The Stolen Bacillus and Other Incidents is a collection of short stories by legendary science fiction writer H G. Wells. The introduction by Wells indicates that the bulk of the collection appeared originally in Pall Mall Budget, the Pall Gazette or the St. James Gazette. The collection is comprised of various science fiction and/or fantasy narratives which had been published between 1893 and 1895. When collected into book form later in 1895, The Stolen Bacillus and Other Incidents became the first volume of short stories that Wells ever published. An American version was subsequently published by MacMillan in 1904. The publication of The Stolen Bacillus and Other Incidents contributed to making 1895 the breakout year for Wells. That same year saw the release of The Time Machine.
The title story of the collection has received renewed academic attention in the 21st century with many critics claiming that it stands as one of the first—if not the very first—work of fiction that deals with issues related to what is now referred to as bioterrorism. The plot of "The Stolen Bacillus" with an anarchist plot to use cholera bacilli to poison the drinking water of London. As much as Wells was ahead of the curve when it comes to 21st century warfare, he was still well behind even early 20th century progressive thinking on the subject of race relations in “The Lord of the Dynamos” which deals with the consequences of the alleged “negro mind” when force to confront the more advance intellect of upper class British society. On the other hand, “The Diamond Maker” precedes the actual technological capability to create synthetic diamonds by more than a half century.
If The Stolen Bacillus and Other Incidents prove anything, it is that Wells was blessed with a gift imagination capable of taking what was thought to be possible on the fringes of scientific exploration at the time and transform it into an exciting adventure with just enough realism to make it seem possible. Unfortunately for Wells, what was thought possible on the fringes of scientific exploration at the time did not just include theories that would take time to be proven, but theories which would very quickly be dis-proven such as the abomination concept of eugenics.