I've always liked reviewing books, or writing articles about them. It's interesting to see how similar themes can be handled by different writers, or how one writer can show both consistency and variety from one book to another. Right now writing a few book reviews is helping me settle into my new place with some quick new writing projects.
As a reader, I'm looking for many similar things in everything I read. Maybe most of us don't judge fiction by the same standards as non-fiction... but I think facts and real life don't get in the way of a good story. They certainly don't in the science fiction and fantasy books I'm reviewing right now. Any novel is improved by the careful use of real facts. The book sitting on my desk is a new edition of a “trip to Mars” novel first released in 1972. A few edits had to be made based on scientific discoveries by the Viking lander on Mars, but surprisingly few changes were necessary to the setting – and none to the narrative. A strong story can work even in a profoundly changed setting,