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The Roads to fantasy

21/06/2005. Contributed by Jessica Martin

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Red Jacket Press publishes a limited edition facsimile reproduction of vintage SF and Fantasy classic: the 1948 Arkham House edition of Roads by Seabury Quinn, featuring illustrations by fantasy artist Virgil Finlay.

Drawing upon the legends that coalesced over centuries into the familiar, jolly form of Saint Nicholas, Seabury Quinn weaves a new origin for this most beloved of children's icons.

"I have not tried to paint the portrait of a man," he wrote, "but merely to present a personality and hazard a guess as to the motivation that makes Santa Claus the wondrous figure he is - a figure who more than any other exemplifies the beauty of selflessness."

First published in the January 1938 issue of Weird Tales (and released later that same year as a highly limited edition pamphlet), Roads reappeared ten years after its initial publication as a hardcover book from speculative fiction publisher Arkham House, an edition which featured illustrations by Virgil Finlay.

This re-imagining of Santa Claus was selected by authors James Cawthorn and Michael Moorcock as one of the 100 Best Fantasy Books, and has been hailed by genre historian Sam Moskowitz as "the greatest adult Christmas story written by an American."

This limited edition facsimile reprint volume is a complete reproduction of the original 1948 Arkham House first edition, fullyauthorized by Arkham House Publishers, and packaged in a deluxe gift box that includes a booklet with biographical information about the author and illustrator. The dust jacket and gift box both feature the beautiful metallic gold ink of the original Arkham House edition.

Roads is priced at $29.95, and is available for order direct from the publisher at www.redjacketpress.com

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