Action or Adventure Short Stories

These are plot-driven stories. The action is a very important, if not the most important, part of the story.

See also Survival

See also War

The Sea Raiders | H. G. Wells

A retired man takes an afternoon walk along the English coast. He notices a pinkish form far below surrounded by some kind of animals. He makes his way closer, and is shocked by what he finds.

Read “The Sea Raiders”

Off the Mangrove Coast | Louis L’Amour

Four men steal a boat and set out to sea. One of them, Limey Johnson, knows of a ship that sank of the mangrove coast with fifty thousand dollars in a safe. They will split it four ways—unless something happens to improve each person’s share.

A Sound of Thunder | Ray Bradbury

In the future, a company offers guided hunting safaris into the past to kill dinosaurs. Extreme care is taken to ensure nothing happens that could alter the present.

Read “A Sound of Thunder”

The Seed from the Sepulchre | Clark Ashton Smith

Falmer and Thone are orchid hunters, exploring a tributary of the Orinoco. When Thone falls ill, Falmer continues on to a site where rumor says a treasure was left in some ruins. Falmer returns changed; he is surly, distracted, and uncommunicative. Thone thinks his partner might have picked up a tropical infection. They decide to go back to the main river.

Read “The Seed from the Sepulchre”

After King Kong Fell | Philip Jose Farmer

Mr. Howller watches King Kong with his six-year-old granddaughter, Jill. She is affected by the movie and asks questions about King Kong. Her grandfather explains that what they saw was make-believe but says that he was there when it really happened. He tells the real story.

Read “After King Kong Fell”

The Most Dangerous Game | Richard Connell

The owner of an island, General Zaroff, hunts people; if they can elude him for three days they are allowed to go free.

Read “The Most Dangerous Game”

The Greatest Thing in the World | Norman Mailer

Al Groot, a young adult, enters a lunch wagon and tries to get a deal on a doughnut and coffee. He has been walking and hitch-hiking, trying to get to Chicago. When three men come in for a meal, Al tries to get a ride with them.

Read “The Greatest Thing in the World”

Leiningen Versus the Ants | Carl Stephenson

Leiningen owns a large plantation in Brazil. An army of ants, twenty square miles in size, is advancing on the plantation, destroying everything in its path. Leiningen has been warned to abandon his property – for the safety of himself and his men – but he plans on making a stand and fighting off the ants.

Read “Leiningen Versus the Ants”

To Build a Fire | Jack London

In the Yukon, a man is traveling on foot with a husky in the wilderness to meet some acquaintances. It’s – 75 degrees and even though he’s careful, he breaks through some ice and soaks his boots, necessitating a fire.

Read “To Build a Fire”

Soaked in Seaweed: or Upset in the Ocean | Stephen Leacock

Mr Blowhard joins the Saucy Sally as second mate. He leaves with Captain Bilge and the rest of the crew. Everything goes well until the third day when Blowhard is told there was an incident involving the first and third mates.

This is a parody of the sea faring adventure story.

Read “Soaked in Seaweed” (scroll down)