Read Artifice by Alex Woolfson Winona Nelson Online


Artifice is about Deacon, a prototype android soldier so advanced he is referred to as an "artificial person." On one of his first missions, Deacon was ordered by his corporate masters to eliminate a team of scientists who knew too much—and he has failed spectacularly. Not only did he let one of the targets live, he attacked the team sent to retrieve him. Now the CorporatiArtifice is about Deacon, a prototype android soldier so advanced he is referred to as an "artificial person." On one of his first missions, Deacon was ordered by his corporate masters to eliminate a team of scientists who knew too much—and he has failed spectacularly. Not only did he let one of the targets live, he attacked the team sent to retrieve him. Now the Corporation wants answers and they bring in the brilliant robopsychologist Dr. Clarice Maven to get them—giving her the power to make sure Deacon never fails the Corporation ever again.As Deacon tries to keep his secrets and the doctor cuts through his defenses, a cunning game of cat-and-mouse begins. The question is: will Deacon be able to resist Dr. Maven’s power and protect the only thing that has ever truly mattered to him?With full-color art by Winona Nelson, Artifice deals with the classic sci-fi question: What does it really mean to be a "person"? And what would an Artificial Intelligence designed to be the perfect soldier ultimately choose: love... or honor? Artifice has got action, romance and even some moments of comedy. And you can read it for free right now over at

Title : Artifice
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780985760403
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 112 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Artifice Reviews

  • Ingela
    2019-02-21 20:17

    Written February 19, 20142.7 Stars - nicely done but a bit "stiff" sci-fi webcomicNice drawings and art in a sci-fi story about a nasty hard, future sci-fi world. ~ It was quite okay although I wasn't really intrigued by this plot. Perhaps I would have preferred more time with the two men, and less with the cold psychologist. Romantic but slightly too stingy with cute romantic scenes. ...and it wasn't that fun either. Instead, it was pretty tight, almost boring (..for me), and perhaps an attempt to be too heavy seriously. Maybe I just didn't get i? - Though there were really good parts too... (Was it just the completely wrong day for me?)~**~**~**~**~**~**~The cartoon Artifice is about Deacon, a prototype android soldier - an artificial person - who is back on Earth (?) after a mission. The robopsychologist Dr. Clarice Maven (not a woman I liked...) wants to know what happened on Deacon's eliminate-mission ( kill all scientists) on Da Vinci Four. Deacon was the only survivor in his team and he then let one of his targets, a young man, live. What kind of relationship did Deacon have with that only human survivor? Is it possible that an artificial person, like Deacon, actually could feel emotions for this 19-year-old human, Jeff Linnell? Do you like to read a well-made cartoon story, should you definitely give this free-online story an hour. Sorry to say, but not quite in my, more romance-hungry, taste, but still, another okay cartoon reading.I LIKE - quite okay but I missed more "fun&smiles" moments~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 88 free pages, with an end, to read here:

  • SheReadsALot
    2019-02-03 21:39

    Loved it. It ended exactly were it needed to end. Plus the author's FAQ was a nice touch. Deacon and Jeff deserve a HEA, glad they made theirs.

