by Roger Zotti
“ITP: Future Hope” (Ruffian Press) is Dr. David Gelber’s first novel, and he defines it as “a work of speculative fiction.” Dr. Gelber adds that the novel is Christian-themed and “about what the earth is going to be like 150 years from now. Then it [offers a contrast] with what the world may have been like if man had never fallen in the Garden of Eden.” He found “speculating about what the Garden of Eden would have been like if man had never fallen and what would have happened if Adam and Eve had children” challenging.
Here’s what Dr. Gelber, a vascular surgeon, expects readers to take away from his novel: “I hope they’re entertained” and “also think about where mankind is going and what price we are going to pay to get to that point.” He notes that though “we have solved many problems,” new ones keeping occurring and “The question is: cCan humankind find solutions before it destroys itself?”
Revising is something with which all writers are concerned. For instance, Patricia T. O’Conner in “Words Fail Me” says it’s more than fixing what’s wrong; it’s making what’s passable better…Revising your work isn’t just an afterthought. If you haven’t revised, you’re not finished.”
For John Moore, author of such marvelous fairy tale parodies as “A Fate Worse Than Dragons,” “The creative stuff is fun but revising isn’t.” As for Dr. Gelber, he finished his first manuscript a year ago. “But I probably revised it…at least twenty times,” he says. “The original writing of my book went well and getting it from my head on paper wasn’t too difficult. Once it’s on paper, though, revising can be tedious. You have to keep reading it to see if it makes sense.”
One of Dr. Gelber’s main characters, Major David Sanders, undergoes the novel’s biggest change. Near the end, in his testimony to the Senate committee, he admits, “I was…living a life of wanton hedonism, filled with self-indulgence…second to none.” As a result of his International Transport Protocol odyssey – which crash landed him in the Garden of Eden – David returns to earth humbled, shamed and converted. To the committee, he talks about “the cruel joke” of which human beings are victims. It involves not thinking we need God “when we have our government and benevolent industries giving us everything that they decide we need….I beg of you to start to change the evil ways of the world…”
I don’t think all politicians are like the book’s major antagonist, Senator Leavitt, a believably despicable and conniving opportunist. I think, too, that sometimes big government does the right thing. But agree or disagree with Dr. Gelber’s views, “ITP: Future Hope” is a cracking good yarn, filled with interesting characters. It’s an imaginative, informative, and entertaining read, and let’s hope it’s the start of a long writing career for Dr. Gelber.