Secret Matter

a neat, sexy & adventuresome science fiction novel

in a revised, updated, and expanded edition for 21st century readers from Lethe Press
With an Afterword by Mark Jordan

Now with Bonus: "Adam and Steve" -- what were they really doing in the Garden of Eden?

Lambda Literary Award Winner for Gay Men's Science Fiction

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Also on this website:

Toby Johnson's books:

GAY SPIRITUALITY: The Role of Gay Identity in the Transformation of Human Consciousness

GAY PERSPECTIVE: Things Our Homosexuality Tells Us about the Nature of God and the Universe

SECRET MATTER: updated, revised & expanded edition from Lethe Press with Afterword by Mark Jordan

GETTING LIFE IN PERSPECTIVE: A romance novel set in the 1980s and the 1890s.

THE FOURTH QUILL, a novel about attitudinal healing and the problem of evil

TWO SPIRITS: A Story of Life with the Navajo, a collaboration with Walter L. Williams

CHARMED LIVES: Spinning Straw into Gold: Reclaiming Our Queer Spirituality Through Story


About ordering

Books on Gay Spirituality:

White Crane Gay Spirituality Series

  Articles and Excerpts:

Read Toby's review of Samuel Avery's The Dimensional Structure of Consciousness

Funny Coincidence: "Aliens Settle in San Francisco"

The Simple Answer to the Gay Marriage Debate

Why gay people should NOT Marry

Wedding Cake Liberation

Gay Marriage in Texas

What's ironic

Shame on the American People

The "highest form of love"

Second March on Washington

A Bifurcation of Gay Spirituality

 The cause of homosexuality

The origins of homophobia

Q&A about Jungian ideas in gay consciousness

What is homosexuality?

What is Gay Spirituality?

My three messages

What Jesus said about Gay Rights

Queering religion

Common Experiences Unique to Gay Men

Is there a "uniquely gay perspective"?

The purpose of homosexuality

The Reincarnation of Edward Carpenter

The Gay Succession

Interview on the Nature of Homosexuality

What the Bible Says about Homosexuality

Mesosexual Ideal for Straight Men

Varieties of Gay Spirituality

Waves of Gay Liberation Activity

Why Gay Spirituality: Spirituality as Artistic Medium

Easton Mountain Retreat Center

Andrew Harvey & Spiritual Activism

The Gay Spirituality Summit in May 2004 and the  "Statement of Spirituality"

"It's Always About You"

The myth of the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara

Joseph Campbell's description of Avalokiteshvara

Avalokiteshvara at the Baths.

You're Not A Wave

What is Enlightenment?

What is reincarnation?

How many lifetimes in an ego?

Emptiness & Religious Ideas

Experiencing experiencing experiencing

Going into the Light

Meditations for a Funeral

Meditation Practice

The way to get to heaven

Buddha's father was right

Advice to Travelers to India & Nepal

The Danda Nata & goddess Kalika

Nate Berkus is a bodhisattva

John Boswell was Immanuel Kant

The Two Loves

Curious Bodies

What Toby Johnson Believes

The Joseph Campbell Connection

Campbell & The Pre/Trans Fallacy

The Nature of Religion

What's true about Religion

Being Gay is a Blessing

Drawing Long Straws

Freedom of Religion

The Gay Agenda

Gay Saintliness

Gay Spiritual Functions

The subtle workings of the spirit in gay men's lives.

The Sinfulness of Homosexuality

Proposal for a study of gay nondualism

Priestly Sexuality

 "The Evolution of Gay Identity"

"St. John of the Cross &
the Dark Night of the Soul."

 Eckhart's Eye

Let Me Tell You a Secret

Religious Articulations of the Secret

The Collective Unconscious

Driving as Spiritual Practice


Historicity as Myth


No Stealing

Next Step in Evolution

The New Myth

The Moulting of the Holy Ghost

Gaia is a Bodhisattva

The Hero's Journey as archetype

Marian Doctrines: Immaculate Conception & Assumption

Teenage Prostitution and the Nature of Evil

Allah Hu: "God is present here"
Adam and Steve

The Life is in the Blood

Gay retirement and the "freelance monastery"

Seeing with Different Eyes

The mystical experience at the Servites'  Castle in Riverside

The Great Dance according to C.S.Lewis

The Techniques Of The World Saviors

Part 1: Brer Rabbit and the Tar-Baby
Part 2:
The Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara
Part 3:
Jesus and the Resurrection
Part 4:
A Course in Miracles

The Secret of the Clear Light

Understanding the Clear Light

Mobius Strip

Finding Your Tiger Face

How Gay Souls Get Reincarnated

In honor of Sir Arthur C Clarke

Karellen was a homosexual

About Alien Abduction

What are you looking for in a gay science fiction novel?

