Space at Tinsori Light

The Space at Tinsori Light quote

  • Tinsori Light is first mentioned in Scout's Progress, preface to chapter 29[1]
  • Years later came the short story, The Space at Tinsori Light (see Book List)
    • The story is chilling, obscure, and fascinating, with Independent Logics and flashbacks to the old universe and The Great Enemy [2]
  • The Light is briefly mentioned in the short story Roving Gambler and again in The Gathering Edge
  • Tinsori Light plays a key role in Neogenesis. The short story is appended to the book and audiobook.

Brief HistoryEdit

Detailed more fully further below

  • Tinsori Light is a self-aware space station built in the old, crystallized universe. Originally built by The Uncle as a place of refuge,[3] it's fractin-core was subverted by The Great Enemy, who strategically positioned it to lure in pilots, to their despair. Somehow Lorith and her Sandaret sisters gained control of the Light, to some extent. Then it was swept partway into the Liaden Universe during the Migration Storm. Precisely 198 Standard Years ago[3], Jen Sin yos'Phelium arrived at the Light when -- taking enemy fire and injured -- he jumped, somehow selecting auto-coords placed by a past Delm-and-pilot.[2], [3]
  • Originally one of the most advanced of the Independent Logics, it's thought to be an awakening Old One in the Liaden Universe.
  • For vastly different reasons, it's visited by agents of the Lyre Institute, and by associates of The Uncle, and by members of Clan Korval[3]


  • Tinsori's core (or "brain") is made of Old Tech -- timonium-based decaying fractins. [3]
  • Jen Sin yos'Phelium's first impression: "The space outside his screens was a place of pink and blue dust pirouetting against a void in which stars were a distant promise...A station rose out of the dust, like no station he had ever seen, all crags, sharp edges, and cliffs. There were no visible docking bays, nor any outrigger yards. From the center of the uncompromising angularity of it rose a tower; white light pulsed from its apex in a rhythm of six-three-two."[2]
  • a part of the station is broken but repairable [3]
  • ship repair facilities are old and nonstandard [3]
  • autodoc with the choice of "perfection""[2]
  • large quarters with wall hangings, plush rugs, brightly colored pillows, a viewing screen, a chest, etc"[2]
  • a library"[2]
  • a gymnasium"[2]
  • hydroponics"[2]
  • weather simulation chamber"[2]

Abilities of the LightEdit

  • "a working, aware structure built entirely from forbidden tech -- that was enough to give a Scout nightmares. Even Koral might quail before such a thing."[2]
  • "The station moves of its own volition, within the constraints of coords that balance with expanding edge of things."[2]
    • One of the Light Keeper's main functions is to "keep it from doing mischief...keep it at the expanding edge of things...keep the coords constant...The Light would be better pleased, if we were closer in, where it could wield its influence."[2]
  • "The Light was at its most dangerous when it offered your heart's desire"[2]
  • "the schematics were fascinating -- and horrifying"[2]
  • The Light takes DNA samples to clone and resurrect people, with memories stored in crystal beads.[2]
    • The Station had repaired itself after the Migration Transition Storm damage and taken new samples of the two surviving Sandarates, but since Janeet didn’t take her crystal hair beads when she went to explore local space, she remembered nothing when Lorith the Light Keeper tried to call her back. [2]
  • Tinsori Light Station can repair ships[2]
  • One room simulates planetary weather "so they were rained upon, dried by a warm wind and then snowed on"[2]

via Edmonton BeaconEdit

  • Tinsori Light is out on the edge of the universe (Galaxy?), in the Dust.
  • Far away from civilization. Far away from anything. Little chance a ship will happen by.
  • Nearest space station is Edmonton Beacon:
    • "Edmonton Beacon is a hub, a large way station, with six satellites"[4]
    • "For some of its clients, Edmonton Beacon was the last station and safe jump points they would see on their way into the Dust. For others, it was the first marker of civilization. For still others, it was merely a large, busy commercial system, serving a diverse clientele."[5]
    • "dealing in questionable merchandise and services, and the occassional quasi-legitimate augmentation, it was just the sort of place that bounty hunters might come through, seeking prey; hospitable to rogue intelligences of every description. Including The Uncle -- or agents of the Uncle."[6]

Detailed HistoryEdit

  • Light Keeper Lorith to Jen Sin yos'Phelium: "My sister's of the Sandaret [religious order] believed that the Great Enemy built it [the Light Station]. We found it abandoned, and riding in space where a way-station had been sorely needed [in the old universe]. The Soldiers were in favor of destroying it, but it was in Sandaret space, and we undertook to keep it. Three of our order were dispatched... Feren, Jeneet,...and Lorith....Faren died in the storm...the big storm, that shifted everything away from where it had been. When it was done, the Light was...not in orbit around Tinsori, as it had been. Tinsori we were not able to locate...Janeet took our boat and went out to find where we were....Much time has elapsed since then. I fear she has been lost, or died." [2]
  • The history of the Light Station is also briefly described in The Gathering Edge, chapter 22.[7]
    • In Neogenesis, The Uncle and his sister Tassi tell a slightly different story -- that he built the Light with several colleagues, and the Enemy subverted it.
  • Centuries pass. Then, in the short story The Space at Tinsori Light, Jen Sin yos'Phelium, former Scout, and the best pilot in Clan Korval's roster, accidentally wound up at Tinsori Light while escaping enemies in an emergency auto-coords jump. He was badly wounded, his ship Lantis unable to jump again without repair.[2]
    • Excerpt: "Any ship arriving here was a ship in need. The operator extended her hand and touched a plate set away from all the toggles, buttons, and tags that attended to her part of the function. She touched the plate. And woke the Light."[2]
  • More years pass after Jen Sin docked at the Light, perhaps more centuries. Then Quin yos'Phelium includes Tinsori Light in his list of escape coordinates, in Roving Gambler (short story).
    • Excerpt, Roving Gambler: "The coords got mentally filed away in order, Lytaxin, Springwood, Tinsori Light. Well, that last one, that was one he'd been supposed to forget, to put out of his head as a last resort just ahead of, or maybe behind, Jumping into a sun. He'd not have had it at all except for the oddity of his grandmother knowing it, though she was not now and never had been a pilot. "[8]
      • But The Space at Tinsori Light states that Jen Sin sent a pinbeam to Korval "that would warn the clan away, and see Tinsori Light scrubbed from the of auto-coords in Korval courier ships." [2]
  • Precisely 198 years after Jen Sin yos'Phelium, pilot of Korval, reached Tinsori Light...a bunch of stuff happened. See novel Neogenesis.


  1. Scout's Progress, preface to chapter 29
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 The Space at Tinsori Light, in A Liaden Universe Constellation, Volume III
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Neogenesis
  4. Neogenesis: Ahab-Esais part III
  5. Neogenesis: Ahab-Esais part III
  6. Neogenesis: Ahab-Esais part III
  7. The Gathering Edge, ch 22
  8. Roving Gambler, in Liaden Universe Constellation, Volume III