What's Happening

This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

Blayde: Any clue as to the origin of the trope name? I'm sitting on a Novel called Headcrash that calls it by its' name. Although the whole work is kinda meta, so that's probably not it.

Wiki: Removed the page quote, which appeared to have a lil back and forth goin on. Its a cute quote, subversive and all, but no where near enough to match somethin as expansive and far-reaching as Info Dump as a whole. I'm sure we all know better than to slap Avatar quotes around simply just for being, well Avatar quotes. Prolly do well in a subtrope though.

Rogue 7: I'm the one that put the page quote up. I couldn't find anywhere else that fit, and it was too meta for me not to use somewhere. Any ideas as to where it fits? (originally, I just had it as "wait, who's...Oh, never mind, If it's important, I'll find out", if you think that fits any better)

Wiki: There's more to a good page quote than being subversive/meta-refrential (yeah prolly misspelled/made up that). The thing is that line only covers a small branch of Info Dump. Doesn't do anything for Opening Monologue, Combat Commentator, Tell Me Again, list goes on.. right below. The best quote there is is the kind that proves to be able to effectively summarize even the most extensive and complicated trope in one or two seemingly simple lines, possibly even better than the three or so paragraphs that follow it.

Example: Hype Backlash, Quote: Brian from Family Guy: "...A lot of people in the audience look pissed." Much more effective/memorable if ya watch the thing firsthand.

Ya'know, in retrospect, meta-references really aren't all that anymore. Yeah, they were clever and funny back 12 years ago when shows like Simpsons were sharpening it out, but they're now everywhere, almost like a requirement. And a majority of the ones ya see now rarely earn lil more than a "Heh, heh, I got it." or "Huh, that's was kinda weird." I don't know, feel like its kinda been distilled. Still kinda like that one though. Anyway, really surprised we haven't found a good BTVS quote for this one yet.

ccoa: If you're wondering where the index went, it went to Exposition. Infodump, for the rest of the English-speaking world, is a specific type of exposition where the exposition is particularly long or wordy. It is not any type of exposition, as was being used here. This change was unanimously approved via YKTTW. Please do not arbitrarily revert.

ccoa's ykttw in question

Kalle: I'm not sure if there's a joke I'm supposed to be getting behind this huge-ass quote, but I'm cutting it and putting it here for posterity anyway.

The problem was that, on paper, the whole thing made sense. Gravity sidewalls were the first and primary line of defense for every warship. The impeller drive created a pair of stressed gravity bands above and below a ship—a wedge, open at both ends, though the forward edge was far deeper than the after one—capable in theory of instant acceleration to light speed. Of course, that kind of acceleration would turn any crew to gory goo; even with modern inertial compensators, the best acceleration any warship could pull under impeller was well under six hundred gravities, but it had been a tremendous step forward. And not simply in terms of propulsion; even today no known weapon could penetrate the main drive bands of a military-grade impeller wedge, which meant simply powering its impellers protected a ship against any fire from above or below.

But that had left the sides of the impeller wedge, for they, too, were open—until someone invented the gravity sidewall and extended protection to its flanks. The bow and stern aspects still couldn't be closed, even by a sidewall, and the most powerful sidewall ever generated was far weaker than a drive band. Sidewalls could be penetrated, particularly by missiles fitted with penetration aids, but it took a powerful energy weapon at very short range (relatively speaking) to pierce them with any effect, and that limited beams to a range of no more than four hundred thousand kilometers.

It also meant that deep-space battles had a nasty tendency to end in tactical draws, however important they might be strategically. When one fleet realized it was in trouble, it simply turned its ships up on their sides, presenting only the impenetrable aspects of its individual units' impeller wedges, while it endeavored to break off the action. The only counter was a resolute pursuit, but that, in turn, exposed the unguarded frontal arcs of the pursuers' wedges, inviting raking fire straight down their throats as they attempted to close. Cruiser actions were more often fought to the finish, but engagements between capital ships all too often had the formalism of some intricate dance in which both sides knew all the steps.

The situation had remained unaltered for over six standard centuries, aside from changes in engagement range as beam weapons improved or defensive designers came up with a new wrinkle to make missile penetration more difficult, and Hemphill and her technophiliacs found that intolerable. They believed the grav lance could break the "static situation," and they were determined to prove it.

In theory, Honor had to concede their point. In theory. Deep inside, she even wished, rather wistfully, that they might be right, for the tactician in her hated the thought of bloody, formalistic battles. The proper objective was the enemy's fleet, not simple territory. If his battle squadrons lived to fight another day, one was forced back on a strategy of attrition and blockade—and casualties, ultimately, were far higher in that sort of grinding war.

Yet the jeune ecole wasn't right. The grav lance was new and might, indeed, someday have the potential Hemphill claimed for it, but it certainly didn't have it yet. With only a very little luck, a direct hit could set up a harmonic fit to burn out any sidewall generator, but it was a cumbersome, slow-firing, mass-intensive weapon, and its maximum range under optimum circumstances was barely a hundred thousand kilometers.

And that, she thought gloomily, was the critical flaw. To employ the lance, a ship had to close to point-blank range against enemies who would start trying to kill it with missiles at upward of a million kilometers and chime in with energy weapons at four times the lance's own range. It might even make sense aboard a capital ship with the mass to spare for it, but only an idiot (or Horrible Hemphill) would think it made sense aboard a light cruiser! Fearless simply didn't have the defenses to survive hostile fire as she closed, and thanks to the grav lance, she no longer even had the offensive weapons to reply effectively! Oh, certainly, if she got into grav lance range, and if the lance did its job, the massive energy torpedo batteries Hemphill had crammed in could tear even a superdreadnought apart. But only if the lance did its job, since energy torpedoes were as effective as so many soft-boiled eggs against an intact sidewall.
—David Weber flawlessly illustrating the distilled essence of the trope, On Basilisk Station.