Steven Robert Alten (born August 21, 1959) is an American science fiction author. An avid amateur oceanographer, Alten studied megalodons — a species of prehistoric shark widely regarded as gigantic versions of the great white — for over ten years before publishing his first novel in 1997, in which the massive sharks were revealed to have survived into the modern day.
He has published fifteen thrillers between 1997 and 2016, along with two revised editions of his first novel and one novella.
His official website may be found here.
- Meg (1997) — a modest bestseller in which megalodons, prehistoric sharks similar to the modern Great White (only much bigger) are revealed to have survived in the depths of the Mariana Trench.
- Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror (2005) — a revised edition of the original novel, which added the subtitle.
- Meg: Origins (2011) — an e-book set several years before the events of Meg.
- Meg: Special Anniversary Edition/Revised and Expanded Edition (2015) — comes in two forms: a limited hardcover edition, and a wide paperback edition. Both releases contain the former e-book exclusive Meg: Origins and a rewritten version of the original novel (incorporating elements from the Meg film script).
- The Trench (1999) — set four years after Meg, revealing that the megalodons were not the only prehistoric survivors in the Mariana Trench.
- Domain (2001) — the first in a series about the Mayan Doomsday prophecy.
- Goliath (2002) — a renegade scientist attempts to terrorize the world into peace with a giant submarine equipped with an artificial brain and nuclear missiles.
- Resurrection (2004) — the second in the Domain series.
- Meg: Primal Waters (2004) — set eighteen years after The Trench.
- The Loch (2005) — a scientist returns to his birthplace of Loch Ness and finds himself involved in the search for the legendary monster that calls it home. Originally a standalone, it was retconned to be set between The Trench and Primal Waters.
- The Shell Game (2008) — a political thriller revolving around the world's oil supply running out.
- Meg: Hell's Aquarium (2009) — set four years after Primal Waters.
- Grim Reaper: End of Days (2010) — a retelling of Dante's The Divine Comedy, in which a former soldier travels through a plague-ridden New York City in order to rescue his wife and daughter.
- Phobos: Mayan Fear (2011) — the third in the Domain series.
- The Omega Project (2013) — 20 Minutes into the Future, after a mass extinction of humanity, a team of scientists are prepared to head for Jupiter's moon Europa in order to mine a rare ore that would solve Earth’s long-term energy needs. But before they can leave Earth, they're put into cold sleep by the A.I. they're working with, and only a few survive to wake up in a Dark Future.
- Sharkman (2014) — a young man, paralyzed by an accident, resorts to desperate attempts to regain mobility and winds up mutating into a humanoid shark-like being as a result. Later retconned to being part of the Meg series.
- Vostok: A Sequel to The Loch (2015) — A crossover between The Loch and the Meg series, in which scientists traveling to Mysterious Antarctica discover a Lost World many miles below the ice, and possibly the origins of the human race. Part 1 is set between the events of The Loch and Primal Waters; part 2 is set at the same time as Night Stalkers.
- Meg: Night Stalkers (2016) — set six months after Meg: Hell's Aquarium.
- Undisclosed (2017) — revolves around a conspiracy by Big Oil to prevent other, more sustainable energy sources from supplementing oil as mankind's primary energy source. Initially titled Unacknowledged.
- Meg: Generations (2018note ) — the sixth installment in the series, listed at the end of Meg: Revised and Expanded Edition and named at the end of Meg: Night Stalkers.
- MEG: The Graphic Novel (2018) — graphic novel adaptation of the first Meg book.
- The Meg (2018) — film adaptation of the first Meg book.
- Meg 2: The Trench (2023) — sequel to The Meg, adapting The Trench.
Other published works:
- Dog Training the American Male (2016) — a humorous novel published under the pen name "L.A. Knight" (who is supposed to be a German Shepherd), and features a relationship counselor who, after she and her new boyfriend (an unemployed man with a laundry list of phobias) move in together and he adopts a large dog in an attempt to help them, must use a dog trainer's techniques to help mend their relationship.
Future works announced by Steve Alten include:
- Meg: Purgatory — the seventh novel, announced via Alten's official newsletter in April 2018.note
- Sorceress — a sequel to Goliath, originally announced on Alten's website before the publication of Resurrection. The original plot appears to have been recycled into The Omega Project, so the project's status is currently unknown.
- Grim Reaper: Purgatory — announced at the conclusion of Grim Reaper: End of Days.
- Mayan Testament: Collapse — fourth and final installment in the Domain series, announced via a "To be continued" note at the conclusion of Phobos: Mayan Fear. Its title was given on the author's website in December 2018, which also identified it as the final book in the series.
- Ravenous — standalone work announced in December 2018. Summary: "An original story of an African tribesman who becomes part messianic figure – part vampire during a massive outbreak of Ebola in South Sudan — a country besieged by violence, rape, and murder."
- The Loch: Heaven's Lake — announced in February 2019 as the author's next project, in which Zachary Wallace travels to a mysterious lake situated in a crater atop a caldera in South China/North Korea after a series of monster sightings.
- Film or TV adaptations of other books. According to Alten's official website, The Loch and Domain have both been optioned by varying studios, and Goliath has been considered for a TV series, but all have yet to enter development.
Works by Steve Alten with their own page include:
Other works by this author contain examples of:
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot:
- Sorceress, the A.I. in Goliath, which is designed to evolve and winds up going bad very quickly.
- GOLEM does the same in The Omega Project.
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: In Grim Reaper: End of Days, The Grim Reaper, the male personification of death, is always a mortal who has chosen to do this. Patrick Shepard, the protagonist, is on his fourth and final life; he chooses to ascend and live out the rest of that life as the newest Grim Reaper, in order to keep his female counterpart, Santa Muerte, in check.
- Bad Future: The protagonists wind up in one in The Omega Project.
- Colony Drop: The cause of the second mass extinction in The Omega Project. Specifically, a massive asteroid struck the moon, ejecting tons of material that bombarded the planet.
- A key theme of Grim Reaper: End of Days. Patrick Shepard, the main protagonist of Grim Reaper, learns that every soul has four lives; he's on his last one, and after learning about the true nature of things, chooses to spend the rest of it as the new Grim Reaper. In previous incarnations, he was the biblical Noah, a young man who was incarcerated at Auschwitz, and Jim Morrison of The Doors. Dawn Patel, a ten-year-old girl who is among the group that accompanies him in his journey across Manhattan, is the reincarnation of his dead daughter Donna.
- It also plays a role in The Omega Project.
- One-Gender Race: In The Omega Project, GOLEM's new race of humans is purely female. However, it does try to acquire DNA from the protagonist in order to modify the species further.
- Synthetic Plague: The Scythe plague, a fast-acting version of the Black Plague, is unleashed in New York City during the events of Grim Reaper: End of Days.
- The End of the World as We Know It: Many of Alten's novels deal with this in some way or form, and often attempt to avert it in some way.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Simon Covah, one of the antagonists of Goliath, who seeks to terrify the world into peace, by blowing up certain cities if he has to.