Divided Species, a novel written by Muhammad Omar Iftikhar is a worthy addition to the genre of science fiction literature of Pakistan. The story is set in Karachi where the Taleyken, extraterrestrial beings (aliens), from the Planet Arplon arrive.
Their mission is to find and secure a mineral buried in Karachi. Omar Iftikhar, a Karachi-based fiction writer and columnist, who has lived his entire life in Karachi, presents the city’s scenic beauty, the lively downtown, and its dynamic energy through the scenes packed with action, adventure, and suspense.
Published by Auraq Publications, the story of Divided Species is something we have not come across lately. The creatures from a distant planet do walk in Karachi and befriend Rayan, a 21-year-old Karachiite. The members of the Taleyken species are searching for a radioactive mineral resource that is hidden somewhere in Karachi.
Some Taleykens with evil intentions want to extract this mineral without precaution. If not handled properly, the radioactive waves can instantly destroy human, animal, and plant life. The first few chapters of the novel reveal an agreement signed by the ancestors of the Taleyken race and one human in particular who was given the task to protect this mineral. This happened during the mid-19th century.
During the present-day narrative, the human who is in charge of safeguarding this mineral is adamant about using the power of the mineral for himself. This turns the Taleyken-Human relationship sour and brings an intergalactic war to Karachi. The story includes themes of leadership, courage, sacrifice, revenge, and guilt.
Divided Species has received endorsements from Ms. Ambreen Arshad, Section In Charge, Daily Dawn; Awais Khan, author of “In the Company of Strangers” and Omair Alavi, Entertainment Journalist. Safwa Mir is the book’s Editorial Consultant.