Hammett: Birthday 128

Samuel Dashiell Hammett was born on this date in 1894.

As a little token for the anniversary, Terry Zobeck popped in the cover of Brief Stories you see above. “This weekend,” Terry reports, “I bought a copy of the June 1923 issue of Brief Stories with ‘The Joke on Eloise Morey.’ Incredibly rare.”

In with Hammett’s earliest publications. As Terry did his coverage of the changes Frederic Dannay — a.k.a. “Ellery Queen” —made to the tale when he reprinted it, he couldn’t find any kind of image to add some color to that post. I’ve gone back and plugged this cover in. Now that Terry has brought it forth, I suppose it’ll be all over the Internet within hours.

Thanks to Terry shelling out the hard cash.

He adds, “I bought it along with the October 1934 issue of Black Mask with Chandler’s ‘Fingerman.'”

In his quest to land all the original print appearances of Hammett and Chandler, the two giants of Black Mask, Terry racks them up.

“I only need ‘Blackmailers Don’t Shoot’ and ‘Spanish Blood’ to have all of Chandler’s stories. Given the rarity and priceyness of ‘Blackmailers,’ it is highly unlikely I’ll get the complete set, but you never know.”

And as Terry continues his pulp hunt, I imagine he’s raising some appropriate birthday toast, wondering if he can get as close on Hammett. . . .

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