For Christmas I received something I've wanted for years, but didn't know existed until just a few weeks before the big day - a collection of stories from Black Mask Magazine.
The Book is called The Black Lizard Big Book of Black Mask Stories.
The Maltese Falcon was first published in five-part serial form in Black Mask Magazine from the September 1929 to January 1930 issues. It was published in book form by Alfred A. Knopf in February, 1930. My copies of the book say that it is copyright 1930. That puzzled me.
The story as it appeared in the magazine is available in this Black Lizard collection, the first time the original magazine version has been published since then. More than 2,000 changes were made for the book version, some by the Knopf editors but most by Hammett.
Having read the novel for this discussion last summer, I think I will wait a few months to read the serial version, but I'm looking forward to it.