One Last Interruption Before We Begin

One Last Interruption Before We Begin, in Steampunked 2: More Lesbian Steampunk Stories, 2011, Torquere Press. If The Last Rickshaw is a love letter, this story is a serenade under the balcony in the middle of a monsoon. A look at colonialism, the logistics of steampunk in South East Asia, and love when one of you believes you are inherently superior.

The Attolia is beautiful, all curved lines and sleek woods. She knows the British ships have been used in war, but the Attolia is so shy and subtle sitting in a berth next to the Bintang Malam, with its sharp edges and ceremonial lines. The boards are a rich brown and the canvas sails are a dull cream made dark by the dust of flight. It is not so brightly coloured as the Malaysian and Indian ships; but it does not sit like a bruise against the sky as the Chinese ships do, and Shun Ping appreciates the difference.