Looking at (a) current prices and (b) the rise of the hardback original sci-fi anthology, one seriously wonders about the future of the annual ""best"" collections. Here is the industrious Gardner Dozois (replacing Lester Del Rey, the former editor of this series) coming up with an $8.95 nosegay of eight stories, at least six of which have already appeared in hard-cover collections. The stories themselves are so uniformly first-rate that it seems unfair to single out Jake Saunders' chilling ""Back to the Stone Age"" (a planeload of tourists paying for the fun of dropping bombs on a long-defeated enemy) and another tantalizing episode in the life of Michael Bishop's future Atlanta (see A Little Knowledge, p. 380). Dozois' introductory roundup of the year's events is useful if not awfully perceptive. Good material, ridiculous situation.