A human science team explores an icy moon in a far-off star system. At the bottom of the chilly, ice-covered ocean, life clusters around hot geysers of mineral-rich water spurting from geothermal vents. Intelligent lobsters build cities of stone, and farm the organisms growing around the vents. The humans observe these strange alien creatures. The intelligent lobsters observe the strange alien humans, and then decide to dissect one to see what it is. Then political wrangling occurs, as a third intelligent species protests at how the humans are interfering with the lobster's cultural development.
This is what you'd get if Robert L. Forward and Peter Watts wrote a book together. Or perhaps it'd be a good sequel to Jeff Carlson's "The Frozen Sky".