by Lindsay Ellis
Titan Books Ltd., 2020
An alternate history first contact adventure set in the early 2000's, pitched as Arrival meets The Three-Body Problem, by video essayist Lindsay Ellis. By the fall of 2007, one well-timed leak revealing that the U.S. government might have engaged in first contact has sent the country into turmoil, and it is all Cora Sabino can do to avoid the whole mess.
The force driving this controversy is Cora's whistleblower father, and even though she hasn't spoken to him in years, his celebrity has caught the attention of the press, the Internet, the paparazzi, and the government and redirected it to her. She neither knows nor cares whether her father's leaks are a hoax, and wants nothing to do with him until she learns just how deeply entrenched her family is in the cover-up, and that an extraterrestrial presence has been on Earth for decades. To save her own life, she offers her services as an interpreter to a monster, and the monster accepts.
Learning the extent to which both she and the public have been lied to, she sets out to gather as much information as she can, and finds that the best way for her to find the truth is not as a whistleblower, but as an intermediary. The alien presence has been completely uncommunicative until she convinces one of them that she can act as their interpreter, becoming the first and only human vessel of communication. But in becoming an interpreter, she begins to realize that she has become the voice for a being she cannot ever truly know or understand, and starts to question who she's speaking for and what future she's setting up for all of humanity.