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Art by Graeme Neil Reid

Future Shock prog 1943

Art by John Higgins

"Out in the vast reaches of the universe, there are an infinite number of stories waiting to be told. From chronicles of the lowliest swamp denizens in backwater galaxies to the rise and fall of rulers of entire star systems, anything is possible in these twisted tales. Abandon your preconceptions, expect the unexpected, and take a trip beyond the edges of the imagination..."

Tharg's Future Shocks, sometimes entitled simply Future Shocks, is a long-running series of one-off short stories which has run intermittently in the pages of 2000 AD since 1977 (2000 AD prog 25), the first ever story being written by Steve Moore. Typically, these stories are four- or five-page science fiction shorts, usually comedic or semi-comedic and always with a twist ending.

Future Shocks have over the years been an entry point into greater success in 2000 AD for a number of writers and artists who have gone on to bigger and better things, including Alan Moore, Grant Morrison and Neil Gaiman. Though the stories are usually unconnected, some have occasionally spawned sequels or even led to ongoing series for popular characters, including Agent Rat, Bradley, Joe Black, Abelard Snazz and Ulysses Sweet.

Tharg, of course, is 2000 AD's alien editor, who occasionally acted as host to the early stories. The stories have been collected into a number of trade paperbacks.

The success of the Future Shocks series has inspired the creation of numerous imitator series, including:

All of these are in 2000 AD, apart from Tales from the Black Museum, which is published in the Judge Dredd Megazine, and Bob Byrne's Twisted Tales, which has appeared in both.

Trivia

According to PJ Holden, the rules for Future Shocks include 'no VR prison stories', because it's an over-used trope in comics. (Source: Twitter.)

People who have worked on Tharg's Future Shocks

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