In Cloud Atlas, the timelines are not only connected mystically through reincarnation and imagery of past lives (broad explanation), but directly via stories transferred over time.
- Half of the slavery era biography is read by the WWII era composer.
- The WWII era composer's letters and music are heard by the 1970's journalist.
- The Oppressive Future's clone servant watches the adaptation of the 2012 publisher's escape from the nursing home.
- The Post-Apocalyptic Future worships the legend of the Oppressive Future's clone servant and her recorded confession also appears.
There appears to be nothing connecting the 2012 publisher's timeline to any prior one, expressing how he (or anyone else in his era, for that matter) gained knowledge/experience from a prior era. I would suspect maybe he published the composer's letters (possibly given to him by the niece?) or the story of the journalist, but I must have missed it.
What connects the 2012 story to those which came prior?