What is the pool of media looking like for the lore judging? I'm guessing that it is the games, official bonus campaigns/missions, novels, short stories, graphic novels, and comics that were released before the deadline. Am I right?
I am not sure about Lavarinth's and Dread's points of view but personally I would only consider Starcraft, Brood War and Starcraft 2's lore as the real lore. In addition, since Starcraft 2's lore can still change over time, I would only consider established Starcraft 2 lore before the contest's start in terms of validity vs each campaign's lore.
Note : To me, Starcraft doesn't include the Nintendo 64's extended story (especially about Alexei). However, I wouldn't penalize if Alexei is "back from the death" as long there is at least something mentioned that he died but came back somehow or was presumed dead but isn't in reality.
All the rest from the various other media would be pretty much considered canon (as in lore that I don't count) in my book.
This is especially when some of them have some lore conflicts and such in addition that not everyone would be interested to spend quite a bit of money to read every of those side stories.
Everyone is entitled to their own preference of doing things, but lore is lore. Anything on the wiki (and therefore every piece of lore) should be taken into account on the judging. Some of it (actually, the majority of it now) takes place during the four year period between 2501 and 2505, so to completely ignore that and start from scratch really gives no guidelines to people as to what is really going on and therefore everyone's story is equally as plausible as the next as long as they payed attention to their SC2 info and actually played SC vanilla and BW.
To be honest, I think people overreact with some of the "errors" and retcons in the lore. Most of them are very miniscule and have pretty much nothing to do with how the universe will soon unfold. Queen of Blades especially gets frowned upon for its vast differences from Episode II. Yes, it has differences, but the truth of how the universe is is pretty easy to figure out. Here are a few examples from that book:
Q: Was Artanis really an executor? What happened to him being a praetor?
A: Yes, it was retconned that he was the Executor for Episode III and at least AN executor (not necessarily the PC) during the events of Brood War. It is unclear if he became a praetor temporarily after that, but it is unlikely because the Hierarchy was formed and he was elected Hierarch.
Q: Were Jim Raynor and the Raiders the first terrans to make it to Char and thus give it its name?
A: No. Char was a vital planet during the Guild Wars and was a mining colony prior to being lost to the zerg.
Q: Which series of events on Char is the true one? The ones from Episode II or the events in Queen of Blades?
A: It doesn't matter. The same outcome was reached and half the characters involved in the events are dead. The purpose of the book was to establish how Raynor ended up allying himself with the protoss, how Tassadar overcame his prejudices towards the dark templar, and how Kerrigan felt about Raynor so shortly after her transformation (basically, the relationships between characters).
I'm sorry if I seem like I'm calling you out, Ricky, because that is not my intent. I just think that people not wanting to read the books because they present retcons or slight variations/errors is a silly excuse. Retcons are official, so you're gonna have to live with them. The errors and variations are on the most miniscule of things that it really won't affect the way you see the universe for worse. And if people simply don't want to spend the money, read the wiki article about it. Take it from me; I've read all the books, graphic novels, short stories, and comic issues to date as well as the wiki articles about them. They are all correct.
And the Alexei "back from the dead" thing is present in more than just that map in SC64. It was a main element of the missions surrounding the Kimeran Pirates: Deception and Mercnearies II. Both of these missions were official maps of the month from Blizzard and the events that transpired (including the existence of Taldarin in Resurrection IV, the mission from SC64) have been confirmed as canon by Chris Metzen.
However, you are right to doubt the legitimacy of the variations in SC64. I, myself, have never played it all the way through (rented it, hated it, never bought it) so I don't know what all was changed, but Metzen has said that the game is "semi-canonical" and will only take a few pieces from it for the actual storyline. The Stukov mission, specifically, has been stated as canon, though.
Sorry. Got a bit off-topic. I had a loregasm.