I am quickly coming to the conclusion that "infodump" may be the next overused buzzword. I understand the concept that it is generally unwise to dump a lot of information on the reader in a manner that is unconnected with a character in the story and not immediately relevant to the story, but in recent days I have come to the conclusion that some on this forum simply find it too easy to dismiss purported infodumps as undesirable. If memory serves, Leo Tolstoy included numerous "infodumps" in War and Peace. James Michener made the entire first chapter of Hawaii a lesson in geology that would certainly be considered an "infodump". Tom Clancy's Sum of All Fears contained several "infodumps" on how nuclear fission works. Herman Melville gave us several passages in Moby Dick that clearly would have enraged the "infodump" police. If pressed, I'm sure that Tolstoy would have argued that the historical facts presented in his "infodumps" were vital for the reader to understand the world in which his characters operated. Michener would have argued that what we know about Hawaii as a place flows from its formation from volcanic activity. Clancy would tell you that you need to know the basics of how a nuclear device works in order to see that there was a real reason why his didn't, and that it wasn't just a literary convenience. And Melville no doubt would have argued that you can't really understand the story of his whalers without knowing what whaling is, or for that matter, life at sea in general. I don't know. It just seems to me that it's becoming too easy to dismiss a kind of writing that needs to be done in order to put a story in perspective, even if it takes time and even if the reader doesn't catch the reason for it immediately.