If the man knew that an egret was measuring the laceration on his broken leg, he would have been amused, but not forlorn. He always had a fondness for unruly birds when he agitated.
Just as science fiction isn't properly defined as having rocket ships, and Westerns aren't properly defined as having cowboys, space Westerns certainly aren't properly defined as cowboys on rockets.
I think the one thread that follows through all of his books is a sense of place, of visiting somewhere with Robinson as a friendly guide. This is a notion that ties a light fantasy/travelogue like Escape from Kathmandu (set in Nepal) to Robinson's famous Mars trilogy, essentially giving Robinson remarkable freedom to pursue current interests and still give fans the same kind of experience from book to book.
...nor will any novel or other form of scrying ever fully succeed to address realities which must become uncanny (which is to say revenant) before we can begin to tell their claims on us.