Who & Where is The Uncle?Edit

  • The Uncle is addressed as "Yuri" by Dulsey in Dragon Ship[1] and Neogenesis[2] and as "Uncle Yuri" by Grig Tomas in Balance of Trade.[3] In The Gathering Edge, Bechimo states that the Uncle used the name "Yuri Tomas" when he was involved in Bechimo's creation.[4] If the Uncle that Cantra meets in Crystal Soldier has any name other than "the Uncle" it's not mentioned.
  • Uncle keeps his identity and location hidden. In Crystal Soldier, he lived in an asteroid field, on Rockhaven, located beyond the Rim, in the Little Empty. [5] More recently, he lives aboard Vivulonj Prosperu (live long and prosper?)[6]
  • The Department of Interior hunts Uncle; its agent reflects that Uncle is "as elusive and difficult to find as old tech itself."[7]
    • But Uncle worries that members of his secret network, if captured and interrogated, might reveal the location of his base, and his old tech devices.[1]

The Uncles shipsEdit

  • Vivulonj Prosperu - The Uncle and Dulsey live on this ship - it also contains his healing unit and some blancs for cloning
  • Arins Toss - a courier ship - the Uncle engaged Theo as courier pilot on Arins Toss

Uncle's AgeEdit

  • The Uncle is more than 1000 years old. He predates the Great Migration and Clan Korval. "A double-hand of Common years" before Dulsey met the Uncle, he saved Cantra yos'Phelium from painful death by line edit.[8]
  • During the Great Migration, Uncle's ship transitioned with Cantra's Quick Passage fleet:
    • Excerpt: "What's that thing beside you, Rinder? Only got four beacons I can scan."..."Uncle, that's my guess."..."Right. Well Rinder, you're safe on that side."..."But low on company." Laughter from a bunch of ships..."[9]"
  • Uncle stores his consciousness and downloads himself into young bodies, via the Remastering Unit.
    • "He had himself been reborn more times than he could enumerate, absent a check of the records. And, of course, in order to be reborn, one must first die."[10]
  • He might, thought Uncle, gazing down at the pods on Dulsey’s palm, be the only left who remembered the name of the great race of trees. Ssussdriad.[11]

Goals & MethodsEdit

  • Uncle's ultimate goals are unclear. This obscurity is confounded by the changing setting. His goals in the old Universe might well have changed somewhat, once they left the Sheriekas behind. His personality, character -- and ambitions -- seems to evolve somewhat. (effected by rebirth?)
  • Uncle sees himself as a Revolutionary:
    • "It was not my plan nor my intent to set up a hospice for wounded Scouts." She [Dulsey] laughed softly, "A return to your origins." He stared at her, then allowed himself a chuckle. "I had considered myself a revolutionary!"[11] (his origins? a doctor?)
      • "A revolutionary who gathered to him those in need of repair before they could be put to work for his cause." (Dulsey, to Uncle)[11]
    • A millennium after the fact, Uncle reveals WHY he saved Cantra from line-edit: [8] Because he is a revolutionary, and he thought she had the potential to confound his enemies.[11]
      • (but this conflicts with the events at Rockhaven, a visit to Uncle Sinister [12]
  • Cantra yos'Phelium warned Dulsey against the Uncle: "The Uncle wants to control all, and there's no one to control him...And spend lives for it, he surely does."[13]
  • Cantra told Jela, "Uncle ain't collecting [sheriek tech]. He's using. Figures he can beat the Enemy by mastering their machines and turning them against their makers." [14]
  • Win Ton reflects on The Uncle: "He had seen the high security records indicating that this man -- or his mind, or his personally experienced knowledge -- pre-dated the advent of Liadens into this particular universe and into these particular galaxy clusters. The Uncle had long been involved with the nefarious doings of those who chose to collect items which might also pre-date that arrival, items which might have precipitated and fomented the very wars of crystallization."[15]
  • Uncle himself reveals some of his methods and philosophies, in Saltation, ch 40.
  • He analyzes news from the Galaxy: "I have been accumulating news, which is information in action, and I have been long in the habit of making things happen, rather than waiting for them to occur."[16]
  • Uncle employs a secret network, divided into tiers:
    • "Take and question them all, and someone with fortune and insight might indeed piece together the idea that there was a network, while failing to gather enough hard data to deduce its location, purpose, and members. While some of the third tier had surely made it to at least a kind of safety [since Mildred Bilinoda was interrogated] others had, or would, fall into the net of this newly aggressive foe. Which meant that various items of what the Scout's termed "Old Tech" or "Befores" had come into the keeping of those who were both ambitious and ignorant....This Department of the Interior, they wished to have the galaxy under their control, and they saw in the works of the oldest enemy the means to bring their ambition to fruition."[1]
  • Uncle's Catalinc Project is a mystery, but obviously very important to his goals:
    • "Yuri!" Dulsey walked to his desk, and she had used his name, which she did so very seldom...."Andreth found signs of surveillance at Catalinc!" His blood ran cold. "Surveillance?" he asked, forcing his voice into a pleasant and interested tone."[1]

