Eight Episodes

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"Eight Episodes"
Eight Episodes ebook cover.jpg
Cover of ebook edition
Author Robert Reed
Country United States
Language English
Genre(s) Science fiction short story
Published in Asimov's Science Fiction
Publication type Periodical
Publisher Dell Magazines
Media type Print (Magazine)
Publication date June 2006

"Eight Episodes" is a science fiction short story by Robert Reed. It was first published in the June 2006 issue of Asimov's Science Fiction.


The story follows the lifespan of Invasion of a Small World, a near-future low budget web series (one created with virtual actors and sets using online software) about an Indian astronomer working in South Africa. When one of his graduate students discovers a tiny metal ball in an ancient rock, the world’s scientific community comes alive with excitement. Further episodes of the doomed series reveal information about Earth and the solar system that is extremely accurate, and ignites speculation about alien life in our universe. There is even suggestion that the whole series itself was created by aliens in an attempt to explain the workings of the galaxy and civilizations to mankind.


The Internet Review of Science Fiction's Lois Tilton reviewed Eight Episodes as "an odd, thought-provoking work, that raises more questions than answers. Sometimes, we never find the answers."[1]


Eight Episodes was nominated for the 2007 Hugo Award for Best Short Story[2] and received ninth place in the Locus Award for the Best Short Story of 2007.[3]


  1. ^ Lois Tilton (June 2006). "May/June Short Fiction". The Internet Review of Science Fiction. Retrieved 30 August 2011. 
  2. ^ "The Hugo Awards: 2007 Hugo Awards". The Hugo Awards. Archived from the original on 2011-05-07. Retrieved 2011-08-27. 
  3. ^ "The Locus Index to SF Awards: 2007 Locus Awards". The LOCUS Index to Science Fiction Awards. Retrieved 2011-08-27. 

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