Outsider literature

In Orca, Steven Brust suggests archival work as an employment alternative for those transitioning from the criminal management and murder-for-hire sectors:

In the course of my career, Kiera, I’ve done a few odd things here and there. I mean, there was the time I spent half a day under a pile of refuse because it was the only place to hide. There was the time I took a job selling fish in the market. Once I ended up impersonating a corporal in the Imperial Guard and had to arrest someone for creating a disturbance in a public place. But I hope I never have to spend another week going through a thousand or more years’ worth of an old lady’s private papers and letters, just to find the name of her landlord, so I could sweet-talk, threaten, or intimidate him into letting her stay on the land, so she’d be willing to cure—Oh, skip it. It was a long week, and it was odd finding bits of nine-hundred-year-old love letters, or scraps of advice on curing hypothermia, or how to tell if an ingrown toenail is the result of a curse.

I spent about fourteen hours a day grabbing a crate, going through the papers in it, arranging them neatly, then bringing the crate back up to the attic and setting it in the stack of those I’d finished while getting another. I discovered to my surprise that it was curiously satisfying work, and that I was going to be disappointed when I found what I was looking for and would have to leave the rest of the papers unsorted.

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