Swimmer Among The Stars by Kanishk Tharoor is a very strong and erudite collection of short fiction.

There’s a real sense of range and diversity to the stories that feature in the book. A piece recounting the final days of a city on the cusp of being razed to the ground by the khan’s armies is coupled with a lovely story about an elephant sent from India to Morocco to please a princess. There’s a very funny piece about that time the United Nations found itself in space and there’s a fascinating and exciting retelling of the Alexander Romance, apocryphal tales about Alexander The Great. It’s a collection that mixes a deep interest in language and history with science fiction and mythology. And just to top it all off the final story, which came close to being my favourite, uses the freezing in of a Russian icebreaker in the Antarctic to tell a story about collaboration and the sharing of cultures.

Highly recommended.