The D.A.F.O.D.I.L. Alliance

More about Gay Mental Health

Psych Tech Training

The Rainbow Flag

Ideas for gay mythic stories

Kip and Toby, Activists

Toby's friend and nicknamesake Toby Marotta.

Harry Hay, Founder of the gay movement

About Hay and The New Myth

About Karl Heinrich Ulrichs, the first man to really "come out"

About Michael Talbot, gay mystic

About Fr. Bernard Lynch

About Richard Baltzell

About Guy Mannheimer

About David Weyrauch

About Dennis Paddie

About Ask the Fire

About Arthur Evans

About Christopher Larkin

About Sterling Houston

About Michael Stevens

Our friend Tom Nash

Book Reviews

Be Done on Earth by Howard E. Cook

Pay Me What I'm Worth by Souldancer

The Way Out by Christopher L  Nutter
The Gay Disciple by John Henson

Art That Dares by Kittredge Cherry

Coming Out, Coming Home by Kennth A. Burr

Extinguishing the Light by B. Alan Bourgeois

Over Coffee: A conversation For Gay Partnership & Conservative Faith by D.a. Thompson

Dark Knowledge by Kenneth Low

Janet Planet by Eleanor Lerman

The Kairos by Paul E. Hartman

Wrestling with Jesus by D.K.Maylor

Kali Rising by Rudolph Ballentine

The Missing Myth by Gilles Herrada

The Secret of the Second Coming by Howard E. Cook

The Scar Letters: A Novel by Richard Alther

The Future is Queer by Labonte & Schimel

Missing Mary by Charlene Spretnak

Gay Spirituality 101 by Joe Perez

Cut Hand: A Nineteeth Century Love Story on the American Frontier by Mark Wildyr

Radiomen by Eleanor Lerman

Nights at Rizzoli by Felice Picano

The Key to Unlocking the Closet Door by Chelsea Griffo

The Door of the Heart by Diana Finfrock Farrar

Occam’s Razor by David Duncan

Grace and Demion by Mel White

Gay Men and The New Way Forward by Raymond L. Rigoglioso

The Dimensional Stucture of Consciousness by Samuel Avery

The Manly Pursuit of Desire and Love by Perry Brass
  Grocery Store Tabloid announces Aliens Settle in San Francisco the week Secret Matter is released

Secret Matter great gay science fiction novelClick on cover to read the excerpt "The Arrival of the Visitors"

The winner of a Lambda Literary Award for Gay Men's Science Fiction and bestselling novel, Secret Matter returns to print in a revised edition for the 21st century.

Digital montage artist Peter Grahame created this beautiful new cover for the 2009 edition. This edition also includes a BONUS: Toby Johnson's whimsical but profound tale "Adam and Steve" -- what were they really doing in the Garden of Eden.


Kevin Anderson is moving along through his life, finishing up college, and getting ready to leave New York for an internship rebuilding San Francisco after an immense earthquake. Then the Visitors arrive; a race of human-like aliens touch down in several cities around the globe, including SF, and nothing will ever be the same. When Kevin’s company is given a contract to build a facility for the Visitors, he forms a friendship with ’Bel, one of their number. But is ’Bel so alien after all? They seem so human, but they possess some odd characteristics and seem to be hiding something. What secrets do they carry, and where, exactly, are they from?

Before Kevin can get to the bottom of his questions, political disasters and miscommunications occur, and the Visitors are expelled. ’Bel and his emissaries are very clear that certain actions on the part of the U.S. will have grave consequences upon his people and their world, but no one listens except Kevin, who has fallen in love with ’Bel. Now the young man is on a mission to unravel the Visitors’ secrets in order to prevent the death and destruction of Visitors and millions of Americans. 

