In this first installment of the saucy and sinister new Byliner Serial, “Positron,” Margaret Atwood takes readers on a thrill ride to the near future, where paranoia reigns but sex has definitely not gone out of style. “I’m Starved for You” introduces us to the world-weary inhabitants of... show more
In this first installment of the saucy and sinister new Byliner Serial, “Positron,” Margaret Atwood takes readers on a thrill ride to the near future, where paranoia reigns but sex has definitely not gone out of style. “I’m Starved for You” introduces us to the world-weary inhabitants of Consilience. This gated community isn’t your average American town, but in a dystopian society imagined by the visionary, internationally bestselling Atwood (“The Handmaid’s Tale,” “The Year of the Flood”), it may be as close as anyone can hope to get. Husband and wife Stan and Charmaine are among thousands who have committed to a new social order because the old one is all but broken. Outside the walls of Consilience, more than half the country is out of work, gangs of the drug-addicted and disaffected menace the streets, warlords disrupt the food supply, and overcrowded correctional facilities churn out offenders to make room for more. The Consilience prison, Positron, is something else altogether. The very heart of the community and its economic engine, it’s a bold experiment in voluntary incarceration. In exchange for a house, food, and what the online brochure hails as “A Meaningful Life,” residents agree to spend every other month as inmates.Stan and Charmaine have no complaints—until the day Stan discovers a note under the fridge of the house he and Charmaine must share with another couple while they’re back inside Positron. It’s a missive of erotic longing, pressed with a vivid lipstick kiss: “I’m starved for you!” it breathes. If Stan rarely thought about the house’s other residents before—they’ve never met them and don’t know their names; it’s not allowed—now he can’t stop thinking about them, especially the note’s sex-addled author, so unlike his girlish wife, Charmaine. He has to meet her, but in this highly ordered and increasingly surveilled world, disorderly thoughts are a risk, and breaking the rules has dire consequences.