Faraz Talat is a medical doctor and the founder of the cultural space Cafe Sol in Islamabad. He is also a writer with numerous online publications on the subjects of civil rights, public health, and arts and culture. He is presently working in the psychiatric field, focusing on community programs that aim to make mental healthcare more accessible to the public. Seventy Four is his debut novella.
by Faraz Talat
A diabetic microbiologist turns 73 in a world that rejects the elderly, denying them healthcare in accordance with the draconian ‘Second Chance’ laws set in place after the Great Pandemic. When an opportunity arises to challenge this rule, her brother does whatever he must to make sure she lives to see her next birthday.
“A post pandemic story written way before the pandemic. A haunting little book about second chances, last days and human relations that survive the unsurvivable.”
Mohammed Hanif, author of A Case of Exploding Mangoes
“Any culture’s science fiction is its dream of what its future could be. Now we live in a global culture, and Faraz Talat’s Seventy Four shoots right to the heart of all our current fears and hopes. It’s an intense experience, poignant and memorable.”
Kim Stan Robinson, author of Blue Mars
“Scientists become saviors in times of plague, but their attempts to exert control over pathogens and politics go awry in Faraz Talat’s science fiction novella Seventy Four. Razia Ntikoladze, eminent scientist and Pakistani emigree, is locked in a race against a deadly new contagion and her own mortality; before she can save the world, she has to escape the colloquium’s merciless eugenics project. A daringly brilliant literary experiment which pits humanity against its own worst enemy—itself.”
Bina Shah, author of Before She Sleeps
Afia S. Zia is a feminist researcher with a doctoral degree in Women and Gender Studies from the University of Toronto. She is the author of Sex Crime in the Islamic Context (1994, ASR) and has contributed essays to several edited volumes including, Contesting Feminism: Gender and Islam in Asia and Voicing Demands.
George Orwell (June 25, 1903 to January 1, 1950), born Eric Arthur Blair, was a novelist, essayist and critic best known for his novels Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four. Born to British civil servant, Orwell spent his infancy days in India and came to England with his mother when he was one year old. Like many other boys in England, Orwell was sent to boarding school. In 1911 he went to St. Cyprian’s in Eastbourne, where he got his first taste of England’s class system. On a partial scholarship, Orwell noticed that the school treated the richer students better than the poorer ones. He wasn’t very popular with his peers, and in books he found solace from his difficult situation. He read works by Rudyard Kipling and H.G. Wells, among others. Due to impoverishment, he had to discontinue formal education. Instead he joined the India Imperial Police Force in 1922. After five years in Burma, Orwell resigned his post and returned to England. He was intent on making it as a writer.
Professor Uzi Rabi is the Director of the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies and a senior researcher at the Center for Iranian Studies, both at Tel Aviv University. Formerly, he was the Head of the Department of Middle Eastern and African History at Tel Aviv University. From 2004-2005, he held a visiting professorship at the Lipinski Institute of San Diego State University. Prof. Rabi is the director of the TAU Workshop, an annual ten-day seminar for international scholars that focuses on the geopolitical situation of Israel and its neighbors, and the co-editor of Bustan: The Middle East Book Review. His research focuses on the modern history and evolution of states and societies in the Middle East, Iranian-Arab relations, oil and politics in the Middle East, and Sunni-Shi’i dynamics; within this framework he has supervised the dissertations of numerous doctoral candidates in this field over the years. He has authored numerous books and scholarly papers to date.