|Born||Robert Benthall Gerber, Jr.
December 27, 1962
|Occupation||Author, President and CEO of Locaid, Board of Directors for Aratana Therapeutics|
|Language||English, & German|
|Education||M.B.A., and B.S. in Chemical Engineering|
|Alma mater||Harvard Business School, and the University of Virginia|
|Genres||Thrillers, and Technology|
Robert “Rip” Benthall Gerber, Jr. (Born December 27, 1962), best known as Rip Gerber, is an American author, business executive and entrepreneur, best known for his work in the science fiction and thriller genres. His books have been published by Random House under the Heyne imprint and sold almost exclusively as German language techno-thrillers in Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic. His literary works are usually based on the action genre and heavily feature technology. His novels epitomize the techno-thriller genre of literature, often exploring technology and failures of human interaction with it, especially resulting in catastrophes with biotechnology.
Early Life and Education
Robert Benthall Gerber, Jr. was born in Washington, DC, to Robert Benthall Gerber, a plumber, and Carolyn Wyser Gerber, a State Department employee, on December 27, 1962. He was raised in Falls Church, Virginia and had three siblings: a brother, William and two sisters, Donna and Cheryl. Gerber pursued cartooning, not writing, in his youth.
At age ten he started a business designing and selling greeting cards, raising enough money and winning a scholarship to attend the University of Virginia beginning in 1981. In college he studied Biophysics and Chemical Engineering, and supported himself by designing campus posters, T-shirts, and greeting cards, working as a staff political cartoonist for the Cavalier Daily and University Journal, and working summer jobs at the Central Intelligence Agency Headquarters in Langley, Virginia. He also served on the University of Virginia’s Honor Council and as an officer for the Virginia chapter of Delta Upsilon fraternity. He was a member of the Virginia rugby and cycling club teams. During his undergraduate study, an engineering professor criticized his excessive doodling and unnecessary language in his lab notes, promptly Gerber to enroll in a fiction writing class in his final year, his only A+ grade of his entire college career. For his writing class he produced his first short story, A Fishing Day Correspondence, later published in The Virginia Quarterly Review, in 1985. Gerber did not write another work of fiction again until twenty years later.
Gerber applied for and was rejected by Harvard Business School in 1987. Upon his second attempt at admission he did not complete the required personal essays in the application forms but instead constructed a large painted wooden puzzle of a pictogram detailing his life and accomplishments and shipped it to Harvard Admissions in a Zip-Loc bag. Gerber was accepted in Harvard University’s School of Business and graduated in 1992. Of note was he was a political cartoonist and journalist with the HARBUS school paper and co-wrote the Harvard show, Vulgarians at the Gate, the Don Sull, now an author and London Business School professor, and Jay O’Connor, son of Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.
"The Journeyman" was Rip Gerber’s first published novel, published by iUniverse in 2007. It is a novella of 52,000 words in length which describes the coming of age of an Iraqi boy in post-war Iraqi. The manuscript was rejected by over a hundred agents, primarily for its favorable views of the outcome of the Iraqi war, an unpopular stance at the time. It sold under a hundred copies.
Gerber published "Pharma" in 2007 as well. It was his first techno-thriller concerning a team of pharmaceutical scientists conducting genetic tests on exotic rare plants in the Amazon rainforest. The novel included references to emerging biogenetic procedures, particularly growth enhancement of photosynthesis, that have since become mainstay techniques in biogenetic engineering research laboratories. The Random House edition published by their imprint Heyne Verlag, briefly reached best-seller status in Germany in mid-2007. Markus Naegele, Editor for Heyne, called it "The most compelling ecological thriller of our time". Joe Veltre, of the Artists Literacy Group, said of Pharma: “Gerber has gone beyond the standard thriller and presented science that makes you stop and think, with the most irresistibly brilliant and disturbing characters."
In 2010 Gerber published a sequel entitled "Killer Virus", about a plot to infect the America public during a nationwide anti-terror rally utilizing medical device implants. The Food and Drug Administration featured prominently in the book. The book received excellent reviews but was published only in German, under the Heyne imprint.
Also in 2010, Gerber’s second short story, "Last Supper", was selected among hundreds of submissions to be included in an anthology from new authors and New York Times best-selling authors including Lee Child, Steve Berry, Gregg Hurwitz, Stephen Coonts, Heather Graham, Daniel J Palmer and Michael Palmer. The anthology, "First Thrills: High-Octane Stories from the Hottest Thriller Authors" was published internationally by Forge, an imprint of Macmillan Publishers. Gerber’s story concerns a priest who utilizes the chemical properties of exotic mushrooms in administering the last rites to the man who murdered his pregnant wife. The story garnered acclamations from Publisher’s Weekly and Booklist.
Rip Gerber also co-authored a 2005 book; "Pilots to Profits: Getting in Sync with the Mobile Mandate", published by Hudson House.
He is also a member of various national and international organizations, including:
- International Thriller Writers
- Squaw Valley Writer's Conference (2007)
- San Francisco Writers Workshop
- Mystery Writers of America
Virginia Literary Review
San Francisco Writers Workshop
Random House author bio
KILLER VIRUS book site
International Thriller Writers
Interview with The Valley Girl Show on 03/14/2013
Locately Advisory Board
- "Class of 1992 20th Reunion".
- "Don Sull, faculty profile at London Business School".
- Google Book page.
- Beusker, Gabriele. "Pharma Thriller Launch Press Release". Heyne. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
- "Amazon.de Book Page".
- "First Thrills, Introduced and edited by Lee Child with an Afterward by Steve Berry, Macmillan".
- "Forge's Website".
- Berry, Steve. "Review of First Thrills: High Octane Stories from the Hottest Thriller Authors". Publisher's Weekly. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
- Hartlaub, Joe. "Review of First Thrills: High Octane Stories From the Hottest Thriller Authors". Booklist. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
- "Amazon's book page".