Changing Attitudes to Others: Meljean Brook’s Riveted (2012) and its Context

Publication year

From the introduction:

As the twentieth century drew to a close and the twenty-first arrived, the romance reading and writing community began to show greater awareness of Othering and its consequences. Laura Vivanco offers the steampunk romance Riveted (2012) by Meljean Brook as an example of a romance which explicitly addresses Othering in a variety of forms. This includes an exploration of gendered Otherness. [...] Brook’s novel challenges readers to question negative attitudes towards those who have been considered too “threatening,” and therefore been Othered, because of their sexual orientation, disability, race or ethnicity.
Challenging stereotypes of the Other is difficult, not least because it has tended to be harder for those who are Othered to have their stories reach a wide audience. Riveted acknowledges its author’s debt to those who have highlighted forms of prejudice and exclusion in popular romance and seems to call for more of their stories to be told. However, attempts to diversify popular romance and challenge Othering have met with varying degrees of success and even resistance, and it would be a mistake to assume that those who have been Othered will themselves automatically and invariably produce texts which are unproblematic and celebrate diversity. (6)