In literature, vision and prophecy are literary devices used to present a possible timeline of future events. They can be distinguished by vision referring to what an individual sees happen. The New Testament book of Revelation (Bible) thus uses vision as a literary device in this regard. It is also prophecy or prophetic literature when it is related by an individual in a sermon or other public forum.

Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol is also a significant utilizer of vision as a literary device. After Scrooge confronts the visions given to him by the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come, he asks whether the future he has seen can yet be changed. In other words, can he change the outcome of their prophecies? This question has also been handled by many science fiction works, particularly those dealing with time travel.