This steampunk adventure is about the young daughter of a Capitan, in a post-Klang War Kuala Berlumpur. She made tin automated elephants, and had hoped her father would use them in his mines. But he had other plans for her — he was going to marry her off, to ensure her future.
It took me over a month (full-time) to research this story. It was odd how little I knew, because though I knew that tin mining was big in that time, and I knew about the Capitan Cina, Yap Ah Loy, and of the Klang Wars, I hadn’t actually known anything about the period. What language did they speak, for example? I mean the Chinese tin miners. The answer: Malay, if they were spoke different dialects. Of course, the details I put in were from the Perak mines of the time, as visited by Isabella Bird. Pity she didn’t make it to Kuala Lumpur during her trip.
The story was published (December 2015) in the 2016 Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide edited by Corie and Sean Weaver. The book can be bought here
“When I was a child, the school library had a Girls’ Section, which included fairy tales, and a Boys’ Section, which included all the science fiction. Things have changed, of course, but not enough. There is a strong need for science fiction, as opposed to fantasy, aimed at girls, especially in the middle grades. This anthology is an important contribution to the effort to fill that need, and I’m delighted to be a part of it.” ~ Nancy Kress, winner of six Nebulas, two Hugos, a Sturgeon, and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award.