Hugo reading 2018: Crash Override, by Zoe Quinn

Crash Override, by Zoe Quinn is the sort of book that makes you want to delete all your blogs and internet accounts and go live in Antarctica. It is a deeply, deeply upsetting book to read.

The Hugo Voter Pack provided us with an excerpt – about 100 pages – not the entire book, which has the subtitle ‘How Gamergate (nearly) destroyed my life and how we can win the fight against online hate’, so I can only assume it gets less depressing and more inspiring as it goes, but I’m not sure I’d be able to read through to get to that point.

The part we get is the beginning of it all – how Gamergate got started, how it escalated – and it’s really terrifying. Reading it, I really felt her sense of helplessness in the face of the online horde (made far more frightening by the fact that it quickly grew into offline threats, not just to Zoe, but to her friends and family). Nothing is safe, really.

Clearly, she has survived to write the tale, and I understand that she has even started a website,, that provided advocacy and support to victims of online abuse, so well done her, but I’m feeling traumatised just from reading an extract of her story.

I have no idea how to rate this. It shouldn’t be a related work for the Hugos – and yet it apparently needs to be. I didn’t enjoy it – but I don’t think I was supposed to. I’m not going to finish it, but I probably am going to put it at the top of my list and make a donation to the website, because nobody should have to deal with this sort of thing.

(Also, the PDF kept breaking my kobo, which started becoming a source of concern in its own right – had Gamergaters somehow infiltrated the Hugo voter downloads and put a virus in this document? Only time will tell, but I have to say, I was getting super paranoid.)

2 thoughts on “Hugo reading 2018: Crash Override, by Zoe Quinn

  1. Cate, are you able to go into your followers list and delete me from it? I just got dozens of non-election related blog emails at the same time and when I went to unsubscribe, WordPress doesn’t actually think I subscribe to your blog.

    Barbara Kerr


    • I am so sorry – I didn’t realise that adding backdated posts would result in spamming everyone who follows this blog. And apparently, that’s not something WordPress will let me fix, either, drat it.

      I’m not able to see my subscribers list, but if you are getting emails from this blog, I’m told there should be a line at the bottom of your email saying ‘unsubscribe or change your email settings at ‘Manage subscriptions’.

      Failing that, I’ve just tried subscribing myself, and that took me to this page:, where there is a bit that says ‘you are now following this blog along with 122 other amazing people who are probably really irritated by the Hugo spam’, and then a link saying ‘manage’, which leads me to a list of blogs I’m subscribed to – are you able to follow that link and unsubscribe there, or is that where you were already?

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