Stupid question? Possibly. Aren't genres easily defined? Sometimes. But what about when you are working in a genre and then there is other stuff in there that isn't part of the 'canon' and it goes beyond where that genre normally goes?
What happens then?
What would you do?
You're reading a book and it's Steampunk - it says so on the jacket. And there is steam and airships and goggles and Victorians (or in this case the unreconstructed descendants of Victorians) in curious and challenging situations. But there's that other 'stuff' in it that isn't part of that broad brush 'Steampunk', and you find it starts taking you much further in another direction.
Do you stop reading? Are you intrigued? Are you prepared to stretch your boundary of the definition or will you simply say 'this isn't Steampunk this is xxxxxx?
It's a problem I'm facing in writing.
What I am writing is unquestionably 'Steampunk' as far as I'm concerned, but I can see where it might go beyond that for others.
So, simply put, do you put boundaries on your expectations, or are you happy to see where a writer takes you and work it out from there?