It is our sad duty to report the passing of a friend and regular attendee of TBC.
Alice Washburn, known affectionately as Badger, passed away on December 26, 2011. Badger, an attendee of both the 2009 and 2010 TBCs, got around on her scooter with her friend (and personal friend of many members of the staff), Larry Nelson. Badger missed this year's event due to illness. She had been hospitalized for several weeks prior to her passing.
The staff of Transcending Boundaries want to extend our condolences to Badger's friends and family. Her wonderful attitude and easy smile were always a joy to see, and she was definitely missed at this past year's conference.
In addition to TBC, Badger was a vibrant member of many other communities, including science fiction fandom and "filking" (an irreverent style of folk music heavily based on science fiction and fantasy themes). A memorial service for Badger is planned for Friday, Jan. 13, at 3 p.m. at the MIT Chapel in Cambridge, with reception to follow at the nearby Student Center. That day is also the first day of Arisia, the largest science fiction convention in New England, and a memorial filk sing-along in her honor is in the works.
Donations in Badger's memory can be made to the Carl Brandon Society, an organization dedicated to "addressing the representation of people of color in the fantastical genres such as science fiction, fantasy and horror... to foster dialogue about issues of race, ethnicity and culture, raise awareness both inside and outside the fantastical fiction communities, promote inclusivity in publication/production, and celebrate the accomplishments of people of color in science fiction, fantasy and horror."
On a personal note, Larry is a long-time friend mine, and I met Badger through him at Arisia a number of years ago. I cannot imagine going to Arisia (or any other science fiction convention in the northeast, for that matter) and not seeing her there. Her absence will be noted for many years to come.
Peace be with you, Badger. You will be missed.