It was a fine thing to read Sean McMullen again. I read his GreatWinter Trilogy (beginning with Eyes of the Calculor) on a total whim after seeing it on display at a Barnes & Noble bookstore for what seemed like a year or more. His short story Eight Miles is a fine one as well. He ventures into steampunk territory here, telling of an early balloonist. The balloonist is engaged by a rich baron to take an unusual specimen to a great height--she was found high in the mountains and is obviously not human. The story revolves around just how sharp she gets as she is restored to her native atmosphere.
The story has the authentic steampunk 19th century voice, and it is a good adventure tale. Not particularly groundbreaking, but the opening few sentences set the story so well it meets expectations. Read it for some fun. 3 stars.
I read this one on the Kindle--it is an HTML page on McMullen's website, but the Kindle has an experimental browser that got to it competently. It has an "article mode" for websites that made reading text on it a very good experience.