Action fiction is the literary genre that includes spy novels, adventure stories, tales of terror and intrigue ("cloak and dagger"), and mysteries. This kind of story utilizes suspense, the tension that is built up when the reader wishes to know how the conflict between the protagonist and antagonist is going to be resolved or what the solution to the puzzle of a thriller is.
Action fiction is a form of genre fiction whose subject matter is characterized by emphasis on exciting action sequences. This does not always mean they exclude character development or story-telling. Action fiction, is related to other forms of fiction, including action films, action games and analogous media in other formats such as manga and anime. It includes martial arts action, extreme sports action, car chases and vehicles, suspense action, and action comedy, with each focusing in more detail on its own type and flavour of action. It is usually possible to tell from the creative style of an action sequence, the emphasis of an entire work, so that, for example, the style of a combat sequence will indicate whether the entire work can be classified as action adventure, or a martial work. Action is mainly defined by a central focus on any kind of exciting movement.
- Turco (1999, pp. 58,116)
- Turco, Lewis (1999), The Book of Literary Terms: The Genres of Fiction, Drama, Nonfiction, Literary Criticism, and Scholarship, Hanover: University Press of New England, ISBN 0-87451-954-3