  • Grady
    2019-02-08 19:30

    Absolutely Brilliant!Despite all the focus on sci-fi films and television shows and video games no one has ever come up with a tender romance on the order of the one projected visually and verbally as in ARTIFICE, a graphic novel first by author Alex Woolfson and illustrator Winona Nelson. Not only is this book an art piece to hold and read and experience, but it also happens to be a very fine story that speaks more clearly about same sex relationships than most novels today.The story is well summarized in the press release: Deacon (also known as D3763), is a prototype android soldier who was ordered by his corporate masters to eliminate a team of scientists on Da Vinci 4 Mission who knew too much and he has failed spectacularly. Not only did he let one of his targets live - 19-year-old human outcast, the handsome gay Jeff Linnell - he attacked and killed the retrieval team sent to retrieve him. Now the Corporation demands answers and they have employed the brilliant and ruthless robopsychologist Dr. Clarice Maven to get them. Through a series of psychotherapy sessions between Dr. Maven and Deacon we learn that Deacon seems desperate to conceal the shocking events that took place on Da Vinci 4, but gradually in flashbacks we are able to observe the softening of Deacon and the increasing vulnerability of Jeff who engage in a love affair that eventually by book's end is able to overcome the best laid plans of the corporate sponsors AND Dr. Maven!The story is tightly woven, full of subtle insights into the differences (and not so differences) of human and android, and out of a strange sci-fi environment and atmosphere rises a very tender and beautiful and sensual love story. The action remains a constant background noise that underlines the simplicity of a developing love theme and it is to the credit of the splendid cooperation between author and illustrator that this entire book comes off so well.At book's end there is considerable space devoted to the process of creating this book - very instructive and very entertaining. We can only hope that this team continues this story and /or creates more graphic novels of the caliber of this one. Right down to the quality of paper and color saturation, this is a brilliant achievement. Grady Harp

  • Andrew
    2019-01-22 22:20

    A fun story about an android military guy and a young guy he protects (and falls in love with) and a nasty corporation. Explores the familiar "what makes a human" territory with a nice gay twist and tackles it head-on by having the hero engaging a therapist. Satisfying. Also, I really love the art here. I don't know that I ever had the hots for an android until now.

  • Steelwhisper
    2019-02-03 22:21

    So lovely!

  • Emma Sea
    2019-02-15 19:25

    i already read the webcomic, but i'm so looking forward to reading it on kindle. Sitting down and reading the whole story at once is a completely different thing to a serial.

  • Tara♥
    2019-02-17 23:17

    This was so good. Amazing story and outstanding art work. I adored Deacon and Jeff and was really rooting for them to get their HEA."I just don't know why they would design you to feel anything for anybody!""You aren't just anybody.You're Jeff.My Jeff."Dr. Maven was a total wagon. Absolutely hated her. Exactly what you want in a villain. I actually liked how it ended, I suppose some would call it a cliffhanger but I kind of agree with the creator in that it would have been just more of Deacon being crazy awesome. I have no doubt that Deacon and Jeff get their HEA. I did come across this though and while I say I was happy with the ending, this made me very happy.(view spoiler)[ (hide spoiler)]I bought the kindle version of this, some really interesting authors extras at the end like where the author got the idea originally and the process of creating a comic which was really interesting.There was also input from the artist and her process.And on that note I think the cover needs to be mentioned. It's stunning.Certainly worth a read and I will be checking out more of Alex Woolfson and Winona Nelson's work. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • M. Corvidae
    2019-02-08 22:18

    This story definitely holds up on re-read. Loved the setup. Deacon, a sexually curious soldier android finds and spares Jeff, the only gay lad on a space colony that Deacon has been ordered to extinguish. They spend some time together, one thing leads to another, and Deacon gets to explore this 'sex' thing he's been so curious about. X) Yes, they do have some tantalizing scenes together. My only complaint is that they weren't more explicit. (I say that about a lot of things) The story was succinct but the nefarious plot hinted at in the background could provide fodder for a possible sequel. If there is one I'd be all over it!

  • Brent
    2019-01-24 02:27

    I really liked the concept and found it to be nicely written overall. This love story takes place over about 14 weeks but initially the story felt a bit rushed. I'm someone who doesn't rush into love, so it took me a movement to just let myself go and enjoy the excitement of infatuation. I would of liked more dialogue maybe some back story to add to the characters emotional makeup. It seems some people didn't like the ending, I found it wonderful. I like open endings, it felt like it was full of hope. I'm so glad they cut his hair btw lol.

