Aerolyth Enterprises is sponsoring a writing contest!

Aerolyth Enterprises has not run a contest in a long time–So let’s start one right now!


And let’s do three separate categories really making it three contests!


The basic idea is design a “hangout” for Stars of Empire spacers or air crews during the period of 1890 to around 1910. One will be for aircrews on either Earth or Venus. The second will be for a spacer hangout on the ground of Earth or Venus and the third such a hangout on an orbital base or Luna or some other low gravity setting.


The setting can be for officers or enlisted crews or both. It can be military or civilian for air crews but civilian only for spacers (there aren’t really any military spacecraft in HQC yet)


The setting should include the owners and other important NPCs, what the interior looks like, the architecture, bill of fare, a list of other patrons, some basic traditions of the place (An example of this is that The Happy Bottom Riding Club only hung up photos of dead test pilots). Any drawings of the layout would be very welcome, as well as any artwork that shows the interior-if that artwork is available for publication (such as out of copyright photos and such) that would be great


So for prizes?


Everyone that completes a full entry gets a free .PDF of the Second Edition Stars of Empire rules when they are finished, as well the Air Machines 1900 book also in .PDF


Third place in each category gets a free hardcopy of the new Stars of Empire Second Edition book.


Second place in each category will see their setting included in HQC canon. The entry will be included as an official location in the game universe and all their NPCs will be provided with full stats in second edition Stars of Empire.


First Prize for each category: I will write an adventure tagged for the location, introducing additional NPCS and a full adventure (which should play out over at least eight hours for four to eight players, with full Game Master notes and materials


I think I would like to do a GRAND PRIZE but am not certain what the award would be. I am open to suggestions on that. I would be happy to run an adventure set in your locale for your gaming group if it isn’t too far to drive Let us say a place I can get up in the morning, drive there, run an eight hour game and return home without killing myself. If the winner would pony up a nice place to stay (one which in no way resembles a scene from Psycho, Misery, or, any film with the words: Camp, Friday, Saw (including “chainsaw”), Hostel, Elm, Night, Nightmare I would be willing to drive around eight hours, game for eight hours the next day and then drive home the following day (see I’m willing to give up a long weekend!)


My wife has also offered to do a watercolor of all of the first place winners. You get the un-matted original and we keep all the rights to the artwork (just scroll down to see some of her great work!)


The following film settings might provide some inspiration: Rick’s American Cafe from Casablanca, The Mos Eisley Cantina from Star Wars or The Happy Bottom Riding Club from The Right Stuff, the Bulldog Cafe from The Rocketeer and show a fraction of the types of establishments that might work for this contest. The traditional gentlemen’s club, as shown in the David Niven version of Around the World in 80 days is also a potential. On the other end of the spectrum from that would be a frontier trading post.


So to answer one question that many people might be asking: “If I don’t play Stars of Empire or any other games set in the Hive, Queen and Country Universe how can I write a decent entry”? I’ll make that a bit easier. If you send me a short description of your idea I will send you a copy of the .PDF of Stars of Empire first edition.


That should give you a pretty decent idea of the setting (since very little of that will change with the rewrite of the game engine). You will also receive an invitation to the very very active Hive, Queen and Country Yahoo! Group. The extensive archives will also give you a lot more background and you will be able to interact with the rest of the HQC community. In fact I will make it even easier than that; you can write a “generic” Steampunk/Victorian Science Fiction setting. Since many published and unpublished settings include very large flying machines that operate on some sort of anti-gravity lift technology and have boost to orbit transports, as well as orbital stations and interplanetary commercial travel. The setting can be painted with broad enough strokes to fit a lot of similar universes, and if the creator wants to produce an entry along those lines that would be perfect as well. How is that for easy?


So what does the entry need to include? How long should it be? What formats will be accepted?


Please submit as a .txt, .rtf, .doc or .docx file. The file should be 2000 to 5000 words. Illustrations may be included. If they are free of copyright or the copyright belongs to you and you wish to see them included with any Include a location of the establishment, a brief history and a general description of the place, its atmosphere and clientele.

At least five NPC employees

At least five NPC patrons

Basic Bill of Fare

Sketch floor plan

Our rights to any documents submitted:

We will have the right to publish the material in conventional or electronic format for use with Stars of Empire and Hive, Queen and Country. We may republish the material at any time for a period of ten years. This period may be extended by agreement of both parties.

During this period the author may use the original work in any way they choose except they may make no claim to any other aspects of Stars of Empire or Hive Queen and Country. They may republish or reuse any or all of their work in any other fashion so long as it doesn’t prevent our use as stated above.


Judging will be by a secret cabal of mysterious cloaked figures! We do reserve the right to issue no awards in any and all categories if there are no entrants that meet our requirements.

Submissions must be in by November 1st 2014 and winners will be announced on January 1st 2015.

Please feel free to ask any questions you may have.


Terry Sofian