Sorry to be so slow answering, John; this is my first time online since I left Pittsburgh.

There's a rule of thumb for story order in anthologies: best story first, second-best story last, and third-best story as near to the middle as possible. It's a rule not slavishly adhered to, but it's a guideline most anthologists find helpful.

But that's anthologies, not single-author collections. This is my only experience with a collection and I don't know of any equivalent rule; the editor just left the order up to me. I tried to arrange the stories in a sequence that would make for agreeable reading for someone who's never read them before. I thought a "caper" story would be a good way to ease into the collection, and I didn't want to put something as light as "Ho Ho Ho" immediately after "Jack Be Quick", etc.

In other words, it's all guesswork -- like everything else in publishing.