Use of Forbidden TechEdit

  • Uncle buys and sells contraband books, tech, etc. under the cover company "Crystal Energy Consultants"[17]
  • Cloning: Uncle to Theo: "Fashion. It is a matter of fashion to make these rules. Cloning has been legal and it has been illegal. Good people have died a final death because they might not be cloned -- my relatives among them."[16]
  • Uncle to Theo: "The dissidents. The Department of the Interior. Fools who have collected good and bad old tech and use it without understanding."[16]
  • "It is not a mere med unit like the best ships and hospital have. It is a med unit of the type the Scouts have long abjured and fought against, in that it uses forbidden, even secret technology."[16]
  • "If I had been permitted to work with, and collect this technology several hundreds years ago when I wished to, we might [be able to heal Win Ton as he is]."[16]
  • The Uncle also maintains an extensive genetic archive. [18]
    • The Uncle to Daav "Korval material has long been among my options. I had the sample from Cantra herself, when her foster mother brought her to me, to be cured of the edit that had taken all the rest of her Line." - "You may find it reassuring that, though I have had free access to this material for such an amount of time, I have chosen not to use it." [19]
    • In his archive he has M-strain soldiers from the old universe - he got them before his meeting with Cantra and Jela in Crystal Soldier.
    • From time to time he produces some M-soldiers as guards for his projects. [20]
    • Miri to the Uncle when she wants him to take care of the military gen samples:"You already hold a big collection of similar material, all of which makes you the best choice to receive and care for these ... rare and precious samples." - "Those cases contain viable samples, with documentation, of the K, M, X, and Y strains developed by the military. There are also samples and notes for various specialist strains. The cases are purposely built to keep the samples fresh until they can be move to a more appropriate, long-term archive." [21]
      • Miri to the Uncle on why she wants him to have the military gen samples:"I did some research while I was considering this situation, and I found out that, in all the years you've been running roughshod over the universe and pretty much getting your way on everything, you never once fielded an army. Hired a few mercs here and there, mostly as guards; and from time to time you seem to have your own guards handy, like your sister's 'hand - but no armies. Even a couple of situations where it seemed that it would have been easier to raise an army and invade a planet, you went for the more difficult, less direct path." - "So, I'm thinking that this material is safest with you." [21]

Bechimo & UncleEdit

  • Uncle, of Bechimo: "She's engineered of old tech and new, and it's not just the Scouts who want her dead, or taken."[22]
  • "I believe in Bechimo, because I stood on her deck." [16] (but Uncle should know Bechimo prefers the masculine pronoun)[23]
  • Uncle helped design Bechimo: Bechimo says, “The Uncle himself designed and oversaw installation of many of the masking systems. It is my estimation that what should not be found or seen by others will not be.”[15]
  • The Uncle was one of Bechimo's Founders[4][24]
  • Uncle was eventually banned from Bechimo: "The Uncle is on the disallowed list" ... "Who made up this list?"..."The Builders." [25]
  • Jermone Joyita to Bechimo, 500 years ago when Bechimo was completed: "It is mete that I should not know all the secrets the Uncle has told to you"[26]

Uncle's AssociatesEdit

--in the current universeEdit

  • Dulsey - (f) The original Dulsey had pale skin, pale hair, gray eyes, and a stocky figure. A former "batcher" clone, she trained as an engineer and learned to pilot on Spiral Dance with Jela and Cantra. [27] A close associate of The Uncle, she's been with him the longest, perhaps his second in command
  • Randoling, who had dropped to Gondola with a certain very particular something bound for the inventory of Mildred Bilinoda
  • Smalltrader Mildred Bilinoda - (f) In Ghost Ship, she deals in exotic / illegal items. "Shiny and hard as river stones, those eyes, black and narrow" [28] Mildred was apparently captured(?) or killed by The Department of the Interior
  • Andreth - (m) involved in the Uncle's project at Catalinc[1]
  • Arin - (m) Jethri's father, dead (Balance of Trade)
  • Seignur Veeoni - (f) Tassi. A researcher who has published on the subject of fractins[29] though this may be a cover for her real work. The Uncle refers to her as "my sister".[2]
  • Clan Korval, but only tenuously, reluctantly, and occasionally."There is a long history between Korval and the Uncle -- and it is Val Con's duty to be suspicious on behalf of kin and clan."[30]
    • "There is a protocol whereby the Uncle may be contacted by Korval. It is not unknown for his interests to coincide with ours."[15]