  • M
    2019-01-23 18:34

    I'm on a serious graphic novel/web comic bender at the moment, and after spending the entire weekend trawling through the most ridiculous nonsense, I've hit pay dirt. This web serial is awesome and then some. It's a sci-fi/dystopian tale about an 'artificial person' and an actual person who are thrown together by some pretty messed up circumstances and end up having to make some interesting choices. Anyhow, it's illustrated amazingly well and the story is great. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who likes comics.

  • Just A. Bean
    2019-02-12 21:20

    From the Pride humble bundle.This was really well done. I was genuinely worried about the outcome and totally rooting for the characters. I admit that bb gay boys in love despite the hellish corporate overlords is pretty well what I want to read all the time.In fine tradition of tropey gay romances, the consent issues were... a little blurry, but I felt like it worked out pretty well on the whole. The romance was mostly very sweet and authentic, underlined by very lovely art. I also liked all the extras at the back.

  • Seregil
    2019-02-14 20:16

    It is COMPLETE (hope someone updates the description here)!This is a totally awesome sci-fi story. It is also a great slash romance between two "outcasts": a gay man (seen as an aberation in the genetically selected humanity) and a robot soldier who is a bit too smart and independent and entirely too human (and therefore a candidate for termination).

  • Tully Vincent
    2019-02-07 19:27

    This web comic is a finished story that was quite interesting with nice art. I read it in one sitting.

  • Adeselna
    2019-02-09 02:25

    Not am I a sucker for homossexual romance, I am also a sucker for happy endings when it comes to homossexual couples *wipes tears*

  • Acin Fals
    2019-02-18 21:25

    Woolfson wrote in his Writer's Notes that what he had really wanted to see in Action were "real heroes who just happened to be gay. Heroes who got the guy and got to save the day."Artifice nailed that part with the hero.However, I don't see this graphic novel as an action-romance.There is romance. The more that Deacon and Jeff learn about each other, the more fearful I became that the ending wasn't going to end on a hopeful note. I wanted love to conquer all. And, of course, it does. As their relationship develops, sex is implied in a way that follows the trend of stories in the Action genre (except with two men instead of the usual heterosexual couple).There is action. Gun violence is implied with bloody bodies rather than shown. The open-handed fighting reminded me of moves in 80's action movies: The strikes were easy to understand, though the scenes looked a bit ridiculous, with decisions clearly made by the artist for style rather than effectiveness. One detail on the last page provides an example of this. (Jeff, dude, you're going to fight your way out of the compound barefooted? Really?) Just like in old action movies, we also get a pugnacious doctor working for an evil corporation, which has taken control over people's lives.As others have mentioned here, the philosophical argument about what makes someone a person is shallow. This is a quick read, so the story doesn't have enough time to provide a deep look at the science and speculation of "artificial people" and humans.So, if this isn't Action or heavy on speculation, what's going on? There's a frame story, and it reads to me as a legal drama. Most of the romance and action is in the backstory explained to Dr. Maven in her office. The focus stays strongly on Deacon, our sole provider of what an artificial person might want. Her job is to determine what happened and what Deacon's intentions were so she can pass judgment and determine his future. Meanwhile, he tries to give her only as much information as he can to maintain his innocence.That's what happens in a legal drama.About the art: The cover art, with Deacon and Jeff reaching for each other no matter who tries to pull them apart, is incredible with its realistic style and powerful symbolism. Throughout the book, the expressions of the characters help convey the development of emotion in a short time. Out of these expressions, Deacon's puppy-dog looks are my favorite.About the different versions:In the ebook and print copies available for purchase, bonus material follows the story. This material includes responses to readers' questions, the writer and artist's impressions, and several pages explaining the creation process for the book. I can imagine they'd be of interest to a fledgling writer or comic artist. The online version continues to be available for free without signing up for access. you've made it this far, then here's my recommendation: Read this book. It is a quick read. You might really like it, too.

  • James
    2019-01-31 19:19

    A cool sci-fi graphic novel exploring sexuality and love.

