Muhammad Omar Iftikhar
Karachi : “Reading science fiction novels always fascinated my imagination. I wondered why extraterrestrial beings from outer space never visited Karachi”, said Muhammad Omar Iftikhar while speaking at the virtual book launch of his novel, Divided Species. This event was hosted by Awais Khan, author of “In the Company of Strangers”. It was streamed live on Facebook on Monday, February 15, 2021. Divided Species is published by Auraq Publications.
The story of this science fiction novel revolves around extraterrestrial beings landing in Karachi. They want to find and secure a mineral resource, capable of destroying human life, that was buried beneath the city many years ago. They must act swiftly before it is too late. These beings, the Taleykens – from the fictional Planet Arplon in the Cygnus Constellation (present in actuality) – engage in an intergalactic battle with the humans. This happens when their undisclosed century-old relationship turns sour. Editorial Consultant of the novel, Safwa Mir – a seasoned content developer – believes that Omar used the full capacity of a sci-fi genre to be creative. Omair Alavi, an entertainment journalist, endorsed the book by saying, “Divided Species is an interesting read, especially for the fans of the sci-fi genre in Pakistan.” Host, Awais Khan, said it is refreshing to read a sci-fi novel set in Karachi. He added that sci-fi is a genre not pursued by many writers in Pakistan and it is a rarity for a Pakistani author to choose Karachi as a primary setting when writing science fiction.