Melko's first story collection follows right on the heels of his award-winning first novel, Singularity's Ring. Ten Sigmas features 12 of his best science fiction stories, shifting from multiple universes to caped crusaders and from captured aliens to pet cats.
"Highlights include "Doctor Mighty and the Case of Ennui," where a superhero suffers a humorously human bout of depression, and the title story, which wields the concept of parallel universes like a sharpened knife dissecting the choices we make and their consequences. The deft and refreshing "The Summer of the Seven" and "Singletons in Love" tie into "Strength Alone," the opener for Melko's forthcoming novel Singularity's Ring. The changes in tone and style from one piece to the next make the collection a little uneven, but almost any reader will find a story that particularly appeals. As Melko grows further into his talent, he'll be one to watch."
"The twelve stories in Ten Sigmas & Other Unlikelihoods take the reader on a trip through a delightful variety of vivid worlds. Even better, Melko paints well-rounded characters that help to exploit the narrative possibilities of their situations. Melko’s short fiction crackles with the energy and enthusiasm that invites the reader to the page while simultaneously inviting him or her to refl ect upon the complicated morality that makes life so interesting."
"The reluctance of the major publishers to promote single story collections in a field where the short story has always been a major factor has at least one good consequence, a much better chance that small and medium presses can snag high quality collections from established writers. Although Paul Melko has had only a single novel, Singularity's Ring, which had an intriguing set up but which was written in a style I thought poorly suited to the story. The author's relatively spare style feels much more appropriate at shorter lengths, however, including one story related to that novel. Accompanying it are eleven others, several of which I'd read before, and a couple of which had made strong first impressions, namely "The Summer of the Seven" and "Singletons in Love." The others vary in tone and subject matter, lightly humorous to deadly serious, parallel universes, aliens, and other oddities. Unlike some newer authors, Melko has actual stories to tell."
—Don D'Ammassa, Critical Mass
"He's got a distinctive voice that shows a lot of promise."
—Charles Stross, author of Halting State
"Paul Melko may be our next Vernor Vinge or Bruce Sterling."
—Brenda Cooper, author of Edge of Dark
"A stellar new talent."
—Robert J. Sawyer, author of Quantum Night
"[Melko's] skill at depicting [young protagonists] is quite impressive. His heroes come across as neither too adult nor too juvenile, but with just the right mix of mischief, defiance, and empathy."