  • David Schaafsma
    2019-02-04 22:31

    Gay science fiction. I saw this at the library and had just been reading Alex + Ada and thought that was good, so this is a related book: How human can AI become? In Alex and Ada, Alex receives a robot girl and finds her boring, works to help her, in Pygmalion fashion, to become more "human," to help her become more fully capable of making her own decisions. Here, a robot soldier, Deacon, seems to be making complex and problematic decisions and is in therapy with Dr Maven to see if he can become more in keeping with military goals for him. In a military operation Deacon killed all the people he was supposed to kill except one, Jeff, who is like Deacon an outcast from society, Deacon as a robot, Jeff as gay. Deacon and Jeff get together, fall in love, though the focus here is on the sex, and the relationship gets assumed as having been established, and way too quickly. Dr Maven threatens to end Deacon's life unless he will finish the job and kill Jeff… what will he do??!! Will he be true to his ever-increasing human-ness and spare Jeff and stop being in the military, or will he be The Good Soldier he claims he has always been? The blurb above for this book includes these question as central to the book, which is apparently completed in this one volume: What does it really mean to be a "person"? And what would an Artificial Intelligence designed to be the perfect soldier ultimately choose: love... or honor? Eh. Meh. I thought this was old territory Asimov and Bradbury and others have been walking for decades, and done pretty superficially, even with its supposedly edgy gay theme… The art was okay, the story a little melodramatic, decently written, I guess. But not really good, in my opinion.

  • Rachel
    2019-02-21 01:24

    Can an artificial person truly feel emotions? What is the measure of true love? How much control do we have over our lives? These are the questions Woolfson explores in Artifice, a combination sci-fi-romance-psychological graphic novel about the meeting of Deacon and Jeff, their love for one another, and their subsequent fight against the corporation and a society that doesn't accept them. The story switches between the past and the present as Dr. Maven, a corporate robopsychologist, extracts information from Deacon regarding his actions and motives on Da Vinci Four. Even though Deacon has no choice but to follow her commands, he subtly dances around her questions for most of the interview. Tensions rise, the romance heats up, and emotions flair before arriving at a well-thought out and unexpected ending. The success of Artifice's concept lies in its execution. Dr. Maven and Deacon are characters we instantly understand because, as they talk, we have a good sense of their underlying thoughts and motives. Together the writing and art reveals extremely complex emotions; the ability to portray deception in particular is to be lauded. While the emotions are convincingly real, they do tend to switch from one end of the spectrum to the other rather quick (ex. annoyance often transforms into a ten on the anger scale in the space of one panel). Nelson's style and colours really complement the part contemplative, romantic, and tension-filled tone. She also does some decent action sequences.The best sci-fi explores deep questions about humanity and our society. The best romance explores the deep emotions that govern our lives and the interactions we have with one another. Artifice is a wonderful and unique work that brings the best of these two genres together.

  • Paper Droids
    2019-02-08 19:28

    Do you like comics? Of course you do. Do you like science fiction comics? Yes. Do you like gay science fiction comics? I bet you do.But what has all those things? What can you possibly find that will combine your three favourite things? Lucky for you (and for me), Alex Woolfson has put his brilliant mind to work to unite all those things to create an incredible comic about a gay bot/boy romance.Artifice is a wonderful, imaginative look at a different type of relationship—the love between man and machine, in the most passionate sense of love. For queer readers looking for a new comic featuring gay characters who are not the stereotypical image seen too often in mainstream media, Artifice presents a brand new front.Complete review:

  • Cat
    2019-02-22 00:32

    The story was interesting and the relationship grew slowly. The artwork was very good and reminiscent of American comics such as Marvel more then manga-style art. The story was told as the main character was looking back on events and explaining his actions to an evaluator which I found a bit too heavy in conversation for my tastes. I would have preferred to watch the action as it unfolded and see more of their relationship and time spent together compared to the discussion between the main character and the evaluator.In the end, I enjoyed it and its one of the better OEL manga around. Plus its online to read for free so you can't argue with that cost and its a short read so those who don't like long stories would greatly enjoy this.

