"The Avatar" - Anderson's biggest and most adventurous science-fiction novel; a desperate search through alien starways in search of a great race known as 'The Others'.
In the immeasurable past a mysterious alien race known as 'The Others' left mankind a challenging legacy, a "gate" to the unexplored reaches of the stars. Several hundred years from now, humanity has utlilized the gate to painstakingly colonize the Phebus star system but has left the rest of the galaxy unexplored. In the midst of turbulent political upheaval on Earth, the exploratory ship Emissary leaves through the gate on a voyage of discovery. When the Emisssary returns ahead of schedual the Social Welfare Party on Earth impounds the ship and imprisons its crew -- and forbids all future space exploration.
In the best Hugo award winning tradition of Anderson's characters Nicholas van Rijn and David Falkayn, Dan Broderson, an entrepreneur and adventurer, sets out to win the stars and an empire for Earth. On a commercial spaceship commandeered from his own company, Broderson travels to Earth find the Emissary.
In a desperate maneuver, Broderson and his crew locate the Emissary, confound its captors and rescue some of the explorers, including the first alien being to visit the solar system -- but Broderson's ship must flee through the gate unprepared, to become a wanderer among the stars, in space and time, in search of 'The Others', who can send them home. -- from the dust jacket for the SFBC edition