For the 65th anniversary edition of Exercises in Style (it was first published in France in 1947), New Directions has asked ten contemporary writers to create new exercises in homage to Queneau. Among these is Jonathan Lethem’s “Cyberpunk”:
He jacked the passengerbus mainframe, but some interface residue snizzled up his data stream slightly, reducing optic input to a distracting 5-D glance at an idiot avatar with a comically distorted head-to-shoulders assembly and spex-ribbon ringing his head like a doll’s bow. It more than figured that 68Gasm would parachute him into the passenger-grid unannounced; typical sense of humor for a four-hour subroutine maxed out of spare giggs. Even while observing this, Queneau detected a noisy lattice overlay just beneath the horizon of his optics, the scuffling of one infoshoe against another, vying to divvy the limited floorgrid. He took little notice. Putting aside static one avatar might offload to another, the scuffle was merely a generic output of the overlay.
Abruptly now he veered: in a segue that could have been lightyears or a pixel blink, he found himself exo-gloved into the Saint-Lazare spectrum, the brink of the matter at hand. These pitches always nauseated Queneau, no matter how inured he should be by now to the recursion-toxicity. The button! he screamed silently. Change the button!
I will be excited to see the new stories along with the original 100 or so experiments Queneau did with the simply story line.