Founded by Alex Shalenko, Counter-Factual.Net was an online discussion forum (now defunct) specialising in counterfactual history, which is an erudite way of describing Alternate History. Whilst this is nominally its chief focus, the site also enjoyed a thriving Speculative Fiction community (primarily sci-fi).
As the site was largely composed of self-described immigrants and refugees from its larger, estranged cousin, AlternateHistory.com, there were the expected jibes about their being everything from Worthy Opponents to outright Arch Enemies. CF.Net, as its inhabitants affectionately referred to it, ws 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 was at first glance more moderate and/or conservative and to this end defined themselves in opposition to the opinions of the other site.
The site hosted 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 had their very own section.
- Alternate History: Amazingly enough.
- Ban on Politics: Effective as of June 2012. Things got a bit messy.
- Berserk Button: For some users, AH.Com. It came up a lot in the Bitch Thread as former and current members criticised what they see as flaws in the current forum.
- 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.
- Science Fiction: Theres 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 III: The most popular, The End of a War by gtrof, postulates a conflict occurring in 1988.