Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Review Tuesday: Logan's Run

A Trilogy
William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson
Logan 3, a sandman, decides to run for his life and EVERYTHING changes.
I hadn't thought of Logan's Run in years, but for some reason, the book kept popping up in all my searches lately, so I decided to read it. Then, the plan was to go back to the movie and see what I thought about it. 

Paperback Logan's Run Book
Logan 3, a sandman decides that life is important. 
Logan's Run is the sort of science fiction that was born from the fears of a world of overpopulation and food shortages. In this story, there was an uprising, and the world governments agreed that the way to control population and alleviate food shortages was to maintain a maximum age of 21, after which time you'd be put to sleep, which is the nice way of saying executed. And why not throw in the towel at 21? You get to live a life of indulgence! What more can you hope to achieve? 
Technology had progressed to a point that a central computer, known as THE THINKER, kept track of everyone, especially their age. It was plain for all to see because, depending on your age, your palm flower would glow a different color. On your last day your flower would blink red and you must report to Deep Sleep. If you don't, the DS agents, aka Sandmen, would track you down and execute you on the spot. 
During a hunt, a runner named Doyle, was holding some sort of a key and mentioned SANCTUARY and a legendary man by the name of Ballard who is said to have lived some TWO lifetimes already! This makes Logan decide to run when his own flower begins to blink. 

But does he really?

His time is up. it's last day. He goes on an incredible journey around the world, in an attempt to flee Francis and DS, hoping to find Ballard and Sanctuary. However, long the way, Logan manages to shut down each step of the trail to Sanctuary. Even to the end he still has his Sandman instincts, trying to stop the runners. 

In the end, he definitely proves that he values life and ends up at Sanctuary, which is a space station near Mars called Argos.

The book was an oddity to me. I'd say the writing was okay, but it was propped up by this strange futuristic world. It also seemed less like a single cohesive novel and more like a compilation of stories of a serial, like the way the Princess of Mars books were written bu Edgar Rice Burroughs. That aside, it's easy enough to read and paints a picture of a very strange future world. I would recommend it for fans of those dystopian sci-fi stories of the 60s and 70s.

David Sarkies's review of Logan's World
Logan ends up on a new adventure after they are forced to return to Earth. 
Years after the events of Logan's Run, supply ships stopped coming to Argos and sickness wiped out the bulk of the population. A bunch of survivors decided to head back to Earth to see what had happened. When they arrived, they found the planet has completely changed. DS had smashed the route to Santuary, but at the same time Ballard sacrificed himself to destroy The Thinker, liberating everyone. However, with an absence of law and order, groups turn on each-other. 
This story seems to go around in circles. Logan seems to be flying all over the country either searching for meds or his family and in the end, he ends up dealing with DS AGAIN! It was a long road to get there, but the remaining Sandmen were planning on bringing The Thinker back online under their control and to RULE THE WORLD. 

To me, this story was even less polished than the first. All sorts of characters and sub-plots were developed and were either abruptly ended, or went unused. It probably would've been more effective as a short story that got straight to the plot to take over the world. But I have a feeling that since this book came out after the movie, they were hoping to sell books on the coattails of the popularity of the movie. Not a great book. Not necessary reading in my opinion.

Logan's Search (Logan Series #3): Nolan, William F.: 9780553138054:  Amazon.com: Books
Logan gets abducted by aliens to free an alternate Earth.
Logan flies cross country to help another community when he was abducted by aliens. 

They gave him an ultimatum, free an Earth from an alternate universe, or never be allowed to return home to his family. He was given instructions and a time frame and sent to this alternate-Earth. 
Again, we are sent on a journey with meaningless side-quests that lea up to an unsatisfying conclusion. There are two more books in this series, but after this ordeal, I have decided to pass on them: #4  LOGAN'S RETURN, #5 LOGAN'S JOURNEY. Books four and five actually get higher marks than two and three, but I don't know if I want to be bothered with tracking them down.  
Get the trilogy on PAPERBACK or DIGITAL formats.

Logan's Run
Logan 5, a sandman, is ordered to to run for his life to seek out and destroy Sanctuary.
The 70s seemed to love movies about catastrophes. So why not a film adaptation of a book about a future world with a heavy-handed method of enforcing a maximum age to prevent over-population and/or food shortages?  

In the future there seems to be ONE city left after overpopulation and some terrible war. Maximum age is capped off at 30 to prevent this from ever happening again. But it's a life of pleasure. On last day you report of Carrousel for a shot at given an extension. No one ever gets it. All are vaporized. If someone decides to run for his life, the Sandmen are sent to dispatch them. 

Logan 5 is a Sandman who collected an item from a runner. The Thinker detected that this item was some sort of key to the pathway to the fabled Sanctuary. He would become a runner, and find Sanctuary, then destroy it. Instead, Logan seems to fully commit to running and brings Jessica with him for the adventure.
I remember as a child watching this movie and never really getting it. Now, as an adult, it seems like this is just another one of those 70s dystopian cautionary tales. in order to fit within the budget they really had to shrink the scope of the world. They also defeated The Thinker ridiculously easily. There's no Sanctuary? DOES NOT COMPUTE! Then everyone just leaves the city. No one knows how to do anything, but they leave! Logan's Run is considered among the sci-fi classics of the 70s. That said, it was pretty weak. Then, comparing it to the source literature, which at least had enormous world building, it was also weak. I am glad I experienced both at this point in my life, and now I have no need to revisit either. If you want to kill a couple hours, this film is interesting almost on an anthropological level. Don't expect Gone With The Wind.
Get it on AMAZON