Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The LOGAN Trilogy

Despite the fact that the world portrayed in William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson's original Logan's Run novel bore little resemblance to that realized in the 1976 MGM motion picture adaptation, the film's iconography - specifically the costuming and hardware - was certainly pervasive.

Not only were they used in the 1977 CBS television series (although that was probably more a case of budget-conscious recycling by MGM than any deliberate aesthetic choice) but the two sequel novels written by Nolan - Logan's World (1977) and Logan's Search (1980) - both had initial paperback printings fronted with artwork clearly and undeniably based on the movie's designs.

Of course, none of this really means much - I just wanted an excuse to post scans of these books from my childhood library.

The Logan's Run paperback at top is one of two variant movie tie-ins that I have. The other was a book club edition I picked up in school; the cover was nearly identical but for a few minor changes to the main figures of Logan and Jessica. Logan's shirt was no longer ripped and Jessica wore the silver dress with art lifted directly from the film poster.

I've read all three novels several times, and while I'm a fan of Nolan's writing - and even corresponded with him for a while in the 90's when he penned a couple articles for a magazine I edited - I have to say that I actually prefer the movie (and even the TV series) over the books. The books are undeniably more original and imaginative, but I saw the movie & TV show before I ever read any of the books, and that's the Logan's Run that fixed itself in my head.


  1. I've never been able to get into the movie (more for pacing issues than anything else), but I read the book a year ago and really dug how rich, bold, and exciting it was. I'm surprised to see the book is currently out of print, because I think it would be perfectly at home among the current market wave of young adult dystopian literature.

    I recently got my hands on the second book, which I look forward to reading, and would love to check out the tv series some day. I know there's been various comic adaptations and spin-offs over the years, too. Any of them worth tracking down?

    1. The second novel is quite good. The third is the weakest of the three.

      The only Logan comics I've read are the Marvel ones, and they're an adaptation of (and 2-issue continuation) of the film story. Really nice George Perez/Klaus Janson art, though.

  2. Yes its a pity they didn`t continue the marvel series it was tarting to get interesting with the likely return of box and the possibility of other domes.Theres a 4th novel logans Return that was epublished but all are out of print

  3. Love the movie, and the TV series. Only ever read the first book... will have to track down the other two.
    Still have all the issues of the Marvel series. It would have been interesting to see where Marvel would have taken the characters if the run had continued.

  4. I wish someone would reprint these books. I have a saved search on Ebay and even though they come up pretty regularly the 2nd & 3rd books get expensive real quick.
    Bluewater Comics did (maybe is still doing) a run of comics. I think they're based on the books but since I haven't read them, I don't know.

  5. What is the principal difference between the books and the movie?

  6. The current comic book from Bluewater Publications puts the show and the movie to shame, and is based on the book: (

    @Arioch: The differences are;

    Book-Lastday is at 21, not 30, and there is no Carousel, but places called Deep Sleep shops where you go to end your life painlessly (of course if you don't go....)

    Book-Logan is not fun-loving nor a sybarite: instead, he's quite serious, studious, and determined to kill Runners. He's also a big guy, and built like a football player.

    Book-The world as set up was caused by a war that resulted after a youth revolution-in the movie, it's a generic nuclear war.

    Book-There are several cities just like today, and the book spans half of the globe. In the movie, there's only one.

    Book-Sandman guns fire projectiles that hurt, kill or stun somebody for later questioning; in the movie, all that we see the pistol do is kill people.

    Book-Sandmen dress in black suits and wear menacing helmets-in the movie, they go without them.

    I won't reveal the rest, just read the Bluewater Comics comic book for now.

  7. I just couldn't get into the book.Maybe if I hadn't seen the movie first, but it just didn't make a lot of sense and seemed too, well, hippie-ish. A lot of SF in the 60s and early 70s is like that.

    In the movie, they killed people because the underground city only had a limited number of resources. But in the book, there was no end of the world, just somehow magically became overcrowded? I know there is a brief blurb explaining the logic of this, but the world is actually facing the opposite problem, most civilized countries the birthrate is below replacement, so populations are getting older, not younger (and not a recent trend, either)

    And since there was no post apocalyptic world, there wasn't any of the exploration factor or mystery you really find in the movie. Just the same world, more or less

  8. The Bluewater series are quite good (though for some reason the first collected trade only printed four issues of a six issue series; still disappointed about that). They did a really nice back-story that explained how the world got that way, something not greatly delineated in previous versions.

    There is a radio dramatization of the series as well, also quite good:

  9. Thanks! I never knew there were sequels. I'm hitting abebooks right now!

    1. Thanks for the tip on abebooks. 2nd book is on average pretty cheap, around $10. 3rd book looks only available as part of a set of all three with lowest starting price $100 :(
      Oh well, another step closer!

    2. Oops, bad searching. Found book 3 cheap too. Thanks again!!

  10. Too bad MGM didn't adapt the next two into films. Especially since the TV series wasn't all that hot. Oh, well.

  11. There's another variant: my dad had the paperback, but it had the movie poster artwork as in the Book Club version you have.

    I have to admit, my liking for the book has dwindled as I've aged; with all due respect to Nolan and Johnson, too much of it strikes me now as a reactionary diatribe against the youth of the '60s. (And in the days when I still really liked the original, I got ahold of LOGAN'S WORLD, read one chapter and flung the book across the room.)