The narrators are always male in Gibson's stories and usually possess some of the following traits: cynicism, less-than-average looks, shaky financial status, drug addiction, technical ability, weak physical strength, pale skin. They are the postmodern everyman, and usually their looks are not described. The women who appear in the stories are the ones who have hair and eye color, bodies and clothes to display. Some of them, like Molly Millions, possess physical strength and killer instincts, which they use to rescue the men they like. (These men are not waiting to be rescued, however; they maintain their masculinity by never asking for help.)
The women are ultimately looking out for themselves, and the male characters who forget that end up abandoned and lamenting their loss. Even Rikke, who has a small part in "Burning Chrome," finds a way (albeit an unsavory one) to earn the money she needs while Bobby Quine and Automatic Jack set up an elaborate plan to steal a fortune. Rather than celebrate the independence of these women, Gibson's jilted narrators tend to see them as mysterious and strange. "New Rose Hotel" is an extended lament for a lost woman. The unnamed narrator sits in a tiny hotel room, reminiscing about the woman who double-crossed him: "Sandii, you left me here. You left me all your things. This gun. Your makeup, all the shadows and blushes capped in plastic. Your Cray microcomputer, a gift from Fox, with a shopping list you entered....
(The entire section is 278 words.)
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