Secret Matter

Secret Matter

by Toby Johnson

NOOK Book(eBook)

$4.99
View All Available Formats & Editions

Available on Compatible NOOK Devices and the free NOOK Apps.
WANT A NOOK?  Explore Now
LEND ME® See Details

Overview

Winner of a 1990 Lambda Literary Award for Gay Men's Science Fiction and bestselling novel, Secret Matter returns in a revised edition for the 21st century. With an afterword by gay theologian, social commentator Mark Jordan.

Kevin Anderson is 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?

This edition includes a Bonus of Toby Johnson's whimsical, but profound, story "Adam & Steve."

Product Details

BN ID: 2940155801368
Publisher: Toby Johnson
Publication date: 09/02/2018
Sold by: Smashwords
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 1,014,048
File size: 1 MB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Edwin Clark (Toby) Johnson, Ph.D., is a writer, editor and former psychotherapist now in semi-retirement. During the 1970s, he lived in Northern California and was on staff for many of Joseph Campbell’s appearances during that time and corresponded with Campbell for over a decade. He is author of two spiritual autobiographies, two books on gay spirituality, and four novels. His 1990 novel Secret Matter received a Lambda Literary Award in the Science Fiction category and the 2000 book Gay Spirituality, a Lammy in Spirituality/Religion. Toby Johnson and Kip Dollar, partners since 1984, ran Liberty Books, the gay and lesbian community bookstore in Austin, TX, 1988-1994, and managed two B&B operations together. From 1996-2003, Johnson edited White Crane: A Journal of Gay Men’s Spirituality. He worked as a literary editor and book designer with Lethe Press, 2005-2015. He’s been hosting a MeetUp Group in Austin on Spirituality for over seven years. And he’s on the Steering Committee of Austin’s LGBT Coalition on Aging. In 2018, Toby and Kip celebrate thirty-five years together. Johnson’s website is tobyjohnson.com The Photo posted is from 1980, when the first edition of The Myth of the Great Secret was published. This was on the back of the book. The photo was taken by my dear friend Leslie Peterson.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Secret Matter 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Kevin Anderson is moving along through his life, finishing up college, and getting ready to leave New York City for a prestigious internship in San Francisco when issues about his sexual orientation begin to bother him. His roommate, Tim, is gay, but Kevin has been so busy with school that he has purposely not given it much thought. When Tim confronts him, Kevin ends up feeling rather glad they are going different directions upon graduation. Kevin flies out to the West Coast for an internship with a company that is helping to rebuild after a giant earthquake. He couldn¿t be more excited. ####### And then the Visitors arrive. A race of oddly human-like space people touch down in several cities around the globe, including San Francisco, and nothing will ever be the same. Everyone around Kevin: his neighbors, his boss, new friends, and coworkers are profoundly affected by these new beings, especially when Kevin¿s company is given a contract to build a facility for them. By accident Kevin meets up with a Visitor named ¿Bel, and their connection blossoms into a friendship. But is ¿Bel so alien after all? And what¿s with the Visitors¿ periodic changes in skin color? They seem so human, albeit much larger, but they possess some odd characteristics, and they seem to be hiding something. Are they dangerous? 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 for ¿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. ####### The secondary characters are critical in wrapping up the story and resolving the mystery of the Visitors. Very quickly the reader feels sympathy for Kevin and his struggle to deal with both his internalized homophobia and the new experiences that confront him. The book is a mystery, a coming out story, a sci-fi adventure, a romance, and an insightful twist on biblical themes and philosophical debates. Secret Matter is an enjoyable read most worthy of the Lambda Literary Award it won. ~Lori L. Lake, Midwest Book Review
Bembo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In the near future, Kevin Anderson is about to graduate, leave New York and move to San Francisco to start his first job as a young architect helping to rebuild the city recently all but destroyed in the recent earthquake. Just before his departure his old room-mate tries to get him to come to terms with being gay, but Kevin continues to live in denial. However events will force a change of heart soon after his arrival in San Francisco. Recently the Visitors arrived landing in major cities throughout the world, human like aliens who it appears have come in peace. Soon after he takes up his new post the company Kevin is working for becomes directly involved with the Visitors building an embassy for them, and it's not long before he meets 'Bel, a handsome young alien who is immediately attracted to Kevin, and just as quickly brings him out of the closet. As Kevin gets to know 'Bel he begins to discover that the Visitors are not quite what they seem, what secrets are they concealing about themselves and their mission?The story follows the growing relationship between the two young men, one which soon develops into an intense love affair, but the main thrust of the account is the aliens' mission, the discovery of their secrets, and their attempts to prevent to US from taken actions which they claim will unwittingly cause the destruction of the world. Following a break down in relations between the US and the Visitors and the latter's subsequent expulsion, Kevin and 'Bel find that they are the only ones able to prevent the destruction of not just the earth, but the aliens' world too.There is a lot going on in this account, and the author clearly has a message to deliver. The sci-fi aspect is fascinating and a lot of thought has gone into creating the scenario playing out here, much of which I must admit lost me but no doubt such might appeal to the more avid sci-fi fans. Against this background TJ has quite lot to say about the acceptance of gays, and quite rightly has little time for bigots; he also has some thoughts on religion, faith and being gay. He proposes his own interpretation on what some scriptures say about man on man relations (although seemingly ignoring what other parts of the Bible say), but he is entitled to his view. However there are other aspects which suggest a less than clear understanding of scripture. He introduces the idea of an original pair like Adam and Eve but who do not succumb to the temptation to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge, and thus would be without sin, but misses the crucial scriptural point that, having committed no sin, they would not be subject to death, neither would their offspring. It might have been interesting to have seen this woven into the plot.Secret Matter is an interesting read, it has recently been updated to move it forward in time and take account of more recent events and it is this edition that I read, and which includes and explanatory prologue by the author and an afterword by Mark D Jordan. It provides a good mix of personal interest, sci-fi theory, drama and tension. Unfortunately the quality of the writing is not great, the narrative can be rather stilted and pedestrian although the dialogue is a little more natural - (I find it surprising that it won a Lambda Literary Award, could this have been more for its message that its literary aspirations?). After a relatively slow start as we are gradually introduced to a number of characters who will at some stage play their part, it begins to gain momentum and one becomes less aware of the shortcomings of the writing. While TJ manages to build to an effective climax many of the potential surprises are diminished as he provides many clues along the way as to where everything is heading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book. Lot's of great characters. Good gay sci-fi.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Must read
ebookfanPB More than 1 year ago
This is a pleasant “science fiction” novel that will of course, appeal to gay readers, but I would think, not exclusively. It involves a visit to earth by gay aliens – “gayliens” if you will – who have an appealing and surprising, altruistic purpose for their visit. The central characters – a young male architect and a young male alien provide a romantic background to the science fiction aspects of the novel. It has characters to admire, characters to "hiss" and at least one character who redeems himself! I enjoyed reading it and I say, “Go for it!” The work has been updated recently by the author to reflect more current viewpoints in space technology.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
KirkVA More than 1 year ago
This is a decent "what if" novel, but not as hard core, descriptive as I would have liked. But it's still a good, easy read for something to think about and for just getting away.