Sea story

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"Sea Stories" redirects here. For other uses, see Sea Stories (disambiguation).

A sea story is a work of fiction or non-fiction set largely at sea.


The enclosed setting of life aboard a ship allows an author to portray a social world in miniature, with characters cut off from the outside world and forced to interact in cramped and stressful conditions.

The form has been popular from Homer's Odyssey onwards.


Themes can include:

  • Interpersonal difficulties and interactions:
    • Differences between seamen and officers
    • Bullying behavior
    • Mutiny
    • Bawdy liaisons with bar-girls in exotic locales
  • Inter-ship difficulties, and ship goals:
    • Piracy
    • Naval activity and battles
    • Commercial fishing
    • Boat racing
  • Natural difficulties:
    • Struggles against treacherous weather and sea conditions
    • Shipwrecks
    • Explorations of inhospitable areas



Notable exponents of the sea story include:


Notable novellas include:


In the twentieth century, sea stories were popular subjects for the pulp magazines. Adventure [1] and Blue Book [2] often ran sea stories by writers such as J. Allan Dunn and H. Bedford-Jones as part of their selection of fiction. More specialized periodicals include:



  1. ^ Jones, Robert Kenneth. The Lure of Adventure. Starmont House,1989 ISBN 1-55742-143-9 (p.40)
  2. ^ Horace Vondys, Best Sea Stories from Bluebook, , introduced by Donald Kennicott. New York: The McBride Company, 1954.
  3. ^ "Lost at Sea: The Story of The Ocean," introduction to The Ocean: 100th Anniversary Collection (Off-Trail Publications, 2008).

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