I recently read an interesting story that was sought in an identification request on another site: the short story "Time, as it evaporates..." ("Le temps, en s'évaporant") by Jean-Claude Dunyach. The story can be read in full or in part, depending on your location, from Google Books. In short, it's set in an apocalyptic setting where time has almost disappeared, from everywhere in the world except one city nestled between mountains which has survived in a little bubble of time, like an air pocket trapped below a lake.

Where is this city? It's clearly in a mountainous Muslim country, which instantly makes me think of Afghanistan, but of course other Islamic countries have mountains too. Is there enough evidence in the story, perhaps cultural or linguistic hints as well as geographical, to enable us to pin down a location?

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    Turkey, Pakistan, Morocco, to name a few Moslem countries with notable mountains. Wikipedia tells me Marwan is an Arabic name, so probably an Arab country. The author of the story is French, so maybe a country in the former French colonial empire. My wild guess: Morocco. No idea, really. Haven't read the story. If it's set in the future, there could be more Moslem countries than there are now.
    – user14111
    Oct 30, 2021 at 8:40
  • @user14111 Ah, I missed that the author and original story were French. Not sure about Marwan specifically, but many Arabic names have also spread, along with Islam and sometimes with small variations, to other Muslim countries (Ali, for example, and the various forms of the name Mohammed, are popular names everywhere from Turkey to Pakistan to Iran, not only Arab countries).
    – Rand al'Thor
    Oct 30, 2021 at 9:16
  • The story can be "borrowed" (no charge but registration required) from the Internet Archive: archive.org/details/yearsbestsf10yea00davi
    – user14111
    Oct 30, 2021 at 10:16
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    It is an interesting story! I was able to read it at the Internet Archive (thanks to @user14111). Since one of the characters in the book is a sponge-fisher, the town in the story is probably not too far from the sea. I would say that this decreases the chances of it being set in Afghanistan, but I'm not confident that any definitive geographical setting can be identified.
    – Namaskaram
    Oct 30, 2021 at 18:42
  • Plus of course the location may be intentionally obfuscated, or imaginary and constructed to match no real world location.
    – Mary
    Oct 30, 2021 at 19:22


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