For almost 20 years, Carlton Mellick III has been writing some of the strangest and most compelling novels the bizarro fiction genre has to offer. Described as one of the top 40 science-fiction writers under the age of 40 by The Guardian and “one of the most original novelists working today” by extreme horror legend Edward Lee. In his 56th book, Mellick has created a surreal love story that explores the ugly and beautiful nature of relationships.
Stacking Doll is the story of Benjamin Hammond, a young man who is in love with a Russian nesting doll. But in this world, nesting dolls are not just antique wooden toys. They are a race of people known as Matryoshkans, a subspecies of human who are born with a very peculiar abnormality—they have a collection of smaller people living inside of them.
Benjamin never thought he’d ever fall in love with anyone, let alone a Matryoshkan, but from the moment he met Ynaria he knew she was the only one for him. Although relationships between humans and Matryoshkans are practically unheard of, the two are determined to get married despite objections from their friends and family. After meeting Ynaria’s strict conservative parents, it becomes clear to Benjamin that the only way they will approve of their union is if they undergo The Trial—a matryoshkan wedding tradition where couples lock themselves in a house for several days in order to introduce each other to all of the people living inside of them.
No human has ever gone through The Trial before, so Benjamin has no idea what’s in store for him. He assumes that he’ll love each of Ynaria’s inner selves just as much as he loves her, but as she peels off her layers he realizes that each one is more neurotic and difficult to deal with than the last. And if they’re ever going to be together, Benjamin must fall in love with each and every one of his fiancé’s inner personalities, no matter how strange or disturbing they turn out to be.
From the author of Quicksand House and The Terrible Thing That Happens, comes yet another one-of-a-kind bizarro story that only Wonderland Award-winning cult author Carlton Mellick III could tell.