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 are quickly betrayed after a successful operation. After they are betrayed by a partner, they are hunted by their former employer, who kills Fox and at the end of the story is seen hunting the narrator.
"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.
- "New Rose Hotel" at the William Gibson Aleph