Logan's Run  

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"The seeds of the Little War were planted in a restless summer during the mid-1960s, with sit-ins and student demonstrations as youth tested its strength. By the early 1970s, over 75 percent of the people living on Earth were under twenty-one years of age. The population continued to climb—and, with it, the youth percentage. In the 1980s, the figure was 79.7 per cent. In the 1990s, 82.4 per cent. In the year 2000—critical mass."--Logan's Run (1967) by Nolan and Johnson

"Just imagine, a world where you will hold your entire future in the palm of your hand. When a tiny glowing crystal will guide you through an existence in which each day is more wonderful than the last. Where it will be possible for you to obtain the fulfillment of every fantasy, the satisfaction of every vanity, the absolute attainment of every wish.”--from the trailer of the film

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Logan's Run is a novel by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson. Published in 1967, it depicts a dystopic ageist future society in which both population and the consumption of resources are maintained in equilibrium by requiring the death of everyone reaching a particular age. The story follows the actions of Logan, a Sandman charged with enforcing the rule, as he tracks down and kills citizens who "run" from society's lethal demand—only to end up "running" himself.

Plot summary

The introduction to the book states:

The seeds of the Little War were planted in a restless summer during the mid-1960s, with sit-ins and student demonstrations as youth :tested its strength. By the early 1970s over 75 percent of the people living on Earth were under 21 years of age. The population continued :to climb—and with it the youth percentage.
In the 1980s the figure was 79.7 percent.
In the 1990s, 82.4 percent.
In the year 2000—critical mass.

In the world of 2116, a person's maximum age is strictly legislated: twenty-one years, to the day. When people reach this Lastday they report to a Sleepshop in which they are willingly executed via a pleasure-inducing toxic gas. A person's age is revealed by their palm flower crystal embedded in the palm of their right hand that changes color every seven years, yellow (age 0–6), then blue (age 7–13), then red (age 14–20), then blinks red and black on Lastday, and finally turns black at 21.

Runners are those who refuse to report to a Sleepshop and attempt to avoid their fate by escaping to Sanctuary. Logan 3 is a Deep Sleep Operative (also called Sandman) whose job is to terminate Runners using a special weapon called simply, the 'gun', a handgun with selectable ordnance keyed to self-destruct if touched by an individual who is not the proper owner.

Runners are most terrified of a weapon called the 'Homer', which homes in on body heat, and deliberately ignites every pain nerve in the body, killing the target.

Sandmen practice Omnite, a hybrid type of martial arts. On his own Lastday, Logan becomes a Runner himself, in an attempt to infiltrate an apparent underground railroad for runners seeking Sanctuary—a place where they can live freely in defiance of society's dictates.

For most of the book, Logan is an antihero; however, his character develops a sympathy towards Runners, and he becomes more of a traditional hero figure.

Jessica 6, a contact Logan made after he chased her Runner brother, Doyle 10 into Cathedral, where he was killed by the vicious preteen "Cubs", helps him, despite her initial distrust of him.

Francis, another Sandman, and friend of Logan, catches up with Logan and Jessica after they've managed to make it to the final staging area before Sanctuary. He reveals he is actually the legendary Ballard, who's been helping arrange their escape. Francis tells them he's actually 42, but due to his faulty palm flower, which doesn't change colour and by use of plastic surgery shops, he's been able to disguise his true age and appearance. He is working from within the system, as he believes the computer controlling the global infrastructure, buried beneath Crazy Horse Mountain, is beginning to malfunction, and the society will die with it.

Sanctuary turns out to be Argos, a previously abandoned space colony near Mars.

Logan and Jessica escape to the colony on a rocket, which departs from a former space program launch site in Florida, as Ballard remains to help others escape.

See also


Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Logan's Run" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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