainly British and North American, there are also significant works from literatures in Japan, France, Scandinavia, and other Western traditions. Though the treatment of themes and settings related to the sea and maritime culture is common throughout the history of western literature, nautical fiction, as a distinct genre, was first pioneered by James Fenimore Cooper (The Pilot, 1824) and Frederick Marryat (Frank Mildmay, 1829 and Mr Midshipman Easy 1836) at the beginning of the 19th century. There were 18th century and earlier precursors that have nautical settings, but few are as richly developed as subsequent works in this genre. The genre has evolved to include notable literary works like Herman Melville's Moby Dick (1851), Joseph Conrad's Lord Jim (1899–1900), popular fiction like C.S. Forester's Hornblower series (1937–67), and works by authors that straddle the divide between popular and literary fiction, like Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin series (1970–2004).
Because of the historical dominance of nautical culture by men, they are usually the central characters, except for works that feature ships carrying women passengers. For this reason, nautical fiction is often marketed for men. Nautical fiction usually includes distinctive themes, such as a focus on masculinity and heroism, investigations of social hierarchies, and the psychological struggles of the individual in the hostile environment of the sea. Stylistically, readers of the genre expect an emphasis on adventure, accurate representation of maritime culture, and use of nautical language. Works of nautical fiction often include elements overlapping with other genres, including historical fiction, adventure fiction, war fiction, children's literature, fantasy stories, travel narratives (such as the Robinsonade), the social problem novel and psychological fiction.Picaresque novel
The picaresque novel (Spanish: picaresca, from pícaro, for "rogue" or "rascal") is a genre of prose fiction that depicts the adventures of a roguish, but "appealing hero", of low social class, who lives by his wits in a corrupt society. Picaresque novels typically adopt a realistic style, with elements of comedy and satire. This style of novel originated in Spain in 1554 and flourished throughout Europe for more than 200 years, though the term "picaresque novel" was only coined in 1810. It continues to influence modern literature. The term is also sometimes used to describe works, like Cervantes' Don Quixote and Charles Dickens' Pickwick Papers, which only contain some of the genre's elements.Secret identity
A secret identity is a person's alter ego which is not known to the general populace, most often used in fiction. Brought into popular culture by the Scarlet Pimpernel in 1903, the concept is particularly prevalent in the American comic book genre, and is a more genre-specific version of the broader trope of the masquerade.
In American comic books, a character typically has dual identities, with one identity being the superhero persona and the other being the secret identity. The secret identity is typically the superhero's civilian persona when they are not assuming the superhero persona. It is kept hidden from their enemies and the general public to protect themselves from legal ramifications, pressure, or public scrutiny, as well as to protect their friends and loved ones from harm secondary to their actions as superheroes.
The secret identity commonly consists of the superhero's given birth name and may involve an occupation they had before becoming a superhero. This is in contrast to the superhero identity, which often utilizes a pseudonym and sometimes a mask to complete a costume to conceal the superhero's secret identity. To help further preserve the anonymity of secret identities, characters may use eyeglasses, particular clothing, or display a different set of personal characteristics when assuming the secret identity persona. For example, the superhero Batman's secret identity is Bruce Wayne, a billionaire who is known to the public for his affluent playboy lifestyle. Another example is Superman, who does not wear a mask when he is in costume, but wears eyeglasses and appears mild-mannered when he assumes his secret identity of Clark Kent.
Types of characters that may have secret identities include heroes, superheroes, thieves, villains, supervillains, vigilantes, aliens, and "monsters". A character may have several secret identities simultaneously, such as adopted names or undercover identities.Subterranean fiction
Subterranean fiction is a subgenre of adventure fiction or science fiction which focuses on underground settings, sometimes at the center of the Earth or otherwise deep below the surface. The genre is based on and has in turn influenced the Hollow Earth theory.
The earliest works in the genre were Enlightenment-era philosophical or allegorical works, in which the underground setting was often largely incidental. In the late 19th century, however, more pseudoscientific or proto-science-fictional motifs gained prevalence. Common themes have included a depiction of the underground world as more primitive than the surface, either culturally, technologically or biologically, or in some combination thereof. The former cases usually see the setting used as a venue for sword-and-sorcery fiction, while the latter often features creatures extinct on the surface, such as dinosaurs, hominids or cryptids. A less frequent theme has the underground world much more technologically advanced than the surface one, typically either as the refugium of a lost civilization, or (more rarely) as a base for space aliens.The Mongoliad
The Mongoliad is a fictional narrative set in the Foreworld Saga, a secret history transmedia franchise developed by the Subutai Corporation. The Mongoliad was originally released in a serialized format online, and via a series of iOS and Android apps, but was restructured and re-edited for a definitive edition released via the Amazon Publishing imprint 47North, both in print and in Kindle format. Fan-submitted Foreworld stories were published via Amazon's Kindle Worlds imprint.Treasure Hunters (book series)
Treasure Hunters is a series of young adult and adventure fiction books written by American author James Patterson with Chris Grabenstein and Mark Shulman. The series has been sold in more than 35 countries, with generally positive and few mixed reviews from critics.The story revolves around the Kidd sibings: Bick, Beck, Storm and Tommy, who try to find their missing parents who have disappeared. Their father, the legendary treasure hunter Thomas Kidd, went missing during a storm and their mother was kidnapped in Cyprus by pirates three months earlier. The series shows them trying to continue their family occupation―treasure hunting, while fulfilling the demands of the pirates who have kidnapped their mother.The Kidd family in the series is named after William Kidd, the pirate.War novel
A war novel (military fiction) is a novel in which the primary action takes place on a battlefield, or in a civilian setting (or home front), where the characters are either preoccupied with the preparations for, suffering the effects of, or recovering from war. Many war novels are historical novels.