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On The Table Read Magazine, “the best book magazine in the UK“, with Scotland an independent and autonomous state, Turn Out The Lights by Roger Michael Ward sees the Prime Minister and head of the Socialist Labour plan to manipulate the electorate.

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Turn Out The Lights by Roger Michael Ward on The Table Read Magazine
Turn Out The Lights by Roger Michael Ward

Turn Out The Lights

Exploring the lengths to which those in power will go to in order to stay at the top, Turn Out The Lights by Roger Michael Ward is all the more topical now that a General Election has been called.

With Scotland having independence from the United Kingdom, and the North Eastern Territories centred on Newcastle demanding a vote for independence from England, the Prime Minister and leader of the Socialist Labour Government are determined to win the election at any cost.

With the administration needing 22,000 votes, they devise plans to sway the election in their favour using social media and virtual reality holidays. However the UK’s top security chief wants to implement a Backstop in case the other plans fail.

Roger Michael Ward openly shared that this furturistic science fiction novel was inspired by an actual historical event and the horror of its bigoted logic, callous methodology and the subsequent cover up by successive governments. After learning about one of the most heinous massacres in history, and Stalin’s rationale for the atrocity, Ward created glimpse of what the future of the UK may look like with Scotland having secured independence.

Clever, suspenseful and showcasing the ubiquity and manipulative potential of social media, Turn Out The Lights is not only one hell of a read, but it is a timely reminder that politicians are hard to trust. But most importantly it encourages us to take heed of the past, in order to not repeat the same mistakes.

Roger Michael Ward

I was prompted to write this book upon studying the history of the Katyn massacre, the execution of 22,000 Polish prisoners of war in 1940. Apart from the sheer scale in terms of numbers of dead, three features of the Katyn massacre stand out.

  • It was secretly carried out by the Soviets in 1940, the first graves were uncovered by the German army in 1943 in the Katyn Forest, and many other burial sites were subsequently found in surrounding areas. For sixty years the Soviets denied responsibility and blamed the Nazis.
  • About 8,000 were murdered for being intelligent people. They weren’t soldiers, just ordinary civilians, mostly holding professional jobs.
  • Some of the killings, about 7,000 were carried out by just one man over a period of 28 days, shot in the back of the head with a German-made .25 ACP Walther Model 2 pistol.

The shocking circumstances of the Katyn massacre had a profound effect upon me, and I began to recast a scenario, a reincarnation of Stalin and his lieutenants within a future British Government. The result is this book, ‘Turn Out the Lights’. This isn’t a historical account of Katyn, but I have drawn on the central characters and themes of the massacre to draw the reader’s attention to its horror, of bigoted logic and callous methodology. I’ve selected a futuristic surreal setting to distance the reader from its disturbing psychopathy, whilst drawing on current and past events to make it plausible. I’ve also borrowed the title and some of the ideas from the poems and songs of Jim Morrison and The Doors.

In remembrance of the 22,000 who died without ceremony, some of whom have never been found, many at the hand of the most prolific executioner in history.

-Roger Michael Ward

Roger Michael Ward was born in London, attended Colfe’s Grammar School, obtained a BSc degree in electronic engineering at the University of Sussex, and has a Warwick MBA. After university he worked as a teacher at two secondary schools, then as a teaching software designer at Queen Mary University of London before moving into industry. His interest in typefaces led him to work for Letraset and then URW GmbH, and a career in computer graphics. He now owns a printing software and equipment company.

He is married and has two grown up children, and lives in Sevenoaks, Kent.

His interests include walking, sailing, astronomy and playing the piano, as well as creative writing and music in general. His favourite author is Kurt Vonnegut.

This is his first novel. A draft was written in the month of November 2020 during the Covid lockdown and won a Nanowrimo Award. This final edition was released in 2024.

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