The Risk Profession by Donald E. Westlake

SFFaudio Online Audio

One of my favourite writers, Donald E. Westlake, mostly left the SFF field for the greener pastures of crime fiction after the 1960s. He was very successful there.

The Risk Profession, first published in 1961, is a fun SF novelette and one well worthy of our continued attention.

Another guy who appreciated Westlake was my friend, Gregg Margarite, who narrated it for LibriVox back in 2010.

The plot, a murder mystery, concerns an insurance investigator who makes a trip to the asteroid belt to investigate the death of an asteroid miner.

The Risk Profession by Donald E. Westlake - illustrated by Ivie

LibriVoxThe Risk Profession
By Donald E. Westlake; Read by Gregg Margarite
1 |MP3| – Approx. 1 Hour 4 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Published: January 17, 2010
“The men who did dangerous work had a special kind of insurance policy. But when somebody wanted to collect on that policy the claims investigator suddenly became a member of… The Risk Profession.” First published in Amazing Stories, March 1961.

Here’s a |PDF| made from the publication in Amazing.

[Thanks also to Wendel Topper and Lucy Burgoyne]

Posted by Jesse Willis

2 thoughts to “The Risk Profession by Donald E. Westlake”

  1. I’m pleasantly surprised to see this story is public domain in the US. Westlake has been one of my favorite authors since the 1960s. This week I just reread God Save The Mark and I’m currently reading an anthology he edited with a very good foreword and individual story introductions to match. About a week ago I was reading from some old SF magazines and may have spotted an early SF story of his which you don’t have a PDF of that is in the public domain in the US. It’s also from 1961 IIRC. I haven’t made certain it is public domain yet. A quick check of the online Copyright Catalog didn’t show a renewal I could find but the catalog was undergoing some maintenance and a bit quirky. Not certain that I verified this was the first publication and his frequent use of pseudonyms around this time period complicates such research. When I know for certain I’ll get back to you and furnish a scan if it is PD. This is a busy and stressful time so it may take a while to get the research done. Whatever the copyright status, the story is less a lost gem than a lost dog to be honest so even the terminally ill aren’t at risk of missing something really important.

    [snip a rant that may get turned into something coherent and posted]

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