Arthur Schopenhauer said, "Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world," but that's not true for fiction writers and especially science fiction and fantasy writers who create worlds in which to set their stories. Some are an imagined future for our own world, some our world altered, and others totally new worlds. The best ones, however, convince me completely of their world no matter where or when it is.
Downsiders by Neal Shusterman (Simon & Schuster, 1999) is one of those. I only just discovered the book, which means I won't have to wait long for the sequel coming out in 2007. It's a story of Downsiders, who live below
Read more about Neal and his writing at http://www.storyman.com/
Another set of books that convinced me completely were Uglies and Pretties (both Simon Pulse, 2005) by Scott Westerfeld. Books 1 and 2 of this trilogy could be our world in the future or could be another world entirely. I devoured them one after another. I worried and anguished along with Tally Youngblood and her friends and dreaded what had to come next in Tally's life. I waited anxiously for Specials (2006) to be available. I talked about the two books I'd read to anyone who would listen. Specials finally arrived and again other things were shoved aside so I could read. Do Tally and her friends win? I don't want to spoil it for you by giving an answer, but I was disappointed with some preachiness at the very end of the book.
Go to http://www.scottwesterfeld.com to check out more books by Scott Westerfeld.