Panem (The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins)Read about another entry on the list.
At first blush, Collins’ dystopia seems to play fast and loose with the future: Panem is divided up into Districts, each of which provides basically one thing—coal, wheat, livestock—with the citizens of each District doomed to remain there, regardless of their talents or wishes. But this system might actually work if the central government put enough effort into stopping people from cheating, which it apparently does (if you consider slaughtering dissenters effort). The reason it might work is simple: the government is artificially controlling supply, demand, and wages everywhere, simultaneously, which create systemic stability—again, assuming no meddling kids get big ideas. It’s almost like there would be no stories at all if not for those meddling kids.
The Hunger Games also appears on P.C. Cast’s top ten list of all-time favorite reads for fantasy fans, Keith Yatsuhashi's list of five gateway books that opened the door for him to specific genres, Catherine Doyle's top ten list of doomed romances in YA fiction, Ryan Britt's list of six of the best Scout Finches -- "headstrong, stalwart, and true" young characters -- from science fiction and fantasy, Natasha Carthew's top ten list of revenge reads, Anna Bradley ten best list of literary quotes in a crisis, Laura Jarratt's top ten list of YA thrillers with sisters, Jeff Somers's top eight list of revolutionary SF/F novels, Tina Connolly's top five list of books where the girl saves the boy, Sarah Alderson's top ten list of feminist icons in children's and teen books, Jonathan Meres's top ten list of books that are so unfair, SF Said's top ten list of unlikely heroes, Rebecca Jane Stokes's top ten list of fictional families you could probably abide during holiday season and top eight list of books perfect for reality TV fiends, Chrissie Gruebel's list of favorite fictional fashion icons, Lucy Christopher's top ten list of literary woods, Robert McCrum's list of the ten best books with teenage narrators, Sophie McKenzie's top ten list of teen thrillers, Gregg Olsen's top ten list of deadly YA books, Annalee Newitz's list of ten great American dystopias, Philip Webb's top ten list of pulse-racing adventure books, Charlie Higson's top ten list of fantasy books for children, and Megan Wasson's list of five fantasy series geared towards teens that adults will love too.