Summary of Logan's Run the novel
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 the Gun, an unusual revolver which can fire a number of different projectiles. Runners are most terrified of one 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 fictional hybrid martial arts style. 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 a friend of Logan, catches up with Logan and Jessica after they have managed to make it to the final staging area before Sanctuary. He reveals that he is actually the legendary Ballard, who has been helping arrange their escape. The 42-year-old Ballard is working from within the system; he believes that the computer that controls the global infrastructure, buried beneath Crazy Horse Mountain, is beginning to malfunction, and that the society will die with it.
Sanctuary turns out to be Argos, an abandoned space colony near Mars. Logan and Jessica escape to the colony on a rocket that departs from a former space program launch site in Florida. Ballard remains to help others escape.