Six Moon Dance by Sheri S. Tepper
In Six Moon Dance, Sheri Tepper returns to the distant future familiar from her earlier novels. Earth is a remote ancestral memory, or a theme park exhibit; reality now embraces creatures older and wiser than the entire human race put together ...On behalf of the Council of Worlds an artificial intelligence named the Questioner examines and punishes bad behaviour towards both nonhuman species and minorities in far flung human settlements. The Questioner's attention is drawn to the small, barely industrialized world of Newholme. This is scary for the people of Newholme, especially the women who run it, who keep very big bad secrets...which will be revealed, though the Questioner is not there to uncover Newholme's crimes. Rather, the Questioner is haunted by a story she heard of an interstellar creature surviving, though mutilated, on one of the six moons of Newholme.