I think you've put your finger on it. The "distanced style" you describe (I've called it "detached"; your term is better) is one of the things I have always liked the most about Vance. But I hadn't before really realized how he was doing it; as you say, he doesn't describe his characters' emotional reactions to "appalling events", nor his own. This creates the effect. In short, Vance doesn't deplore; at least not in his books. And "deploring" is one of my hobbyhorses; I'm against it. It's like the weather: everybody deplores racism, war, human nature, income disparity, famine, Republicans, Democrats, the French, the Americans, contemporary mores, traditional mores, etc forever; but nobody ever does anything about it.
If we quit all this deplorable deploring, we'd have few op-ed pieces, few ed pieces, a lot fewer useless books, and almost no television comentators and radio talk shows, Fox and MSNBC shows, and for that matter, message boards; we wouldn't even need the Robles!
It's sort of the same thing that has made my motto the quote from Disraeli: "Never explain and never complain". It's fitting to me that while I had heard that Disraeli had said this (Henry Ford II didn't create it, though he made good use of it), I never could find it in any of his quotes in the usual sources, until I found it in an ancient Oxford quotation tome at Jack Vance's house.