Founded by Alex Shalenko, Counter-Factual.Net
is an online discussion forum specialising in counterfactual history, which is an erudite
way of describing Alternate History
. Whilst this is nominally its chief focus, the site also enjoys a thriving Speculative Fiction
community (primarily sci-fi).
As the site is largely composed of self-described immigrants and refugees
from its larger, estranged cousin, AlternateHistory.com
, there are the expected jibes about their being everything from Worthy Opponents
to outright Arch Enemies
. CF.Net, as its inhabitants affectionately refer to it, is seen as the smaller, closer-knit alternative
to the behemoth that is AH.Com. In contrast to the urbane and dominantly left-leaning AH.Com, CF.Net is at first glance more moderate and/or conservative and to this end define themselves in opposition to the opinions of the other site.
The site hosts many original works of varying states of progress, as well as stories from AH.Com posted by their original authors.
Some popular notable works unique to the site include:
- ‘The Age of Reason’ by arctic warrior
- ‘The End of a War’ by gtrof
- ‘From Blight We Rise’ by General Finley
- ‘A Glorious Failure’ by Valdemar I
- 'The Silent Guns’ by arctic warrior
- ‘Take Cover!’ by Carolina Dreaming
- ‘The Roman Emperor Who Lost His Nose’ by Sargon
Some of the tropes associated with CF.Net include:
- Alien Space Bats: Plenty of scenarios involving these metaphysical mammals have their very own section.
- Alternate History: Amazingly enough.
- The American Civil War: Predictable, really. There’s a few threads dedicated to various scenarios.
- Ban on Politics: Effective as of June 2012. Things got a bit…messy.
- Berserk Button: For some users, AH.Com. It comes up a lot in the Bitch Thread as former and current members criticise what they see as flaws in the current forum.
- Cold War: Plenty of scenarios here, the most popular being Carolina Dreaming’s ‘Take Cover!’ TL, where the Cuban Missile Crisis, in his own words, ‘goes pear-shaped’.
- It's Popular, Now It Sucks: More or less the stance of the forum members, with varying degrees of seriousness, towards AH.Com, among other perceived issues.
- The Roman Empire: Features in the works by Basileus Giorgios and Sargon, among others.
- Science Fiction: There’s a definite slant towards the genre, arguably more so than actual alternate history. The most popular works in the ASB section are nearly all sci-fi.
- Self-Deprecation: Alex once described his site as a Wretched Hive, tongue firmly in cheek.
- Shared Worlds: Has one, with a decent number of threads.
- Unknown Rival: To AH.Com.
- World War II: Naturally. In particular, the ‘Weird World War’ series by Chris postulates a number of separate divergences that result in radically different conflicts than OTL.
- World War III: The most popular, ‘The End of a War’ by gtrof, postulates a conflict occurring in 1988.