This is a short story from Richard E Preston's "Pneumatic Zeppelin" steampunk series. I love steampunk, and Twitter-met Richard at the now sadly defunct Saturday #steampunkchat. I read the advance reader copies for the first two books in the series and am waiting (hurry up!) for the third book to release. All of that said, this story is set prior to the action in the series so you don't need to be familiar with the characters to enjoy it.
It's an interesting world. One where there are aliens as well as steampunk, and a definite post-apocalyptic vibe.
"An Officer & a Gentleman" is an all-action story of an encounter with a pirate dirigible. The level of detail and the choreography of it is vivid. Like a movie.