--before the Great MigrationEdit

  • Arin - (m) linguist and librarian, young, tall and lean, gray eyes.[31]
  • Fern - (f) pilot and archeologist[31]
  • Jakoby - (f) weapons specialist, small and fair "a pale port"[31]

Uncle's Description by BookEdit

Crystal SoldierEdit

  • a young man, tall and lean, his long dark hair swept into a knot at the back of his head and fixed with two porcelain sticks. He was dressed in a crimson robe heavy with embroidery, with here and there a wink of gold - smartstrands.
  • His voice was deep and musical, the hands stretched out in greeting a-glitter with rings inset with strange stones. His eyes were a cool and calculating gray
  • the intent, we're-all-believers-here stare, which had been a feature of the former Uncle, too, and even more unsettling on the face of a young man.

[As food for thought, compare this description of Arin, from the following book: "tall and lean and tough, with gray eyes set deep under strong black brows".]

Crystal DragonEdit

  • He was wearing a layer of Solcintra port dust over a dark cloak, and his hair was in a simple, unadorned braid. No tile showing, no strands, neither. Even his rings were gone.
  • Beneath, he was wearing dark shirt and pale vest, looking like any respectable person of reasonable wealth and consequence, excepting the smartstrands woven into the shirt

Balance of TradeEdit

  • long, craggy and lean. His hair was hullplate gray, short, but not buzzed; his eyes dark and deep.


  • a man with carefully trimmed hair and a sketch of a beard (chapter 39)
  • he was neither old nor young, and he was dressed simply [...] in something that looked like it might be dance class clothes.
  • Trim as it was, Uncle fiddled with his dark hair, as if he missed something he was used to at his ear or on his head, perahps a turban, or an earring.

Ghost ShipEdit

  • His beard was more definite, and carefully groomed; his dark hair was lacquered red at the tips, and a single gold ring pierced his right ear. Her wore a plain dark sweater, a leather vest, and leather pants.

Alliance of EqualsEdit

  • a dark-haired man entered. He was taller than Daav, black hair tipped with red, and a closely trimmed dark beard, despite the testimony of which, he did not seem…quite Terran. He was dressed as they were, in simple sweater and pants. His feet were bare.
  • his voice bearing a slight accent that was neither Liaden nor Terran


  • "The man himself was pretty compact, younger looking than Miri had expected, dressed to swagger in a well-used jacket with a vaguely military cut and a faded smear of color on one shoulder, like maybe it had once been a hash mark. His hair was short in front, longer than the collar of his jacket in back, dark brown with the last inch or so lacquered bright red. Gold ring in the right ear and a short dark beard that did nothing to soften a strong stubborn jaw. So far as his face and his body language went, excusing the beard, he might have been Liaden born, neutral as you like and then some."


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Dragon Ship, ch 30
  2. 2.0 2.1 Neogenesis, ch 7
  3. Balance of Trade, ch 32
  4. 4.0 4.1 The Gathering Edge
  5. Crystal Soldier, ch 24
  6. Dragon in Exile, interlude nine
  7. Ghost Ship, ch 10
  8. 8.0 8.1 Crystal Soldier, ch 16
  9. Crystal Dragon, ch 34
  10. Dragon Ship, ch 19
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Dragon Ship, ch 11
  12. Crystal Solider, ch 25
  13. Crystal Soldier, ch 19
  14. Crystal Soldier, ch 28
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Dragon Ship
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 16.5 Saltation, ch 40
  17. Ghost Ship, ch 35
  18. Neogenesis, ch 20
  19. Alliance of Equals, ch 19
  20. Neogenesis, ch 20 iii
  21. 21.0 21.1 Neogenesis, ch 20 vi
  22. Ghost Ship, ch 3
  23. Ghost Ship
  24. The Gathering Edge, ch 27
  25. Ghost Ship, ch 21
  26. Dragon Ship, ch 28
  27. Crystal Soldier
  28. Ghost Ship, ch 11
  29. Alliance of Equals, ch 12
  30. Ghost Ship, ch 5
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 Crystal Dragon ch 19