New Rose Hotel

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This article is about the short story. For the 1998 film adaptation, see New Rose Hotel (film).
"New Rose Hotel"
Author William Gibson
Country Canada
Language English
Series Sprawl trilogy
Genre(s) Cyberpunk
Published in Omni
Publication type Periodical
Media type Print (magazine, hardback and paperback)
Publication date 1981
Preceded by "Hinterlands"
Followed by "The Belonging Kind"

"New Rose Hotel" is a short story by William Gibson, first published in 1984 in Omni and later included in his 1986 collection Burning Chrome.


Set in the near future, the story provides the reader with a glimpse into the niche criminal market of corporate defections. Huge megacorporations control and dominate entire economies. Their wealth and competitive advantage reside in the human capital of their employees and the intellectual property they produce. Corporations jealously guard their most valuable employees and go to great expense to keep them safe and happily productive.

There is little point in traditional corporate espionage as new products are developed at a lightning pace. There is no time to capitalize on the intelligence acquired from a rival firm. Here is where the protagonists of the story come into play, setting themselves up as shady middle-men in the world of corporate defections. Key scientists are cajoled, lured, bribed, and blackmailed into leaving their firms. The story follows two corporate extraction agents, the narrator and Fox, who set up one such operation with the help of their associate Sandii. However, Sandii betrays the pair, leading to the deaths of both the scientist they have lured away and all of his new colleagues. The narrator and Fox flee, their bank accounts wiped out by their now-former employer, and Fox is killed in retaliation. Even though the narrator is now a fugitive due to Sandii's betrayal, he still hopes that she will return to him someday.

"New Rose Hotel" presents a bleak future as extrapolated from contemporary economic and social trends. Set in the Sprawl, the same period and universe as Gibson's Sprawl trilogy, it is solidly cyberpunk in its style and vision.


Director Abel Ferrara adapted the short story as a feature film, New Rose Hotel, released in 1998; the film scrupulously followed the plot of the short story.[1]


  1. ^ Shaviro, Steven (2003). Connected, or, What It Means to Live in the Network Society. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. p. 153. ISBN 0-8166-4363-6. 

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