In the 22nd Century, the Earth is populated only by the young. No one on the entire planet is allowed to live past 21 years of age. This has been in existence on the planet ever since the Little War, when the youth of the world had overthrown their governments and would mandate the extermination of everyone over the age of 21.
The Thinker (or computer) controls the population of the world, and tracks the runners who run from the required death time. It is based within the completed Crazy Horse Monument, in the Dakota Mountains of what was America. To track the population of the planet, 'flower' crystals are implanted in the right hands of babies by some kind of hourglass machine when they're born. These crystals change with age (Yellow 0-6, Blue 7-13, Red 14-20). The day before your 21st birthday, the crystal blinks. Then, on your 21st birthday, it turns to Black. Upon blinking, the majority of the Earth's population turn themselves in to the Sleepshops to be put to death peacefully and painlessly. However, there are some who feel that they can live beyond the 21 death-age limit and decide to run. These runners are promptly hunted down by the enforcers of this future society, the Sandmen, who work for the Thinker.
20-year-old Logan-3 is a member of this elite police force, and as a Sandman, he has devoted his life to tracking runners and destroying them. Along with his partner, Francis-7, they hunt and kill these runners using their DeepSleep (DS) guns. These guns carry six rounds of varying types of ammo (tangler, nitro, vapor, ripper, needler and the most popular - Homer). Homers are the popular rounds of choice. These rounds sense body heat, and upon impact, ignite every pain nerve in its victim, causing instant death.
Logan seems to feel depressed as the story opens. Leaving Sandman Headquaters for the day, he walks the streets of the city. He visits a Pleasure shop seeking a female companion to ease some tension he's feeling. He has a romp with one girl there, and afterwards leaves unfulfilled, unsatisfied. Then he decides to go to a Hallucimill and get a dose of his favorite drug, to see if that can somehow cheer him up. Strapped into a chair, and given his requested dosage for a 'crazy lift', he begins to hallucinate. After the 'lift', he feels the same as he did before and decides to just go home.
The next day, he's called in to track a crafty runner, Doyle-10. After chasing the runner through Arcade (a section of Logan's city featuring those Pleasure (sex) Shops and Hallucimills (drug stores)), Logan temporarily loses sight of him. Logan's backup partner, Francis, is called in to help in the search. As Logan and Francis draw closer to him, Doyle makes a serious mistake by entering Cathedral, and is soon attacked by Cubs (savage, murderous children). Before Doyle dies, Logan catches up to him, just in time to hear him utter the word, "Sanctuary." After Logan takes Doyle's punch key from his hand, he looks down at his own palm. Logan's crystal flower begins to blink! Logan's on Last Day! Obviously, he hides it from Francis' view.
Alone, back at his apartment, Logan ponders the idea of there really being a place called Sanctuary. If there is such place, a place where runners are able to live free from the gun and where they can live past the 21 death age, Logan would surely love to find it! Knowing he now only has 24 hours left to live, until he has to turn himself in to the Sleep shops, he is going to make it his own, personal mission: To pretend that he is a runner and seek out this place called Sanctuary and destroy it and all the runners there! And by doing this, his own existence would then be justified and he'd become a Hero and his life would end in glory!
Using Doyle's punchkey, Logan discovers Lilith-4, and asks her about Sanctuary. But before she will provide him with the next key to Sanctuary, she invites him to a little peeping game, and Logan's Run is under way.
After the 'peep', she gives him a new punchkey that will take him to the next location towards Sanctuary - The New You! There, Logan meets up with Doc and his assistant, Holly-13 and requests information on Sanctuary and a face change. Doc agrees, believing Logan to be a runner. But as Logan is placed on the Aesculpulator Mark III, the machine registers that he is carrying a gun. Doc, knowing that only Sandmen are allowed to carry guns, takes out a Popsickle (a device that instantly freezes anything it touches) and goes after Logan. After the battle, Logan emerges from the New You and meets up with another runner, Jessica-6, who has been waiting outside for her brother, Doyle-10. Jessica mistakes Logan for her brother, thinking that he had his face changed to resemble Logan's and they head off for the next location, together. But, she suddenly realizes that Logan is not her brother, and worse - he's a Sandman!
Meanwhile, Francis has realized that Logan is on Last Day. Even though they once were partners, Francis tracks Logan relentlessly and is determined to stop him. He mustn't let his former friend find Sanctuary! He must stop Logan at all costs! Is it because he thinks Logan has now become a runner, or does Francis have a different, hidden agenda?
And as for Jessica, if she knew what Logan's true intentions were, she wouldn't be trying to help him at all. Logan has told her that even though he is a Sandman, he is running and wants to live! Although, is that really what he wants? It looks like she's picked the wrong person to run with!
In order for them to find Sanctuary, they must encounter a variety of strange and exotic characters, first. Each gives Logan and Jessica a challenge, and if they are able to complete it, they are rewarded with a new punchkey to further their quest. Some of these characters are helpful to them, others are not!
Logan's and Jessica's journey to Sanctuary will take them to lots of interesting and dangerous locations. They will find themselves back at Cathedral to confront the leader of the cubs, Charming Billy (dangerously induced on the drug Muscle) and wanting to rack up another kill. Then, it's on to Molly, the great underwater city where a creature named Whale gives the pair their next challenge. After exploring this underwater town, a mazecar takes them to their next destination, Hell (a frozen Prison land, where the only way to survive, is to kill). In Hell, they will meet Warden, Black Tom, and the diabolical half-human, half machine robot - Box.
Soon, their journey to Sanctuary leads them to Crazy Horse Mountain in South Dakota. Outside Crazy Horse, the runners meet up with the Pleasure Gypsies! Riding on their Devilsticks (aerial motorcycles), the Gypsies capture Logan and Jess and take them back to their lair for some sexual favors and deadly games. Rutago, their leader, can be quite stubborn about certain things! The battle that follows is one of the best in the book!
Other characters and locations include the Autogoverness in Nursery, General Burnside in the Civil War battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia, the steel mills of Pittsburgh, and the jungles of Washington D.C., where they meet up with the oldest man in the world - a 42-year-old man named Ballard, who holds the final key to Sanctuary!
But, will Ballard be willing to give up Sanctuary's secrets to a Sandman runner? Will Logan decide to destroy Ballard and close the final gate to Sanctuary once and for all, as he had set out to do in the first place? Does this place called Sanctuary even exist? And what becomes of Francis and Jessica?
You can find out when you read the book, Logan's Run!
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