Buy from the author, autographed if desired, $15.00  (Free freight)

Order from;

Secret Matter

gay sci fi novel naked man

What Are You Looking for in

a Gay Science Fiction Novel?

First Lethe Press cover design by Sou MacMillan
croll down to see more of 'Bel (and to learn about the back cover photograph)

shirtless men, barechested men
'Belwyn Tuarul is the amazing Visitor who meets Secret Matter's protagonist, Kevin Anderson, one afternoon in earthquake-ravaged San Francisco at Jackie O beach. And for both them, life is never the same again.

'Bel's a lovable, sweet character with a wonderful gimmick.

A romantic comedy with an undercurrent of tension and suspense, a lovable and unforgettable character, the right touch of science fiction, and, as fans of Toby Johnson's will recognize, just the right measure of mystical wisdom to make this a novel you'll thoroughly enjoy and long remember with a pang of fondness and pride.

While Toby Johnson was writing this book, he had a photo from a gay calendar framed next to his desk. That photo by renowned gay photographer Roy Blakey colored Toby's vision of what the Visitors would look like. We're especially pleased to be able to use Blakey's photo on the back cover of the new edition.

Photo by Roy Blakey

Goliath Books publishes

Roy Blakey 70s male nudesRoy Blakey's

70s Male Nudes

Edited and with an Introduction by Reed Massengill

English / Deutsch / Francais / Espanol / Italiano
size: 8,5 x 10 inches / 21 x 25,5 cm
160 pages /

ISBN 3-9807602-1-9

shirtless barechested man

Here's Blakey's beautiful photo
without the special FXs:

The updated, expanded, and revised edition for Lethe Press has an Afterword by Mark Jordan.

Mark Jordan teaches at Harvard Divinity School.  He writes about sexuality and religious imagination.  He is author of  The Silence of Sodom: Homosexuality in Modern Catholicism, Telling Truths in Church: Scandal, Flesh and Christian Speech, and numerous other titles. A discussion of science fiction as modern day myth appears in his book Blessing Same-Sex Unions: The Perils of Queer Romance and the Confusions of Christian Marriage.

Read an excerpt from Mark Jordan's Afterword

Toby Johnson introduces the new edition with an elusive and evocative question about the nature of time and a reference to The Dimensional Structure of Consciousness

What Are You Looking for in a Gay Science Fiction Novel?

The Dimensional Structure of Consciousness by Samuel Avery offers a model for how the mind generates the experience of a five dimensional material world in the process of sorting sensory input from the five human senses. Toby Johnson extrapolated upon and fictionalized Avery's ideas to explain the origin of Secret Matter's Visitors.

Read an excerpt from the Preface to the Lethe Press Edition
Read a description of Samuel Avery's ideas by Toby Johnson

The Dimensional Strucutre of Consciousness is available from Barnes & Noble

From a wonderful review of SECRET MATTER by Arthur Breur
"...the book resolves in a very enjoyable and satisfying way, and the author's many-layered revelations about the Visitors is both intriguing and pleasantly startling. (I shouted out loud at the most critical revelation, and was very relieved when the author powerfully backed it up with science and reason.) Recommended!" 

rainbow line

Toby Johnson, PhD is author of eight books: three non-fiction books that apply the wisdom of his teacher and "wise old man," Joseph Campbell to modern-day social and religious problems, three gay genre novels that dramatize spiritual issues at the heart of gay identity, and two books on gay men's spiritualities and the mystical experience of homosexuality. In addition to the novels featured elsewhere in this web site, Johnson is author of IN SEARCH OF GOD IN THE SEXUAL UNDERWORLD and THE MYTH OF THE GREAT SECRET (Revised edition): AN APPRECIATION OF JOSEPH CAMPBELL.

Johnson's Lammy Award winning book GAY SPIRITUALITY: The Role of Gay Identity in the Transformation of Human Consciousness was published in 2000. His Lammy-nominated book  GAY PERSPECTIVE: Things Our Homosexuality Tells Us about the Nature of God and the Universe was published by Alyson in 2003. Both books are available now from Lethe Press.

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