This photo provided by Disney shows Daisey Ridley as Rey, left, and John Boyega as Finn, in a scene from “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” directed by J.J. Abrams. (Film Frame/Disney/Copyright Lucasfilm 2015 via AP)

What do “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” the Netflix series “Jessica Jones” and British fantasy author Neil Gaiman have in common with a 4,100-word piece of erotica titled “Space Raptor Butt Invasion”?

They’re all up for a Hugo Award.

A Hugo Award, for the non-fan of genre fiction, is one of the highest accolades an author can receive for a work of fantasy or sci-fi. It’s a 61-year-old tradition named for Hugo Gernsback, who founded one of the first science fiction magazines in 1926. Past winners of the award include Arthur C. Clarke, J.K. Rowling and Ursula K. Le Guin.

The nominations this year, however, aren’t all such stalwarts of the science-fiction field.  “It is, to say the least, a mixed bag. A lot of good books and stories, writers and artists… cheek by jowl with some stuff that is considerably less worthy,” Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin remarked on his blog on Tuesday.  

For the second year in a row, the Hugo Awards have become a culture war flashpoint. The finalists, announced Tuesday, reflect the influence of a collection of conservative science fiction authors and their fans. Despite splintering into several cells, which go by names like Sad Puppies and Rabid Puppies, these groups have successfully gamed the nomination process.

Voting en bloc for a specific slate of names, the Puppies say, is their way to take back the Hugos. Brad Torgersen, a leader of the Sad Puppies faction, wrote on his blog in 2015 that “we’ve seen the Hugo voting skew ideological, as [the World Science Fiction Convention] and fandom alike have tended to use the Hugos as an affirmative action award.” In 2015 and again in 2016, the Sad Puppies pooled their collective votes to ensure that the works they supported made it onto the finalist ballot.

By the rules of the Hugo Awards, such collusion isn’t verboten, strictly speaking. Per a tradition that dates back some six decades, the sole requirement needed to nominate someone for a Hugo Award is a supporting membership to the World Science Fiction Convention, or Worldcon. (This cost $40 in 2015.) Because only about two thousand or so Worldcon members cast a nominating vote in a given year, according to the New Republic, a cohort of some 300 people can push specific authors to the forefront. Such collusion is not unprecedented, in fact — the Church of Scientology was able to secure L. Ron Hubbard on the 1987 list of finalists, though voters declined to give him an award.

Along with the aforementioned novella, Space Raptor, about the love between man and dinosaur, the 2016 Puppy-supported selections include “SJWs Always Lie: Taking Down the Thought Police,” a polemic described on Amazon as fighting against the social justice warrior “agenda of diversity, tolerance, inclusiveness, and equality.” The science fiction author John Scalzi, writing in the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday, compares the Puppies to Donald Trump fans, whose goal is to “annoy those they saw as their political opponents in the science fiction and fantasy field.”

During last year’s awards, when facing a category composed totally of the Puppy slate, the Worldcon members voted for “no award” — as Wired pointed out, no Hugo was given to “Best Novella, Best Short Story, Best Related Work and Best Editors for Short and Long Form” in 2015.

A year later, the Puppies have wised up — not all of their 2016 slate picks are works on par with “Space Raptor Butt Invasion.” Rather, the Puppies also put forth the Oscar-nominated film “The Martian” and Neal Stephenson’s book “Seveneves,” which has been garnering praise since it was published last May. Should these win, sci-fi author Scalzi  — who has publicly clashed with the Puppies on Twitter and elsewhere — argues it’s a tactic meant to give the conservative nominations legitimacy. “The Puppies are running in front of an existing parade and claiming to lead it,” he wrote in the L.A. Times.

“I think the Sad Puppies have broken the Hugo Awards, and I am not sure they can ever be repaired,” George R.R. Martin lamented in the wake of the 2015 Hugos. After the 2016 Hugos, however, the Puppy jig could finally be up. It’s expected that Worldcon will pass a measure to prevent anyone from pushing a slate of names to the finalist nominations. Culture wars rarely end quietly, but this one may have to find a new battlefield.