  • Meep
    2019-02-02 21:30

    Web-Comic.The art is good and I followed this when it was updating. I liked the look of the comic and was kept curious to the outcome.Ultimately I found it didn't delve into things enough; too much of what had interesting potential was left vague or happened off-page.For me the ending was disappointing; while I don't mind it being open-ended it felt like a very sudden jump into melodrama - from slow-burn to fast action in the turn of a page. Further to that the resolution meant certain characters were reduced to poisonous caricature when the potential was there to make more than that.This all sounds negative - I did enjoy following the comic but the way it ended garners very mixed reactions and for me it meant the comic didn't work.

  • Raedia
    2019-01-29 01:11

    I read this story when it was published online as a web comic, and just re-read it in its entirety as a published graphic novel. I love the flashback nature of the story, and the realistic approach to a romance between two guys, one of whom happens to be an android. The artwork is much more naturalistic and subtle than a lot of yaoi comics, too.

  • Richard
    2019-02-17 19:21

    Okay, I'm rating this one generously, but it's tight and cute and at $3 for the kindle edition, it's priced more than fairly.This is a story that you've seen many, many times before. But something about the storytelling here keeps it from feeling too worn. I do think it would have benefited from a subplot or two, a bit more fleshing out (so to speak), but I enjoyed it.

  • Elin
    2019-02-10 01:40

    Excellent graphic novel with a complex and absorbing story and some of the best artwork I've ever scene. No elongated huge-eyed bishounen characters but strong beautifully proportioned figures.

  • Wt Prater
    2019-02-11 02:33

    Incredible story, marvelous art. I love graphic novels a lot, and this is one of the best!

  • MsMiz (Tina)
    2019-01-26 01:32

    3.5 - see Cat's review! Very worth the read through!

  • Cale
    2019-02-11 01:25

    I went into this knowing nothing about it (it's on Amazon's Prime Unlimited Reading service currently), which is probably for the best because if I had, I likely wouldn't have picked it up. And that would have been a shame, because it's actually a pretty interesting piece. Told mostly in flashback during a therapy session between Android Deacon and a Robotic Psychotherapist as she tries to figure out why his actions on a mission went awry. The story that he unfolds is surprising in multiple ways, as the therapist probes, working through his defenses and distractions. While there isn't a whole lot of action in the story (and the art is surprisingly subtle, using the fairly basic environments to allow facial details on the characters to tell most of the story, which plays out on multiple layers), it still manages to be suspenseful. Just be warned, it deals frankly with some mature themes.

  • Sarah J
    2019-01-22 23:19

    A one-shot story about an artificial person, an outcast, and the mega-corporation that wants to tear them apart. Woolfson's writing is filled with twists, as Deacon attempts to hide the truth from robopsyschologist Dr. Maven, manipulating her as she attempts to manipulate back. The story is framed as a debriefing between Deacon and Maven, with flashbacks slowly revealing how Deacon and Jeff went from captor/hostage to lovers. Short but hardly sweet, this is not a sugary-love story, but a sci-fi tale, asking and answering, "What would an andriod do for love?" The artwork is a brighter version of "Bladerunner" but is no less dark. Unlike punk sci-fi, the humans wear business suits and there are no aliens, but who needs that when Winona Nelson draws characters who deliver cold-blooded death edicts with a smile on their lips? This does not disappoint.

  • Hilda
    2019-01-31 23:22

    I loved this story. Loved it! I just wish there was more. It seemed rushed. I know many reviewers said the same thing and it’s true. I wish it the comic was double, even three times larger. It would have been a little more belieavable. That ending was magnificent. This comic is definitely worth the read and it’s free online.

  • Tyler Kroon
    2019-01-30 00:14

    A heartwarming sci-fi story about a synthetic human who disobeys a command to kill a target and instead falls in love with him. When he's captured, he wrestles with what he has done and what to do next: follow orders or follow his heart.