1. I don't personally think of the pastoral past as being Utopian. People had to work much harder than they do now to make food for their families. Diseases were much harder to cure at that time as well. The only thing I could consider good at the time is how the community may have been stronger. Without internet to help them connect to others I'd assume most would form strong bonds with the ones in their community.
2. I prefer science fiction. I mainly enjoy science fiction more because of interesting predictions of the future. While many of the predictions of the future are possible, most of the fantasy tales are impossible given our history.