Bio of Dr. David Gelber.
About Dr. David Gelber, author of Behind the Mask: The Mystique of Surgery and the Surgeons Who Perform Them
In 2010, more than 45 million surgeries were performed in the United States alone. So it’s interesting – and a little ironic – that the mind of a surgeon remains largely impenetrable.
By providing a peek into a surgeon’s world with his new release, Behind the Mask: The Mystique of Surgery and the Surgeons Who Perform Them (Ruffian Press, August 2011), Dr. David Gelber hopes to change that.
“My goal was to clearly present the thought processes that go into the life and death decisions surgeons make every day and explain what really happens during an operation - on the OR table and in the surgeon's head,” says Gelber.
Born in 1958 in upstate New York, the seventh of nine boys, Dr. Gelber attended college at Johns Hopkins University and medical school at the University of Rochester School of Medicine, graduating in 1984. He started his training in general and vascular surgery at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, Texas and finished in 1989 at Nassau County Medical Center on Long Island in New York.
As a partner in Coastal Surgical Group he has practiced in the Southeast Houston area for more than 20 years. He served as Chairman of the Department of Surgery and as President of the Medical Staff at Bayshore Medical Center in Pasadena Texas and was named one of America’s Top Docs for 2008 by physician rating service Castle Connolly.
When asked if his career path has been worth it, Dr. David Gelber – a General and Vascular Surgeon practicing in Southeast Harris County in Texas since 1990 – leaves little doubt.
“I’ve spent years attending to the drunks who couldn’t settle their differences without knives or guns, children with an appendix that decided to burst at 2:00 a.m., kindly old ladies who’ve said, ‘I’m done with those old breasts, just get rid of them,’ and so on. The rewards are tremendous,” says Dr. Gelber.
“Nearly every week I can look back and say that I saved somebody’s life - stopped their bleeding, removed their cancer, restored their ability to walk without pain or disability. This has given me great satisfaction.”
Dr. Gelber is the author of two science fiction novels, Future Hope, ITP Book One and Joshua and Aaron, ITP Book Two. He lives in Houston, Texas with Laura, his wife of 25 years, three teenaged children, four dogs and 24 birds.
Dr. Gelber is interviewed by fellow author Brandon Barr
Today we're interviewing writer (and surgeon) David Gelber, author of the science fiction novel, Future Hope.
First off, I dig the cover on this book. The old fashioned 1930's version of a spaceship is sleek, nostalgic and beautiful. Something about that old science fiction art that was completely free to imagine wild starship designs (not to mention strange monsters living on mars and whole universe of adventure). The reality wasn't quite so captivating--artistically that is--in my opinion. The moon just a bunch of dust and rock? No crater creatures?
Anyways, onward to the interview!
BB: Hey David, nice to have you on the Christian sci-fi blog. Tell us about yourself.
David: My day job is as a surgeon practicing in the Houston Texas area. I was raised in upstate New York, number seven of nine sons. WE were a secular Jewish family. I became Christian at age forty. Christianity struck me as the natural extension of Judaism; really the fulfillment of the Jewish religion. I am married to a wonderful woman, (almost 25 years) and have three teenage children.
BB: When and why did you start writing fiction, and what stories have inspired you most?
David: I started writing in 2006. I had done a little bit of writing in high school and college and thought of becoming a writer, but I decided to take the easy way out and so I became a surgeon. My favorite writers and those that influenced me the most are Dickens and Hugo, particularly “A Tale of Two Cities” and “Les Miserables”
BB: Your novel, Future Hope, has a beautiful cover, how did you come by it?
David: The idea of depicting a spaceship rocketing towards the Garden of Eden came from the cover designer for the original version of the book. The design was modified by the graphic artists at Greenleaf Bookgroup to its present presentation.
BB: Is Future Hope your first book? Did you write anything before Future Hope? Short stories?
David: Future Hope is the first thing I had written in probably thirty five years. I had the idea for the story and some of the characters kicking around in my head for years before I finally put it down on paper. Since then I’ve written a sequel “Joshua and Aaron” and I have about twenty essays that are posted on my blog “heardintheor.blogspot.com”. There’s also a few chapters of “Little Bit’s Story” on my web site. I’m slowly working on this story and posting chapters at http://www.itpfuturehope.com.
BB: What's Future Hope about?
David: Future Hope starts with two quotes from Genesis, the first God addressing Adam and Eve forbidding them to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and the second Satan tempting Adam and Eve. The story, as all of humanity’s history can be viewed, depicts the culmination of this struggle between good and evil. Set in the year 2156 the world of that time has solved most of the problems of disease, hunger etc, but at the price of eliminating God and religion from society. The problem of dwindling resources leads to the first voyage through Interdimensional space looking for new worlds to colonize. The pilot, Major David Sanders, ends up in the Garden of Eden, but one where mankind never suffered the Fall. The story follows his struggle to return to earth, a struggle that leaves him a very changed man. The basic question that arises is “Which is better? God’s ways or man’s ways. It is left to the reader to decide.
BB: Your novel is cited as "eco-friendly". How does environment play into your plot?
David: The earth of the future is being depleted, while Eden is a rich, lush garden. There is a message that the depletion of natural resources comes with a great price.
BB: What was your journey to publication for this novel? Any speed bumps? How did you finally get the novel published?
David: I originally self published and then had it published through Greenleaf Book Group. My father, who is almost 95, really enjoyed it and I wanted to have it published while he was still able to read it.
BB: From your perspective, why do you think Christian sci-fi, fantasy, and other "speculative" sub-genres aren't well represented in the Christian community?
David: I think there is a perception that such genres cannot coexist with Christian values, an idea that is certainly false. Future Hope is definitely Christian, but is not whitewashed of any of its “edgy” components.
BB: Now's your time to stand up on a soap box and offer any sage-like thoughts. Is there anything cultural, political, literary, philosophical, or otherwise that's heavy on your heart?
David: The history of mankind can be viewed as a race either towards or away from salvation. When mankind suffered the Fall they chose Satan and a desire to “be like God” over a future walking with God. God has been gracious to send his Son to live and die for us through the Cross. The message of “Future Hope” is that a world heading at light speed away from God will end up desperate and deprived. The true future hope is the hope that we have in Christ.