The origins of the site date back to the 1980's when I used to run a sci-fi BBS using PC Board; at the time it was one of the larger free BBS sites offering multiple dial-in numbers and network connection to FIDO, RIME, and others. As the days of BBSs waned I started a web site that was mostly news and sci-fi related downloads. Originally it was all hand-coded HTML pages before switching to Coranto, a perl script for news content. In 2003 I became a vBulletin customer and on March 21, 2004, we switched domains and software to vBulletin 3.0.0, just two days after vB 3.0.0 was released to the public. The community has attracted a number of published authors in our Books forum and had some nice inbound links to others sections like the Gallery.
Running vBulletin for many years we eventually fell into the trap of add-on overload. vBadvanced CMPS, vBa Links, vBa Gallery, vBa Dynamics, v3 Arcade, a bunch of bespoke stuff, and so on. I held off converting to vB4 for a number of reasons and with vB5 I could not see a viable upgrade path for me staying within the vB ecosystem so, with excitement, I was one of the first XenForo customers.
I have several XF licenses and have been running it for a while but held off converting Cool Sci-Fi until the time was right. Recently, the time was right.
With the switch to XF I looked at it as a reboot of the site and a chance to return it to its original core function of discussion. For now, at least, that means no portal, no gallery, no major add-ons, and what add-ons are present are minimal to the end user. For now the only negative feedback from that decision is that as part of the migration we lost the hundreds of images we had in our old gallery with vB; I am still looking into options about how to possibly bring them into XF.
The two custom styles we have, along with all of the graphics, were done by Kim of Xenique. "Doo Wop" is a blue & pink pastel style meant to invoke the retro feel of a 50's diner while "Detroit Steel" is a more traditional 'sci-fi' design with darker colors with red highlights. There have been some... interesting ... feedback regarding the Doo Wop style along with a good amount of positive feedback as well since it breaks away from the stereotypical color schemes used by most genre sites.
Well, enough of me rambling. Please feel free to come visit and post your thoughts.